The Perfect Family Dog
With so many breed and hybrid dogs available how did I manage to choose one to go just crazy for?
Easy. I just picked the dog that is, in my opinion anyway, the perfect family dog. Read on to find out what characteristics and breed traits make this such an amazing and versatile dog breed:
Cockapoo: Breed or Mongrel?
I adore the variety of dog known as the Cockapoo in the USA or the Spoodle in the UK and Australia.
Many reasonable and rational-minded people see nothing wrong with this. Some like the look of the breed, and it is not to the taste of others. But many people do not feel somehow offended by my preference for this variety of canine. In fact, it is not a blip on most people’s radars. Very few normal everyday people do not negatively judge my character because I am involved in the
development of this dog breed.
It might come as a bit of a surprise, then, when I tell you that there are those out there who would not only judge me harshly, but they would spit on me if they were given the opportunity! Despite the ridiculousness of it, there are people that are literally outraged by the Cockapoo breed of dog and other hybrids (such as the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle).
Here is my response:
Question: What differences do you notice between male and female Cockapoos? And can Cockapoos show favoritism toward one person in the family over others? I want our dog to love me too but I work all day and my spouse will be home!
Answer: To address your concerns about favoritism, in my personal experience this is not the case with Cockapoo dogs at all. There are really almost no differences at all between a spayed female Cockapoo and a neutered male Cockapoo. When you have intact adults there can certainly be differences. Intact males can be more territorial and wary of strangers and intact females can be more... well... bitchy. That term applied in a disrespectful manner toward a human came from somewhere, you know! :-)
"Fixed" dogs, however, show very subtle differences due to sex and are much more likely to be different due to individual temperament and personality.
For a complete answer visit my post:
Which Dog Food?
How can you possibly sift through all the dog food options out there? It looks tough, but I can make it easier for you. Assuming I can't convince you to feed your dog real, non-manufactured food and assuming you don't want to spend an absolute fortune on dog food here is a link to a list of 5 star and 4 star dog foods that are within an entire price-range.
The super short answer? The very best foods (in my opinion) are Orijen and Taste of the Wild. They are extremely high quality and have prices to match, unfortunately. For a less expensive alternative (hey, I live in the real world! I know not everyone can feed their dog the premium priced food) I like Kirkland (Costco Brand) puppy food. It is a four star food that is very reasonably priced, so most families can afford it. It also helps that Costco is an awesome company that treats their employees well and so I don't mind supporting them.
I do keep a bag of dog food in the house to offer the dogs a snack or for emergency situations when I am unable to prepare their food or just as free choice to nibble on between meals. If you feed any dog food I always recommend that you still give your dog real meat whenever you get the chance.
The Process of Reserving a Puppy
Question: We love your website and blog-articles and we've decided we'd like to go forward with getting a puppy from you! What is the process to do this? How do we start?
Answer: I'm glad to hear that you've decided on an Eden Orchards' puppy! The process is simple. You tell me what you're looking for; we talk a bit about dogs, training, etc. I make sure that you're comfortable with us and that we are going to provide you a dog that really will fit your family's needs so that we know you will be very happy with your animal for the lifetime of your little guy.
We do actually want to make sure you're comfortable with us and the whole process. Adding a dog is adding a family member. We really do care about where our puppies go and more importantly the human element involved. This isn't just some purchase! This is a very long-term commitment and a big purchase for your family (and if it doesn't feel that way to someone, they generally need to reevaluate whether a pet dog is right for them, right?) :-)
When the puppies are born (if there isn't a litter available currently) I will send out an email to everyone that is interested and on our waiting list. These emails contain a list of the gender and color puppies born.We won't know temperament for several weeks, of course. Those on the waiting list will get the first chance to look over the newborns and consider the colors. After several days I will then post any puppies that haven't been reserved online & open adoption to the public for application.
In order to reserve a puppy you must place a deposit. We ask for a 50% deposit in the form of cash, personal check or bank check/cashier’s check or money order.
Placing a deposit is the way that you show us you are truly committed to adopting this puppy. When we reserve/hold a puppy for someone that ends up ultimately not taking that puppy home, we take away precious time that we could be interviewing other families for a good home-match. If we wait until pick-up to discover that a family has changed their mind then we must begin the lengthy process of interviewing new families or contacting families on waiting lists, etc. For this reason all deposits are non-refundable.
**You are encouraged and welcomed to meet the puppies and the parents, although the litter can't be met in person until they are 5 weeks old (for safety purposes), and usually they are all reserved at that point. So I generally recommend people come meet their already reserved pup, if they want to, to be sure they're thrilled (which they always are).
At that time if a family decides that this puppy is not for them, they may transfer their deposit to reserve any puppy that is still available at that time, if there are any. Its an option, its there, but no one has not wanted their guy when the saw him (or her)!!
After reservation we will stay in contact and you will receive updates on your little guy until go-home day. Then you pay the other 50% of your puppy's individualized adoption fee & take your bundle of puppy-breath home to love :-)
That’s the process.
Breeding Philosophy and Prices
We feel very strongly about our puppies and the quality of our animals. The happiness of the families that come to us is also extremely important. This is not a business of greed for us in the least. We are truly dedicated to providing quality companions. Many of our pups are now therapy dogs and service dogs. That makes us really happy. It is great to know that there are little kids out there growing up with a healthy, reliable family pet that won't wind up in the pound for aggression problems or in the ground because of horrible health problems caused by poor breeding practices.
That sounds a little corny, probably, but it is actually the truth. We are based on integrity and love of the animal.
Anyway, I have loved and worked with animals my entire life so when I say that I do this because I genuinely adore animals and I believe wholeheartedly in the health and happiness of people/families that have companion animals I mean it! I've seen therapy animals really change people's health, both mental and physical. Studies show that people that own pets tend to outlive those that don't. Stress reducing really is very beneficial.
The reason very prestigious kennels and fantastic dogs are expensive is because of the vast amount of money required to invest in proper breed stock as well as the intense amount of work involved in raising them properly. In order to raise a litter of healthy puppies without risking the health of any of them or the Dam requires vast amounts of resources! Also, puppies eat a lot! They actually eat a surprisingly large amount! The time required to keep the puppies CLEAN is unbelievable. As a breeder I can tell you that those that house their dogs in kennels with solid flooring (as required by the USDA for commerical kennels, I think) probably have poo and food-covered puppies up to the date they are going to their new location (home or pet store). Breeding dogs is absolutely NOT profitable unless you spend nearly nothing on the dogs and have many, many litters. You would be amazed at all the hidden costs associated with breeding. It seems like it would be so easy and cheap (even free if you're breeding pets you already have) but it is an extremely arduous and work-intensive undertaking! The majority of would-be breeders have only one litter ever, they never repeat! Its a ton of work for almost no pay.
To make a long story short(er) I charge between $500-1200 generally speaking, although I have brought prices down for good families and special situations and I have given puppies away before as well. It is important to me that our puppies go to the best, most loving homes and not just the wealthiest or the first to respond to an add. My puppies' current market value range in the $1200-2500 range.
I interview families, we get to know each other a bit and then I work with the individual family/person. Some people just can't afford to spend $1200 on a healthy, quality animal even if they wanted to, and so they wind up with unhealthy mill puppies or a rescue, which is probably just an older, more behaviorally screwed up unhealthy mill dog...
So there you have it, my philosophy in a nutshell. I price my dogs so low it can have families wondering why... what is wrong with them... or it is too good to be true but I also have to be fair to my dogs. The small profit pays for their care and food, etc. So thats how we come up with our numbers. Our dogs also eat a premium, all human-grade meat diet. They are certainly some happy and spoiled dogs! :-)
The lovely thing is, I don't ever have to "sell" our puppies. They pretty much speak for themselves. Seeing the parents, the puppies, and how healthy and well behaved (and lovely) they are... I rarely have a puppy that doesn't get reserved before we hit 5 weeks of age. So a sales pitch isn't a requirement.
Question: We'd like to train our new puppy to use both a puppy "pee pad" and the yard. Is that possible or will we just confuse him? We'd like to crate train him, but aren't sure how to use the crate.
Answer: Yes you can absolutely do that! Click on the link below for a full answer from "The Dog Blog" on Wordpress! :-)
I recommend a dog crate that is somewhere around 35 inches wide, 22 inches deep, and 24 inches tall. That is the size of my personal dog crate and it would easily accommodate two-three cockapoos comfortably. It would be fine to get a smaller crate, certainly, for a single dog. I posted photos of my crate at the link above. There are photos showing the crate empty and with two adult dogs inside so you can get an idea of the size.
The ABCs of Puppy Preparedness
Question: What should I buy for my new puppy? I don't want to leave anything out and we've never had a dog before! Help!
Answer: Click on the link below to read my full answer at the Dog Blog!
Hair VS Fur
Question: I have read on other websites that a cockapoo doesn't shed because it has hair instead of fur. Is that true? Does it mean your dogs are hypoallergenic like other websites claim? Do your cockapoos shed at all? What is the difference between hair and fur anyway? Sorry for so many questions!
Answer: You can find the full answer on my Dog Blog at this link:
Short answer follows:
This is sort of a true AND false answer. Fur and hair are really the same thing. There are many different types of hair, but they are all basically made of similar material, though they vary in function and growth pattern/rates. A "fur" coated dog is one that has several layers to the hair coat. Some of these hairs shed with temperature and light changes (seasonal), and this can really aggravate allergic reactions in people. For this reason, a single-layer hair coated dog (such as a cockapoo) is preferable for those with non health-risking allergies to animals.
So, "fur" essentially has different layers to it, some that are seasonal, and a "hair" breed wears the same coat all year round.
The term "non-shedding" is true for a cockapoo that meets standards, but it is very often used to mislead people... and the use of the word "hypoallergenic" for dogs is really NOT true. This term is accepted by the community, however it really is misleading, and as a medical professional I really object to the use of this term!!
The definition of hypoallergenic is non-allergy producing. It is a term applied to "a preparation in which every possible care has been taken in formulation and production to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions" (Blakiston's Medical Dictionary).
So the short of it is my dogs don't shed seasonal coats like some dogs do, but they do lose hair occasionally. They are not hypoallergenic, as no dogs are, but they are low dander and there is a lower-risk of allergies associated with this kind of dog.
I hope this answers your questions! I do have a post that is more detailed about allergies if you'd like to read more about allergies in particular (different link from that posted above):
Question: I suffer from Allergies and had heard that Cockapoos were hypoallergenic. Are your dogs ideal for allergy sufferers like me?
Answer: I take the health and comfort of our families just as seriously as that of our puppies! If I (or anyone else) lead you to believe something that isn't true, you could be stuck in a very unfortunate situation (and have a dog that needs a new home).
The true term for any animal that has a single-layer hair coat, is low-dander and lower risk of allergies (or less aggravating allergies). There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, sadly.
Single-layer hair coated dogs, such as cockapoos, are significantly better for allergy sufferers. Some of us with allergies (my seasonal and pet allergies can be downright miserable) love these crosses because of the low-dander, hair coated qualities!
I have seasonal allergies and I do have allergies to both cats and dogs, and I, personally, do not have a problem with my dogs BUT everyone's allergies are different.
So, truthfully speaking, I really really strongly dislike the use of the accepted term of "hypoallergenic" applied to a dog that is NOT actually "hypoallergenic"... it really bugs me. Anyone that tells you that their puppy won't cause any chance of a reaction or is "super unlikely" or "very doubtful" is telling you a pack of lies.
Everyone's allergies respond differently!!
I have a full in-depth and more scientific answer on my Dog Blog. Follow the link below to get a MUCH better idea of whether or not you might be able to own a dog such as a Cockapoo without making yourself miserable with allergies!