The Puppy-Family Matching Process
There is no bad dog, only a dog in the wrong environment.
The matching process is a very important aspect of our breeding program. Puppies, like people, are born with different aptitudes. A puppy who is sound sensitive should not go to a house with small children; a puppy who is very playful and energetic should not go to a home with a retired couple; a quiet puppy will do well in a quiet environment; and so forth. In our program, there are four important considerations when matching a puppy to his family: the family’s preferences, our observations of the puppy’s behavior as he grows and develops, the result of the Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing, and the family’s place in the reservation list.
When you submit your application, you will let us know your preferences and we will do our best to match you with a puppy that meets your choices, but our focus and priority is on temperament. The more flexible you are with sex and color, the more chances there are for a successful match.
We observe puppies from day 1 and watch them develop and grow. We see how a puppy interacts with his mom, his litter mates, and with us, his caretakers. We have a chance of getting to know our puppies well and our observations are very important in the matching process.
The Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing (PAT)
This test was developed so that puppies could be evaluated to determine their suitability to become guide dogs. For us, the Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing (PAT) is a great tool, for it gives us an objective evaluation that is very different from the information we collect from our own observations. The PAT is administered in an unfamiliar location by a professional who the puppy has never seen before. The puppy is in a completely foreign situation; he is in his raw element, so to speak. You can see the content of the test here.
The PAT tell us nothing about the puppy’s personality: the puppy does not have a personality yet; his personality will be shaped by the experiences he has growing up and by the way he is trained. The test gives us guidelines that help us train the puppy to become that best dog that he can be: a very sensitive puppy does not need sharp corrections; a very self-confident and dominant puppy will need a firm handler; social attraction degree will help us determine which puppy is more independent and will tolerate some hours alone better than others; and so forth.
Note: You will not get a copy of your puppy’s Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Test; we also use the test to choose breeders for our program and a lot of the information in the test is irrelevant when considering the dog as a pet.
Place in the Reservation List
All things being equal, the family who paid the deposit first will have preference. For example: if there are two families who want a female and there is only one female in a litter -- and both families are a good match with that female puppy -- that puppy will be matched with the family who paid the deposit first.
Labradoodles need human interaction.
Labradoodles are easy to train because they are very people oriented and like to please. They need their human companionship. Most labradoodles will not do well spending long hours alone.
It takes very little time to ruin a perfectly loving and obedient puppy.
You will be getting a high-quality pup from us, but it is you who will develop the puppy into becoming the ideal dog for you. Without training, love, and dedication, a high-quality puppy cannot develop to its full potential. To make an analogy to sculpture: you are getting a fine block of marble, but you will have to do the chiseling to uncover the amazing puppy that is in there.
Puppies have a lot of energy.
Puppies need to have their exercise needs met; luckily, puppies also sleep a lot -- about 80% of the time in the beginning. Some dogs take longer than others to mature into adulthood: from 9 months to 1 ½ years in some cases.
Timing is everything.
Make sure this is the right time to bring a puppy into your home. It is very difficult to train a puppy well when a family has very young children. Puppies need to be caught in the act to receive a correction; there is no point in getting angry with a puppy who went potty in the house if we don’t catch him doing it – a few seconds later he has no idea what we are angry about. A person who is changing a diaper cannot drop everything to take the puppy who is peeing on the floor outside, or hurry to give the puppy who is chewing the rug a chewable toy instead.