Yes, this seems to be the going rate for a miniature Goldendoodle pup. That’s a lot of cheddar! Murray, the “Accidoodle” (he’s Poodle mixed with something) I adopted from my organization, the Peninsula Humane Society, set me back $60 with my staff discount. Someone off the street could have nabbed scruffy Murray for $120. And that includes all vaccinations, a microchip, health check and, in Murray’s case, a neuter surgery.
I’m not going to make this article a “breeders are bad/shelters are good” piece. There are responsible and irresponsible breeders just as there are a wide range of shelters and rescue groups.
Naturally, since I work for a humane society, I want people to at least consider adopting. Then again, I know some folks love a particular breed and that timing can be an issue. They have an ideal window for bringing a new pet into their family and can’t wait for their ideal dog to show up at a shelter. Or, they want their ideal breed and a puppy – a dog they can train from day one. Or, maybe they have allergies and need to limit their search to dogs less likely to cause a reaction. I get it. Some people go to breeders.
Does more money buy a better dog? Depends how one defines “better.” If that definition has anything to do with how much you’ll love the new dog, I’d say money is irrelevant. I know lots of people with dogs. Those who worked with breeders don’t love their dogs any more than those who adopted from shelters or rescue groups.
If better is defined by more obedient, more money gives no guarantees. An adult shelter dog could have behavioral challenges which make training more difficult or could also be fully trained at the time of the adoption. A purebred pup from a breeder is a blank slate (that is, if the pup wasn’t taken from the litter too early). Puppies require loads of time for obedience training, housetraining and socialization.
What about health and life span? Again, even those who pay thousands for a purebred have no long-term guarantee of perfect health, although they may receive pet insurance with their purchase. And, I don’t know of any shelter or rescue group that can guarantee long-term health either. If dogs have medical issues, responsible shelters and rescues disclose this from the beginning.
Who bonds more with their owner – the adopted dog or the pricey purebred? I seriously doubt this has been studied, though many adopters say they truly believe the dog they adopted seems grateful for giving them a second chance. I’ll be challenged on that idea, no question. But, there is no questioning the strong feelings adopters have knowing they saved a dog’s life and provided that second (sometimes third or fourth) chance.
On the marketing end, goldendoodles – with the name alone -- kick butt over anything we have at the shelter . Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Puggles (Pug/Beagle mix) and Cockapoos (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix) are fun to say.
Maybe the key is rebranding our shelter dogs – I’ve posted their photos with this article. Tyson, our Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix, could be a Jackahuahua or JackCheese. How about Mini Pinchi for Bo, our Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua? Murphy, the Corgi/Chihuahua mix, should be repackaged as a Chorgi. I can’t seem to get my head around the Lab/Shepherd crosses which occasionally come into our care. Shlab just doesn’t cut it. Suggestions welcome!