Allocations - "to divide and give out (something) for a special reason or to particular people, companies, etc." aka...the process by which it is decided which puppy goes home with which family! :)
One of the biggest questions people have is about how we do allocations. It's also the most important part of the process! As breeders, we want you to know that we have the same goals in mind as you. We want the best for our puppy families and certainly, we are 100% committed to the future of our puppies. We know you are looking for the absolute best experience possible and that's what we intend to provide to each and every one of our familes. We are going to share with you the process by which we do our allocations. It is important that you are 100% comfortable with our process before you move forward with us as breeders. We hope you will feel that you are not going this alone and are in good hands with Winding Creek Ranch. :)
Understanding the puppy's brain - The days leading up to 7 wks old, the puppy's brain is developing and maturing. By 7 wks of age, the puppy has the neurological development of an adult dog. This is the prime time to perform temperment testing on the puppies because the puppy is considered a clean slate. It is the only time known to give a true result and insight into the puppy's tendencies. Due to the influence of socialization, training and environment, the test gives us tendencies, not a perfect picture of what a puppy will grow into as an adult. As the puppy ages past 7 wks, he becomes influenced by experiences he has had and learned from. He is learning by association. Therefore, testing beyond 7 wks will yield completely different and much less accurate results.
This explains why puppies will act shy and unsure of things when they are 6 wks old and be the most confident puppy in the litter at 7 wks old and vice versa. We simply cannot observe puppies when they are 6 wks old and know what kind of personality each puppy will have. This is the reason why asking a family to come and choose a puppy when the puppies are 6 wks old, isn't a good idea. The behaviors are not predictable just by spending lots of time around the puppy so a family can't be expected to make a wise choice. Through that past several years of dog breeding, we've watched many families choose puppies. I've seen people choose a puppy who came to them first, thinking the puppy chose them. The experts DO NOT recommend this. We've seen people choose the one that lays on their lap the whole time and won't get down because the puppy is "cuddly." That puppy is probably just looking for security in a situation where he doesn't feel confident. We've seen people dismiss the one that sits there and does nothing or the one that seems to be terrorizing all the other puppies, only to have the temperament testing, a week later, show us a completely different puppy. Surprise, the puppy's personality has begun to change as well. There is no way a family can make a wise choice on their own. It's too difficult and it's completely unpredictable. Sometimes, a family will get lucky, of course. Perhaps a family will say that they have always chosen their puppies and it turned out fine but was it the absolute best it could have been? I mean, an active family will love a quiet, couch sleeping dog but was it the best fit for the family or the dog? No. I've seen how many improperly matched puppies are being adopted into families by visiting a certain Facebook page. Challenging puppies going to first time pet owners. Puppies with higher prey drive going to homes with toddlers. If we have a tool to make sure placements are done right, we should be using it! We are so excited to finally have a wonderful, certified dog trainer to come perform these tests for us and help us through the allocation process. Your family will have more than one dog professional working to assure the highest level of compatibility for your family.
Temperament Testing - When the puppies are 7 wks old, we have the trainer come to perform the testing. She has someone record each one so that she can go home to study and record the results. In order for the results to be accurate, the puppies must be evaluated by someone they have never met so I cannot do it myself. Besides, having a 2nd point of view is invaluable. Each test will be scored but there is no total or combined average. There are no failed tests either. It simply gives us insight that allows us to make sure the puppies are going to homes where they will be most compatible. We want you to be able to do all of the things with your puppy that you dream of and we also want the puppies to be in homes where they fit it. An slightly more active puppy will be great in a house with an active family, especially when kids are involved. It would not be happy with a quiet, homebody type home or a single person who works away from home. A quiet, submissive puppy might feel overwhelmed in such a chaotic, fun home, wishing to retreat somewhere in the house. The family will not appreciate this type of puppy either. A puppy with higher drive will be fun to go hiking with, teach agility, have as a jogging partner, etc. It would not be good in a home with toddlers where it might mistake an always moving, clumsy, drooling child's hands and legs as something to grab, even playfully. I could go on and on with scenario after scenario. I hope this is enough, so far, to help you understand the necessity for our allocation process.
The Questionaire - Around the time the puppies are 6 wks old, the families are asked to respond to some questions that will give us insight into that family's dynamic and what makes them unique. There are some specific questions & answers that will really help us to make sure each family gets the best possible choice puppy in the litter. This can be done by email or phone conversation. We hope that each family will be 100% open on all physical traits so that we don't have any road blocks standing in our way when deciding which puppy will be the absolute best match. What if you say that you will only accept a light apricot puppy but the absolute best match is a dark apricot one? It's just a shade of color and with Goldendoodles high tendency to fade or sometimes even darker unpredictably, it makes no sense to add such limits. We will, however, have a spot on the questionnaire where you can list one physical trait that we will consider when going through the allocation process. If you don't care, just write, "Open." Please keep in mind that we will not be able to promise this trait but it will be taken into consideration. If a family will only take a puppy with certain physical traits, we are not going to be the right breeder for that family. Our allocations are temperament based.
The Results - Shortly after the trainer has done the testing on the puppies, we will know which puppies will be compatible with each family. We may have only one puppy or there could be two wonderful choices per family. If there is only one choice, we will send you a current picture along with the video of the puppy's test and an explanation of why this puppy was chosen for that family. If there are two good choices, we will send a current picture of each puppy along with information about them. With this process, there is no priority and no last pick family. Every puppy is precious and every family deserves a puppy that seems like it was made just for them. :)
The Big Day!! - This is the day every family can hardly wait for! We prefer to schedule this appointment for a time Monday-Friday between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm EST. This is such an important time so families need to please be sure they can schedule around the puppy's homecoming. There will be plenty of time to prepare for this day. For working families, we recommend picking the puppy up on a Thursday or Friday so there is a long weekend to get the puppy settled in. We do not meet on weekends, evenings or holidays. I know everyone is busy but this is a very important event. It is important that at least one adult can take one Friday off from work to come pick up their puppy. We do ask for full, undivided attention during this appointment since we will cover some very important topics and need to go over paperwork. If children will be present, please know that the puppy may be presented, at the very end of the appointment, when all business and discussions are completely finished. Once the puppy is on the scene, nobody wants to listen to me, if you can imagine! lol It is perfectly fine for one adult to come inside while the other parent and children wait in the car as we know the trip home can be pretty exciting too. :) Once the puppy has been presented, whomever is present will get to choose a FREE collar/leash! This is a "Thank You!" gift from us. :) This appointment will be limited to 45 minutes.
Note: Please only place a deposit with us if you find our allocation process 100% aggreeable. By doing extensive health testing on our parent dogs, we have made health top priority. By choosing breeding stock that comes from the best bloodlines, is conformationally correct and stunning to look at, you need not worry about the looks of your Goldendoodle. Because we are careful about the disposition of our parent dogs, are strategic in how we pair our parents dogs together, and by taking the steps explained on this page, we have temperament covered too. :) Temperament is the #1 most important consideration of successful allocations.
1. What if we want a specific gender?
If a family has concerns about one gender or the other, please keep in mind that we've heard everything under the sun blamed on both males and females. The truth is that both genders are capable of the same challenges and quirks. We are open to discuss it with families who'd like further explanation about specific concerns. Because our allocation process relies on our ability to focus 100% on temperament/compatibility, we cannot work with families who will only accept one gender. If we feel there are concerns with placing a certain gender in the home, that will be part of the allocation process. However, please be aware that it will ultimately be decided by the breeder.
2. What if we decide we don't want the puppy chosen?
This is a 3-step process in which the family has input (through the questionnaire or phone interview), the trainer has input (evaluations) and we, the breeders, have input (knowing the puppies and sorting through all the info). It's a very thorough method but we suppose it is possible a family could be unhappy with the puppy that was chosen for them. With that said, we would never force a family to take a puppy they aren't happy with. However, we do not issue deposit refunds unless we determine there is no puppy in the litter that will be a good fit. A puppy must be seen, in person, to be declined and then the deposit will be moved to a future litter. The wait for a future litter might not be long but could be up to 6 months for a litter exactly like the one you declined a puppy from. We do not refund a deposits because someone is unhappy with a physical trait.
3. Why can't we just pick a puppy out of the litter by ourselves?
Luckily, we have a lot of research based information that is priceless in helping with this process. We know that there are many variables that contribute to improper allocations. Problems can arise when a family allows a child to choose a puppy with no consideration other than the child wants it or a circumstance where someone is hyper focused on the fantasy of a very specific looking doodle. Maybe there's an instance where someone gets the wrong idea about a puppy's personality because of how that puppy just happened to be behaving during their one hour visit when the puppy's brain isn't mature enough to show it's true colors. Because we are very visual beings, families may tend to "window shop" puppies as if they are an accessory. We will not work with a family that is determined to focus on physical traits. If we are already working with a family and they start pressuring us about physical traits, there will be a reminder about how we do things and then a 2nd offense will mean removal from the reservation list and the deposit will be NOT be refunded. We will not field questions about physical traits. We cannot make sure they are properly placed if we are worried about the shade of red being too red or other extremely hyper focused details. If we can try to think about how we choose our friends, it's easy to see that the important things are the personality, common interests, etc. We don't choose our friends when they are babies, based on if we think they will be the prettiest, most ideal looking friend or how they'll make us look when we are with them. I mean, when we put it that way, it sounds pretty shallow treating people that way. lol Puppies should not be "window shopped." There are plenty of breeders out there who don't care about how you feel about your dog after you take it home or even how well the dog is doing a year from now. We are NOT that breeder. We want what is best for the families and the puppies too. We hope families will trust us and this elite, customized allocation process. It's important for everyone to know that we did not invent this process. It's been used successfully, for many years, and was started to determine which puppies in a litter would work best for service work. Some of the most respected breeders are doing their allocation processes in this manner.
We are so excited to work with you to find you the absolute best companion Goldendoodle for your family. Whether you are a family with young children or older children, a retired couple or a newlywed couple, an active family or a quiet & subdued family, we feel confident that our process will be a success for you. Thank you for choosing Winding Creek Ranch!
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.