Neuter or not?
There can be some effects (positive and negative) of leaving a male intact through to maturity.
IF there are a lot of intact females nearby and any of them go into heat it is possible that an intact male can urine mark inside the house! This is a sprinkle and not a flood for a dog this size, but it is not easy on the carpet or mom (or you).
As we have to separate our male and female during three heat cycles per year (since we've only been breeding once a year thus far) our male generally gets batty when our female is in heat. He has marked inside a few times during these times (and each heat cycle lasts about a month) but he knows he isn't allowed to do that and he has finally stopped doing it. It can take patience and persistence to train a dog not to mark (or go to the bathroom in general) inside the house, particularly if it is territorial behavior. But it is doable.
Of course, there may not be females for miles around, as most people spay their females right away. If there are lots of barking dogs nearby this may also cause some marking behaviors.
My Aussie growing up was an intact male (there are lots of benefits to leaving your male intact) and a male dog moved in next door. This neighbor dog was one of the worst dogs ever! He howled in the middle of the night, barked all day and night, and generally annoyed the heck out of the entire neighborhood. When this occurred my then 5 year old dog Augie did start marking on a wooden tv set we had in the living room. He learned to knock it off, but he did do it several times and clean up was a pain in the neck. He eventually learned to stop, but the neighbor dog "Bart" never did... he was such a butt-head dog! Well, I guess the owners who refused to train him were the butt heads, really!
There are some general pros to leaving the dog intact. Animal rights activists would have us believe that it is unhealthy and can cause cancer if we allow our animals to keep their reproductive organs. I can tell you that is an outright lie. There is nothing healthy about removing a male dog's testicles or removing the uterus and ovaries of a female dog. Both require major surgery and that can also be dangerous. It is important to pick your vet carefully! I have a good family friend who brought their 4 month old beagle puppy to be neutered and he died during the surgery from the anesthesia. It can happen.
There are health benefits for the dog as well. Most "advice" these days is geared toward getting animals snipped long before they even begin doggie puberty. The idea is that most people will not pay attention and watch for signs of sexual maturation and then oops, fluffy is now going to be a parent, and who cares for all the puppies?
Anyway, it is healthy for your male puppy to (at a minimum) go through at least 6-8 months of life with his male parts intact. This is important for him to develop his muscles and his little doggie brain. There are hormones that will be prevented from existing at all as soon as the parts are removed and as soon as they are removed any and all male hormone production will cease. These hormones are what make your male a male, and they keep him healthy and muscular. They also encourage him to be a good watch dog. (not a guard dog, there is a difference. Watch dogs will alert you to danger and intruders, guard dogs will actually attack danger and intruders and may not alert you at all, depending on the breed). Cockapoos make very good watch dogs.
I personally appreciate that my male dog will bark and alert me if there is someone on my property. He doesn't bark at cats, squirrels, or other dogs, but if there is a strange person in the yard he lets me know right away. I like this about him and I wouldn't change that at all. My female does not ever bark unless I command her to. She will occasionally bark with my male dog when she has a litter of puppies in the house. I cannot rely on her to alert me to danger.
In the same way a dog like my male and most intact males will alert you to other major dangers, like a house fire. Often dogs will bark and wake their owners in the event of a fire, smoke, etc. Of course, I prefer to rely on my smoke detectors, but it is nice to know that my dog is there with me too.
I particularly like my male dog sleeping in my daughters' room. This way I would know immediately if there anything was amiss! He'd bark and I'd wake up and that gives me peace of mind. He is better than a security system.
Neutering is very likely to deter this behavior, especially if it is done too early in the dog's life. It is done later (the later the better) this protective behavior can stick around.
Intact male cockapoos are not aggressive, as cockapoos are not an aggressive breed at all. Anyone with an aggressive cockapoo either has a very sick and in pain dog, a very abused dog, or a dog from extremely bad lines (bad bad breeding). The cockapoo breed in general is very sweet and docile.
My male dog allows my 8 month old son to climb all over him. He really likes kids and he will immediately shove his face into any carseat or activity center my son is in, especially if the baby starts to cry. He is there in a second, like he understands that the baby is crying and needs consolation!
The funny thing is that it works. My son now adores my male dog (my female pretty much stays away from the baby in general but she tolerates him without any problems when she must). My male dog will endure major hair pulling, poking and prodding just to be near the baby! We generally have to protect him from the baby and not the other way around.
Anyway, proof positive that unaltered males are not aggressive. Rusty would never bite.
Dogs that are "fixed" have a tendency to become very doughy, soft or outright fat. There are generally zero weight problems associated with an intact dog (male or female).
There are obvious benefits to spaying a female (no cycle to worry about) but there are truly very few benefits to "fixing" a male dog, unless there is a real risk of the dog finding a female in heat.
I have never met an owner of an intact male dog that had their dog run away to search for a female in heat. This is something that is often claimed, but it is pretty much an outright lie. There are certain breeds that are prone to "running away", like hound dogs, (beagles especially) but this is because they are following an interesting scent trail and not looking for a female. Other times it is because the dog is a very solitary, independant breed that feels no real attachment to it's human family (like the husky breed. Beautiful dog, pain in the rear to train and not really cuddly at all)
Cockapoos are extremely people oriented. They will follow you all around the house, constantly. If I go to the bathroom and don't allow them to follow me in they will sit patiently outside the door and wait for me!! :-) They are my buddies. When my husband comes home they take turns following one or the other of us, whoever seems like they might be going somewhere interesting I suppose!
We have no fence in our yard and do not need one as our dogs stay with us much of the time, and if they wander around it is within sight of one of the people family. They like to be with family as much as possible, for this reason they make horrible "outside only" dogs. They would be miserable if they were banned from the house.
I can't think of anything else at the moment. Shoot with any questions you might have!
Q: I've heard that many puppies come home with parasites! Will our puppy come home with "worms" and what should we do? Can they hurt us?
While parasites are extremely common in young puppies we do everything in our power to prevent infestation in our adult dogs and in our yard to prevent the spread to our puppies, our children and ourselves!!
Not all doggie parasites can spread to people, and the most common "Large Roundworm" is harmless to humans, but there are some sorts that can infect you and your family, so it is more important to pay attention to your pup's health (and her poop) than you might think!
To date none of our adult dogs or puppies bred here have ever tested positive for any kind of parasite, ever. Now that can change in a heartbeat, and does not necessarily mean I'm doing something unsanitary. We do have several neighbors that don't believe in keeping their dogs in their yards, and these dogs just LOVE to come over here to poop. (Thanks) We also have lots of dogs and visitors to our property. While we work very hard to keep the puppies' yard section clean and free of strange dogs it just isn't always possible to prevent everything! We hope we will contnue to see negative fecals on all our animals and those reports from our new puppy owners as well.
Some parasites are transmitted via mosquitos and I do my best to keep their numbers down.
We don't have standing water or stagnant water, puddles, etc on the yard so I can't imagine any puppy or dog here can contract giarrdia or Leptospirosis. While we do have ticks I keep the pups in areas where we don't generally see ticks and I check them thoroughly daily and have never *knock on wood* pulled a tick off any of the dogs. (Plus Lyme disease generally is transmitted from nymph deer ticks around August and takes around 12-24 hours of a tick being attached to actually transmit the spirochete)
We do treat our yard regularly with an awesome product that is made of garlic, believe it or not, and it works better than every poison and nasty toxic substance on the market. This stuff, called "Yard Barrier" is really a life-saver. We buy it by the case, so if you'd like to try it out let us know and you can buy one of our bottles. Otherwise you can find it on Amazon, and through many other dealers around. This stuff is truly amazing and it is safe and it makes my yard smell like an Italian resturant for about 1 evening. :-) The smell dissapates after that, so no worries there. I guess "vampires" (like mosquitos and ticks and biting flies) really do hate garlic!
So, the answer to your question is, we believe that it is very unlikely that your pup will go home with parasites of any kind. However, since they are common and can be picked up anywhere you might go with your pup after you leave here you should talk to your vet about having standard "worming" treatments (which we do start here as a preventative) and possibly having a fecal test done if you're seeing any watery stools with your little guy.
Hope that helps!
I wanted to mention to you, as well, that it is possible that your vet could recommend the nasal vaccine for Bordatella. This vaccine is almost always a combination vaccine for parainfluenza (which she recently had, so don't get this unless she is due to avoid over-vaccination) and also, frankly, the bordatella vaccine is not a very useful vaccine. In my opinion the risks of the vaccine do not outweigh the potential benefits. This vaccinates against "kennel cough". The problem is that this vaccine is rarely effective and there are so many various strains of this virus that most vaccinated dogs that are put into kennels and doggie day-care type settings that are exposed to one of the many strains tend to get the virus despite their vaccine. Boarding facilities and doggie day cares require the vaccine only to protect their own liability, not to benefit the health of your dog. But, more importantly, Carly isn't being boarded in a large facility any times soon! (And if she didn't catch Bordatella in a kennel she'd just get corona virus or some other cough. They are fairly mild illnesses and easy to treat, when they require treatment).
The vaccine can have some nasty side effects, so I recommend fully discussing it with your vet before agreeing to it.
The second vaccine that may be recommended is the vaccine for Lyme disease. This vaccine also has serious side-effects and has shown over and over again to be ineffective. Most veterinarians would not recommend this vaccine and it isn't widely produced for this reason. The best way to prevent Lyme infection is to use a good medication like K-9 Advantix monthly during any month when ticks are not dormant (there is no point of using this during the winter and the advertisements claiming so are only attempting to frighten people into spending money on their extremely expensive products. I've used every tick preventative out there (ticks are dense on our property) and K-9 Advantix has been the only one to do much good at all, although Frontline comes in second. Also, if you go to any tick infested areas check her thoroughly afterwards. Remove attached ticks with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible, and pull gently out, trying to avoid crushing the tick or leaving the mouthparts in the dog's skin. I recommend flushing removed ticks because they are very difficult to crush or throw out and I've seen them climb back out of sinks hours after being washed down (with copious amounts of scalding water, I might add). Generally speaking it takes 12-24 hours for the spirochete that causes Lyme to be transmitted from tick to host. So, check for ticks and you reduce your risks. Also, nymph ticks tend to be the worst of the vectors and they tend to be around in August, so it may be prudent to avoid tick infested areas in that time frame. Deer and Lonestar ticks are the ones that spread the infection around here. Nymph deer ticks are about the size of a poppy seed, so very touch to spot. I like to feel my dogs all over with my finger tips to check for lumps, bumps, etc. Its a good habit to get into about once/week, just because then you get to know your dog's skin and body and new and unusual things will be readily noticeable. Also, Carly will love this :-)
The final vaccine to avoid entirely is the one for Leptospirosis or "Lepto". This vaccine is known to KILL puppies and small dogs. Avoid it. If your vet recommends it have a very good conversation as to why, and I would still get a second opinion before agreeing to it. Lepto is another lovely spirochete and is commonly shed in the urine of carrier animals such as raccoons and rats. Avoid feeding wildlife such as raccoons and no one feeds wild rats on purpose :-)
Lepto is unlikely to be any kind of real threat to you or Carly (as the many strains of Lepto can infect people as well). Shed lepto tend to hang out in stagnant water and cannot tolerate cold temperatures so areas where there are not lots of swamps and where there are cold winters have much lower incidence of Lepto infection for people and pets.
Anyway, keep Carly far away from standing or stagnant water for LOTS of reasons... and I'm sure you already know that! Standing water can harbor giardia, Leptospirosis, and all kinds of other nasty zoonotic diseases.
Fortunately for those that catch Lepto (which primarily attacks the kidneys, and maybe the liver as well) it is easily treated. This is a disease which is not resistant to antibiotics, so once it is diagnosed it is easy to be rid of.
Just stay out of those rat infested swamps, ok? ;-)
Alright, I've flooded your inbox with another novel of an email! Hope they are helpful! Have a great week!
Q: I've heard that my puppy will probably get diarrhea when she comes home. Is that true? Is it dangerous? Could it be from "worms"?
A: Loose stool is fairly common with puppies going to their forever homes! There are many reasons for this. First, it is very stressful for the little guy. It is his first time away from his "pack" of both dogs and people! This transition can stress him out a bit and cause him to have loose bowels.
Also, many families choose to swap the puppy's diet too quickly. The puppy is weaned onto a certain food here, then swapped suddenly to a whole new food. This can cause loose bowels even in adult dogs. Food transitions should be made gradually.
Feeding the puppy very greasy treats (like hotdogs or pizza) can cause an upset tummy.
Also reactions to vaccines are a very common cause of puppy diarrhea!
There is a BIG difference between "loose stools" or "watery stools" and diarrhea though!
If your puppy seems ill that is time to see a veterinarian! Your puppy should not be going very frequently (1-3 times a day, generally) and the poop should not be forceful. If your puppy seems to be "shooting" out poop, you see mucous in the poop or anything that looks like bright blood or anything black and tarry (blood from higher in the intestinal tract or stomach) or anything that looks like "worms" or pieces of rice (unless you're feeding him rice, of course). You should see a vet asap and give me a call!
If your pup seems listless go to the vet immediately!
If your pup is having diarrhea or watery stool it could be that he/she might be having an adverse reaction to food she has consumed the last couple days. I'm not sure what food you're mixing with the food I sent, but it is possible she is sensitive to it. Some dog foods contain ingredients that frequently make dogs sick. Also, some dogs get very sick from a new food even when that food is a wonderful and expensive variety.
There is always the concern that a puppy will get watery stool if they are fed too much milk (yogurt is better and some say that canned condensed milk, reconstituted is also easier on the stomach since some of the proteins are broken down during the heating/evaporation process)
Most commonly, animals get runny stools when they are stressed out. A whole change in environment, their first night away from their litter mates and their normal surroundings can be quite new and scary for these little guys!
Also check your house for poisonous houseplants and chemicals used on the floors as cleaners and other dangerous things that may be ingested by the little thing. Make sure your sweet little children don't slip the new puppy any "treats" that aren't safe for dogs! Puppies like to chew, so poisonous/toxic plants in the yard can be an issue as well (which is why I only use non-toxic plants in my yard)
It is also very possible for your puppy to be having an adverse reaction to her vaccinations. I've seen pups (and cats and human babies) have adverse reactions to vaccinations up to three weeks after a round of shots. If there is no nailed down cause for this you may need to be very vigilant about watching her for another bad reaction to her shots the next time she gets them!!! Look in the blog for my article on dog and puppy vaccines. There are some vaccines that are just down right dangerous for your pet, and many others are given far too close together!!
Soft stools or a bit of diarrhea can be from stress of the transition, watery or frequent diarrhea is NOT from stress! And vomiting and being listless? That is NOT from stress unless you've allowed your little angel to scream and cry desperately in her crate during the night for hours on end... Yikes! Poor little sweetie. You should do the "tent" test on your puppy to check for hydration. Pinch a bit of loose skin in between her/his shoulder blades to make a little tent (don't worry, this doesn't hurt, this is how Mama carrie them, and I carry them like this all the time. You aren't putting all puppy's body weight on this skin so this won't hurt... and remember that a squirming, playful or objectionable puppy is a whole lot better than a listless puppy who doesn't respond to anything. Tent up this skin and release it. The skin/fur should "snap" back, it should return to its normal position readily. Skin that remains in this "tented state" for longer than just a few seconds is a dehydrated puppy. You should give your puppy an electrolyte solution by mouth with a child's type medical syringe (no needle) or eye dropper or even a baby's bottle if you cannot get her/him to drink from a bowl. If your puppy is vomiting you need to run, not walk, to the closest veterinarian, and call on the way so they know you're coming.
If your puppy has lost fluids you should not hesitate to bring her in for subcutaneous fluids (this is just a shot of lactated ringers solution (sterile water and electrolytes) that goes under the skin and is absorbed quickly.) This is a better way to give such a small animal fluids than an IV and is easier and less traumatic.
If you think your little one has more than just one or two soft mushy stools don't hesitate to call me right away and also call your veterinarian!!
Talk to you soon!!!
---Incomplete--not edited fully-mishmash of several emails and articles written as all of these are!!--
crying at night
Is your puppy making such a ruckus even if she was the quietest puppy of the group? I really am not surprised! She probably hates sleeping alone. Is there any way she could sleep with someone? Perhaps with your daughter or son? That would make puppy happy. The puppy might potty in the room if she has free reign of the entire room, but she would not potty directly on the bed if she were allowed on the bed with you or your child. You could also try attaching her harness to a doggie bed on the floor next to the bed so she can't wander away and potty on the floor somewhere.
You can also put the crate in your bedroom. Or your daughter/son may really enjoy using a sleeping bag and sleeping on the floor next to the new puppy's crate for a few nights while Puppy gets used to being in there. If she is crated in there with you right there she probably won't cry all night!
Lots of people aren't fond of the dog in the room on the floor in a doggie bed or on a child's bed (or an adult's bed) but my dogs do sleep with my children. I actually really like it because I know that if anything happens to my children while they are sleeping (God forbid someone entered my home) my dogs would let me know ASAP. So it does make me feel more secure. Plus my girls just adore having them in there.
The rub to that situation is that our Rosie decided she liked sleeping on the floor next to the girls' beds so well that she pulled her puppies out of their whelping box and wanted their nest to be in the girls' room in between their beds!! She was kinda mad at me when I made her go back to her whelping box. :-)
The other best thing to do to get your new puppy to stop screeching and keeping everyone awake and upset during the night is to exercise her vigorously for about a half hour to an hour before bed. Then (like a toddler also refusing to go to bed) you'll have a wiped out puppy who will zonk right out in her crate without a peep.
Keep in touch and let me know if there is anything you would like me to do to help out!! I am at your disposal!!
1 regular size can of whole fat Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
1 equal size can of Water (12 oz)
**OR 3 cups of whole or 2% milk)**
1 cup (or an 8 ounce container) regular Plain or Vanilla Yogurt (no artificial sweeteners! Can contain sugar a 6 oz container is also fine)
2 egg yolks (NO WHITE)
1 packet unflavored gelatin
(OPTIONAL) 1 strained/pureed jar baby food meat such as chicken/beef/turkey etc. or a chunk of meat from home/fresh blended into chunks with a mini processor or blender or shredded..
(OPTIONAL) 2-3 Tablespoons of Canned Pumpkin (stops diarrhea and/or poops)
Blend/stir all Ingredients. Can be refrigerated several days (3-5). Can be gently heated in sauce pan on the stove on medium-low heat. Do not boil. Can simmer gently and stir consistently. If from the fridge should be warmed in the microwave. )
"Puppy Custard" is not just for puppies, "Puppy Custard" is a very healthy supplement for dogs of all ages. Cockapoos do not tend to over-eat and have problems with obesity.
If you have a dog with dull/lusterless coat/hair. If you have a dog that is boney/too thin. If you have a very itchy dog this can make it a lot better. If any of these issues are the cause for your use of puppy custard make sure that you're not using skim/low-fat products. Fat is very important for consumption!!
sable merle or blue merle? And what is the difference anyway?
Ok, your puppy is a sable merle, not a blue merle... what is the difference? He would keep all his black and the grey as well (or bluing as its called) just the spots where he has deeper red-mahogany will turn a lighter apricot instead. Again, its impossible to really know for sure for a few more weeks, but the second I get a better clue you'll know!
Not sure what you know of genetics, but a genotype is what genes an animal has and the phenotype is what characteristics actually show up physically. For example, I have green eyes, thats my phenotype, but I carry the blue eye gene (as my father has blue eyes) and since my husband has blue eyes we can have children with blue eyes (and 2 of our 3 do). So I am capable of passing the blue eyed gene, even though I don't show it.
Well, we know that Rusty's father was a very dark red poodle and his mother was a buff-apricot colored American Cocker.
However the sable gene does not always show itself phenotypically in an apparent way with lighter colored dogs. Rusty was a deep rusty red when we got him as a puppy (hence his name) but as he grew older his hair seemed to lighten. In reality Rusty carries the sable gene. This gene alters color in the way that it is expressed on the coat of the animal. Generally a darker color is visible on the tips of hairs and a much lighter color (in our case apricot) is visible at the root of the hairs.
Sable is most well known for the way it behaves on a black coated dog. A dog with the black-coat genes that also inherits the sable gene will appear all black at birth and slowly over time will show this copper-penny colored hair underneath. Eventually the dog gets his first hair-cut and most of the dog looks like the copper-penny color and the places where the hair isn't trimmed much (the face, ears, paws, etc) the hair stays black at the tips and copper at the roots. You can google "sable" and see pictures, or you can see on my "previous litters" page a puppy that lays his head down on a wooden clog-type shoe. That puppy is a sable color. He is also shown wearing his harness, I think it is yellow and black.
Our first surprise was a blue merle that seemed to have a lot of coppery brown on his coat. His name is "Augie" and he is a gorgeous dog with a great personality! His owners are great people too.
Anyway, to make a long story short, Augie doggie is a gorgeous merle with one blue eye. He had a lot of brown on him and less silver. When he had his first haircut his color changed dramatically. A lot of the pattern was cut off and he looked like a totally different dog. He still has merle pattern coloring in swirls on his coat, but instead of black tipped-russet and auburn coat swirled with black he has more of a dark red-apricot coloring. with no black tipped hairs.
He is still an absolutely gorgeous animal, of course, but the change was dramatic and startling! When I saw him only one year since his birth he looked like a completely different dog!
He is still an exceptionally beautiful dog with a very boisterous and friendly personality but it really took me by surprise!
After discussing this at length with a friend who studies as a geneticist and is particularly interested in coat color in dogs, we have concluded that since we had two puppies with the sable gene in our litter the year Augie was born (out of Rosie sired by Rusty) that Rusty must be a carrier of the gene, and it isn't just a fluke. It can happen that the sable gene can be paired with the merle gene and create whats called a "sable merle".
So, ultimately, while it appeared that Augie was a blue merle, he was, in fact, a sable merle.
The merle gene works as a complementary gene to other colors. It is a dilution gene, in that it puts a pattern on the coat and dilutes the color down significantly. So a dog that would have been a black dog turns into a "blue" dog with the dilution of the merle gene. A liver (or red) colored dog turns into a red merle. A chocolate colored dog becomes a chocolate merle, and so on and so forth. Merle can even be hidden in a fawn, buff, cream or white colored coat.
Anyway, to make a very long story short it is possible that Vex is actually a sable merle and not a blue merle, predominantly. He clearly has black markings that are "blued" as a result of the merle pattern, however his reddish colored spots can be tan markings from his mother, or sable markings from his father.
There really is hardly any way to know for sure until he has a hair cut, although I will be watching his coat for signs either way.
Both are beautiful coat colors, but this does concern me as I do not want to give you a dog that isn't exactly what you're expecting.
At any rate I don't imagine that you'll want to pass on him just because he has some sable in his coat, it doesn't disqualify him as a standard-breed and there are few conformance competitions for cockapoos anyway, not that I expect you're much into the show circle. ;-)
However, in all fairness, if you would rather wait for a blue merle with no sabling in his coat I can understand and I will refund your deposit.
If you don't mind the chance that his copper-red sections might become a lighter apricot color after he gets a haircut and some of the merle pattern might fade into obscurity in those locations, then he is all yours. Either way he is going to be a beautiful dog worthy of making puppies of his own.
Like I said before, I don't expect you'll mind a bit of sable over tan, but I am not an irresponsible breeder or someone that is trying to ever be dishonest or misrepresent an animal in any way. I want you to be thoroughly happy with your little man!
Talk to you soon,
I'm of the mind that the current puppy market is out of control. It has gotten greedy. I paid well over a grand for each of my dogs, high quality and from reputable breeders, but still expensive. These prices still sometimes blow my mind!
I charge less because there are lots of families that can not be practical and realistically spend so much on a dog (even if they'd like to) so these families are left with the less expensive pups, generally bad health and temperaments or unwanted for some reason...
I just think its wrong and sad. We want our dogs to go to the best and most loving homes, not just the wealthiest or the highest bidder!
But, yes, if I was pricing my puppies at current market rate he'd be $1500... and he'd sell!
With lower prices I get flooded with offers too, so the best homes get the puppies not the first to ask. Not that I tell people that, of course. ;-) You're by far not the first home that wanted him, or the first to want to send a deposit, but the most loving family! I can see how much you'll love him!
Puppy Pickup Schedule
It is my plan to be sure that all puppies are as prepared for their ride home as possible. This means that I will feed them a big meal about an hour before you're scheduled to be here, take them out and encourage a lot of potty action, and then run them around like crazy until you get here. Then they can potty one more time, have a quick bit of water or warm milk, and get in the car and they should just conk right out and sleep the whole trip home :-)
So, it is helpful to let me know if you're going to be early. Late is ok, I can keep them awake if need be, but early may cause a bit of a hitch in the plan. So, if you're running early feel free to call or text message me and let me know, and feel free to call within a half hour or so before you arrive :-)