About Us

We are neither a kennel nor a facility.  All of our dogs either live in guardian homes and come here to whelp and raise puppies, or they live in our home as our pets.  DoodleAround began in 2006 in a petite household in Laurel, Montana.  As of November 2018, we are extremely proud to be a founding member of the WALA, the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association predicated on democratic processes and beliefs.  At that same time, we were so excited to relocate back to Billings (where Joe and I grew up), finding a great location with plenty of room for people and dogs.

Carolyn is in charge of the breeding program.  With her degree in early childhood development from Montana State University, she has owned and operated home daycares in Wyoming, Nevada, and Montana since 1993. She fell in love with the labradoodle breed in 2006 and started developing our breeding program shortly thereafter. She stopped doing infant daycare in 2014 to concentrate on our breeding business. Since developmentally appropriate practices, educational enrichment, and nutritional programs are equally important to babies and puppies, she has found her early childhood philosophies translate directly into our breeding and puppy rearing program. We enjoy learning and applying the latest research and best practices to our program, and enjoy communication with the breeding community, concentrating on the breed standard and raising the healthiest, most well-socialized, calmest and smartest puppies possible.

Joe is a civil engineer, tech guru, artist, photographer and teacher.  He is our webmaster.  Zach (26) is a 2019 financial engineering and honors degree graduate of Montana State University. As of March 2023, he has his Master's degree in Applied Economics from UCLA! When he is in town, he enjoys interacting with the puppies and contributing to their pre-training.  Ben (23) is a Senior at the University of Montana.  When he is in town, he is one of our puppy handlers and cleaners.  He loves to snuggle with a puppy and a book (outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend).  Melanie (22) has a recently quadraplegic husband, and we're all learning how to take care of him. From now on, puppies will be raised around Hoyer lifts, wheelchairs, and many other ADA devices. 

Raised to be Smart!

We do everything in our power to give our puppies the best start in life.  
Research shows that dogs exposed to specific early neurological stimulation exercises are able to handle stress better and are more resistant to certain forms of cancer and infectious diseases.  Breeders also find that these pups are less prone to overreaction to stimuli, tend to be much more social, and adapt to change more readily.  Due to this research, we perform Early Neural Stimulation (ENS) with every puppy.  We also do Early Scent Introduction (ESI) to increase the number of neural pathways in the brains of the puppies.  We challenge our puppies with "puzzles" to solve as soon as they are mobile.  The myelin sheath in dogs' brains begins forming around 5 weeks of age.  Once it is completely formed, usually by 6 weeks of age, no new neural pathways can be formed.  We want our puppies to be as intelligent and resilient as possible, so they are healthy, happy, diverse, confident, and able to be trained for almost any tasks their homes require.  We produce amazing pets, hunters, therapy dogs, service dogs, and breeding stock.  I will only sell breeding stock to established, ethical breeders.  If a new breeder is looking to begin a program, I will only mentor one new breeder every few years, as mentoring takes a lot of time and effort to do correctly.


We run a nomograph test on our mama dogs to determine when their immunity will wear off in their puppies, based on  how much is passed through the uterus during pregnancy, and based on how much is typically passed through the colosturm in the first 24 hours.  Because of this, we know when a puppy is at risk for parvo or distemper, and we take extra precautions during that time. Outside of that time, we are still cautious about keeping young puppies protected from disease and stress.  However we do our best to expose them to a variety of places and people throughout their time with us.  They are exposed to vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, brooms, car rides, other friendly dogs, a cat, all different kinds of music and noises, as well as buses, cars, trucks, and motorcycles passing by.  If you look at the live webcam and don't see puppies, chances are good we are visiting a store, a coffee shop, or a friend. We love being invited to visit schools and nursing homes as well.

Matching Puppies
inside joke

Once we have a litter, we don't pick puppies until AFTER our trainer performs the APET Puppy Aptitude test around 7-8 weeks of age. (The older the puppies, the more accurate the tests).  We base our picks first and foremost on personality, as we truly believe that if your new dog's personality is a match to your family, you will be much happier than if your puppy happens to be the curliest, straightest, darkest, lightest, smallest, largest, male or female puppy.  A sedentary household will not do well with an extremely active puppy, no matter what color, or how "cute" it happens to be.  
are consistently wonderful family dogs ranging from calm to active, from dependent to independent, from motivated to lazy, yet they all have their cuddling times, and they are all wicked smart and learn quickly.  If you have an approved application on file, we will send you our puppy personality poll before testing, to help determine what you want in your puppy and how we can make the best match.  Our matching process usually allows some choices in the order of deposits received--as long as several puppies are good personality match to you and your family, you will be able to choose.  If none are a good personality match, especially if you are looking for a dog with for a specific purpose (service, hunting or therapy work), your deposit will roll over to the next litter.  If we cannot provide the correct temperament within a year, you will have the option to continue trying, or we will refund your deposit.

Crate Training

Yes we start crate training your puppy before he/she goes home.  We start by putting a crate into the puppy area around 3-4 weeks of age.  If the weather is poor, puppies will spend time closed in the crate while their area is being cleaned, otherwise that door is always open.  I recommend two crates, a smaller one in your bedroom for sleeping at night, and a larger one with lots of toys/stimulation for when you aren't able to pay attention to your puppy throughout the day.  My favorite method of potty training involves tethering, but when that doesn't work, or you have to leave the house without your puppy for short periods of time, the fun crate is a perfect distraction. We typically feed our dogs/puppies in their crate as well--so they associate the crate with great things right from the start :) When your puppy leaves our home, it is typically sleeping 6-8 hours/night without needing a potty break.  While I don't require you stick with crate training, I highly recommend it.  I absolutely do NOT ever recommend waking a sleepy puppy in the middle of the night to go outside to potty.  You are just training it to get up at that time.  If your night-time crate is the correct size, your puppy will wake you up if it needs to go outside!

Ongoing Support

Have questions after your new dog has joined your family?  Need advice on food, training, grooming, vaccinations, vets?  We are committed to providing assistance to our Labradoodle families throughout the life of the dog.  Once you have a deposit on a dog, be sure to ask to join our Doodle Around Puppy Owners page on Facebook for even more support!

Reservation fees are nonrefundable, but may be transferred to another litter.

Contact us any time with questions or to schedule a visit.

We potty train:
We use a potty system in our puppy area that allows for the pup's natural instinct to potty separately from where they play and sleep.  When the weather permits, we teach them how to use the doggy door around 5-6 weeks of age, during frigid weather, it may not happen until closer to 7 weeks, and not at all if temps are below zero, but typically they begin reliably using the doggy door to go potty outside within a couple of days.  Once in their new home, pups will need a potty routine.  I recommend carrying your young puppy outside for the first trip in the morning, then take them out after meals/naps/vigorous play throughout the day.  If you are not actively paying attention to your puppy, your puppy should be tethered to you, or crated to avoid accidents.  Never wake a sleeping dog for potty, unless your schedule is such that it is time to get up in the morning.  Our puppies typically sleep 6-8 hour nights long before they go home.  When they communicate it is time to go (via yip/bark, body language/circle/sniff, bell, etc.), we recommend using the same door every time you take them out and bring them in for several weeks.  That is so they learn where to ask to go out.  Pups may need to be caught "in the act" a couple times in their new home to lock in their knowledge of "where to go."  With only a few "good potty outside's", they should be off and running, masters of their own functions.

We perform Early Scent Introduction and Early Neural Stimulation:
Research shows that dogs exposed to specific early neurological stimulation exercises are able to handle stress better and are more resistant to certain forms of cancer and infectious diseases.  Breeders also find that these pups are less prone to overreaction to stimuli, tend to be much more social, and adapt to change more readily.  We feel this is another great way to give your puppy the best start we can.

We track our puppys' growth and development,
including physically, emotionally and socially . . .

Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test
measures 29 traits in our puppies so we can best match you to your ideal dog.

We use Through a Dog's Ear:
This compilation of research by Leeds and Wagner uses sound to improve canine health and behavior.
We integrate this music in our puppies' comforting, calming, social, home environment.

Your puppy comes as a total package

Labradoodle FAQ 
What is a labradoodle?  it's simply a cross between a labrador retriever and standard poodle.                    
    F1 labradoodle?  1st generation labradoodle; parents are lab and poodle, in no particular order.
    F2 labradoodle?  2nd generation labradoodle; parents are both F1 labradoodles.
    F1B labradoodle?  a labradoodle who has one labradoodle parent and one poodle parent (B=backbreed).
                              This is done to reinforce the wooly coat and curls, striving for little to no shedding.
    F2B labradoodle?  2nd generation labradoodle; parents are F1 labradoodles, with one or both of them F1B.
    Multigenerational labradoodle?  an offspring of two 2nd (or more) generation labradoodles.
How do I determine Generation?  The lowest generation parent +1.  An F5 dad and an F1 mom create F2 pups.
What is an Australian labradoodle (ALD)?   The ALD carries the DNA of the Labrador, Poodle and Cocker                 Spaniel (American or English). An Australian Labradoodle can be created by crossing a Poodle to another             Australian Labradoodle, a Cockapoo to a Labradoodle, a Labradoodle to a Cocker Spaniel and                                 the like, resulting in the three-breed combination.  Australian Labradoodles and Multigen Australian                     Labradoodles typically have a non-shedding coat (again, as much as any dog can be non-shedding) if both                 parents are non-shedding.  The ALD originated in Australia, and the original breeders weren't necessarily the     most ethical people, rumor says they would go into shelters and choose coats and personalities they liked,             then breed those dogs into their lines, often under false pedigrees.  As a result, we actually have no idea             what may be in the doodles whose lines originated in Australia, and a DNA test may show some funky breeds.      Currently, only poodles, cocker spaniels (cockapoos), and labs are allowed in ALD lines, per the breed                 associations.
Why a labradoodle? to combine the poodle's wit and low-shed fur with the social, gentle, trainable labrador.
What can Labradoodles do?: They are amazing pets as well as able to be trained as guide dogs for the blind,             assistance dogs, therapy dogs, and they are naturals at hunting too.
Labradoodles are in pop culture: in the Oxford Dictionary, Monopoly Here & Now, and several labradoodle plush     toys have been in high-level fund-raising for the blind and cancer.  Voted toy of the year!
Are Labradoodles the perfect "hypoallergenic dog"?  Labradoodles may be allergy friendly, but there is no             breed of dog that is truly hypoallergenic.  There are many types of allergies, but if your allergies are to             certain types of fur, a doodle may work great. If your allergies are to dander, a lower dander dog (as                 doodles) may work great for your family.  However, if your allergies are to saliva, you will not find a dog that     will not cause a reaction. If you allergy is to shedding, every dog breed known to man sheds its puppy coate         when its adult coat comes in.  Can your allergies handle a couple of months of shedding during this process? If     not, shaving your dog down as this begins may help, but only you know what you can handle.