Although Australian Labradoodles have been around for decades, the past few years have seen an explosion of interest in both Australian and early-generation Labradoodles.
But while Australian Labradoodle breeders are starting to become more common, that also paves the way for dishonest and disreputable people to make a quick buck on the latest trends.
Here are a few quick tips to help you find the best Australian Labradoodle breeders.
1. The breeder should regularly test their puppies.
In the past, dogs were selectively bred to fulfill certain roles—guarding, hunting, herding, etc. Dogs with serious health problems weren’t able to reproduce, because the rigors of their daily jobs ensured survival of the fittest.
In the modern era, dogs are much more frequently bred as pets, or bred specifically for appearance. That means crippling genetic disorders and other health issues can run unchecked, being passed from generation to generation.
Each breed has associated health risks, with some being more serious than others. While no dog breed is entirely safe from genetic disorders, hybrid dogs—especially Australian Labradoodles, which trace their lineage to 6 separate breeds—are generally more healthy than purebred dogs.
That’s because of hybrid vigor, which in a nutshell means animals with more varied genes are healthier.
Now, what does this have to do with choosing a Labradoodle breeder?
Well, one of the most common diseases shared by several dogs (including poodles and Labrador retrievers) is hip dysplasia. Because multiple parent breeds of Australian Labradoodles are susceptible to hip dysplasia, you MUST find a breeder who tests their dogs for the disease.
Many other reputable breeders also test for sebaceous adenitis, elbow laxity, thyroid, heart, and liver disorders.
Choosing the healthiest dog possible from a reputable breeder means saving your family the hassle of unnecessary vet visits, huge bills, and the sadness of losing a friend far before their time has come.
2. Your breeder is honest.
With all the information at your fingertips online, it’s easier than ever to find an honest Australian Labradoodle breeder. A good breeder should be able to answer your questions with clarity—if they know their stuff, your breeder should be used to reassuring prospective puppy buyers.
Great breeders honor their word, and WILL have multiple references and publicly available testimonials from happy buyers. There’s NEVER a reason to take a chance on a breeder without properly vetting them first.
3. Your breeder really cares about the dogs.
This one is easy. Does their kennel/home look clean? Do the dogs get regular vet visits? Do the dogs look happy?
If you love dogs, it’s easy to recognize another person who does, too. Go with your gut instinct.
4. Your breeder offers a health warranty.
Yes, your Australian Labradoodle puppy should absolutely come with a health warranty. And what’s in a warranty?
At the very least, your puppy’s health should be covered for 2 years, which is almost always long enough to realize if a dog has serious problems or not.
These warranties should NEVER require you to return your dog to the breeder, and should at least cover the cost of the dog in vet bills.
Make sure the warranty covers ALL types of hip dysplasia, not just the most severe, crippling variety. Moderate and even mild hip dysplasia is still a big deal for your dog, and will require treatment.
5. Look out for these red flags!
Everything sounds good, and you’re ready to buy. But wait one second—make extra sure you’re comfortable with everything about the dogs and about the breeder. All of the following should be big red flags:
- Very large deposits, upwards of several hundred dollars.
- Kennels that redirect multiple URLs to their own site—these breeders are likely selling an extremely high number of dogs, and are possibly a puppy mill.
- The breeder doesn’t own either of the litter’s parents.
These are just some of the not-so-obvious signs of a disreputable breeder. The best defense is to go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, find another breeder. End of story.