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Choosing a Responsible and Reputable Breeder

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

Not all breeders are created equal. In our 30 years of breeding dogs, we have come across some really good breeders and some really bad ones. It certainly pays to do your homework when it comes to selecting a breeder from which to buy a new puppy. Some breeders truly care about the breed and continually strive to improve the breed. Other breeders breed strictly for the money and may overlook the health and welfare of the breed and puppies.

Here are nine things to look for when considering and researching breeders.

1. Make sure you visit the breeders home & meet the parents.

The breeder should allow potential puppy buyers to visit the breeder’s home or kennel and see at least one of the puppy’s parents. They should willingly show you all areas where puppies and breeding dogs spend their time. During the visit, pay particular attention to the temperament and appearance of the parents. This will give you a good idea of what your puppy may be like. Also, it is important to observe the premises. Is the house/kennel clean, spacious, and well maintained? Is it odor free? The dogs and puppies should be clean, well fed, lively, friendly, and should not shy away from visitors.

2. Does the breeder appear to genuinely care for the dogs and puppies?

During your visit, take time to interact with the puppies and dogs. The puppies should not shy away from the breeder and should be outgoing and willing to interact with strangers.

3. A responsible, reputable breeder should care about the health of the puppies and their parents.

The breeder should be forthcoming, informative, and honest about the breed’s physical and temperamental traits. The breeder should speak knowledgeably and explain in detail about the potential genetic and developmental problems inherent to the breed and provide documentation that the puppy’s parents and grandparents have been professionally evaluated in an effort to breed those problems out of their puppies. The testing should include DNA tests for genetic diseases, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) hip and elbow certifications. You will want to see health clearances/certifications listed for the breeding stock on the breeder’s website. For our list of health certifications and clearances on each of our breeding dogs, click here to go to the “Our Dogs” page of our website.

4. The breeder should be friendly and willing to establish a good rapport with new puppy owners.

A good breeder will be an excellent resource and breed mentor for you throughout the life of the puppy and encourage you to contact them if any problems arise with your dog during its lifetime. The breeder should offer guidance for the care and training of your puppy and be willing to assist after you take your puppy home.

5. The breeder most likely will require a new puppy owner to sign a contract.

A responsible breeder may require a new puppy owner to sign a contract indicating that if you fail to meet specified conditions of care or you become unable to care for or keep the puppy, the breeder will reclaim it. The contract usually includes some type of health guarantee for the puppy indicating that the puppy is free from genetic defect up to the age of 1 to 2 years old. Typically if a health issue should arise, the breeder will offer to replace the puppy with one from a new breeding.

6. The breeder should be registered with a reputable dog registry organization.

Most breeders register their dogs through a dog registry organization and have certified pedigrees from that organization. When working with Australian Labradoodle breeders, the two main registry organizations for the breed are the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA) and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA). If a breeder is registered with a dog registry organization, you are more likely to get a healthy, well-conditioned puppy.

7. The puppies should be well socialized

The breeder should provide the puppies with adequate socialization during the time they are with the breeder. A well socialized dog will make a much better pet than one that has not been properly socialized. Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder what methods they use to ensure that your new puppy is well socialized and has had some basic training.

8. A reputable breeder should not allow you to bring home a puppy until it is 8 to 12 weeks old.

Puppies need to be with their littermates for important socialization lessons until they are at least 8 weeks of age. A breeder that is willing to let the puppies go any earlier than eight weeks should be avoided.

9. Breeders should be willing to answer any questions from the prospective puppy owner.

In addition, the breeder should ask questions of the new puppy owners as well to ensure that their puppies are going to good homes, where the will be well cared for by people who know what to expect and have made all the necessary preparations for a new puppy.

A reputable breeder may require the new puppy owner to:

  • Explain who in the family will be the primary person responsible for the puppies daily care and training, where the dog will spend most of their time, and where the dog will sleep at night.

  • Provide a veterinary reference if you have had other pets in the past.

  • Sign a contract that you will spay or neuter the dog.

  • Sign a contract stating that you will return the dog to the breeder should you be unable to keep the dog at any point in the dog’s life.

Red Desert Doodles strives to do everything possible to be a responsible and reputable breeder. Our goal is to produce the very best puppies by ensuring that parents are healthy and free from genetic defects. If you have any other questions or concerns in working with us or another breeder, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to talk to you and help resolve your concerns.

To get on our waiting list for a puppy, click here to submit a puppy application.

We know that finding the right breeder can be stressful and overwhelming. We certainly hope that this list can help point you in the right direction when choosing a breeder from which to purchase your new family member.


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