Is variation in a litter a bad thing?

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Hi all!

First time prospective (bernedoodle) puppy owner here!

I was on the waitlist at a doodle breeder (specializing in goldendoodles and sheepadoodles, but newly with bernedoodles) for several months before learning a spot had opened up. I excitedly said yes, and learned I would be 12th pick out of a 12-puppy litter.

The puppies had individual pictures posted at 6 weeks, and I was surprised at their diversity! Some had traditional tricolor markings like their Bernese mom, but about 4 had “muddled” markings (mostly black with white paws; very non-distinctive brown eyebrows). They also had very different faces: some with “poodle eyes,” others with long faces, several different types of noses, etc.

I am curious if this is par for the course or should be a red flag, that all the puppies look so different? I am very new to this world so am not sure if the most “reputable” breeders of hybrid dogs are able to perfectly pair the parents to ensure a certain “look” (and temperament) — or if this kind of variance is par for the course?

A bernedoodle is a significant $ investment, and a puppy a significant time investment, but I am opting to do this to ensure (to the extent possible) certain traits in my future dog. Otherwise I would happily spend much less and adopt an adult of any breed. Thus I am afraid of getting a pup who grows up to have the worst traits of both breeds emotionally, without the floofy coat, goofy face, and/or tricolor markings signature to the breed, rendering the investment pointless.

Anything to set my mind at ease and/or any questions I should be asking the breeder? There has not been a previous litter from these parents so I don’t have any past photos/stories to reference…


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