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:
http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b334e6a453d0d0a&blogview=true


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

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b334e7a513d0d0a&blogview=true

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

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b334f54493d0d0a&blogview=true

Here is a slideshow of a Chocolate Merle Female for the first 11 weeks of her life:
http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b344d54553d0d0a&blogview=true

Here is a slideshow of a Buff Male for the first 5 weeks of his life:
http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b344d6a453d0d0a&blogview=true

Here is a slideshow of a Sable Female for the first 6 weeks of her life:
http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b344d7a493d0d0a&blogview=true

Here is a slideshow of a Black Male w/a White chest for the first 6 weeks of his life:
http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e44517a4e546b344e44453d0d0a&blogview=true

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. 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 one 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! Delta requires that pets be checked in 2 hours in advance for flights and I have to allow time to wait in line and to do the actual check in paperwork. Delta now has it set up so that if you arrive late and 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.
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. Some airports participate in what they call the "Summer Pet Program" where they do not have high temperature restrictions, so for families living in really hot climates, or if the layover cities are too hot, I aim for shipping through the airports that do not have the temperature restrictions.  Detroit and Minneapolis are two of the layover cities that Delta uses and they do not participate in the Summer Cooling program which can really limit our options during Summer.
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. 
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.
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- 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.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Visiting our Cockapoo Puppies

Happy 2016 to everyone, I hope you have a wonderful New Year!
I received an email the other day from a prospective buyer who asked if her family could come over to see my dogs before they put down a deposit to reserve one. She explained that her husband has never seen a Cockapoo and they thought it was a good idea to come and check one out first. I get requests for visits all the time from people for various reasons and over the years I have learned that I can allow visits but there have to be some established rules so that everyone is on the same page and knows where I am coming from. Before I started writing this blog post I got online and read a few forums where other breeders brought up the topic of allowing visits and here is what one lady wrote to get the conversation started:


What are the arguments for and against a breeder allowing a prospective buyer to visit their kennel? If you're a breeder, would you allow it? If you're a buyer, would you expect it?
I hope this doesn't turn into a contentious topic, because I think there are good arguments to be made for both sides. A breeder recently told a friend that, no, she doesn't allow it because of the risk of introducing disease to her kennel. She doesn't know what dogs the prospective buyer has been around, and she refuses to take the chance.
On the flip side, how does a prospective buyer know if they're buying from a puppy mill or not without seeing the facilities?
No wrong answer here. I'd just like to see what people think.



I thought she wrote the questions very well because I am aware that there are very different ways to address this topic, both from the buyer's and seller's perspective.
Here are some of the answers that people replied with:


1.) I am a breeder, I don't have a kennel, but I feel that people need to see where their puppies are coming from, as soon as my puppies get their first shot I allow prospective parents to visit with me and the pups, i keep the pups in an enclosed pen with mesh so they can see the puppies and watch them interact with each other. I feel is important for me to get to meet them in person and ask questions that we both have about the dogs.

2.) I do not allow it. I am not a commercial breeder with a "facility" or a "kennel"...this is my home, and I do not allow tours of my home any more than you would allow strangers into your home for tours. I have experienced people bringing parvo into my home when I USED to allow the buyers to come visit with puppies and walk around. There is not only a real and present danger from diseases being spread all over your property on shoes that have walked goodness knows where, there are personal safety issues! People come to case out your home, what you have, where it is located, and by questions asked, they can even determine who is home and when! THEY STEAL THESE DOGS RIGHT OUT OF YOUR ARMS!! They would have NO qualms doing home invasion and taking your dogs from your home! I establish a "close" relationship with my buyers and they can tell from the application interview, my visits with them, my relationship with my buyers - prepurchase, during purchase, and on going after purchase for the life of that baby, as well as what my babies look like, this is not a puppy mill operation. I only have 2-3 litters per year, I own the parents, and my babies are usually sold before they are born! Most (80%+)of my parents are referrals or repeat parents, back for a sibling for the baby they already have...my reputation is solid and I work VERY hard to maintain it. I will not jeopardize my safety, my family's safety, or the health and safety of any of my dogs, by allowing "facility tours"....I will stop breeding before I do that again! PARVO IS ALIVE AND WELL AND EVERY WHERE.....BUT NOT ON MY PROPERTY!!!!


3.) I hope breeders who are concerned about allowing strangers into their homes, get to know the people well enough and have plenty of references so that they are not "strangers". You wouldn't want to sell a puppy to someone who you didn't trust enough to have in your home. Also, there are precautions you can take so that the clients are not spreading disease. I know one breeder who makes people take off their shoes and wash their hands before they can touch a puppy. This is one of the best ways pet buyers can stop supporting puppy mills, if a breeder wouldn’t let me see her home, I’d guess she had something to hide, I might be wrong, but I wouldn’t take a chance. Closing down puppy mills should be a priority for all of us, pet owners and breeders alike.


4.) I would have to be able to see where my pup was born. I have to know what that person really feels about their dogs & one way to tell is to see the facilities with precautions taken to protect the dogs.


5.) My "parents" do come after the puppy is 10 weeks old and can see the babies, but they do not walk around my home. They come into my front room and that is as far as we go....since my home is an "open concept" style, they can see 4 rooms from their place in the dining room....but when people call and want to come see puppies that are available, no I do not do that at all. We have a relationship very well established before anyone comes to the house! When they enter the house, they walk on rugs that have been saturated with Virkon.


I thought everyone's answers were really good because they both addressed the goal of a breeder trying to keep their animals safe and healthy but also brought up the fact that some buyer's feel the need to see a place before they buy an animal to be sure that they are not supporting a puppy mill or bad breeder.
To be honest I prefer not to show the puppies before they are ready to go home for a number of reasons that I will explain. The majority of my customers have either adopted from me before, have met someone that has a puppy from me, or have spent lots of time on my website checking me out to be sure I am the right person to deal with so lots of them do not find it necessary for them to come over before their puppy is ready for home. Once in awhile I will have someone contact me that feels it is necessary to visit before they adopt and I can understand that so I have some set rules in place to help keep my animals safe. I do not allow visits before the puppies have begun receiving their vaccines. I am sure the reason for this is obvious but some people don't understand how easy it is to come over to my house and get my puppies sick simply by having germs like the Parvo Virus on your hands, clothes, or shoes.
(What is Parvo: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/parvo-parvovirus-dogs)
A young puppy does not have an established immune system so therefore it is vital that they are vaccinated, and to let that vaccine have some time to kick in, before you expose them to strange people, places, and things. I would be absolutely devastated if someone accidentally came to my house and made my puppies sick. So if someone wants to visit my puppies first need to be vaccinated. I begin vaccinating my puppies at 6 weeks old and I do not give all of their shots on the same day, I spread it out over a few days to give their bodies some time to take it all in. This means that if a puppy turns 6 weeks old on June 6th they are not ready to be visited on June 7th, I need a few days to complete their vaccines and to give them some time to start working.
I do not allow visits if you are simply browsing and have visited other breeders that day. Please do not feel that it is a good idea to take a day to tour breeders to pick out a puppy or find a breed that you may possibly interested in, this is just asking for trouble in the form of potentially spreading diseases. I have had several people call me when they are 'in the area' looking at puppies and I absolutely will not let them come over! When visiting multiple breeders in one day you can pick up germs from one persons puppy and then accidentally spread them to the next persons puppy and cause major problems all around. If you call a breeder and they ask if you have visited another kennel that day or have plans to please be honest with them!
I work from home, live on a farm, and do not give people tours. If you do set up an appointment to visit my puppies you will be limited to one room I call the 'puppy playroom' where you can see and interact with the puppies who are vaccinated and available. This is not because I have anything to hide, it is because I want to limit your exposure to my animals and once you have left I can thoroughly sterilize everything you have come into contact with. I've had people come over and ask to see my newborn puppies or want to walk around my farm and meet all of my puppy parents, etc. and that is just not going to happen. Again, it's not because I have things to hide, it's because I want to keep my animals safe. Also please keep in mind that this is where I raise my puppies but it's also my personal home and think how you would feel if someone came over to your house and wanted to take a tour. This is my business but I do deserve a level of privacy as well.
If all of my puppies are sold I do not make appointments to show them. Sometimes someone will call and want to come over to meet a Cockapoo before they buy one. I understand that if you are not familiar with a breed you will want to spend some time with one but I do not show puppies that are sold. Again, this is due to me wanting to protect them from potential germs and also potential harm. Once a puppy has been adopted they live at my home until they are old enough to leave, but are technically not my dogs anymore. If someone came over and spread a disease or accidentally hurt a puppy that was already sold I would be held responsible since I am the one raising and selling them.
Because of my rules it may be hard to view my puppies before they are adopted. It is pretty common for me to have a waiting list for puppies so they are sold as soon as they are born, or if I do post them online they are often sold before they are old enough to be shown. I realize this may be frustrating for someone who finds it necessary to see them before they buy them but I am not willing to jeopardize their health and my business for a showing. If you are interested in a Cockapoo but have not seen one or have not had any experience with one I would suggest asking around to see if you know of anyone who has one, or even find a friend of a friend who may have one that you can spend some time with. Maybe even call a vet or boarding facility in your area to see if there are customers who would be willing to let you meet their puppy.
Once in awhile I will have someone with allergies contact me to see if they can come over and see if they are allergic to my dogs- this is the last place to do such a thing! I live on a farm and I have cats, dogs, horses, cattle, chickens, guinea hens, peacocks, and peahens (at the moment, who knows what's next to arrive :) All of these animals means that there are all different kinds of fur, hair, and dander floating around so this place is a nightmare for those who have allergies.
Last but not least I've had families reserve a puppy several weeks before they are ready to go home and they request a visit before pick up day. I have allowed it, and I understand that it's hard to wait that long, but I really prefer that you wait until the babies are ready to be picked up. I really try hard to keep everyone safe and healthy and ask that you respect and understand that. Please do not be offended if I say no, it's my duty to be a good breeder and I have to do things as I see fit. On top of all of that I sometimes just don't have the time to entertain lots of visits. Taking care of the puppies, managing customers and my business as well as taking care of this farm keeps me on my toes so sometimes my schedule is just too busy. I only allow visits by appointment, I have set hours and I take Sundays off so that my family and I have one day to ourselves to catch up on all the things we didn't get done that week.
Rest assured, I am not a puppy mill, my family and I work really hard to raise our puppies the right way and that means that we won't always be willing to say 'yes' to all of our customers requests.




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Posting Business Reviews Online


This Fall we retired some of our adult dogs to pet only homes and I had to begin my search for some new ones. Generally I raise my own puppies that are meant to be future breeders but eventually you need to get new bloodlines mixed in with your crew and that requires purchasing  from other breeders. I often really struggle when I have to buy a dog from someone else because I am extremely picky and I want to be sure I am getting a quality animal and also that I am avoiding supporting a puppy mill and not working with someone who is dishonest. There are several steps I take when I start my quest for a puppy and that involves doing a lot of research when I do finally find someone I am interested in working with. If I find a puppy I like generally the first thing I do is to view the breeders website, some breeders out there have excellent websites that are full of good information and pictures, but I was amazed at the amount of low quality sites I found out there. If I was unhappy with the work on the website I usually moved on to a different breeder. Another thing I do is to look at reviews posted online from other customers and that is what has prompted me to write this article. The internet is an amazing tool that has changed all of our lives, back in the day we simply advertised our puppies in the newspaper and people would have to come out to physically see them, now the second a puppy is born I can make it visible to the entire world. With all of the power the internet has given us I feel that one major downside to it is that it has made people very quick to be mean and judgemental. I’m not sure if it’s the feeling of being anonymous or the ability to post your thoughts before you’ve had some time to really analyze them but it’s quite sad how nasty some people can be, not just in the world of dog breeders, but basically on any subject. To see my point all you have to do is log onto Facebook and read people’s comments or read reviews about any business and you’ll always see a negative one, more often than a positive one, because it seems that angry people are more likely to post a review over someone that is happy with their experience. If you have had a legitimately bad experience with someone, no matter what type of business, I don’t blame you for wanting to share your experience but I would suggest that you first try to deal with the business directly to fix the issue before posting a rant online that can hurt their business in a big way. Also make sure you are fully educated on what you are mad about, some of the negative reviews I read online about dog breeders really made the buyer look uneducated as they were complaining about things that didn’t make sense at all. If you’ve had a good experience with someone please do them a favor and post a good review online, it will make them feel good and will be helpful to those of us out there looking for some guidance on who is good to work with. Thank you to those of you who have posted positive reviews about your experiences with me online, I greatly appreciate it. Also thank you to those of you who have kept in touch over the years and have sent me pictures of your puppies, I truly appreciate seeing how they have grown and it makes my day knowing that they are in a loving home.

Here are a few examples of reviews on dog breeders that I have found while on my search for a new puppy, these are not reviews posted about me, I’ll get to that later:

 

  1. Someone wrote:  First off this is a puppy mill. They say they are hobby breeders but they have around Fourty dogs on the premise's. With these two breeders it is all about the money.
     
    I don’t know the breeders that this person was reviewing but I did do a search on them to see what people had to say and this was one that I found. I cannot confirm or deny how many dogs they have but the use of the phrase Puppy Mill offends and frankly, pisses off, any breeder that is good at what they do. There is a HUGE difference between a puppy mill and a breeder and I have found that upset customers love to throw that word out there no matter if it’s true or not just to hurt the business that they are mad at. We are USDA licensed and inspected and my inspector told me that people call her all the time to report a ‘puppy mill’ simply because of the number of dogs a breeder has. It’s not the number of dogs one has that defines it being a puppy mill, it’s the conditions that they are raised in, how they are treated, and their overall health or lack of, that will determine if it truly is a puppy mill.
     
  2. Someone wrote: I bought the puppy and it turned out to very sick, had worms and giardia. Within 3 days. I told her (the breeder)  and she said "I'm sorry but I can't give you a REFUND," and hung up on me. I think she is running a puppy mill.
    I don’t know the breeder that this person was reviewing but again I can tell you that having worms and giardia does not mean that they are running a puppy mill. I don’t agree with the breeders behavior if it’s true that she hung up on her customer and I don’t agree with the buyer throwing out that puppy mill phrase simply because she was mad. Giarrdia is very commonly found in puppies, especially if they are stressed out from moving but both giardia and worms are easily cured with medications and pastes and you’ll see in a lot of puppy contracts that breeders do not include either one in their health guarantee. It was not very realistic of the buyer to request a refund for their puppy.
     
  3. Someone wrote: The puppy screamed for 36 hours and our existing pet growled at that puppy. As per contract we returned the puppy in 48 hrs.
    Shame on the person who wrote this review, they obviously were not adequately prepared for the work of a puppy and certainly were not committed to taking care of it because they returned it within two days. They also go on to state they got their puppy from a store and most, not all, but most pet stores are supplied by bad sources like puppy mills. Please make sure you are 100% ready to commit to a pet before getting one and please be sure to do your research so that you do not buy from someone that is a legitimate puppy mill or supplied by one. An animal is not a disposable object and a puppy coming to a new home needs time to adjust to all of the new changes so a buyer should expect some whining for the first few days.
     
     
     
  4. Someone wrote:  We got Charlie home and noticed that he had a lot of worms in his stool. Ken told us he had been wormed and we had no reason to doubt that a 4 month old was wormed. The pup also was loaded with fleas and tape worms and the little rice grainy worm dropped all over my house. We took Charlie to our vet on Monday and the vet was appalled at the condition of this puppy coming from a reputable breeder.
    The breeder actually replied to the complaint and wrote:
     Our contract clearly states that if for ANY reason you are not completely satisfied with one of our puppies, they are to be returned for a FULL refund. As stated in **’s letter, I did apologize to her, and asked her to return ** for a FULL refund. With a very elevated voice, she stated that she would NOT be returning **, and that I WOULD be refunding her the FULL amount paid for him. I said politely that per the contract that we both signed that for a FULL refund she needed to return the puppy. She refused. When I asked several times to be given the veterinarians name and address for me to contact them to discuss what had been said about our breeding practices being irresponsible, ** refused to give me that information.
     
    I do not know the buyer or the breeder so I don’t know the full story but I can tell you that I have dealt with a similar customer who made health claims but did not want to give me her vet’s information, she just wanted her money back and to keep her puppy. Some people don’t realize that when you give a puppy de-worming paste that you will later see worms coming out of their stool, this is a good thing because it means that the paste is killing the worms within the puppies system and the worms that are coming out are dead! Apparently these people had a contract for the purchase of the puppy stating that, if not satisfied, a puppy would need to be returned for a refund. This customer did not want to return their puppy but wanted their money back, I’ve dealt with people like this too and that’s not how it works, you can’t change the terms of your contract based on your emotions at the moment. Also, if you are going to make claims about a puppy having health issues a good breeder will of course want your vet’s contact information so that they can speak to them and verify what they are being told. The buyer not wanting to give the seller her vet’s information makes her sound a bit dishonest.
     
  5. Someone wrote: Additionally, we received our puppy's AKC registration papers with a big discrepancy in the puppy's mother's name. Originally, the name of the puppy's mother was listed as Bessie according to our purchase contract and the website. On the AKC registration papers, the mother's name is listed as Lady Lacey
     
    For purebred dog’s most of the time when you register them you try to keep words from their parents names in the title name on your new dog’s papers. For example if the mother’s title name has the word “moon” in it and the father’s title name has the word “sparkle” in it and your dog’s every day call name is Lady you may incorporate your new dog’s title name to be something like Lady’s Sparkling Moon over Miami just to keep some words from her parents title names on her papers. I’ve had people read the paper names of my dogs before and ask if that’s really their name because it’s much longer than what I call them in their everyday lives.
     
  6. Someone wrote: Also the shot records were not real. They were typed up on his computer and not from a vet. The dog has been taken to the vet and the vet said he did not believe the shot records so we had to pay for all new shots.
     
    A lot of people do not realize that you can administer vaccines yourself, all except Rabies, this has to legally be done by a vet. When someone gets a puppy from me they receive a health record which contains the names and serial #’s of the vaccines they were given, dates they were given, and also the names and dates of the de-wormers the puppies received. My vet does not administer the vaccines my puppies receive unless I have one old enough that needs to receive a rabies vaccine and my health records are hand written but I also include the labels that I remove from the vaccine bottles to reassure the owners that the puppies actually did receive their shots. Just because this person received a typed health record does not necessarily mean that the shot records were fake and their vet may have taken advantage of this and charged them for unnecessary shots.
     
  7. Someone wrote: Our dog may be ill because he has not had his first shot. We have no idea and have no information on our dog. We have already spent over 200.00 on meds for his giardia and hookworm. If he had his first shot he would not have gotten these things.
    Incorrect: “his first shot” is a vaccine and would not have protected your puppy from Giardia or Hookworm. Clearly these people have a few things to be upset about but they made a huge mistake by bringing a puppy home without any paperwork or health information and are also not properly educated about what vaccines and de-wormers are used for.
     
  8. Someone wrote:  PUPPY MILL! OWNER SHOOTS AND KILLS STRAY DOGS! Do not give her a single penny of your money.
    I really, really hope that the person who wrote this is wrong about what they are claiming online. If it’s true that’s beyond horrible but if it’s something that was posted for revenge purposes that they can really be affecting this persons business.
     
     
    Back to me: I read tons and tons of reviews online while trying to find someone I would buy a dog from and I had a hard time. Some of the reviews were truly believable, some of them I could tell were written for the sake of revenge and the good ones that I read really helped and I am sure made the breeders feel good to see. I have a slight advantage when looking for a dog because I am very informed about what to ask and what to look for and in my quest I did find several people that I would not do business with. There are also states that I wouldn’t ever consider buying from, no matter how wonderful the puppy looked, simply because I know about their lack of regulations against animal treatment and puppy mills and have been personally warned by inspectors and veterinarians to avoid them. I did manage to find a few breeders I felt comfortable with and have four snuggly puppies running around outside right now, enjoying the 50 degree weather we are having here in Wisconsin in December! After I received my new babies I of course had them vet checked and also submitted their blood for the genetic testing I require for my breeding program and I am happy to say that everyone is healthy and have passed all of their tests! I will definitely be posting positive reviews online for the breeders that I have purchased my puppies from.
     
    After looking at all these different reviews I of course decided to look up those that were written about me, Cute Cockapoos. I was happy to see that some people did take the time to post positive ones which I really appreciate because I know that they truly help those out there who are seriously trying to buy from a good breeder. Unfortunately I did also find a couple of negative ones which will upset anyone who takes their business as seriously as I do. One review called me a Puppy Mill because their puppy had worms, this was so upsetting in so many ways. Clearly the buyer was upset that their puppy had worms but that was no reason to instantly throw out that phrase ‘puppy mill’ and I wish they would have contacted me and really considered what they were typing when they posted that review. A puppy having worms does not mean a breeder is a puppy mill, for more information on puppies and worms I have written an article on my blog that can be found here: http://cutecockapoosinwisconsin.blogspot.com/2013/11/puppies-and-worms.html
     
    Another person posted a negative review complaining that I wouldn’t return their deposit because, after reserving a puppy, they decided they wanted me to dock its tail and I clearly state on my website that I do not dock tails. After I explained several times that I do not dock tails they tried to pay me extra to change my mind and I would not- I do not dock tails and will not be paid off to do it. This of course upset them and they backed out on the puppy and demanded a refund. I did not refund their deposit and this prompted him to write a negative review and also call me a puppy mill, even though he was from a different state and had never been to my house. I have a feeling that if I had docked that puppy’s tail and sold them the puppy that he wouldn’t have dreamed of associating my business with the phrase “puppy mill.”  If you are curious as to why I do not dock tails I have also written an article on my blog about that: http://cutecockapoosinwisconsin.blogspot.com/2014/03/tail-docking-long-and-waggy-tails-are.html  I guess the whole point of writing this article is to ask people to think twice before you post something negative online, especially if it's untrue and you're only doing it for revenge. A negative review can greatly affect a business, especially if it's a small, family business like mine. On top of affecting someone's business it can be really hurtful to the business owner. My family and I put a lot of blood, sweat, time, money and tears into this business and it's so upsetting when we see a bad review or get a phone call from an angry customer, I take all of that personally, and someone calling me a puppy mill is heartbreaking. I realize that in life nothing is perfect, I will never be able to make everyone happy no matter how hard I work, but I will certainly try as hard as I can to make things right if there is a problem. As a customer please be realistic in your demands and expectations, especially when dealing with animals. An animal is a living being and no matter how hard a breeder works to make a quality puppy they will never be able to fully control nature, DNA, and genetics so not every baby will be perfect and an issue may come up. If your puppy comes home with worms it is completely unrealistic to call up a breeder and demand a refund.  If your puppy screams for two days because it's nervous about their new home it's irresponsible to get rid of them and blame the breeder like you read in one of the reviews above. A breeder definitely has responsibilities that they have to follow through with but so too does the adopting family and in this day and age it seems like some buyers are way to quick to throw all the blame at someone else when they are unhappy. Please think twice before you make a nasty post or comment about someone or something online. Please think twice or take some time to cool off before you send out an unkind email. Please be kind to those that you do business with and if you've had a good experience with someone please take some time out to post a good review about them online, it will make their day :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Canines and Cavities

This week I took my 11 year old kitty to the vet because her breath was becoming foul and I figured it was time for a check up and cleaning. I put her on the exam table and after a few seconds of examining her mouth my vet simply stated that yes, she needed a cleaning and at least one tooth extracted. I am always curious about animal health and eager to learn so I asked how he could possibly tell she needed an extraction in such a brief glance of her mouth? He told me she has a 'resorptive lesion' on an upper tooth and that meant it would need to be removed, so of course I wanted to see what he saw so he opened her mouth and pointed out the tooth in question and right away I saw it, a dark red spot on the bottom of her tooth that started at the gum line. Once I knew what it was I understood how he found it so quickly and next week she is going in for a cleaning and removal.
Thanks to the internet I have done some more research and have found that, although quite common in cats, resorptive lesions can also be found in canines as well. There isn't really a clear answer as to why these happen, some say it's genetic, others say bacteria, and others say diet so I'm thinking it can be a mix of all of the above. Symptoms of these lesions include inflammation, tooth decay, destruction of tooth enamel, pain and tooth loss.
Here are some pictures of resorptive lesions so you have an idea of what to look for:
                                 The picture above is of a resorptive lesion in a canine's mouth.


                               The picture above is of a resorptive lesion in a feline's mouth.


Dental health is an important part in your pet's life so be sure to have their teeth examined and cleaned on a regular basis. If you see any odd markings, colors, or spots on your pets teeth be sure to consult your veterinarian. Bad breath can also be a sign of an oral health issue so don't be shy about asking your vet questions if you have any concerns.



Friday, December 11, 2015

Puppies and Holidays, Tips to Keep Everyone Safe.

It's December 11th and even though yesterday was a sunny 55 degrees in Wisconsin, Christmas is just around the corner which means holidays parties, lots of guests, lots of travel, and questions about how to handle it with your pets. I have put together a pile of tips and recommendations to help you get through it all.

Giving Puppies as a Gift

Every year the holiday season is very busy for us, who doesn't love the idea of putting a puppy beneath the tree and making the kids scream with delight when they realize Santa has made their dreams come true? It's a great idea but one that should involve a lot of planning and consideration before you actually do it. Unlike toys, a puppy cannot be something that is loved for the moment and then pushed aside after the holidays are over and life goes back to normal. Please remember that a puppy is a lifetime commitment and if you are not ready to deal with that then perhaps think of a better idea to make that Christmas morning fabulous for the kids.
If you have decided that you want a puppy for Christmas take your busy holiday schedule into mind. I've had lots of people want to get their puppies on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning but then they think about all of the traveling they have to do and all of the people that will be over and realize that maybe it isn't such a good idea. If you don't have a lot to do and you can dedicate yourself to the puppy then getting it right on the holiday may work out fine, just consider how busy you are and how much time you will need to give to your new family member. Also be aware that you should limit how much exposure a new puppy has to new people as their immune systems are not fully developed, they are not fully vaccinated, and lots of exposure to people could result in sickness and unwanted stress for them.
In the past we have had people want puppies for Christmas but have decided it's better to wait to get them until after the actual holiday activities are over so I have sent them pictures as the puppy has grown and they usually print them out and wrap them up for under the tree. I've also had families purchase items like leashes, collars, toys and other puppy supplies that they have also wrapped and put under the tree for the kids to open and realize that a puppy is in their future. We do also offer gift certificates which you can also wrap and are great for someone who maybe wants a puppy, but isn't quite ready at that exact moment.
Another thing to consider is the weather. Here in Wisconsin it gets nasty and cold in December, the 55 degrees we had yesterday is unheard of and it currently feels like Spring, but we generally have below zero temperatures with tons of snow. I've had families from other states be very adamant about wanting their puppies on certain dates for Christmas but if a puppy has to be shipped I have to comply with airline rules and regulations about shipping them and if it's too cold they can't leave. If you want your puppy shipped on December 24th and there's a major snowstorm I can't control the weather, I can't control a flight getting delayed, and I also will not put a puppy on a flight if I do not feel safe about it. Generally I ask families to plan on getting their puppies shipped a few days before the holidays so that we can deal with any weather delays, this often requires them to find a babysitter for the puppy as they do not want to bring them home and ruin the surprise, that's also something else to consider, do you have someone you can depend on to puppysit?

Puppies and Christmas Trees

If you have a puppy you will need to take their curiosity and chewing into consideration when decorating your house for Christmas. On top of having puppies in the house we also have cats and one in particular is an adult that likes to chew, one year he decided to chew apart the wiring on our pre-lit Christmas tree, luckily it wasn't plugged in and that was the end of the tree.
Puppies turn everything into toys, and depending on their age, they often like to put everything into their mouths and chew on it. Tree branches will of course look like heaven to a teething puppy, ornaments are shiny and move, lights blink, and the entire thing looks like a wonderful fort to run underneath, around, and perhaps straight into! To make the tree safer we actually put it up on a coffee table so that it is too high for anyone to reach, I realize that not everyone is willing to do this, so avoid putting decorations, garland, or tinsel on the lower branches that can be reached. I would also avoid putting lights on any areas that can be reached to avoid chewing and electrical shock or potential fires. I would also avoid putting anything edible on the tree like popcorn or berries as the smell may make it even more tempting for the puppy and some berries may be toxic.
If you just don't trust having your puppy near the tree you can consider putting it up higher like we do with the coffee table or perhaps fence the tree off with a few exercise pens, or if possible put a baby gate up to prevent the puppy from entering the room that the tree is in when they are left unattended. I have also read about something called Sticky Paws which is a sheet of double sided tape that you can put on the floor around the tree as animals do not like to walk on sticky products.

Electrical Shock

Puppies chewing on Christmas lights can lead to electrical shock so my best advice is that you do not allow your pet near the tree unattended and to be sure and unplug the lights when you are not near the tree or supervising your pets. Symptoms of electrical shock aren't always obvious and don't appear immediately, injuries can also vary based on the voltage and the path of the current through the body. The most obvious sign of electrical shock is a burn mark at the point of contact. If your puppy was chewing on Christmas lights and got shocked they may have a burn strip across their mouth or tongue. If you suspect your puppy has been shocked it is very important that they be seen by a vet as soon as possible.
 Lots of medical issues can arise during the holidays so be sure and ask your vet what their holiday hours are and who you can contact in case of an emergency. It is a good idea to have names and phone #'s written down in advance so you are prepared. My vet's office is not open during Christmas but we have an Emergency Clinic that is located about an hour away that is always available and I have their contact information written down in case I need to call them. Emergency Clinics generally are very expensive so it's also a good idea to have some extra money set aside to cover unexpected expenses.
Dangerous Holiday Plants

Lots of people like to decorate for the holidays with plants and flowers, my best advice is to keep them high up and out of reach of your pets. Here is some information on common holiday plants:

Poinsettia- I was always told as a kid that these were highly toxic to animals so I have never had one in my house. Apparently this is an urban legend and Poinsettia's are now said to be mildly toxic and can cause nausea or vomiting, still not something I would choose to deal with.

Lillies, Daffodils, and Amaryllis- These are very common for Christmas and bulb kits have become a popular gift idea, we got one for my Mother in Law and she loved it. All of these flowers are very toxic to cats and Daffodils are very toxic to both cats and dogs, especially the bulb which would be so tempting for a puppy to chew on. Eating/chewing on these plants can cause symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, cardiac arrhythmias, kidney failure, convulsions and even death.

Mistletoe and Holly- Both of these plants along with their berries are more toxic that the Poinsettia. Mistletoe contains several substances that are toxic to both dogs and cats that can cause diarrhea, sudden drop in blood pressure, breathing problems and hallucinations.

Christmas Trees- Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic to both cats and dogs. The fir tree oils can be irritating to their mouth and stomach which can cause excessive drooling or vomiting. Those sharp tree needles are not easily digested and can possibly cause intestinal irritation, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction or puncture.

Christmas Cactus- You're safe with these, they are non toxic to both dogs and cats but I still suggest keeping all plants out of the reach of your animals.

I do suggest that you have a phone number available for all veterinary clinics that will be open for emergencies during the holiday season.
Poisonous People Foods

Most people have parties during the holidays and not all of your guests may realize that your dog is not allowed to have 'people food' and may decide to slip them a treat or two when no one is looking. You may want to consider having your pet contained while you are eating or to discuss with your guests before hand that people food is off limits to your pets. My family dogs are like vacuum cleaners during dinners, you can always find them under the dinner table waiting to snatch up any scrap that may fall to the floor. Here are a few foods to either avoid having available during parties or to warn your guests about:

Chocolate-  We all know there will be Chocolate overload everywhere during the holidays so please be careful! Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant that puts dogs into heart stopping overdrive that can cause death. It also contains caffeine and we all know a puppy doesn't need any extra energy!

Xylitol- This is an artificial sweetener that can cause liver failure. This Summer I read a lot of articles about it being found in peanut butter which is commonly used as a treat for pets so please be sure to read your labels and do not feed this to your pets!

Avocado- This contains Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins- These can cause kidney failure in dogs

Macadamia Nuts- According to the ASPCA Poison Control, they can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs within about 12 hours of eating them.

Cooked Chicken and Pork Bones- Cooked bones can splinter and cause holes in the intestinal track, ham bones can break teeth. I suggest avoiding rawhide bones as well because they too can splinter. Stick with natural chew products like pig ears, bully sticks, hooves, and horns.

Alcohol- Some holiday foods and candies contain alcohol and some guests can leave cups unattended and at easy reach for your puppy. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


Please have a safe and happy Holiday Season, and please have your vet's contact information available just in case of an emergency.




Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Toy and Food Aggression in Dogs- A.K.A. Resource Guarding

I have had people ask me if it is normal for their dogs to become possessive over food and toys, and yes it is to a point, but it can become a problem if the dog is allowed to get away with too much which prompted me to post this article that I found online. One thing with Cockapoos that people need to be aware of is that they are smart, super smart, and that leads to some easy training but can also lead to some bad habits if their owner does not properly guide them or lets them get away with too much bad behavior, especially at an early age:

Dog Resource Guarding
by Andrea Arden

Resource guarding can be described as the propensity of some dogs to maintain possession of or guard particular things. These can include, but are not limited to food bowls, toys, territory, and people. Dogs displaying guarding issues will often freeze, growl or snap when approached, when you attempt to take an item away, or while being touched. In the worst case scenario a dog may go beyond these warning signals and actually bite.
Guarding things they consider valuable is a very normal, natural and necessary part of dog behavior. After all, survival is often based on being able to successfully get and hold onto things such as food. People guard resources as well, including houses, cars, and jewelry. However, for a dog to live safely and happily in a home he or she needs to clearly understand that guarding from people is not only unnecessary but also inappropriate.
Some dogs seem to have a stronger genetically based propensity towards resource guarding than others. But, as with most behavior issues, it is usually a bit of nature and nurture that plays a part. Some dogs guarding issues also seem to stem from the simple fact that they have been allowed by their people (albeit inadvertently) to guard things. For example, a young pup who is allowed to consistently grab things and run off to the corner to chew on them may well come to think that doing so is his or her right and if someone tries to take something back a battle of teeth on hands may ensue.
We all love our dogs so much that we usually give them just about everything they want in life for free. They can jump on us or the couch for attention, they have a basket of toys at their disposal, we serve them meals and water even if they jump madly about barking at us. In some of these cases a dog who is temperamentally inclined and is allowed to be pushy may make for a dog who basically takes control of what he or she wants in the home.

So, it is important to be careful not to 'kill with kindness.' That is, not to indulge your dog to point where you allow a potentially serious behavior issue to develop. Any dog will be even that much more loveable when they have a clear understanding not to guard resources from people.
As with any behavior problem, it is always easier and safer to focus on prevention rather than cure. If your dog is already presenting signs of having a resource guarding issue it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced, reward based trainer to help you in person.
In order to prevent resource guarding issues we need to condition our dogs to not only tolerate, but actually like something that doesn't necessarily come naturally to a dog. In this case, to respond promptly when we request them to give up objects.
Management - Management is a way of preventing problems from being practiced but also a way to help your dog understand that you control a valuable resource, i.e. his access to you and your home. Management is something we practice everyday in many ways with our dogs, including in the form of walking them on leash to keep them safe. When working on preventing behavior issues, management should be used intensely at first and then may gradually decrease depending on your dog's progress. For example, once you feel confident your dog is happily releasing things when you ask him or her to, you may choose not to use on leash supervision anymore (assuming your dog is housetrained and doesn't have other behavior issues you are also trying to prevent or resolve).
1. On Leash Supervision: When you are home and can supervise your dog keep him or her on a leash tethered nearby or while you hold it or step on it. This way you have a gentle and effective means of maintaining control. For example, if your dog is off leash and grabs something inappropriate to chew on you would have to chase after him or her to get it back. This scenario is likely to reinforce many inappropriate behaviors including playing keep away from you and guarding.
2. Short Term Confinement: When you can't your dog let him or her rest quietly in a crate, exercise pen or pet safe room.
3. Controlling Resources- Perhaps the most important part of any training protocol, controlling the things your dog wants in life is the first step in getting him or her to understand why paying attention to you and figuring out what you want is important. A dog that gets everything he or she wants in life for free is likely to have a hard time understanding why you (and listening to you) are valuable. Doggie resources are:
-Food
-Toys
-Attention
-Life Rewards (anything else you can think of your dog wants such as walking out the front door, being allowed to play with other dogs, sitting on the couch, etc.).
Get control of all of these things by not allowing your dog free, unlimited access to them and use training skills such as sit, down, come, etc. as a way to show your dog how to earn what he or she wants. That is, ask him or her to sit before getting a tummy rub, to hand target before getting dinner, to shake before going out for a walk, etc.

Training - Once you have focused on developing good management skills as outlined above you are ready to move on to working on specific anti-resource guarding exercises as a preventative.
1. Chew Toy and Bone Sharing - With your dog on a leash present a chew toy. Offer the chew toy to your dog to investigate and chew on for a moment while you hold one end. After a few moments, take it away and offer your dog a tiny, tasty treat from your other hand. As you progress with this game you can let go of the chew toy and gradually allow your dog to chew on it for longer before you take it away and give a treat. This is a simple, but wonderful interactive game for you and your dog. By continually taking objects away and replacing with an object/toy/treat of equal if not greater value your dog is sure to look forward to you doing so.
2. Food Bowl Bonuses - When you have time, hand feed your dog at least part of his or meals. This way you can put a bowl on the ground with a few pieces in it, reach to take it away and offer a piece or two from your other hand. You can also reach towards the bowl as after you place it down and toss in some food. You should also work with bonus, high value treats that you can offer occasionally when you reach towards the bowl.
3. Practice in Many Places, with Many Things - Playing these trading games as many times as you can in as many different environments and with as many different things as possible is a great way to help your dog learn to want to share everything!


Andrea is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers and a Certified Pet Partners Team evaluator for the Delta Society and the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. She is the Director of Andrea Arden Dog Training in New York, and was named the best dog trainer in New York by New York, W, Time Out, Quest and the Daily News. Her website is located at http://www.andreaarden.com and she can be reached at 212-414-9597. You can follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/andreaardendogtraining.
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