You’ve done your research and decided that you’re ready to adopt a Goldendoodle puppy. You may have even found a potential Goldendoodle breeder who seems reputable. But how do you know? What are the questions to ask Goldendoodle breeders so you can be assured your puppy is receiving the best prenatal and newborn care possible in a loving, healthy environment?
Here at HappyGoDoodle.com, my Goldendoodle dog and I are dedicated to researching all things Goldendoodle for our pack. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of questions to ask a breeder. We’re happy you’re here!
We hope this list not only helps you single out a gold star breeder, but also helps you avoid any scams. (While we’re on the topic of scams, please check out my article on AKC Goldendoodles and learn why this term is actually a red flag.)
So, without further a-doodle 😉, let’s get started.
What topics should you cover with a potential breeder?
First, you may want to take a few minutes to come up with your own questions based on your unique situation. But what topics should you cover?
We organized the list of questions below around five key topics, which are helpful in identifying reputable Goldendoodle breeders.
You may want to formulate some questions around these topics, too. Here are five things you’ll want to cover with a breeder:
- Health ~ Both the health of the puppy and the puppy’s parents.
- Socialization ~ The life skills a puppy needs to grow up happy and confident.
- Environment ~ The surroundings a puppy is in throughout the entire day.
- Knowledge ~ The skills, experience, and knowledge a breeder has.
- Communication & documentation ~ How much contact and support you receive from the breeder.
The top 15 questions to ask Goldendoodle puppy breeders
Now that we know the big five topics to cover, let’s move on to the 15 questions you’ll want to ask.
Health-related questions to ask potential Goldendoodle puppy breeders
1. What do you do to reduce health issues or conditions in your puppies?
A reputable breeder will be able to share a litany of answers ranging from screening for conditions to testing for genetic problems such as hip dysplasia. You can follow up this first question with more probing ones:
- What health problems tend to be more common in Goldendoodles?
- Can you tell me about any health tests you do on your parent dogs?
- Where may I see the results of health tests?
2. How old will my puppy be when I can take him or her home?
Ethical breeders understand that puppies need to be with the mom and littermates until at least eight weeks of age. If a breeder downplays this or suggests that you take the puppy home earlier, it’s a caution flag.
If you’d like to learn more about why the mother and siblings are critical to a puppy’s development, please read Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s article, How long should puppies stay with their mother.
3. What health records will I receive so that I can share them with my own veterinarian?
A reputable breeder will provide vaccination, deworming records, and possibly more.
4. What food will the puppy be eating when ready to go home?
An ethical breeder wants your puppy to have good, age-appropriate nutrition. Many breeders include a take-home goodie bag of items including a small amount of puppy food. This way, you can keep your puppy on the food your fur baby’s accustomed to eating. Or, if you’re transitioning to another brand, you have enough to mix the two formulas and slowly make the transition to the new food.
Questions to ask dog breeders about the puppy’s socialization and training
Many créme de la créme breeders may begin potty training their puppies before they go to their forever homes. Additionally, good breeders understand the importance of puppy socialization. This next series of questions gives you clues to the breeder’s knowledge about the importance of puppy life skills.
5. What interactions do your puppies have with littermates? Mom dog?
6. What interactions do your puppies have with people? Children?
7. Will my puppy have had any basic training before going home?
Questions to ask Goldendoodle breeders about the puppy’s environment
Rather than asking how clean the puppy’s environment is, which may give you an automatic “very clean” answer, try asking this question:
8. What does a typical day look like for your puppies?
This will give you insight into the puppy’s environment through the daily routine.
Questions to ask about the dog breeder’s experience
This next section of questions, helps you assess the breeder’s experience raising puppies and how much support you’ll receive before, during, and after you pick up your little bundle of fluff.
9. Will you match the puppy you think is best for me/my family?
A reputable breeder will ask you questions and work with you to determine which puppy will fit in with your family.
10. What is your experience? How long have you been breeding Goldendoodles?
11. How many other types of dogs do you breed?
If a breeder specializes, it’s a good sign. On the other hand, be cautious and on alert if a breeder suggests they have a wide selection of all breeds of puppies.
12. What if I have questions about puppy care after I bring my puppy home?
An ethical breeder will welcome your questions, even after you bring your puppy home.
13. What go-home materials will I receive along with my puppy?
A good breeder shares go-home materials such as vaccination records, deworming records, contact information, and some basic training or puppy care tips.
Questions to ask about breeder certifications, contracts, or guarantees
The last section of questions to ask a Goldendoodle breeder focuses on the nitty gritty—documentation, contracts, and payment.
14. Will you provide a contract?
A reputable breeder will provide a contract. If the person you’re talking with does not, watch out.
15. What’s your guarantee?
16. Tell me about payment.
If a so-called breeder communicates via social media and urgently suggests you Venmo payment right away before the puppy goes to someone else, be careful. Many scammers are very attentive until money passes hands and then they disappear off the face of the earth along with your money.
By doing your homework, you’re one step closer to puppyhoood
Finally, picking a reputable breeder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.
By doing your homework, asking the breeder questions from the list above (or coming up with your own), and getting to know the breeder, you’re taking the best next step in your puppy parenthood journey.
And you’re preparing for your puppy’s happiness…and your happiness, too.