Over the weeks, we observe and interact with our puppies daily. Some days, we interact with them for hours at a time. We play and bond with them individually as well as in a group. By the time the puppies are about 5 weeks old, we know them very well.
In the time not spent thinking about the puppies, we are thinking about the families waiting to adopt them. Here, the more information the better comes into play. We think about the needs of each family, their dynamics and lifestyle, as well as their personal preferences.
At five weeks, the puppies will be matched to their families. Any puppies not matched by five weeks, we now have a wealth of information about what would make a good home for them, and we can seek out specific homes for each.
The puppies still have a lot of changing to do between five and eight weeks when they go home. Though their inherent personality traits will not have changed substantially, some of the finer details will have shown up.
When the puppies are ready to head off to their forever homes, we can pass on a wealth of information to the family about what we’ve learned. Where the puppy’s strengths and weaknesses are and where the new families can expect to have an easier or more difficult time with their specific puppy.
What are the traits you look for?
These traits are not intended to be in any specific order. Depending on the family’s specific needs or the puppy’s, sometimes certain traits become more important than others. (ex: in the case of allergies or of a very energetic puppy) Overall, we look at:
Vocal. Whether a puppy likes to tell you about his entire day, or she barely makes a peep. A mother with sleeping babies would lose her mind with a dog who barks, while a couple living on an acreage outside of town wants a dog who barks when someone comes down the driveway.
Strength of Character. Is she strong and in need of a strong leader, or is he a cream puff that could be led by a child. Sometimes, a strong, dominant personality in a human can be overwhelming to a gentle-spirited dog. A family of young children needs a dog that will take its place under the children easily without fight. This is quite possibly one of the most important traits we look for. The puppy’s trainability and willingness to please will all come into play here.
Dominance. Not to be confused with Strength of Character. Dominance is the puppy’s desire to be top dog while Strength of Character is how difficult will it be to break that and ensure the dog gets its rightful place in the family. ** a submissive puppy with a strong character if not trained properly can become a more dangerous Alpha Dog than one that desires to be there. The submissive dog does not enjoy their position - is a very fearful leader, and leads to unwanted traits like fear biting.
Energy. Does she spend her days rolling around, or does he run constantly all day long? A busy young family will enjoy a dog who is content to run in the yard and go to the park on Saturdays. An athletic couple who runs for 3 hours/day and hikes on weekends will provide an excellent home for a high-energy dog.
Color. Creamy or Dark Brown. Every family has their own preferences for the color of their puppy, and the reasons can be as long and varied as each family is themselves. We work with the families to determine how important this decision is for them.
Coat. Will she be Shaggy? Will he have a tight, curly coat? This is an important one with Goldendoodles as many people choose the breed because of allergies or the need for a non-shedding dog.
Attractiveness. Let’s face it. Everyone wants a cute dog. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we work with families as much as possible to choose a puppy they are attracted to (within the choices of puppies that are a suitable match for their family.)
Sensitivity. How does a puppy respond to touch, noise, and surprise. We work closely with all our puppies with socialization and habituation. As a breed, Goldendoodles tend to be cheerful, curious dogs, and sensitivity is rarely, if ever, an issue. However, if any puppy responds negatively to sensitivity testing, they are worked with and placed in an appropriate home. We will never place an over-sensitive puppy into a home with children.
Curiosity. Most Doodle puppies are very curious. Occasionally, a more timid personality appears. Timid puppies aren’t fearful puppies. However, a timid puppy can be turned into a fearful puppy if not handled well. She will need extra encouragement and support as she learns to trust her leader and gain the confidence she needs. Timid puppies will be placed carefully into gentle, nurturing families who understand the importance of not creating a fearful dog. Goldendoodles are not a fearful breed unless they are mistreated.
If you feel there is any information about your puppy that has not been covered here, please contact us and we can discuss your specific needs.
How do we evaluate our puppies?
Our techniques are far more personal. We begin by spending hundreds of hours with the puppies starting at the day they are born. Within the first 24 hours, we are already able to see which puppies have stronger temperaments, and who are meek. We also get our first glimpse into the energy levels of the puppies.