Looking for an Australian Labradoodle puppy?
What a minefield it has become!
The very first piece of advice I give anyone who calls me is….do not look for a puppy, find the right breeder.
I learnt this very quickly after I made the same mistake. It is very easy when finally making that exciting decision to bring a puppy into your home to scour the internet, find one within maybe an hours travelling time, or one that is available within the month.
Stop….this is where it can all go wrong.
Firstly, if you are looking for an Australian Labradoodle, it is a case of buyer beware. There are numerous ‘breeders’ springing up everywhere claiming to have ‘genuine’ or ‘true’ Australian Labradoodles.
Australian Labradoodles are expensive puppies to buy, this is true, and there is a reason for this which I will cover later. Sadly other ‘breeders’ are springing up looking to financially exploit the breed, and are tagging the Australian Labradoodle name onto their puppies to make some quick cash. What you are buying isn’t necessarily what you are hoping for.
So what do you look out for as a puppy buyer?
Thankfully there are a lot of good indicators.
A pedigree (family tree), should show lines going back to Tegan Park or Rutland Manor, the original founders of the Australian Labradoodle. A breeder should be able to show you the pedigrees and discuss every dog on there; the breeding lines, the type of environment they have been raised in, who was shipped over to the UK by who, when and why. A good breeder will know their lines absolutely inside out.
Early spay neuter. Australian Labradoodle breeders who are breeding for the longevity of the breed and sustainability of the breed will ESN. This allows the breeder to take the right breeding puppies forward, to keep the coi (coeffinency of inbreeding) down and to work cooperatively with other breeders across the world to improve and imbed a breed standard with diversity, quality and soundness.
An Australian Labradoodle breeder will thoroughly health test the parents of the puppies, costing around £1,000 per dog with annual eye tests on top of this. If it is found that the dog fails a health test, or is not sound enough, then despite the money invested already, that dog will be withdrawn from the breeding programme. This is again what separates the good and experienced breeders from others.
A committed Australian Labradoodle breeder will never knowingly breed dogs who are affected with genetic conditions, epilepsy or Addisons in their lines. There are sadly Breeders who knowingly do this. This is why finding a reputable experienced breeder or one who belongs to an Australian Labradoodle breed organisation like the Alaeu or WALA or Alaa or Alauk is vital.
I belong to the ALAEu (Australian Labradoodle Association of Europe) and WALA (Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association). By belonging to these organisations, I if you like have big brother watching over me and checking my breeding programme.
This means that every health certificate, every puppy, every breeding dog is submitted to the club board. The ALAEu/WALA then clarify that the mating is correct, that the coi is low and that the buyer, you, know exactly what you are buying. I also perform DNA parentage tests with the other member breeders so we can link our dogs with genetic DNA heritage on an externally verified certificate to back up the pedigrees produced by ALAEu/WALA.
Committed Australian Labradoodle breeders talk to each other, in fact we can happily spend hours waffling on discussing pedigrees, coats, tests, new studs, new bitches, new litters… We adore what we do. I talk to breeders across Europe, America and Canada. We invest in the future and think nothing of importing a dog over to bring the best quality to our lines.
However, we would never ever contemplate letting our studs be used willy nilly, or advertise them on generic pet sites. Most often these are not true Australian Labradoodles. Our girls are so important that usually before they are 6mths old we already have their suitors lined up from our own studs, or we drive them to Europe or use imported semen. I would never contemplate finding a Tom, Dick or Harry stud on a pet website.
Australian Labradoodle breeders will usually have waiting lists booked 6-24mths in advance with available puppies only from an unexpected larger litter size or should a home be unable to progress with a puppy.
Like myself, the other Australian Labradoodle breeders will have puppy contracts, puppy packs, puppy advice literature and we WILL be there every day if need be for you. We will also take the puppy/dog back should there be a change in circumstance in the future.
Australian Labradoodles are expensive. Good breeders will often make a financial loss on litters in order to keep the right puppy going forward. I on several occasions will make a loss on a litter to create that right dog for the longevity of the breed. I have a future litter planned that once you factor in the purchase and importation of the girl and the semen, the health tests, the progesterone testing, the insemination etc.. will have cost me a startling five figure sum, and that is paid out prior too and with no guarantee of pregnancy. But I know that the puppies produced with be absolutely exceptional and will bring two great lines together for future breeding that may well be used across Europe and overseas. This is the passion, commitment and a reflection of what separates breeders who are looking to the future and striving for the best health, temperament and genetic diversity.
It is important, crucial in fact, to ask your breeder difficult questions. Ask to see each and every certificate. Ask about the pedigrees, ask why they are breeding, question everything.
If you find the right breeder, then you will have found the right puppy for you.