Doodles are EVERYWHERE! They are a hot topic and there are a ton available. In our area the prices range from $800 up to $3000. What is the hype and what is the DEAL with the price?
First of all, you need to understand that breeding a mixed breed dog and having expectations for what they will look like and be like is NOT AN EASY TASK. AKC is much simpler. A mixed dog is a MIX, obviously and the goal is a certain set up traits. Those must be tested and matched in a mating pair to produce the goal dog. This is much more complicated that you can imagine. We spenct 2 years in hard reserach before we purchased and ultimately bred. We also spent a large amount of money to insure we could produce what our goal was.
Let's address the expectations of a doodle (any doodle really). Must not shed or be low shed, must have a teddy bear face, must have a gentle loving temperament. How are earth can anyone deliver those features? Believe it or not, it can be achieved , BUT....and this is a big one.....it takes proper testing, proper temperament testing and evaluation, proper socialization (this does not mean having kids love on them...more on this later), and a proper pedigree. Taking your adorable doodle and breeding it with another adorable doodle does NOT always work. THEY MUST BE TESTED! What on earth does this mean? Genetics are critical. A perfect doodle can carry the wrong features to be bred. Not only does the female doodle need to be tested, but the male must be tested and their tests must be put together to determine a good fit. It doesn't always work out. There are NOW LOTS of breeders. Many have beautiful doodles, but they carry for IC or ff in furnishings and matched with another one with the same thing produces the wrong thing. 2 rights can make a wrong! It's genetics!
What do you need to look for in a breeder?
First of all, it is a huge SCAM business. You need to TALK to your breeder. You need to have communication in several ways. You need to see pictures and videos and check out the breeder by name. Our name is associated with our business and anyone is welcome to google us. We also are available to meet in person and for people to come see our babies in person. We don't allow people into our puppy room any longer, but there is a HUGE picture window you can look into to see them. We hide nothing. Be wary of shipping. Will we ship? Yes, but we go with the puppy or the puppy would go through a well reputed pet nanny. We won't sent a puppy alone on an airplane. Be careful of those who offer this for free. It's costs a minimum of $350 to ship a dog. Free? Doubtful!
Socialization programs matter: You have chosen to shop not adopt (hot topic) and therefore you need to be discerning. The first 12 weeks are SO important and your breeder has those babies for 8 weeks. It is illegal to release a dog at 6 weeks in the state of Texas. What are they doing with them. ENS is critical. It's simple and quick and proven to be a great start to life. After that what exposure do they have to people, sounds, stimuli? Any program at all? They need to use some type of a program. Just being with mama and then having an occasional pet from a human every now and then is NOT going to cut it to set up the puppy for the best start in life. They will be set up for lots of fears and anxiety and possessiveness over "their" things.
Testing: DNA is so important. So, so important. This can tell you exactly what you are getting. I will say from experience that even with testing there can be an anomaly. We have had this happen. We also had an accidental litter many years ago that produced 3 "unfurnished" dogs without the teddy bear features. We learned so much from this experience (with the accidental litter we KNEW we would get unfurnished puppies, but chose not to abort those precious ones). Testing allows you to predict with almost certainly what look you will produce. There are many more test besides DNA like hips, elbows, eyes and heart. Why do them? We don't do them before we have a baby? Let me address this. We would like to know that we are getting a puppy that has the best opportunity for health. If you didn't desire this you would rescue and take your chances and love them unconditionally. This is NOT to say you won't love this baby, but you want to know you spent money and got a puppy with the best opportunity for life a health and dog gone it, you paid good money.
The cost: It's high. Take a look at all of those things. $800 could be really expensive for a puppy mill dog and yet $2000 may be inexpensive when you look at what was put into the 8 weeks of your baby. Your expectations should be high for your breeder. Weekly photos and/or videos and updates and information from your breeder is critical. Are they there for you afterwards? Available with a Facebook page or contact if you need it? Do they give training ideas, suggestions for items that are quality for your new family member. What research have they done for YOU and for your baby? Do they do ongoing research.
Everyone is looking for a deal. Be careful what deals you chose? Some are worth it and some are not. Know the difference. A puppy is a huge 1-15 year comittment so you want to do your best to find the best.
Now, keep in mind, doodles are smart. These are great traits and bad traits in one package! YOU MUST train them or they will train you. This is NOT on your breeder. You must take what they have given you and stay consistent or you will have a mess on your hands, with a wild, unruly dog. Stop the biting. Stop the jumping. Don't allow it at all. Not when they are cute and little and not when they are grown. Invest in them! Really invest in them. We have suggestions for that as well as a puppy advice document for our families to learn with their dog. We also partner with an online trainer that we feel is 2nd to none. Please, ask us any questions you feel you have. There are no stupid questions. We may not be the breeder for you, but we hope to educate you to find the right fit for you.