Frequently Asked Questions

What size are your puppies full-grown?

It depends on the litter!!  Our adult dogs range from 25-60 lbs, so depending on which set of parents, we have three different sizes from which to choose. We do NOT breed any puppies that will be smaller than 25 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 would essentially breed out all of the Retriever genetics. Any "mini" that you see that weighs less than 25 lbs is genetically OVER 90 percent miniature poodle, which affects the dog's temperament. Please check our litters page for more information on our current litters.

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?

Poodles come in dozens of colors and so do our doodles. Most often our puppies are red, cream, apricot, black, chocolate, and Parti (white with colored spots). That said, we highly discourage families from choosing a puppy based JUST on color!! This is the reason why our family selection date is when the puppies are at least seven weeks old; families can then assess personality, coat-type, size and activity level before choosing their puppy.  Check our current litters for more info.

How much are your puppies?

All of our Standard size doodles (over 35 lbs full grown) are $2500, and miniature size puppies (under 35 pounds full grown) are $2800, regardless of gender or color. Miniature size puppies are more expensive because small dogs often require artificial insemination and their litter size is much smaller.

Are doodles hypoallergenic and nonshedding?

There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog; however, our dogs are low to non-shedding and most 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.

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. 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, but we will not ship our puppies in cargo. The cargo areas of planes are not climate controlled. Our son will personally deliver our puppies to many locations along the East Coast for $1 per loaded mile. 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?

Yes! Our puppies are all raised in our home, 30 minutes west of Raleigh, NC. If you've placed a deposit on one of our puppies, you're welcome to come visit during our regular Saturday visiting hours, as posted on our Facebook page.  Because we homeschool (and our puppies are one hundred percent inside our home) we cannot accommodate visitors during other days of the week. For our puppies' and children's safety, we cannot allow those who do NOT have a deposit to visit.

How and when do I pick my puppy?

You choose your puppy on the family selection date, which is the Saturday after the puppies are 7 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 dog prospects. Sandy sets the selection date as soon as the puppies are born. This allows families to choose a puppy based on temperament, size, and coat type, not JUST color/gender or based on just a photograph. Please read about the Volhard temperament test if your puppy will be a service dog, emotional support dog, or therapy dog. Sandy can help coordinate a trainer to conduct temperament testing for you (the trainer does charge a fee). Families choose their puppy in the order of when we received their deposit, on the selection date, and Skype is also available. If we get to your selection time and there isn't a puppy that meets your needs, our deposits are fully refundable. If a family does select a puppy, the balance is due at that time.

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 Dr. Cindy Jones at Hillcreek Vet Hospital in Pittsboro NC for a 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 tlcpet.com and use promo code 94661-1025 (for $5 off).

Do you have recommended puppy supplies?

Yes, please view our helpful products page for a complete list of all the puppy supplies we recommend.

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 7 weeks of age for a full examination and their first DHPP shots. 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 will microchip your puppy (if you desire) and it's required if you want us to register your puppy with GANA; however, be aware that in 2016 we had six puppies that had SEVERE reactions from microchips that migrated. Those six puppies required surgeries (and months of antibiotics) which resulted in many other immune related issues later. We prefer to have our families microchip our puppy when the puppy is older and the immune system is more mature. Please watch this video https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/11/14/how-safe-are-pet-microchips.aspx

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"?

Our adult dogs are registered with AKC and CKC and we provide you with the CKC application to register your puppy. 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 https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/11/14/how-safe-are-pet-microchips.aspx

How do I reserve a puppy?

If you placed a deposit before April 23, 2020, the $1000 deposit is fully refundable at any time for any reason. However, (because of Covid-19 ) we have been forced to change our policy going forward. Now, in order to get on our Master Waiting List, we require a $500 nonrefundable application/wait-list  processing fee. Please realize that most families will need to wait six months or more to get one of our puppies as we do not mass produce. The application fee will go towards the final balance which is paid on the puppy selection date, at age seven weeks old.  As we confirm pregnancies, we will contact those families on our waiting list (in order of deposit received) to see if that is the litter list that you want. Generally, our puppies are reserved before our puppies are born; if you have specific needs or desires, your wait time for a puppy may be in excess of a year.

What is your new contract?

You can view or sign it here: peterspuppies.com/contract