I will do my best to answer every question accurately and honestly.
I have added this page to help educate potential Doodle (or Poodle) buyers before they write the check. I am asked so many questions that I sometimes may not know the answer to them all, but I will always find the answer in short order. This page will start with the basics, how big? do they shed?, and will grow as time goes on, so check back frequently or simply email me with your question.
How big do they get?
Size. Always the first question. Poodles are classified in three sizes according to the breed standard:
The Standard Poodle: over 15 inches at the shoulder - most are in the 22-27" range
The Miniature Poodle: over 10 inches and not over 15 inches at the shoulder - most are in the 13-15" range
The Toy Poodle: 10 inches and under at the shoulder
Golden Retrievers come in only one size(Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21½-22½ inches, according to AKC breed standards).
In Goldendoodles the only scaler comes from using a miniature (sometimes called Moyen) poodle, or a toy poodle, instead of a standard poodle. So an F1 Goldendoodle can range from a low end 30 pounds on up into standard range of 40+ pounds, sometimes reaching 90 or more as with some larger Retrievers. Since the Golden Retriever's size is set you are never going to get a lap dog. Even if you breed to a tiny Toy poodle that weighs only 5 pounds you will still get a 30 pound adult doodle. If you are considering an F1 Goldendoodle you are going to get a medium to large size dog no matter what it's called. Now, if you take one of the so-called "mini" F1's and breed it back to a toy poodle for "mini" F1b's you might start getting down into an actual 'toy' range but it is going to cost more because they usually have to be artificially inseminated.
My REDGoldendoodles average about 55 pounds and a good 20-23 inches tall. My PARTI lines are a little bit larger. Some of the larger males can get up to 70 lbs and 24-26 inches.
Do I breed "minis"?
Absolutely not. Dogs bred for size have no brains, an undesirable temperament, a propensity for dental problems & heart problems, luxating patellas and lots of other qualities I abhor. If you have ever been around a toy poodle then been around a standard the difference is astounding. Toy poodles yap all the time and pee whenever they get excited. Poodles are not the second smartest breed of dog because of the toy variety, that is for sure. Another reason I won't breed them is because they are not "mini" what people call "mini" is still a 30 pound dog and I don't want unhappy customers because the term is misleading. Golden Retrievers only come in one size, you will never get a true mini in an F1 cross and I would never take it further to an F1b to get them smaller. Being pocket size is not part of my breeding goals.
What do all those Letters mean? (F1, F1b, F2, Etc...)
F1: First Generation, which is your straight purebred to purebred cross. 50% poodle, 50% Golden Retriever, Australian Shepard, Labrador,etc.. They are not guaranteed to not shed. An experienced assessment once they are old enough to start showing characteristics is still not always accurate. Most of mine do not shed, I select for coarse, bristle brush type coats in my poodles that generally translate well into F1s with appropriate medium texture, gently waving, non-shedding coats. In general, this cross is great for Golden Retriever fans that just want less hair to clean up but still want their Golden temperament and general structure characteristics preserved.
F1b*: First Generation Back-cross: this is when you breed an F1 back to a purebred poodle which makes the puppies 3/4 poodle. They won't shed; they are too poodle for that. They will have a more poodle look and a more poodle temperament. This is the cross that would be a safer choice for allergy sufferers but not always necessary.
F2: Second Generation: There are a few definitions of an F2 in practice but many breeders label them incorrectly. Scientifically, an F2 is the first time in a line that a doodle is bred to a doodle. Breeding an F1 to an F1 is the simplest and most common perception of what an F2 is. You should NOT do this, it obtains sketchy results. Statistically this cross would obtain a litter in which 25% were pure poodle,25% were pure Golden and 50% were actually the Goldendoodles that you wanted. Better F2's are obtained when you coat test and cross an F1 to an F1b or F1b to F1b. These are statistically better crosses, more likely to obtain the proper genes, even without coat testing.
F1bb*: First Generation Back Crossed Twice: This is obtained when you breed an F1b back to a poodle again. You might what to do this with a soft coated (teddy bear) F1b to prevent having shedding puppies. Or, some people are breeding curly coated F1b's back to Golden's for F1-like results. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you are coat testing and breeding complimentary pairs but it is also defined as an F1bb and can be confusing if not explained to the potential family correctly.
F2b*: Second Generation Back Crossed: If you took an offspring of my above described F2 options and bred it back to a poodle to breed back in certain characteristics. Depending on what any particular breeder is breeding for these generations could have about any "type".
** The "b" or "Back Cross" can also mean back crossed to a Golden Retriever. The "b" just means that one parent is a purebred of the origin breeds. Most doodle breeders don't ever back cross to a Golden though.**
Are they good with children?
Yes, Goldendoodles are probably the best dog you will ever find for children. They have a very tolerant disposition and are more than likely going to be a most willing victim in your child's rough play. I say they have "adjusting" personalities. They know when to be quiet, know when to play, and know when there is something wrong and they act accordingly. They do need firm and consistent training to make them the best dog they can be though.
Poodles, on the other hand, are regal and haughty on occasion. For the most part poodles are also very good with children but, being more intelligent and alert than the average dog, they get irritated with foolishness. They usually don't react with aggression to irritants, just by avoidance if they can. That being said, its up to you how your dog will be with children. You must teach your children how to reinforce appropriate behaviors with the dog and how to discipline and control the dog so that the dog respects the child as a human and superior. If you do not do this the dog is likely to treat a child, being of similar size to the dog, like a fellow dog and jump on them, mouth them and try to play roughly. Obnoxious children will also cause problems in the dog. If you let your child scream at the dog, strike the dog, run from the dog or otherwise pick on the dog they will create problem behaviors in the dog.
Can my deposit be refunded if I change my mind?
Sorry, but no, you can not get your deposit back. You may transfer your deposit to another puppy, another litter, or another breed but you can't get it back. A puppy is a commitment and by sending a deposit you are solidifying your commitment. Certain conditions may apply to deposits. All refunds are at my discretion and once received I am not obligated to return it to you. Cancellation of the deposit check will be grounds for legal action as you are obviously made aware of the conditions through this page and through speaking with me. Also see the "Pricing Information" page for additional deposit info.
Are they Hypoallergenic? Do they shed?
In general? No to both questions... No dog is 100% hypo-allergenic to every person and Goldendoodles generally do not shed. To the hypo-allergenic aspect: most typical dog allergy sufferers are okay with at least an F1b if not an F1 Goldendoodle but there are other aspects to consider besides "do they shed" like what the person is actually allergic to; are they allergic to hair, dander, or saliva? Or all of them? When they have an allergic reaction to a dog what kind of reaction do they have? Is it all dogs that they have a reaction to or just breeds with certain coat types? These are all questions that need to be thought about and discussed beforehand. Its a terrible thing to take a puppy home and then have to bring it back. It has only happened to me once so far and the puppy the woman bought was a perfect example of an F1 Goldendoodle in every sense. The woman just had very, very severe allergies to hair, dander and saliva and getting the puppy should not have ever really been considered in the first place.
On the subject of shedding: Every puppy is different and I try my best to produce consistent and desirable results. However, the only confidence I can have in the puppies I breed are repetition of the cross and trying to find the right line of poodles to use. Puppies from Apollo and Vanessa lines (this includes: Apollo, Vanessa (deceased), Xena (F1), Yvett, Vixen and Charity(my groomers dog)) are highly trustworthy in what they produce as far as shedding goes. I do like to try new things and bring fresh blood and colors into my puppies though, so anytime I try a new dog there is going to be a certain lack of confidence on my part, even though I have tried to pick the best possible dog. Breeding hybrids is nothing like breeding purebreds, the definition of a "breed" is consistency; what I am trying to do is pull the best possible combination of traits from multiple breeds into a single puppy, or litter of puppies, the results are not 100% despite striving for consistency. I will tell you to the best of my ability what kind of coat I think a certain puppy will have but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be that way or that it will stay that way. Sometimes as the puppies age, or the weather changes, they will change out coats. Golden Retrievers will shed out their winter coat in the spring so that trait is on the table for any Goldendoodle. Poodles will also lose large chunks of their hair if their coat gets beyond a certain length so that trait is also on the table. Proper grooming schedules and regular brushing are key to reducing or eliminating shedding.
What should i feed my puppy?
Well first we can eliminate ALL GRAIN FREE and RAW diets. They are terrible for these dogs. Dogs ARE NOT CARNIVORES. They are omnivores. Those food commercials with wolves are BS. Dogs and wolves might be related but they are different species. They have evolved, and in the case of dogs, been bred, so far apart they can not be considered the same. Simple Darwinism is the best explanation of this. Animals with traits that are desirable to their enviornment are the ones that will live to reproduce (or in the case of dogs, be selected to reproduce). We have had your run-of-the-mill commercial dog food around since the 1890's. Of course it has been expanded and refined but the "Grain-free" and "raw" craze began with Blue Buffalo's founding in 2002. They had some serious dough for marketing apparently. The point I am trying to make here is that only those dogs that could thrive on the commercial dog food that breeders were feeding were selected for breeding so, for over 100 years dogs have been eating commercial dog food and have adapted for such. When you suddenly start feeding super high protein and fat as you get with the grain-free and raw your best case scenario is going to be diarrhea and chronic urinary tract infections. The worst case scenario is going to be kidney failure. Which is untreatable. You can do fluids to help the dog flush its system better but it is a gradual and painful decline that ends in heartbreak as you give more and more fluids and the dog eats less and less until it is nothing more than a skeleton.
I could rant about the horrors of grain free all day but I also need to rant a little bit about RAW. Why do you cook your food? Salmonella? E-coli? Tricomonosis? Once again, dogs are not adapted to deal with this stuff. Not to mention that raw diets have the same problem as grain free ones in that they tend to be super high protein and fat. So, I told you what you should not feed. Let's discuss what you should. Above it may have sounded like I am all about "commercial dog food". True, I am, but selectively. You need to choose a high quality and well balanced meal for your pets. Meaning NO Ol' Roy or Kibbles and Bits. ICK! Good foods that I would recommend are Science Diet, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Purina ONE and Purina ProPlan just to name a few. The very best available dog food that there is is Royal Canin. It is the most thoroughly tested and well balanced food possible. They do intense and repetitive food trials on each and every formulation; and there are many formulations. Even breed specific ones that are very helpful to breeds chock full of problems like English Bulldogs and German Shepherds. The problem with Royal Canin is no one can afford it. As good as it is it is proportionately expensive. I can't afford it for a dozen dogs anyway... Maybe you can afford it, people spend just as much money on their awful grain-free diets... I feed Science Diet Sensitive Systems and Science Diet Puppy or Large Breed Puppy depending on the litter. I would also like to note that I think grain-free (not raw) is GREAT for cats. They are obligate carnivores, unlike dogs, and thrive on grain-free. When doing any food change. The change should be gradual over 7-10 days. Below is a chart of examples of acceptable and unacceptable foods. This is not a 100% complete list. I have to read every label, and preferably try it, before it makes the list on the acceptable side. The unacceptable side are only label reads and my experiences at the veterinary clinic. (I am the person that food questions often get deferred to since I soaked up this part of my small animal nutrition classes at MU like a sponge)
Acceptable: Purina One Purina ProPlan Royal Canin Eukanuba Science Diet Iams
If you want to be cheap: **these foods aren't IDEAL but they are "kinda-sorta" acceptable and wont make your pet ill**
Country Acres Exclusive Lamb & Rice Gold N Kennel Black Gold
Unacceptable: Purina Puppy Chow Purina Dog Chow Kibbles & Bits Ol' Roy Blue Buffalo: I've seen innumerable cases of chronic diarrhea or UTI w/struvites that has been remedied by changing from Blue to something cheaper! Diamond-Tried Diamond Naturals-Tried Alpo Freshpet Natural Balance Taste of the Wild-Tried Victor-Tried Fromm-UTI culprit deluxe
What should i give my puppy for treats?
Treats should only make up about 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake. Treats are very important for training your new puppy but you don't want to throw his dietary balance off. Try baby carrots, green beans, or broccoli. These are not fancy store bought, empty calories and the dog will love them. Try fruits, too. Banana slices, berries, watermelon and apple slices, (with no seeds, of course). However, make sure you steer clear of grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate & anything with caffeine. These can be toxic to dogs. Other snacks that can work well as low-calorie dog treats are air-popped popcorn with no salt or butter, and plain rice cakes broken into little pieces. My favorite store bought training treats are Lean Treats. They are in small bites and low calorie. NEVER feed the dog ANYTHING while YOU are eating. Never any table scraps. No fat trimmings or meat scraps. Not only is it, more often than not, unhealthy but it encourages unsightly begging behavior. NO BONES!!! Bones break up into sharp shards that can tear into the intestinal wall or cause obstruction and run up a pretty hefty bill at the emergency clinic when Fido has to have emergency surgery to remove that chicken bone
What if I can't pick up my puppy right away?
I will hold your puppy for you at no extra charge until it is 12 weeks old. It will be $50 a week or $15 a day boarding charge thereafter beginning at 12 weeks, 1 day of age.
MAle or Female?
Answer to question 9
Training a doodle: what do i need to know?
Answer to question 10
WHAT DO THE COAT TYPES MEAN: TEDDY BEAR, WIRE, FLAT, CURLY, ETC...
Beautiful explanation of coat genes and results have been broken down by Ashton of Kent Family Farms on this page https://kentfamilyfarms.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/why-does-my-goldendoodle-look-different-than-your-goldendoodle/