Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
The average price for a first generation labradoodle (1/2 labrador and 1/2 poodle) is $800-1500-VERY FEW breeders are still breeding first generation labradoodles. Most have moved on to higher generation labradoodles. The average price for an F1b labradoodle (1/2 labradoodle and 1/2 poodle) is $1500-1800. The average price of a higher generation labradoodle including Australian labradoodle is $1800-2500. It is what it is but you will be extremely hard pressed to find a RESPONSIBLE breeder that is selling these dogs for significantly less.
Typically when you see them listed in newspapers and online for under their general going price it is from a puppy mill or backyard breeder. Backyard breeder meaning a random couple or family who thought they'd make a few bucks from breeding their pets. These dogs are usually NOT from good breeders themselves and are not from health tested parents and are a genetic gamble.
Doodles are pricey. Whether they should or should not be could be debated. But it is what it is and more important than finding a low price is finding a RESPONSIBLE breeder who does full health testing on parents, knows the non-testable health history of their dogs and offers a good health warranty.
Read our article on finding a GOOD Breeder and use the lists at the bottom to get you started on your search: http://www.doodlekisses.com/notes/What_To_Look_for_In_a_Breeder
But sometimes the backyard breeder is as nice as you Jane! And has a clean house and the dogs are happy and appear healthy and the average person would think..."well why not? Why pay more when this NICE family has a cute litter for $500?" This is where it gets tricky for some because we envision BYB's as gross, icky places where people don't care about their dogs at all. But sometimes it's just a 'nice' family -- the issue is that as nice a family as they could be...they are not BREEDERS. They don't know the breed well, they aren't prepared to deal with genetic issues that might pop up in puppies, they assume labradoodles are all nonshedding (because they don't know the breed) and sell this 'myth' unwittingly. They also aren't super selective as to who buys the pups and don't have the resources to take back a pup and THAT pup ends up in the shelter system if it ends up causing allergy problems. They probably got their dog from another nice family and for several generations back the parents/grandparents/etc were not from health tested parents and there is no known lineage (though this has nothing to do with fancy pedigrees) and no health warranty. It's just people breeding for the sake of breeding. THAT, is what ryan m needs to stay away from as much as the obviously sleazy folks who are small time puppy mills. Because these types of casual breeding does a disservice to dogs and breeding in general. After all, before doodles were popular...a random mixed breed breeding wouldn't get more than $50 per puppy. $500 for a puppy that comes from a casual breeding is a rip off!
Anyway, this wasn't meant to disagree with YOU, Jane. Only to just remind people reading that bad breeders aren't always obvious if they are nice people who love their pet and think "Fluffy just needs to have ONE litter because she's the best dog in the WHOOOOOLE world."
Ryan, You definitely get what you pay for and there are very few bargains when it comes to Labradoodles, unless you can find one in a Rescue that a family needs to rehome and they bought it from a reputable breeder. Otherwise it is a gamble. Some breeders might have rehomes as well as most contracts from reputable breeders will ask you to contact them first before giving them up and let them find an appropriate home.
The site Adina mentioned is excellent and the recommended breeders sight would be where I would start, as there might be some in the Tenn area on there. Also contact the Doodle Rescue Collective for more information. Sorry don't have the link at the moment, but someone might chime in.
Doodle Rescue Inc = www.doodlerescueinc.com
The other reputable rescue for doodles is www.IDOG.biz
But don't apply for a rescued doodle with the idea of getting a 'cheap' dog. They really frown on people wanting to adopt for the sole purpose of saving money because you never know what a dog might cost you in the end. Rescues generally want people who adopt because they want to help a dog in need and give a good dog a new life.