Welcome to Our Puppy Blog!

Welcome to our blog! I am a small hobby breeder of Schnoodle puppies. My Schnoodles are a cross of the White Schnauzer with a Red Poodle. These dogs do not shed, are great for allergy sufferers, are friendly and easily trained.

We have 3 breeding females and sell our puppies face to face as required by APHIS rules for hobby breeders.


Our breeding dogs are from purebred Akc lines and the Schnoodle puppies are registered with ICA (the registry for Designer breed dogs.)

They will be vet checked, have their first set of shots, and be Ugodog Puppy Toilet Trained. But this is just the beginning! Read through our posts to see the special care and attention we give our litter. You will enjoy watching our Growing Puppies!

We sell our puppies through our Waiting list. We do not post them on the blog for purchase. If you wish to be contacted with updates on the next litter email me at GrowingPuppies@gmail.com

Update: We hope for a litter this winter. I will email my contact list when our female is bred. I also hope for a litter in early spring 2018.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A visit with Bart the Red Poodle Stud

 I took a long drive through the Virginia country side yesterday to visit the Breeder who owns the stud for our upcoming litter.

 'Bart' is an AKC miniature poodle standing 14" tall.  He looks to be a wonderful match for our Dixie!   Very calm, and sweet...didn't even bark when we walked in.   Because he is a miniature size, and not a toy size, he will produce larger puppies than last years litter.  And Bart is experienced, having sired many litters of beautiful red poodles.  He is a young male  and my hope is he will be able to sire many of our future litters. 
Virginia is so lovely, even in winter







I was also very impressed with the expertise of the breeder.  The quarters were meticulously clean and orderly.   The dogs were beautiful and healthy. He was a very kind man, and he was very gentle with the dogs.   When the time comes, I will feel very comfortable leaving Dixie with this breeder for the week.

I was so glad I had a chance to visit well in advance of the actual breeding.  The month of May will come quicker than I know, and Dixie could even come into heat early....so it is always wise to make plans early. I cannot wait to see the puppies that will be produced with our Schnauzer and the gorgeous red poodle Bart!  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DIY Snuggle Pet Toy for Your New Puppy

One of our wonderful puppy owners purchased a Snuggle Pet for her puppy.  We tried it out with our litter and all the puppies loved it....When Oscar went to his new home it was a real comfort for him to take the Snuggle Pet home with him.  To help him with this transition his owner put in the battery operated heart, and the warmers that were provided with the toy.   The heart mimicked the sound of his mothers heartbeat and the warmer gave him a cozy spot to cuddle since he no longer had his litter mates.   His new owner was so happy to have the Snuggle Pet, and so was Oscar.

After reading the rave reviews from other Amazon customers and seeing how much the puppies enjoyed snuggling with this toy, I really wanted to buy a Snuggle Pet for my own puppy.  I put it in my shopping cart, and realized the $39.99 price tag was putting me outside of my budget for essential puppy purchases.  ....But I really wanted to try this!   So....being a long time 'Do-It-Yourselfer" I decided to make my own.

At first I thought about just making a pillow out of fake fur from the fabric store....But then it occurred to me that it would cost less to recycle an old toy from our family collection of a gazillion stuffed animal toys.  Most of our plush toys have sentimental attachment for my kids.  But there was one little 'Toto' dog that was not a particular favorite.  I bought the toy for $5.00 from Kohls last year.   

$5.00 plush toy dog from Kohls

I looked it over to see if there was any parts that could come loose.  The eyes were too secure for me to remove and the nose was soft and made of faux leather.  It seemed very well constructed. 

So I took out a seam ripper from my sewing box, and went to work removing the seam under the body of the dog.  I ripped out the tag, and that provided an opening that was the perfect size for removing stuffing. 

Removing the stuffing creates a place for me to insert some Warmers that I purchased from Amazon.com.  You can also buy these warmers in the camping section of a Sporting Goods store.  I chose warmers that are a large size and had 20 plus hours of heat.  So one warmer should last all day.  They are non toxic and safe....but I will make sure to secure the opening with a strip of velcro that I glue in place with hot glue.  I could also put a small clock in the toy to mimik the heart beat...but I think I will skip that step.  In my opinion the value of this toy is in the cuddly warmth, more than the heart beat.


 

The manufacturer describes these Warmers as follows...."Warmers are safe to use, odorless and non-toxic. The Heat Factory warmer is a soft, lightweight pouch containing a biodegradable mixture of iron powder, charcoal, salt, sawdust and vermiculite. When exposed to the air, an oxidation process takes place that generates heat."

 They come 10 in a pack and cost $12.66
You can find them in our Shop under Puppy Supplies.
 
 After the 'Heat Factory Operation" you can see that the doggy toy does not look much different then it did in the beginning.  I never pulled the stuffing out of the head, because it did not seem necessary to do so.  But the body now lies flat so our puppy can easily snuggle into it.

Although not as perfect as the original Snuggle Pet...it still lacks the heart beat....it may not be as handsome...I am still pretty happy at the results. And the price of $12.66 for 10 days of cozy warmth was pretty awesome.  

 Now to see how well my puppy likes it!
 

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Guide to Choosing Toys and Chews

When you visit the pet section of most stores, the number of wonderful little toys is a feast for the eyes.  Bright colors, unusual shapes and sizes....so many cute things, I want to buy them all!  But a look at the price tags quickly brings me to reality.  Rather than spend a fortune its best to make smart choices.
Avoid toys made of thin rubber.

So what's the big deal about buying toys?  Wouldn't a trip to the dollar store for a bunch of small squeeky things do the trick.  Actually that could be a disaster.  The first thing you  should consider when buying a puppy toy is safety.  You don't want to buy a toy that is meant for children and find the rubber is so soft your doggy tears pieces off, or pulls out the squeekers.  What if he swallowed some of these parts?  It could mean a trip to the veterinary.

The first rule of thumb is to buy toys for dogs that are meant for dogs.  Next find a toy that is breed appropriate.  I owned a Border Collie many years ago.  There were very few toys on the market that would not be destroyed in the first few minutes....His jaws were that strong.  I quickly figured out that sturdy rubber balls, and heavy duty Kong toys (the largest sizes) were the only kind that were safe for him.

With a miniature Schnoodle you buy a totally different kind of toy than a Border Collie.  Your puppy won't like the large tough rubber toys that the working dogs need.  The great part is there is a very large range of fun toys that are available for the miniature size Schnauzer or Schnoodle.

Things to consider:

1.  Choose the right size.  Small toys are good, as long as they are not too small that they can be ingested.

2. Make sure there are no detachable parts.  This includes ribbons strings, plastic eyes...and especially squeekers.  The metal part that squeeks on some rubber toys also can be swallowed.

3.Don't buy a toy with sharp or protruding parts

4. Do buy a variety of chew toys!  The dogs need them especially during teething.  Nylabones are considered the safest bones because they don't splinter...but try to get ones that are not too big and tough for a young puppy.

5. Don't be too beguiled by cute toys.  After all, your dog doesn't care about all the bright colors...your dog doesn't care if his toy looks just like him.  Basically the cuteness won't make a difference to the dog.  And after all isn't your puppy all the cuteness you need?.   
A floppy Wooly sheep...my dogs will love it!

Doggy Toy Stuffed Animals
 
There are many cloth toys made for dogs.  The ones that do not contain stuffing are better than those with stuffing.  Some contain squeekers inside.  These toys need to be checked often, so you can remove the toy if it gets any holes or becomes shredded in any way.   I am very selective about the stuffed animal toys that I buy.  I use them sparingly because don't want them to think they can play with my children's stuffed animals.  We like to use them for games.  For instance, we might hide a soft toy during 'hide and seek' games.  Using the command "Go find the toy!" our dogs will run around in excitement trying to sniff it out. Generally I prefer rope toys to cloth toys...because they last longer.  The dogs still enjoy running with them and chewing on them....but they are not so easily confused with people clothes or kid toys.



Treat Stuffing Toys:

The Kong Company makes the best quality toys for stuffing treats.  These toys can be filled with all kinds of things.  They are a great way to entertain a dog in a confined area, and encourage appropriate chewing.   Some people fill them with kibble, then seal the hole with peanut butter and put it in the freezer.  When they have to leave the puppy in the morning.  They give them a Kong to occupy him for a while and give him his meal that way as well.



When your puppy is a little older you can start experimenting with a variety of other stuffing options for your Kong.  The Kong Company has a large number of homemade recipes your dog is sure to love.  Here are just a few, "Bubbas breakfast" is scrambled egg mixed with cheese.  Diva Dinner is a mixture of Chicken, Carrots, peas, rice and gravy.  That was the menu for our dinner last night!...I could stuff Kongs with our leftovers!  For more Kong recipes, visit.  http://www.kongcompany.com/recipes/   Just keep in mind that not all people food is suitable for dogs.  Dogs for instance are allergic to onions and chocolate.  So research appropriate foods before stuffing them in your dogs Kong.

Recommended KONG Products for Puppies 7 to 12 Weeks:

  • KONG Puppy rubber toys are ideal for training, rewarding, and getting your puppy through that terrible teething phase.
  • Stuff’N Puppy Easy Treat and Stuff’N Puppy Snacks are great for stuffing puppy KONGs.
  • Puppy Wubba is a fun squeaky toy. Your puppy will love to play fetch and tug games with it.

A blog follower recommended this toy...and I have to say, it is ingenious!  The Bob-A-Lot is a Treat Dispenser and Toy all in one.  It releases kibble slowly as the dogs play with it.  Dogs really prefer working for their food, then gobbling it down in 2 minutes and the fun is gone.  Yes, this is now on my wish list!  Thanks for sharing!



Natural Chews:

The typical raw hide treat
Rawhide is the most popular chew for dogs.  Rawhide is made from the inner layer of a cows hide.  The soft inner layer is cut and formed into different shapes for dog chews.   This soft hide is not digestible.

There is a lot of controversy over Raw hide chews.  The benefits of the Raw hide chew is that dogs love them, and they satisfy the dogs natural urge to chew, helps with teething and cleans teeth.  The danger is that if the dog chews off a small piece they could easily get lodged in the throat and cause a blockage.  If a blockage results surgery could be required, and if not resolved a blockage can lead to death.   Some say the risks are not very high when you consider the number of dogs that do eat raw hides without any problems....but I still feel there are safer choices.


So if you choose to give your dogs raw hides you must keep an eye on them.  Remove the little pieces that may get broken off.  Remove the rawhide when it gets very small.  We are warned to watch the dog eating the rawhide to remove it if he breaks off pieces small enough to choke on.

Bully sticks
Bones are another very contraversial chew for dogs because they are not digestible and can splinter.  If you do give your dog a bone choose an uncooked thick heavy kind.  The meat dept sometimes offers bones for dogs. dogs.  But never use cooked bones, or chicken bones.  Chicken bones are especially dangerous.  Most of all a greasy smelly beard is a great reason to avoid real bones!
 
A safer alternative to Raw Hides and Bones are the Bully stick.  It is made from ....I know this is disgusting...the bull penis.  They are apparently very appealing to dogs, and fully digestible.  But I have never bought them....yes, they gross me out!

I would also never purchase Bones or Bully Sticks because they are likely to make a dogs beard stinky and smelly.  This is an important consideration with a bearded dog.

Elk Antler
Some other chews I recently discovered are Antlers and Hooves.  These chews do not leave a dogs beard greasy.  They are cleaner, they don't splinter as readily as bones and my dogs love them.   I have not purchased hooves before, but I understand they splinter more than antlers.  They do work best with small dogs whose jaws are less strong.

Nutritional Chew Treats


Greenies are very popular chew treat intended to also clean a dogs teeth and freshen breath.  I looked into the reviews of this product and they are very popular...but some people have had problems as well. 
-Do NOT give before 6 mths of age. Be sure to give the size that is appropriate for your dog. 
-They are suppose to be digestible, but some instance have occurred where dogs had blockages caused by this treat. 
- The instances are not common given the fact that millions of treats are consumed by dogs every year.  Nonetheless, be cautious with this treat like all chews.  Be sure your dog chews it into small pieces.  If he tends to eat it without chewing sufficiently, then discontinue use. 


 So as you see, there is a whole lot of choices out there for chews and toys.  Buy a variety of different ones so you can rotate them daily for your pup.  By keeping him occupied and interested, he learns to entertain himself alone in a confined space.  This reduces unwanted behaviors, crying, barking and separation anxiety.  By teaching him appropriate chew objects, he is less likely to chew on your valued possessions.   I hope this guide gives you some ideas when choosing your puppy toys!  Check out all my favorite toys and chews in the Our Shop page of our BLOG under the category, Toys and Chews.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Memories!


Dixie and her 4 week old Schnoodle pups last June (6-16-2012)

Good Books for Preparing for a Puppy

Every time I prepare for a big event....I start researching ahead of time.  This  is true even when I have been through it several times before.  For example, I have given birth to seven healthy children through natural childbirth (no drugs or intervention) and with every child I prepared ahead of time by studying pregnancy and child birth from beginning to end.   I especially liked the Bradley Method of Childbirth because it focused on good nutrition, physical exercise, and how nature works in the birth process.  By understanding nature, I was better able to know and do what was best for myself and my baby no matter what circumstances occurred.   It is so much better to understand how nature works and work with it.  It is not my way to sit back, do nothing, and then have to react to the problems that occur as they happen.

Just as I prepared for my own children, I also prepare for each puppy whelping.  I read and study as if it was our first litter, to refresh my memory on how to set our mama and her puppies up for whelping success in the beginning.

Now that I am bringing home an 8 week old puppy, the situation is new once more.   I don't rear puppies from 8 weeks to adult every year.  So I like to read new books to refresh my memory of puppy rearing and pick up on new insights and methods.  I want to understand her developmental stages, provide her with her needs and structure her life from the beginning, so we will help her reach her highest potential and avoid any bad habits or behavioral issues for the future.
 
  One of my favorite author for dog rearing, is Dr. Ian Dunbar.  Dr Ian Dunbar has been an animal behaviorist for the past 35 years.  He has written numerous books to share his tried and true approach to dog training.  A big part of his philosophy is understanding developmental stages of dogs and avoiding bad habits before they start.   I had read several of his books with my past dogs, and recently purchased one specifically for new puppies.  Before and After Getting Your Puppy, by Dr Ian Dunbar is comprehensive and common sense.  I have been reading through it over the past several days and enjoying his sound advice.


Dr Ian Dunbars recommendations are consistent with the methods I will be using with my new puppy.  He recommends preparing a puppy confinement area with a crate, a puppy toilet, appropriate chew toys etc.  He discusses the importance of early socialization, house training, chewing and Bite inhibition.  He also addresses common pitfalls, simple commands, tricks and adolescence behaviors.  I am especially interested in this book because it will be a nice summary for my new puppy families to buy for themselves.   Read it before you get your puppy.  I will keep my book on the coffee table.   Hopefully other members of my household will also pick it up for reference.  This books is truly the nuts and bolts of what to do and when to do it with your puppy from 8 weeks through adolescence.