Tuesday, March 20, 2018

It's Spring & Ticks are Here

Today is March 20th, 2018, officially the first day of Spring! Temperatures here in Wisconsin have been all over the place, two days ago it was 60 and today it's in the 30's and the East Coast is gearing up for their 4th Nor'Easter so it certainly doesn't seem like Spring weather wants to come. We decided to start grooming off the shaggy Winter coats of our dogs today and along with that start to treat them for ticks. I am not a big fan of putting too many chemicals on my dogs so when Winter weather starts we stop applying flea and tick topical. We don't have fleas but we do live out in the country and do have ticks so topical is necessary (in my opinion) during the warmer months. While I was grooming Jackson my mom walked in, saw the topical on the table, and asked me if it was 'tick season again?' I said I wasn't sure because of it being up and down with the warm and cold temperatures but thought it was better to be safe than sorry and she agreed.
About a half hour after I was done grooming Jackson I picked up one of our kitties, felt a lump on her neck and proceeded to pull off a tick, so yes, it is officially tick season here.......

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Guess What? I screen my Customers!

I have to share a short story that leads to the title of this post. I get inquiries every day about my puppies, mostly through email, most of them good, some of them bad. I will admit there have been several times where I have simply hit the delete button instead of responding to a message because I instantly knew I was not interested in working with the person that had messaged me, this doesn't happen often but in all my years of doing this I can usually tell pretty quickly if someone is wasting my time or just not what I am looking for. Recently I was contacted by someone asking about a puppy I had for sale, their first message was normal so I responded and then a few messages later it was clear that I was not interested in going any farther with this person and did not want to do business with them. They asked me for references and wanted to come to my house and I declined because my gut was just telling me this wasn't going to work out and boy was I right! I really value my customers and the people who are on my reference list and I don't want to waste their time by directing people to them for a reference if I don't feel the family is what I am looking for. I don't often deny people references but if I do I have a reason for it. This person did not like being told "no" which resulted in them sending me a flood of nasty emails telling me I was rude, unprofessional, fake, etc. They posted negative things on our Facebook page and then posted a negative review on a website with little or no verification (careful about some of the reviews you read.)  After the barrage of emails I simply explained to them that I didn't provide references because I didn't want to do business with them and they replied that 'it was a silly excuse to simply not give references' so they had the last word and hopefully felt better about themselves! The whole experience really bothered me and my husband said it's all part of doing business and to brush it off, which I think is easier for a male to say, we females get our emotions mixed up into things, we just can't help it. In the end I got a bad review online but I went with my gut and a few verbal punches directed my way was much better than having that person get their hands on one of our puppies! So to anyone that witnessed the garbage on our Facebook page I am sorry, I'm not on the computer all the time and I don't always see what gets posted right away.
Now with that all being explained I do want to tell you that I screen my customers and I hope you understand and respect that. Thankfully the majority of families that contact me are good people who can provide good homes for my puppies but I still feel it's my job to ask questions to be sure. I often get asked if I have an application for adoption and I don't but I will ask you common questions about your dog experience, living situation, work situation, finances, etc. I don't ask questions to be nosey, if I were selling you a lamp it would be a different story, but a puppy is obviously a living breathing beautiful creature that deserves a wonderful life and I am a big part of that process. Consumers definitely have a much easier time doing research on a business than a business does when screening a customer. Business opportunity here: Can someone please design a website where a company can look up reviews on a potential customer just like a consumer does on a business? I would gladly post glowing reviews on my clients!
Long story short, I will never be able to appease everyone that contacts me, I won't always bend over backwards for every request that is asked of me, but I will always try very hard to make my customers happy and will continue to screen potential customers to give my puppies good homes.
If you would like to see some heartwarming pictures and honest updates from actual clients here is a link to a post on our Facebook page that will definitely make you smile:

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Favorite Products for Puppies

Getting prepared for a new puppy in the home is extremely exciting as well as stressful because you have to not only get the house puppy proofed but also make sure you have all the right supplies. Customers always ask me for advice on products, food, toys, and books so this year I wanted to ask the experts= fellow Cockapoo owners, and they happily shared what products they use. I may not be familiar with all of the suggested products so I have also added a few tips on things that I like to use or am familiar with.


Puppies like to chew and I even have a few adults that will destroy any toy that isn't made strong enough so make sure that you have things in your house to keep them busy.
Roasted Pig ears and Bully Sticks were the most recommended product to help with teething and to also use as a reward or item to keep dogs busy. When I bought my first batch of Bully Sticks I couldn't believe how smelly they were and didn't even want to touch them but once the dogs got a whiff of that smell they were all over me. Thankfully you can buy odor free sticks and you can also screen for ones that are specifically made within the USA. You can also buy less greasy Pig ears in various sizes that are specifically made in the USA.

Himalyan Dog Chews and Elk Anters were also recommended several times.


Treat Balls were also highly recommended. You place special treats or food within the ball and your dog has to roll it around in order for some of the treats to fall out. I recently purchased one for my adults and they spent the entire afternoon playing with it.

Go Dog toys with "Tough Chew Guard Technology" these are made to withstand the extra wear and tear that other stuffed toys can't and even come with a guarantee.


The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball was recommended by a Cockapoo owner and they said it has lasted 3 years and their dog has not grown tired of it. My dogs love toys that make noise and this too is one of their favorites.

Kong brand toys. I have purchases several types of Kong toys and can say that they stand up to a lot of play and chewing. Some are built extra tough for chewers, some are softer for seniors, and some have options to add treats or peanut butter to them to help keep your dogs busy. (If you feed your dog Peanut Butter be sure not to use any brand that contains Xylitol, it is toxic and deadly to dogs!!)

My adults personally love the Kong Jumbler Ball

My puppies do great with the Kong Senior because it's softer and easier for them to chew on
Fluff and Tuff Dog Toys were also suggested due to extra durability and longer life span


The Tangle Teaser was the #1 brush recommended for Cockapoo Coats

Zen Clippers for clipping toenails

Earthbath Ear Wipes
If you're going to tackle grooming your dog by yourself I have always used, and been happy with, the Andis Ultraedge 2 speed clipper. In the summertime I use a #10 clipper blade to completely shave off their thick Winter coats and if I want to leave a bit of hair on I use a #7 blade.


Cockapoos are extremely smart and are people pleasers so Potty Bells are a great way to teach your dog to let you know when they need to go outside


If you're not comfortable using the standard flea and tick topical or pills recommended by your vet someone suggested chemical free flea and tick like Petzlife Herbal Powder, Essential Oils, and Springtime Garlic Powder.

TRAINING BOOKS                                                                                                                             

Over and over again I have had several people recommend a book called "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete                  


Also very popular is the Cockapoo "Owners Guide from Puppy to Old Age" by Alan Kenworthy

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cockapoos and Itchy Skin

If your dog is showing signs of itchiness, chewing at their paws, scratching their ears, or has developed a rash or small red bumps on their skin they may have allergies. Here are some tips to help remedy the problem :

-Change their food to a grain free and chicken free formula. Completely erase chicken from their diet, not treats, chews, scraps, or bones that contain chicken.

-Use Oatmeal or Chamomile based shampoos that are gentle and soothing to their skin.

-Ask your vet if your dog could be suffering from Pyoderma which is a bacterial infection in the skin that can be quite common in dogs.

-Ask your vet about a medication called Apoquel (or similar product,) I've heard great reviews and my vet also said that he uses it for many of his customers.

-Ask your vet if your dog could be having an allergic reaction to the flea/tick topical that you are using.

-If you don't treat your dog with a flea/tick medication could they have fleas?

-Pay attention to the time of year that your dog becomes itchy, just like humans they can have allergic reactions to dander and pollen that are seasonal and medications can help relieve their symptoms.

-Pay attention to when their reactions are most prevalent, did you just do the laundry? Did you just burn a scented candle? Did you just use a cleaner in the house? Dogs can have reactions to ingredients found in many household products.

-If they are scratching at their ears check to see if they have ear mites or a yeast infection. Ear infections are quite common in floppy eared dogs.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Beware of Puppy Scams!

This year has been notorious for puppy scams aimed at Cockapoos. It seems like every week I am contacted by a family who did, or almost, got ripped off. I constantly am reading posts on Facebook from families that lost their money and I keep seeing new "fake websites" and "fake Facebook sites" popping up online. To me some of them are obvious-bad grammar, incorrect spelling, pictures that have already been posted on other fake sites, prices that are too good to be true, free shipping, etc. but to the first time buyer or super excited family they may look past all of that because they simply want to add a beautiful puppy to their home, so they fall for it and lose their money. 
I'm not sure why the Cockapoo has become the main focus this year but I have a feeling that the scammers are most likely a group of people working together. I personally know a couple real breeders that have their text/photos/videos stolen from their websites and used on fake ones, they were used on multiple sites making me think that these scammers are sharing their material or just producing multiple fake sites to rip off more people. I have been trying to keep up with the names of fake sites and have them posted on my website but if you know of any that I have missed please share so that we can possibly help someone out. 
I fear that with the holiday season coming things are going to get worse because sometimes people wait too long to start looking for a puppy and they then become desperate and overlook all the warning signs. If you are looking for a puppy please beware of: Prices that are too good to be true! Free Shipping! Bad Grammar! And most of all anyone that asks you to wire them money because once they have it, it is gone!
I have spoken to several people that have either been ripped off or were in contact with some of these fake sellers and they have reported that they mostly contact you through text and once they receive your deposit via wire transfer you never hear from them again. Others have reported that once they send the deposit the seller demands a huge amount of additional money for a specialty crate that the airport requires or they will not ship the puppy, this is not true, I ship all the time and you don't need super expensive 'specialty crates.' Another lady told me that the scammer told her she is offering free shipping because she has 'coupons for free flights from the airline.' I don't know about you, but I have never received a coupon from any airline offering me a free flight, so again, a claim that is too good to be true because it is!
As of right now (10/12/17) most of the scammers are claiming to be in Virginia, I have no idea why they are using this location but this again makes me think that it's a group of people working together. 
I promise you that there are good breeders out there, we work very hard to raise our puppies the right way so please do not take the bad actions of a few out on the rest of us. Due to all the scams going on I don't blame people for being extra careful about who they are dealing with but I've had a few phone calls from people who were obviously very untrusting of anyone they were contacting and that makes me feel uncomfortable too.
Good luck to all of those that are out there in search of a puppy, please do your homework to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate breeder, I really hope this recent phase of scams comes to an end soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Slideshow: Watch the Puppies Grow!!

Last year I started using a program that lets me create a slideshow of the babies so that my customers can watch them grow. When it's all put together it is really fun to see how much the babies actually change over time.
For those of you who have read my blog and website I realize that I preach about how much time it takes for the puppies to develop, their personalities to come in, their coats to grow in, eyes to open, etc. but I still get people asking me questions about coat styles and personalities when the puppies are only a few days old, hence the reason for this latest article. I am hoping that these slideshows will help people see how the babies change over time and to realize how long it actually takes before you really see coat styles and personality come out. For those of you that already know all of this I still think the slides will put a smile on your faces :)
Here is a slideshow of a Black and Tan Male for the first 6 weeks of his life:

Here is a slideshow of a Red Merle Female for the first 6 weeks of her life:


Here is a slideshow of a Red Male for the first 9 weeks of his life:


Here is a slideshow of a Chocolate Merle Female for the first 11 weeks of her life:

Here is a slideshow of a Buff Male for the first 5 weeks of his life:

Here is a slideshow of a Sable Female for the first 6 weeks of her life:

Here is a slideshow of a Black Male w/a White chest for the first 6 weeks of his life:

I hope all of these pictures have helped everyone see how the puppies change over time. One of the things that I really want to stress is that the babies simply need time to grow before I can tell you what their personalities are like, what their coat styles will be, and what color eyes they will have. I know I've already said this a million times to people on the phone and posted on my website but if you are very specific in what you are looking for in terms of color, coat style, and eyes please wait and let the babies grow before you adopt one! Even though I am the breeder, own the parents, and have lots of experience with this, I am still human and am not able to predict exactly what a newborn puppy will look like as an adult. Just like human children, baby puppies take time to develop and grow, so at 2 days old or even 2 weeks old I cannot tell you what style of coat they will have or what their personality is like. One of the neat things about Cockapoos is that they can have three different coat styles: super curly similar to a Poodle, smooth and flat similar to a Cocker Spaniel, and a fluffy wave that is a good mix of both parent breeds. The look that a Cockapoo puppy will take on all depends on genetics and which relative they take after more. In human terms think of two people having a baby, the child can look more like their mother, more like their father, or closely resemble a grandparent, all based on genetics. Cockapoos are the same way and nothing is ever guaranteed when you are 'mixing' a breed, sometimes I will get babies that have the color and look of their direct parents, other times I will get puppies that have the color and look of a grandparent.  As you've seen in the pictures above, coat styles take several weeks to develop and even at 7 or 8 weeks when a puppy goes home they will still continue to grow and change.
 The last thing I want is someone to have buyer's remorse because they picked out a puppy at a young age and they didn't turn out to have the type of style the family was looking for. If you are very specific in what you are looking for please let me know that and feel free to ask questions to be sure you are getting what you want. I will try to answer your questions as best as possible but remember this is a two way street, you need to do your research on the breed and make sure you realize what Cockapoos are all about and make sure you are ready for the responsibility of a dog. I have tons of information on my website and blog and I encourage you to read it over and do some additional research online, through friends, ask a vet, ask a trainer, etc. to make sure you are fully educated on the breed.  It's very important to me that my puppies go to forever homes and are not loved simply based on their coat styles or eye color.
Deposits to reserve a puppy are non-refundable so before placing one please be sure that you are 100% sure you want the puppy you are reserving. If you put down a deposit on a puppy and later change your mind you don't get a refund.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How We Ship our Cockapoo Puppies

I am a licensed Cockapoo breeder so I am able to ship my puppies to families living throughout the United States. Quite often I have families from out of state adopt puppies from me and sometimes they are so far away that shipping them via airplane is the only option. Some people are totally fine about having their puppy travel this way while other people get really nervous about it so I thought I'd write this post to help answer some common questions and better explain the shipping process.

When I ship a puppy they need to be a minimum of 8 weeks old, that is the legal age that they can fly, so I usually plan their trip on or around the date they are old enough. I ship out of Appleton, Wisconsin, it is a little over an hour away from us, and I use Delta or United Airlines for my flights.

**In September of 2017 I was informed that United Airlines has temporarily stopped shipping puppies out of Appleton and Green Bay, WI. I was not given any information about when they will resume shipping so at the moment I am only able to use Delta Airlines**

When someone calls me about the cost of shipping a puppy I give them a standard price that includes the cost of the flight, crate, and health certificate. The crate that the puppy comes home with is a travel crate only, it is not to be used for training purposes. A health certificate is required to ship a puppy and I take care of that when the puppy is examined by my vet. Delta only allows a puppy's flight to be booked 13 days in advance, United does not have a time restriction, as soon as a puppy is adopted I can call and arrange a flight with them, so I usually look up a flight schedule with both airlines, discuss it with the adopting family, and when we have one picked out I will call as soon as I can to arrange the flight and then email the details over to the receiving family. I am very picky about how long a puppy is traveling so I always aim to get the shortest flight that I can. Unless you are receiving your puppy in Detroit, Minneapolis, or Atlanta they will have a flight with a layover, the only direct flights out of Appleton are in the cities I just mentioned. Unless your puppy is traveling late at night and there is a time/date change, your puppy will arrive the same day that they leave.
When arranging a flight I ask that the receiving family give me two International Airport options to choose from and I will try to book the flight for the airport that they prefer, but will ultimately choose the one with the shortest flight option. Some airports are too small and do not take pets so I always ask for larger airport options to ship to. I always try to get the shortest layover possible and Delta does offer what they call a 'DASH' service where, for an extra fee, you can get better flight options with shorter layovers. United is more expensive than Delta but one benefit to them is that they already have shorter layovers than Delta and do not charge extra fees based on the travel times. Some people are not willing to pay for the Delta 'dash' service or the extra cost to ship with United so I book the shortest option available no matter what service I am using and I do not book puppies on flights with double connections. Occasionally I will call to arrange a flight and find out that particular airports only offer the 'dash' service for pets so the cost is higher. If I become aware of a price change I will contact the family first to ask if they are okay with the change, and if they are not, we will then look for a different airport to ship their puppy to.
One downfall with using Delta is that I have found them to be ‘money hungry!’ Quite often I will call to book a flight and, surprise, they have created another policy on shipping that requires more money. This just recently happened to me, I called to book a 7am flight and was told that any flights up until 7am are now automatically priced as ‘dash’ because the airport is very busy in the morning. “Dash” is supposed to provide a shorter layover, hence the higher price, but this is not the case in the early morning flights, the flight I called to book had a 3 hour layover and I was still charged an extra $130 for the flight simply based on its time. I have not had these types of issues with United and I must admit that I prefer using them when possible.

Once the flight is booked I will email the receiving family the flight details, directions on where to pick up the puppy, and also a tracking # so that they can watch the flight status online. I ask that all families who are having their puppies shipped keep a free schedule for the day that they are receiving their puppy, be open to traveling to an airport a little farther away if necessary, and realize that their puppy may be arriving later at night or on a more expensive flight if I have to avoid warm temperatures or make travel changes.

 Delta has a lot of rules for shipping a puppy, often times I've had families look up flight schedules online and question why I am not using one flight versus another and, trust me, it's not that simple! Not every flight you see posted online is 'pet friendly.' For their lowest priced flights Delta requires that the layover time be a minimum of two hours, so if you see a flight listed with a layover time of less than two hours they will charge you extra, what they call a 'dash' flight. If you see a layover time of less than one hour they do not allow you to book it for a puppy. Delta requires that pets be checked in 2 hours in advance for flights.  When shipping I have to allow time to drive to the airport, wait in line, do the actual check in paperwork, and have everything done before that two hour mark. They now have it set up so that if you arrive late, or the attendant is slow, and you don't have the puppy checked in by that 2 hour mark they will lock you out of the system and deny the flight! The Delta desk in Appleton does not open until 4:30 a.m. so with their 2 hour check in rule it limits the use of early morning flights that they may have available, for example I cannot book a puppy onto a 5:30am flight because the desk is not open 2 hour in advance for me to get them checked in on time. There is a lot more involved in the process so that's why I always tell people to let me handle the research on the flights.
On the day of the flight I have to arrive 2.5 to 3 hours early to the airport to check in the puppy, fill out the paperwork, and pay for their plane ticket. After the puppies are all checked in and the paperwork is done I then email the family to let them know their puppy is checked in and ready to go. If there is ever a delay or cancellation I keep in touch with the receiving family so everyone knows when to expect their puppy. Both airlines are really good about shipping puppies but occasionally there will be a flight change, delay, or cancellation and I just ask the family to stay in touch with me throughout the day and check their emails. Both airlines also have a really nice option on their websites where you can track the flights and check on status of your puppy the entire time that they are traveling.

Pro’s of using Delta: Their standard flights are cheaper than United, but do have longer layovers- a minimum of two hours.

Delta ships to more locations.

They do offer a “Dash” service that is more expensive but has a shorter layover, less than two hours, minimum of one hour.
The Con’s of using Delta: Per Delta's restrictions it has to be a minimum of 10 degrees and maximum of 85 degrees outside, at all stops, to ship a puppy. If it is too hot or too cold in any place that the puppy is traveling to I may need to reschedule the flight either for a later time, different day, on a different flight, or with a different airline to avoid temperature issues.  Detroit and Minneapolis are two of the layover cities that Delta uses and they get quite cold in Winter which can also really limit the flight options because if either city is going to be less than 10 degrees on the day of shipping the flight will be cancelled. In Winter if I have to use Delta I look for flights that have a layover in Atlanta to avoid having problems with temperatures but if the layover is less than 2 hours they will of course charge you more for the 'dash' flight.
Changing flights sometimes results in having to use what Delta calls their 'dash' flights and this results in a higher cost for shipping your puppy because Delta charges more for the flights with shorter layovers, if this happens I will always ask the receiving family first to make sure they are ok with spending the extra money. If they are not okay with spending the extra money then I may need to explore other airport options.
Delta’s policies change on a regular basis and that generally means that they are going to find one more way to charge you extra money. I have found in recent years that they are shortening their layover times so that you are either limited on what flights you can put puppies on otherwise you will be forced to pay their ‘dash prices.’
I cannot book a flight with them until 13 days in advance which gives us all less time to plan.
Pro’s of using United: United does not have the temperature restrictions that Delta has because all of the airports they ship to, except Salt Lake City, participate in the Summer Cooling Program so during the Summer months this is very beneficial if it is hot and I am having issues shipping with Delta. They also do not have temperature restrictions in Winter (unless the weather is really bad) so I prefer to use them for shipping puppies in the colder months.
Their layovers are shorter than Delta’s, and even with them being a bit more expensive than Delta, they are still cheaper than Delta’s Dash service. Most flights that I have booked with them have layovers of less than two hours where Delta's are a minimum of two hours.
I can book flights way farther in advance with them than I can with Delta and that gives everyone way more time to plan things out.
Con’s of using United: They are a little more expensive than Delta, but to me, this really isn’t a true ‘con’ because they have better layover times and I personally don’t want my puppies sitting in an airport for long amounts of time.
They don’t ship to as many places as Delta.
 Because of all of the above I ask that everyone keep a free schedule on the day they are receiving their puppy just in case there are temperature issues or changes in flights. I realize it may not be the most convenient to pick up a puppy late at night or to have to pay a higher fee but sometimes I don't have a choice if it is too hot or too cold- the weather and flight changes are the two major things I cannot control in this process. Just to clarify: the temperature restrictions are set up because the airline does not want to expose your pet to extreme hot or cold while they are being transported from the plane to the airport. While traveling inside the plane they are always in an area where it is either heated or cooled depending on the season.

When a family picks up their puppy at the airport everything will be prepaid by me, they will simply have to show their I.D., sign some paperwork and take their puppy home. The puppy will arrive to them in their travel crate and there will be an envelope attached to the top of that crate that contains all of the necessary paperwork including a copy of their health guarantee and the puppy's health records, etc. I greatly appreciate it when they notify me that they have received their puppy as I do watch their flight status online to be sure everything is going o.k.

For families living in Canada the airlines no longer offer shipping puppies to Canadian Airports. I realize this is inconvenient, but we have found a solution, and that requires anyone living in Canada to pick their puppy up at the nearest U.S. airport and drive them across the border. It is totally legal, we do it all the time, and the only additional requirement is an International Health Certificate which you will need when crossing the border. So, if you live in Canada and are willing to drive a bit, please do not hesitate to contact me about getting a puppy.

Quite often I have families ask me if it is traumatic or dangerous to ship a puppy. Honestly, it can be a long day, but I do not think that it is dangerous or something to get really nervous about. I am picky about the flights I choose, I will not ship in dangerous weather, and I will not ship a puppy if I do not feel they are ready for it. Over and over again I have had families who have had their puppies shipped contact me and tell me that they were way more nervous about it than they should have been and that the entire process was much easier than they had thought it would be.
If you live far away from us and are nervous about shipping a puppy you may want to consider flying here to pick up your puppy. We have had several families fly to Wisconsin, pick up their puppy, and fly home with them. When traveling with a puppy they are allowed to ride in the passenger area of the plane with you but must be placed in a crate below the seat in front of you. I personally have done both, I have had purchased puppies shipped to me and I have also flown out of state to pick up and take back a puppy home with me, either way works out fine but I personally prefer to have them shipped to me.

I hope this helps better explain things and if you have any additional questions about shipping a puppy please contact me.