There’s nothing cuter than a Doodle, one of the most popular dogs in the country, but there are also things you need to know before you choose your next (or first) puppy.
Let’s face it, money is almost always a primary concern in any
decision you make. Buying a doodle is no exception. Doodle prices can
range greatly depending on breeder reputation, health testing, level
of training, size of puppy and a myriad of other factors.
You might be able to find a puppy from a backyard breeder for $800 or
a turnkey service dog might cost $35,000! Usually the going rate from
a reputable breeder, without training, will be between $2,500 and
$4,000. Keep in mind that you will have your dog for the next 10 years
so when you divide the purchase price out over her lifetime it’s much
It’s tempting to look for the cheapest puppy you can find, but you
need to also be aware that these low price points are where many
scammers like to hang out. These people prey on buyers who are most
price-sensitive and might be willing to make sacrifices in breeder
reputation in exchange for a cheaper puppy.
Remember that a puppy also requires food, vet bills, toys, training,
leashes and many other costs over their lifetime. A doodle puppy is a
big investment, but it’s one that pays for itself in the joy you
What size puppy are you looking for? Doodles come in a variety of
sizes. You could get a 15 pound cockapoo or a 70 pound Bernedoodle or
any size in between. Usually they are listed as toy/ teacup or micro
for very tiny puppies, mini describes a slightly bigger, moyen, petite
standard or small standard describes 40-50 and standard is used to
describe the dogs that will be bigger than 50 pounds. Another way they
are listed is mini, medium and standard. Where mini means 10-35
pounds, medium is 35-50 pounds and standard is bigger than 50.
One mistake that new buyers make is relying too much on the terms used
in advertisements. Use the definitions as a guideline. For example,
you find the perfect “mini goldendoodle” listed online. You excitedly
call the breeder and make a deposit, but then 6 months from now you
are angry because your “mini” goldendoodle weighs 40 pounds! The
biggest problem is that there seems to be a lack of consistency in
definitions online. Dogtime.com says that mini goldendoodles range
from 15-35 pounds, however, Dogbreedinfo.com
pound puppy a mini goldendoodle. Also animalso.com
goldendoodles as being between 40-50 pounds.
Type of Doodle
Many people know that they are interested in a doodle puppy, but which
kind can get confusing. Do you want a Goldendoodle, Labradoodle,
Bernedoodle, Golden Labradoodle, Golden Bernedoodle, Sheepadoodle or
Cockapoo? One great place to start is to look up pictures and find the
puppy you like. Then research the breed to see if it is what you are
looking for generally. Take the picture and send it to a breeder. They
will likely be able to identify the generation and type fairly well
and take out much of the guesswork. The fact is that there are as many
different kinds of doodles as there are flavors of ice cream. Each
variety has its own look, size and level of shedding.
Many people are drawn to doodles because of the claims of “no
shedding”. While it is true that doodles tend to shed less than their
root breed they do still shed. For instance, a Labrador will shed tiny
little hairs all over your house and get on your clothes and
furniture, by comparison a Labradoodle will shed much less. Usually
doodles when doodles shed they will shed in clumps which are much more
manageable to clean up after. The curlier, more poodle-like, the coat
the more likely your puppy is to be lower shedding.
Colors and Coat
Doodles come in a variety of colors. They can be red, white, black,
phantom, parti and many other variations. They type of doodle and
generation plays a big factor in coloring as well as the genetics of
the parents. Most breeders should have an idea of the type of puppy to
expect from a litter.
If you are looking for a doodle you will definitely see people using
the term F1, F1b, F1bb, F2, F2b or F3. These are common terms, but do
not really make much difference to most people looking to own a
Doodles are not an AKC registered breed, nor can they be
registered with the AKC. Doodles are a mixture of some breed and a
poodle. For instance, the popular Goldendoodle is a mixture of a
Golden Retriever and a Poodle. When a golden Retriever is paired with
a poodle the puppy that they produce is know as a 1st generation
Goldendoodle or an F1 which is 50% Golden Retriever and 50% Poodle.
These puppies usually have longer wavy coats.
When a first generation Goldendoodle is bred back to a Poodle it is known as an F1b which is 75% poodle and 25% Golden Retriever. This pairing usually results in a curlier coat and is the most reliably low shedding generation. When this litter is bred back to a poodle it is known as an F1bb which is
87.5% poodle and 12.5% Golden Retriever. An F2 is a second generation
Goldendoodle which results from 2 F1 Goldendoodles breeding. There are
many different generations of doodle and some breeders will even add
cocker spaniel or another breed into the mix, usually to affect size.
This is why knowing your breeder and seeing puppies from previous
litters is so important. You can show a picture of a specific puppy
you like and they can tell you what pairing.
Doodles are very smart and eager to learn. They have a very sweet
temperament generally and are very eager to please. However, any dog
is only going to be as well-behaved as the owner requires. If you
allow your puppy to jump up on the table and eat your pizza, he is
going to do it. If you give him a bite of your sandwich every time he
jumps up on you, he’s going to think that is acceptable. He will be
very confused when he gets in trouble for jumping up on your nephew at
the cookout and eating his hot dog.
Although this advice is not specific to doodles it is definitely
worth your time to train your puppy. It’s not a difficult task, but
does require consistency. If you do not have the time to devote, it is
a good idea to invest in a training program. Many breeders offer an
introductory puppy bootcamp program where the puppy is transitioned
from life with mom and littermates and introduced to sleeping in a
crate. This type of training gets a puppy used to going outside and
introduces the puppy to learn how to learn. When a tiny puppy starts
off learning appropriate behaviors and being rewarded for those
behaviors he will fit in seamlessly with your family.
It is hard to imagine a time when you will be disappointed in having a
pet that is too well-behaved.
Proper veterinary care is very important when bringing home a puppy.
Your breeder will start puppies on a dewormer and give them their
first set of vaccinations, but you will need to continue care with
your own vet. Let the vet know what protocol the puppy was on with the
breeder and let the vet continue that care. Not continuing deworming
or vaccination schedules sets your new puppy up for possible trouble.
Make sure to ask about a prescription for a monthly heartworm
medication. Many breeders offer complimentary pet insurance for the
first month. While this does not cover regular expenses like heartworm
medications and vaccinations it may prevent you from incurring big
medical bills if your puppy should get sick in the first 30 days and
it also might be required as part of the breeder’s contract.
Most reputable breeders have a contract protecting against genetic
issues. It will provide an outline of what your breeder expects of
you and what you should expect from your breeder in the event of a
worst case scenario. These usually boil down to if you are properly
caring for your puppy and he gets sick or dies due to a condition he
was born with then your breeder will help you out.
Keep in mind though that a contract means very little if you choose a
breeder who does not stand behind their word. If your breeder promises
to replace your puppy, but this is the only litter they ever have, how
will they do that? Do they have enough money to reimburse you for a
vet bill? Are they going to be there to answer the phone when you have
a question in 6 months?
Many of the items on this list can be taken care of by finding a good
breeder. Be especially weary of those breeders who make promises to
you in an effort to make a sell. If they promise that a puppy will not
shed, not cause allergies or not be above 15 pounds, they are likely
just trying to get a sell. If they tell you that the puppy will come
home at 8 weeks and be fully potty trained, they are not being
truthful. If they are lying about that what else might they lie about?
A good breeder will almost always have a waiting list to get a puppy,
especially if you are very specific on your puppy’s attributes. A
great breeder is a matchmaker. They will listen to what you are
looking for in your puppy from color, size, coat and activity level
and be able to match the right puppy to you.
For every reputable breeder there are multiple backyard breeders. One
way to tell a reputable breeder is to check out their online presence.
When you find the Facebook page of a reputable breeder it will be
unmistakable. A scammer or someone with no history as a breeder will
have a very limited website and Facebook page. There will be very
limited interaction with posts. Everyone loves to share pictures of
their pet! A breeder’s page will be overflowing with pictures of
previous puppies and interactions from pet families. It would be very
difficult for a scammer to curate an elaborate history of photos,
customers and reviews.
The world is a big place, but the internet has truly made it smaller. No longer do you have to worry about finding a Doodle puppy near me when you can find the best puppies available. If you are interested in a puppy check out Happy Doodle Farm .