Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hi everyone! I'm new here and will soon be a first time puppy mom! I'm on lists for three different puppies from three different breeders, and each one has it's own unique circumstances. All three are female, mini goldendoodles. I will only bring her home once my summer break starts in June. I need help choosing which one to move forward with!

Puppy #1: Will be 13.5 weeks when I first get her and will have 4 weeks of training with an outside trainer, but didn't necessarily receive a lot of enrichment from birth to 8-weeks old. This puppy wasn't raised inside the breeder's home, but she is a very popular breeder and not a puppy mill. She has lots of different litters so I'm not sure how much individual attention my puppy is actually recieving. Parents are all health-tested.

Puppy #2: Will be 11 weeks when I bring her home with no formal training. This puppy is raised at home and she's receiving lots of attention, but not necessarily any deliberate early neurological stimulation. This is not through a breeder, but rather a family whose dogs had puppies who are now looking for good homes. Parents not health-tested, but both parent dogs are healthy and strong. 

Puppy #3 Will be 8 weeks when I bring her home. No formal training, but raised in a VERY enriching, attentive environment. The breeders are well versed in Puppy Culture and experts at raising well socialized puppies from birth to 8-weeks. Very positive, clicker-training, approach to raising dogs. Health-tested parents.

I'm a teacher who works at a school that serves kids with special needs so I have plans for my dog to go into therapy work. I'm torn because I don't want to miss those early puppy stages at 8-weeks, but I'm also new to puppy training. I'd really appreciate your thoughts!! Thanks!!!!!!

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For me, this is an absolute no-brainer. Option #3 is the only one I would even consider. 

Same here.  

There's a breeder around here that raises all their puppies in kennels... and as nice as their facility is I'd much rather have a home-raised pup.

I agree--there are lots of things that could be in the bloodlines that do not show up in the parents--or have not shown up YET---and why someone would have lots of litters and not raise them in their homes is beyond me--not a good sign...#3 is your only good choice--and if the pup is more expensive, the mantra "You get what you pay for" applies here.

I agree with Karen #3, I wouldn't even consider the other 2.

1.  I would choose a puppy from a reputable breeder who does health testing on the adult dogs. Raising the dogs outside of the house, sounds 'puppymillish' to me no matter how popular the breeder is. Breeding dogs should be over age two and final health tests should be done at age two. Say no to number 1.

2.  If the puppy from the backyard breeder (that is what #2 is) is free and you are willing to take the chance, go ahead, BUT:  I would NOT pay money for a backyard bred dog and I would treat it as a dog I am taking a chance on. Doodles are mutts and paying for someone's oops or someone breeding their dogs because they are 'cute' is irresponsible. Health testing is for genetic traits and seemingly healthy dogs may be passing serious defects. I had a beautiful, wonderful, but backyard bred Springer Spaniel - he had orthopedic and skin issues, tore both CCLs, and had a nervous disposition. I would be leery of puppy number two. The family could also be a front for a puppy mill.   I have two rescue dogs - adopted as adults.  I took my chances on their health. I knew what I was getting into.  Say No to number 2.

Please note that I edited my response.  Backyard breeders are Irresponsible not responsible. I hadn't edited my random thoughts and typing.

3. I would choose a puppy that was inside the home,  health tested parents - even if this puppy costs more.  It sounds worth it and a no-brainer choice. Perfect choice. Say yes.

So you know nothing about training - join the puppy madness group, read, consult trainers, talk to your vet, ask questions - you are a teacher (as am I) so I know this stuff is second nature to you. You will be fine.

Yes, thank you for your thoughts! Super helpful. I'm so sorry to hear about your Spaniel! Good for you for being a teacher! I teach pre-K/K, and I went to observe a puppy class yesterday. Puppies are just like my sweet kiddos! So cute and just need lots of patience, consistency, and love. Basically my job already! Thanks again! 

I also agree #3.  I would always want health tested parents, and the early socialization sounds perfect.

In addition to the sound reasons already articulated for choosing Puppy #3, please also consider that not all dogs are appropriate for therapy work.  Reducing the risks of genetic issues, and behavior problems due to a less than optimal early environment, will improve your chances of achieving the well-trained therapy dog that you are hoping for.  

Yes, this was one of my concerns! Thanks for the tip. 

I would go with Puppy #3. I would, however, ask the breeder to show you actual documentation of the health-testing results. I would want to see proof that the tests revealed very healthy parent dogs and that the grandparents and great grandparents are also proven to be of sound health. I would also want to be sure that the breeder does NOT do early spaying, as this has been shown to lead to health issues later on. A good breeder will let you spay your doodle when she is just about to have her first heat or after the first cycle. Even though this will be your first puppy, you will be totally fine. There is a wealth of information here on Doodle Kisses. 

Agreed! SO much great information on here! Of the two breeders that do health test, I was able to see their pedigree lineage and health records of their parents and older generations. Puppy #1 and #3 have the best chance of living long healthy lives. I'll be contacting the family for pup #2 to tell them I won't be moving forward. Thank you!!

I have to agree with Karen -easy choice puppy #3.  Research has shown over and over with dogs those early weeks are absolutely crucial.  I have a 5 month old puppy Murphy.  She was raised as you describe puppy #3.  I have raised many puppies from various circumstances.  Murphy is outstandingly different from the first week home.  All of my other puppies became excellent dogs, child friendly, great family pets.  But Murphy is different and easier.

Glad you will be home for those first three months, it will make a huge difference.



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