CHOOSING MY GOLDENDOODLE PUPPY

I got the call, the puppies were born. Soon it would be time to select the one I wanted.

Anxiety immediately started to rear it’s ugly little head as I thought about choosing my Goldendoodle puppy. How can I stand in a room full of heart melting adorable puppies and automatically know which one I want to bring home. The thought terrified me.

What if my selection was really not the right one?…

Jax and his siblings (photo courtesy of Laurel Ridge Goldendoodles

Jax and his siblings (photo courtesy of Laurel Ridge Goldendoodles)

Harley was my first. And while he didn’t turn out to be my last, he’s certainly been my everything! #goBarryWhite

I knew I wanted a cuddle-bug and since there were no other pets in our home I never thought to concern myself with whether or not he “played well with others.”

Harley and I were the type “A” scenario in the process of puppy selection.  I allowed the puppy to choose me! So often I’d heard “pick the one who runs right up to you!” And that’s just what I did. I saw him, he saw me – BAZINGA we were a pair. #forusitworked

Keep in mind – I was as inexperienced at pet parenting as I am at building a space rocket. With a few printed articles tucked neatly in a folder, I knew just enough to be considered “dangerous” when I went searching for a puppy.

Translation? I thought I was making all the right decisions.

Harley’s situation turned out to be a common one for first time pet ownership. I had no knowledge of what evil lurked out there with puppy mills pretending to be reputable breeders #anotherstory #anothertime

Leo on the other hand, was my lone star. He was the only pup. With a little more knowledge under my hat I did my due diligence before I even contacted the breeder. He was older (6 months) and to me unlike a younger pup – I believed once we spent some time together we would either have a love connection or not. #alwaysandforever

Then came Jaxson…
DSCN8706 He was born at Laurel Ridge Goldendoodles. A place all too familiar, you see Dr. Kelly was also Leo’s breeder. While there are many different views and opinions about “adopt vs. shop” let me say this – I support both!

However, when I realized I was ready to love, cherish and care for another tail wagging doodle, I knew I had specific desires. I wanted to start this journey from the beginning of his life. I wanted a puppy – born in the winter, so I went to a reputable and responsible breeder…
DSCN8753But regardless to where puppies come from, we want them to be healthy. Signs of good health include (but are certainly not limited to):

PHYSICAL HEALTH

Energy: is he alert and energetic?
Eyes: are they bright, clear, w/o crust or discharge?
Breathing: w/o crust or discharge in his nostrils. Does he cough or sneeze a lot?
Body Condition: does he look well fed?
Genitals: does he have feces or pus visible to his genital region?
Coat: does he have excessive dandruff, dullness, greasiness or bald spots?
Hearing: does he respond when you clap your hands?
Vision: does he notice a ball when it rolls within his field of vision?

Did you also know a puppy’s behavioral health is just as important as his physical health?

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

  • How do the puppies interact with one another?
  • Does the puppy seem to like people?
  • Does the puppy like being handled by people?
  • Does the puppy seem overly sensitive to sights and sounds?

While Jax and his siblings were experiencing their first 9 weeks of life I had an epiphany that lessened my anxiety attacks – Shouldn’t I solicit the assistance of the person who’s been with them the longest?

Think about it – who best to give me guidance and insight based on time spent with the entire litter? Dr. Kelly – the breeder! She’d been with them from the day they were born.

On a number of occasions I’d spoken to her about certain traits I was looking for, like –

GENDER…
DSCN8763
ENDLESS ENERGY…
DSCN8769
INQUISITIVENESS…
DSCN8726

ADVENTUROUS & OUTGOING…
DSCN8767

During those many conversations I was surprised to find out she’d done this before and loves when new pet parents ask her to help them choose. I personally think it’s a great alternative for people like myself that just cannot make up their minds based on crazy fear of not getting it right. The ultimate decision should always be yours, but with one as serious as this, I welcomed the assistance from the person who loved them first. #justsaying

She didn’t steer me wrong 🙂

MEET MY ENERGETIC, INQUISITIVE, ADVENTUROUS AND OUTGOING JAX…
DSCN8717

If you’re thinking about adding a puppy to your household, the internet has oodles and doodles of information out there to read. Here are just a few that I found interesting and informative:

CHOOSING A PUPPY FROM A LITTER
HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD PUPPY
CHOOSING A HEALTHY PUPPY
Have a Doodletastic weekend, and come on back Monday – we’ll have some mischief for you – I promise 🙂 Thanks for reading.

39 Comments
  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    March 19, 2015

    great post and such lovely photos, you picked a winner for sure!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Thanks JoAnn. It truly can be a stressful decision so I welcomed the breeders role in the selection process.

  • Emma
    March 20, 2015

    We believe in getting pups from good breeders and in adoption. It has to be the right choice for you. I was selected by my breeder and Mom never met me until the day she took me home. Mom sort of selected Bailie online but then had several pups to choose from but it always came down to Bailie. Katie was the only pup left, so not much choice there either. Jax will be a great guy. He looks like a bundle of fun.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Thank you Emma – Jax is a great pup. I’m in love already!

    • Ter
      February 7, 2016

      Hi,
      How do you know you have a good valid breeder? Never done this before.
      Any suggestions are welcome,)
      Thankyou, T.

  • Yvonne Smith
    March 20, 2015

    Cathy,
    You choose wisely Jax’s a outstanding puppy! And you did a fantastic job of researching all about puppies your insight on this subject was truly on point!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Yvonne, I sure hope so. I’ll breathe easier once I get Harley’s seal of approval! Glad you’re enjoying the blog. Thanks for reading!

  • Amanda
    March 20, 2015

    Congrats! I love seeing all the updates and pictures. Also I can’t get over how similar our stories are with both the first (love at first sight; he chose me; breeder turned out to be bad, and I’ve always considered it a “rescue” of sorts), and the puppy (so hard to chose; younger dog; reputable and helpful breeder). I only wish we lived near each other so our bigs and littles could romp around together! I can really picture Harley and Wrigley on the sideline trading stories about their shared experiences while Jax and Piper endlessly ran in jumping, happy, playful puppy circles! Oh well, they’ll just have to be pen pals! 😉

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Me too Amanda. We could talk forever and never get tired of each other’s rambling! Who knows – one day through travels our paths will cross. We can keep your fingers crossed. How’s your two doing? Harley and Jax have a few good days then Jax does something stupid like bite Harley’s tail, or get up in his face and we’re back to square one! LOL

      • Amanda
        March 23, 2015

        We’re in the same boat! Some days they will play perfectly and even have a little (short lived) cuddle (cuteness overload!!!), and then Piper acts like the puppy she is, or Wrigley steals away one of her toys to show he is the boss, etc. Our house is a circus!

        • Cathy Bennett
          March 23, 2015

          Like Barnum and Bailey Amanda! Outside they are incredibly compatible, but indoors – it’s a crap shoot. A lot of the blame does fall on Jax though, he too does some not so smart things that cause Harley to have enough of him.

  • Rachele Baker, DVM
    March 20, 2015

    I am so happy that you and Jax found each other and that it has proven to be a good match for your family. He is absolutely adorable. Love the photos – thanks for sharing!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Not so fast Rachele – the jury is still out when it comes to Harley BOL Jax is so young, and so busy and so rude 🙂 Harley has to take him in stride. I am giving Harley plenty of “down time” without Jax around. I figure once Jax gets a little older and learns some boundaries and respect, they’ll be the best of buddies!

  • Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats
    March 20, 2015

    So smart to let the breeder choose. She knows the puppies best, and it looks like your new addition is just perfect!

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Thanks Susan, she was so happy when I invited her in to assist with the selection. She knows me, and she’s learned about Harley through me, so she was great in narrowing down to Jax. Have a great weekend!

  • DZ Dogs
    March 20, 2015

    What a cutie, someday maybe we’ll get a pup. When we adopted Dante and then Ziva we knew we wanted a young dog but we knew we didn’t have the time to house train and manage a pup so 1 year olds it was for us!
    Although we’re big supporters of adoption we also support responsible breeders who breed for health and good personalities, it’s nice you found a good one!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      DZ, I too thought long and hard about a baby vs an older dog. I decided on a puppy knowing it would change our world drastically. It has LOL – but I know as Jax gets older, Harley will have more fun, and I am excited about working with a puppy again. Check back with me in a few months – HA! I could be crazy for sure by then 🙂

  • Claudette Pope
    March 20, 2015

    Wow, I had been following Laurel Ridge Goldendoodles since I began my search for a puppy. Small world :-). Jax is so cute and I can see the Energy even from the “still” photos lol

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      That is a small world Claudette. Jax has too much energy if you ask Harley. Poor Harley, he’s trying to adjust – I think Jax has to get a little older first.

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    March 20, 2015

    I also think the breeder should pick or at least “steer” you in the right direction. They know their dogs best! Or they should anyway.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 20, 2015

      Absolutely Mr. N. – I personally was fine leaning on my breeders recommendations. Have a great weekend!

  • Jan K
    March 21, 2015

    When we had to choose a golden retriever from our friends litter, before they were even born we just decided to take the largest female. My hubby wanted a big dog so that just made sense, and then we didn’t have to agonize over which to choose.
    I think having the breeder help you was a great idea! It certainly looks like Jax is fitting in perfectly.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 22, 2015

      JanK, I know exactly what you mean. I asked for the largest male. But the breeder told me he was very dominant, stubborn and was already showing alpha tendencies. She said she really believed this was going to become a problem with Harley – and it would have. The difference in size was so small, I was like “fine, I trust you” and I am so happy I did 🙂

  • Autumn
    March 21, 2015

    Congrats on your new little guy Aunt Cathy! I hope you will enjoy this stage of his life and he doesn’t give you too much trouble! I love all dogs but am partial to the little guys so I’m loving these pics of him while he is still little! Can’t wait to see how big he gets!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 22, 2015

      Thanks Autumn, he’s little but I don’t think for long – we’ll have to see. Keep on reading and watch how fast he grows! Love you baby –

  • DashLilly
    March 21, 2015

    Looking good! No matter what, I believe Jax and you were meant to be! The breeder selected both Dash and Lilly for me (she is in Oregon) and she did good!! These pups are part of us aren’t they? Loving the pics!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 22, 2015

      Thank Deirdre! Jax is just PAWfect for our family. He and Harley are really starting to bond now – Yippee!!!!!

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    March 21, 2015

    Congratulations on the new member of your family 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 22, 2015

      Thanks Kimberly – he’s a character, and fits right in:)

  • Tiffany
    March 22, 2015

    Great post! He is growing way to fast.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 23, 2015

      That he is!

  • Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes
    March 23, 2015

    OMD! Look what I’ve been missing while I was away! I’m so excited for you.

    Even though I expect you won’t have much time for the blog as you’re puppy obsessed for a while. Jax will take a lot of your time.

    Lucky you have Harley to show him the ropes.

    Love the pictures. Best wishes to you and your new family member. Can’t wait to see more.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 23, 2015

      Hey Pamela – how are you? I’ve been waiting for a new post from you girlfriend!!!!! Yes, Jax is a bundle of goodness for sure. Doodle Dad and I are trying to stay sober and sane during this teething faze (any suggestions?) and Harley has finally come around thanks to the help of another dog (that’s a story in itself). I hope to continue with my blogging schedule (notice I said hope) because now I truly do have so much to say! Welcome back 🙂 I missed you ….

      • Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes
        March 24, 2015

        It’s good to see you too. And it’s always nice to know someone missed you when you were gone.

        As for the terrible teeth (I think biting is especially bad for the golden strain) may I suggest body armor?

        • Cathy Bennett
          March 24, 2015

          Yes, you can suggest anything – I need all the help I can get!

  • Faith Ellerbe, Live.Wag.BARK!
    March 25, 2015

    Congratulations again! Jax, just like your other doodles, is adorable. I actually just had a conversation with my co-worker and from what she said she wanted in a dog, I suggested a Golden doodle. I will definitely send her this post. Love it!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 25, 2015

      Hi there Frugal Fur Mom – thanks so much! Jax is something special. He really is! Took Harley a few days, but they are becoming BFF’s quickly. Now if I could just stop all this ankle biting! I’ve forgotten how much puppies like to bite when they’re teething! Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!

  • Michael Lee
    October 2, 2015

    I really connect with your passion for caretaking for this little guy Cathy! And this article was really helpful for me as well if I ever decide to ever buy goldendoodle puppies. Overall great article and thank you so much for taking the time to share.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 3, 2015

      Thanks Michael – please feel free to visit us often.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *