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If eyes are the windows to the soul…then poo must be the window to health.
If eyes are the windows to the soul…then poo must be the window to health.
I was raised in a home of great modesty. Discussions of body functions were not encouraged. As children we did revel in a good fart joke or a robust attempt to emulate the sound of the fart with the crook of the arm out in the backyard far away from the ears of our parents. But, to talk about other body functions was just not done. We had a few words we used to reference the functions but they were hardly descriptive in any way. We usually just said the generic phrase “go to the bathroom” there were no specifics as to what we were actually doing.
I had no idea that one day I would be so willing to talk about poo. Let alone pick it up, look at it and discuss it at great lengths. It was when I got my first Goldendoodle puppy and we needed to house-train him did the “world of poo” come to the tip of my tongue. We had read books and went to classes, all the things that should be done.
I soon found that my generic terms from my childhood were not going to work out for us in training our Goldendoodle. With two people doing the training, we needed better communication. Knowing the specifics of the potty activity were needed to assure that we were not going to have puddles and piles on the floor. I had to get over the modesty in the interest of our puppy. Soon I developed phrases I could live with and we were both now on the same page with house-training.
During this puppy period we were also taking our puppy on his regular veterinarian visits. Of course, those visits included the gathering of poo (poo is the word that I decided I could live with and say without blushing). My initial inclination to carry a baggie of poo with just two fingers and carry it as far away as possible from my body soon faded to practical handling methods.
Taking the puppy out for potty (my other word – sort of an all-encompassing word to cover both poo and pee) every few hours, watching the rear end of his body to make sure that he went, occupied a lot of time. Picking up poo to dispose of so the puppy would not eat it (yeeww) and the gathering of poo to take for inspection by the vet were all becoming just normal activities.
I soon learned that the poo could tell me so much! After all, I was spending a lot of time having to look for it, look at it and handle it in some manner. The degree of firmness or lack of firmness, the frequency, the color, the smell, and the texture all were telling me about the health of my puppy.
So now, after raising four puppies, house-training, and vet visits… I don’t blush, I will pick up poo with confidence, I will get a flashlight and check out a night poo, I will use a strainer to screen poo for foreign objects and I will not shutter when I step in it. I will, however, continue to giggle when I hear a fart.
Here are some things about poo that I have learned:
Author: Buffy the Poo Slayer
Big Brown Eyes of Katrina
Big Brown Eyes of Katrina
It’s been several months since Nina and I went to Louisiana to help with animal rescue. Several times I have attempted to sit down and write about the experience, but it is like trying to explain the universe in one hundred words or less. So many dimensions, so many small details that are not small at all, so many big brown eyes staring at me.
I have managed to document the activity – arrival, what exactly we did, the structure, and the things donated, etc… but that didn’t capture the big brown eyes of the situation. This is my attempt.
It took 14 hours of almost non-stop driving to get to Lamar-Dixon. We pulled up at 2:00 in the morning. Time no longer had much meaning. Focus on the dogs, the needs, the care – it could be 11 in the morning or it could be 3 in the afternoon. I couldn’t have told you which it was. Normally, my stomach dictates time to me. I’m hungry, it must be lunchtime… it must be dinnertime. My stomach clock didn’t work. or I forced myself to ignore its announcements – it just didn’t seem right to stop feeding, watering and cleaning to eat. If the dogs haven’t eaten why would I? Time to think about my family at home? No time.
It was madness. When we first arrived. There was no way of knowing which dogs had been cared for… that changed within hours of arrival. We attached plastic sheet covers to all crates – inserted feed and care sheets. Started writing down all activity for each dog. At the end of the day – we would do a check to make sure that each dog had been cared for. We would start at the south end in the morning – work as a team – one takes the dog out, the other cleans out the crate, adds water and food – dog goes back into crate, on to the next. We would work our way north. There were usually around 125 dogs on one side of the row. It would take a long time to get to the end. Unfortunately, some people would come into the building from the north end and see that the dogs had not be fed or cleaned yet that day. They would get angry as if someone was doing it on purpose! They would stomp around and start a mad rush to tend to all these poor dogs! They would be outraged. It was difficult to explain, (and to stop) to an angry person that there was a method to the madness and they were actually making it worse for the dogs. The dogs were starting to be put on a schedule. The ones on the south end were fed in the morning, the ones in the middle were next and then the north end dogs were fed later in the day. If they started feeding the north end dogs in the morning, then it throws off their body cycles. It was not the care that any of us would want for our dogs at home, but then this wasn’t home. This was the place of madness.
A woman arrived around 7:30 in the evening – we had all just completed bringing in over 300 animals. The dogs in the barns had been fed or were real close to being done. We were in the process of preparing for animals due to arrive within an hour. Getting crates, locating space, preparing food and water in all the crates, shampooers getting ready to clean. I was at the operations desk reviewing our plan for this next group of animals, when a woman in her 60’s arrives. She has a hard cased tote in hand, and plops it on the table. We look at her. “I am here! I am here to volunteer.” One of the team members responded, “Wonderful, thank you. Right now the dogs are all settled down and we are now preparing for the next wave to come in” then she looks at me as asks what is our primary need was at the moment. “Cleaning, we need crates cleaned desperately – we have none for our next group”. The woman looked at me and said, “that is not acceptable! I will not clean crates! I am a groomer I am here to groom the dogs!” She opens up her suitcase the size of a shoebox and shows a baggie with around 15 treats in it, and an antique pair of nail clippers. She explains that the nail clippers are the best ever made and that she was going to help with nails. I am standing there, listening to this woman, a smile on my face, yet thinking about how I needed at least 50 crates cleaned in the next hour, I need to make sure that the security guard was there to protect us from pit bull thieves, need to get at least 100 bags of treats ready for tomorrow and to also see if Nina caught the dog that got loose to avoid it getting shot when it got off the property. (Smile Beth – she has good intentions) “I am really sorry that you came all the way down here to do this, but right now we are just trying to keep the dogs alive. We can’t let you go into the area because it will disrupt the dogs– we are trying to let them settle down, they have gone through a lot today.” This woman had good intentions but she just didn’t see the bigger picture – it is about life right now – not about nails.
Thinking of the Good Things
Everyday, Day in, Day out, barking. Problems. Sickness. Confusion. Fear. Sadness. Heat. Anger. Aggression. Panic. Trauma. Hopelessness. Day in, Day out.
How can someone sleep after living that? Nina and I decided every night before we would go to sleep we had to come up with three things that were good that day. It took a while the first night. Review of the day in our head, a very long day, running it over in our heads – searching for the good things. I had one! A man brought about 100 stainless steel bowls and handed them to me. That man had no idea what a very big deal that was – we were desperate for bowls for our big dogs. It made our lives a bit easier. Another day the good thing was, when they brought in some dogs mid afternoon there was a puppy about 6 months old, it was a pit bull and is was very mad and very aggressive and already had marks of a dog in training. Anyone who came near it would get a full body attack. We had to do something, usually the vets will check them out, but no one was getting near that dog. They could not just leave it in the crate, filled with toxic water, no food, and no water. They told me we might need to send him to Barn 1 PTS if he doesn’t settle down. I moved the dog over to my working area and covered the crate, yet still trying to let fresh air move around the crate. I ignored the puppy’s’ angry threats and started to give him jerky every time I walked by. I kept the puppy nearby to monitor him. I managed to get a stick and move bowl that was inside the crate over and fill it using a plant-watering pitcher (long snout) and continued to drop food. As the hours passed the temperature started to cool just a bit, the puppy soon learned that body slams were not going to change his situation, and there was a woman that was taking care of him. When I rested, I sat by his crate – I didn’t talk to him, I just sat.
A very long day, and we processed many dogs and I was exhausted. My final task for the night was to deal with the pit bull puppy. By now, I had a new friend, he had settled down. I decided that he was going to stay in our barn for the night. Nina and I took him onto our fighters and biters row and we were able to put him into a larger clean crate, with food, water and a generous chew bone. He settled in and not a fuss for the rest of the night. So, that day, we saved a puppy who didn’t know better, had not been treated very well and he found some comfort and could finally go to bed with a belly full of food and some nice cool water. That was a good thing.
Everyday some people would come to the barns looking. There seemed to be a very high percentage that were just there to gauwk at the “sad sad situation” – walking up and down the rows, showing pity. I had very little tolerance for them because they were the ones that usually stopped us in the middle of working to tell us how sad this situation was. They would often grab my shoulders and almost shake me and then start crying. They weren’t there looking for their lost dog, they weren’t there to help clean and fed, they were there out of their own selfish sick curiosity. And apparently to be sure to tell us how sad the situation was. Yes, believe it or not, we knew it was sad – we were living it night and day. But I also saw a bunch of people working very very hard doing back breaking work for hours on end. I saw dogs that were safe, had food and were alive. Yes it was sad, darn sad. No time for crying. No time for pity.
Some of the people that showed up were looking for their dog(s). It’s impossible to remember all the dogs in the ever-changing dog population but strangely we actually did know and remember many. “I’m looking for my dog, he has big brown eyes has long brown hair and a white tip on the tail” – “Let’s go see if this might be the place to start looking” We tried to avoid saying “Yes, I know your dog is here” just to avoid the big let down if the dog wasn’t there or was the wrong, “big brown eyes, long hair with a white tip” dog. We were also highly suspect of people coming in to find their dogs because some were not there to find their dog; they were there to get a dog.
There was a family that came in; they had pictures, walking around looking. I stopped them and asked if they needed some help, my way of weeding out the shoppers and the gawkers – “yes we are looking for our dogs, we have four.” The whole family clustered around me as I looked at the pictures. I said, lets just walk down here and see… At the end of the row was a group of around 10 dogs, there was one that was very very quiet and I would do a bit of a double check on her because sometimes quiet could mean sick. She wasn’t sick, she was just quite. I took this family and started to walk towards this section, I hear… “Mom! Dad! Mom! Dad! Here! IM HERE! MOM!”… It was the quiet girl - We were 30 feet away. I stopped them and turned and said “Well, your dog found you guys – you don’t have to identify your dog – you don’t have to prove that she is your dog – she just told me you are her family.” I asked one of them to stay with her and the rest of them to go get the paperwork completed. About an hour later the family came over with their dog, who had a high step in her walk and a sparkle in her brown eyes, to thank me (don’t know what I did) and to say that the others were gone, didn’t make it. But they got their baby girl and it will all be better. We learned to let the dogs tell us who the honest people were and who was lying.
When we arrived the first day, there was an estimated 800 dogs in Barn 5, there were approximately 75 pit bulls and 30 rotties. These dogs were dispersed throughout the entire barn area. Many of these (as well as a handful of other types of dogs) had “did bite”, “aggressive”, “may bite” notations on their crates. Mind you, we had volunteers coming into the place everyday, many don’t even have a dog, they just have big hearts and want to help. The first morning we were there I saw a woman – fit for her age – but was no less than 75 years old - feisty woman, but darn small - walk up to a “will bite” crate (an airline crate that is covered on all sides) and reach right in and pull out a rather large pit bull and attempt to walk this dog down a row of hundreds of barking dogs. Bless her heart, had to stop her, that was an accident waiting to happen. That was our first day there and the day that we moved all the “fighters and biters” over to Row F – a single isle on the outer side of the barn. We then established that only experienced handlers could work in this row. These dogs were to be fed, watered and walked just like the others but needed someone who is willing to wait for 5 minutes for the dog to walk out of his crate, or to be able to read a dog that wanted to pick a fight. We were also told about of some pit bulls down in another barn that others would not touch and it was suspected that they had not been out of their crates for a long time. We prepared crates in Row F and then we sent down 4 handlers, each walked their dog around a few times and then walked them to “Hotel F” where they were greeted with fresh cool water, a nice portion of food and a fantastic chew bone. Row F did have dogs that were actual pit fighting dogs – dog aggressive dogs – we separated crates by using torn up boxes pulled from the dumpsters. These dogs were actually nice to handle for people, but they would go after another dog in seconds flat. Nina devoted most of her time to Row F – she took great care for these dogs (she has a pit bull who is the sweetest thing ever and is a trained search and rescue dog) The times that I wasn’t running around I spend helping Nina with these dogs. “Pit Row” was full of tough dogs, mean dogs, but the funny thing was – when Nina and I walked around, they were quiet and settled. They were treated as well as possible. One of the Doctors came down one day and said “this row is amazing – they are so quiet – they just sit there with their big brown eyes watching every move you guys make - they seemed to have really found some peace here” … I said “it doesn’t hurt to always have cookies in your pocket too. They learned that quiet gets rewarded. I have no problem bribing.”
Ironically, we had to return home because Nina had made a commitment to attend a Search and Rescue Seminar. We tried to wrap up details “this guy here has learned how to move the tray at the bottom of his crate and actually walk his crate around… we don’t mind, gotta give him credit for creative problem solving – after all he is still in his crate.” And “This little girl here has learned how to open her crate door – so be sure to add a twist tie or cord to the door” And “See this big boy, he holds his potty – so be sure to check him first when you come in his area – get him out to go potty because he has been holding it for a long time” Its like trying to leave your children with a baby sitter, the details, the worries, we knew these dogs and their likes and dislikes. We saw improvement daily. We had to leave, we left an hour later than planned … still offering suggestions to problems, “please stay” … we drove away. We got in the truck and drove out of it all. I drove two miles away and stopped to get a large Diet Coke (extra ice please). Sat on the curb under a shade tree and called home. Nina sat in the car and did the same. Jeff asked me “are you okay?”…. Had to think about it for a minute… “Yes.” … His voice was wonderful to hear. I think he could hear the tears… I said nothing. “See you soon”… I sat for a few more minutes, got into the car looked at Nina; we sort of smiled at each other and settled in for the 14-hour drive home.
Doodle Owners Support Katrina Animal Rescue
Doodle Owners Support Katrina Animal Rescue
The hearts of all the doodle owners and doodle breeders were aching for all the pets that were abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.
While all were watching the reports on television and posting messages on forums, one doodle owner was preparing to go to the devastated areas to do search and recovery work. Beth Line, along with several teams of K-9 trained search and recovery dogs were on stand-by. Beth was teamed up with Nina and would be working with Lex, Nina’s pit bull to help locate people. After several days of not getting the “final word” to proceed, the concern of the health of the dogs grew – as the toxic sledge grew. The search and rescue teams decided to stand down.
Since Beth and Nina were already packed and ready to go they decided to redirect their efforts to the animals. With some great effort they did get contact with one of the directors of the Lamar Dixon and made arrangements as well as creating a list of much needed items that were in short supply in the area. While Beth and Nina were working feverishly to prepare – the doodle owners through out the world were feverishly gathering money! They were determined to support the efforts of animal rescue in some way – so what better way than with the help of “one of their own”.
As Beth and Nina made their 14-hour drive, they would utilize their bathroom and food stops to also gather much-needed items. Of course, always talking to a manager to work on getting some prices down. During this time, Beth’s brother Paul started to also gather items in his area. He too started working his way down towards Louisiana with a truck full of supplies.
Arrival was at 2:00 in the morning. The sound of dogs barking was overwhelming after driving in car for so many hours. Beth pulled her large truck up to Barn 5 with thousands of dollars of supplies. Paul arrived the following day with additional supplies.
The Doodle supported team remained there for many days. They made a huge impact with coordination, organization and sheer manual labor. The doodle shirts were worn proudly (or hanging up nearby when it was too hot). Lamar Dixon processed approximately 800 dogs in one day the following days averaged 250-300. The Doodle community donated over $3,500.00 during that time.
To the doodle community, it didn’t matter if the dog was a purebreed, a mixed breed, a mutt or a mongrel all needed help!
Two Trucks LOADED with the following
Katrina Remembered One Year Later
It's been a year since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I have had my head down just plugging through life and this one-year anniversary snuck up on me. I was laying in bed, listening to the radio and they were talking about “a year later”, which is the typical follow up on a disaster. This was far from typical for me.
It all came to a screeching halt August 29, 2006 1:00 a.m., the nightmares began; I was reliving it all, even a year later. Like I had never left, the smells, the heat, the barking, the looks in the people and animals faces…
Over the last year, I have spoke at conferences, was a guest speaker for two semesters of college students at a large state University, I have provided insights and observations and “the story” to many different audiences. The Story is always a bit different; its perspective is changed to accommodate the audience. The Story will never be the true perspective that I see in my dreams and nightmares, those I will keep by my pillow.
In my nightmares, there are several wonderful nightlights too. The Doodle Community was my backbone. They totally supported me and it is difficult to explain how very important that was in helping me get through the days and nights. My husband, Jeff, was void of my thoughts while in Louisiana, that was for my own emotional protection. I only allowed myself to think of him after I drove away from the rescue operation. My daughters are special nightlights too; I even missed one of my daughter’s birthdays while I was gone. But she understood, I think she knew that I was actually giving her a gift, the gift of seeing compassion for animals.
I just wish that I could personally thank every single person who contributed to this effort and made is all possible. I’m cutting this short, but I just wanted to say once again… thank you.Beth
2006 Labradoodle and Goldendoodle Study
Summary of the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle Studies
There has been very little, if any, research about the Labradoodle and Goldendoodles. We often hear broad generalizations about the owners, their choices and the temperaments, attributes, health and behaviors of the doodles. Although this is not a scientific study, this study will at least provide some very good insights.
We do not know how many Goldendoodles and Labradoodles there are in the world, thus we are not able to determine what percentage our study represents of the overall population of Goldendoodles/Labradoodle and Goldendoodle/Labradoodle Owners. The response rate of this study far exceeded our hopes.
Study duration: June 22, 2006 – July 15, 2006
Two Studies were available on-line: One for Goldendoodles and One for Labradoodles
58 Questions were grouped in general areas, which included:
Questions were multiple choice with the option to add additional information for some questions.
Total participants in the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Studies: 572
Summary is a listing of the highest response percentage of each question:
Females (90%), Age 40-49 (39%), Married (82%), Education 4 year degree (36%), Combined Income $106,000 - $150,000 (21%) No children in home (46%), No Children and Children in home 5-12 years old tied (26% each).
Primary motivator was the Woman of the house (66%), Considered Pure breed (55%), 64% Own First Generation (F1) Goldendoodle or Labradoodle, Own one Goldendoodle or Labradoodle (77%), The Goldendoodle is 1-2 years old (34%), 54% of the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are Cream, White, Apricots or Golden. 32% did not consider a pure breed dog. 89% were attracted to their Potential of Low Shed attributes and their Personalities (tie), 36% did extensive research before selecting the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle.
Owners selected their Goldendoodles and Labradoodles by Internet Breeder web site (61%), Paid $1,001.00 - $1,500.00 (30%). The supplier required an application (68%), Required Deposit (74%), Owners waited 1-3 months for the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle (44%), The wait time did not impact their decision of supplier (66%), 2-Year Health Warranty (52%), Breeding parents hip tested (70%), CERF tested parents (49%), 52% did not know if other tests were preformed.
59% were very satisfied with their Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Supplier, 83% would or have recommended their supplier.
37% have obedience trained their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle at least to Basic Obedience. 48% selected a Dog specialty training facility. 14% of the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles have certified Canine Good Citizens. 35% of the owners would take their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle to training classes if they were having behavioral issues. 84% feel that their Goldendoodle and Labradoodles are quick to learn obedience skills and 78% were very pleased with the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle learning ability. 52% had training success with a flat collar.
53% of the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles utilize a crate and 41% used a crate for a while, but no longer use the crate. 60% spend 10-20 minutes daily obedience training and 30% walk their Goldendoodle 30-60 minutes a day.
39% obtained their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle at the age 8 weeks. 34% took their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle to the vet 2 days after getting the dog. 99% of the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are up to date on required immunizations. 86% give monthly heartworm preventative and 82% give monthly flea/tick preventative.
63% do not free feed their Goldendoodles and Labradoodles and 73% do not use raised food bowls. 82% of the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are altered.
83% do not have pet medical insurance, hence 18% DO have pet medical insurance. 88% of the Goldendoodles have not ingested things requiring medical attention, 12% have ingested items. 75% indicated that their Goldendoodles have no medical issues. Of the participants who indicated that they did have medical issues the primary issue was Chronic Ear Infections which was 5% of the overall studied. Many indicated that these ear infections were corrected by a change of diet.
26% Groom their Goldendoodle and Labradoodles 4 times a year. Grooming care level is Moderate (45%) and Shed is almost none (59%). 43% indicate their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle is Always Allergy Friendly.
53% of the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Owners participated in Doodle romps (play groups). Goldendoodle and Labradoodle owners are happy with the personality of their Goldendoodle or Labradoodle (85%) and people who meet their Goldendoodle and Labradoodle love the dog type (91%). The Goldendoodle and Labradoodle, overall is very healthy (89%), is not overly aggressive (82%) and they would get another Goldendoodle or Labradoodle, if possible (76%).
Total participants in the Labradoodle Study: 218
Females (90%), Age 40-49 (41%), Married (83%), Education 4 year degree (35%), Combined Income $106,00 - $150,000 (21%), No children in home (49%), Children in home 5-12 years old (26%), noting no children and children over than 21 totaled 48%.
Primary motivator was the Woman of the house (68%), Considered Pure breed (56%), 44% Own First Generation (F1) Labradoodles, Own one Labradoodle (72%), The Labradoodle is 1-2 years old (32%), 38% of the Labradoodles are Cream, White, Apricots or Golden. Owners did not consider any other breed before selecting the Labradoodle (30%). 90% were attracted to their Potential of Allergy Friendly Attributes and their Personalities (tie), 39% did extensive research before selecting the Labradoodle.
Owners selected their Labradoodle by Internet Breeder web site (60%), One group paid $2001.00+ for their Labradoodle (24%) and another group paid $751.00-$1000.00 for their Labradoodle (22%). The supplier required an application (71%), Required Deposit (72%), Owners have an immediate availability to get their Labradoodle (39%), The wait time did not impact their decision of supplier (69%), 2-Year Health Warranty (50%), Breeding parents hip tested (67%), CERF tested parents (51%), 52% did not know if other tests were preformed.
59% were very satisfied with their Labradoodle Supplier, 81% would or have recommended their supplier.
35% have obedience trained their Labradoodle at least to Basic Obedience and 25% have had Intermediate Obedience training. 50% selected a Dog specialty training facility. 13% of the Labradoodles have certified Canine Good Citizens. 34% of the owners would take their Labradoodle to training classes if they were having behavioral issues. 86% feel that their Labradoodle was quick to learn obedience skills and 78% were very pleased with the Labradoodle learning ability. 53% had training success with a flat collar.
59% of the Labradoodle utilize a crate and 35% used a crate for a while, but no longer use the crate. 58% spend 10-20 minutes daily obedience training and 30% walk their Labradoodle 30-60 minutes a day.
32% obtained their Labradoodle at the age 8 weeks, 46% obtained their Labradoodle between 9-12 weeks of age. 35% took their Labradoodle to the vet 2 days after getting the dog. 99% of the Labradoodles are up to date on required immunizations. 81% give monthly heartworm preventative and 83% give monthly flea/tick preventative.
66% do not free feed their Labradoodles and 75% do not use raised food bowls. 78% of the Labradoodles are altered.
85% do not have pet medical insurance, hence 15% DO have pet medical insurance. 89% of the Labradoodles have not ingested things requiring medical attention, 11% have ingested items. 72% indicated that their Labradoodles have no medical issues. Of the participants who indicated that they did have medical issues the primary issue was Chronic Ear Infections which was 5% of the overall studied. Many indicated that these ear infections were corrected by a change of diet.
25% never groom their Labradoodle and 44% (combined) indicated that they groom every month or four times a year. Grooming care level is Moderate (34%) and shed is almost none (56%). 45% indicate their Labradoodle is Always Allergy Friendly.
53% of the Labradoodle Owners have not participated in Doodle romps (play groups). Labradoodle owners are happy with the personality of their Labradoodle (96%). The Labradoodle, overall, is very healthy (92%), people who meet their Labradoodle love the dog type (89%), is not overly aggressive (81%) and is not overly submissive (78%).
Editors note: we did our best to not censor any comments. In order to maintain the anonymous attributes of the participants of the study we did feel we needed to edit two comments.
Some of the comments Labradoodle Owners provided give the best insights to how they feel …
Total participants in the Goldendoodle Study: 354
Females (90%), Age 40-49 (38%), Married (82%), Education 4 year degree (37%), Combined Income $86,000 - $150,000 (44%, two groups tied), No children in home (43%), Children in home 5-12 years old (27%), noting no children and children over than 21 totaled 45%
Primary motivator was the Woman of the house (64%), Considered Pure breed (55%), 84% Own First Generation (F1) Goldendoodles, Own one Goldendoodle (81%), The Goldendoodle is 1-2 years old (35%), 70% of the Goldendoodles are Cream, White, Apricots or Golden. Owners considered the Golden Retriever before selecting the Goldendoodle (34%). 88% were attracted to their Potential of Low Shed attributes and their Personalities (tie), 33% did extensive research before selecting the Goldendoodle.
Owners selected their Goldendoodle by Internet Breeder web site (63%), Paid $1,001.00 - $1,500.00 (43%). The supplier required an application (64%), Required Deposit (76%), Owners waited 1-3 months for the Goldendoodle (50%), The wait time did not impact their decision of supplier (63%), 2-Year Health Warranty (53%), Breeding parents hip tested (72%), CERF tested parents (47%), 52% did not know if other tests were preformed.
60% were very satisfied with their Goldendoodle Supplier, 85% would or have recommended their supplier.
39% have obedience trained their Goldendoodle at least to Basic Obedience. 46% selected a Dog specialty training facility. 15% of the Goldendoodles have certified Canine Good Citizens. 37% of the owners would take their Goldendoodle to training classes if they were having behavioral issues. 81% feel that their Goldendoodle was quick to learn obedience skills and 79% were very pleased with the Goldendoodle learning ability. 51% had training success with a flat collar.
48% of the Goldendoodles utilize a crate and 47% used a crate for a while, but no longer use the crate. 63% spend 10-20 minutes daily obedience training and 30% walk their Goldendoodle 30-60 minutes a day.
46% obtained their Goldendoodle at the age 8 weeks. 33% took their Goldendoodle to the vet 2 days after getting the dog. 99% of the Goldendoodles are up to date on required immunizations. 92% give monthly heartworm preventative and 80% give monthly flea/tick preventative.
60% do not free feed their Goldendoodles and 70% do not use raised food bowls. 86% of the Goldendoodles are altered.
81% do not have pet medical insurance, hence 19% DO have pet medical insurance. 87% of the Goldendoodles have not ingested things requiring medical attention, 13% have ingested items. 79% indicated that their Goldendoodles have no medical issues. Of the participants who indicated that they did have medical issues the primary issue was Chronic Ear Infections which was 5% of the overall studied. Many indicated that these ear infections were corrected by a change of diet.
28% Groom their Goldendoodle 4 times a year. Grooming care level is Moderate (55%) and Shed is almost none (61%). 41% indicate their Goldendoodle is Always Allergy Friendly.
60% of the Goldendoodle Owners participated in Doodle romps (play groups). Goldendoodle owners are happy with the personality of their Goldendoodle (93%) and people who meet their Goldendoodle love the dog type (93% tie). The Goldendoodle, overall is very healthy (85%), is not overly aggressive (82%) and they would get another Goldendoodle, if possible (79%).
Some of the comments Goldendoodle Owners provided give the best insights to how they feel …
Does Hybrid Vigor Exist in Labradoodles and Goldendoodles?
Does Hybrid Vigor Exist in Labradoodles and Goldendoodles?
Good question. Before addressing it I’d like to address the somewhat smug assertion by some that hybrid vigor cannot possibly exist in Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, because Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are not hybrids. This is akin to claiming that the opening in the front of your trousers cannot possibly be called a fly, because the first definition in the dictionary says a fly is a winged insect. Yes, one definition of a hybrid is a cross between species, and another definition is a cross between populations. It is this secondary definition we are using when discussing hybridization of dogs, or crossing of different breeds.
Let’s begin the discussion of hybrid vigor by talking about a couple basic genetics principles. Hang in there! I’ll keep it short and simple.
Sets of genes control every characteristic of an organism. Each parent contributes one gene, called an allele, so a set consists of 2 genes, or 2 paired alleles. A dominant allele will cause that trait to show up even if only one copy is present. An allele that is recessive needs 2 copies in order for the trait to show up. For example, in humans, brown eyes are dominant, and blue eyes are recessive. If a person has an allele for brown and an allele for blue, they will have brown eyes. The dominant brown overrides the recessive blue. For a person to have blue eyes they need to have TWO copies of the allele for blue eyes. Notice in this example that carrying the recessive trait does not influence the physical result. The recessive gene’s presence is completely hidden.
A recessive trait, as you just learned, needs 2 copies in order for the trait to show up. If a dog carrying one recessive allele for some genetic disorder is bred to a dog also carrying one recessive allele for that disorder, some of the pups will get 2 copies and show the disorder. Those genes have become more ‘concentrated’ in the population. As one produces successive generations of a certain breed, trying to concentrate and ‘fix’ the traits that define the breed, other traits become concentrated and ‘fixed’ as well, those traits that cause genetic disorders. That’s why certain disorders are more common in some breeds than others. Nearly half of hereditary diseases found in dogs occur predominantly or exclusively in one or just a few breeds. If a dog carrying the recessive, defective allele is bred to a dog with ONLY normal versions of that allele, some pups will be carriers, but none will show the disorder. This is the basis of hybrid vigor.
Hybrid vigor is the phrase commonly used for what is correctly called heterosis. That is, the possibility that one may obtain a better individual by combining the virtues of the parents, by preventing the concentration of undesirable traits within the group. Individuals that are members of a population share genes, that’s what makes them members of that population! In the case of dogs, these different populations are different breeds, and those genes define every characteristic that makes a dog a recognizable member of that breed. It takes differences in only 10 to 30 genes to define one breed from the next. So will crossing two breeds result in a healthier animal? Maybe, it depends on whether the two breeds have in common any genetic disorders, or defective alleles.
Expanding on that thought, consider what happens if we cross 2 breeds who SHARE a genetic disorder. For example, Hip Dysphasia is a genetically based disorder controlled by a number of sets of genes, and is found in all foundation stock for doodles.... Poodles, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers. So crossing these breeds would NOT result in hybrid vigor for that particular trait. The defective, recessive alleles could be contributed from any choice of parents, resulting in pups that have multiple copies of the allele, and therefore show the disorder.
There are genetically based disorders that are NOT found in all those breeds. An eye disorder called prcd-PRA is found in Mini and toy poodles, and Labradors, but is very, very rare in Standard poodles and Golden Retrievers. Similarly, Lymphoma is found commonly in Goldens and Poodles but not in Labs. Osteosarcoma is more common in Labs, but not common in Goldens and Poodles. Narcolepsy and von Willebrand’s Disease is found in Labs and Poodles, but not in Goldens. So hybrid vigor will occur for some disorders and not others, depending on the type of doodle. It is easy to see how we can avoid concentrating the genes for certain disorders by crossing a breed that carries a disorder with one that does not.
So hybrid vigor occurs for specific disorders, and it can also occur in terms of general disease resistance. There is a set of genes called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consisting of thousands of potential allelic combinations. The genes of the MHC are involved in controlling disease resistance, immune function, and reproduction. The long-term viability of any breed depends on maintaining a high degree of genetic diversity in the MHC. The loss of MHC genetic diversity is responsible for a portion of the reduced “hybrid vigor” in some breeds. These breeds are literally dying due to a lack of diversity in this complex, and researchers are working on the development of canine MHC genetic markers, so breeders can select and match these genes to maximize health.
In the last couple decades, several breeds have been in danger of being bred into oblivion due to the concentration of genes carrying genetic disorders. Breed clubs responded to this by doing what to some was absolutely heretical. They outcrossed with unrelated breeds. The AKC literally saved the Dalmatian from extinction (nobody wanted a breed of deaf dogs, regardless of other characteristics) by allowing breeding to non-Dalmatians. Similarly in Europe, Dutch Shepherd Dogs were outcrossed with the Belgian Tervuren, and Bernese Mountain Dogs were crossed with Newfoundlands. The choice was made to save these breeds by taking advantage of the phenomenon of heterosis...hybrid vigor.... to strengthen them.
Hybrid vigor has been clearly shown to exist in everything from fruit flies to orchids to pigs to humans. That’s why there are laws against people intermarrying, and why certain families that DID intermarry, like the Russian czars, find disorders like hemophilia among their members. It doesn’t matter what you are breeding, by maximizing the number of different alleles in the gene pool, you minimize the chances that disease-causing genes will end up paired together in any individual. Therein lies the promise of heterosis, or hybrid vigor.
Article used with permission of Westwood Labradoodles
For additional articles written by Helene visit:
Hong Kong Goldendoodle
Hong Kong Goldendoodle
An American family living in Hong Kong wanted to provide their sons with one of the American dreams… a childhood dog. The boys were at the perfect age, the timing was right. They researched and researched and decided that a Goldendoodle would be a wonderful fit for their family. Since there were not any breeders in Hong Kong, they turned to the United States and started looking. They located a breeder, Michael Wagenbach, Sunshine Acres in Indiana. They found the right breeder for them. But, how can this all happen?
More research was needed to learn what the restrictions were for bringing a dog into the country. The puppy needed to be no less than 5 months old or it would be held in quarantine until it reached that age. So creative problem solving was needed – thinking outside the crate. Michael thought of Beth and Jeff, they have doodles, they train doodles, and they have a good set up for the care of their dogs. Maybe they would be interested in doing a bit of puppy rising or maybe they know someone who could do it.
After some evaluation of the situation, and reviewing the positives and negatives of the idea, Beth and Jeff agreed to raise the puppy and prepare the puppy for his new home.
All agreed to meet at Sunshine Acres. The entire family came from Hong Kong (they were visiting others while in the US), Beth (and Buddy, one of her Goldendoodles) drove the 2 hours and all met Michael and the new addition to the family. The family named him Sherman. Sherman was seven weeks old – still very much a baby but was starting to explore. He was perky, socialable and had a beautiful red coat. Everyone talked and exchanged information. Beth spent time learning about their environment. Where they lived, what was their housing set up, what type of activities they did, and what types of foods were available.
Sherman arrived at Beth and Jeff’s home a few weeks later. First thing to do was say hi to “The Boys” - Buddy, Guy (both Goldendoodles) and Phantom (a Weimardoodle). All doodles decided that this was pretty cool. Sherman was cautious but not frightened. Next on the agenda was to take to the Vet to do an initial exam and then set up the plan for care. From there, enroll in school. In no time, Sherman was blooming in personality, growing like a weed, learning more dog manners (from “the boys”) and learning human manners.
Sherman was going to be living in a large city, lots of noise, two boys, no other dog, a cat in a high rise building. Beth and Jeff used that as a guide to training and socialization. Sherman was trained specifically to adapt to his future family’s life. He was introduced to the cats, introduced to as many children as possible including a boy about the same age as the family’s boys. Sherman went to art gallery opening, with loud music and would go into stores. They even encouraged him to potty on hard surfaces, because he won't always have the option of going potty on grass. Sherman attended puppy socialization classes and basic obedience classes. Even though Sherman was being raised in a home with other dogs, there was not one bit of concern about him being dog focused. It was his nature to be very people focused. Since space is very limited in Hong Kong, housing is also small. A very large crate is not a practical solution for a dog. The solution was he would be contained in the kitchen area. So, Beth and Jeff contained him in their kitchen. Beth and Jeff did expose him to a crate so when it came time for him to fly to his home, he would be comfortable.
Several weeks prior to his 5-month birth date, all the reviews of requirements were activated. The family in Hong Kong was working with an organization that specifically handles pet transport throughout the world called Wish You Were Here. The organization was helping the family on the Hong Kong end. They had to formally apply for a special permit to bring him into the country. Beth double-checked, and triple checked the various forms and requirements from the United States end. Failure or mistakes were not going to happen. (See below the listing of all documentations)
Beth drove Sherman up to Sunshine Acres. Turning Sherman over to Michael was made easier because he had his sons there eager to play. Sherman loves children so he was happy to go over and visit with the boys. They entertained each other as Beth slipped away. Michael checked and double-checked all paperwork and fight times. Drives Sherman to Chicago – spends time with Sherman walking and walking around. By the time it was time to put Sherman in the crate, he was eager to get in a take a nap. Michael slipped away.
Sherman arrived on time and in good spirits in Hong Kong. He licked the fingers of his family as they waited to get permission to bring him out of his crate. The paperwork was reviewed and identifications were verified and approved. Sherman was officially home. He has lived in Hong Kong now since November 2005. The family has found that Sherman is everything they hoped and dreamed he would be. Their family is now complete. Sherman is still continuing to learn new things and explore the wonders of Hong Kong. He has several dog buddies that he plays with.
The family is trying to work out one little problem… he is pretty sure that every single person on the street needs to be visited. Hmmmmm, how many doodle owners have this problem? Hong Kong family: Welcome to the world of doodles!
The paperwork requirements
Driving Mr. Maxwell Smart - Traveling with your doodle
Driving Mr. Maxwell Smart
I grew up in a town on the Ohio River. Just across the river was Louisville, Kentucky. Kentucky of was off limits to us teenagers. We were to remain on “this side of the river” at all times. I, however, had a secret weapon. Maxwell Smart.
Max was my Norwegian Elkhound dog. I learned very quickly after I obtained my drivers license that if Max was in the car with me, I could go almost anywhere. Max became my ticket to freedom. Apparently my father’s logic was that if his youngest child, who looked like she was only nine years old, had a rather large fluffy dog with her, her safety was in good hands.
So for years and years, my trusty bodyguard and I would pack up and go to fairs, outdoor concerts, art exhibits and pretty much anywhere I could think of. We listened to Rod Stewart belt out songs on the radio, I sang and Max did not laugh. He was happy to have some French fries and a cup of water from the drive thru, and he appreciated when I didn’t slam of the brakes quickly or accelerate quickly so that he could retain his dignity and balance. I was always cautious about darting around in the car as well, I didn’t want to risk getting into an accident and hurting my best friend Max.
Max is gone now. He will be forever in my heart. He taught me how to drive carefully. I learned that I needed to do some good planning for our trips. I needed to make sure that he was happy so that the two of us could explore the world together, well at least explore “the other side of the river”.
Today I have several doodles that often find their way into the car. I still ease into braking and acceleration so my doodles can retain their dignity and balance, I am super careful about driving while the doodles are in the car, I have been known to belt out a song or two, and there is usually a drive thru that can offer up a cup of water and some French fries… Max taught me well.
If you are considering taking your Mr. Maxwell Smart with you on vacation, then this information is just for you! With the thanks of several fellow traveling doodle owners and the help of my best pal Max, here are some things we learned along the way.
Car Travel: Desensitize your doodle by taking him for short car trips and provide positive rewards. Make the experiences fun. If the doodle has motion sickness, desensitizing will often help that problem. If it doesn’t improve, then you know that you need to prepare for motion sickness issues when traveling.
Train and reinforce “shhh” or “quiet”: If you have a dog that barks or has separation problems you need to work on that prior to the trip. If the problem doesn’t improve, then you know that you must work out your vacation to accommodate that problem. You will wear out your welcome very quickly if you leave a barking dog in a hotel room. In addition, the experience will be very upsetting to your dog and may imprint negative reactions to being left alone in the future.
Potty Flexibility: Make sure that your doodle is comfortable walking on a leash and that he can go potty in places other than their own yard. An added benefit is if your dog can potty in various types of terrain – sand, rocks, sidewalks, etc. This can become a very serious problem if you have a doodle not comfortable going potty – they will hold it for a long time and can be traumatic, physically debilitating and dangerous. Not all places you visit will have a patch of grass that they are willing to allow a dog to go to the bathroom on.
Vet Records: Make copies of your current immunizations. And make a copy of your Rabies Certification. The metal tag on your dog is not the actual proof and will often be disregarded; the rabies certificate is what proves your dog is properly immunized. Double check all records to make sure that your dog is fully protected, including Bordetella. You will also need proof of all immunizations if you will be putting your dog in a daycare at the vacation area.
Research the area you are staying and learn if there are any region specific medical issues. Don’t forget to also administer flea and tick preventative.
Current Photo: Always take several good photos of your dog. Keep them with the vet records.
Food: Do not assume that you will be able to locate your brand of food in the area where you are taking your vacation. Not all products are sold in all places. In addition, foods are often made at several different plants based upon locations. Even the same brand of food may be just enough different that it could be a problem. Don’t use your vacation as period to change dog foods. Keeping things as normal as possible is important. (Bring your own bowl.)
Water: If you have well water or other types of special water, consider bringing that water. Abrupt changes of water can be increasing the potential for potty problems. Sometimes bringing water and then doing a “change over “ would work. You add a bit of the vacation location water bit by bit, increasing the percentage of that water to your water. (Bring our own bowl – even a small water bucket will often come in handy.)
Treats & Chews: Of course, bring them! A great bone to chew on is a wonderful activity for a dog pent up in a car.
Extra Leashes and Collars: Having several leashes will be to your advantage. Include a duplicate of the leash your normally use, in case it breaks or get lost. Also having a long line (15 – 25 feel) or a Flexi-leash is wonderful to allow our doodle to run around a bit and get some exercise. Always take a second collar as a back up.
Vacation Location Identification: Bring extra tags so that you can add to the dogs collar when you arrive at your vacation. You should write all the contact information of your vacation location onto that tag. A tag with your home address will do no good if you lose your dog on vacation! Bring several tags you can fill out if you are going to have multiple locations. It could be as simple as a duct tape flap with a sharpie marker. If you are using your cell phone as your contact, be sure to verify that your service provider reception works at your vacation location.
First Aid Kit and Medical Supplies: You should travel with a first aid kit, be sure to have tweezers, pepto bismal, aspirin, and gauze wraps in the kit. Having a Canine First Aid reference book is also very smart. Include all medications that your dog will need.
Poo Bags: Always, always, always be prepared to pick up poo. Even if you are out in the woods somewhere! You never know what requirements an area may have, so don’t even guess. Pick up the poo.
Sheets: Great to use to cover bed and chairs to protect it from dirty paws. Having a sheet to throw over a crate to block sun, wind and flies, etc. Sheets are thin and don’t take up much room and they dry quickly too.
Doodle in Room!: Create a door hanger that indicates that there is a dog in the room. This will avoid surprising a maid or the maid opening the door as the dog runs out.
Wipes: One of the best inventions of this century. The Clorox or Lysol wipes. They are great for trips. You can clean your hands, wipe off dog feet if they are in a high dog traveled area, and can use to do a quick sanitary wipe of water and food bowls… these wipes are a life saver on a trip.
Cleaner: Be sure to pack some Natures Miracle or Simple Solution for cleaning up accidents. Often when a doodle arrives in a new place, they may have a bit of confusion about potty spots. So, be prepared and don’t be shocked if even the most reliable dog has an accident.
Grooming Tools: Bring a good brush and comb. If your doodle gets wet or finds all types of “nature” you will need to have a method of caring for his coat.
These are the things you need to know about your accommodations:
And for the Trip…
Expect to an approximate additional 25% more time to the travel. This will allow for potty stops, a bit of quick exercising and the time it takes to care for the folks (people and dogs included) in the car. Plan on stopping for breaks every 3 hours or so. If the dog is younger your stop times will need to be not as long. Most dogs can tolerate around 6 hours of travel before breaks need to get longer and you need start providing additional exercise.
Rest areas are where most people take their dogs to potty. With that in mind, the sanitary conditions are often poor and health risks can be increased greatly. Think of other alternatives along the way. And never let your dog drink from stagnate water or allow them to sniff the ground.
Provide plenty of water for the trip. A good hard chew bone can ease the tension and boredom of the trip inside the car.
Do not leave your dog alone in the car at any time. A car can build up heat in just minutes. With a combination of the outdoor heat, the sun and the fact that a dog’s breath can heat the air as well, you are talking a disaster in just a quick span of time. Cracking the window does help reduce some of those risks but then you are also risking theft of “that beautiful dog that is being abused in that car” or risking someone sticking their hands in the car only to greeted by a nip or a lick, thus you have a whole new set of problems that the police will want to talk to you about.
Keep in mind that a car is an extension of the home. The pack smells are in there, so if you have a doodle that is in the least bit territorial you are asking for your dog to also protect the car turf! Protective behaviors and barking are likely to occur.
If you plan to do anything that you cannot take your dog, do not leave the dog unattended in your room. The dog could become fearful or get startled and bark at every noise they hear. This will certainly be a fast ticket to the hotel door with you and your doodle! Utilize a local pet service or kennel.
If possible select a wire crate for travel. Strap down the crate inside the vehicle. If you are in an accident your dog has the best chance of survival if he is contained. The wire might possibly take some of the impact of the force. A canvas crate primary function is containment. Also explore the use of dog safety harnesses, for the long trip being able to provide optional seating may be welcomed by your doodle.
Taking your doodle with you should be a positive experience. With proper preparations and a bit of training, you can create some wonderful memories as you drive your Mr. Maxwell Smart.
Author: Miss Daisy
Contributors: Shannon, Ann and Jack
Emergency Evacuation Preparation
Emergency Evacuation Preparation
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your doodle for a quick exit in the event of an evacuation or a local disaster.
Do NOT leave your pets at home.
Your pets do not understand what is occurring. Changes in environment and marked amounts of stress by you will heighten their concern and fears. Be understanding and don't be surprised if your doodle acts out or behaves in a manner that is not typical.
Pack One Kit Per Dog - some items can be utilized for multiple pets, but be sure to increase the quantities.
Emergency Ready-Pack Items
First Aid Kit
Contained in plastic protection
Topics of interest - hot links to other articles
Trainers With Jackhammers Need Not Apply - by Susan Friedman, Ph.D.
Are Electronic Shock Collars Painful or Just Annoying to Dogs? A New Study Reveals Some Answers - by Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
Experts Say Dominance-Based Training Techniques Made Popular by Television Can Contribute to Bites - by Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
The International Doodle Owners Group, Inc. (IDOG) is a worldwide not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group, dedicated to educating the public on the subject of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. IDOG encourages responsible ownership and responsible breeding practices. We provide support and resources to help Labradoodle and Goldendoodle owners and doodles in need. We work with shelters to assist in communications, lending our network of resources to help locate quality forever homes for Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.
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