Below are several frequently asked questions about our process.
When will I get my puppy?
Most families are matched with their ideal puppy within 2-5 months. It is very difficult to predict an exact date or litter that you will be matched with. We cannot predict number of pups, genders or colors until a litter is born. Often families are registered for more than one breed or more than one size so the deposit list is constantly moving and changing as families at the top of the list are being fit into various litters. The greater your flexibility, the greater likelihood that you will be matched fairly quickly with a puppy. For example, if you're fine with a male/female, any color, and a Sheepadoodle or Newfiedoodle, you'll likely be matched faster than someone who needs to have a 15 pound, dark red, petite mini Goldendoodle, that has to be female. In general, the more specific your desire, the longer it will take for us to have that exact pup.
How do You match puppies?
When your name gets closer to the top of the deposit list, you and several other families will receive a puppy announcement via email. We ask families to view the pictures and descriptions and reply to us with their choices in order of preference. We match the puppies based on your preferences and the order in which the deposits were placed. You are always welcome to pass on a litter announcement if the timing isn’t best for you or you want to wait for something different. Unlike almost all other breeders, we don't "lock you into" a particular litter. We also offer a fully refundable deposit.
Can you explain your PARTNER/guardian home system?
I have a few dogs in my home, but most of the Crockett Doodles program dogs are raised in Partner Homes and Guardian Homes. My Partner Homes are close family or friends for whom I have bought a high-quality dog. They keep that dog in their home as their beloved pets and have occasional litters for the Crockett Doodles program which I oversee. Their puppies are born, raised and socialized in their Partner Home with their family. We arrange for each of the puppies to go to forever homes, and the Partner Home, who helped raise the pups, gets much of the profit from the litter. Most of our Partner Home families live near us in Greenville in beautiful homes with lovely children.
Over the past couple years, we've expanded to have partner homes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and California. We have family and close friends in those areas that wanted to be part of the Crockett Doodles network, and it offers a great deal of convenience for people who live in those areas to pick up their Crockett Doodles pup much closer to their home. Click here to see pictures and read bios of several of our Partner Homes.
Guardian Homes also help with the Crockett Doodles program. We buy a high quality female doodle dog for our Guardian Homes, and they welcome the dog as a beloved family member. We oversee a few litters from each Guardian Home dog, where we take care of finding the exact right stud dog, oversee the breeding process, and take the mother dog to our house, a Partner Home, or a Surrogate Home, when she is due. The puppies will be raised at our house, a Partner Home, or a Surrogate Home. We give a monetary gift back to the Guardian Home for allowing us to use their dog. The primary difference between a Partner Home and a Guardian Home is that the Partner Home has the Mom as their family pet and raises the puppies, for a Guardian Home, the puppies are raised at another family's home.
A Surrogate Home is a home that loves raising puppies. We've worked closely with a few homes who love raising puppies. We pay these homes to partner with us in raising occasional litters from Guardian Homes.
Partner Home: Family Members or close friends of the Crocketts, who have a wonderful pet dog, and raise occasional litters.
Guardian Home: Friends who love adopting a wonderful dog for free and are willing to let her have a few litters under someone else's care.
Surrogate Home: Enjoy being paid to raise a litter of puppies in their home, under strict supervision from Crockett Doodles, and in close harmony with the veterinary team.
Can We visit?
Many full-time breeders have dog facilities (barns/kennels/etc) that people want to view to ensure that the conditions are acceptable to them. We have no facilities. All of our parent dogs live in my home, our Partner Homes, or our Guardian Homes (see description above). I wish I could accommodate the daily requests for visits, but in light of my full-time job at the University and my four young children at home, welcoming daily visitors to our private home on Paris Mountain has become impossible. We realize that not everyone is comfortable with this arrangement, and we have no problem encouraging families to seek out other full-time breeders who can accommodate visits to their kennels. We can say that we've never had a family come to get a puppy and walk away without the pup. We think we have one of the best reputations in the dog world (click here to read reviews).
what can I expect on my pick-up date?
Once you are matched to your new puppy, we will work with you to schedule a pick-up day and time around the time that your puppy is 8 weeks old. We will have a nice camera ready to capture the moment when you first meet your new puppy. We are happy to take as many pictures as you’d like, and they will be sent home with you on a flash drive. One of our trained staff members will walk you through our 45 page manual which includes vaccination records and helpful information about vet visits, choosing a groomer, our health guarantee, and tips on feeding and crate training.
Do you sell breeding rights?
As stated in our application, all our puppies are sold as personal pets, not for breeding purposes. Our spay/neuter contract asks families to have their puppy spayed or neutered by their first birthday. We do not recommend spaying or neutering before 6 months of age as this can interfere with normal growth patterns. Whenever you choose to spay or neuter between the ages of 6 months and 1 year is completely up to you. If your veterinarian recommends waiting until after one year (particularly for large breeds such as Saint Berdoodles, Newfiedoodles, or Bernedoodles), we are fine with that.
Puppies and Potty issues?
Your puppy should have the ability to sleep through the night. Sometimes they have a bit of an adjustment once they separate from their siblings but it doesn’t take long for them to adjust to their crate. (We've found that typically puppies can “hold it” half the number of hours of their age; so a 8 week old puppy can hold it 4 hours, a 10 week old puppy can hold it 5 hours, etc. At night you can usually add a couple hours to that formula.) During the day puppies seems to go through spurts where they have bursts of energy, and then they tucker out and sleep for a while. An eight week old puppy is still a baby and needs lots of sleep.
How far in advance do I need to reserve a Christmas puppy?
The average wait for one of our puppies is 2-5 months. Mid-to-late fall we begin getting lots of requests for Christmas puppies. While we are careful never to promise a pup by a certain date, we are always willing to include any deposit family in at least one announcement in the month of December. We also encourage families higher on our deposit list to consider waiting to be matched in January or February to allow a family with young children to have their Christmas surprise. Many families are happy to wait and other families prefer to postpone getting a December puppy to avoid the $200 Christmas fee that is applied to every December puppy (based on huge demand) or because they will be traveling for the holidays. We have found that we are able to accommodate many requests for Christmas puppies this way.
Do you offer delivery options?
While we do not ship puppies, we have had families fly in from all over the US (and even Canada and Mexico) to pick up their new puppy from us in Greenville, SC. Most airlines allow a passenger to carry their puppy on the plane with them in a soft carrier under their seat. We find that the puppies travel very well. We also have Guardian Homes who are willing to hand deliver puppies for a standard rate of 60-cents per mile round-trip. Some families take advantage of this option and request their new puppy be delivered the entire way. Other families request to meet part-way. We’ve had some who have found better airline options into Charlotte than Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) and have requested their puppy be delivered to them at the Charlotte airport.
What will I need for my puppy?
We will start you off with several supplies, but the biggest item we recommend you purchase is a crate. We recommend choosing a size that will fit your puppy when full grown (the description of each crate should give you a weight range) and use the crate’s divider to make the crate smaller when your puppy is little. (Dogs are “den” animals and love to keep their “den” clean which really helps with the potty training process. If the crate is very big, they often create a “potty corner” which defeats one purpose of the crate which is to help complete the potty training process.)
Do you do health/genetic testing (Including hip testing)?
We are currently in the process of getting all of our parent dogs health tested. In general, we're working with Partner Homes and Guardian Homes to test for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration (PRA-prcd), von Willebrand's Disease Type I (vWD 1), Hair/Coat Curl, and Hair/Coat Furnishings (IC). The coat testing is not as much about genetic problems as it is trying to breed for wavy/curly doodles more than straight coated doodles.
For some of our doodle breeds, we are working to do the testing on specific issues that could be a problem for that particular breed. For instance in addition to the 6 genetic tests listed above, Labradoodles can be tested for Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM), Cystinuria, Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), and Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis (HNPK); these four issues are occasionally found in Labrador Retrievers. (Cystinuria is also a good test for Newfiedoodles and Newfoundlands can be prone to this issue).
We pay for all of the genetic testing for dogs in Partner Homes and Guardian Homes and do not use a dog to breed that has any genetic issue we are aware of. We've let people know through the years, that once all of our breeding dogs have been fully tested we will likely increase our prices, as it is expensive/time-consuming to get all of the testing done. Some veterinarians that we have talked to are not fully aware of every type of test that should be done for a doodle. We strive to have doodles of excellent health, temperament, and looks to go to wonderful forever homes.
For hip testing, we are in the process of testing all of our larger breeds (Newfiedoodles, Bernedoodles, Sheepadoodles, Saint Berdoodles, and Pyredoodles). So far, we have never had a dog with hip dysplasia, and I'm sure if we ever did, I would immediately quit breeding the parents. I respect the rare Doodle breeders who have all the testing done, even on their minis. I'm not aware of any breeder who does all of the DNA testing and hip-testing whose adoption prices are not considerably higher than ours.
At this time I don't require hip testing for my guardian homes with mini puppies (though some have it) for several reasons:
1. Some of my guardian homes are uncomfortable sedating their smaller dog for the x-rays.
2. Hip Dysplasia is primarily a problem for large breed heavy framed dogs (70 pounds or more) or pitbull/bulldog type of dogs, Labs also can have issues.
2. For instance 61% of Bulldogs tested are dysplastic. Since my guardian homes have mini/medium sized dogs, dysplasia is not as big of a concern
4. Secondly, Poodles are one of the best breeds for not getting hip dysplasia (only 8.5% of those tested are dysplastic); 84 breeds rank ahead of them. Since I specialize in F1b pups, they are 75% Poodle, from separate genetic lines, and with the addition of hybrid vigor, I estimate that in our mini doodles, there would be about a 5-7% chance that one of our adult breeders may be dysplastic. My vet friend assures me that we would easily recognize it in our females, since we don't like to breed dogs until they are at least 2 years old. We did remove one female from our program before she was a year old, because she showed signs of dysplasia.
5. I think it is for these reasons that if you look at the OFA's website, you'll find that although some breeds have had more than 100,000 dogs tested, there have only been 288 Labradoodles tested since 1974, and fewer than 100 Goldendoodles. We are one of the rare doodle breeders who likes to test, but we don't require it for our minis.
IS there a health guarantee?
All of our puppies come with a one-year health guarantee, and if you decide to use TLC Pet Food (the puppy food we recommend) we extend the health guarantee to three years. With the thoroughness of our guarantee it is definitely one of "the best in the business." Through the years, we consistently strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Every week, we receive glowing testimonies from those who got a doodle from us previously. Read a sampling of those here.
What food do you recommend?
We highly recommend TLC Puppy Food, and we think it is the best food on the market. We switched our dogs to it late last year, and we have seen a noticeable difference in their health. TLC is only available online and is not sold in stores, so you will probably want to place your order soon! (Click on this link to receive a discount on your first order: www.tlcpetfood.com/68765-1025) TLC is often made 3-5 days before it is shipped to your door for free, is only sold through top quality breeders, has an auto-ship feature so you’ll never run out, and is similar in price to brands such as Blue Wilderness. It is our favorite food by far, and I believe in its quality so strongly, that I extend our one-year health guarantee to three years for families who feed TLC.
where will I pick up my puppy?
Right now our main location is in Greenville, SC, so most likely you will be picking up your puppy there. We have a handful of Partner Homes and Guardian Homes in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Stateline, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, California, Chico, California, and Detroit, Michigan, but those locations will have fewer available puppies presently as we have fewer Partner Homes and Guardian Homes in those locations.
Any Further Questions?