Finding a breeder is easy. Finding a reputable breeder you are comfortable with may take time. Spring Creek was only one of a handful of Labradoodle breeders in the U.S. when our program began in 2000, and we were the first on the west coast and in Oregon. We have one of the longest histories with labradoodles in the U.S., which gives us a lot of time with hands on experience with coat types and general conformation of the developing breed. It is important to ask questions of any breeder you may wish to work with, and know what their history and experience is with the labradoodle. If a breeder or a website claims that they are listed with specific organizations as a reputable breeder, please do your homework and make sure this is true. Anyone can state anything. Check with the organization, and more importantly, if a breeder claims to have done specific testing on their dogs, ask for proof. Some sites claim that testing has been done or is in the process of being done, but it’s up to you to determine if this is the case. Breeders can pay to be listed on some sites, so determining the validity of any claims made is up to you, the consumer. To make your search easier, here are some general guidelines about things the breeder should offer and questions you should ask in your search of finding a breeder you are comfortable working with:
A breeder should offer a written health warranty. It should state the breeder’s policy regarding that warranty and refund/return. It should also explain any other responsibilities of those involved. A two year health warranty at minimum is highly suggested for your protection.
A reputable breeder will offer you lifetime support with your pet. They should welcome your questions and answer them thoroughly. They should be available to you during the adoption process, as well as after the adoption process.
A reputable breeder will be knowledgeable about the breed and the genetic diseases common to the breed. You should ask direct questions about how long they’ve been breeding the labradoodle, how many litters of labradoodles have their raised, etc. Since this is a breed in development, it does take hands on experience in order to grow in the knowledge of the specifics to this breed.
The breeder’s kennel or home should appear clean and orderly. They will probably ask you to wash before handling puppies, if they even allow families to handle the puppies, and maybe even ask for you to remove your shoes. Disease can be carried in on clothing, tire tracks, etc. Many breeders will not allow visitors when young puppies are in their home. They will only allow visitors once puppies have been vaccinated, and some do not allow visitors at all to protect their property and dogs from disease. Every breeder has their own policy. If you are unable to visit their home, it is fairly easy to get feedback on their program from other customers, breeders, or public forums.
A reputable breeder will ask you questions about your life and home to make sure that the animal they place with you is a good fit for you and your family. The breeder should be concerned for the puppy as well as the family and not simply be looking to sell their puppies to the first buyer who inquires.
The breeder should have extensive breeding records, pedigrees for the sire and dam, and health records, and be willing to share this information with you. A breeder who is unwilling to reveal this information should be cause for concern. If they state they’ve done specific health testing, they should be able to easily provide you proof of that.
You can ask for the names of other people who have purchased animals from the breeder, but be aware that most breeders are going to be careful about the names they give you. It is highly unlikely they will give you names to contact of people who are unhappy for any reason. You are better off posting on one of the well known labradoodle owner forums and getting unbiased and uncontrolled feedback about any breeder you are interested in. These may be a more neutral location to gather information about any breeders you are looking to work with. We have an owner testimonial page on our website where you can read comments/references from past customers. We do recommend visiting the doodle forums for personal feedback.
Here are two of the main forums where owners post: The Doodle Zoo and Doodle Discussion Forum
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK THE BREEDER?
Do you provide a written contract? What health warranty do you offer?
What health examinations have been performed on the parents of the animal?
What vaccinations and treatments have been given to the animal?
Are the animals being raised in a home or kennel?
How old is the animal?
Is the animal neutered/spayed?
How long have you bred labradoodles and how many litters do you have first-hand experience raising?
Buy a dog for the right reason. Is your purchase realistic or a whim that will fade as the newness of a puppy wears off?
Take a realistic look at your lifestyle. Are you willing to dedicate yourself to this animal’s care for it’s lifetime? Do you have adequate fencing and are you willing to puppy proof your home and yard? Do you have the time for training your puppy so that he becomes a valued member of your family and not a nuisance to you or others?
Can you commit to keeping this dog for its lifetime? What does the future hold for you? If there are many changes taking place in your life or living situation in the near future, maybe waiting for awhile before adopting a pet would be best.
Purchase your dog from a reputable, caring breeder who is concerned about the puppies and about you. DO NOT PURCHASE A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE AND DO NOT SIMPLY PURCHASE THE QUICKEST PET YOU CAN FIND. When you purchase a dog from a quality breeder you are getting not only a dog but also the lifetime caring of its breeder.
Speak with several breeders to educate yourself about the breed and various “looks”. Ask questions about genetic faults, orthopedic problems, bad bites, and general health.
When buying, if you are uncomfortable with anything about the breeder from whom you are buying, or about the puppy itself, DO NOT BUY IT !!
Involve the entire family in training your puppy, and make sure everyone is using the same techniques. There are many different styles and method of teaching a dog. You want your dog to enjoy pleasing you, so be careful in how you train, or you could inadvertently train your dog to not obey your commands.
Do not allow your dog to roam freely through your neighborhood. Be responsible. Ensure your yard is completely safe and that your dog cannot escape.
If you can’t keep your dog, make every effort to return it to the breeder or ask their help in finding an appropriate home for the dog. Do not buy a dog from a breeder who will not take it back or work with you to find it a suitable home. Many reputable breeders will require that a dog be returned to them if you cannot keep it for any reason.
It is not always easy to find someone who puts the effort into breeding with integrity. Look for a breeder who will provide you a lifetime of support after you’ve purchased one of their dogs. Make sure they are committed to their breed and are breeding quality, healthy dogs. It is up to you to ask the appropriate questions and determine whether or not you would be comfortable with them and whether or not you feel they are committed and ethical. Look beyond the marketing and image portrayed and try and see or hear what is happening behind the scenes.
BREEDERS BELOW ARE LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
Finding a breeder you are comfortable with will require doing some homework. Those listed below are ones we know and are comfortable recommending personally. Our recommendation is not a guarantee of quality, however. Dogs in a program are constantly changing and it is up to you to ask the appropriate questions that will help you decide if a particular breeder offers the type of service that is best for you, as well as the type and quality of puppy you are seeking.
Legacy Labradoodles – Our sister program here in Oregon