Thursday, January 7, 2021

2021 Puppy Colors!

 If you have visited my website you will have most likely seen that I have a page showing the various colors we get with our Cockapoo puppies:

https://www.cutecockapoos.com/puppy-colors

All of the pictures posted on that page, and throughout our website, are actual puppies that we have made and raised. 

You may also have noticed that I have an "Available Adults" page on my website that shows available adult Cocker Spaniels, Cockapoos, or Miniature Poodles that we have available for adoption to pet homes only. 

https://www.cutecockapoos.com/available-adults

The reason that I occasionally have adults available is because we only breed our dogs for a few years, and they then are spayed/neutered and retired to homes where they can be couch potatoes with their forever families. (If you're interested in an adult please watch this page and contact me.)

Retiring adults within our breeding program means changes in the colors and amount of Cockapoo puppies we have available each year. In the past we usually had every color under the sun available but as time has gone by, we have started to narrow down our color palette based on what is most desired and what color adults we are raising. For example in 2019 we retired our Chocolate Merle Cocker Spaniel stud which temporarily put an end to having any Merle Cockapoos. In 2020 we bred our last two Chocolate Females who usually produce Chocolate, Black, or dark Parti puppies temporarily putting an end to dark colored Cockapoo puppies within our breeding program, etc. As of 2021 we have narrowed our colors down to mostly Buff, Apricot, Red, or light Parti colored Cockapoo puppies.

Sometimes I have people wanting to get on the waiting list for a very specific color/sex combination and I will either tell them yes or no based on my breeding program and what I think I will have for colors in the future. I always tell people that I don't know what colors we will get until the puppies are born, but if I don't have any dark colored dogs or Merles currently active in my breeding program the odds are high that I won't have those colors in my litter.



Things will change again for 2022! We have been raising some Cocker Spaniel puppies with a wide variety of colors within their bloodlines. I am happy to say some of them are Merle, some of them are Red, and one is a Chocolate and Tan parti that also carries the Merle gene so hopefully they will once again produce a wide variety of colors in their future litters. Stay tuned, each litter is a beautiful surprise.


 

If you're interested in adopting a Cockapoo puppy from us please visit our website:https://www.cutecockapoos.com/

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

I Have Left the BBB

 In 2012 I got accredited with the Better Business Bureau. I don't remember if they contacted me or if I contacted them but I figured it would be a good way to show to my customers that I was a real, legit business and give them a sense of trust. 




I'm sure almost everyone on the planet has heard horrible stories about people being ripped off by fake breeders, unknowingly buying from puppy mills, getting a pet from a pet store only to realize who they are supplied from, etc. so I figured having an organization like the BBB verifying my information was a good way to get my name out there and also give people a chance to post reviews about my puppies and their interactions with me. 




For several years I was happy with their service and felt good about being accredited on their site but over time things started to change. Being a member of the BBB is not cheap, they charge a yearly fee, and over time the fees started to go up significantly each and every year to the point where I felt like I was being priced out. 





On top of the rising fees, the BBB started to make some changes that I was not happy about. One of the things that really bothered me the most was when they started to erase reviews after three years claiming that they were outdated. I have (or had) several positive reviews posted that were erased and I don't see any reason for customers to not see a longstanding history of happy customers and positive reviews, no matter how old they are. 





Another change I was unhappy with was when they started to allow people "who had contact with your business" start posting reviews online. Previously they had only allowed people who had done actual business with you to post. So then it went from actual customers posting to anyone who wrote you an email or called you, etc. I didn't feel that was the point of the membership and review process. I personally have only had customers write reviews but I still didn't appreciate the change.




Because of the changes and price increases I had gone back and forth about continuing my membership for the last few years. Part of me felt I was paying way too much simply for a space for people to post reviews while another part of me still felt it was good for people to verify that I was real. The final straw was when I got my bill in 2020. In a year of a horrible pandemic when businesses, especially small ones, were struggling and on the verge of collapse, the BBB had raised their prices again!!




I was really shocked to see that they had increased my fee again this year, and not by a little bit, they wanted an additional $75 bringing my yearly fee to $500 which can go a long way towards many other things. 


After considering cancelling my membership I still went back and forth about it. Is this a waste of money? Do people even check with the BBB anymore? I've been in business for a long time, do I still have to prove myself? Will someone pick another breeder over me because they are accredited and I won't be, etc? To help make up my mind I turned to my customers and followers and asked what their thoughts were on my Facebook page and the consensus was that I was wasting my time and money.

 I was surprised to hear that the majority of my customers didn't check the BBB before purchasing from me. I was even more surprised to hear that a lot of people thought that you could buy your score from the BBB. My score was/is an A+ so I had never been contacted to pay to raise my score so I honestly don't even know if it's true but that's not a good reputation for the organization to have. A lot of my customers explained that my online presence (website, Facebook, Instagram,) and word of mouth was way more important and helping to spread the word about the work that we do. Others also said that the BBB was outdated and that you can read reviews pretty much anywhere online these days.

There were a few posts from customers that did check with the BBB before doing business with me and my membership helped them make their decision but the majority felt that it is an unnecessary and outdated site.

The combination of rising fees, changes I didn't like, and very good feedback from consumers helped me make my decision to cancel my membership. 

When I called to cancel my membership the first thing the representative asked me was why? I explained the three reasons above, price, erasing reviews, and changes on who can post. When I told her that I was shocked about their price increase during a pandemic she responded that invoices had been sent out at the beginning of the year before the pandemic and they are offering a discount of $100 to help out. I explained that my invoice was sent out in October, well after the pandemic began, and asked why I was not told about the $100 discount. She replied that only people who called and asked about the price were offered a discount! 

When I told her I didn't like it that they were erasing reviews after three years she said it's because of all the changes like staffing that businesses have over time. I explained that I don't have employees, just my family and I raise our puppies and run our business, so that explanation doesn't apply to us and was a broad generalization that may be affecting those of us that are really small in a negative way.

When I told her I didn't like it that non customers can now post reviews she replied by telling me I can just not pay my invoice and my membership will be canceled. 

The conversation with the representative really made me feel good about my choice to leave the BBB, clearly they were not supporting my business and its individual needs so therefore I don't need to support their business financially.

My fee for 2021 was due the end of November and I am going to happily spend that money on Christmas presents for the dogs, they most definitely deserve them!


If you're interested in more information about our Cockapoo puppies please visit our website at:

 Male & Female Cockapoo Puppies for Sale in Wisconsin Cute Cockapoos

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Carside Pick Up due to the Coronavirus

Due to the Coronavirus we are changing the way that we handle appointments on the day that families come and pick up their puppies in order to limit exposure to each other. Instead of coming inside to meet us and your puppy we are going to do car side pick up where you stay in your vehicle and I will bring your puppy and paperwork out to you when you arrive at my house.

I am going to try and answer as many questions as possible in this blog so that we don't have to go over additional information during your appointment, and again, avoid exposure to each other.

When I hand you your puppy if you ordered a blanket they will be wrapped in it and I will also give you a packet of paperwork which will contain:  1.) a copy of your puppy contract,  2.) a health record, 3.) a letter from my vet confirming that they have been vet checked,  4.) a weight sheet showing how much your puppy weighed at the vet, 5.) a CVI- Certificate of Veterinary Inspection that again confirms that your puppy was vet checked,  6.) information on how to register the microchip,
7.) a sample of NuVet Vitamins along with information on how to order them and, 8.) a receipt that confirms you received your puppy.
 (All customers receive the above paperwork with their puppies.)

1.) Puppy Contract- The microchip # of your puppy will be filled in on the bottom of the second page of the contract, you will need this number to register the chip with Avid.

2.) Health Record- Give this to your vet when you take your puppy to their first appointment! The front page will contain the name of the parents of your puppy, the birthdate of your puppy, their gender, and color. The inside pages will contain the date that your puppy was vet checked, their microchip number, the dates/types of dewormer that they received, and the date and labels of the vaccines that they received. Your vet will read this and get you on a schedule for future vaccines and dewormings.

3-5.) Vet Letter, Weight Sheet, and CVI- Give this information to your vet when you take your puppy to their first appointment. The letter from our vet will confirm that your puppy has been vet checked, the weight sheet will show how much they weighed at the appointment, and the CVI again shows that they were vet checked (state required form for licensed breeders.)

6.) Avid Microchip registration- You will need to register the microchip # with your information or it will not work! I will write the Microchip # on the bottom of the puppy contract and also in the health record of your puppy. In order to register the Microchip you can call Avid at (800) 336-2843 or by going on their website at: www.avidid.com Please do not forget to do this, if you forget and your puppy is lost or stolen the microchip information will be blank.

7.) NuVet Vitamins- I will give you a sample packet of NuVet Vitamins along with information about them and how to order them. Puppies under 5 pounds can have half a tablet a day, puppies over 5 pounds can have one full tablet a day. I personally like to break them up and use them as treats or to crumble them and put them in their food. You can visit the NuVet page on my website for more information on how to order them: https://www.cutecockapoos.com/nuvet

8.) Receipt- This is another required form for licensed breeders and it will have your information, my information, the puppy's information, and it confirms that you received your puppy.

Payment: For final balances I will only accept cash or a cashier's check made to Cute Cockapoos. I will email you your balance before you come, please bring the exact amount, I will not be giving out change. If paying via a Cashier's check please double check the spelling, I have had people bring me checks made to Cute Cockatoos and I don't raise birds.

Food: I have information about their food posted on the FAQ page of my website. If you were unable to get the food before you come and need to purchase a bag from me please let me know in advance and I will add it to your balance due and will bring it out to you.

Snuffle Mats: I make homemade Snuffle Mats! If you're interested in taking one home with your puppy let me know, and if I have any available, I will set one aside. They are $20 each and the colors will vary.




All puppies will be given a bath and have their nails clipped either the day before or day of departure. 


If you have any other questions please take some time to read over the FAQ page of my website, this blog, and feel free to ask before you come to pick up your puppy.

This is only a temporary change, those of us who are in the farming and animal husbandry business do not get sick days, no matter how bad we feel our animals still need to be taken care of and chores still need to be done, so it's important to work together to keep everyone healthy.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!




Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus March 2020

3/15/20

Due to the Coronavirus we are not allowing families to visit the puppies, we are only allowing people to come here on the day that they pick them up and we may change the way that we conduct our appointments to limit exposure.

As many of you already know we are licensed and offer to ship our puppies to anyone living within the United States and we can use Delta, United, or American Airlines. With the Coronavirus causing so many closings, cancelations, and disruptions we have decided to temporarily suspend shipping until things get calmed down. At the moment we have puppies ready to go home in May and I am not sure if there will be issues at the airports during that time. Airlines have very strict rules about shipping puppies as it is, and if there is a disruption in regular flight schedules I don't want a puppy to be caught up in it, nor do I want to be standing in line at the airport amongst angry or sick people.

If you are interested in adopting a Cockapoo puppy from us and would normally require them to be shipped I would ask that you be willing and able to either drive or fly out here instead to pick up the puppy yourself. We are more than willing to meet people at our local airports located in Appleton, WI (ATW) or Green Bay, WI (GRB.) The other two larger airports near us are located in Milwaukee, WI or Madison, WI and we've had several people fly into them and rent a car to come here.
This is only temporary until we see what kinds of affects, if any, that Covid 19 will have on domestic airport traffic.

Update 3/20/20
Due to the Coronavirus causing a reduction in flights Delta has announced that they will temporarily stop shipping pets on 4/1/20 until further notice.
Update 1/16/021 Delta is still not offering pet cargo transport. On top of not offering pet cargo services they have increased the age requirement for a puppy to fly onboard to 10 weeks, it previously was 8 weeks.

Update 3/22/20
Due to the Coronavirus causing a reduction in flights United has announced that they will temporarily stop shipping pets on 4/25/20 until further notice. Update 1/16/2021 United is still not offering pet transport. On top of not offering pet cargo services they have increased the age requirement for a puppy to fly onboard to 16 weeks, it previously was 8 weeks.
Update 1/16/2021

Update 3/25/20

Due to the Coronavirus causing a reduction in flights American Airlines has announced that they will temporarily stop shipping pets on 4/25/20 until further notice. Pets need to be 8 weeks old to fly onboard.


1/20/21 I checked with the other airlines that fly into our local airports who also allow pets onboard and Allegiant requires puppies to be 12 weeks old to fly while Frontier requires them to be 4 months old to fly onboard w/a passenger. Southwest, who flies into Milwaukee, requires them to be 8 weeks old.


Due to all of the disruption with flights we are currently not accepting deposits from families that are unable to drive here (no shipping, no flying here to pick up.) This is only temporary and we will resume regular business once this all clears up.

If you are interested in a Cockapoo puppy from us you can find up to date information and pictures posted on our website: https://www.cutecockapoos.com/puppies-for-sale



Tuesday, March 3, 2020

More Waiting List Questions and Answers

Spring is almost here, warm weather is on the way, people see Summer break in their future, and all of this means that my Waiting List for Cockapoo Puppies is growing by the day! On top of the Waiting List growing I have some beautiful bellies getting bigger by the day and I can't wait to see the new beautiful puppies that are coming our way soon. I love this time of year, I love the anticipation of the new litters coming, and of course I love to see the little beauties being born as each litter is a beautiful surprise as we never know the colors and gender that we are going to get.

With the Waiting List comes a huge list of emails coming my way asking me tons of questions about the upcoming litters: How many people are on your waiting list? How many people want females? How many people want Males? What colors do people want? What colors are they going to be? When will they be ready? How much are they? What number am I on the list? When will you contact me? Am I going to get a puppy from the newest litter? Etc, Etc, Etc.....

I have written a few blogs before explaining how our Waiting List works, not everyone reads it, but for those that do it seems to be helpful. I wanted to write this to further elaborate on a few things that I get asked about over and over again: Parents, Timing, Placement on the List.

Parents:
It's very common for females to come into heat together so it's very common to have more than one litter born around the same time. I personally like to have a few litters close in age because I love having the puppies grow, learn. and play together. When I start accepting deposits for our Waiting List it's very common for people to ask me who the parents of the litter are and this question is hard to answer for many reasons 1.) If I have a waiting list started and more than one litter coming I don't know what litter I will be contacting you about, especially if you have color or timing preferences.
2.) Sometimes people will submit a deposit in January but not want a puppy until October so I don't even have the mother of their puppy bred yet.
3.) False pregnancies or medical issues, although not common, can happen which is why I don't like to announce litters until they are here and healthy.
A few years ago a lady got on our list and she was pretty far back, like #14 or 15 and she had asked about the parents. I had three litters coming within the next few months so I told her who was expecting, one of which was a female named Molly. A few months passed and when litter #3 arrived I contacted this lady with pictures of the puppies to choose from. Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and this lady was on the other end screaming at me because she didn't get contacted about a litter from Molly and she had told her kids about Molly and everyone had their hearts set on a puppy from Molly! I had no idea that she was set on a puppy from Molly and all of the puppies from that litter had been chosen by people ahead of her on our list.
After that experience I have decided that it's better that I don't get ahead of myself and I wait to announce parents and litters until they are born and available. I don't like to disappoint people and I don't want someone to get their hearts set on a litter they might not be able to get.

Timing:
Timing can sometimes be a big deal to people, especially with those that have kids with Summers off or careers like Teachers. It's very common for teachers and parents to start submitting deposits for Summer puppies months in advance to get as close to the top of the waiting list as possible. If you are someone that wants a puppy in June it is a very good idea to contact me in January to submit a deposit because Summer puppies sell fast and I don't always have a lot of them. Some people don't understand that I can't control when a female comes into heat and that means that I can't control when I will have puppies available. We do rotational breeding meaning that I don't over breed or treat my females like breeding machines so they don't have litters over and over and over again. One year I may have several litters that will be ready in June and July and the next year I may only have one or two because I am not breeding the same females again or the heat cycles of the others that I am breeding don't line up with June or July ready puppies.
If you are on my Waiting List and want a puppy at a specific time (like June) I will try as hard as I can to get you a puppy when you want it but understand that the longer you wait to get on the list, and the more preferences you have (like color,) can limit your chances at a certain litter so you may end up waiting a bit longer than you had wanted and get a puppy in July instead of June.

Placement on the List:
What number am I on your list? How many people are on your list? These are two of the most common questions I get asked and people need to understand that the Waiting list is fluid and your position on the list can change over and over again all depending on your preferences and what I have available. For a better explanation of this please read one of my other blog articles titled "How Does the Waiting List Work" https://cutecockapoosinwisconsin.blogspot.com/2014/03/how-our-waiting-list-for-cockapoo.html

What if I Don't See a Puppy That I Want: When I contact you about an available litter if you don't see one that you want, let me know, and I will simply contact you about a future litter and continue to do so until you find the one that is right for you. I don't get offended if you pass on a litter, I want to make sure you are happy with the puppy that you choose. 


If you're looking for a Cockapoo Puppy please take some time to read over my website and contact me if interested: https://www.cutecockapoos.com/








Sunday, January 26, 2020

How We Socialize Our Puppies


To socialize our puppies we focus on Touch, Sights, Sounds, Smells, Environment, Positive Reinforcement, and Stimulation. Training starts from the moment they are born until the moment that they leave us and go to their new homes, from there it is up to their new family to continue the training process.

Touch: This is the very first form of socialization that the puppies will get from us. When their mom goes into labor we are there from the minute her water breaks until the minute the last puppy is born. When the puppy is born they are in our hands and immediately introduced to being handled and loved by humans. Our puppies are handled and loved on every single day under our care. Belly rubs are a daily routine, I often have one on my lap while I'm answering emails or talking on the phone. I carry them around while doing daily activities, and when old enough they spend time crawling around on our laps cuddling and playing with toys. I clip their nails a couple of times before they go home, this may not seem like a big deal but it gets them used to having their paws handled which is good for future grooming and nail trims.


Sounds: Puppies don't fully open their eyes until they are about 2.5-3 weeks old so during the period when they can't see, sound and touch are our main focus. The minute the puppies are born they are held and spoken to so they very quickly get used to the feel of our hands and the sounds of our voices. It's very common for me to have complete conversations with our pets, I have found them to be great listeners :)
To mix it up some days I will play episodes of Chicago P.D. so the puppies hear city noises like trains, sirens, and traffic, other days I will play nature shows so the puppies will hear birds and animals. I also like to play different types of music so we go from The Doors, to U2, to Christmas Classics, to Country Western, etc.
I vacuum every day and purposely do it right next to the exercise pen so that the puppies both see and hear it. We have ceiling fans that I will turn on so that they will see the blades moving, hear the sound of the fan, and feel the air moving around them.
We have both a landline and cell phones, all with different ring tones.
The microwave, blender, furnace, lawn mower, tractor, and other every day household sounds are all part of their lives from day one.
I often buy toys that make different noises, some play music, some have loud squeaks, etc. as just another way for them to get used to new sounds.
All of these introductions to sound are always followed by positive reinforcement so that they learn to get used to them and not be scared.


Sights: Puppies don't fully open their eyes until they are about 2.5-3 weeks old so when they can finally see it's important to introduce them to as many things as possible. For the first few weeks of their lives w/out vision they have gotten used to hearing our voices and feeling our hands so it's exciting to finally introduce ourselves visually. Some days I will wear my hair up, other days I will leave it down, puppies love to chew on long hair. Some days my husband will wear a hat, or go without shaving and grow some stubble on his face, when the puppies go to lick his cheek it will feel and look different. During good weather I take the puppies outside for a change in environment and to see all of the new sights and sounds that they do not experience while indoors. Toys and treats are a big part of the puppy world and I feel it's best to mix them up and change them out so that they don't get bored having the same things all of the time. Kongs stuffed with peanut butter, treat puzzles, balls with squeakers, stuffed animals, bully sticks, roasted pig ears are all things that I like to introduce them to. Our other animals also play a big visual role, we have several kitties and the puppies are very used to seeing them on a regular basis. When outside they see the horses and cows walk by, all which help them get used to seeing new things and being used to new animals.
 All of these introductions are done slowly so to avoid overloading them and they are always followed by positive reinforcement so that they get used to new things and learn not to be scared.


Environment: Along with introducing the puppies to new things to see I feel it's important to expose them to different environments. If it's nice outside I set up exercise pens in the yard so they can play in the grass, smell the fresh air, feel the warm sun, chew on fresh sticks, play in the leaves and take in the outdoor environment. During Winter if it's warm enough I take them outside to play in the snow, they love to climb the snow banks, cover their faces in fresh snow beards, and tackle each other while rolling down the snow piles. When outside they also get to observe our chickens, cats, horses, and cows. They hear and see the cars going by, hear the planes up above, hear the wind rustling through the leaves, all this is quite different from being indoors and gets them used to things they'll experience in every day life.



I only have the puppies for a very small moment of time in their lives and I feel that it's my job to start them off right by getting them used to different things but it's also vital that their new families continue to expose, train, and mold them into the dogs that they want them to be. Puppies are innocent sponges that will soak up all the knowledge that you are willing to give them, if you don't work with and train them then don't expect a perfect dog. If you are a new puppy owner I highly suggest puppy classes and doggy day care a couple of times a week, both will make a world of difference!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Teach Your Dog to Trade

Anyone who owns a pet knows that they have their moments when they do things that drive you crazy! With Cockapoos having that big brain, anyone who owns one can certainly tell you that there are moments when they can be very stubborn and will challenge you to see who is really the boss. One lesson that I find to be invaluable is to teach them how to trade, and to do it at a young age to avoid potential future problems. Have you ever gotten attitude when your dog has a favorite toy or treat or has just run off for the millionth time with a sock they stole out of your laundry basket?
Teaching your dog to trade one object for another will help resolve a potentially dangerous situation when they are under the bed with your favorite bra and growling when you reach your hand to grab it back.

I am not a professional trainer so I suggest doing a further "Google" Search or seeking the advice of a professional but start when your puppy is young. Keep a special treat, cubes of cheese, a piece of meat, etc. and only use it when you are teaching this lesson or actually using it to retrieve an item. For training purposes give your dog a toy or every day treat and then offer to trade them a special treat in exchange for that toy/treat. Say the same word or phrase like "trade" or "drop it," and use positive reinforcement when the exchange is made. Cockapoos are smart and repetition along with praise will get you way farther than screaming at them to give something back while they are under the bed growling at you.
I want to point out that not every dog gets crabby when they steal something or are interrupted when enjoying a favorite snack but it never hurts to teach them a new skill and to be prepared just in case.

Looking for a Cockapoo Puppy? Please visit our website for current pictures, prices, and information:
https://www.cutecockapoos.com/