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Breeder Code of Ethics
The Breeder will have the welfare of their breeding dogs and their Labradoodles and/or Goldendoodles foremost in mind and never knowingly or willingly do anything that compromises their well being.
Understanding WHY the Breeder Code of Ethics are Important
The Breeder will have the welfare of their breeding dogs and their Labradoodles and/or Goldendoodles foremost in mind and never knowingly or willingly do anything that compromises their well being.
Why: As a potential doodle owner you do not want to support any breeder who is willing to do anything that is unsafe, unhealthy are unkind to their animals. A breeders’ failure to do this could potentially influence the quality of life and temperament the dog that you obtain.
The Breeder will ensure that they have the necessary time, facilities and resources to properly care for the all the dogs on their property.
Why: As a potential doodle owner you do not want to support any breeder who is unable to spend the time and effort it takes to raise happy and well-adjusted dogs. All the dogs on their property should be well cared for and protected.
The Breeder will provide quality shelter, nourishment, grooming, exercise, proper socialization, health protection and veterinary care for all the dogs.
Why: As a potential doodle owner you do not want to support any breeder who is unable to provide the necessary health care. All the dogs on their property should be medically well cared for. You will want the doodle you bring home to come from the best possible situation and be as healthy as possible.
The Breeder will never sell, give or trade their breeding dogs. Labradoodles or Goldendoodles to a research laboratory, pet shop, broker, and dealer or to anyone known to sell to such enterprises.
Why: As a potential doodle owner you do not want to support any breeder who is willing to sell or hand over any of their dogs that could be put at risk. The breeder should want to know exactly where and whom their dogs are being given to and that the dogs will be safe and well cared for. Dogs given or sold to laboratories are often used in research and can be subjected to serious, often painful and fatal experiments. Pet stores, brokers and dealers promote irresponsible breeding and sell to people who are often purchasing a dog on a whim. These dogs are often the dogs that are dumped at pounds and shelters.
The Breeder will never abandon or place their breeding dogs, Labradoodles
Why: As a potential doodle owner you do not want to support any breeder who is willing to turn over any of their animals to a shelter. This puts the dogs at high risk of being killed or placed into unsuitable homes.
The Breeder will perform due diligence in selecting and pairing their breeding dogs, and will perform at a minimum, hip testing on medium and standard size breeding dogs. Hip testing is optional for miniature breeding dogs. They will provide a breeding dogs’ medical history, medical test results and pedigrees upon the request of a prospective purchaser.
Why: Hip testing on the parents of a doodle is a minimum requirement. This hip test can reduce the chances of hip problems with your doodle. It cannot eliminate, but can reduce the risks. There are several other medical tests and screenings that a breeder may elect to do. Each breeder determines which of those tests they feel are important to their breeding program. (Be sure to download the Breeder Questionnaire to see what many of those tests are.)
The Breeder will not knowingly breed any dog that has been diagnosed
Why: You do not want to support any breeder who is willing to continue to breed dogs (or combinations) that are creating unhealthy puppies or is putting their breeding dogs at risk.
The Breeder will not dock healthy tails of the Labradoodles or Goldendoodles.
Why: The doodle tail is a natural feature of the dog. Some countries have outlawed this practice as well deeming it inhumane and unnecessary. As long as there is no medical reason the dogs should not be subjected to this.
The Breeder will only breed dogs with balanced temperaments. (Extreme shyness or aggressiveness will not be bred.)
Why: An extremely shy or aggressive parent can influence the temperament of the puppies. Families are looking for balanced temperament dogs that can live a lifetime with them. Extremely shy or aggressive dogs tend to be unsuitable for the typical family.
The Breeder's facility shall, at some point in the purchase of a puppy, be available for viewing by the buyer. The Breeder can restrict the conditions, area and time available for such viewing in order to protect the health of their dogs.
Why: It is reasonable that a breeder will have precautions to protect their dogs and puppies. However, they must be able to strike a balance. One of the best ways to assure that a potential owner is locating the right breeder for them is to be able to meet with them face to face and also see the environment, which their puppy may come from.
The Breeder will provide a minimum of a 2-year written Health Warranty, which will be provided for each puppy sold.
Why: A breeder can do everything right but sometimes even Mother Nature can throw a curve ball. Even a breeder who tests their dogs cannot reduce all risks. This Health Warranty is what will help the puppy owner and the breeder determine how those problems will be handled. This piece of paper will be very important if your puppy has a serious medical problem.
The Breeder will provide the Health Warranty (either electronic or paper) to any person considering one of their dogs. A deposit or commitment is not required for this information.
Why: Prior to getting a puppy it is important to read the Health Warranty carefully. Make sure you completely understand how things will be handled in the event that you have a seriously sick puppy. Do not accept any Health Warranty that requires you to return your dog. Reason: if you have had your dog for a year and then find out he has a life altering medical issue you do not want to have to return you family member to the breeder.
The Breeder will carefully screen prospective purchasers to find the most suitable homes. The Breeder will not place a puppy in a new home before the age of eight weeks.
Why: You want to support breeders who really care about where their dogs end up. The failure to make good decisions on placement of their dogs can put the dog at great risk. A puppy younger than eight weeks has the potential of having behavioral issues if taken away from his mother too soon. He has not had an opportunity to learn from his mother proper "dog manners."
The Breeder will provide each dog purchaser with at least the following:
The Breeder will encourage (or require) doodle purchaser to:
Why: Having a clear understanding of these things can only benefit the potential owner, the breeder and the puppy. Just good practices to help a puppy family adjust.
The Breeder may permit guardianships, stud services and lease studs or bitches, but only to individuals who give satisfactory evidence they will give them proper care and attention and are in accord with this Code of Ethics.
Why: This goes back to breeders assuring that their animals are treated well and properly.
The Breeder will strive to be easy to talk to, eager to answer questions, responsive in returning calls or e-mails in a timely manner.
Why: If you are uncomfortable or you don’t feel like you and breeder understand each other you should find another breeder. This breeder needs to be someone that you can talk to in the event that you have any problems or questions after you have brought your puppy home. You don’t need to be best friends but you do need to know that you have a healthy relationship.
The Breeder will refrain from any deceptive advertising and will be honest and professional when dealing with other breeders, potential doodle owners and doodle owners.
Why: You should not support any breeder who is willing to deceive, be less than honest and professional. They are offering their professional services you should demand professional practices. Don’t reward anyone (by giving them your money) for anything less than honest, fair and nice.
A General Guide to Responsible Breeding
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Their Potential Breeding Dogs’ Temperaments.
A responsible breeder will monitor, train and evaluate their potential breeding dogs for balanced and easy going temperaments. Note: Never breed a dog without breeding rights to that dog. Breeding dogs should never be obtained from a pet store or broker. Never breed a dog that comes from an unknown origin, such as a rescue.
Why: The number one reason people select the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle is for them to be family members. They are expected to be in the home and interacting with the family, which can include children, the elderly, other dogs, and other family pets. They are expected to “go with the flow” of the family. Temperament is what will be one of the driving forces for the success of the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle in the family home. If either parent is not a dog you can trust in your home or with your children, do not expect them to produce offspring that are any different.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate The Potential Breeding Dogs’ Health.
A responsible breeder will test both parents for Hip Dysplasia (see Evaluate Expense for test listing). They will avoid breeding dogs that have any medical issues, which can be as simple as poor quality teeth and bites to more serious issues such as degenerative eye and heart disease. A responsible breeder understands that a veterinarian saying that they have a healthy dog will not necessarily meet the standards – tests must be completed to know for sure.
Why: People purchasing a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle will expect/demand that their puppies are in excellent health. Breeding any dog that has medical issues can, and most often will, produce dogs with those same issues. Even doing extensive testing on the breeding dogs will not guarantee that all the puppies will be in excellent health, it just reduces the chances.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Their Environment.
A responsible breeder will provide a quality home for their breeding dogs. The quality environment includes a safe, air controlled, dry and clean living area. The quality environment will provide plenty of room to exercise and play. The mother and the puppies will need to have a peaceful and protected area away from other dogs and activities that can cause stress.
Why: Healthy, balanced and well cared for breeding dogs have a better chance of producing healthy, balanced and well cared for puppies. The environment where the dogs and puppies are living has a direct relationship to the health of the puppy for its entire life. Grass areas, places with insects, rodents, vermin, and shelters that are feces ridden are a breeding ground for parasites, disease and sickness. These issues can damage or cause death for a puppy.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Their Time.
A responsible breeder knows that prior to pregnancy they must spend a lot of time insuring that their breeding dogs are very healthy. They know that vet checks, which include screenings and testing, great exercise and mental stimulation of the dogs are just par for the course. They are prepared to get up in the middle of the night to rush an expectant mother to the vet. They are prepared to monitor the expectant mother more and more as the due date comes closer. They are prepared to spend endless hours (which usually is at night) monitoring the mother as she gives birth – birthing can average about one puppy per forty-five minutes. They are prepared to spend 8 weeks of close supervision with the mother and the puppies. They are prepared to take the time to keep clear and accurate records, create warranties and review potential owner applications, track the health of each puppy and spend lots of time interviewing their potential new owners.
Why: Every step of the way there are risks of things going wrong. Monitoring and knowing when situations are a problem or when they are normal will be critical to the life of the mother and the puppies. All activities take a lot of time and patience. There are no short cuts in the time it takes to produce healthy, well-adjusted Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate The Market.
A responsible breeder knows what type of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are in demand or they establish themselves to meet a niche market. They avoid breeding dog combinations that create puppies that will have a difficult time finding good quality homes. They also will have several good families identified before they even consider breeding.
Why: Most potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners are looking for puppies with great quality coats that are full. Most potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners are not looking for black color coats. Most potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners want no or low shed dogs. Most potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners are looking for family pet temperaments. Most potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners want mid-sized dogs1. Saturation of the market or creating Labradoodles or Goldendoodles that are not desirable will reduce the chances that the dog will find good quality forever homes.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Expenses.
Each region will have variants to their pricing. This is an average. Note: These expenses are just very basic with no extraordinary occurrences, such as problem labor, injuries, or health issues of puppies. Other expenses may include transportation, advertising and facility care.
One Time Expenses* (per breeding dog):
Why: The expense of breeding responsibly can impact the quality of the puppies you produce. Not being realistic can put your mother and the litter at risk. Spending the money to screen for disease can prevent some diseases and reduce the risk of other diseases. Spending the money to provide the right environment with the right supplies could be the difference between a live or a dead puppy. Spending the money to properly care for the health of the whole litter will be expected from the educated potential owner.
Note: A very high percentage (96%)2 of potential Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners do moderate to extensive research in selecting the type of dog and the breeder. There are many high volume traffic, easy located, Labradoodle and Goldendoodle web sites that provide the education owners are looking for. These sites reference the above pre-breeding tests and they are communicating clearly that the owners should demand and expect them. If you are considering breeding without these tests, you need to figure out how you can market to that 4% who don’t know about these tests. You will also need to be prepared to explain to interested customers why your breeding program did not include these tests, because you will be asked. Breeders who don’t do the tests are often holding puppies much longer than desired or having to reduce their price significantly.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Potential Owners Carefully.
They have an extensive puppy application for potential owners to complete. They review past pet experiences, family dynamics, ability to financially care for the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, the ability to provide good non-aggressive training and they have the proper resources to maintain the health of the puppy. They will determine if ALL members of the family are committed to the amount of time, effort and patience it takes to raise a puppy. They make sure that the potential families are fully aware that the doodles are not guaranteed to be non-shedding and allergy-friendly. They work to have an honest and open relationship with the potential families to assure that they will be involved if the family is having problems. Many breeders will want the puppy to have a fenced yard and someone at home with the puppy a high percentage of time. They never sell their dogs to third parties and they never sell their dogs to pet stores.
Why: These breeder requirements are for the protection of the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle. Families that are not practical or have unrealistic ideas what it takes to raise a puppy, can put that puppy at risk emotionally and physically. Breeders who take the time, communicate clearly and follow up with their doodle owners have far less dogs that end up at risk. The breeder never sells to third parties and pet stores because that totally eliminates their ability to properly screen potential owners or have any chance to protect the puppy in the event that they family can no longer care for the dog.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate Resources and Support.
Veterinarian: A responsible breeder will have a veterinarian that they have developed a good working relationship with. The veterinarian will provide emergency care in the event that the whelping becomes difficult or life threatening. The veterinarian will provide medical care for the breeding dogs and the puppies. The veterinarian will provide a good source of information about health concerns. Note: Healthy Labradoodle and Goldendoodle tails should not be docked.
Network: A responsible breeder will often have a network of other responsible breeders with whom they discuss breeding plans and share information. Another breeder with more experience may provide mentoring. They will often have a network of current doodle owners, trainers, behaviorist and sometimes nutritionists. They are actively researching and learning about the Labradoodles and the Goldendoodles and doodle families. A breeder who isn’t in some way linked to the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle community has the potential to be misdirected or misinformed about issues that pertain specifically to these types of dogs.
Systems: A responsible breeder will have a system of tracking their progress with their dogs. They may chart growth and make notations of pertinent information. They will set up a system to evaluate potential new owners and ask extensive questions, have them complete an application and may even do reference checks. They will provide no less than a 2-year health warranty3. They will do phone interviews and exchange e-mails and even provide photos to potential owners. These activities require the ability to use a computer, have long distance phone service and take photos to document puppies. Breeders will often use the Internet to communicate to potential owners4. They will also have a system in place to communicate the rights or requirements in regard to reproduction, and most breeders will contractually require (if not already done prior to receipt of the puppy) spaying or neutering at some point of the puppy’s development.
Support Team: A responsible breeder will have family or friends or even hire someone to assist during the hectic times when the puppies need full attention. They will work to properly socialize the puppy with the mother and littermates and with people. This includes spending time sitting with, talking to and handling the puppies. They will work to teach the puppy to adjust to environments other than their immediate kennel area. Many will socialize the puppy with other types of animals and with children and with the elderly. They will not release a puppy into its new home that is younger than 8 weeks of age. They understand that the socialization leading up to 8 weeks in age is critical to insure that the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle has the best chance of proper behavior development.
Why: The only way that a breeder can really understand the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle is if they have some type of education and resource system about the dogs. It would be very difficult to provide good information and good support to potential owners if the breeder isn’t even aware of the issues (good and bad) about the dog type that they are creating. They would be a very poor source of help if they are not linked in some way to the world of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. A breeder who has a clear understanding of the Labradoodles and Goldendoodles knows that docking healthy tails is not acceptable.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS: Evaluate the long term.
A responsible breeder will have allocated additional time and expense for retaining puppies until the right home is available. If they are not successful placing the puppy in a good home when they are of appropriate age, the breeder will continue to help the puppy progress by providing training, continuing with immunizations, and age appropriate care. They at no time will allow the puppy to go into just any home simply because the puppy is getting older. They are willing to wait for the right family.
They will have an on-going support system in place. They will have developed ways to help future owners adjust and will offer suggestions to train and socialize their new puppy. They will be ready to provide information or to direct owners who have questions to appropriate resources. They will often themselves take training classes to learn healthy training methods or attend seminars about dog health, training and behavior. They make themselves available to the new owners as a lifetime of support and resources. They will provide a place of refuge or assistance in re-homing the puppy, if the family is no longer able to care for the puppy. They will never permit their puppies to be dumped at shelters or similar places. They will want to know where their puppy is and that it is safe and healthy (mentally and physically) for its lifetime.
Why: Bringing an animal into this world is the responsibility of the person who allows it to occur. The commitment to that animal is not just until it is 8 weeks old. There are far too many Labradoodles and Goldendoodles put into the “dog welfare system” because:
All of these reasons and many more can be linked directly back to the person who brought the dog into the world… These are the breeders who:
1 International Doodle Owners Group 2006 Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Study. Labradoodle Study: 90% were attracted to the Potential of Low to No Shed attributes, 90% were concerned with personality. 60% were attracted to their beauty and 59% were attracted to their Potential Allergy Friendly attributes. Goldendoodle Study: 88% were attracted to the Potential of Low to No Shed attributes, 88% were concerned with personality. 66% were attracted to their beauty and 58% were attracted to their Potential Allergy Friendly attributes.
2 International Doodle Owners Group 2006 Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Study. Labradoodle Study: 71% of Labradoodle Owners did more than moderate to extensive research prior to obtaining their dog. Goldendoodle Study: 63% did more than moderate to extensive research prior to obtaining their dog. An additional 25% (Labradoodles 23%, Goldendoodles 28%) did moderate research.
3 International Doodle Owners Group 2006 Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Study. Labradoodle Study: 55% of the Labradoodle Owners have at minimum a 2-year Health Warranty. Goldendoodle Study: 58% of the Goldendoodle Owners have at minimum a 2-year Health Warranty.
4 International Doodle Owners Group 2006 Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Study. Owners selected their Labradoodle or Goldendoodle by locating the breeder through the Internet web site (61% overall average)
Authors: Anonymous Breeder, and
Selecting a Breeder
Dont Support Puppy Mills and Pet Stores that Sell Animals!
About the Breeders Puppies
Download Forms and Information
Breeder Questionaire - this questionaire will provide you with questions that you should have answered by any breeder you are considering. Complete one form per breeder and then compare all of the questionaires to locate the right breeder for you and your family.
Example of Health Warranty and Purchase Agreement - review this agreement and compare this agreement with the breeders contract.
The International Doodle Owners Group, Inc. (IDOG) is a worldwide not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group, dedicated to educating the public on the subject of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. IDOG encourages responsible ownership and responsible breeding practices. We provide support and resources to help Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners and doodles in need. We work with shelters to assist in communications, lending our network of resources to help locate quality forever homes for Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.
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