Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What health testing do you perform on your breeding dogs?
A. We are a Blue Ribbon Goldendoodle breeder in the USA registered with the Goldendoodle Association of North America. In order to achieve and maintain Blue Ribbon status (the best rating as a breeder) with G.A.N.A., we must submit all testing results from Paw Prints Genetics, Upstate Veterinary Services and Licensed Veterinarians to G.A.N.A. for our certification. Our requirements and protocol for parent testing are as follows:
Prelim OFA or Dr. Wallace report for hip scores of Fair, Good, Excellent, for x-rays taken 4 mos. of age or later. Note that for any dog receiving a Fair rating prior to age of 2 yrs. (OFA prelim rating or Wallace report), a Final OFA or Wallace report with x-rays taken after 2 yrs. of age or later is required to remain as a qualified breeding dog;
Final OFA or Dr. Wallace report for hip scores of Fair, Good, Excellent, for x-rays taken at 24 mos. of age or later.
Pennhip score of 50% or above done at 4 mos. of age or later;
OVC prelim or permanent with normal rating (permanent needs to be submitted by 22 mos. for dams, 20 mos. for studs)
For a breeding dog that scores a Fair rating before 2 years of age, another x-ray should be taken at age 2 or after (final OFA or Wallace report) which scores Fair or above is required to be submitted by 28 mos. for dams or 26 mos. for studs. Also acceptable to qualify a Fair OFA or Wallace rating taken before age 2 is a PennHip with a score of 50% or above completed any time after 4 mos. of age.
OFA Permanent heart clearance (Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles only). A stud may qualify for breeding prior to the age of one with a OFA Cardiac prelim clearance. In this circumstance, the stud will need to have a OFA Cardiac final clearance after the age of one.
Bi-Annual (30 day grace period) Completed exam form, certificate from OFA or CERF, or print out from www.OFFA.org – showing the OFA eye exam date
prcd-PRA: One clear prcd-PRA parent required per breeding pair. Poodles (all sizes), Goldendoodles, Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles can carry the prcd-PRA mutation. Since both parents must carry the affected gene for their offspring to be affected by that mutation, one clear parent in the breeding pair is required. For a breeding dog to be “clear via parentage” both parents must be clear (without the gene). To clear a dog for prcd-PRA, it can be done via DNA by any lab approved by the OFA; or by submitting its parents’ lab approved by the OFA DNA test for prcd-PRA showing they are both clear.
vWd (von Willebrand Disease, canine bleeding disorder): At least one clear in the breeding pair. Poodles and Goldendoodles can be cleared by parentage or by DNA testing. Golden Retrievers are not required to be tested as they are not risk for vWd. Therefore, if one of the breeding pair is a Golden Retriever, it will count as the clear parent. Poodles and Goldendoodles do not have to be tested for vWd if they are paired only with a clear partner for breeding. To clear a dog for vWd: Submit DNA test results from an OFA approved lab for the dog, or submit DNA test from an OFA approved lab results showing both dog’s parents are clear.
GR-PRA1: One clear GR-PRA1 parent required per breeding pair. Goldendoodles and Golden Retrievers can carry the GR-PRA1 mutation. Since both parents must carry the affected gene for their offspring to be affected by that mutation, one clear parent in the breeding pair is required. Poodles do not carry the PRA/GR-PRA1 mutation; therefore, if one of the breeding pair is a Poodle, it will count as the clear parent. For a breeding dog to be “clear via parentage” both parents must be clear (without the gene). To clear a dog for GR-PRA1, it can be done via DNA by any lab approved by the OFA; or by submitting both parents clear GR-PRA1 DNA results from any DNA lab approved by the OFA.
Prelim or permanent clear rating at 4 mos. of age or later.
Permanent clear rating (mini/toy Poodles and mini/medium Goldendoodles only). A stud may qualify for breeding prior to the age of one with a OFA Patella prelim clearance. In this circumstance, the stud will need to have a OFA Patella final clearance after the age of one.
Additional testing recommended for all levels
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Annual eye exams (CERF/CAER)
NOTE: GANA accepts results from the labs approved by OFA. A list of these approved labs is available here: OFA and GANA approved DNA labs.
Q. What happens if your breeding dog fails any of the testing?
A. Our potential breeding dogs are never bred until all testing has been completed and passing results are achieved and sent to GANA. If we are retesting a breeder parent, which we are required to do by GANA, and the parent fails the test, we remove that breeder from our program. We do not need to re-home as all of our breeders live with Guardian Families. We are not a kennel.
Q. Do you offer a Health Guarantee for your pups?
A. Yes we do. Two years against any genetic defects. Click here for full details.
Q. What happens when your dogs are retired?
A. All of our breeder dogs live with Guardian families that are contractually bound to River Falls Guidelines for a Guardian Parent. We only take possession of the female during estrus for 7-10 days and one week before the pups are born to nest and after birth completing the weening process. That said, all of our breeding dogs are already in their forever homes when they retire.
Q. How often do you breed your females?
A. We breed our females as they enter estrus just as nature intended and research recommends. Usually once per year. All of our breeders are vet checked before and after a litter for health and well-being.
Q. When do you know if your female is actually pregnant?
A. We cannot guarantee a pregnancy, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. If for any reason your chosen pairing does not result in a pregnancy, we will do our best to accommodate you on another list, or we will gladly refund your deposit. We've tried Ultrasounds but the results of how many pups in the womb have been inaccurate so we discontinued routine tests. If the female doesn't show normal signs of pregnancy in her 6-7th week we will then consider ultrasound for confirmation.
Q. How long is the pregnancy?
A. Average 63 days from first breeding.
Q. When can I take my puppy home?
A. Because we all have different schedules, we do a puppy pickup week that includes two weekends for your convenience. Puppy must be 8 weeks old to fly. We ask that when you make your deposit, you make sure you will be available to take your puppy at 8 weeks. We do charge $35 per day for caring for your puppy after 8 weeks of age. Individual care and training require our resources as we continue with crate, potty and sensory stimulation training etc... As we have other family obligations, we may not be available to keep your pup after the 8 week mark. Please let us know asap if you need this service.
Q. How many names do you take on a deposit list for a puppy?
A. We generally take 5 to 8 names depending on the size of the female. Standards usually produce more than Mini's. Of course, we cannot guarantee the amount of puppies, but we can usually transfer your deposit to another litter if there are not enough pups to fill the need. (We cannot jump ahead of the people already on that list though) or we will gladly refund your deposit.
Breeding is always at the mercy of Mother Nature. Sometimes breeding's don’t take, pregnancies fail, puppies fail to thrive and occasionally don’t make it. We are experienced and do our very best to make sure none of these things happen. We liaise with our experienced vets.
Q. What do you feed your puppies?
A. We have done extensive research and we have chosen TLC All Stages for our adult non- breeding pets and TLC Puppy Formula for our pregnant females and puppies. TLC is our exclusive pet food. The cost is .66 cents per feeding following the proper feeding amounts for adult dogs. It is extremely important to follow feeding guidelines and not over feed your pup. This is the most common reason for over weight dogs. Click here for full details on TLC and why we recommend their awesome products including food and treats. Click here for TLC's review on Dog Food Advisory.
Q. How do I reserve one of your puppies?
A. Click here for our current and upcoming litters. Decide which litter you would like a puppy from. Click here for our application to fill out and send to us for review. All other details can be found on our Adoption page. We will reply within 24 hours if not sooner via email upon approval. After you receive your approval, you can then send your deposit in the amount $500 to River Falls Goldendoodles 117 Dill Drive Piedmont SC, 29673. Once we receive your deposit, we will reply with where you are in the picking order a long with a Puppy Personality profile for us to help you pick the pup with the personality, temperament and look you desire.
Q. I want a male, how can I be sure of that?
A. We cannot guarantee that you will get the gender of puppy you want with any particular litter. It depends on where you are on the list, the gender of the puppies we get, and prior choices. Having an open mind is often the best approach. We recommend you let us help you choose your puppy based on it’s personality and traits that you like, as opposed to the gender of the puppy. Research has dictated the stereotypical differences in male and female are mostly myth and their personalities will evolve from their human interaction, environment and training. If you are sure you want a particular gender and there are not enough, we are happy to put you on an additional list for a later breeding. This will incur an additional deposit of $500, and the total amount of deposits made will be put towards your final balance.
There is always range of personalities between male and female pups within each litter. The puppies are of mild temperament and are very well socialized so we don’t get particularly dominant or submissive puppies in either gender.
Q. When do I pick my puppy?
A. Puppy visits start after 6 weeks of age, by appointment. Before 6 weeks of age, puppies immune systems are not strong enough for us to allow visitation. As the puppies reach 6 weeks old we will have a scheduled "Visit/Pick Day". We schedule visit/pick day after birth and will notify each family within 1 week after birth when visit/pick day will be. We ask everyone to observe and have in mind a few puppies with 1st, 2nd , 3rd choice etc... This helps if you are a little further down the list in puppy selection. Also, we will help you adopt the perfect companion based on a Puppy Personality Profile Sheet you fill out and return to us after your deposit is received to secure your spot. Personality is where the match is most important. You tell us key traits you are looking for on the profile sheet and we match the puppy that matches you. We can also call or use video Skype/Facetime on "Visit day" if you are unable to come in person. If you miss you call or visit on puppy visit day River Falls will select your pup for your family based your Personality Profile.