W H O A R E W E ?
Nice to meet you! We are Matthew and Erica, and we live in Houma, Louisiana with our kids and fur babies. We love our job, and we're very very passionate about it. My mother had a dog breeding business most of my childhood, so I learned a lot about breeding along the way. When I grew up and got married, I knew that I wanted a goldendoodle. Our favorite dog when I was younger, Shaggy, was a golden retriever. He was an outside dog because he shed so much, and my brothers were allergic. I saw a picture of a goldendoodle and thought that I had never seen something so beautiful, and I was over the moon that I could have a non-shedding dog that also had the golden retriever temperament. I searched and searched and just couldn't find a goldendoodle from health tested lines near me. I had to purchase our first girl, Ruby, from Pennsylvania. I knew that I wanted to breed Ruby to produce what I couldn't find here, and with my knowledge and background of helping my mom with her breeding business, it was a very easy decision. Our breeding dogs are house pets and run free in our fenced in yard. We also have dogs in guardian homes, which allows us to expand our breeding program while keeping our breeding dogs as loved and well taken care of as possible. Our breeding dogs come from healthy bloodlines and are chosen based on structure, coat, and temperament. Temperament is crucial for our breeding dogs because our puppies usually go to homes with small children, and we want only those good temperaments to be passed down. Structure is also important, because a dog without good structure will most likely have joint issues and other problems as they grow, and it's our goal to produce puppies that will have a sound mind and body. We health test our dogs before we breed them to ensure that you are going to get the healthiest puppy possible. Our dogs are happy and healthy, to ensure that your puppy will be happy and healthy as well.
W H A T G E N E R A T I O N S D O W E B R E E D ?
We currently breed to produce F1b and multigenerational goldendoodles. An F1b is the result of a first generation goldendoodle (golden retriever x poodle) bred back to a standard poodle. Multigenerational goldendoodles are any generation past second generation. When you combine the loyalty and playfulness of a golden retriever and the smartness of a poodle, you get something absolutely wonderful! When bred correctly, goldendoodles have little to no shedding, with the bonus of being giant teddybears. With coat testing, multigenerational goldendoodles will breed true. What does that mean? It means you can expect the puppies to look just like mom and dad. Here's a simple generation breakdown to help you understand:
Golden Retriever x Poodle = F1 Goldendoodle
F1 Goldendoodle x Poodle = F1b Goldendoodle
F1b or later generation x F1b or later generation = Multigenerational Goldendoodle
"a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
H E A L T H T E S T I N G :
"Health tested" doesn't just mean that a local veterinarian did a wellness check. Our parent dogs are thoroughly examined by our veterinarian before breeding, but we also we perform DNA tests on our parent dogs to make sure they are healthy and don't have any genetic diseases or conditions that could be passed down to their puppies. Even if a dog appears healthy and isn't affected by a disease, they could carry a gene for genetic disease, and if bred to another dog that carries the same gene, the puppies will be affected. The diseases that commonly affect goldendoodles are Degenerative Myelopathy, Ichthyosis, Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures, Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Golden Retriever 1 & 2, Progressive Retinal Atrophy-Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration, and Von Willebrand Disease.
A good breeder will ALWAYS perform DNA tests on their parent dogs so that they can make sure that at least one of their parent dogs is clear (a non-carrier) for these diseases. If one parent is clear and does not carry the genes for these diseases, that parent can't pass on the gene and there will be no puppies affected, even if the other parent is a carrier or is affected. A puppy must inherit a mutated gene from BOTH parents in order to be affected by the disease. Some of these diseases don't affect the dog until they are 3 years old or older. If your breeder has a two year health warranty (most common), you could do a simple DNA test (cheek swab) to determine if your dog is affected before they turn 2 years old if you aren't sure if your dog's parents were clear of these diseases. We have used outside studs before to breed with our girls, and in my search for a stud I have found many were carriers for some of these diseases. It is quite common, which is why health testing is so important.
We also screen our parent dogs' hips, elbows, patellas, eyes, and heart. Hip and elbow dysplasia is common in both golden retrievers and standard poodles, and this can be genetic or occur anytime due to environmental factors. However, we still do our part in making sure the genetic factor of dysplasia is taken out of the equation. Usually, genetically caused hip dysplasia will be seen on x-ray after 4 months old. Without an x-ray, it's almost impossible to
diagnose because a dog could go years before showing signs of hip dysplasia and hide their pain from puppyhood very well. The x-ray to the right shows our Godfrey's hips at a year old. If he had hip dysplasia, the joints would be coming out of his sockets. Instead, his joints fit nice and tight in his sockets. We have our veterinarian x-ray each of our parent dogs before they're bred so we can see if they have hip dysplasia or not. We also x-ray their elbows for dysplasia, and our veterinarian will examine our smaller sized parents for luxating patellas (knees). A veterinarian ophthalmologist examines our parent dogs' eyes for juvenile cataracts and other genetic eye diseases, and a cardiologists examines their hearts for genetic heart conditions.
Why do we health test our dogs? We want goldendoodles to be the "no risk" breed when people are looking for a healthy family companion. The number of dogs brought into animal shelters due to these genetic diseases is high. For example: A new puppy owner is excited to bring home their new adorable puppy. The puppy is healthy when brought home and the breeder has the normal health warranty for 2 years. He passes his vet exams with flying colors. The new puppy owner thought he was purchasing a puppy from a "reputable" breeder, when in fact, the breeder doesn't do any health testing at all, they just get wellness checks done on their parent dogs by their local veterinarian. As the dog grows past the age of 2 when the symptoms usually begin, the owners notice that he can no longer see, the dog begins to have trouble walking and moving due to weakness in their limbs, or his skin turns scaly. The dog is no longer under the age of 2, so the breeder warranty is null and void. If the dog owner cannot afford treatment for this genetic disease and does not have the time and energy to manage the symptoms of these diseases, they will sometimes have no choice but to bring their dog to the shelter because there is very little chance of re-homing the dog to someone who is willing to pay for lifelong treatment for the poor dog. We like to think most people would accept their dog no matter what and treat their dog for these diseases, but sadly that is not the world we live in, as proven by the amount of diseased and disabled dogs in shelters. Adopting a wonderful pet, falling in love with it, then loosing that beloved pet to a disease or condition that could have easily been prevented by the breeder is heart breaking. A health warranty will refund your money, but that will not take away the pain and heart break. Please do your research and ask your breeder what health testing they've done.
C O A T T E S T I N G :
Aside from DNA testing for genetic diseases in our parent dogs, we also DNA test their coats for the desired traits that we want to see in our puppies. Many people think that because goldendoodles are "mixes", that the puppies are a complete gamble with structure and coat. This is SO far from the truth. Modern technology has made it possible to predict what kind of colors, coats, and structures we will produce.
Did you know that goldendoodles can range from being flat coated (no beard/eyebrows) with a straight, wavy or curly coat, to being fully furnished (beard/eyebrows) with a straight, wavy, or curly coat? There is also a gene responsible for weak furnishings, where the dog has a beard and eyebrows, but it's a lot thinner and not as fluffy as a dog with normal furnishings. Our goal is to produce allergy friendly teddy bear coats with no curls, loose curls, and tight curls. We will never produce a flat coated goldendoodle, as this is not the breed standard and there will always be moderate to high shedding involved. Flat coated goldendoodles can be very beautiful, but most of our puppy owners prefer the teddy bear non-shedding coats, so that's what we strive to produce. When we have litters, we ask those on the waiting list for the current litter if they are allergic to dogs that shed. We will work with those people who have allergies so they can get the puppy with the least chance of shedding by doing DNA tests on our puppies.
Pictured below are examples of the straight, wavy and curly coats that we currently produce in our litters.
2 straight genes = loose wavy
1 straight gene and 1 curl gene = loose curls
2 curl genes = tight curls or ringlets
All about the Furnishings Gene:
Furnishings are the genes passed down from the poodle that is responsible for shedding, as well as the teddy bear appearance (beard and eyebrows). This is the gene that is responsible for the fluffiness. If a goldendoodle has no furnishing gene, they will have a flat coat, often referred to as an Improper Coat. This will result in an "open face" with no beard or eyebrows, like a golden retriever. A furnishing gene could be weak or strong, but it is dominant, meaning a puppy just needs one furnishing gene in order to exhibit a beard and eyebrows. Puppies with only one furnishing gene that appears to be a weak furnishing gene will take longer to grow in a beard and eyebrows, but it will grow in eventually (usually their coats are a bit weaker and there is some shedding involved). If we know that some of our puppies inherit only one furnishing gene and its a weak one, we are able to determine this early on. Goldendoodles have two genotypes related to furnishings because they inherit one from each parent. There is a gene for Improper Coat and a gene for Furnishings. A golden retriever has two Improper Coat genes (IC/IC), meaning they have no furnishings, and a poodle has two Furnishing genes (F/F). Some rare red poodles only have one Furnishing gene (IC/F), and if bred to an F1 goldendoodle (IC/F), some of the resulting F1b puppies will be flat coated. This is true with multigenerational goldendoodles as well. Below is a chart that shows the results of coat types when breeding goldendoodle parents together with no Furnishing gene, only one Furnishing gene, or two Furnishing genes.
*The highlighted areas are the litters that we produce. The yellow boxes are our F1b puppies, and the orange box is our multigenerational puppies.
All about the curl gene:
A lot of people think that "Straight Coat" means a Flat Coat. That's not true at all, and causes a lot of confusion. A Flat Coat is the result of no furnishing gene, just like a golden retriever with no fluff, beard, or eyebrows. A Straight Coat actually means that a goldendoodle has two non-curl genes, which means they'll have very little, if any, wave or curl to their coat. A Straight Coat on a dog with furnishings (fluff/beard/eyebrows) is actually very beautiful and fluffy, and we produce these non-shedding straight coats in our multigenerational goldendoodle litters. A Flat Coated goldendoodle could also have a wavy or curly coat, so the distinction is important due to so much confusion out there.
There are two genotypes for curl, just like furnishings, since the puppies will inherit one genotype from each parent. The non-curl gene (Cu) comes from the golden retriever, and the curl gene (CuC) comes from the poodle. Golden Retrievers have two non-curl genes (Cu/Cu) resulting in a Straight Coat (no curl), and poodles have two curl genes (CuC/CuC) resulting in a tight Curly Coat. When bred together, each parent will pass down one of their genotypes randomly. ALL F1 goldendoodles (golden retriever x poodle) are (Cu/CuC), which results in a Wavy Coat, because they can only inherit a non-curl gene form the golden retriever parent and a curl gene from the poodle parent. We test the Cu Locus in our dog's DNA to determine which outcome we will get in our puppies. Curly Coats are pretty obvious to determine just by looking at a puppy, but whether a puppy has a Wavy or a Straight Coat is very hard to determine in a puppy without testing. A curl gene can also be strong or weak, and that will determine if a wavy coat (Cu/CuC) will have loose waves or loose curls, but never tight curls like a curly coat (CuC/CuC). You will know if your Wavy Coated goldendoodle has a strong or weak curl gene when their adult coat comes in around 8 months.
All about shedding:
Shedding has nothing to do with the curl gene, and everything to do with the furnishing gene. Most people think that a curly coat will be less likely to shed, but that's far from true. People associate curly with non-shedding because poodles don't shed, but poodles don't shed because they have two Furnishing genes and usually at least one low shed gene (sd/sd and F/F or sd/SD and F/F). For example, yorkies, schnauzers, and maltese all have straight coats and furnishings, and are allergy friendly. CLICK HERE for an article from VetGen that explains the relationship between shedding and the Furnishing gene. For those with severe allergies, we suggest getting a puppy with two furnishings (F/F) and one or two low shedding genes (sd/sd or sd/SD) just to be on the safe side. However, we have had puppies that were IC/F and sd/SD go to homes with those that have mild allergies and their owners have no complaints or reactions, due to the one Furnishing gene not being a weak one. It depends on the severity of the allergies and how strong the Furnishing gene is, so we tests our puppies' coats just in case. Shedding genes are passed down from each parent, just like curl and furnishings.
T H E I M P O R T A N C E O F G O O D S T R U C T U R E :
As breeders, it's our job to never stop trying to improve our lines. Structure is a huge part of this, as we should be producing dogs with both sound minds and sound bodies. A dog's conformation is it's overall structure. Good conformation allows a dog to move correctly and remain active for it's whole life without going lame or developing arthritis. This is why conformation is one of the most important assets that is judged in a dog show. If there is a structural fault in one of our parent dogs, we make sure that we pair them to a mate that does not have that specific fault. If we do, the puppies could have a more exaggerated form of this fault and be in pain for their whole life. The most common faults in goldendoodles are straight chests, lack of rear angulation, uneven toplines, high rear ends, and short necks. These are things we look for when choosing a puppy for our breeding program at 7 to 8 weeks old, as well as temperament, health, and coat quality. We will never breed a dog with a major fault that we cannot fix by pairing them with a better mate, especially if this fault will cause joint issues in their puppies. Some faults are too risky and would take up to 5 generations to breed out of certain lines, so we have to be careful when choosing who we should breed together.
A L L A B O U T P U P P Y C U L T U R E :
In our program, we use Puppy Culture training protocols. This begins when the puppies are 3 days old, and ends when they go home with you. The Puppy Culture way is a GREAT way to ensure that your puppy will have the greatest chance of being healthy, happy, smart, and socialized.
When the puppies are 3 days old until they are 16 days old, we do early neurological stimulation exercises with each puppy. Dogs who undergo these exercises at this age are proven to have greater tolerance to stress, greater residence to disease, stronger heart rate, stronger heartbeat, and a faster adrenal system. After that, beginning at 3 weeks old, we get them used to their litter box. They learn early on that there is a specific place to go, and that they can't just go anywhere. When they go home, they are completely litter boxed trained and it is very easy to house train them. You can simply put the litter box outside or sprinkle it in the grass so your puppy will know what to do when he/she goes home. They also begin playing with a new toy each day and socializing with as many people as possible at 3 weeks old. At 4 weeks old, we introduce problem solving activities and different challenges for your puppy to work through. To quote Jane Killion, the creator of Puppy Culture, "animals who are given learning and problem solving activities in addition to toys and social interaction grow up to be more stable, less easily stressed, less easily frightened, with better learning and memory than animals who are given the same toys and socialization with no learning and problem solving". We also work on manding (learn to sit instead of jump for attention), grooming, food aggression, and getting the puppies used to different heights and surfaces, as well as textures. Puppy Culture focuses on making each new thing a positive experience for your puppy early on, so that they are used to the necessary things like baths, grooming, and crate training by the time they go home with you. Because we focus on using positive reinforcement from such a young age, your puppy will love to please. We try our best to prepare our puppies for their new homes using Puppy Culture, but the rest depends on you. Studies show that a dog is the most receptive to learning in the first 12 weeks. What they learn during the first 12 weeks of life will stay with them forever. Our puppies go home at 8 weeks old, so we encourage each of our puppy owners to purchase the Puppy Culture video, "The Powerful First 12 Weeks" and use weeks 8 through 12 to the best of their ability. Watching these videos, you'll learn how your puppy learns and what the best ways to train them are. Jane Killion's book, "When Pigs Fly" is another resource we highly recommend. You'll see things through your dog's eyes and these training techniques begin to make complete sense. This will also prepare you and help you tackle obstacles that could arise. We've found that our puppies transition a lot better when our puppy owner's prepare with Puppy Culture before bringing their puppy home. Click the icon below to order Jane Killion's videos (on demand or DVD) or books: