Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post. My family and I are now looking for a Labradoodle. I've been doing some research and have some initial questions. First off, is it highly recommended to purchase from a reputable breeder? It seems like these prices for puppies are around $2500-$3000. We are just looking for a healthy puppy and are not too concerned with the parent's pedigree. I see that there are listings for labradoodles for about $750-$1250 or so and was wondering how they compare?

Also, I think we would prefer a smaller to medium sized puppy. I see there are breeders that offer "miniature" puppies and was wondering how they would know how large the puppy would grow. 

We also are looking for a labradoodle that hopefully won't shed much. I understand that this is difficult to know, but can certain breeders somewhat guarantee if a dog will shed or not?

We are located in Maryland, but are up for a mini road trip to pick up a puppy. If the timing worked out in mid-April during school spring break time, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


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Hi Steph,

Please read the DK guidelines on What to Look for in a Breeder and take the information to heart. Use this as a checklist for evaluating any breeder you consider, and run from those who don't measure up. You will save yourself and your family a lot of grief in the coming years.

Purchasing from a reputable breeder is not about the parents' pedigrees. It's about testing the breeding dogs for genetic health issues that can be devastating, and that don't show up right away. It's about choosing breeding dogs for good, sound temperaments, and raising puppies in such a way that they are easier for their future families to train and to live with for the next 15+ years. That's what you're paying for when you choose a reputable breeder, and it is worth every penny. 
No doodle breeder can guarantee that any given pup will or will not shed as an adult, but the more experienced the breeder, and the more responsible and reputable he or she is, the better the chances that they can evaluate a pup's coat and give you accurate information. The same goes for size. But remember, these are mixed breeds, and even pups within the same litter can have a wide variation in appearance, size, and coat. Nobody gives you a guarantee of these things, no matter how much you pay.  If these issues are very important to you, you really are better off getting a purebred, where there is always consistency in coat, size, shedding, etc. 

The members of this site have put together an excellent discussion for new members like yourself who are considering a doodle puppy, filled with accurate information unlike a lot of what you see on the internet. Please read it, it will help a lot:

Thank you very much for your reply. Would you say it's best to search for an ALAA certified breeder only? One's with the golden paw or silver paw logo?

If I do find a breeder we like and place a deposit is it normal to ask if we can choose a puppy when we go to pick him/her up or do breeders normally "assign" a puppy to you?

I would definitely begin with breeders who are members of either ALAA or ALCA. The gold and silver paws indicate the level of genetic testing that has been done on the parents, and IMO, the more the better.

I think each breeder has their own method of deciding which puppy goes to which home, and that information is usually on their website. I would certainly want the breeder's input on that, because the only thing you would have to go on as far as picking a puppy yourself would be looks, and that's absolutely the least important consideration. 

I agree with Karen, ALAA or ALCA. I did not "pick" either of my dogs and they are both great.  With my first, Oliver, I was very specific as far as temperament.  I had an older dog (not an ALD) at home and I needed a pup that was not going be too hyper.  I was also looking for more of a dog, my cockerpoo was what we called our "cat dog".  We loved her but she was very independent, not very cuddly.  I was also looking for a pup who would be very comforting to my husband who had recently suffered a devasting accident and would be in need of an emotional support animal.  I made several calls and talked in great  detail and had to be very patient (as far as time) with my breeder and she was able to match us up with Oliver.  He is perfect and exactly what we wanted!!!!  She definitely knows her dogs!!!   After my cockerpoo passed, we decided we wanted another ALD.  We went to the same breeder.  This time, our only request was smaller and more of wavy, fleece coat (Oliver is a sturdy 38 lbs with a curly coat).  Again, great choice with our breeder.  Ivy is 25 lbs with a wavy fleece coat.  We did not have to wait too too long.  Ivy is the bossy little sister and Oliver is so tolerant of her.  Both dogs are very smart, not hyper, no shedding and obsessed with tennis balls...LOL!  

PM me and I can give you the names of a couple of good ALD breeders in Maryland.  Usually you have to get on a waiting list. Because their dogs are multigenerational -- the breeder knows the approximate size the pups will be when full grown.  The price for an ALD is generally $2500 to $3000.  $750 to $1250 usually means a first generation labrador retriever x poodle cross -- a dog whose size, looks, shedding etc. is completely up for grabs. It often times also means a backyard or puppy mill breeder.  Buyer beware.

I agree. And you are not going to get a puppy from health tested parents for $750-1250. 

I'm now just wondering how to go about looking for a puppy. I don't mind traveling a bit to a breeder. Obviously I can just put a deposit down with one breeder. Should I just base it on availability or wait for a breeder to have puppies available, etc?

Most good breeders will not have puppies available, they will have a waiting list for planned litters. So, the best thing is to research, chose a breeder you like and then apply to go on the waiting list, which usually also involves putting down a deposit.

This turned out so perfectly, Adina.  I really like the way you showed some of the colors doodles come in as well as some of their 'looks.' 

Does anyone have a breeder they recommend in the Maryland area? I see there are four listed on the ALAA website. This seems like plenty to contact or should I be branching out even more? I would like to call each and explain that we are looking for a playful puppy that is good for a family with two children (9 and 11) who are really hoping we get another family pet after our Chihuahua passed at 16 years old.

I'd start with the 4 in MD and you can always "branch out" later if none of them is the right fit for you. 



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