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You're reading: How to Find a Responsible Labradoodle Breeder

If you’re looking to bring home a loving Labradoodle puppy, it’s crucial to find a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders only breed from health-tested, temperamentally sound dogs. They want to develop the breed, not simply make money by producing lots of puppies for pet buyers.
You want to avoid “puppy mills,” which breed dogs on a large-scale and emphasize profit over the dogs’ well-being. These puppies are usually kept in unsanitary conditions, and they are bred without regard for genetic quality.
Puppy mill pups often have congenital and hereditary conditions. They may also have parasites, pneumonia, or other diseases. Because they’re typically taken from their mothers at a young age, they also commonly have behavioral problems including fear and anxiety.
The most popular dogs are especially common in puppy mills, and this includes trendy “designer dogs” or hybrid breeds such as the Labradoodle. Whether you’re looking to buy a Labradoodle or another breed, follow these tips to ensure you purchase a healthy dog from a reputable breeder.
Ask for Recommendations
Start by asking trusted friends or family members for recommendations. For example, if you are looking for a Labradoodle, and you have friends who are Labradoodle owners, ask what breeder they used. The breeder may not currently have puppies available, but they may be able to point you toward other reputable breeders.
You can also search online, but make sure you thoroughly vet all potential breeders.
Contact the Breeders on Your List
Once you have a list of potential breeders, contact each one. Ask questions like:
• Why did you get into the business?
• How long have you been breeding Labradoodles (or another breed)?
• Are the parents health-tested? Will I get to meet them?
• Are puppy vaccinations up-to-date?
• When will I be able to bring the puppy home?
• What requirements do you have for people looking to purchase one of your puppies?
• Can I tour your facility?
These questions can help you narrow down your list. A reputable breeder should have tested the parents to ensure that they are healthy and don’t carry genetic health problems. Labradoodles, for example, can be prone to hip dysplasia. The breeder should have taken the puppies to a veterinarian and should be following a shot-schedule.
You shouldn’t be able to bring the puppy home until he is 8-12 weeks of age, as he needs time to mature in the company of his mother and siblings. Any earlier is a sign that the breeder is more interested in profit than in the health and well-being of the puppies.
It’s a huge red flag if the breeder doesn’t want you to tour the facilities or meet at least one of your puppy’s parents. Additionally, reputable breeders genuinely care about their puppies and want to ensure that they go to good homes. A good breeder should have questions and requirements for you as well, and you will likely be required to fill out a questionnaire.
Visit Breeders
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few breeders who seem responsible, you’ll want to visit each of their facilities.
Pay attention to conditions at the facility. Is it clean and odor free? Do the dogs and puppies appear to be clean, well-fed, and lively? Are they friendly and sociable? Make sure the dogs don’t seem ill, lethargic, or too thin. If more than two dogs are pregnant on the premises, it’s likely a puppy mill.
Also, note the way the breeder interacts with the dogs. Does the breeder appear to truly care for the dogs and puppies? Are the dogs and puppies comfortable and affectionate with the breeder, or do they tend to shy away?
While at the home or kennel, ask to see the puppy’s parents. At least one should be available for you to meet. Pay attention to the parent’s temperament and appearance. Would you be pleased to see this appearance and behavior from your puppy later in life?
Remember that a reputable breeder should also be interested in you. The breeder should be looking to ensure that you and your home are a good match for the puppy. They should be willing to answer questions long after the sale is finalized, and they should also be willing to take back any dog they have bred at any age should the need arise.
Check for Appropriate Paperwork
Of course, your primary concern in purchasing a puppy is its health. The breeder should be able to explain genetic problems in the breed and show proof that the parents do not have these health issues. Labradoodle parents, for example, should be screened for conditions like hip dysplasia, heart problems, eye issues, and cancer.
In addition to registration papers for the parents, a reputable breeder should be able to provide the puppy’s pedigree, which usually has the puppy’s ancestors listed for at least three generations. This is often an area of concern with any sort of hybrid crossbreed that hasn’t been along for many generations.
Avoid False Promises
A reputable breeder will also be an honest breeder. They won’t make promises to you that are impossible to keep.
For example, a responsible Labradoodle breeder will not guarantee that the puppies are “hypoallergenic.” No dog is truly hypoallergenic. Labradoodles, however, are considered allergy friendly because they typically have low shedding coats and don’t produce as much pet dander as other breeds. A trustworthy breeder will not try to market Labradoodles or any other dog as genuinely hypoallergenic.
Recap
To make sure that you purchase a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder, follow these steps:
• Ask for recommendations and create a list.
• Contact the breeders on your list and ask tough questions.
• Visit the breeder’s facilities, paying close attention to conditions.
• Request appropriate paperwork.
• Be wary of false promises, like guarantees that a puppy is hypoallergenic.
If you conduct your search wisely, you should go home with a healthy Labradoodle puppy. You can apply these steps to another breed of your choosing as well.

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