My wife has been asking for us to get a puppy pretty much since our first date 2 years ago. Late last year I finally I agreed that we could get a puppy. Initially we had a desire to get a Bernedoodle, but realized that finding a good breeder was too difficult and the cost too prohibitive. We settled on getting an Australian Labradoodle, because we really wanted to stick with a doodle mix and because there were more of these breeders around.
Search & Contact
Once we settled on the puppy breed that we wanted, we started the search for the best breeder in our area. In addition to taking into account the quality of the breeder, we also had to consider the price, distance and time we were willing to be on a waitlist. We live in San Francisco, so we searched across Craigslist, PupppyFind & Google to generate a list of all the Labradoodle breeders in the area. I tend to use Google Sheets to gather data, because it makes it very easy to update and share information with my wife in real-time.
As we went through the process of searching for Labradoodle breeders, we reached out to each one of them via email to start up a dialogue about our interest in purchasing a puppy. After some initial email back and forth, we always made it a point to get the breeder on the phone to get a sense of their own personality and because it’s much easier to get through all the Q&A in-person.
Unfortunately our initial search criteria of finding a great breeder in the SF or LA area with a short waitlist did not result in any good options. So we expanded our search and started looking in Reno & Southern Oregon. Luckily we came across a great breeder in Southern Oregon that had a few upcoming litters. Kathy, the owner of Cherry Lane Labradoodles was passionate about her puppies and was also super transparent about her operations. She maintained an up-to-date website with weekly photos and a live 24/7 webcam for each litter. Additional bonus points were that labradoodle pups in Oregon cost $2800 with no sales tax vs. $3000-3200 with sales tax in California. Plus the breeder was located in Medford, which is a short drive from Crater Lake National Park, which I have always wanted to visit.
Committing & Waiting
Once we decided that Cherry Lane Labradoodle was the best breeder for us, we put down a $500 back in November 2018 to reserve our spot on the waitlist. With the next litter arriving in December, we knew our wait could be very short, but we also wanted to make sure we got a puppy with our desired gender, personality and physical characteristics.