Frequently Asked Questions
Joining the TFG Family, Meeting, and Selecting Your Puppy
Joining the TFG Family is as simple as ABC...
Our online application is streamlined for you convenience. We want to get a basic feel of who you are and what you are looking for in a puppy . If we are a match and your application is approved, we will be in touch with you within 24 hours.
OKAY...Cheesy we know...but we needed a good "b" word for placing a refundable deposit, and nothing was even close to appropriate. BESTOW (entrust, impart, or invest)...as close as we could get to describing our deposit policy. We want you to commit to us, but we also do not want to hold your deposit hostage. So we want you to bestow a $500 refundable deposit (which will go towards your final payment) prior to being committed to our waiting list
Once you fill out our puppy application and place a refundable deposit, we promise to commit to making your experience with us enjoyable, honest, transparent, and truthful. We not only want you to be pleased with your puppy and us, but we want our puppy to be pleased with you too. We are here for the life-time of our puppy, and we will be responsive prior, during, and after you take one of our precious petite minis home.
Can we come to meet you, your dogs, the puppies, and visit your home?
ABSOULTELY! Our doors are open to you and you are welcome to visit our home. We simply ask that you make an appointment before coming to visit. After the puppies have arrived, we do not allow visits prior to the litter reaching five weeks of age. Mainly because you will not see their little personalities prior to five weeks. Puppies between birth and four weeks are quite boring and can easily become ill. Since we have a very limited window for scheduling puppy visits, we request that you let us know that you would like to visit as soon as the puppies are born or upon completing an application.
How does puppy selection work?
Puppies are selected after Volhard Temperament Testing is completed and in the order your deposit was received. Early selection is available to those experienced dog owners only. Unfortunately, if our first family on our waiting list is inexperienced with dogs, everyone (including our experienced dog owners) will wait until we have temperament tested at 7 weeks of age (49 days old). Once the testing is completed, we will send you a very informative email with each individual puppy results*. Our first family on the our waiting list will reach out to us as soon as a decision is made. Once the first puppy is selected, we will begin reaching out according to the waiting list via text. Once you hear from us in a text (with the phone number you provided on your application), it will be your turn to select. We will give you the names of the puppies that have already been selected so you will know which puppies are still available for selection. The last family will not get a choice. If the last family is unhappy with the last available puppy due to coat color or gender, we will offer a full refund on their deposit regardless of our refundable deposit anomaly, or they can choose to be added to the first spot on the next litter's waiting list.
*It is important for our families to know that the Volhard Temperament Testing results are predictive, and should not be construed as absolute given a puppy or adult dog's behavior ultimately depends upon internal, external, and environmental factors. Basically your influence and life's experiences will have a lot to do with developing your puppy's temperament beyond what the testing predicts. What we try to do is to allow you to see what issues that the puppy you select may need work on. As young pups, any natural fears (i.e. sound) can be dealt with correctly and we can help them overcome it with positive reinforcement. The testing lets you know what your puppy may be sensitive to. Some pups are born brave and these pups need someone to help them know their pack place. We will let you know what we see the puppy's temperament to be at the time of testing so that you can prepare a game plan in your training and socialization.
Adult Heath Screenings and Puppy Care
What health care is given to each puppy?
Each puppy is wormed bi weekly beginning at 2 weeks of age. At four weeks we begin weaning our puppies and they are started on Victor and NuVet. At 7 weeks each puppy is given their "puppy shot." The puppy shot will protect against distemper, adenovirus type 1 and 2, parainfluenza, and parvo. They are also given a microchip unless a new owner declines it prior to 7 weeks old. Just prior to our temperament testing our puppies are seen by our vet. A full puppy exam is performed on them including: eyes, knees, heart, teeth, hips, (boy parts), and a fecal float. We will immediately send you the results of the litter exam with the vet notes and disclose to you before puppy selection if a puppy is not in top health or if the vet has a concern. When a puppy stays with us for an extended period of time, we will continue to give booster shots on the recommended AAHA schedule. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/10/27/new-canine-vaccination-guidelines.aspx
How do you take care of your puppies?
Our puppies have the best care before and after they are born and until they open their eyes they are exposed to ENS. Prior to birth, our mothers are given probiotics and folic acid to ensure healthy pups. Our puppies are well-socialized as they develop mentally and physically. Our puppies are raised and reared in our home, not a kennel or a dog barn. We are small enough to have quite places around our home for our dames to feel relaxed and at ease. All puppies are kept next to our bed in a whelping box from birth until two weeks of age. We are helicopter parents until then. This is a critical time. We rarely lose a puppy if it is born healthy, it stays healthy. Any puppy that doesn't thrive will be taken from the litter and given our full around the clock attention.
Puppies ready to go home have the following:
Raised in a home, not a breeding kennel or dog barn.
Biosensor or Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) as well as traditional handling imprinting
Puppy Culture Enrichment Program, shown to increase the size of a puppy's brain, increase their resilience to stress, and enhance their emotional stability.
In-home and outdoor socialization with other in-home dogs, cats, birds, outside neighborhood children, safe dogs, urban city noises such as garbage trucks, air planes landing, distant train whistle, EMS sirens, etc.
Crate training started
House training started
All vaccines and wormings appropriate for their age
Veterinarian health clearance exam
Temperament Testing at 7 weeks to give you a first hand knowledge of the early personality developing in your puppy and to help guide you with an sensory training needed (sound sensitive, startles easily, food aggression, dependent tendencies).
Handling for grooming and veterinarian care started
Experience with bath time
First grooming, including a sanitary trim
Lifetime breeder support—we will help you be successful with your puppy and for the life of the dog
What health screenings are done with your adult dogs?
Our goldendoodles are checked every two years by a board certified ophthalmologist and have had normal results. They have OFA certificates for their eyes, hearts, knees, hips and elbows . They have been DNA tested and cleared for the following: GR - PRA1, GR - PRA2, vWD1, NEwS, DM, and Ich. Our goldendoodles have also been DNA tested for osteochondrodysplasia (normal). Our goldendoodles have been tested and cleared from PRA- prd -vWD1, NEwS, and DM (normal/normal) Please see each individual dog for further details. Health is important to us. We have a warranty that protects your puppy against any congenital or genetic defects causing death of or making necessary euthanasia until 2 years of age. If NuVet is purchased under our breeder #52992 so that we can track usage, then an additional 2 year warranty will be given (4 years total). If this occurs then we will replace your puppy or refund the purchase price. We will not assume any veterinarian bills.
In 2017 the University of California Davis (UC Davis) discovered a mutation in a gene that is connected with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). The mutation is known as CDDY. We were not aware of its existence until the mutation began to show up on routine genetic screening panels. 2019 was the first time breeders could test for CDDY. This discovery was discouraging to all the breeders associated with GANA. GANA breeders strive to produce not only the great family dogs, but the most healthiest and structurally sound dogs possible. This created a desire to learn more about the CDDY mutation and what we needed to do to eliminate it from our breeding program.
The CDDY mutation is a risk allele, not a causative allele. That means it increases risk, but it is NOT shown to cause IVDD. In general the mutation causes a 5-15% greater risk of IVDD, depending on the breed. Based on what we know of over a decade of records from GANA breeders, there is a very, very small incidence of IVDD in our breed and we are well on the lower end of this risk range. The lack of IVDD in our breed is likely because the conformation of our dogs does NOT lend itself to luxation in the spine (this is per Dr. Robert Grahn at UC Davis). The IVDD mutation is a greater risk to long bodied short legged breeds such as the basset hound and dachshund.
We do have the mutation in a high frequency in goldendoodles. Not as high as other breeds, but it is prevalent in our breed. That means about half of goldendoodles have this mutation. With that said, we have very few reports of actual disc disease in our breed. There is clear consensus from the experts that removing the mutation from the gene pool too quickly and without careful planning will be very harmful for the breed and the gene pool. In fact, we have been told it would be better for the breed to NOT remove the gene than to remove it hastily or without careful planning. The advice from the consulted experts has consistently been:
We should remove it not out of necessity but out of an abundance of caution, but we should not remove it at the expense of the genetic health of our breed.
It took a long time to get the mutation dispersed into the gene pool and to remove it safely we should take a long time to breed it out.
Our goal should be to remove CDDY from the gene pool over 5-10 years.
To remove it safely without damaging the gene pool. The advice we received from the experts we consulted was to only use it as a “tie breaker” between two otherwise well-qualified breeding dogs and to NOT remove dogs from our programs simply because of CDDY status.
We will follow these recommendations in our program and eliminate or reduce the mutation with careful thought and planning over the next 5 -10 years.
The advice we have received from UC Davis to reduce risk to our puppies and adults is:
Keep your dog in good shape.
Keep them fit and active.
Keep them at a healthy weight.
Avoid high impact activities.
Frequently Asked Puppy Questions
When is the earliest we can pick up our puppy?
Every puppy is completely weaned and eating hard puppy food by the time they are 6 weeks old. On the other hand, we require our puppies to be at least 8 weeks old to be picked up. They need the additional two weeks with their litter mates to help develop their bite pressure. We also do much of our attention training and socialization beginning at 6 weeks. Those additional two weeks with us is essential for their development. Our puppies have a massive amount of work put into them from their 5th week to their 8th week of age.
When should my puppy be seen by my vet?
In order to comply with our health warranty, your puppy is required to be seen by your vet within 72 business hours of leaving our care. Make sure to book an appointment as soon as you can. Especially if you have never had a vet. Reputable veterinarians are booked months out in advance and new clients are often not seen as readily. When you take your puppy in for his/her exam your vet will need to test for any communicable diseases. Your puppy will need to be seen at least two more and maybe three more times before he/she is fully vaccinated.
What is your Spay/Neuter policy?
We are constantly monitoring and researching health in dogs. We have found in our research, that it is best to not spay or neuter before a dog has developed sexually. We recommend that a female be spayed after she has completed her first heat. A male should have testosterone in his system prior to neutering. Most males will be around 18 months old before becoming sexually mature. When a males begins lifting his legs to pee, that is when you should schedule his neutering. It is so important for your puppy to develop properly. You can learn more here: Why Wait to Spay /Neuter? We require do require all of our dogs to be spayed/neutered, but we also ask that you wait until your puppy grows up.
How do I socialize my puppy?
It is VERY important that you continue to socialize your puppy. If you do not continue what we have started, your puppy can lose confidence and become overly anxious or fearful. Our puppies begin socialization at 6 weeks of age (meeting new people, introduced to new things, and being able to explore their environment. Our puppies will interact with a variety objects, people and trusted dogs. They are exposed to household sounds, voices, thunder-storm, industrial and war sound tracks. We give them a new obstacle to overcome/interact with on a daily basis. They have been groomed (brushed, washed, clipped) at least twice and exposed to an industrial blower dryer each time. The more we expose them to new and "scary" things, the more their confidence grows. There is a window for confidence building and that window closes at 16 weeks. So what can you do to help your puppy between now and then, especially when vets tell us to protect a puppy's health do not expose him to strange environments until he is fully vaccinated. What to do!? First, don't panic. You can do this safely. Your puppy is most likely to become fearful of stimuli that are not found in his/her day-to-day routine. Make a conscious effort to identify those people and situations to which the puppy is not regularly exposed. For example, if there are no children in the home, you might arrange regular play sessions with children. If you live in the country, make a few trips into the city, so that the puppy can be taken for walks on city streets, or through neighborhood plazas. Conversely, a puppy that grows up in the city might become fearful or aggressive toward farm animals that it was not exposed to during its early development. Take your puppy with you on car rides, expose him to trains, elevators, airplanes, hot air balloons, big bouncy balls and then read my blog: HELP, I’M SCARED!
What kind of puppy food do you feed your puppies?
We have chosen Victor High Pro Plus Formula for Active Dogs and Puppies. Victor's High Pro Plus formula has received a 5 star rating. Victor is located in select stores throughout the US. Please visit http://www.victordogfood.com to find a dealer near you. What we put into our dogs is as important as what we put in ourselves. For this reason, we have taken seriously what puppy food is best for our puppies. Every family will receive a small sample of Victor. If you do decide to change your puppy's food, it is recommended that you do it gradually by mixing new and old together. Here is a good formula to change over a previous food to a new food in a weeks time: 75 previous food /25 new food; 50/50, 25/75. Puppies and dogs experience digestion issues when switching foods so a slow and gradual approach is best. We also recommend that new owners wait at least two weeks after bringing their new puppy home before switching foods.
What will my puppy need?
Crate (one that will grow with your puppy)
Bedding (at least 2 sets)
Harness (XS for minis,these are puppy only fits)
At least one 4- to 6-foot leash, leather or webbing (an additional longer lead useful for training)
At least 5 or 6 safe chew toys (the more the better—toys can be rotated)
Gentle organic puppy shampoo (we highly recommend 4Legger)
Gentle conditioner (a MUST for goldendoodle coats)
Good odor eliminator ( for elimination mistakes)
Ear cleaner (The BEST on the market)
What will I need to bring with me when I pick up my puppy?
FOR COMFORT AND SAFETY
Plastic Carrier Crate
Collar & Leash
FOR TRAVEL MISTAKES
FOR LONG DISTANCE DRIVES
Our Pick-Up and Delivery Process Explained
Products, Services, and Associations that We Highly Recommend
NuVet is a nutritional supplement. It is cold processed allowing all the benefits of its rich nutrients to be retained. Virtually all processed foods for puppies and dogs (including Victor) are cooked. The heat from cooking causes many of the nutrients to be lost during the process. These nutrients are essential to puppies. NuVet supplements help support a puppy's immune system. It makes a puppy less likely to develop food allergies and it supports skin and coats. We use NuVet with all our adult dogs and begin feeding it as part of the weaning process. So our puppies are on NuVet from their conception until they go to your home. We offer an extended warranty with NuVet because we believe in the product and what is does for our own dogs.
We love pawTree because our dogs do! They can't get enough of this! They have everything from joint support to anxiety control to gut health to brain support. They also carry shampoos, toys, treats (Freeze Dried Chicken, Apples & Kale is a favorite around here!). When our dogs get bored with Victor (which they often do) I just sprinkle one of their many seasonings on their dinner and the bowl comes back clean. Kizzy is a hormonal coat shedder. She will shed her coat in patches after she has her puppies. I started her on their Wild Alaskan Salmon & Polllock Oil and she maintained her beautiful coat after her last litter! This stuff works. Sully gets anxious when the girls go into heat or with car rides, so I gave him Chillax™ CBD and he is quite a bit better. PawTree products are just a better way to care for your pet with pawTree our dogs and our puppies thrive!
Why Baxter and Bella?
Amy and Scott of Baxter and Bella are so responsive and helpful to our puppy families! They are amazing trainers and if you start with them before you bring a puppy home, you are light years ahead in your training. Whether you are experienced or inexperienced with puppy training, they can help you. They have such a well thought-out and organized program. Even if you do not choose to get an online trainer life-time support for under $200 (That still amazes me!) They offer free resources on their website too. They have podcasts and a free puppy training survival guide too! What I love about them is that I can recommend some really amazing trainers that teach YOU not your puppy how to train your puppy. That is so important to building a great relationship with your dog and to understanding them better. You can connect with Baxter and Bella here: BAXTER AND BELLA and use: TIMBERFALLS to get a 25% discount!
What is GANA, gooddog, and the Functional Dog Collaborative?
GANA is our registry and are committed to the future of the goldendoodle. Any puppy that comes from us will be GANA certified and come with a GANA registration. We are blue ribbon breeders with GANA and are good members in standing. It has taken years to complete all the health testing it takes to get this status. We are proud members of GANA. We also have a blue ribbon seal with gooddog. Goodog is an organization that screens every breeder to ensure a committed and responsible breeding practices. They have an amazing learning center for both puppy owners and breeders. I have gleaned and learned so much through gooddog. The Functional Dog Collaborative is a great support to responsible breeders. Their board members are impressive and they work hard at educating breeders about behavioral and physical health of their dogs. The support and understanding that breeders receive from The Functional Dog Collaborative is second to none!
Do you ship your puppies?
No, BUT we are very happy to be travel companions for our puppies. This means you (the client) would purchase a round trip airline ticket and (one way) onboard pet fee and we (the breeder) will bring your puppy to you. This benefits the puppy (less stress and with a human companion they know and love) and it benefits us (The breeder and the client). We do not use a pet nanny service as the majority of good ethical breeders are doing, because we want to able to meet YOU and YOU to meet US face to face. It give us both peace of mind. The cost of human companion in-cabin air transport is relatively the same as shipping. We will also transport throughout the eastern states by car at your expense. Traveling via car is much less stressful than traveling via airlines and when possible, we choose to meet you halfway using car transportation. We will charge a base of $250.00 plus the cost of gas, tolls, and hotel if needed. We do not charge for our time. We believe that our time is valuable but the safe transport of our puppies is of more value and concern. All traveling expenses will be the client's responsibility.
Where do I pick-up my puppy?
That is a good question for 2021! We are in a transitory phase with Timberland Falls. We are currently calling our home base, Troutman, NC. We will be raising puppies in Martinsburg, WV. Once the puppies reach 7 weeks of age, we will take them back to NC to temperament test. Anyone who is closer to NC and would like to pick up their puppy in Troutman, NC will need to let us know. We will be happy to have my daughter and son-in-law continue the socialization of your puppy there. You will not be able to meet us, but you will be able to meet my daughter who will be taking over the East Coast division in 2022, when we move to WA. You can learn more about that here: WA MOVE. In the meantime between now and then, we are able to meet you in two separate states with advance notice.