Frequently Asked Questions

What size are your puppies full-grown?

It depends on the litter!!  Our adult dogs range from 20-80 lbs; therefore, we offer three different sizes from which to choose. Our Miniatures (minis) are 20-35 lbs, Mediums 35-50 lbs and our Standards are 50-85 lbs. We do NOT breed any puppies that will be smaller than 20 lbs full-grown because ALL Retrievers are at LEAST 60 lbs full grown; if we keep breeding back to miniature poodle (to get smaller and smaller) we essentially breed out all of the Retriever genetics. Many miniature goldendoodles are (genetically, when DNA tested) are mostly miniature poodle.

At what age do you spay and neuter your puppies?

We don't! It's not healthy to spay or neuter dogs until they have gone through puberty. Research confirms that spaying or neutering young puppies affects bone density and joints; therefore, if you spay/neuter prior to age nine months old, our Health Guarantee will not cover hip/elbow/patella displaysia. We do require our puppy buyers to sign a contract stating they will spay or neuter their puppy after age 9 months old (after puberty) to prevent cancers and pyometra.

Breeding rights are potentially available for approved breeders, call us for more information.

What colors do you have available?

Unlike most breeders, we do NOT breed for any particular color. Poodles (like people!) come in dozens of colors and so do our doodles. We embrace diversity (in both people and in dogs!!!) and we Love and Celebrate ALL different colors. Our puppies are red, cream, apricot, black, chocolate, merle, grey, silver, brown, and Parti (white with colored spots). That said, we highly discourage families from choosing a puppy based JUST on color!! Coat color can and (probably will) change as the puppy ages! This is the reason why our family selection date is when the puppies are at least six weeks old; families can then assess personality, coat-type, size and activity level before choosing their puppy. If color is your number one priority, Peters Puppies will not be a good fit; you may be better served by an online pet store (such as Puppy Spot).  Please check our current litters for more information on our current wait-list process. 

How much are your puppies?

All of our goldendoodle puppies, regardless of size, gender or color, are $3800. Our bernedoodle puppies are $4500. Yes, you absolutely can find less expensive puppies elsewhere, but this is one of those times when you really do get what you pay for. ALL of our eight week old puppies have been overnight crate-trained (11pm-5am), doggy-door trained, trained to go up/down ramps, taken OUTSIDE to toilet every two hours (we do NOT use potty pads, newspaper or litter boxes) and our puppies are groomed weekly (starting at age 4 weeks old). We raise all of our puppies with bio-sensory training and Service Dog desensitization protocols learned from raising puppies for Upstate Guide Dogs; we do not add on extra charges for our puppy training program, as we do these protocols with every puppy we raise. Watch our daily videos on our Facebook page and read our reviews!! MANY of our puppies become service dogs and therapy dogs. Our parent dogs undergo extensive health testing, including DNA, Penn Hip, OFA elbows, cardiac and patella. Read our 250 reviews to see WHY our puppies are special and worth the investment. If you find an inexpensive puppy or a puppy available immediately, I urge you to ask the breeder for a veterinarian reference and call the doctor's office to verify the legitimacy of the program. 

Are doodles hypoallergenic and nonshedding?

There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog; some people are allergic to dog saliva or dander, not the fur. That said, our dogs are low to non-shedding and many allergy-sufferers can tolerate our dogs. We can do a T-shirt test for you (you send us a T-shirt and we will have our dogs sleep with it and add dog hair) so that you can gauge the severity of your allergic reaction. Also, we are happy to DNA coat test puppies for you (the DNA testing/lab fee applies) prior to the selection date, to help you select the most allergy friendly of the puppies. DNA testing is the only way to know for CERTAIN  if a puppy is Plus/Plus for Curl and F/F for furnishings and N/N for shedding. If you have severe allergies, it is quite possible that you will not tolerate a goldendoodle; unfortunately, we are unable to place puppies in homes on a "trial" basis. Please consult with your allergist prior to reserving a puppy.

Do you DNA test?

We DNA test all of our adult dogs prior to breeding; therefore, our puppies are guaranteed to NEVER get any of the genetically inheritable diseases for which we are able to test through Paw Print genetics (see list on our health guarantee). Of course, not all genetic diseases are testable in advance (nor are diseases such as cancer), but as science evolves, we add more tests to our program. Upon request, (lab and DNA kit fees apply) we can also DNA coat test puppies for you, to see which puppy is the most hypoallergenic based on furnishing, curl, and shed genes.

How and Where do you raise your puppies?

Inside our home, using Service Dog Protocols! Specifically, the first few weeks of life our puppies are raised right in our bedrooms in our home near Raleigh, NC. Then (age 4 weeks old) puppies are moved into dining room, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of our busy family and other dogs. Our puppies have a doggy-door to go outside into a 3500 sq foot play yard, and we begin the housebreaking process at age four weeks old. We begin crate-training at age five weeks old, which is why our puppies are Well on their way to being housebroken by age eight weeks old. Check out our Facebook for pictures and daily live-stream videos.

Do you ship your puppies?

Because our puppies are crate-trained, we are happy to have our puppies fly WITH you in-cabin from Raleigh, NC airport (or Charlotte) but we will not ship our puppies in cargo. The cargo areas of planes are not climate controlled. We also have established a trusting relationship with Here 2 There transport; Tiffany will drive JUST our puppies to you for a fee (you can contact her directly for a quote). Contact us for more information regarding delivery.

Why do so many of your dogs become service dogs?

Sandy started puppy raising for Upstate Guide Dogs in the mid 90’s. Our puppies are raised with Early Neurological Stimulation, Puppy Culture, and Service Dog Protocols inside our home. Our program is modeled after the Monks of New Skete (Google "The Art of Raising a Puppy") and many of our puppies (over the last 25 years) have become service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs.

What's the difference between a service dog, therapy dog, and emotional support dog?

Service dogs are trained to do a specific task. For instance, several of our dogs have become diabetic alert dogs and will alert a type-1 diabetic if their blood sugar is too low or too high. Service dogs must pass basic dog obedience, Canine Good Citizen Training, and then advanced task training. Service dogs often take several years to train and they MUST be trained to do a specific task to mitigate the owner's disability. Service dogs have full access under the American for Disabilities Act.

Therapy dogs are dogs with especially calm temperaments who provide comfort to people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools etc. Therapy dogs must have their basic dog obedience certification, their Canine Good Citizen Certification, and their Therapy dog certification through an agency. Therapy dogs are not allowed full access under the American for Disabilities Act.

Emotional support dogs provide emotional support to their owner (usually a person with anxiety). Emotional support dogs do not require specific task training and they are not allowed full access under the American for Disabilities Act.

Do doodles need to be groomed regularly?

YES! Because they don’t shed, all doodles should be groomed every 8 - 10 weeks at the minimum. See my resources page for grooming resources.

Can I visit the puppies?

Our puppies are raised INSIDE our home. For the safety of our family and our puppies, we cannot allow virtual strangers into our home. We do provide visits via Zoom or Skype and we also post DAILY videos on our Facebook page. Like and follow our page

How and when do I pick my puppy?

You choose your puppy (by Zoom or Skype) when puppies are approximately 6-7 weeks old (go home age 8 weeks old). We wait that long to have families choose their puppy because trainers often need to  Volhard temperament test our puppies to determine which will be the best service/therapy dog prospects. Service and therapy dog prospects will be chosen by Peters Puppies and the trainer (no requests for gender/color will be considered); we reserve first pick of every litter for Service dog prospects or for Peters Puppies. We strongly encourage families to choose a puppy based on temperament, size, and coat type, not JUST color/gender, and we will speak about each puppy's personality on our Facebook page during our videos. Like and follow our Facebook page

Families will choose their puppy in the order of when we received their reservation. Families indicate interest in a litter by logging into our website portal with their secure Pin number (provided after the reservation fee is remitted). The website portal shows exactly what litters are available, how many girls/boys and the attributes of the coat type (curly, furnished etc.). Families who have allergies should only select from the litters that are plus/plus curl and double furnished (FF). Please watch the video on our Facebook page and also use the search bar on the FB and type in allergies for more information.

Do you have any references?

We have hundreds of five star reviews on our Facebook page and also Google. Be aware that if a breeder does NOT have reviews posted, it's because the breeder manually turned that tab OFF.  Also, you can email our vet directly for a vet reference. The fastest way to weed out a puppy mill is to ask the breeder to provide references!!

What do you feed your dogs?

We feed our dogs and puppies TLC Whole Life dog food (not the puppy food, which is too high in protein). TLC dog food has three different sources of protein to help mitigate food allergies and it contains the right protein, calcium and phosphorus ratios. It's also a "Whole life" food, which means that both adult dogs and puppies can all eat it. We have switched dog foods five times in seven years, due to recalls and new data!  For example, the FDA recently found that grain-free diets causes deadly DCM heart disease. TLC has the appropriate grains and has never had a recall. Order online at and use promo code 94661-1025 (for $5 off).

How long is your waiting list?

Families generally get on our waiting list about 9-12 months prior to taking home a puppy, although we do sometimes have last minute availability. WHEN you reserved your puppy may have little bearing on when you will actually get your puppy, as the more specific you are about your desires (example, miniature size, curly, red, female) then the longer the waiting time because we have fewer puppies meeting your criteria. Families who are flexible on gender/color/coat/size will often be able to choose from a litter within 4-6 months of joining the waiting list. If we receive too many reservations that we don't think you will get a puppy within a year, we will again CLOSE our waiting list. We aren't comfortable having families reserve more than a year out because as we all know, Life Happens. Lastly, I URGE you to be cautious right now because scammers abound; scammers regularly steal my photos/videos, take your deposit, and then disappear! Ask the breeder for references and read the reviews!!!!

What type of health testing do you do?

Our adult dogs are given a thorough physical exam (including blood work and fecal) by a reproductive specialist vet (90 minutes away) prior to every breeding. We also  DNA test all our adult dogs so that we can breed out hundreds of genetically inheritable diseases, such as Von Willdebrands and Degenerative Myleopathy.  Although Hip and elbow Dysplasia are often caused by environmental factors (NOT genetics), we also X-ray our adult dogs' hips and elbows to help prevent dysplasia. We offer a lifetime guarantee for the diseases for which we are able to test (Paw Print genetics) and a two year guarantee for displaysia and other diseases (see health guarantee for a complete list). Most of our dogs also have certifications by the OFA for cardiac, patella, eyes and thyroid.

Do you puppies come with their shots and microchips?

Our puppies go to our vet at age 6-7 weeks of age for a full examination and their first DHPP shots (NOT LEPTO). We do not buy shots online and self-administer (to save money) because we feel that it's important that our puppies are examined and treated by a licensed veterinarian! Online and Tractor Supply vaccinations may not have been stored at the correct temperature (refrigeration is required) and many vets will not even accept the shot records when a breeder self-administers puppies' vaccines. While it's costly to have a vet examine and administer puppy vaccinations, we feel that it is absolutely necessary.

We no longer microchip puppies before they go to their homes. In 2016, we had six puppies (out of 12) that had SEVERE reactions from microchips that migrated. Those six puppies required surgeries (and months and months of antibiotics) which resulted in many other immune related issues later. Leaving our home and getting vaccines is stress enough on our puppies, without adding in microchipping. Instead, we suggest that families microchip their puppy when the puppy is older and the immune system is more mature. Please watch this video

Do you recommend pet insurance?

Absolutely. We provide our puppy families with a certificate for 30 days of free Trupanion pet insurance. We provide you with Trupanion because they do not have a "waiting" period or underwriting period, and we have found that most puppy accidents occur during the first two weeks of going home. However, Trupanion is one of the most expensive pet insurance plans; you may want to change to another insurance company during that first month. Our personal dogs have Nationwide Pet Insurance, and we hear that Healthy Paws, Figo, PetPlan are also other good options. Pet insurance is sold at a minimal cost and it will easily pay for itself if your puppy has any type of illness or accident.

What does your puppy come with when we first take them home?

Our puppies come with a licensed vet exam record, their first shots, training information, and a goody bag. In addition, we also send you home with your puppy's "lovey", the SNUGGLE PUPPY that has been your puppy's crate buddy since age five weeks old.

Are your puppies "Registered"?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not register doodles. It took AKC over 100 years to recognize and register Golden Retrievers (which was a deliberate mix of Water Tweed Spaniel and flat coat retriever in the 1800s in Scotland). We do NOT register our dogs/puppies with GANA because that registry organization REQUIRES that we microchip puppies; we experienced HUGE issues with micro-chipping our babies in the past and no longer find micro-chipping safe (see FAQ about shots/microchip). See video

How do I reserve a puppy?

The first step is to complete the application on this website. You will then be invited to attend an information (question/answer) session via Zoom. Generally, we have several dozen families attending and these information sessions can sometimes lasts up to 2 hours. After the Zoom meeting, if you wish to join the Peters Puppies Master Waiting list, please request an invoice for the application/reservation processing fee ( $500 nonrefundable). The $500 fee is nonrefundable (although this fee does go towards the purchase price) even if a puppy is never purchased, as Peters Puppies has already provided the consultation time and application processing. NO EXCEPTIONS. Please realize that most families will ultimately wait 6-12 months or more to get one of our puppies; we do not mass produce. The application fee will go towards the final balance (paid online) when the litter list is finalized, when the puppies are four weeks old. Puppies will go to their homes at age eight weeks old. If you have specific needs or desires, your wait time for a puppy will increase. For example, if you only want one particular gender, then your wait time will be double that of someone who is flexible on gender, because half of the puppies will be the gender that you do not want. If you are getting a service or therapy dog, the waiting time is significantly longer and your puppy will be chosen for you by the service dog trainer.

What is your contract/health guarantee?

You can view or sign it here: