Cockapoo FAQ

We have tried to compile some of our most commonly asked questions and answer them all in one place----but we also want you to know that we would still love to visit with you on the phone or by email! Don't hesitate to contact us if we can answer of explain anything for you :)

  One of our daughters playing with an 8 week old Cockapoo

One of our daughters playing with an 8 week old Cockapoo

What size do your dogs mature to?

Short Answer: Our program produces puppies that should average at 15-17 pounds.

Explanation: We have chosen our breeding stock to all conform to what we believe is the perfect size! Our male poodles run at 9-11 pounds, and we very carefully choose our girls between about 16 and 20 pounds. This keeps sizing across our entire program fairly consistent. Although adult size is impossible to predict exactly, our pups should average in the 15 to 17 pound range. This is perfect for a family who likes to bring their dog along on their travels, and perfect for the family who needs a dog small enough to fit in an apartment, but sturdy enough to run and play with their children :)


What color puppies do your dogs produce?

Short Answer: Black, Black Phantom, Cream, Buff, Apricot, Red, Chocolate, Black Merle (also known as Blue Merle), and Chocolate Merle. Many pups will have white chins, necks, chests, foreheads, and/or toes :)

Explanation: Color depends upon which parents are bred and what they can produce. Color genetics are quite confusing, and sometimes unexpected things can come out, but we are pretty good at predicting what will be available in a litter. All of the colors above are colors that we can produce. However, we emphasize and ask our families to always keep in mind, our program is based on quality and color doesn't change quality! Although we have many colors available, we do not guarantee any family a certain color. We do guarantee a beautiful, well cared for F1 Cockapoo from parents of excellent temperament and phenomenal AKC champion lines! Color is fun, but it is just the icing on our high quality cake ;)


So, no parti pups?

Short Answer: No, not at this time. Although we would love to add that in the future if we find the right dog!

Explanation: "Parti" is the beautiful pattern of colored patches on a white "background" that a couple of our mama Cockers have. Parti is a commonly seen pattern in Cockapoos, as parti patterns run in both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. However, we do not have parti pups, and it's because of our program standards. For parti patterns to show in a puppy, both parents must carry the party gene. Although there are many beautiful parti-Poodles, parti is not considered to be the show standard for Poodles, and parti-Poodles are not allowed in AKC conformation events. This means that finding a Poodle of the standard we require for our program has been impossible up to this point. We do continue to watch, but as our AKC champion bloodline standard is something we will NOT compromise on, parti Cockapoos are not in the picture for our program at this time. However, with having our parti Cocker moms, abstract markings are common on our puppies! So you will see white chins, necks, chests, toes, and sometimes foreheads on our pups! We also have, at the time of writing this, one Cocker mama who can produce merle puppies. Each puppy in her litters has a 50/50 chance of receiving the merle gene and, unlike the parti gene, it only takes one copy of the merle gene to have merle show up! So we do sometimes have merle puppies, which causes a pattern of color dilution across the coat making the puppy appear to have patches. And, as in the answer to the previous question, keep in mind that our program is built on the quality and temperament of our parent dogs and their excellent bloodlines-----color is purely cosmetic. We will not sacrifice our standards to bring in a popular color.

Pictured below: One parti-colored Cocker female, Rebecca ~ An example of one of our pups with some white markings as described above ~ Two examples of our merle puppies, our program can produce merles on a black or chocolate background!


I see lots of breeders talk about coat textures, shedding amounts, and curl types. What kind of puppies do you offer?

Short Answer: Our puppies are very uniform across the board on texture, propensity to shed, and curl type as we breed very specifically for this.

Explanation: Our high quality, AKC lines ensure that both parents are purebred which helps to ensure that our puppies don’t have the “Improper Coat” that often shows up in low quality and multi generational puppies. You can read more about the science behind why we only breed and advocate the F1 (first generation) Cockapoo from carefully chosen, AKC registered, AKC Champion line parents here. There is so much misinformation out there, and other crosses can make great dogs——but if you are wanting the predictable look and temperament of the true and original Cockapoo, these points should be important to you.


Do you start training puppies?

Short Answer: Yes!

Explanation: Although their is much informal training just being with mom and littermates, we also start them on potty training. We start this at 2 weeks old, and puppies are using a litter box probably 95% of the time by the time they head home. We have often heard that this translates to never having an accident overnight in their crate when they move to their new homes, and have even heard a few times that this translated to a puppy never once having an accident at all in their new homes-----but of course this can't be guaranteed for everyone. You can be assured that your puppy has a great start on knowledge about where to "go" and where not to "go" by the time you take them home! If you come up with a name for  your pup while they are still with us, we start using that with them as well. We also work informally with puppies as opportunities present themselves, but leave the formal training to you when they come home as different families want their pups to respond differently, and to different key words.


Will you keep my puppy longer and train them for me?

Short Answer: No---we don't feel that this is the best interest for you or puppy.

Explanation: This isn't something we offer. We originally considered it, however, every time we thought about it, all we came to is that "Puppy Training" is only partially about the puppy! Just as much as it is about puppy learning commands, it is about people learning how to communicate with this particular pup. It is also what we consider to be a very important bonding experience, and leaving them here not only robs you of that experience, but also of the 8-12 week age which is a very important bonding stage! And even if we did keep them and train them, passing them onto you when you have not been part of the training, and you are not trained in how they have been taught-----keywords, reactions, methods of enforcement and encouragement-----we imagine that passing even a well trained pup on to you would be much like a mother having her well behaved toddler turn into a nightmare as soon as he is left with a new babysitter! :) What we recommend instead is you go ahead and bring puppy home, and---when you are ready---enroll him or her in a "Puppy Kindergarten" or similar class. This allows him or her to learn while they see you as a leader, and ensures you are trained on how to properly communicate with you dog. This leaves both of you with a better start to your relationship than had we trained them here. With all of that said, we do lots to prepare them for success while they are here! See previous question for a snippet about that :)


I see your parent dogs are all AKC registered——what about your puppies?

Our puppies are registered, but as the AKC doesn’t recognize the Cockapoo as it’s own breed at this point, registration isn’t through the AKC. We register all of our puppies through the American Cockapoo Club, and your puppy will come with the paperwork for his/her registration, along with pedigrees of both AKC registered parents detailing the 6 generations of high quality, heavily championed dogs that it took to build your sweet new family member!


Could you send me pictures of some of your puppies as they have grown up and information from other families?

We love to share updates on our puppies! We share them fairly regularly on our Facebook page, and try to keep things updated on our Puppy Updates page. Check them out to see how you can expect to see your puppy from us grow!


I know I want one of your puppies, but I won't be ready until a future time. What should I do?

Short Answer: Go ahead and get on the list and leave us with the date that you can take a puppy after :)

Explanation: In this situation, we recommend going ahead and making your deposit and getting on the list----as long as you are sure you want a pup from us! This situation is very common in our program.....either because of a planned vacation, a move, retirement, job change, or just not wanting to bring a puppy home over the holidays! What we will do is go ahead and put you on the list with a note that you can't take a puppy until, for example, *after March 2020*. Then, as we work through litters that arrive before then, we will simply skip over your name while keeping you updated about everything that happens in our program in the meantime. This type of situation often provides a wonderful advantage as your name continues to move up the list as families above you get their puppy----often someone who leaves a deposit in this situation will be up for pick of the litter when their time finally comes :)


When do I pick my pup?

This depends on the situation and the deposit list at the time, but we try to explain that process in depth here.


What age do puppies go home?

Our puppies go home at 8 weeks old. Obviously if some reason arose where we thought it was in puppy's best interest to stay a bit longer, we would of course reserve the right to make that decision----but that has only happened with one litter over the course of all of our puppies. We do not allow puppies to go home before 8 weeks.


I want one of your puppies, but I live so far away! What do we do?

Short Answer: NO PROBLEM! We WILL make it work!

Explanation: If you pay any attention at all to our waiting list, you notice that our puppies go home ALL OVER THE PLACE!! For example, in ONE litter (Candy in 2018) we had puppies go to New York, Oregon, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, and Nebraska! Of course you can drive to meet us, but for families in which that isn’t an option, here are your choices on how to get your puppy to your home:
1. The most common choice for long-distance families is to fly in to MCI airport in Kansas City. You plan your flight, and let us know when we need to be there! We will meet you at your desired time with your puppy, and you can fly home to most locations same day. This works very smoothly, and allows us to meet you in person, which is always a bonus :) In this scenario, you plan your flights, bring along the airline approved carrier (example in our store), and make sure you let your airline know you are going to be traveling with an 8 week old puppy. Just make sure you add into your decision that we are about 2 hours one way from the airport, so there is an additional $150 fee for our driving down.
2. If you are unable to drive or fly in, we also have a flight nanny that we are able to work with in sending your puppy home. We would drive to meet nanny at the airport, where they would carry your puppy on board with them to meet you at your airport. In this scenario, you pay the fee for the flight nanny as well as our travel to the airport as in option one. Flight nanny prices can change based on variables at the time of service, but to give you an idea, our last flight nanny flight (10/2018) cost $450. In this situation, all you do is meet your puppy at your desired airport——everything else is taken care of!


What if I place a deposit, and then there aren't enough puppies/males/females to get to me?

In this situation, your name will remain in order on the list for the next litter.


Are your puppies good with kids?

Short Answer: Heavens yes!!!

Explanation: We are a family with 5 young children-----temperament is of utmost importance in our parent dogs, and your puppy will have been around kids literally from day 1. Do make sure that your children understand how to treat a puppy, but being around children is no big deal :)


What do you do for tails and dew claws?

Short Answer: We believe both serve a purpose, and removal bears a risk. We leave our pups all natural, and do not remove tails or toes!

Explanation: We very purposely choose to leave our puppies in tact with all the parts they are born with :) There are breeders out there who will tell you that those of us who don't dock, and especially don't remove dew claws, choose this because we are lazy or don't want to spend the money...seriously, our vet charges $3 per puppy in the litter to dock tails and remove dew claws. Cost is not the case at all! First of all, in tail docking and dew-claw removal, you are exposing a 3 day old puppy to the risk of bleeding and infection. Although rare, there are occasionally very serious side effects, and more commonly secondary infections from the trip to the vet at just 72 hours old. But even more than that, the fact is that a dog uses both it's dew claws and it's tail in day to day life, and research is actually finding more and more all the time of how important these "extra" parts are! Lets work through this one part at a time:

1. TAILS:
       a) Breed Standard? We are often asked about tails, and the vast majority of the time, it is to make sure that we are KEEPING puppy tails. However, we do occasionally get someone who is concerned that their Cockapoo will not meet the breed standard if it's tail has not been removed. So, here's the deal with that-----Since Cockapoo's aren't recognized at this time by the American Kennel Club, there isn't an officially recognized breed standard. Clubs that are working for the building of a breed, like the American Cockapoo Club (which we are proud to be a part of!) are happy to recognize both docked and full tails! There is actually a movement among those who want the Cockapoo to be a recognized AKC breed of making sure the breed standard leaves tails natural in an attempt to make sure Cockapoos are always distinguishable from both docked parent breeds. So, although there is no official breed standard, we are not at all outside of the recommendations for the breed by leaving tails just like they are :)
       b) Useful? Dogs use their tails for so many things, that it really is a shame to take them away! In everyday life, tails are used almost like the rudder of a boat to help the dog turn when running or swimming, and also as a very important part of dog communication! Think about it, almost every dog emotion is accompanied by a specific movement of the tail----from the tucking of the tail, to the crazy wagging of a tail----dogs use their tails all the time!
      c) So why would one dock? There really isn't much argument for docking tails that we have ever heard. Even those who push docking will generally admit that it is purely cosmetic. We do not see evidence for tail docking, and the cosmetic factor is absolutely not enough for us to remove the uses of the tail, or expose puppies to the rare but possible side effects of the procedure. When you pick up your puppy and see that wiggly little bottom with his tail wagging in excitement to meet you....we think you'll thank us :)

2. DEW CLAWS:
      a) Useful? Dogs absolutely use their dew claws every single day. From grasping a toy to stopping quickly while running, we are realizing that dew claws are used by dogs far more often than we ever thought! They really are essentially the dog's thumb....and if you look at their paw as a hand, this becomes very easy to understand. Further, research has now been presented that the dew claw is of great importance in preventing forms of arthritis! Dr. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVSMR, and the 2009 Woman Veterinarian of the Year, wrote an article about her research on this and I encourage everyone who is contemplating adding a puppy to your family to read it. It is entitled "Do the Dew(claws)?" and can be found through the link provided.
      b) So why are they removed? Removal of dew claws comes from a time when we thought dew claws were of no use, and unfortunately the practice has become so engrained in breeder minds that it is still being done even though we now know that dew claws are not only used, but are also important for health reasons. The main reason someone removes dew claws is from a fear of the dew claws getting caught on something and tearing. If a dew claw gets caught and torn, it may require surgery to be removed at that time. However, the logic of removing them at birth in case this should ever happy is not very sound, in our opinion. We do not agree with removing any body part just because there is a risk of that part being injured in the future---especially when it has been proven that that part is functional. The only thing your puppy having dew claws changes for you is being sure they are trimmed like the nails on all of your puppies other toes. Keeping it trimmed short with the other nails will drastically reduce the chances of the dew claw getting caught. In addition, injuries are more common on dew claws on the rear legs, which none of our puppies up to this point have ever had. AND, if you are not convinced, and still want your puppy's dew claws removed, this is something that you can choose to do at any time in your dog's life.


I noticed you don’t microchip puppies——I’ve been told that all responsible breeders do. What’s up with that?

Although there are those on both sides, there is compelling information that does point to the possibility of cancer showing up at the injection site of microchips. It hasn’t been studied in depth in the US, but preliminary studies covering only two years post implant found that 1 in 100 did develop a carcinogenic tumor at the site of the microchip implant——and it is believed that this number will only continue to grow as time passes. Because of this, and because a microchip can easily be added by your vet at any time over the course of a pet’s life, we leave the choice of whether or not to microchip up to the family.


VACCINES

What vaccines will my puppy come with?

Short Answer: We give a Parvo and Distemper shot before puppy goes home.

Explanation: If you have checked out info on our hogs and cattle, you may have noticed that we lean towards natural ways to build health and the immune system versus multiple vaccines on a schedule just because somebody, somewhere said so. Every vet will tell you something different on what is needed and when, and every breeder’s schedule is a little different in what is given and when. What really made us start thinking on the vaccines for our Cockapoo puppies is that they were supposed to have the exact same shot at the exact same time as our Great Pyrenees puppies that are 4 to 5 times their weight and size. We began researching what we could do to do our best to offer you the peace of mind that your puppy is as protected as possible, but not overwhelm these tiny puppies 8 week old systems. For this reason, and because we are not running huge kennels with lots and lots of puppies and people in and out, we are able to follow a more delayed protocol, and give you some choices in the process!

We see a lot of sense in approaches like that of Dr Jean Dodds and Dr Ronald Schultz. We take a lot of our info and timing from their suggestions. What we have on hand to give puppies is Dr Dodds recommended shot for Distemper and Parvo in a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine. Dr Dodds recommends this shot at 9 to 10 weeks of age, however, since we do want to do our best to protect puppies before they leave, we do give the shot while they are still here. Timing depends somewhat on the litter, but we don’t ever give the shot earlier than 7.5 weeks, and wait until as close to 8 weeks as possible without giving it too close to when puppies are going home. Here are your options in our giving your puppy his or her first shots, and I will split your options by the three groups of people we generally talk to:

1. I am not concerned about vaccines at all: For these families, we give your puppy the DPv shot as listed above. Your puppy will come home with his or her health record so that you and your vet can discuss how to proceed at your first visit :)

2. I am somewhat concerned about vaccines in such a small puppy, but I am also nervous not to have my puppy start on core vaccines before heading home with me: For these families, we give your puppy the DPv shot as normal, but there are a few things we are doing in addition to try and help minimize chances of vaccinosis.

a) We source and use only a 2-way vaccine that is a modified live virus, as recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds.
b) We use aged vials to give our vaccines. This means that the preservatives that often are what those being vaccinated react to have already begun to break down, leaving a little less chance of a reaction.
c) We dose our vaccines based on weight instead of giving every puppy of every size the exact same dose.
d) Our puppies are on NuVet Plus vitamins from the time they are conceived through their mother, and as soon as they start on solid food for themselves. This supplement helps their young immune system to be the best it can be, and its high antioxidant properties help increase the body’s immune response to the vaccine given.
e) We allow our mama dogs to naturally work through weaning with their puppies, following their cues of when they are done nursing puppies instead of pulling them off because of an arbitrary date. This allows puppies to continue to receive the benefits of mom’s milk for much longer than puppies raised with many other breeders.

In addition, for those families who are concerned and want the option, we have done much research ourselves, and through previous puppy families on a protocol using Homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis in order to minimize any negative effects of vaccines on the body. This involves extra supplies and extra processes, so we do charge $150 to administer this daily protocol, but it is a great option for the families who have concern, but do still desire for us to give the Distemper and Parvo vaccination.

3. I would like to forego my puppy’s shots in your home, and follow a delayed schedule starting at a later date: Unlike any other breeder we have ever encountered (remember, we are very acquainted with the process as we bring home our mama and daddy dogs!) we have no problem with you skipping your puppy’s shots while they are here. Also, we work out the details of which puppy is headed home when in order to split the litter and protect your non-vaccinated puppy from any possibility of littermates who have received the vaccine shedding the virus.


Could you point me to your contract or buyer’s agreement?

Unlike almost any other reputable breeder you will come across, we actually do not have a contract or buyer’s agreement. Through our extensive experience of adding high quality puppies to our farm and family, we have run into some doozies! Breeders who want to control how you train your pup, what you feed your pup, when to vaccinate, spay, or neuter your pup, how tall your fence has to be, how long your walks can be, how old your children are, and the list goes on and on!!! We feel very strongly that your puppy is…..well, YOURS! We are very fortunate that our deposit list lets us get to know our families over some time before we send a puppy home, so it is our very strong opinion that if you are one of the families that takes one of our puppies home, that puppy belongs fully and completely to you upon leaving our care, and you are the decision maker for that puppy. The only thing we have you sign is a receipt stating that you did receive your puppy and his/her health record. That’s it! Now, you can be sure we are here for the lifetime of your puppy to offer advice, give encouragement, answer questions, and “ooh-and-ahh” over updates, but we acknowledge you as their sole owner and decision maker!