Things to Consider When Choosing a Breeder.
*All pictures in blog post were taken and are owned by Cedar Bend Labradoodles*
So you've decided you want a puppy! Now what? With so many Australian Labradoodle breeders in the Nation, how do you choose the right one for you?
1. Color/Gender Is color and/or gender highly important to you? Do you want to 'pick out' your puppy from the litter? Or do you want a puppy with the temperament to match your family? At Cedar Bend Labradoodles, we have all of the families on our reservation list fill out an in-depth questionnaire and use that questionnaire to match which puppy is the best fit for them based upon temperament testing we do with our trainer when puppies are seven weeks old. We don't allow our families to pick a gender or color of their future puppy, as those traits do not affect the temperament of a puppy. What's important for your family? The color of your future puppy? The gender? Making sure you get a furry family member whose temperament will be a good fit for your family? It's important to know how your breeder matches puppies so that you can make the best decision for your family.
Does your breeder allow visitors? If they do, at what age do they allow it? Are they taking precautions against infectious diseases? Are they stressing out the puppies and/or the mommas? Our puppies health and well being is the UTMOST importance to us! Because of this we do not allow visitors. By allowing strangers into our house when puppies are very young, mommas can become stressed out, and puppies are susceptible to disease. We are asked multiple times a week if we accept visitors and aside from the safety aspect of our puppies and Mommas, it just isn't feasible for our family to host strangers in our house that often. We are a family with four young children, and when we have puppies at our house, all of our attention is going to towards our puppies, and our kiddos, any visitors at our house take away from the time we spend with our family and puppies.
3. Pictures/Updates. Will it be important for you to see pictures/videos/updates of your puppy while its growing? Does the breeder you are thinking of getting a puppy from do this? Do they take weekly pictures of each litter? How about videos? Weekly emails? How are they going to keep you in the loop about whats going on? If they don't have social media, you can look through their photo albums to see if they post weekly photos of their past litters.
4. Socializing. What is your breeder doing to help socialize puppies? Do you have children at your house? Does your breeder have children at their house? Will the puppies be used to loud noises, kids crying, people talking, etc? Is your breeder taking the puppy outside? On car rides? Does the puppy go visit anywhere? These are all things you might want to take into consideration when deciding upon a future breeder.
5. Crate Training.
What sort of training does your breeder do with the puppies before they go home? Do they work on potty training? Crate training? Will it be important to you that your puppy have started on these things before they go home? If so, ask your breeder about it!
6. References. Asking for references from a past puppy buyer of your breeder is a great idea, however, chances are, that buyer has only ever had experience with their puppy they got from the breeder. What about asking for references from their trainer? Their groomer? Their vet? Their trainer can tell you about the temperament of the breeders dogs. Their groomer can tell you what sort of shape their coat is kept in, are they groomed on a regular basis? Are the breeders dogs scared of the clippers? Do they behave well while getting groomed? How about the breeders vet? Does the breeder have a good reputation at the vets office? Are their dogs healthy? Does the vet do wellness checks on puppies before they go home? How are the puppies temperaments? Their overall health? These are all important questions to think about.
7. Health Testing. Does your breeder health test all of their breeding dogs? This should be the VERY minimum they should be doing with their dogs.
8. How many dogs do they have? Does your breeder keep all their dogs at their house? Do they utilize guardian homes? Do they have a helper(s) on site to help with day-to-day activities? Does your breeder have a full-time job, outside of breeding, that keeps them away from home all day? These are all things to consider when picking out the right breeder for you.
9. Therapy/Service Lines
Are you wanting a dog for therapy or service work? Does your breeder have service or therapy lines? If you are looking for a service or therapy dog, will your puppy be evaluated by a trainer before you get it to ensure they have the temperament needed to do service or therapy work?
Its important to note that if you send an email to a breeder you are thinking of working with with all of these questions in it, they may not even respond. That's because they are probably busy taking care of their puppies! Do yourself a favor and scour their website for the answer to these questions before you contact them. Check out their social media. Their facebook, their instagram. Look through their past photos and videos and see if you can answer some of these questions yourself before you ask your breeder to do your research for you. Good luck!