FAQ

The exceptional care we give our dogs, the intelligent sweet calm personalities of our dogs, breeding many generations of only healthy health tested bloodlines, our experience.

The shed and allergy factor of a Goldendoodle can be different from Breeder to Breeder depending on the Coat Type their Goldendoodles have inherited. At Hilltop Pups we DNA test the coat type of all our dogs so we can create the most non-shedding hypoallergenic coat as possible.  When breeding a Goldendoodle to a Goldendoodle the parent dogs need to be DNA tested for "IC" Improper Coat, which determines the dogs shed factor.  If one of the Goldendoodles in the pairing is F/F gene carrier for Furnishing and the other is F/F or is a carrier for IC then none of the puppies will shed.   I have three males that are IC clear with F/F.  I follow this DNA rule when breeding to make sure my dogs are non-shedding.  No guess work involved here;)

Next we only breed with English Retrievers which produce a softer less shedding less matting coat than the coarser American Golden Retriever coats.

Next we consider the color genetics behind the poodle:  Reds, browns, and cream colored poodles produce soft non-shedding coats.  White, Gray, and Black poodles produce shredders even in the curly dogs; thus, they have been removed from Hilltop Pups breeding program. 

In 2017 we started breeding the Irish Goldedoodles. I am very pleased with what I have seen in the Irish Goldendoodles. The American Golden Retrievers are very unhealthy and have a life expectancy of 8-13 years with 80% of them having cancer by age 8.  Therefore I only breed English Golden Retrievers as their life expectancy is 11-18 years and very few ever have cancer. It takes a few generations to build the dark red poodle color back into the English Goldendoodles since the EGR are only white to cream.  We started with breeding wit a health tested American Golden Retriever breed to a health tested Irish Setter to get the hybrid vigor and dark red color; then bred that with a health tested male poodle and then back to another health tested poodle creating the F1b Irish Goldendoodles to insure the hypo allergenic non-shed coats plus get the dark red color and fabulous coats.

Ideally, you are working with an incredible breeder who knows these puppies well. They have observed them from the moment they were born and know the individual personalities & qualities of each one. In this case, I strongly recommend you let your breeder match your preferences with a puppy. Have an open conversation with your breeder about what you are looking for in a puppy and allow them to make the best suggestion for you. At Hilltop Pups you are welcome to visit and meet the puppies. So you don't feel a little alone in the decision making process, here’s what we suggest... As it is with most things in life, there are a handful of leading indicators you can specifically look for when choosing a puppy from a litter, which will help ensure a happier and healthier canine companion who will be easier to train and make for a better family pet. Begin by watching the puppies play together. You will want to choose the puppy that is both curious and friendly toward you. Also, watch for a puppy holding its ears high and wagging its tail... signs of a very happy puppy. Pick up each puppy, cradle it in your arms and look for the one who settles down quickly. All of them may struggle initially, but note those that calm down sooner than later. Avoid choosing the one that continues to struggle until you put it down, as well as the one that is shy towards being picked up in the first place. Sit on the floor, make noises, talk to the puppies and pay particular attention to the reactions of each of the puppies. Take special note of the ones that curiously go to investigate the cause of the noises and whom is talking. That’s a good thing. Handle each puppy from head to tail, spending particular attention to how they react when you play with their paws, their ears and their mouths. Comfortable puppies won’t mind at all and that’s a good thing. Moreover, healthier puppies will have cleaner eyes, ears, mouths and noses, brighter and shinier coats, gums and teeth. It’s a good idea to avoid puppies with discharge in their eyes or other dirty appearances. Similarly, sample test the vision and hearing one puppy at a time by clapping your hands and then rolling a tennis ball along the floor. Watch for each puppy’s reaction. Make sure puppy sees the ball and focuses on it before rolling it out a few feet; young puppies can't follow a ball thrown across the room yet.  Make sure you choose one who shows signs of hearing by responding appropriately to the clapping and follows the rolling ball with their eyes. Finally, after all of that, there are likely multiples to choose from, especially if you have a good breeder, so follow your heart and pick the one who will be that ideal canine companion for many years to come. After all, you’re going to be together for a very long time – so pick the one that you absolutely adore and definitely loves you back! If you are looking for a service quality puppy then take the above advice and add in the puppy with the most toy drive and treat driven.  We use NuVet vitamins and break each wafer into 6 pieces, so you can ask for treats to give the puppies.

If you can not visit the puppies in person, that's OK too.  If videos of the puppies are not posted on line request them.  If you narrow your choices in the litter down to between 2-3 puppies have the breeder make a video of those two or three separate so you can narrow down your choices.

I know, I know.....a bunch of boring text and no cute pictures.  Don't leave this page without reading!  This may very well be the greatest learning experience in your search for a new puppy and prevent you from making a huge mistake.  Whether you adopt a puppy from me or not, I want you to know some hard cold truth.

 

First locate the Breeder's name and address on the website. Second search the internet for lawsuits on them. Third Google Earth their address to see how they live and make sure there are no dog cages outside. No name or address on the website???? RED FLAG. Leave their site immediately!

 

IMPULSE BUYING - Well, we do live in a world today where we have become quite used to convenience.  Everything is at our fingertips and we simply don't wait for anything.  Have you ever heard the saying, "Good things come to those who wait?"  The point I'm trying to make is that purchasing a puppy isn't the same as running to the store and buying a new toaster or at least it shouldn't be.  Some people might check reviews on toasters before buying one.  I admit, if my toaster breaks down, I'm just throw it away and go buy a new $30 toaster without a whole lot of thought going into it.  I'm not going to plan at all, because I want toast in the morning!  If I end up hating that toaster, oh well, I'm out $30.  Why can't I just do that with a puppy?  Well, you may not know it now, because you are only thinking of getting that furry creature into your arms ASAP or you have a precious little child nagging you daily for that much sought after dream of his/hers.  All this is quite understandable.  However, we have to think long-term and make a decision based on knowledge, not emotions.  How does a puppy differ from a toaster?  Image removed.  Well, other than the very obvious reasons, I can tell you that your entire family is going to be completely in love with this puppy in about 24 hours or less and that loving bond will grow into something you may or may not have imagined.  At that point, you are so emotionally invested, you would do just about anything for this furry little piece of heaven.  If you don't have children at home, this will be your child.  If you do have children at home, this puppy will come 2nd only to those 2 legged family members.  Are you starting to see the difference between the puppy and a toaster?  OK, you know I'm being funny here but also trying to make a very important point.  I would like you to read very closely what follows.  I'm going to WARN you of some very important things to avoid while shopping for a puppy.  This IS a very big emotional investment and you want it to be the right choice for your family, not the fastest choice or the cheapest choice (because cheap up front is not the same as cheap in the long run).  It can be life enhancing or seriously life altering.  I know you want the best chance possible for a positive experience for you, your family and this new puppy.  Just consider all the FREE therapy.  If you've ever had a special canine friend, you know exactly what I mean!

 

BROKERS - There are websites out there who are masquerading as a classified ad site with local puppies from within your state.  If you google "Goldendoodle puppies Indiana" (put any state in place of mine) you will see right at the top of the list, a broker site.  I'm not going to name names but you can find it for yourself.  All the puppies are pictured with nice little blurbs about each one and an inflated price tag to make sure the broker gets paid.  They try to lure you with "Lifetime Guarantee" and such phrases.  These companies have been on the news and have change their names 3 times now that I know of.  I've seen it personally.  These puppies come from all over the country and the breeders are not screened as they claim.  Many of these are puppy mill puppies and you'll never speak to the breeder so they don't have to be held accountable at all.  Don't expect health testing on the parents or optimal health on the puppies.  There have been lawsuits filed against these businesses, because people received their puppy in terrible health and sometimes the puppies were so ill they didn't make it. Thus, so many lawsuits arise they change their business name. They have even stolen my website, more than once, because I have to get it taken down. They even leave my name on the website and only change the phone number, email address, and the puppy pictures. 

 

BREEDERS - This is a hot topic.  Breeders come in all shapes and sizes, ethically speaking.  I'm not judging anyone, but I am hopefully educating many.  It is up to you to decide what risks you are willing to take.  Some people just see raising dogs as something fun to do while pocketing a little extra cash.  They probably just have one or two dogs and maybe another family member owns the sire or something to that nature.  Usually what you'll find in these situations are people who aren't trying to get rich, but they just haven't put any thought into it at all.  Their dogs may or may not have the right personalities.  They most likely will not have any health testing, nor did they come from breeders who did health testing.  So, you will probably get a much cheaper (up front) puppy, but even if there is a warranty of some kind, what difference will that make if your dog ends up with a debilitating genetic disorder?  Then, in many cases, the only way a breeder will make good on a warranty is to take back the original puppy that your whole family has fallen in love with.  That is a flaw I see on many warranties from all kinds of breeders.  Another type of breeder I have seen is your low investment breeder, not investing in high quality Breeding Dogs.  If a breeder can charge $1,500+ for a puppy, is it really too much to ask that the parents be carefully chosen and extensively health tested before breeding them?  If a person wants to hand over $2000 (for example) for a puppy that is no better bred than one from the pet store, that's up to them.  In that case, someone was in an awful big hurry (See above "Impulse Buying") to get a puppy and they had one "RIGHT NOW" (of course they had one available because they have 50 breeding dogs and 10 litters of genetically unsound puppies, at any given time) or they just don't realize they are in the process of paying the same price for less quality to a person who is just in it for the money.  Their breeding dogs could be anything from another breeder's backyard bred dogs to Craigslist freebies.  Trust me, I've had breeders admit this to me.  Don't be fooled by nice websites.  Ask the right questions and get proof.  That's the only way to find out what kind of breeder you are dealing with.  

 

How many dogs do Breeders actually have????  I list all my dog's on my website and their health testing records. One reason other breeders can not do this is they only list the current litter they have on their website.  Not the 60 dogs they have or have in Guardian Homes. I have been to a Breeders Kennel that told me she had two hog buildings off site full of dogs, unfortunately this is more the normal then the exception.  I have seen many horrible dog kennels.  Again I should have Goggle Earthed her address and looked closer into the hog building a few hundred yards from her house down the hillside.  It does look like I have more dogs on my website than I have here, because my children each have dogs they breed. We are one dog loving family.  Abby has 6, Brittany has 4, Austin has 1, and Rhiley has 1.  I list all their dogs on my website and that is while when you click on some litters you are taken to Abby or Brittany's website.  Abby and Brittany both work here during the week helping with my dogs and puppies.

 

WARRANTIES - This can be overwhelming.  Everybody has their own warranty. Some short, some long, some fair, some not, etc.  There are some serious red flags I've seen in various warranties.  First, you should NEVER be expected to return your original puppy if it has a serious enough genetic disorder to cause the warranty to be utilized.  If you want to treat your dog's illness and keep it, that should be an option for you.  It isn't likely you could just throw him out and get a new one or put him in the recycle bin like the toaster.  It seems like one of the most heartless and ridiculous things to put into a warranty.  Why even have a warranty and create such obvious loopholes.  It isn't a shirt you bought, discovered a hole in it, and now you have to exchange it!  OK, with that said, most breeders only honor a warranty if the dog's life is seriously altered where it requires something "extra" for it to live (surgery, expensive treatments, etc.).  This can be a gray area.  Because it generally says seriously life altering or life threatening.  Seriously life altering is that gray area, because that is totally a matter of perspective.  Make sure you trust your breeder.  Make sure they are not just out for the money or they will always find a way out of backing their warranty.  With that said, some people expect everything to be covered and that just isn't ever going to happen.   I'm being completely up front so you understand what to expect.  One other serious red flag I ran into....a breeder actually stated that they would not cover hip dysplasia if the vet used a sedative on the dog while taking the x-rays.  OK, here is something most puppy buyers aren't aware of.  Sedation is ALWAYS used during hip x-rays.  If you don't make sure the dog is totally relaxed, the dog will almost always tense up while being awkwardly positioned for the x-ray.  That, in turn, causes the joint to appear tighter.  Therefore, the results will not be accurate as the hip joints will appear much better than they actually are.  Every breeder knows this and if this is in their warranty, they cannot be trusted.  If they really don't know it, I'd look for a breeder that is more knowledgeable anyway. I myself don't like Breeders that add clauses such as you have to send them pictures of your dog every six months or it voids the warranty. You have to feed a certain food or it voids the warranty, most likely the food type they are demanding you to buy through a link and they get a commission on the sale. Look for the issues in the health warranty that void the warranty.

 

BREEDING DOGS - It is up to you, the buyer, to ask as many questions as you can think of.  Thinking of them can sometimes be the difficult part.  Your questions should be more geared toward things concerning the parents at first.  I would be specific and ask questions such as:

 

 

1.) Have you treated either parent dog for ear infections or allergies in the past year?  If so, how often does this occur?  Allergies and ear infections can be a chronic problem and can be passed down to offspring.  It may sound petty, but it is financially draining and never goes away.  What you end up doing is treating the symptoms just to offer some relief.   If a Breeder had such dogs they should have removed them from their breeding program, small breeders can;t take the financial hit, so they continue to breed them.

 

2.) Do you do health testing on the parent dogs?  If so, which ones as they all should not just the stud.  Do NOT just take the breeder's word for it.  Some breeders will tell you they have all been done, when indeed, the haven't had any testing at all.  Ask for proof of health testing in advance of sending in a deposit, at the very least they can take a picture with their cell phone and text it to you or send it to your email. This is the world of technology and there should be no excuse. DON'T let the Breeder tell you they will send copies of the health testing home with the puppy.   RED FLAG!!!  Don't let the Breeder tell you their house recently burned down, they don't have a scanner as most printers now include a scanner, lost documents, because you can look up OFA testing results at offa.org by searching dog names. DNA testing results are available online.  You have been emailing the Breeder, so they should be quite capable of going to a website and sending you the link. If you did not get the records in advance the Breeder will hope you forget when you come to pick up your puppy and/or you will believe they will mail them to you. Do not believe excuses such as my printer is broke and she will mail them later.  You will never get them after you have given them money. Been there and sadly burned more then once by that fast talking Breeder that promises you the world.  I can tell you that we fully health test ALL of our parent dogs and if they don't make the cut, they are spayed or neutered and placed in pet homes.  I've had breeders tell me, "Yes, we have all of our breeding dogs thoroughly examined by a vet."  OK, back to my original question, have you had any health testing done?  Of course, if that was their answer, you know they haven't done any testing.

 

3.)  Have you ever had to honor your warranty?  Hopefully, the answer is yes.  "What?" you ask.  Image removed.  The bottom line is, there are some breeders who can't bear to let anyone know they've had issues.  Honesty is the best virtue and the only honorable way by which to do business and live life.  I know they are just scared of what people will think.  However, let's look at the situation realistically.  A breeder can be educated, have worked very hard, have really awesome dogs, do everything right, and still have a puppy with a problem.  We see this happen in our own species!  Breeders can do their ultimate best but the bottom line is, only God can truly guarantee anything.  That's where you have to look at how the breeder dealt with the situation.  Are they still breeding that same pair of dogs together?  etc.  I would certainly raise an eyebrow if a breeder told me they had never seen a single issue crop up.  The longer they've been breeding, the less likely I would be to believe it!  What we want is an honest breeder with great ethics and great dogs.  A spotless track record would be awesome, but it just isn't realistic.

 

4.)  What do you do to make sure the puppies are well socialized?  I'm going to answer this question with regards what we do here at Hilltop Pups.  Our puppies are whelped in a nursery we built specifically for raising puppies.  Everything is easy to disinfect and we are able to cut way down on viral/bacterial exposure by having them isolated from people can bringing deadly organisms in on their shoes.  That is why we do not allow anyone in the nursery.   The puppies get used to sounds from when the kids come in the play with them, banging doors, many different people here with my two daughters and three sons working and/or visiting here, plus my husband does the evening chores. I have seen Breeder's puppies that are afraid of men, because they never saw or were handled by one.  We also play a desensitization CD at least twice/day.  It helps them, become more comfortable with the sound of kids screaming/playing, thunderstorms, fireworks and household noises.  We've never had anyone feel that their dog was poorly socialized.  They do not have to be raised inside a person's house to accomplish this.  We also bathe and groom all the puppies at least twice before they go home which is an excellent part of the desensitization process.  We are very fortunate to have a grooming facility on our property so we can start this part of their training.  What we have found to be important is to meet somewhere in the middle with all of this.  One thing that really turns me off is to go into a breeder's home and find that the place is overrun with animals and isn't fit for human living conditions.  We want to protect the puppies and socialize them really well, all the while keeping our house clean and pleasant.  So, this system has worked really well for us and we feel the feedback we've gotten has confirmed that as well.  All our puppies are individually held, cuddled, and handle daily along with providing Early Stimulation Training to create the calm trusting happy go lucky personalities.

 

5.)  Lastly, most people don't need to be told this one....What all is included with my puppy?  These days, the reputable breeders are micro-chipping puppies.  However, just because a breeder does micro-chipping doesn't mean they are automatically a good breeder.  It is, however, a good thing to do and expect it.  Vaccinations, health records, puppy's pedigree, health testing records on the parents etc. are all things that typically SHOULD come with a puppy.  The Breeder should be sending home belongings that have the scent of their puppy hood home to make them feel comfortable in their new home.

 

 

In closing, trying to find the right place to get your puppy can be a very difficult process.  One of the best words of advice I can give you is to make sure you stick to your guns when it comes to what is important to you.   Sometimes it is a good idea to make a list on paper.  When you find a breeder that has a puppy available, make sure you look at your list.  Does this breeder meet your "qualifications?"  If not, don't "just go look."  You'll most likely end up making a decision based on emotions.  A well-bred, quality puppy is worth waiting for and in the end, you'll feel good about your choice. I wish you and your family all the best, in your search for the perfect puppy, and a lifetime of happiness thereafter. 

This video is a perfect explanation of breeding for diversity and not to remove a Carrier from a Breeding Program.  A Carrier Breed with a Clear dog increase Breed Diversity. 

https://www.facebook.com/embarkforbreeders/videos/596727741276891

Whether you are visiting in person or long distance puppy selection, I am here to guide you.  You can watch the 5 week videos of the puppies and listen how I describe puppies, please turn on sound as I am always speaking on any difference in puppy personalities I see or puppy education.  What is exceptional hard for me anymore is picking out different personalities.  In a video what you would look to avoid is a scared puppy, one that keeps to themselves in a corner (not just tired and wanting to take a nap as that is just timing).  Or an aggressive puppy, not to be confused with puppy play as they only have mouths and growling sounds to play and investigate.  You can tell when they actually get mad and warn another puppy they are playing to hard, that will last for a second and one of the puppies will walk off. This interaction teaches the puppy that they have played to rough, which is a good teaching tool to teach each other to have a soft mouth and not play so rough. What you do want to look for are puppies with a toy drive and being investigative.  If a puppy is walking around the edge of the room sniffing the floor and checking the place out, this is a good action for working class dogs such as bomb sniffing, drug sniffing, airport working, etc. Look for puppies that you can hold on their backs and they don't squirm and they make good eye contact with you. If they squirm for a second or two looking at the floor at their litter mates that is normal, but you want them to give in and lay still after a few seconds as the puppy realizes it can not get down.  This is a good training tool to continue when you take your puppy home to teach them you are the Master, the Boss and puppy must listen and obey you.

I start training my puppies at 3 days old with Early Stimulation Training. If I see a puppy more shy, hyper, or aggressive then I work with that puppy for lengthier times, each time until they give in to the training.  I am addressing this behavior at 2-3 weeks old.  Thus, by 5 weeks old each and every puppy can qualify for working class dog, therapy dog, or perfect companion.  

By 8 weeks old when you take the puppy home it has already had 2 months of training, this is what sets Hilltop Pups' Dogs apart from other breeders.  Early Stimulation Training makes puppies more intelligent, calmer, and laid back.  All the aspects for making training easier and faster. It takes 20 minutes of repetition to teach a dog a new trick, then you must repeat daily for the puppy to remember it.

Years ago I was performing a written test on 5 week old puppies for temperament and personality. It was a 7 point scoring tool; what I found was all my puppies were scoring between 3 and 4, which was perfect pet to working class.  Thus, a waste of time and paper.  After 18 years with the Goldendoodle Breed I can tweak a puppy early on for whatever I want the puppy to be and I aim for every puppy to be a perfect pet companion to working class as both are easy going and easy to train for anything you want. Armed with the information I am giving you here, you should be able to watch all the videos I take and find some crumb of information that sets a particular puppy apart from another.  If it is your turn to pick and you can't visit in person and you narrow your puppy choice down to two puppies, ask me for a video of just those two puppies. Not all the puppies again as you need to start the process of elimination.  In a video with just two puppies it may be easier to find some nugget of difference between the two that can better suit your needs and I can assist in the video with pointing out a differences that I see.  Turn the volume on in my videos, as I am always speaking about what the puppies are doing, pointing out anything I see that is different, or just speaking on puppy education. 

My F1 is $2,600 because this is the first generation, prices reflect the fact that I only breed with English Golden Retrievers as the base of my breeding program and a top quality English Golden Retriever imported from Russia is $10,000 up to $30,000. 

I take the F1 Goldendoodle and within the DNA testing platform I compare coat typing and breed all further generations for the non-shedding allergy friendly coat types, no guess work here.  Plus, I can continue downsizing properly to maintain body proportions.  You want the body length from base of neck to base of tail to equal height from floor to the withers. The withers is the highest point of the dogs shoulder blades. As dogs get smaller they have smaller litters, for obvious reasons, smaller dog equals smaller litter size that they can carry.  Our prices reflect the smaller litter size and all puppies going forward are now priced at: 

F1       $2,600   The EGR breed to 15-18 lb. Miniature Poodle.

Mini     $2,800  Weight range 25 - 38 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

Petite   $3,000  Weight range 15 - 25 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

Micro   $3,200  Weight range 8 - 15 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

English Golden Retrievers and their offspring do not have a dependable heat cycle like American Retrievers and Poodles which cycle every 6 months.  That is why most Breeders do not like to breed English Golden Retrievers, especially puppy mills as they like a Dam to produce a litter early 6 months.  English Golden Retrievers heat cycles range on average 7 to 12 months apart.  What I have seen is each dog develops its own cycle; one dog may cycle every 7 months and one ever 13 months. Thus, I like breeding the English Golden Retriever bloodlines, first and foremost for their exceptional health record and long life expectancy of 13-18 years, compared to 8-13 years for the American Golden Retrievers.  Also, my belief is the dog will cycle when its body is recovered from their last cycle, healthy, and ready to breed again.  I retire Moms early at 5 years old; adopting them out to their fur-ever homes.

What the latest genetic research can tell you

Embark Testing Lab July 14, 2020

How do you best apply an Embark health variant test result to your breeding program or to an individual dog’s health care? When our veterinary geneticists and professional services team at Embark field questions like these, our answers are always based on the scientific research behind the health variant in question, as well as the breed of dog tested. We asked our experts to share answers to common questions about the tested variant for Degenerative Myelopathy (SOD1A).

What is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)?

A disease of mature dogs, DM is a progressive degenerative disorder of the spinal cord that can cause muscle wasting and gait abnormalities. Affected dogs do not usually show signs until they are at least 8 years old, where the first signs of neural degeneration appear in the nerves that innervate the hind limbs. An affected dog may scuff the tops of their hind paws or walk with a hesitant, exaggerated gait. 

In advanced cases, lower motor neurons are also affected leading to weakness and muscle wasting. This variant is reported to have incomplete penetrance, meaning not all dogs with two copies of the variant will go on to develop clinical signs and other genetic and environmental factors will contribute to whether a dog develops DM. Furthermore, this variant is only known to increase the risk of DM in certain breeds. Other breeds where this variant occurs but is not associated with DM risk likely have genetic factors protecting them from this disease.

My dog has two copies of this variant and is listed as having increased risk for DM; now what? 

First, it is important to remember that the SOD1A variant is incompletely penetrant, so even in breeds where DM is a problem, many dogs testing at-risk from the variant will live long lives and never develop the disease. 

If your dog is considered at-risk, this should open the door to a discussion with your veterinarian. As DM is a late-onset condition and genetic risk does not mean that clinical signs are guaranteed, drastic measures should not be an immediate concern. However, there are supplements and lifestyle modifications that may be of benefit to your dog.

Some non-medical things that can help with mobility and secondary injury to the feet include a harness (Help ‘Em Up Harness is a popular option) as well as using booties to minimize damage to nails from scuffing. Be sure to take the booties off when not in use as they can trap moisture and lead to infection. 

My dog has two copies of this variant but is not listed as having increased risk for DM; now what?

For some breeds, research indicates that the SOD1A variant is not likely to increase the risk that a dog will develop DM. The SOD1A variant is found in many breeds of dogs, but researchers have only observed histopathological (microscopic) changes with this variant in a small number of breeds. 

When determining whether or not a variant is expected to have a clinical impact for a breed, we have taken into account research either published, internal, or otherwise presented by a subject matter authority as our primary criteria. For breeds where clinical risk from this variant is not likely, this genetic result should not be the primary factor in breeding decisions.

What does it mean if my dog is a carrier?

As DM has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, dogs with one copy of the variant would be termed “carriers” and not be expected to be at clinical risk. However, in breeds where the SOD1A mutation is associated with DM risk, carriers should not be bred to other carriers (or at-risk dogs) as this will lead to the production of at-risk puppies. You can visit our website and search for your breed. If the “Embark Recommended” icon appears next to Degenerative Myelopathy (SOD1A), then there is a known risk based on the current literature, and this result may need to be considered in breeding decisions. 

For all other breeds, while it is still important to track the incidence of the variant and clinical disease within lines to inform on future research, it is not recommended that this variant be used as the primary factor in breeding decisions, at this time. (Also, please note that the OFA will register DM results for any breed, so an OFA icon only indicates that it can be registered with the OFA and does not confer impact to the breed.)

Guidelines for Breeding Dogs Who Are Carriers or At-Risk for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Owners with dogs testing as Carriers (A/N), or At-Risk (A/A) are strongly encouraged to share these results with their attending veterinarian and seek genetic counseling when making breeding decisions.

The “A” (mutated) allele appears to be very common in some breeds. In these breeds, an overly aggressive breeding program to eliminate dogs testing A/A or A/N might be devastating to the breed as a whole because it would eliminate a large fraction of the high-quality dogs that would otherwise contribute desirable qualities to the breed. Nonetheless, DM should be taken seriously. It is a fatal disease with devastating consequences for the dog and can be a trying experience for the owners that care for them. A realistic approach when considering which dogs to select for breeding would be to treat the test results as one would treat any other undesirable trait or fault. Dogs testing At-Risk (A/A) should be considered to have a more serious fault than those testing as Carriers (A/N). Incorporating this information into their selection criteria, breeders can then proceed as conscientious breeders have always done: make their breeding selections based on all the dog’s strengths and all the dog’s faults. Using this approach and factoring the DM test results into the breeding decisions should reduce the prevalence of Degenerative Myelopathy in the subsequent generations while continuing to maintain and improve upon positive, sought-after traits.

We recommend that breeders take into consideration the DM test results as they plan their breeding programs; however, they should not over-emphasize the test results. Instead, the test result should be one factor among many in a balanced breeding program

This was my schedule when I house trained four 8-week old puppies and worked full-time. 

I would wake at 5:30 AM and as soon as puppy hears you are up it wants to potty, so take puppy out as soon as you get up.  I had to rush to the bathroom first of course, as quick as I could, and then take puppies out. Then brought puppies in to eat, drink, and play with the kids. Then I let pup out to pee and put back in crate at 7:10 and off to school and work.  At lunch I came in the house and let puppies outside immediately then back inside to eat, drink, play and then out to potty and back in their crate all in 40 minutes.  The kids came home from school and let pups out to potty and they played with them until I got home and then I let them outside again.  Take food and water away at 6:00 PM each night, so they can sleep better on an empty stomach.  Place crate where puppy can see you at night, crate on your bed, nightstand, or chairs.  Let puppy wake you when it needs to potty so it can gradually hold its bladder longer and longer through the night.

I do not like using the pee pads if I don't have to; the larger the area you have the puppy in the more it will be up playing and need to potty.  If you keep puppy in the crate it will get the needed rest it requires as it is growing an inch taller a week and need lots of rest

Pros for a female - Cling to the person taking care of them and follow them around endlessly. Good for single people.

Pros for a male - Bounces from one person to another for attention.  Good for family with children.

I have seen the trend over the last 10 years that families are finding out that male dogs make the perfect companion, just need to be neutered before teenage hormones kick in at 8 months old and they will squat just like a girl and never learn to lift their to pee.

Children will beg for a puppy and promise they will take care of the puppy/dog and train it; because they see their friends adult dog that is already fully trained. In the child's mind they think its easy, just fill the food and water dish daily and that's it.  Thus, most of the care is still going to fall in the hand of an adult.  Most little girls are going to request a female puppy, because they don't like boys in general yet and believe a girl will be sweeter.  

It is easier to train a male dog; you give them a command and they jump in excited without thinking.  Give a female a command and she wants to think it through first, deciding if there is something in it for her. Females are a little more guarded, when they meet someone for the first time they will stand back and check the person out first.  Males tend to just want to make a new friend and get attention.

I myself have female dogs in the house now, because they are or were breeding dogs.  Back when it was just two dogs my husband was not so excited to have a dog in the house yet and complained that the dogs ignore him and for me around everywhere; he called them shadows. My dogs even waited outside the bathroom door for me to come back out.  I told my husband I was their only care giver and he needed to start taking care of them more. He said, "I go to work at 4:00 AM how can I take care of them."  I said, "Let them outside and fill up their food and water dishes at 4:00AM."  He followed my instructions and ever since he now has three dogs that are his buddies and he is able to love them as much as they love him.  

If you are getting a female puppy take the story to heart as it is the most important thing you can learn about a female Goldendoodle.  You are working with a highly intelligent animal they think and they remember.  Give affection and they will give it back two fold.  A female dog can be affectionate to everyone in the family if everyone in the family is taking part in providing care for the puppy.

This is a good time to point out accidents happen, adults and children can step on a puppy, trip over it and such.  Puppy may cry out and wonder off with its tail between its legs.  If this happens that person should pick up the puppy and love all over it until it starts wagging its tail again.  Puppy and dog's can get their feelings hurt; they need to know they didn't do anything wrong and they are not getting punished or they may shy away from that person.

To help alleviate stress on both the puppy and another dog or cat, keep the older dog or cat in a different part of the house for say 45 minutes and let the puppy roam around and smell everything in the house.  Take puppy outside to potty and put the puppy in its crate for a nap. Then let the older dog or cat out to roam and smell the puppies scent. When Pup awakes from its nap take puppy directly outside to potty.  Then back inside to meet the older dog or cat, let them approach each other and just stay close by to watch them.   The puppy will want to go up to the dog or cat and smell them. A slight snarl from the older dog is normal as the older dog is giving a warning not to get too rough with them.  You will start to notice the difference between a snarl and a mean snip.  Cats nay take a little longer to warm up to the puppy.

My F1 is $2,600 because this is the first generation, prices reflect the fact that I only breed with English Golden Retrievers as the base of my breeding program and a top quality English Golden Retriever imported from Russia is $10,000 up to $30,000.  I take the F1 Goldendoodle and within the DNA testing platform I compare coat typing and breed all further generations for the non-shedding allergy friendly coat types, no guess work here.  Plus, I can continue downsizing properly to maintain body proportions.  You want the body length from base of neck to base of tail to equal height from floor to the withers. The withers is the highest point of the dogs shoulder blades. As dogs get smaller they have smaller litters, for obvious reasons, smaller dog equals smaller litter size that they can carry.  Our prices reflect the smaller litter size and all puppies going forward are now priced at:

  F1       $2,600   The EGR breed to 15-18 lb. Miniature Poodle.

Mini     $2,800  Weight range 25 - 38 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

Petite   $3,000  Weight range 15 - 25 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

Micro   $3,200  Weight range 8 - 15 lbs. based on the downsizing history as the best prediction.

 

 

 

 the latest genetic research can tell you Embark Testing Lab July 14, 2020 How do you best apply an Embark health variant test result to your breeding program or to an individual dog’s health care? When our veterinary geneticists and professional services team at Embark field questions like these, our answers are always based on the scientific research behind the health variant in question, as well as the breed of dog tested. We asked our experts to share answers to common questions about the tested variant for Degenerative Myelopathy (SOD1A). What is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)? A disease of mature dogs, DM is a progressive degenerative disorder of the spinal cord that can cause muscle wasting and gait abnormalities. Affected dogs do not usually show signs until they are at least 8 years old, where the first signs of neural degeneration appear in the nerves that innervate the hind limbs. An affected dog may scuff the tops of their hind paws or walk with a hesitant, exaggerated gait.  In advanced cases, lower motor neurons are also affected leading to weakness and muscle wasting. This variant is reported to have incomplete penetrance, meaning not all dogs with two copies of the variant will go on to develop clinical signs and other genetic and environmental factors will contribute to whether a dog develops DM. Furthermore, this variant is only known to increase the risk of DM in certain breeds. Other breeds where this variant occurs but is not associated with DM risk likely have genetic factors protecting them from this disease. My dog has two copies of this variant and is listed as having increased risk for DM; now what?  First, it is important to remember that the SOD1A variant is incompletely penetrant, so even in breeds where DM is a problem, many dogs testing at-risk from the variant will live long lives and never develop the disease.  If your dog is considered at-risk, this should open the door to a discussion with your veterinarian. As DM is a late-onset condition and genetic risk does not mean that clinical signs are guaranteed, drastic measures should not be an immediate concern. However, there are supplements and lifestyle modifications that may be of benefit to your dog. Some non-medical things that can help with mobility and secondary injury to the feet include a harness (Help ‘Em Up Harness is a popular option) as well as using booties to minimize damage to nails from scuffing. Be sure to take the booties off when not in use as they can trap moisture and lead to infection.  My dog has two copies of this variant but is not listed as having increased risk for DM; now what? For some breeds, research indicates that the SOD1A variant is not likely to increase the risk that a dog will develop DM. The SOD1A variant is found in many breeds of dogs, but researchers have only observed histopathological (microscopic) changes with this variant in a small number of breeds.  When determining whether or not a variant is expected to have a clinical impact for a breed, we have taken into account research either published, internal, or otherwise presented by a subject matter authority as our primary criteria. For breeds where clinical risk from this variant is not likely, this genetic result should not be the primary factor in breeding decisions. What does it mean if my dog is a carrier? As DM has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, dogs with one copy of the variant would be termed “carriers” and not be expected to be at clinical risk. However, in breeds where the SOD1A mutation is associated with DM risk, carriers should not be bred to other carriers (or at-risk dogs) as this will lead to the production of at-risk puppies. You can visit our website and search for your breed. If the “Embark Recommended” icon appears next to Degenerative Myelopathy (SOD1A), then there is a known risk based on the current literature, and this result may need to be considered in breeding decisions.  For all other breeds, while it is still important to track the incidence of the variant and clinical disease within lines to inform on future research, it is not recommended that this variant be used as the primary factor in breeding decisions, at this time. (Also, please note that the OFA will register DM results for any breed, so an OFA icon only indicates that it can be registered with the OFA and does not confer impact to the breed.) Guidelines for Breeding Dogs Who Are Carriers or At-Risk for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Owners with dogs testing as Carriers (A/N), or At-Risk (A/A) are strongly encouraged to share these results with their attending veterinarian and seek genetic counseling when making breeding decisions. The “A” (mutated) allele appears to be very common in some breeds. In these breeds, an overly aggressive breeding program to eliminate dogs testing A/A or A/N might be devastating to the breed as a whole because it would eliminate a large fraction of the high-quality dogs that would otherwise contribute desirable qualities to the breed. Nonetheless, DM should be taken seriously. It is a fatal disease with devastating consequences for the dog and can be a trying experience for the owners that care for them. A realistic approach when considering which dogs to select for breeding would be to treat the test results as one would treat any other undesirable trait or fault. Dogs testing At-Risk (A/A) should be considered to have a more serious fault than those testing as Carriers (A/N). Incorporating this information into their selection criteria, breeders can then proceed as conscientious breeders have always done: make their breeding selections based on all the dog’s strengths and all the dog’s faults. Using this approach and factoring the DM test results into the breeding decisions should reduce the prevalence of Degenerative Myelopathy in the subsequent generations while continuing to maintain and improve upon positive, sought-after traits. We recommend that breeders take into consideration the DM test results as they plan their breeding programs; however, they should not over-emphasize the test results. Instead, the test result should be one factor among many in a balanced breeding program. How often do you breed a Dam? What is the price range and size range? Are personalities described during the selection process? How do you use a DNA Health Report for breeding? WARNING - Choosing the right Breeder How to pick your puppy. What makes Hilltop Pups the Best Breeder in the World? Are there any other resources that you would recommend?  

Some of our favorite resources are listed below.

Our club affiliates also offer useful information regarding Goldendoodles:

As per the Health Warranty and Purchase Agreement, the dog must be spayed or neutered by seven months of age. We recommend that the procedure be done between five and seven months. If a male dog is not neutered by seven months, he could start to lift his leg to potty and to chase after females in heat. If a female dog is not spayed by seven months, she could start her heat cycle and may be very unruly for the month leading up to it.

We do not spay or neuter our puppies at a young age because our experiences have been that it sets the pups’ weight gain back a week, which cannot be good during this rapid growth period. Keeping the puppies’ nutrition level up is a huge concern of ours, and we do not feel that young puppies have sufficient body weight to sustain lower levels of food consumption following the procedure. That being said, the research on early spaying and neutering has been inconclusive, so discuss the options with your vet and make the decision with which you’re most comfortable.

The following article goes over some of the most important basic commands to teach your puppy, including its name and the commands of come, stay, sit, no/leave it/stop, lay down, and no bark. These commands are critical in that they may help protect your dog (and potentially your property) in dangerous situations such as running into traffic or chewing inedible objects. The article can be found here: http://www.dogshow.com/the-first-7-lessons-for-puppies/

Eukanuba has been the best puppy food that we’ve tried because it fits the breed’s digestive system well, turning out nice, formed stool. It provides the nutrition required for puppy learning, growth and development, digestive health, immune system health, lean muscle development, and healthy skin and coat maintenance.

We feed the petites and minis the Small Breed Puppy formula, and the mediums and standards the Puppy Growth formula, which just has larger kibble bites. The Puppy Growth formula is appropriate for smaller pups as well, if the other formula is unavailable. These puppy formulas are appropriate for dogs 1-12 months old. The bags have daily feed guidelines, though your puppy might need more food depending on its age, activity, and temperament. Remember to have clean, fresh water available for your puppy as well.

We ask that you do not switch food for the first few weeks that you have your puppy. If you do switch foods, the transition should be done over several weeks.

For treats, we recommend fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and broccoli. You can also use the NuVet Supplements as treats (one supplement daily); they’ll help build your pup’s immune system, plus your pup will love the taste!

This is a trick we learned from a trainer. When the pup jumps on you, gently step on its hind paws and say “no.” Do this each time it jumps and eventually you should be able to transition to jus saying “no” and putting your hand out flat as a hand signal. Be sure to stop this behavior at a young age because it will be a difficult habit to break as your pup ages and grows.

The puppy will most likely cry the first night because it has learned that whining earns attention. Regardless of the whining, you should still be crate training. It is important not to give into the whining so that your puppy learns that it’ll have to stay in the crate; in other words, do not get your puppy out of the crate while it’s whining! If the puppy starts to whimper after a few hours of sleep, however, it’s is most likely telling you that it needs to potty. Take it outside and straight back to the crate so that it does not think it’s time to play. Don’t worry – in most cases, the whining only lasts for one or two nights.

To make the puppy more comfortable, you can fill an empty two-liter soft drink bottle with warm to hot water, wrap it in a towel, and place it in the crate so the puppy feels like it’s sleeping next to a litter mate. Other than the water bottle, however, I do not recommend putting anything in the crate, lest the puppy plays rather than sleeps.

We believe it is best to crate train your dog until you are completely satisfied that it will not get into trouble when left alone. Whenever you are not able to watch your puppy for signs of needing to go outside, such as when you are cooking, eating, showering, or sleeping, you should crate the puppy. The puppy will regard the crate as a safe zone, such as a wild animal would its den. For that reason, the crate is not and should not be treated as a punishment area.

On the first day you have your puppy in its new home, take it outside to its designated potty area every half hour. On the second day, take it out every hour. If there are no accidents, you can adjust to every hour and half on the third day, and to two hours by the fourth day. Two hours would be the maximum amount of time not to go out during the day if the young puppy is running about and playing. If the puppy is alone in a crate it will mostly sleep, since it doesn’t have water or food he can hold his bladder longer. To help reduce nighttime potty breaks, take food away after 6:00 PM and water after 7:00 PM. In the morning, take the puppy outside immediately, since it’s been holding its bladder all night.

We recommend that you tie a large bell or two to your doorknob with ribbon, low enough for the puppy to reach with its nose, and teach it to ring the bell each time before you let it outside. This works great in a large home or very active homes where you are not always aware of the poor puppy patiently waiting by the door.

Potty training normally takes around a week. Do not blame or punish your puppy if it does soil in the house, for it is just a baby and will not know why you are upset. Plus, an accident also means that you missed the signs that your puppy needed to go outside.

We suggest crating the puppy or layering old towels three or four deep on the car seat or on your lap. It is not necessary for you to buy a small crate simply for transporting the puppy, however, as it’ll outgrow it quickly.

The car is a new environment and your puppy will most likely just sleep. If the puppy wakes up and wants to move around, it probably needs to potty. Use the collar/leash combo for stops during your drive. Some puppies will get car sick, so take a trash bag, paper towels, and wet wipes as a precaution. You can additionally layer the bottom of the crate with shredded paper (which I’ll happily provide upon request) to keep the puppy clean if it does get sick.

In addition to what we provide with your puppy, you will need to buy a crate and playpen, food and feeding supplies (buy stainless steel bowls for bacteria control) , grooming supplies, cleaning supplies, and a variety of toys. For a detailed list of needed supplies, please visit the “Puppy Essentials” page. This page highlights the Puppy Essentials Package, which includes all of the necessities at a wholesale price, shipped to your home; it’s a very convenient option!

Basic obedience training is so critical that it is actually stipulated in the maintenance section of the “Warranty and Purchase Agreement”. While we do start to teach our puppies manners such as sitting and not jumping, they are incapable of learning much else at such an early age.

Goldendoodles are easy to train, but you still need to take the time to train them, lest you end up with unwanted behavioral problems. Training will help you earn your dog’s respect and will also protect your dog (and potentially your property) in dangerous situations such as running into traffic or chewing inedible objects. We recommend the following article, which discusses the importance of teaching your puppy its name and the commands of come, stay, sit, no/leave it/stop, lay down, and no bark. The article can be found here: http://www.dogshow.com/the-first-7-lessons-for-puppies/

Early Neurological Stimulation is a practice developed by the U.S. military for their canine program. The practice boosts intelligence, instills trust, enhances training, increases tolerance to stress, and improves health. The practice consists of a series of daily exercises conducted from the third day through the sixteenth day of the puppies’ lives. The exercises stimulate the puppies in ways that do not naturally occur during this early period of life. The exercises include tickling between the toes; holding the head erect; holding the head pointed down; holding the pup on its back; and placing the feet on a cool, damp towel.

In addition, we advise owners to hold their puppies on their backs and to rub their paws, snout, and belly. This daily routine will further instill trust between you and your puppy and teach them to be obedient.

For more information on Early Neurological Stimulation, please refer to the following site/article: http://breedingbetterdogs.com/pdfFiles/articles/early_neurological_stimulation_en.pdf

I have learned over the years that young puppies should not be over-stimulated; some breeders raise puppies inside their busy homes and such stimulation can result in hyper, crazy dogs. Considering, we have a separate nursery building that has a controlled environment for the puppies. As they age, we gradually introduce them to people, children, other pets, radio, startling noises, etc. We also use an Early Neurological Stimulation Practice with our puppies to boost intelligence and enhance their training. This practice is described in further detail in the following question.

We say that we breed for temperament because we are very intentional about breeding dogs that have desirable personalities. We focus on breeding dogs that are friendly, reliable, eager, alert, trustworthy, and self-confident; we deliberately avoid breeding dogs that are hostile, timid, or nervous.

Personality and temperament are affected by genetics, which is why Goldendoodles are known for being calm, affectionate, and intelligent, reflecting the best traits of Golden Retrievers and Poodles. If the parent dogs have bad personalities, however, even if they’re not representative of the breed as a whole, the offspring may develop similar traits. For example, the smaller poodles have more personality quirks due to the rapid downsizing of the breed. In our breeding program at Hilltop Pups, we take the time to develop smaller poodle lines to avoid such quirks.

Nuvet Plus is an immune builder supplement that provides your pet with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. We begin giving our puppies the supplements at six weeks of age, around the time they receive their first set of vaccines. The efficacy of the vaccines depends on the strength and response of the immune system, so the supplements help with that process. We have witnessed health transformations in our dogs with the assistance of NuVet Plus, including improvement in coat color and in OFA hip test scores. Considering, we firmly believe that the supplements will help increase your dog’s longevity and quality of life.

Buying from an experienced breeder will increase the chance of buying a physically, genetically, and emotionally healthy puppy. Here at Hilltop Pups, we have conducted exhaustive research on breeding strategies and on the health of Poodles, Golden Retrievers, and Goldendoodles. Additionally, we use our experiences with past litters to guide and alert us to any health issues that could arise out of our bloodlines. We invest significant time, energy, and resources into making sure our parent dogs are well cared for and in the best health possible; we do not breed parent dogs that do not meet our health standards.

Maintaining health standards is particularly important for breeds mixed with Golden Retrievers, as they are in the highest risk group for hip concerns. The Golden Retriever’s rapid rise in popularity in U.S. households led to a reduction in the integrity of the breed’s health as puppy mills and backyard breeders increased production to meet the demand. We test all of our parent dogs’ hips and guarantee the hips of our puppies in our 2 year warranty.

We are proud to offer a comprehensive 2 year health warranty for all of our puppies, which may be extended to 3 years of coverage with the continuous provision of NuVet Supplements to your pup. Qualifying genetic defects for reimbursement include those related to the hips, heart, elbows, and eyes, as well as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD). Puppies are also guaranteed against fatal viruses, including distemper, parvo, and corona, for 72 hours from the time of purchase. Additionally, in the rare case of death by genetic issue, puppies under 2 years of age will be replaced. Our warranty can be reviewed in full on our “Warranty” page.

At two weeks of age, we start our pups on a stringent deworming schedule and at six weeks of age, we vaccinate our pups against distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Please note that your pup will still have to go through a couple more rounds of vaccinations at your vet before it is fully protected against these diseases. As such, be sure to take precautions against exposing your puppy to unfamiliar dogs or places where dogs have frequented.

Proof through parentage is a method of confirmation that a dog does not have an inheritable disease. It means that, although a dog was not directly tested for a disease, it has been cleared of the disease because its parents were tested and were cleared of the disease.

Health testing at Hilltop Pups is ongoing as new DNA tests become available. We prioritize breed-specific diseases, targeting those that cause early death (cancer, uncontrollable epilepsy, severe heart disease, swallowing disorders, and severe immune-mediated diseases such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia and muscular distrophy) and significant reductions in quality of life (moderate-to-severe elbow and hip dysplasia, moderate heart disease, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand disease, osteochondritis dissecans, atopic dermatitis, severe ear infections, and lupus).

Parent dogs at Hilltop Pups are tested by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for the health of their hips, elbows, hearts, and patellae (knee caps). Yearly eye certification by a board certified ophthalmologist is conducted to verify that the parent dogs are clear of 32 eye diseases. Additionally, DNA testing is used to determine whether parent dogs carry breed-specific diseases such as canine degenerative myelopathy (DM), multidrug resistance to cancer (MDR1), progressive rod-cone degeneration (prcd-PRA), and von Willebrand disease (vWD). You can view the health test results for each of our dogs on the “Meet the Parents” subpages.

We have spent a lot of time researching and seeking out the healthiest dogs to breed – dogs with strong pedigrees and long, healthy ancestry records. Our search has taken us worldwide and has led us to import dogs from Russia, Ireland, Germany, and France. We know our dogs, their health history, and their ancestors; in fact, many of our dogs are now third and fourth generation Hilltop Pups.

In an effort to limit the prevalence of cancer in our dogs, we breed English Golden Retrievers as opposed to American Golden Retrievers. Our Golden Retrievers and many of our Poodles come from bloodlines that are registered through the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF), which requires the dogs to have been health tested back 20 years into their ancestry.

In addition to lineage, we also health test all of our parent dogs. Whenever we have a potential breeding dog that has a negative health test result, we place it in a loving forever home or donate it to serve as a therapy or service dog. We only keep the healthiest bloodlines going in our breeding program.

We use health test results to determine which dogs are best for our breeding program. Knowing the status of our dogs’ health and their lineage helps us decide which matings are most appropriate for producing the healthiest offspring. While testing parent dogs does not guarantee that the puppies will be free of disease or health complications, it does significantly decrease the chance of them developing such health concerns. Of course, quality of life and health also depend on lifestyle, healthy foods, and exercise in addition to responsible breeding.

Hybrid vigor is a phenomenon in animal breeding referring to the fact that the first cross between two unrelated purebred lines is healthier than either parent line; with each successive generation, vigor is decreased.

Even with the benefit of hybrid vigor, the importance of responsible breeding in creating healthy dogs should not be underestimated. At Hilltop Pups, genetic testing starts with the first mating of a Golden Retriever to a Poodle. Furthermore, future generations are only bred from the healthiest parents so as to produce long, healthy bloodlines. So while F1s have the greatest hybrid vigor, all generations of Hilltop Pups are expertly bred to be of excellent health and temperament.

Parent dogs at Hilltop Pups are tested by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for the health of their hips, elbows, hearts, and patellae (knee caps). Bi-annual eye certification by a board certified ophthalmologist is conducted to verify that the parent dogs are clear of 32 eye diseases. Additionally, DNA testing is used to determine whether parent dogs carry breed-specific diseases such as canine degenerative myelopathy (DM), progressive retinal atrophy, progressive rod-cone degeneration, (PRA-PRCD, PRCD), Neonatal encephalopathy with seizures (NEWS), von Willebrand disease (vWD), Ichthyosis (Golden Retriever type), Progressive retinal atrophy, Golden Retriever 1 (GR-PRA1), Progressive retinal atrophy, and Golden Retriever 2 (GR-PRA2).  In some diseases it takes both parent dogs to carry the gene for the offspring to develop the disease; in those cases only one parent dog needs to be tested.  Thus, routinely here the male stud testing is heavily focused on.  You can view the health test results for each of our dogs on the “Meet the Parents” subpages by clicking on the document.

Yes, there are many organizations that register Goldendoodles, but the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) and the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) are our preferences. GANA does a great job of verifying pedigrees to ensure that the Goldendoodle can be traced back to the original American Kennel Club (AKC) breeds; in fact, their pedigree history tracking is very similar to the AKC’s process. The purpose of GANA is to document the breed’s ancestry so as to protect and standardize the breed and to ultimately enable Goldendoodles to become an AKC registered breed. You may register your Goldendoodle with GANA using the registration application sent home with your puppy.

Our puppies’ coats come in white, cream, gold, red, gold with white markings, red with white markings, and parti-colored (white with spots). The darker colors are more common in second and third generation pups, where the English Golden Retriever bloodline is not as prominent. While we do try to estimate coat color based on our years of experience, please be aware that the color of Goldendoodles, just like Poodles, can change as they get older; some get darker and some get lighter.

Teddy Bear Goldendoodles have an English Golden Retriever bloodline, as opposed to an American Golden Retriever bloodline. English Golden Retrievers are smaller in size and shorter in body and leg length. They have large square heads and short thick snouts. They are also lighter in color than the American Golden Retrievers, with a white to cream color range. As a result of their lineage, English Goldendoodles have beautiful boxy heads that give them a “teddy bear” appearance and creamy white coats (especially in the first generation) that are softer in texture and mat less.

GANA recognizes the adult measurements listed below, though they are still only approximations as several factors go into determining a dog’s size. Note that the height measurements are taken at the withers, or the front shoulders.

  • Petite: height below 14 inches; weight less than 25 pounds
  • Miniature: height range of 14 to 16 inches; weight range of 26 to 35 pounds
  • Medium: height range of 17 to 20 inches; weight range of 36 to 50 pounds
  • Standard: height range of 21 to 24 inches; weight range of 51 to 75 pounds

Goldendoodles are hypoallergenic, meaning that they cause fewer allergic reactions than other dogs. Multigeneration goldendoodles and those with curlier coats are non-shedding dogs and therefore are most appropriate for individuals with severe allergies. Please refer to the question above on coat types for further detail on shedding and allergies. It is important to note that no dog is allergy-proof and that we cannot guarantee against shedding or allergic reactions.

First generation (F1) coats:

  • Curly: no shedding; appropriate for severe allergies
  • Wavy to curly: light shedding; appropriate for mild and some moderate allergies
  • Flat/short wavy coat: moderate shedding; appropriate for those wanting the look of a Golden Retriever with less shedding

First generation backcross (F1B) coats:

  • Curly: no shedding; appropriate for severe allergies
  • Wavy to curly: no shedding; most appropriate for mild and moderate allergies

Multigeneration (F2, F2B, F3, F3B) coats:

  • Curly: no shedding and minimal grooming; appropriate for severe allergies
  • Wavy to curly: no shedding and minimal grooming; appropriate for severe allergies

Goldendoodles have wonderfully calm, loving, and intelligent personalities, as do their parent breeds.  We highly value these traits in our goldendoodle puppies and therefore ensure that our breeding dogs have desirable personalities in addition to excellent health.  We further boost the intelligence of our puppies by using the Early Neurological Stimulation Practice developed by the military.  It is my belief that the practice builds trust between man and animal, allowing the puppy to trust and obey.  The stimulation consists of rubbing the bottoms of their feet, bellies, noses, and ears.

We wholeheartedly recommend goldendoodles as family pets because of their intelligence, obedience, and patience.  They are easy to train and to socialize with children, and they have an innate desire to please their families.  They are not aggressive in nature and are very calm and patient with children.  Even so, it is prudent to provide your dog with basic obedience training and to teach your children how to respectfully interact with your pet.

The terms F1, F2B, etc. specify the generation of the Goldendoodle, as detailed below.

First Generation (F1) Goldendoodle: Golden Retriever + Poodle
First Generation Backcross (F1B) Goldendoodle: F1 Goldendoodle + Poodle
Second Generation (F2) Goldendoodle: F1 Goldendoodle + F1 Goldendoodle
Second Generation Backcross (F2B) Goldendoodle: F1 Goldendoodle + F1B Goldendoodle OR F1B Goldendoodle + F1B Goldendoodle

All further crossings are simply referred to as multigenerational.

 

Additional information on generation breeding is available at http://www.goldendoodles.com/faqs/generations.htm

  • Clean, microchipped puppy, with dewclaws removed
  • Prepaid application to transfer your contact information onto the microchip
  • Signed copy of the Health Warranty and Purchase Agreement
  • Veterinarian record of your puppy’s vaccinations and deworming schedule
  • Application for 30-days of free health insurance
  • CKC registration application
  • Sample of Eukanuba Puppy Growth dry puppy food
  • Sample of NuVet immune builder supplements
  • Leash/collar combination
  • Blanket, potty training bell, and various toys
  • All the baby pictures ever taken of your puppy, emailed upon request

The information on the web is vague regarding the health beyond the breeding of F1’s because it varies so much depending on breeder practices.  If a breeder is not health testing their dogs they are crossing their figures and praying to produce puppies with hybrid vigor; which refers to the mating of two different breeds to decrease inherit traits as in the example of IC above.  In regards to diseases such as PRA, vWD, and GR-PRA both parent dogs must be positive or one a carrier for the offspring to have the disease.  This is why DNA health testing is important as only one parent dog needs to be negative of the disease for the off spring to clear of the disease.  All Hilltop Pups’ male dogs are fully DNA tested and female goldendoodles and poodles for vWD; so all future generations produced at Hilltop Pups are as healthy as the First Generation “F1”.