Our special needs breeding story was born out of a problem that might be universally relatable.... We simply needed a some extra cash that winter of 2005 for the cost of heat.
Back in those days, we did not know much about "backyard breeding," but we sure loved our Golden Retriever, (GR) and thought everybody should have at least one.
Unfortunately, while interviewing adoption families, we discovered that many of them had recently lost their beloved GR to cancers. Several were YOUNG dogs. They died with little warning and no medical explanation.
But their love for the Golden Retriever breed prevailed, and they were willing to take a chance.
Worry about this mystery fueled our search for a healthier breed. We found that, by adopting a standard poodle male, we would be adding “hybrid vigor” to our line of puppies. (Yay to that!)
These pups were going to be big, (some huge) ...and gentle.. and wonderful with the children and precious with small animals...
The most perfect family dogs on the planet are likely GoldenDoodles.
When we adopted Indiana Bones, we built our business around the the domain, "Foreverdoodles." It fit , because we believe true adoption creates a family relationship that exists outside of time itself.
This is the reason we insist our families understand the difference between ADOPTION and BUYING. Adoption is about planning, and intent and commitment.
This is why we only breed zero-shedding, easy-to-train, no-nuisance, calm puppies. They are sort of like (perhaps easier than) children...(just more hairy).
Indiana (BONZEY) changed everything we thought we knew about puppies. Our experience with his pups was about to reveal the potential of Goldendoodles, especially for families with particular (special) needs.
Our interest in early-training began around Summer 2009 when our 6 wk-old Purple-Girl (PG) sustained a bad cut between her shoulder blades.
She was brought inside, away from her siblings for several hours a day. Inside, she could get her nap in while hanging out with our older dogs, and she slept almost through the night in my bed .
Her routine included Puppy Free-Play, protected by a duct-taped puppy jacket… (which was pure genius.)
It was 3-4 days, when I noticed something odd: Not only did she follow our trained dog's routine, but she held her urine until they answered the Potty” call …
In other words, she wanted to follow and copy the older dogs! ...That was huge!
Somehow, we had discovered the KEY to early potty-training:
Urine is a social event for ALL dogs. (We knew that, but we had never considered the implications with a young puppy.)
Taking it further, we realized that urine is a language. Puppies want to urinate where the other dogs urinate because, like all kids, they have something to SAY.
When we realized we had accidentally potty-trained a 6-wk old doodle, it raised a profound question:
“What would WE CREATE if we put in just a little effort with EACH PUPPY before they go home?”
I immediately launched a search for info that could explain these surprising results.
Then we found several authors applied these findings in easy-to-read books. We learned specific routines that we (breeders) can do during the first 1-8 weeks of puppy development to enhance the training and coping abilities of our puppies.
These small, brief stressors are actually good for the newborn pup's psychological development for special work environments.
Oddly enough, we discovered the little exercises we were doing with the newborn pups, gave us similar results with PG.
We called it "desensitizing the puppies,"... just doing little things to the pups that mimmic their future home environment. Doing so would prevent fear of routine noises at home.
We ran the vacuum right inside the birth box, so they would not fear it. We started by holding each newborn, head slightly down or cradle position for a few seconds (completely unnatural).
This program helped our doodles adapt quickly and smoothly into their new home at 9 weeks of age fully potty-trained.
We also found an obscure little resource called, "Just Say Good Dog." It taught us how to talk in a way that is understandable to a puppy.