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, April 24, 2013

When is the Best time to get a Puppy for Children?

Yankee and his boy... 2011 litter
         Many parents call me wondering what is the right age to get a puppy for a child.   There is no simple answer to this question.  A parent needs to consider the temperament of their child and whether or not he/she is at a good stage to adjust to something new.    The parent also has to consider if he/she is able and willing to devote the time to training a puppy and a child to together.

Sometimes I can hear the hesitation in a parent's voice, and I have to tell parent... 
"It is your call.  Don't feel pressured into getting a puppy.  If you don't want a dog, you shouldn't get one.  Because ultimately it will be YOU who will have to be responsible for a lifetime of dog care.  But if you feel you are ready to make the sacrifice to care for a dog for your spouse or your kids, then that is OK too.  But do it because YOU are committed to do it and do it WELL.
  Older Kids and Puppies
Many parents wait to get a puppy when they think their child is old enough 'to be responsible for a puppy.'  This is commonly parents whose kids range in age from 7-14 yrs of age.  But expecting children to be 'responsible' for a puppy, is simply not realistic for the average child.  Very few children have the maturity to train a puppy.  This can be a challenge even for adults.  The parent has to oversee the child's duties, and the puppy schedule to be sure the child remembers to give the puppy what he needs when he needs it.  The parent also has to teach the child how to teach the puppy good habits.  Training a puppy well is so important that an adult must be involved.  Even the most responsible kids need to be taught, and need to be supervised with puppy training.

But children of this age group do make great helpers.  Parents should take the time to get there kids involved with the puppy.  Here is a list of ways that kids can help with a puppy....

All the family take turns with potty training.
-feed the puppy
- play with the puppy
- teach the puppy commands
- walk the puppy
- help take the puppy to the potty
- help clean the puppy toilet

Most children start out with great enthusiasm for these tasks.  After a few weeks, it is most common for the routine to start to lose its charm.   More often than not, the parent has to step up and take on the duties.  At this point it is up to the parent to decide whether good parenting demands the child's continued involvement, and if so, how they will encourage that involvement to continue.

In my family, different children help in different ways.  The kids at age 10 and above share all the puppy duties.  They take turns....and I take turns too!   There is a lot to do, and I don't want it to be wearisome for anyone.   So sharing the duties makes it easy for everyone.  But with many kids involved there is the danger of diffusion of responsibility.  So I never rely on my kids memory when it comes to the puppy schedule.  I call on them for their help when the time is needed.  I feel that it is ultimately my responsibility to rear this puppy.  So I am there to witness that puppy duties are performed correctly and at the appropriate time.

Puppies and Babies
Babies love puppies..but always supervise!
You don't have to wait for a certain age to get a puppy.  You can get a puppy when your children are any age.   Many people even introduce puppies to their home when they have a baby.  I normally do not recommend having babies and puppies at the same time.  A baby is a lot of work all by themselves!  But if you are an experienced mother, and have an easy baby, training a puppy at the same time may be doable.

For example, I brought home our Toby when he was 8 weeks old.  I also had a 3 month old nursing baby.  (I wouldn't try it with a newborn!)  I remember it was a bit of a challenge to care for a young baby and to potty train a puppy.  But I was happy to do it, because  I wanted my kids to grow up with a dog.

I remember Toby was so small and pathetic.  He would snuggle up next to me, every time I sat down to hold my baby.

As the baby grew to the toddler stage she did not like this arrangement anymore.  She would say, "My Mama!" and push Toby off my lap.  I remember Toby growling as he was not wanting to relinquish his favorite spot!  But I growled right back, even louder.  It was important for Toby to understand that he was not on equal ground as the toddler.  He was in a lower place than the toddler in the hierarchy of our family.  He had to know that baby came first.   If I had not made this clear to Toby, it might have become a dangerous situation....doggy trying to dominate baby.   I always supervised the baby/puppy interaction so our doggy would never be hurt by an rough toddler.  Toby grew up to be well adjusted.  Now he loves children...especially babies! 

Children with Special Needs and Dogs
Yankee at 6 weeks with his girl.
Sometimes a child who has special needs can be greatly helped by having a dog to love.  Autistic children who have difficulties with social cues are often calmed by the presence of a dog in their life.  Children with special needs can have a variety of challenges, and a parent needs to evaluate their child to find out whether a new pet will be helpful and manageable.  Sometimes it is better for children with Special needs to get an older dog instead of a puppy.

This was my situation for us several years ago.  I had an ornery little boy who suffered from acute Gastrointestinal Reflux and tended to be crying and screaming constantly.   My daughter was begging me for a white Schnauzer.  There was NO way a puppy would have been a good thing for me at that time.   My little boy was such a handful!   But my daughter was praying for a dog, and children's prayers are powerful.  

Each child is precious!
While helping a family member choose a puppy, I had the opportunity to meet a breeder with a beautiful white miniature Schnauzer, named Dixie.  At one year of age, Dixie was already trained and exuding charm.  Although I would never have sought out an adult dog for our family, I was very impressed with Dixie's very sweet disposition that I was immediately drawn to her.    The breeder asked if I would be interested in adopting Dixie.  (She had taken on more dogs than she could handle).  It was the day before my daughter's birthday...and it seemed more than a coincidence. So I brought Dixie home, and she ran straight to my daughter.  They made an instant connection and Dixie became her best friend and shadow.  My daughter was in heaven! 

But there was still much vigilance on my part.  Dixie had not been socialized with children, and my little boy was impulsive and rambunctious!  This is not the best situation for an adoption...even for the sweetest dog in the world!  I was already in the habit of closely monitoring my son.  I had to be sure he would not hurt our dogs, or provoke them to bite. I remember he had a habit of kicking his foot out at the dogs as the dogs walked by!   That just freaked Dixie out! 

Growing up with puppies is a wonderful life!
From all appearances it would have seemed from my sons behavior that he had been raised badly.  Being in public was certainly humiliating at times.  But I knew that his acid reflux was the reason for his difficult nature.  It took a lot of patience raising my son and making sure he treated the pets appropriately.

In time my patience did pay off.  Within the year, he got better and better.  Before long he had grown into as sweet as a child could be.   Friends will tell me today that they can't believe he is the same little boy.  And you know, I believe our pets were a good thing for him.  He loves the dogs sooo much!  Every year he spends the most time playing with our litter of puppies and he is so gentle with them.  He is the best source of social interaction they could have!

Dogs with Preschool Aged Kids
Now here we are once more!  A new puppy in the house...and I have another preschooler!   But this time the dynamic is totally different.  My 31/2 year old is a very independent and easy child. (the easiest child I have ever had!)   There was no doubt in my mind that he would adjust very smoothly to the new puppy.   

Nonetheless, I still had watch my child like a hawk!   Those first few weeks were especially crucial.  I wanted set both child and puppy up for a positive experience from the beginning.  It would have been awful if either of them became frightened of the other.  They are both learning how to play safetly together.   

At 11 wks old Coco was still a bit feisty at times.
 During the first few weeks, my preschooler wanted to roll and rough house with the puppy.  That really made Coco rambunctious.  It would trigger her acting rough and biting him.  So I showed him how to use toys to play with her.  If Coco started to bite I encouraged him to give the puppy a toy instead.   I also kept play sessions to shorter time increments.  And kept Coco in her pen at other times.

It is very importance that a parent discourage a puppy from biting the children in play time.  As the puppy gets to be 3-4 months of age such biting could be a lead to dominance problems. 

Several weeks later, I still supervise the puppy play time, but I am much more relaxed about it.  Occasionally, my preschooler is naughty and lets the puppy out of the pen, when I am not looking.  Soon I have a fluffy Coco bounding up behind me in the kitchen!   I will look at my child and say, "Did you let Coco out of her pen?"  And he will look at me with a naughty little grin and big eyes, and say his sister did it!  He knows he isn't  fooling anyone!


A child can be taught to give a puppy a toy when he starts to play bite.
During playtimes I have found that most kids want to play tug of war with the puppy and the toys.  Both puppy and kids love that.....but Tug-of-War is NOT a good game!  It encourages the puppy to work against you.  The puppy will not learn to relinquish objects when you ask him to do it.   Worse yet, he will learn to take things and run away from you.  All these things are not good for establishing you as the leader for your puppy.  He will think he is in control.
A much better game is to teach your children is to play fetch with a puppy.  The game of fetch gives the puppy an activity that expends extra energy and teaches a puppy that it is fun to work with people.  It also puts the child in a leadership position with the puppy.   It is important to foster proper leadership between a child and a puppy, because a puppy is more likely to want to dominate a little child, then anyone else.  
A child learns confidence when he is taught to play appropriately with a puppy.

After I had trained our puppy in a few basic commands, I was able to show our preschooler how to train puppy too.  He can command Coco to COME, and to SIT just like everyone else!    It is so exciting for him that Coco will actually listen to him!  He also has fun giving Coco her treats when she obeys.  For a young child, teaching obedience to a puppy is a wonderful game!

2011 Schnoodle puppies already learning from the kids!
A more advanced version of the fetch game  is "Find the Toy".   My older kids taught Toby this game when Toby was an adult.  They hide toys from Toby and say, "Toby, Wheres the toy?", lifting their hands and shrugging their shoulders.  Toby runs around the room sniffing and barking until he finds the toy.  It is so much fun for Toby and the kids.
  
2011 Schnoodle with her girl.
It certainly is an effort raising puppies and children at the same time.   But it is also very rewarding!  The puppy stage passes quickly and before you know it, your well trained puppy is a polite adult dog.  You might even forget that he was ever any trouble at all.   My hope is that parents are willing to make the effort to help raise a puppy for their kids.  The few months of effort put into a puppy will reward your children with happy memories of childhood that they will treasure for a years to come!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dixie visits her Stud!

Monday morning, bright and early, Dixie and I took a drive out into the country.
This is the farm where Bart the poodle stud lives.
Dixie went to stay with the breeder who owns Bart the poodle.  She will stay there all week.  The dogs were immediate friends:) We had a successful mating that same afternoon.  I can now give you an official due date of June 25, 2013. 
Can you imagine getting the cream for your coffee right out the back door?
It was such a beautiful day!   I thought you would enjoy a few photos that we took on our journey.
Spring time at the foothills of the Shanandoah mountains.
Any land with horses is a dreamy place to be!

A mountain stream along the Virginia road.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Coconut

Hey everybody!  Look! You can buy our puppy in a box! 
Ha ha!  Actually, my daughter owned this toy several years ago, and it has been the inspiration for a naming a few of our puppies Coconut.   This stuffed toy is quite a good likeness to our own Coco.  Isn't it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dixie Comes into Heat!

***************Breaking News ***************

Today I noticed that Dixie has come into heat!  It is about a month earlier than I originally expected.
Here is the Whelping Calendar based on the first mating.  

Apr 22  Breeding ---  Dixie bred to Bart the red poodle stud on this day.

Jun 25   Due Date  -- Whelping usually occurs during the week prior to this date

Aug 19  8 Weeks old - Puppies go home the week of 8/19-8/24  (approximate dates based on whelping dates)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Establishing Positive Associations with Grooming

Just lying around like a dust bunny!


It has been 6 weeks since Coco first came to us.  She was freshly clipped on her arrival and already her fur is getting long.  At 15 weeks it is none to early to for me to start preparing Coco for her next grooming.   I have been brushing her fur every few days without any problem.  And I have clipped the fur near her eyes at least once.   But it is the clipper which will be the hardest thing for Coco to get use to.  I do want her next grooming to be as stress free as possible..

 



Initially Coco is very nervous with the clipper.


Yesterday was the first day I got out the clippers.   I had some freeze dried liver treats on hand since they are hard enough for me to grasp hold of, and will last for several minutes of nibbling.   While letting Coco nibbles on the Liver, I turned on the electric clipper.   Coco was noticeably concerned, and started to back away from the treat.


I coaxed her as close as I could and continued to run the clipper.   I let her nibble for 2-3 minutes while I turned the clipper on and off, and to the first and second setting.   As long as Coco had a good eye on the clipper and it was well in front of her, she was OK nibbling on the treat.

While nibbling on liver treats noisy clippers don't seem so bad.





After several minutes I pulled Coco onto my lap and brought the clipper even closer.   Being on my lap seemed to give Coco some renewed confidence. I ran the clipper again for another 2-3 minutes until Coco seemed to quite relaxed.











Clippers are nothing to worry about.
Then I held the clipper with the back side of it against her back.  The clipper was running all the while and Coco could feel the vibrations.  She didn't seem to care at this point.   Then I turned off the clippers and stroked her head, her back and the side of her face with it.  She was content. So I turned it on again and stroked her some more.

Later on that afternoon, I walked over to Coco in her crate, and turned the clippers on and off a few times.  She sat down eagerly and licked her lips.  She must have been thinking of that liver treat again!   Now how easy was that to build up a positive association with a clipper!



I will continue this exercise for a few more days and ever so often, until I am confident that Coco will  allow me to groom her without too much protest.    I want to really fix in her mind a positive association with the sound of the clipper.

In future sessions I will also start holding her in place, stroking her back, her legs, her ears and her head.  Just the same as if I was actually grooming her.   It isn't difficult to teach a puppy to be happy with the grooming process.  It just takes a few minutes of preparation while the puppy is young.
Beauty is worth the effort!

Whether you plan to clip your dog yourself or use a groomer you should not ignore this training exercise.    If you don't have a clipper use a blow dryer and other noisy electrical appliances around your puppy.

People who do not take the time to accustom their puppies to noisy motors and the grooming process can set themselves up for an expensive and potentially dangerous problem.   Dogs who freak out at the groomers, often have to be taken to a Veterinary groomer for sedation.  This is an expensive problem and not without risks.  Just remember that clipping a Schnauzer/Schnoodle/Poodle is absolutely necessary.  Even if your puppy has a sparse coat and can get away without a clipping his first year....he/she will need it eventually and as you see, it is much easier and less time consuming to teach them while they are young, then to deal with a fear issue later on.


NOTE:  The treats I used are called "Tale Mix -- Freeze Dried Liver"   I purchased them in the Dog Treat section of our Giant Store.   I keep them especially for holding a puppy still during grooming....I don't use them for everyday because they are rather expensive.

Monday, April 15, 2013

2-5 week Puppy Bite Inhibitions

Ever since we got Coco, one of the more annoying things about play time has been her mouthing and biting.
11 weeks old puppies can be very nippy!

When an 8 week puppy goes to its home, it has been use to puppy playing.  Puppies naturally mouth and bite eachother in their regular playtime.  A puppy will yelp if one of his littermates bites too hard.  This is a good thing, since this allows puppies to learn 'bite inhibition'.  A puppy begins to learn how to have a soft bite, and eventually not mouth at all.






At 11 weeks Coco was still biting quite a lot in her playtime.
But it is not soo cute, when you bring a puppy into your home and she wants to bite and mouth you like her puppy siblings.  When we bring Coco out to play with us, she usually starts mouthing us and biting.  It can be really annoying!   So we distract her with a toy and encourage her to chew on that.

Even then when she gets rambunctious she can really start biting hard.   I have taught my kids to yelp loudly when she bites on them.  If she bites hard, we yelp and walk away from her.  Sometimes we just put her back in her confinement pen.  Playtime is over, and she has to live with the consequences of her biting. 

I have also noticed that it is very helpful to take our energetic puppy on a brisk walk around the block at least once in the day.  This has reduced a lot of the rambunctious puppy play biting.

Over time Coco's biting has become much softern.  But we eventually do not want her to mouth us at all. 
Dr. Ian Dunbar says that biting usually peaks at 3 mths old and should decline after that.   Coco is 15 weeks now, and her biting has gotten quite a bit better.  But she is still learning.  At this time we are becoming much more firm with her about it.   We also need to take longer walks with Coco.  Now that she is having more confinement for her outdoor potty training, longer walks are a must.
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Outdoor Potty Schedules ----15 week Puppy Update

This past week we have started teaching Coco to use the potty outdoors.  In most circumstances I would have started outdoor potty training several weeks ago, but for me, that just was not an option.  Sometimes life just doesn't allow us to follow the training schedule we would like. 

In my case I had an urgent family matter which required me to travel out of state for a whole week.  When I returned, the kids all had the stomach flu.  It was a stressful few weeks, and certainly not one where we could stick to a serious schedule....so I knew better than to embark on something new.
I showed my kids how to take Coco outside to go potty.  Everyone is involved in Coco's training.


Before I went out of town, I left a schedule on the wall to remind my family to feed, water, walk, and play with Coco.    It was a loose schedule ...because I knew that they would not pay close attention to time.  When the kids were not focused on Coco, they put her in her large puppy pen with her Ugodog.  It worked out well.  Coco likes her pen.  She regularly uses her Ugodog.   It was easy for them to take care of the puppy in my absence.  And most importantly, I knew Coco would not develop bad habits when I was gone.

Once I got home and all the kids got through the stomach flu, it was a great time to start the Outdoor Potty Training.  The main difference with our the Outdoor Schedule over the old puppy method is that we watch the time during the day and Coco has specific times to Eat, Drink, Walk, Play and stay n her Crate.  And we don't use the large puppy pen during the outdoor toilet training.  We don't want her to have access to her Ugodog toilet.  We only use the small crate...  because puppies will hold their bladders while confined to their bed.

Keep in mind....We let Coco out every few hours to relieve herself! After she goes potty she is allowed to run and play with us for 15-30 min. in our family room or kitchen.




I printed out the Puppy Schedule in bold print and posted it on the cupboard.  By sticking to the schedule we will know exactly when Coco needs to use the potty.

We take turns walking Coco out to her potty spot.  We put her on a short leash so she can't wander off or get distracted.   We give her the command, "GO POTTY".  We may say  it again a few more times, but within 3 minutes she does the job.  We give her a treat and praise her profusely. We give her another treat with more praise.  Then another treat and more praise.  The idea of three treats is to impress upon her, that going potty on command is a really great trick! 

At our home, we prefer our dogs to use the potty in the woods.   So we are very particular to walk our 'pups in training' to the woods for their 'potty spot'.  It is very nice that we never have to worry about stepping in dog doo around our lawn.  I would recommend that everyone choose the most discrete place possible for their puppy to eliminate.  You will appreciate your dogs good habits for years to come.

One other Important Note:  Do not forget to give your puppy at least one brisk and vigorous walk during the day.  Most of our walks on the schedule are short walks around the yard.  But once a day the puppy must have a serious walk to expend some of her energy!

Coco will go potty in 3 min. when we taker her out of her crate.

So that is all there is to it.  Since we started the schedule last Monday, Coco has been going potty outdoors on command.   We had one day of pouring rain, and we let her use her Ugodog that day.  I still put Coco in her pen with her Ugodog during the night, so she can use the potty in the middle of the night.   I want her to use her Ugodog once a day to make sure she won't forget what her Ugodog toilet is all about.

Some people might stop using an indoor Ugodog Toilet when they start potty training.  But I do not recommend getting rid of your Ugodog too soon.  A puppy cannot reliably hold his bladder until 7 mths of age...and it is always good to have an indoor option, until you know your dog is reliable. 

In my house, I plan to keep using the Ugodog toilet throughout Coco's life.  Coco will someday be a Mama dog so there will be times when she will need to use the potty A LOT more than normal.   Basically pregnant and nursing females need to use the potty often...and having a Ugodog, will make the frequent potty schedule easy for us and easy for the dog.

In case you are thinking that my house a utopia of dog training, I want to assure you that it is not.  I have a real house with real people and like everyone else we DO make mistakes.   Basically if someone in the house ignores the rules of puppy training then we will have a potty accident.   For instance I had a relative visit from out of town.  He let the puppy out of her pen before I came down in the morning.    He didn't know the rules for our puppy.  Of course Coco had an accident!   She started running through our house with her usual morning energy.  And sure enough she had to go poo poo within a few minutes.  Alas, she was blocked off from all her acceptable options.  All she had was the dining room floor.  (Well at least a wood floor is a quick and easy clean-up!)
We keep Coco's crate in the center of the house, and she is quite content!

The younger kids too have had a few instances when they did not remember our puppy rules.  Was I angry or discouraged when this happened?   Not in the least.  Our mistakes have been relatively few in number.  And they were people mistakes, not puppy failures.   The bulk of the time, we DO follow the rules for puppy rearing, and I am confident that the right habits are going to overcome the rare accident.   I am thrilled with our puppies training thus far.

Training a puppy can be a little more difficult when you have a house with a lot of different age groups, like we do.   If Mom or Dad aren't home to keep on top of the Out door Potty schedule, it is better to go back to using the pen with the Ugodog.   The main reason, is you don't want anyone to forget to let the puppy out of her pen and force her to pee in her crate.   Also you don't want someone to let the puppy out of her crate and let her soil around the house.  The danger of allowing accidents repeatedly is that you are training your puppy to soil in the house.

Potty training is all about TEACHING people to schedule their dog.  The puppy will do what comes naturally and will readily adopt the potty habits you instill.  If you keep a puppy on a regular schedule to use the outdoors, your puppy will learn good habits.  If you let your puppy run loose in the house and don't regularly take him outdoors, you will instill a habit of soiling indoors.  

You must keep a puppy on a regular schedule and crate the puppy at the proper times. As the puppy matures the time between potty breaks can be increased.  And more time can be allowed for your puppy to play outside his crate.  (But always supervise a young puppy who is running free!)

If you schedule a puppy for a few months, then Potty training is EASY!   By 7 months of age, all well scheduled puppies will have full Potty training reliability.  The earlier you instill good habits, the sooner your puppy can enjoy full house freedom.