FAQ

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”.