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Buying a Doodle Puppy? Why You Should Meet The Parents

April 4, 2022
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ImagePublished by Sandra Shillington 

Sandra Shillington is a Goldendoodle mom and trusted resource for Doodle parents at She shares Doodle tips on topics such as grooming, puppy care, traveling with a dog, her tried-and-true Doodle product picks, and living your best Doodle life. 

Buying a Doodle Puppy? Why You Should Meet The Parents 

Becoming a new puppy parent is an exciting time filled with many questions. When it comes to buying a Doodle breed, doing your research ahead of time is the best way to make sure you find the perfect puppy for you.  

The Puppy Parent Visit 

A vital part of your research is choosing a responsible breeder and meeting the sire and dam of your potential puppy. Before making your decision, you will want to learn as much as possible about the puppy’s upbringing. Reputable breeders are typically more than willing to allow potential puppy parents to visit their location and meet the litter’s mother and/or father in person. This helps you to know if you’re making a wise choice and helps you avoid unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills.  

A Glimpse into Your Puppy’s Future 

Meeting the litter’s parents and related dogs from previous litters will help give you an idea of how you can expect a puppy to look and behave as an adult dog. While a Doodle breeder may not always own the litter’s father, or have him living on the premises, the mother is of course present. Having time to observe the mother will allow you to learn what you can expect the puppy to be like as an adult dog. You’ll be able to get an idea of: 

  • Size 
  • Appearance 
  • Temperament 
  • Health 
  • Living conditions 

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Size: How Big Will Your Doodle Puppy Grow? 

If you know the size of the parents of a Doodle puppy it can help you estimate its size in the future as an adult dog. The rule of thumb is this: If both parents are about the same size, female puppies will usually grow to be about the same size as their mother. Male puppies will typically be closer to the size of the father. However, if one parent is larger than the other, the puppies usually grow to be somewhere between the two parents. When there is an obvious difference in size between the mom and the dad, it’s more difficult to determine the ultimate adult size of the puppy.[Text Wrapping Break] 

If you only know the size of the mom you can still get a good idea of the puppy’s eventual size. For example, if the mother is 17 pounds, and her six-week-old puppy is 10 pounds, it’s safe to say the puppy will end up being larger than the mother. On the other hand, if the puppy only weighs about 6 pounds at six weeks old, it could end up about the same size as the mother.[Text Wrapping Break] 

Appearance: What Will Your Doodle Puppy Look Like? 

All puppies receive 50% of their genetics from the female dog, and 50% of their genes from the male dog. But, that doesn’t mean they always look the same. They may look more like the mother, the father, or a mixture of both. Because Doodles are a hybrid breed, the genetics of the parents will vary. Doodle puppies don’t always look exactly like the mother or the father, as there is no breed standard.[Text Wrapping Break] 

Temperament: Do Doodle Puppies Get Their Personality from Their Parents? 

While training always plays a role in a dog’s behavior, puppies inherit general  personality traits from their parents. Some puppies might get more of their mom’s temperament, while others might get more of their dad’s traits. Some puppies may have a mixture of both and have a personality all their own. When observing the parents you may be able to see signs of their overall personality. If a puppy’s parents are prone to aggressive behavior, anxiousness, submissiveness, friendliness, or any other behavior, it helps you know what to expect.  

What Dog Personality Type is Best For You? 

Visiting a puppy’s parents gives you insight into what he or she will be like as an adult dog. This is especially important if you have specific personality traits that might be a better fit for your home or family members. For example, if you’re looking for a great family dog that’s well behaved around small children, having a parent that is proven to be good with children is important. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a protective watchdog, having a parent with this temperament trait makes it more likely the puppy will too. Keep in mind, that not every dog’s personality trait will be passed down to a puppy. Knowing the parents have sound temperaments helps ensure a puppy will grow into a well-mannered older dog.[Text Wrapping Break] 

Health: The First Weeks of a Doodle Puppy’s Life Are Important 

For new puppy parents, taking the time to research Doodle breeders and learn how the puppies are bred, the parents’ characteristics, and the living environment is just as important as how you raise a new puppy. Here are the reasons why:[Text Wrapping Break] 

  • Doodle breeds are a very specific mix of dogs that come with a high price tag, so it’s important that you research the breeder to make sure you get what you pay for! 
  • Meeting a Doodle puppy’s parents will let you observe their temperament which will give you a glimpse of your puppy’s personality later in life. 
  • The temperament of the mother and how she interacts with the puppy is important. The puppy’s mother should have a normal protective instinct around her puppy. As such, you should avoid buying from the breeder if the puppy shows signs of fearfulness or aggressiveness while around the mother.  
  • The mother needs to be in good health so that the puppies have a good start in life. If the mother is not in good health, it will affect the health of her puppies. They may not get enough milk, which will compromise their health and immune system. 
  • The breeder should socialize the puppies at an early age, and have positive experiences with all the new things they will encounter as they grow. Exposing puppies to everyday sights and sounds such as new people, children, cats, doorbells, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines will help them easily adjust to their new environment when it’s time. Isolating puppies in an unhealthy environment during their crucial early weeks can lead to a myriad of behavior problems later in life. 

Conditions: Notice the Details When Visiting a Breeder 

[Text Wrapping Break]When visiting a breeder, take note of the conditions where the dogs are living. Many breeders will have specific areas for puppy raising. Make sure these areas are clean and notice how many other dogs are around. Do all the dogs appear to be happy? Do they look healthy? What type of diet do they feed the mother and the puppies? Is there plenty of clean water available? Breeders should never keep dogs in run-down, dirty conditions, or in cages stacked on top of each other.[Text Wrapping Break] 

Make sure you can answer yes to all of these questions:[Text Wrapping Break] 

  • Are the conditions clean? 
  • Does the area smell clean? 
  • Do all animals on the location seem to be happy and well cared for? 

[Text Wrapping Break]If it’s not possible to see the parents, especially the mother, consider it a red flag. This could mean the breeder doesn’t have a relationship with the mother dog. Also, it’s likely that the puppies were separated from the mother too early, which can make it difficult for a puppy to thrive. It could also be a sign that the mother has a poor temperament, is sick, or malnourished. 

Observing The Mother and Father of Your Puppy 

[Text Wrapping Break]When observing the mother and father of a puppy, you’ll want to look for the following: 

  • Are they interested in being petted by you or the breeder? Do they avoid people or show signs of aggression? A well-adjusted dog should interact with people in a gentle, attentive way. Either with the breeder, or with you. Watch for signs of cowering or showing overt signs of aggression, such as barking or growling. 
  • Do the dogs live inside? If either the mother or the father lives primarily outdoors, or in a kennel, there’s probably a reason they don’t want the dog in the house. 
  • How old are the parents? If they’re younger than two years old, they may have unknown health problems that could impact breeding. 
  • Do they appear to be in good health? A puppy whose mother or father is in ill health could have a compromised immune system. 
  • If you’re concerned about either dog’s behavior, look for a different breeder. Yes, training and environment are important, but puppies do inherit traits from their parents. Don’t feel obligated to take a puppy whose parents you don’t like. 

[Text Wrapping Break]To ensure that you are getting a quality Doodle that is not the result of irresponsible breeding, make sure you are able to meet one or both parents. If you cannot meet the father, ask for as much information about the dog as possible. A good breeder will have information on the parents readily available on request. This includes known breeding information, any available registration papers, health tests, health checks, and genetic diseases. Since puppies usually don’t go to their new homes until about eight weeks of age, you should have plenty of time to see the litter and at least the mother before bringing your new puppy home. 

Remember, it’s completely normal to ask to meet the parents of a puppy litter, so don’t hesitate in making this request of dog breeders. Doing the right research helps you find the right Doodle for you! 

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