Labradoodles have exploded in popularity. Not only are they the perfect breed for families with allergy issues, but they are also incredibly intelligent and caring dogs. It makes sense that so many people are looking to add a Labradoodle to their homes.
When you start your search, you need to make sure that you find a breeder who understands their responsibilities, cares for their dogs and will work with you throughout the breeding process. But how do you do that when there are so many scammers?
There are certain qualities that you should look for to find reputable Labradoodle breeders. Read on to find out how you can make sure you only work with the best.
The first hint you’ll get is how well the potential breeder communicates. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll respond immediately to all of your messages — breeders are busy, too! — but they should make an effort to keep an open dialogue.
It’s also normal to have a lot of questions when you first meet with a breeder, so this first meeting is a good test. Do they answer your questions thoroughly? Do they seem impatient, or are they happy to talk to you?
Pay attention to how they interact with you. Good communication should be one of their top priorities — watch out for evasive people.
It’s impossible to know everything, but you want to make sure that the breeder knows what they’re talking about and isn’t just playing around.
Your breeder should be able to tell you things like how well Labradoodles adapt to their homes, how they respond to training, and what their common health issues are. If they can answer your questions about these issues, you’ll know that they’ve done their homework and truly understand the breed.
If they can’t, or if they avoid the questions, that’s a red flag!
Speaking over the phone is a good initial way to get to know a breeder, but you should also make sure you visit the premises to check it out. You’ll want to see the puppies in person to make sure that they’re happy and healthy.
If the dogs have runny noses or eyes, coughs, or seem malnourished, absolutely do not work with the breeder. You may even want to report them to make sure that the dogs can go to a home where they’ll be treated better.
Check the home or kennel, too. Is it clean? Does it smell? If something seems off about the environment, there might be something bad going on behind the scenes.
Of course, when it comes to breeding, you should also ask to meet the puppy’s parents, too. There are some breeders who will keep the puppies in good condition but will keep the parents away from potential buyers.
This is a major sign that they have something to hide. The parents need to be as well-treated as the adoptable puppies are.
Meeting the puppy parents is also a good way to see what your dog’s temperament will be as they age. Will your Labradoodle be particularly affectionate? Will they do well with being alone? This is one way to find out ahead of time.
During your visit, check to see how social the dogs are. If they’re happy to come up to you and do well with strangers, you can assume that the breeder is treating them well. Anti-social dogs can sometimes be a sign that they’re being mistreated, which is why they’re so nervous around strangers.
Playing is a huge part of puppy development — pups that aren’t running around and playing by a certain age should raise some questions about the breeder and the environment they’ve created.
After your visit (or even during), check to see how thoroughly the breeder has documented the lives of their dogs.
They should be able to provide comprehensive medical histories of each dog in their care. If there have been health issues in the past, you should know — and they’re responsible for telling you. Health screening records are especially important.
You should also ask for the dog’s papers before you pay any money, especially if you want to be 100% sure that you’re getting a Labradoodle. For a Labradoodle, the documents will prove that they’re registered with the Australian Labradoodle Association of America. Good breeders will give you these papers free of charge.
If they refuse to hand them over or make other excuses, it’s possible that the pup you’re looking to adopt isn’t actually a Labradoodle at all.
If you really want to make sure that the breeder is reputable, you can ask them which memberships they currently hold. Most Labradoodle breeders will be members of the ALAA, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t find them in the American Kennel Association’s Breeder of Merit Program or something similar. It’s not because they’re not reputable — it’s because Labradoodles are technically a mix, so the AKC doesn’t recognize them yet.
It’s also a good idea to check to see if they’re listed on any websites that display Labradoodle breeders who have completed the right genetic tests on their dogs. Responsible breeders will make sure to screen their dogs for any potential health issues.
Finally, there’s never anything wrong with word-of-mouth. Do you know other people who have worked with the Labradoodle breeders before? Did they have a good experience, or were they disappointed?
Talk to other people who have worked with them before. If you get nothing but positive feedback, you can rest easy — you’ve found someone who’s a joy to work with.
If you keep hearing horror stories, on the other hand…that’s a neon sign telling you to walk away.
Work with Reputable Labradoodle Breeders
Finding fantastic Labradoodle breeders doesn’t have to be stressful. With the tips above, you’ll be able to find someone perfect in no time.
Ready to get the adoption process started today? You’re in the right place. At Agape Labradoodles, we help Labradoodles find their forever homes — and we help families find their perfect pet.
Learn more about our adoption process and how you can take one of these loving pets home with you!