Grooming That Floof!

Happy Friday everyone! Today on the blog I want to give you all some tips and tricks to maintain your pups floof to its optimal cuteness. It’s amazing the difference a good or bad haircut can make on a dogs appearance. I’ll attach some photos on the bottom of what a horrible haircut can do. You wont even recognize Stasia and Seb! Now, I’m not an expert groomer (Yet! Although I am determined to get there someday!!) but after many, many hack jobs at multiple groomers and my babies coming home looking like a rat dog or a ridiculous looking poodle (not to mention what I paid for said cut)… I decided to figure it out myself! So last year for my birthday I ordered myself a table, clippers, comb attachments, grooming comb and sheers. Now just this past month I finally ordered a dog blow dryer. As soon as I plugged that beauty in and started to let it do its magic on Seb I hated myself for not buying it sooner!! Life. Changing. I’ll link everything I use down at the bottom, but to begin with, lets start with the basics…

As you know Cockapoos don’t shed, this means their hair just continually grows. So some places that need regular trimmings are: between their paw pads, under their tail/ around their butt, their ears and between and around their eyes. If you can figure out how to do this you can go much longer between full groomings. They wont like it at first! But keep at it and they will get used to it. I start trimming our puppies around 4 weeks old to condition them to get used to it. So its important to start as early as possible and do it regularly so they stay comfortable with it and its less of a struggle for both of you.  I admit there are times I have one of the kids sit next to me while I clip away and they continually feed the pup pieces of treats to distract them long enough so I can get the job done!

For their bangs, I rest the bottom side of the lower blade of the scissors across the bridge of their nose and cut across. This keeps their bang floof straight and from hanging in their eyes:

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For the corners of their eyes, this is tricky!! Be sure that you hold their head steady and angle the scissor tips pointing up and away from their face. Also be sure to everyday clean away any eye boogers to prevent tear staining and eye infections. They sell wipes but I just use a wet paper towel or wash rag…:

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For the feet just be sure to trim all the hair that grows between the pads with either scissors or the trimmers. Seb hates the trimmers on his feet but he’s fine with scissors. Stasia doesn’t mind either way. Here Seb is modeling nicely trimmed pads:

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Booties! Booties are my favorite. To keep those grinch feet at bay have your pup stand up and place the scissors on the ground similar to how you had them on the bridge of their nose. Then push the side of scissors up against their toes or as far in as you want (depending on how big or small you want their boots) and trim around the base of their feet working your way around the entire foot. If they keep pulling up their foot, I wrap my arm around their body and hold up the other leg that I’m not trimming so they have to keep the foot that I’m trimming firmly planted on the ground:

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If you don’t trim these places regularly they will get infections. You know they have a yeast infection in their ears or their feet if they are constantly chewing on their paws or scratching at their ears. What happens is when their feet or ears get wet and the hair is long the moisture gets trapped in there and its dark. So what grows in wet, dark, warm places? Yeast! Yuck. It stinks too. Every dog is different, some are prone to it while others not so much. Stasia gets ear infections about once or twice a year, while Seb has never had any kind of skin issues. Their butts you know you need to trim when little pieces of poo get stuck in the hair around that area or they start scooting their butts on the floor. Scooting could also be a sign they have full anal glands. Or you might notice a rotting fish odor coming from your pup, this definitely means they have full anal glands. Your vet or groomer can drain those or you can learn to do it yourself. It took me a long time to build up the courage to do it, be warned, it is a gross and very stinky job!

So how often should I bathe my cockapoo? I bathe mine every two- three weeks or so. I have gone as long as 6+ weeks between tubbys. But by then they are stinky! Think of all that you have touched and how often your running your hands on their coats, also they lay on our dirty floors…. Plus they dont shed, so after a few weeks their hair gets gross! Just like our hair would if everyone kept playing with it and we laid on the floor all the time.

Here are the items I use for trimming and grooming:

Comb

Combs for clipper

Sheers

Shampoo

Table

Clippers

Blow dryer

Don’t forget your poof/ loofa! You will save so much money on shampoo using a poof, I use about quarter size dollop and lather it up! I used to have to squirt the bottle down the entire length of their backs and then more on paws and face to get it down to their skin! The loofa works magic! I get mine from target.

As promised! Here are some photos of groomings gone bad:

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo

Laura, Stasia and Seb

Leaving Puppy home & Puppy Schedule

Hi everyone! I actually started writing this on Saturday but the weekend got away from me and as you’ll see… I have a LOT to say on this matter lol…..

This seems to be a topic that keeps coming up in my emails. “How long can I leave my puppy home alone?” One of the questions in my screening is “What is you schedule like? How long will the puppy be left home alone?”  This is one of the first things I look for when I’m reading potential buyers emails. How long will the puppy be left alone in your home….

When you bring your new fur baby home at 8 weeks of age, they have lived their entire lives up until that point with siblings, Mama and (in the case of our puppies, Daddy). Not to mention lots of play time and cuddles with our family. So imagine being a tiny 8 week old puppy, taken from all that you know and being placed in a new home. Your the star! Everyone wants to love you, cuddle and play with you – this is amazing! Before you had to share the love and attention with all your siblings! Now you have these new amazing people all to yourself! Not to mention all these wonderful new toys, just for you!! Then, for some reason, you are locked in a small crate, by yourself, all day.

An 8 week old puppy can not hold their pee or poo that long. Neither can a 4 – 6 month old puppy. So now, all the hard work of the breeder in starting the crate training process is gone. They are forced to eliminate in their crates and sit and lay in their own feces.

Now for the emotional trauma this causes. Cockapoos have been bred to be companion dogs. This means they are hard wired to want to be with you.  Many small breeds have this, this isn’t exclusive to the cockapoo breed, but it is an issue you should consider when buying a cockapoo. When we first got Stasia, she came crate trained. But I was in love and wanted her with me all the time. I hated leaving her and she picked up on that. I would get all excited when I let her out of the crate, “STASIA!!!! I missed you my babyyyy!!!” All high pitched and millions of kisses. Do. Not. Do this. lol To this day, I cant ever put her in a crate. She loses her mind. I also left her too long too soon, and she could pick up on my emotions in putting her in the crate and taking her out of the crate. She saw the crate as a horrible prison that even her mommy didn’t want her in!

When I got Seb I was determined to do it right. And I did! I followed the schedule below, I would throw a treat in the crate to get him in it and say “go to bed!” and calmly let him out of the crate when we got home. I also put him in the crate when I was home and he was a puppy and I couldn’t watch him. So he didn’t just associate the crate with me leaving.

I simply will not sell to buyers who work full time and want a puppy to entertain them in the evenings and on weekends and then expect puppy to be happy to sit in a crate all day waiting for his or her family to come home. If this is your schedule I strongly urge you to adopt or rescue a full grown dog.

So, what is a reasonable schedule like when I first bring home my puppy? Here is my recommendation and you’ll find most dog blogs/ websites agree with this schedule:

7am – take puppy outside for potty break  (adjust accordingly with your schedule) *Initially you need to carry puppy outside or he/she will squat on the way to the door.

Breakfast at 7:30am – 1/2 cup of Taste of The Wild Puppy Food

8:00am Potty Break

*repeat every half hour until he/ she goes

10am – take puppy outside for potty break

Noon – lunch time! Wait 10-15 minutes after puppy has eaten and take outside again. If you find your puppy goes to the bathroom as soon as he/ she is done eating adjust accordingly. Watch your puppy, you can see when they need to go potty by the way they walk, and sniff around. They tend to walk with their legs a little more spread apart. Continue taking puppy out every 2 hours throughout the day

5 or 6PM   Dinner time, another 1/2 cup

Cut or reduce water by 8pm. Last potty break right before you go to bed. Puppy can hold it for 4-6 hours during the night. If you hear him/her crying or moving around be sure to get right up and take him/her out or you will have a mess on both your puppy and in the crate. 2am tubby time is no fun for anyone. Puppies will often pee more than once so be sure to give plenty of time for the baby to fully empty their bladder. Also be sure and take the puppy to the same spot every time so he/she knows where you want them to go to do their business. Remember to keep treats in your coat pocket/ by the door and praise puppy immediately after every time!! Positive reinforcement is the BEST way to train cockapoos.

So how do I start leaving the puppy? Start small and slowly increase the time you are away. The puppy will most likely stop eating lunch after a few weeks. Again, you will need to use your judgement and see if he/she stops eating the lunch or acts like they’re starving  by 4pm.

When you first bring home baby, do not leave for more than 30 minutes to an hour. Slowly increase the time by 30 minutes. Until at 3 months old, you can use the one hour per month rule until 6 months. So at 3 months old, leave for 3 hours. 2 weeks into the month 3 1/2 hours and then at 4 months old, 4 hours and so on. Once your puppy is 6 months old you should be able to section off a part of the house to leave him or her. Please, please, please (!) do no crate your puppy for more than 6 hours. That should always be your maximum amount of time to leave the baby in the crate. If your going to be gone longer than that (once puppy is older than 6 months) the puppy should be left in a small portion of the kitchen or laundry room. Some place where he/she cant get into trouble and is safe and comfortable.

You can see why you need to be home with your puppy during the day! Bringing home a puppy is like bringing home a new baby. Its a lot of work, but so so worth it. These babies will love and adore you their entire lives. And once they are trained, they are the best companion and friend!

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The History Behind Stasia’s CutiePoos

Hello! I wanted to start a blog (we’ll see how it goes!) because I receive questions everyday on grooming, training, feeding, purchasing, breeding… you name it! So I thought, maybe I should start a blog people can read with my personal tips and tricks on bringing up Cockapoos. But to begin with, I should probably start with how I became a breeder….

I grew up in a breeding home. As a child we had and bred Labrador Retrievers. When I was in 4th grade my parents gave me “my” own puppy/ dog, Jente, (pronounced Yenta) a beautiful yellow lab. Two years later we bred her to our black lab. By this time I had helped with the birth of  puppies for several years, and her first litter my parents said; “Laura, she’s your dog, you got this”. And went to bed! It was amazing. I was so proud of her and myself. I loved every part of the puppy birthing and raising experience.

As our breeding grew so did the amount of dogs in our house. We started with a yellow female, then got a male, added in a chocolate female, then my yellow female, kept one we didn’t sell… soon there were 5 dogs in our house. That SHED! (did I mention I have severe asthma and am allergic to dogs??) It was a bit of a mess. The dogs ran off, didn’t listen, ate the neighbors beloved chickens, left their fur EVERYWHERE and were completely lost in the sauce. My parents had the best of intentions and truly love(d) dogs, but when you become out numbered by dogs, its hard to keep things sane. Eventually the dogs began passing away due to old age or health issues. The last dog standing was my Jente. She was the dog love of my life, beautiful inside and out and we all adored her. She was supposed to be in my wedding as our ring bearer, but to my devastation she passed a few months before the wedding just after her 10th birthday. Oh the heartbreak! I cried for weeks. It hurt even to go home and walk into the house that suddenly felt so incredibly empty without her happy face waiting, tail frantically wagging with joy that I was home. I truly believe that dogs are the only creatures on this earth that love us more than they love themselves.

The Legendary Jente
Is she not the most beautiful yellow lab?!

15 years later and I had a little girl of my own who desperately wanted a puppy. I resisted. I didn’t want to have to live through the heartbreak that inevitably comes when owning a dog. Plus… the shedding and my asthma. I was finally able to live without using steroids everyday! And I knew we couldn’t afford a labradoodle. If I did ever got a dog, it would HAVE to be a labradoodle! I knew and loved labs! Just not the shedding. My mom finally was able to convince me when she sent me a photo of a friends cockapoo puppy (ADORABLE!) that she had purchased from a local breeder. At the time cockapoos were not nearly as popular and a fraction of the cost of a labradoodle. So I went and instantly fell in love. I picked out our beautiful, wonderful Anastasia when she was just 3 weeks old. I told/ asked the breeder that I may be interested in breeding her one day. Just for fun so my children could have the same experience I had as a child. Typically breeders don’t like to sell to other breeders, its a lot more red tape and hassle and they usually charge a small fortune for their troubles… but amazingly she said that was fine! Two years later I contacted her and asked her if she had a special boy (NOT related) that I could use for our Stasia. And the rest, as they say, is history!