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The high cost involved in producing quality tested lines and the demand for the Goldendoodle breed has brought out many unscrupulous and uneducated breeders waiting to cash in on your heart strings for a huge profit. Here are a few tips to help you in your search to make an educated choice and avoid possible future heartache:

  1. Choose a Goldendoodle breeder with health tested lines & health certificates to prove it... ask to see them.

  2. Poodles & Golden Retrievers have a number of health issues and if you buy from untested lines you have a very high risk of your puppy inheriting one or all of these genetic diseases. Hybrid Vigor means nothing with unhealth tested lines.

  3. Do not buy from a broker or pet store. Most of these puppies come from puppy mills and live in horrible conditions, don't promote!

  4. A quality Goldendoodle breeder keeps their dogs in their home as loving companions and not outside in dog runs or kennels. Science has shown that happy, secure dogs produce happy, secure puppies!

  5. The pups appear to be happy & healthy. No discharge from eyes, ears or nose and a clean behind. Puppies should be excited to meet new people.

  6. A quality Goldendoodle breeder will have an understanding of the critical social development stages of a puppy and begin early socialization & imprinting to help them thrive, placing them in the proper homes. Raising puppies in a home full of children is not proper socialization and can be determental to a puppy if not supervised properly.

  7. The breeder is very familiar with Goldendoodles and understands the genetic traits behind them. Pairing the wrong traits could produce an unfavorable coat type.

  8. You should be given a written contract and health guarantee. You should not be demanded to return your puppy in the unfortunate event of a life altering health issue. They will want you to spay/neuter to prevent overpopulation and if needed to contact them if you should ever need to rehome your puppy.

  9. You should be given records of a vet exam, deworming & immunizations. You should also be able to have the parents health testing records for your puppy if desired.

  10. Your breeder feeds a high quality dog food as well as quality puppy food.

  11. Be available for you long after you puppy goes home.

  12. They don't always have pups available but do keep a list of interested people for the next available litter. They don't over-breed and limit the number of litters from their dams letting them enjoy life as a dog.

  13. A good breeder will ask you a lot of questions to make sure you are a good fit for a puppy. They do not sell to just anyone. Red flag, do not buy from a breeder that does not ask you any questions- run.

  14. They should not guarantee hypo allergenic or adult size.

Not only should you ask about the type of health testing you should DEMAND to see the certificates of proof, it's also a good idea to have these documents for your own puppy's vet records. There are many approved DNA labs listed thru the OFA website. Below are just a few genetic & physical test that should be completed and cleared before considering breeding a poodle, retriever or goldendoodle.

Genetic test requirements for goldendoodles:

  • DM, The average age of onset for dogs with degenerative myelopathy is approximately nine years of age. The disease affects the White Matter tissue of the spinal cord and is considered the canine equivalent to Lou Gehrig’s disease found in humans. 

  • GR-PRA1, Progressive retinal Atrophy, golden retriever 1 (GR-PRA1) is a late-onset inherited eye disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs begin showing clinical symptoms related to retinal degeneration between 6 to 7 years of age on average, though age of onset can vary.

  • GR-PRA2, Progressive retinal Atrophy, golden retriever 2 (GR-PRA2) is a late-onset inherited eye disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs begin showing clinical symptoms related to retinal degeneration at around 4 to 5 years of age on average, though age of onset can vary.

  • Ich, Ichthyosis (golden retriever type) is an inherited condition of the skin affecting dogs. The age of onset and severity of disease are highly variable, however most affected dogs present before one year of age with flaky skin and dull hair. Over time the skin develops a grayish color and appears thick and scaly, especially over the abdomen

  • MD, GRMD is a mutation of the dystrophin gene that causes a deficiency of dystrophin proteins in Golden Retrievers. The lack of dystrophin proteins leads to the progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles. The disease is similar to the human form of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms appear relatively quickly, at about six weeks to two months of age. An affected dog will exhibit muscle weakness, difficulty standing or walking normally, and difficulty swallowing, Symptoms can range from relatively mild to severe, but GRMD is generally fatal at about 6 months of age.

  • NEwS, Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures is an inherited neurologic disease known to affect dogs. Affected puppies are smaller than littermates at birth, have difficulty nursing after a few days of life, and often die by 1 week of age.

  • vWD1 & vWD2, Von Willebrand’s disease I (VWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder affecting mini poodles, poodles & goldendoodles. Affected dogs may bruise easily, have frequent nosebleeds, bleed from the mouth when juvenile teeth are lost, and experience prolonged bleeding after surgery, trauma, or estrus. Dogs may show signs of lameness or stiffness if bleeding occurs in the joints or muscle. Less often, the bleeding may be severe enough to cause death.

  • Improper Coat traits, some doodles, even poodles are IC affected and can pass this on to their offspring causing an undesirable coat.  

  • Curl coat traits.

  • Shed coat traits, some poodles can also carry the high shed gene and could pass it on to their offspring.

  • Quality goldendoodle breeders also genetically test their lines for coat colors.

  • A final note* after all of the expense of testing, is the dog's temperament desirable as well.



Physical Testing:

PATELLAS: (hind leg knees) Permanent clear rating for mini & moyen Poodles, also mini/medium Goldendoodles. PennHip with a score of 50% or above completed any time after 4 mos. of age.  Or an OFA x-ray.

OFA Elbows and/or Pennhip: Either of these x-ray tests will detect elbow dysplasia in breeding stock.

OFA Hips and/or PennHip: Either of these x-ray tests will detect hip dysplasia in breeding stock.

CARDIAC: OFA Permanent heart clearance (Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles only)

CERF Eye Exam: This is a minimum of a bi-annual exam preformed by a professional veterniarian ophthalmologist.

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