5 Reasons Why Sheepadoodles can be Hard to Train

So, you’ve heard about the fluffy and joyful Sheepadoodle that has melted hearts everywhere! An incredible cross between the Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle, these puppies look like little white clouds of happiness bounding across the room. They are typically on the larger side of the poodle cross because of the size of the Old English Sheepdog but can vary depending on the Poodle parent. 

Sheepadoodles are incredibly athletic, if not a bit goofy in their temperament and movement. They provide plenty of humor as they navigate the world and interact with their family. When thinking about whether this breed is right for you a few considerations are in order.  Do you have an appropriate size indoor and outdoor space for your pup? How much training time can you set aside? Are they the right energy level for you? Sheepadoodles vary between medium to high levels of energy and need either daily walks or a yard big enough to allow for a couple of big bursts of energy to be released. 

If you are considering the Sheepadoodle for your family, it’s important to know if they are the correct fit as far as their size, temperament, training needs, and maintenance. Old English Sheepdogs are a herding breed meant for moving cattle and sheep over long distances for their owners. This requires both physical and mental stamina and the bravery to take on predators to keep their livestock safe along the way. The Poodles job, as a game fowl retriever, also requires mental and physical fortitude in all types of weather conditions and the ability to work closely with humans. 

No matter which personality characteristics the Sheepadoodle takes on from its parents, it will need consistent and predictable training to reach its full potential. There a couple of basic qualities in the Sheepadoodle that can make it more difficult for your family to train. 

I Herd you 

When a working dog uses its natural instincts, to do the job they were bred to do, we sit in awe of its beauty and intelligence. To see an Old English Sheepdog drive livestock and use its herding instinct, it’s magical, until you realize that your children, cats, cars, scooters, and just about anything else is also fair game! Even though you have taken half of the herding gene pool out, a Sheepadoodle will still retain at least some of that drive to contain and manage movement in their environment. This can be especially difficult for young children and other pets that do not understand what’s happening to them. All they see is a big fuzzy ball of energy running towards them and cutting them off every time they try to play soccer or a game of tag. 

Recognizing the herding behavior is the first step to gaining control over your pup. Consistent training from a very early age is imperative. Creating an outlet for your pup’s energy will help dampen some of this instinct but won’t eliminate it completely. You need to be watchful of your Sheepadoodle around movement that excites them. Long walks around the neighborhood, games of retrieving, hide and seek, and agility, will facilitate a better connection with your pup and help prevent excessive herding. On leash and off leash obedience 

I Didn’t Mean To

An extension of the herding behavior that a Sheepadoodle may exhibit is nipping as they work. Nipping is encouraged when the Sheepdog goes out in the field of work and is an acceptable tool when herding livestock, but not with people. As much as we know and understand this is not meant to be an aggressive act, it will lower the trust of the human that has been nipped and make the Sheepadoodle a less reliable choice, especially around small children. 

Much of this nipping can be tempered by proper training and early socialization. Teaching bite inhibition, where a puppy learns to use its mouth softly during play, is the first and most important step. Some of this is learned from littermates but it must be transferred to its new playmates, you, and your family, when your pup comes home. Sheepadoodles will carry this nipping behavior with them as they mature but will be softer in its application if  trained correctly early on. 

Like Velcro

Before investing your heart into a Sheepadoodle, consider how much you like your privacy or your ability to pick up and head out of the house on a whim. Is having one shadow enough or would you like a second dog shaped shadow too? It can prove difficult to live even a semi-independent life with a Sheepadoodle. Both the poodle and the Old English Sheepdog are naturally dependent and thrive on proximity to humans. This breed is a great fit for families that work from home or have someone that is in the home the majority of the day. 

Being in the same room with you is probably not close enough for this pup. They will want to be under your feet while you eat, outside the shower, in your lap while you watch tv, and probably under the covers if you let them. There is no such thing as too close or too much! 

  If your lifestyle includes work in the office full time and going away for the weekend on fun trips, your Sheepadoodle will feel unfulfilled and frustrated by your absence, and in return will look for ways to self-entertain. Unfortunately, this boredom and frustration are usually worked out in less than desirable ways. This separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors around the house. Crate training your pup early on and draining energy can be helpful but is not a fix for their emotional needs. They naturally need to be close.

Who is That?

Sheepadoodles are a natural watchdog, keeping you up to the minute on who is coming and going. They have a deep bellowing bark to announce the presence of strangers and friends alike. The good news is that there is little intent behind that bark other than to communicate. With training their bark can be quieted quickly.  What they are looking for from you is acknowledgement that they have done their job well and that you approve of the visitor. Once the stranger comes inside most pups will forgo the barking and attempt to be the lap dog they were born to be. 

Where this could vocalization be a concern is dependent on where you live. Country living with a dog that barks is probably not going to bother anyone. If you are a city dweller with shared walls you may find yourself getting some complaints on the noise. Boredom contributes to how much your Sheepadoodle will bark. A pup who has been well drained of its energy through walks, mental stimulation, and play will be less likely to nuisance bark and easier to settle if they do alert to a noise. 

I’m So Sorry

Most of the reasons a Sheepadoodle can be difficult to train have to do with their drive to work. Herding people and animals when we don’t want them to can be frustrating. Nipping and biting while they herd can be uncomfortable and a bit scary for the younger children. The barking can be a bit annoying depending on where you live. 

The WORST part about training a Sheepadoodle is that no matter what they do, how upset you might be, it is impossible to be mad at them! The expression in their eyes is one of absolute love and adoration for their owner. You know they would do anything for you and all they ask of you is to let them be your shadow and your friend. It melts your heart every time and keeps you from following through on the training they need, because how can you say no to those eyes? Stay vigilant. Follow through. Be firm but fair. Remember that a Sheepadoodle will love you always. 

5 Reasons Why Sheepadoodles Can Be Easy to Train

What makes a Sheepadoodle so much fun to have around? It’s their playful and goofy outlook on life. It’s the way they get along so well with young children and other pets. They are a cross between the mellow and gentle Old English Sheepdog and the intelligent and energetic Poodle. Both parents come from working breeds which makes them able to process information, problem solve, adapt, and work well with people. Training a working breed is necessary to mold them to the tasks they are required to do.

The Old English Sheepdog, originally used for herding livestock to market, had to be gentle enough to not hurt their keep but strong enough to keep them safe. This took both physical and mental concentration over long periods of time. They needed the ability to think and react on a second’s notice while also being able to respond to what their owner was asking them to do. 

The Poodle, standard in size, originally bred as a retriever of game fowl, had a tough job outside in the elements. Poodles swam through water and marsh areas to bring back waterfowl. The conditions they worked in were less than ideal as the water could be cold and the hours long. Their willingness to please under these conditions made them an ideal dog for their job.

As with any cross breed, the Sheepadoodle will gain a mixture of characteristics from each parent. As puppy ages it will become clearer how much Sheepdog and how much Poodle it has received. Either way, we know training is an essential part of its development and manageability to be a part of the family. Let’s take a look at the reasons the Sheepadoodle is easy to train.

I Can Do It Just Show Me How

When we are looking for a breed to work for us, we require intelligence to be top of the list. What does that mean? The dog has to be able to learn quickly, with less repetition, and then be able to perform the task with high reliability. The more intelligent the dog is, the variability of the tasks that can be mastered is almost endless. 

The Poodle is one of the most intelligent and versatile breeds when it comes to learning new and varied tasks. We can expect that they will problem solve quickly and be ready to take on more challenging assignments. These qualities lend themselves to Poodles often being chosen for service and therapy type work. The Sheepdog is also an intelligent breed that thrives on instinct and repetition. They are not as versatile as the Poodle but are incredibly in tune with their owners needs and willing to do anything to please. 

The Sheepadoodle averages high on the intelligence list and is eager to be challenged.  They will enjoy physical activities that also mentally stimulating like agility, group obedience class, retrieving in the backyard, and going for long walks. On the calmer side, consider therapy or emotional support as a job for your Sheepadoodle where they can use their cute and cuddly looks and innate desire to please to benefit those around them.

Enough is Enough

The part of working breeds that can easily overwhelm a family is the never-ending push from their dog to get what it wants. That could be a ball that is stuck under the couch, the treat they know is on the counter, or the walk at the end of the day that should be skipped because of the bad weather. The inner drive to do, all the time, is more than most know what to do with. 

What is so wonderful about the Sheepadoodle is that they are just as happy to go out and play in the yard as they are to sit at your feet and cuddle. The Sheepdog carries that calm and sweet demeanor and the ability to turn off when the job is done. The Sheepadoodle carries that balance of energy to play and the desire to be your constant companion while you watch TV or work on your computer. Be cautioned that close is never close enough and you may end up wearing your Sheepadoodle like a blanket if they have it their way.


There are some truly hardheaded breeds out there that need a firm hand. Police or military working dogs have that high energy and tough body mentality where quitting isn’t an option. It’s about getting the job done at any cost and they are incredible at their job. That isn’t what most of us need or want in our home.

What we need is a balance of energy to play and keep up with the kids but soft enough to take bumps and pulls of a toddler. Sheepadoodle’s natural inclination is to be a people pleaser and they can be sensitive to even a verbal correction. You may see their ears flatten and their tail go down but it’s just for the moment. Use that time to teach what you do want. Break out the treats and create the behavior needed. They are resilient and choose to replicate the behavior that gave them treats and not the scolding. 

Just A Bite?

Most families need a puppy to know their basic obedience commands of sit, down, stay, come, and be reliable around distraction. The best way to teach these behaviors is finding motivation for your puppy and using that as the reward. Some want to chase a ball, others need your praise, most have food high on the list of motivators. 

The Sheepadoodle enjoys a mix of all these which makes them super easy to train. They love treats, affection, and toys which helps complete their training under the greatest of distractions. If the value of the reward isn’t higher than the distraction itself, a puppy will naturally choose what they value most. 

Beginning when your puppy is young you can use their everyday kibble to entice them to do things for you. Often the Sheepadoodle will eat more than they should, as they aren’t necessarily picky, and become a bit on the heavier side. Taking extra treats out of the equation and just using their kibble can help keep them at a good weight. Save the higher value treats for special occasions when you know you need your pups attention.

Eager to Please

If you have ever looked into the eyes of an Old English Sheepdog you know those eyes have looked right back into your soul. There is something almost human about their expression and you know they understand and feel your every emotion. The Sheepadoodle carries that same knowing eye and is rightly in tune with you and the family. It’s as if they can hear your thoughts and know your next move. 

Sheepadoodles may choose moments of independence, chasing a squirrel or following a scent, but are happiest when right at your side. If the kids are running around outside, playing on the trampoline or swing set, so is your doodle. Taking this dependence on people to your advantage it’s easy to have your Sheepadoodles attention to create the habits your want. Sit before you go out the door, boom, you got it! Down and wait before you get your food. Sure thing! The dependency and eagerness to please make every moment a training session instead of a game of chase.

Your Sheepadoodle will, of course, have its own variation of personality traits form its parents. Early socialization and training is key to a happy and healthy family dog. Keep in mind that your pup may inherit more of the Poodle side or more of the Old English Sheepdog and your training should always be based on the needs of your individual dogs temperament. 

5 Reasons Why Labradoodles can be Hard to Train

5 Reasons Why Labradoodles can be Hard to Train

Early and consistent training is the key for your Labradoodle puppy to ensure they are working for you instead of against you. Teaching the desired behaviors early is much easier than trying to undo engrained habits in a driven and sometimes stubborn breed. Taking into account all of the traits that make a Labradoodle difficult to train they can also be the very same traits that make your puppy a loyal and happy member of your family.

All the Energy!

Labradoodles have an abundance of energy and can be difficult to manage without a proper outlet and training. We see this energy exhibited in jumping on people and furniture, pulling, lunging on leash, barking at their surroundings and being highly distracted. This energy stems from the working breed cross of Labrador Retriever and Poodle who are historically bred to retrieve game fowl. Each of these breeds, individually, require both energy and stamina to perform their job. Be prepared to spend between 1-2 hours daily to drain physical and mental energy from your Labradoodle puppy. This includes long structured walks, retrieving, playing hide and seek, swimming and proper socialization. 


Please Don’t Leave

With an abundance of energy and an extreme love of people the Labradoodle can become tightly invested in its family. This might create a problem called separation anxiety where your pup is not able to happily be left alone. Separation anxiety is specific to each puppy, but the most common expressions are excessive vocalization, pacing, drooling, shaking, potty accidents, and destruction to property which can lead to injuries. It’s imperative to teach your puppy to find peace when left alone starting at a young age. Giving your pup a safe space with access to mentally stimulating activities while you are away, draining their energy properly, and practicing alone time, often, for short periods of time, can greatly reduce the likelihood of your labradoodle puppy having separation anxiety. 

I’m Bored.

Remembering that Labradoodles are a mix of working breeds we recognize they are highly intelligent and learn new tricks and tasks very quickly. It can be quite a job to keep them excited about the same routine day in and day out. Your pup will need a variety of engaging activities and games to keep them mentally stimulated or they will create their own at the owners expense. When we give Labradoodles the opportunity to make their own choices, we come home to chewed furniture, emptied trash cans, destuffed toys, items missing from the kitchen counter, all of which can lead to very expensive vet visits. There are an assortment of doggy puzzles, mats, chew toys, and treat dispensers to be purchased that can be traded out weekly to keep your pup engaged and happy. Save the favorite toys for use when you are leaving your puppy home alone so they have something to look forward to when you walk out the door.

I Can’t Hear You over all that Noise

It’s normal for dogs to bark with excitement, nervousness, and fear as it’s the strongest communication tool a dog has with a human. We all look around when a dog starts barking to see what they see. We believe them when they talk to us. Labradoodles are great “communicators” but can also be overly reactive to their environment, leaving us to wonder, will they ever stop? They will be the first to let you know when the mailman arrives, your food has been delivered, or that pesky squirrel is back in the yard. This working breed cross is highly excitable because of their retrieving background and if not directed consistently to another task, Labradoodles will make it their full-time job to alert the neighborhood to all they see. The best way to minimize the nuisance barking is to stay with your puppy in the yard and address any barking right away. Redirect your puppy away from the object of its interest and praise when they leave it behind. This redirection can be used at the door, in the car, at the park, or anytime you know your puppy likes to vocalize.

I Want it My Way 

It’s understood that Labradoodles have energy, want to be close to their humans, can become bored easily, and let us know all this with their barking. Lastly, we touch upon their independent and stubborn nature. Their first choice is to do what makes them happy in any moment without thinking how this affects anyone else in the house. This can be a struggle when your pup has grabbed the Thanksgiving turkey off the counter, is chasing the squirrel down the road, or destuffing a brand-new toy. These are instinctual behaviors tied to their drive to thrive. There is an independent spirit when it comes to the Labradoodle which needs to be harnessed and redirected when your puppy is young. Instead of allowing your pup to chase the squirrel you will need to teach a game of fetch to fill that desire. When cooking an amazing dinner teach your pup to stay out of the kitchen and give them engaging activities in another room.

5 Reasons Why Labradoodles Can Be Easy to Train

5 Reasons Why Labradoodles are Easy to Train

There are a few common traits that easy to train dogs have in common. When searching for a service, therapy, or all-around happy family companion, we want to be able to teach new behaviors easily and quickly and have our dog retain the information for the next time we need it. The top breeds for working ability, including the Labradoodle, genetically inherit an array of traits which make them easy to train.


Their High Drive for Food

All puppies begin their life based on survival. If they do not eat, they do not survive. Food becomes the driving factor for the puppy to move, bond, fight, and thrive. This basic exchange transfers from mom and pup, to human and pup usually around the eight-week mark when the puppy is completely reliant on their human to provide all their caloric needs. Start training your puppy as soon as it comes home. Labradoodles have a high drive for food, meaning they will do just about anything if they believe there is one more piece of food left for them. It is an amazing advantage to have a puppy that will eat under high stress and high distraction scenarios as you can keep their focus, build confidence in new situations, and encourage your pup to try things they wouldn’t under normal circumstances. Training a labradoodle pup for basic obedience or high-level service work is made a lot easier by their hunger for life.

They come from Breeds with High Intelligence 

Finding ways to measure intelligence in dogs has involved creative tests. How quickly do they learn new tasks? Do they remember the names of toys and people they meet? Can they figure out how to solve a complex set of steps in a puzzle? How long do they retain the information they have learned? Dogs bred to perform a job, like the Labradoodle parents, measure high on these intelligence tests and pass along the same abilities to their puppies. Teaching the basic sit, down, stay and come can be accomplished with less repetition and stress, but keep in mind, consistency from you is the key to harnessing your puppy’s natural gifts and using them for your benefit. 

Their Social Personality 

Temperaments can vary among any breed but outgoing and friendly is the best way to explain the Labradoodle. Take the happy go lucky Labrador and the sweet and affectionate poodle, you have the best of both worlds. Their life is about pleasing their human and spending time together exploring the world. Expect that your pup is going to want to go everywhere with you and be involved in all you do, which is made much easier because of the social nature. Most Labradoodle pups get along well with other dogs and children, being thoughtful that all interactions should be supervised. 

All the Energy = All the Fun 

With all the intelligence, the food drive, and the willingness to be with you, your puppy still needs the stamina to keep trying to get it right. There is no giving up when it comes to your Labradoodle. Born with the energy to be a superstar at agility, dock diving, swimming, retrieving, or running partner, there is no end to the fun you can have with your puppy. This active breed will give one hundred percent of themselves to learn new and challenging tricks and games and expects that you are willing to give the same. 

Confidence is Key 

Labradoodles are curious and excited to interact with their surroundings. They will climb up and over, under and around, through their world using their nose as a guide. Whether it’s meeting new people, neighborhood dogs, or something new in their environment, nothing will stay a stranger for long. When training a pup like this, it may seem that they are highly distracted as they search for clues and information, but it is important that your pup has positive interactions to continue to build confidence. 

What’s the Difference Between a Boy & Girl Dog?

A lot of people ask about the differences between a male and a female dogs when it comes to training and behaviors. And this question is a great one. We really have put a lot of thought and time into thinking through that answer. We are unique breeders in that we train ALL of our pups, which gives us a lot more experience than most breeders. Typically breeders let their puppies go home before they really show their personalities. Not only do we keep our pups longer, but we spend hundreds of hours with each individual pup. In fact, you will find a unique personality description of every puppy on their individual sale pages. We have trained over 500 puppies in the past decade, so we really have a strong “case study” for this. 

Common Myths About Male vs. Female Dogs

The first myth that we want to debunk is that there are major personality differences between males and females. Some say that males are more loving or that females are more laid back. That’s just not true. We have never noticed a trend in which a gender shows themselves to be more of a certain personality trait. We have trained so many puppies looking for subtle personality differences and have come to the conclusion that there is no definite personality difference between the genders.

We have had extremely loving females and some females that were more independent. We have had very calm females and males and very outgoing females and males. We have noticed a couple of other differences, though, that you will want to take into consideration and which we will discuss in detail below.

The second myth is that males have a lot of issues with “marking” or “humping.” This is almost never the case, especially if you are not breeding. If you plan on neutering your boy and have no females in heat with another male nearby, then you will not have to worry about a male marking in your house or even too much in your yard. In fact, the vast majority of our males will squat to urinate their entire lives. They also are not prone to “humping” legs like some other breeds may be.


So What are the Differences Between the Male and Female Pups?

There are a few differences between the genders that are important to point out. These are based on our extensive research, and while there may be other differences, these are the ones that stuck out the most over the years.

The first difference is mental maturity

Females do mature mentally faster than males. A 1 year old female acts like a 1.5-2 year old male. Males have a longer “puppy stage,” which a lot of people love and a lot of people don’t. It’s a matter of preference. Males do mature physically faster than females, especially when it comes to potty training. Because of this, most females are easier to obedience train than males. They normally have their commands down sooner than male puppies. A 12 week old female is typically obedience trained as well as a 14 week old boy.

The second difference is physical maturity

Males do physically mature faster than females, mainly in the area of bladder control. Part of our Puppy Training Institute is potty training and crate training. We spend over half of our training time working on these 2 crucial areas. One thing we have found out is that males can hold their bladders for longer than females. They are quicker to potty train, spot train and crate train as a result. Females definitely do better in obedience training but in potty training and crate training the boys typically do better simply because they can hold their restroom longer.

The third difference is size

The males can be typically 10-20 lbs heavier than a female. An average female is 60-65 lbs and an average male is 75-80 lbs. A small female can be as small as 45 lbs, and the largest females are rarely larger than 70 lbs (not overweight). A small male will be around 60 lbs, and larger males can reach 85 lbs.

Males also typically have a blockier head, thicker coat and especially thicker “mane.” Most show dogs are males because they look a little better and shed their coat about ½ as much as a breeding female. Breeding females blow their coats after a heat and so half of the year they do not look good. If you spay your female, then she should shed as much as a male dog.

Also, just because a male dog has a thicker coat does not mean that they shed more. They shed about the same amount, as long as the girl is spayed. If she’s not spayed, then she will shed almost twice as much as a male after her heat cycle.


Why these Differences Matter

When it comes to becoming a new puppy owner, choosing between a male or female is often one of the biggest decisions you will make. We are confident that no matter which one you choose, your experience will be an enjoyable one. However, it’s important to realize the above differences.

As your puppy grows into adulthood, some of these differences will become irrelevant. The training level of a graduating puppy in our Puppy Training Institute may be different in certain areas between the male and female pups, but these differences will even out, particularly if you plan on continuing your pup’s training.

So whether or not the gender matters is up to you. Some buyers simply prefer one over the other. But there is no right or wrong answer, and your puppy will be equally as healthy, and as loving, regardless of what you choose. We do encourage you to choose a puppy with the personality traits you prefer, which are detailed on each puppy’s page, and we will help you in your decision to choose the best companion for your family.

See Our Featured Available Puppies

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To see all of our current available puppies, visit our Available Pups page

How Much should I Feed my Puppy?

On the back of almost all dog food bags is a recommended daily serving for a dog. The question we get many times is “How accurate is the recommended daily serving size?” “Is it the same for puppies as for adults?” In the video and blog below we go into extra detail with guidelines for feeding your puppy.

The Dangers of an Obese Dog

Obesity is a common problem in puppies and adult dogs. 56% of adult dogs in the USA are considered obese. In puppies it is important not to have extra weight on them because that can result in extra pressure and strain on their muscles and joints as they are continually growing. Obesity can cause your puppy to develop many health problems like: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart problems, liver issues and even cancer. Many people believe dysplasia is simply genetic. That is perhaps only 50% true. Genetics are very important in regards to this issue but can be brought on with environmental conditions and lifestyle of your dog. If your dog is obese and carrying around 20% more weight than he/she needs to, they have a significantly higher risk of dysplasia and other health concerns.

Every Dog Has a Different Metabolism & Needs

On the back of every dog food bag are suggestions for how much to feed your dog. These are not absolutes and should just be taken as just that, suggestions. There are many factors that can affect how much to feed, your environment, your dogs lifestyle as well as its projected weight. If your dog is overweight and you are always feeding for the overweight size versus for what the size should be your dog simply will never lose that extra weight. Always feed for the appropriate weight for your dog.

A dogs metabolism rate is also based on their activity level. The more active your dog is, the higher their metabolism is and the more they can eat. Some dogs will need more and some will need less food everyday. We recommend and feed our puppies twice a day. The same schedule can be kept when they become adults, you could just as well feed your dog once a day. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian when making changes to your dogs diet to find the best option tailored to your pup.

How to Tell if a Dog is at a Healthy Size

dog weightThe greatest lesson we can teach you is to learn what a healthy SIZE looks and feels like for your dog. Notice that I don’t say “Weight.” Weight is deceiving, it can change. As a puppy grows it changes all the time. You must be able to feel a dog’s side to determine if your dog is at a healthy size or not. You have to look THROUGH their coat and feel the actual fat that they have. Your dog could look great to you, but after further investigation could be too thin or too fat.

When examining your dog the ribs should be easily felt but not easily seen. When viewing your dog from the side they should have defined tuck where the rib cage ends going into the structure of their hips. If you have a long haired breed a good time to examine this in your dog is during bath time when the hair is wet and flat against their body. Just keep in mind a proper “look” and size will differentiate between every dog and breed.

The Choice is Yours

The weight of your dog is in your control. Giving your dog table scraps, guessing on how much food you should give, too many treats… can all cause your dog to be overweight. You and everyone in the household must be committed to keeping your dog healthy and living the best life your pup can have!

Common Reasons and Tips for Puppy Diarrhea

Below is a video of us discussing some of the most common reasons for diarrhea:

The one common issue with puppies is that they can have very sensitive stomachs. So many things can cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc… We are always struggling to figure out what is causing what for each puppy. You definitely want to and need to stay on top of it. It can get bad very quick especially if he doesn’t eat or drink and/or vomits. The most common causes recently are:

  1. Stress– This is the most common reason why pups that go home get diarrhea. We never truly believed stress caused diarrhea until experience taught us the hard way. We learned by experience that when a pup travels long distances (8+ hours) that about 50% of them got diarrhea. We found that younger pups especially were prone to getting diarrhea in the first week of going home. Nothing was changed with food and water, yet they still would get diarrhea. Stress causes diarrhea more than any other reason in pups going home. We try to prevent “stress diarrhea” by giving our pups anti-diarrhea medicine before going home and providing you with Pro-pectalin, metronidazole and Forti-flora. This is mainly to keep your pups stool firm when traveling and adjusting to their new home.
  2. Giardia– Closely behind stress, giardia is another cause of diarrhea in puppies. The biggest reason is that there is  no medicine that truly kills it permanently. It’s very contagious passing through fecal matter and it lives in almost any kennel that’s been established for a few years. There are a couple of medicines that can suppress it enough for his immune system to overcome it. Panacur (fenbendazole) & Flagyl (metronidazole) are the best medicines for it that we have found. A 10 day treatment of both together is the best combination. If your pup has diarrhea and your vet tests for giardia, make sure to have them test for active giardia and not antigen giardia. That is where they test to see is there is ova or giardia cyst in their fecal. Sending off to an outside lab like IDEXX is the most reliable way. Most of our pups will test positive for giardia antigen which basically means your pup had diarrhea in the past. Only treat your pup if they have active giardia. The reason is that they could develop a resistant strand of giardia. We have tried everything imaginable to get rid of giardia and one of the things we tried years ago was giving many days of “preventative” treatment of panacur and flagyl. What we found was that our pups still had giardia and a very strong strand that wouldn’t be killed easier. That basically meant a pup would continue to have soft stools until they got older and their immune system beat giardia down. So only treat if you have too.
  3. Food Sensitivities/Allergies– Puppies can have sensitivities to certain foods and there is no food out there that works for every pup. TLC Whole Life Puppy Food is one of the best to work with most pups but sometimes our clients need to switch because of continual diarrhea. Simple is better. The 2 foods that our clients have used with stomach sensitivities are Canidae Grain-free Pure Sea w/ Salmon or a prescription food Royal Canin Hypoallergenic/Hydrolyzed Protein kibble. Both have worked very well. Allergies – Puppies can have allergies just like we do. We’ve had pups with the oddest of allergies before. We’ve seen pups have allergies to chicken, to grass, to barley, to Pork, to Soybean, to White Potato, to Green Peas and more. You may need to go to your vet and order an allergy test like the one found on vetallergy.com to pinpoint the issue.
  4. Coccidia– This is another common organism found in pups. We treat them with Marquis and it does work. Unfortunately, they could have some small amount of coccidia still in them (or their littermates) that regrows after some time. If that’s the case then you vet should see this with a normal fecal and prescribe Marquis or Albon with metronidazole.
  5. Worms– We do deworm our pups every 2 weeks with a variety of dewormers but sometimes again they get through. We even check them before going home but they can have an egg that’s resistant to the dewormer hatch and spread. The most common worms are hookworm and roundworm. Panacur is one of the most popular dewormers to use even though every vet has their own favorite medicine.
  6. Bacterial Infections– This is the most complicated problem because there are so many bacterias out there. Salmonella, Ecoli, Camylobacter jejun and other issues can cause diarrhea. Medicines given vary not only on the bacteria but the specific strain of bacteria. When we have a diarrhea problem that’s not giardia, coccidia, worms or food sensitivities it’s normally some sort of bacteria infection. We then have to send off a fecal to the vet and have it tested for everything. It’s expensive but it’s really the only thing we have found to tell us exactly what we are dealing with. Depending on what the pup tests positive for is how we treat it. Anti-biotics like clavamox, doxycycline, and even baytril needs to be used sometimes to get over some of these frustrating issues.

Getting Rid of Diarrhea

Here are our suggestions:

  1. Unsweeten Pumpkin– Add a scoop of canned unsweetened pumpkin. It’s high in fiber, good tasting and great in helping diarrhea. OR you can buy Pumpkin supplement like this: http://a.co/8xLvejk
  2. Probiotics– Buy some Forti-Flora Pro-biotics and put a packet it on your pup’s food daily. By the way, you should never give panacur especially without giving pro-biotic. Many vets and pet stores have Forti-flora or you can buy it online on Amazon: http://a.co/28qLkDa
  3. Diagel– Give a dosage of Dia-Gel for dogs. It’s the best anti-diarrhea medicine that works quickly for us:  http://a.co/hWoiKQK
  4. Flagyl/aka Metronidazole– we give you this in your puppy packet but you probably got this from your vet as well.

There are many anti-diarrhea medicines out on the market. Every dog is different and so some medicines work better for one dog than another. We have seen no 1 anti-diarrhea medicine work for all. If nothing works then we have found it typically can be allergy related. We recommend consulting with your vet with those potential concerns.

Here are some other good anti-diarrhea medicines we recommend:


  1. Tylan Powder– is a good anti-diarrhea medicine and it helps with tear stains! This is a prescription medication.
  2. Kaolinpectin (http://a.co/ipinnmH)
  3. Pro-pectalin (http://a.co/5UIUMke)
  4. Immodium AD– Yep…the same stuff you give a person. https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/imodium-dogs-it-good-idea


Watery diarrhea combined with vomiting could be serious. If your pup is extremely lethargic then you need to get water and energy in your pup right away. We recommend giving Dyne High Calorie Solution or Nutra-Gel as an energy supplement if your pups getting dehydrated or hypoglycemic. Seek help from your veterinarian! Pups under 6 months of age can be susceptible to quick death. 6-10 week of age is the most dangerous period. Then it’s 10-16 weeks. After 16 weeks its very rare that the pups are in danger of death but any pups under that age, be very, very watchful!

How to Continue Leash Training With Your Recherche Puppy

Below is a video of us going through the most common issues with leash walking and how to address them:

Upon getting your Recherche pup home, you may find that they try to test the boundaries and limitations of their new pack leaders. Many times these tests and challenges can take place while your pup is on a leash. We know that knowing how to correctly address these speed bumps with your pup can be a daunting task. Using the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years of training more than 700 pups, we have comprised a training video to help you recognize and handle many common issues that may arise while walking your pup on a leash.

Walking in Front of You: Ideally you want your dog’s head to be even with your thigh during a walk. Your dog may move in front of you because they are excited or distracted by something in front up ahead or because they are trying to lead the walk. Whatever the reason for the behavior, the correction is still the same. As soon as your dog makes a move to get in front of you, give the leash a sharp leash pop and do a 180 degree turn so that you begin moving in the exact opposite direction that your pup wants to go. Once they catch back up to you and begin walking beside you give them praise and affection.

Lagging Behind You: If your dog’s head falls behind your thigh or you find yourself having to maintain tension on the leash to encourage forward movement from your pup then your pup is lagging behind. This could take place because they are interested in something behind them or because they don’t really want to go the way you are asking them to go. When this happens give several small quick leash pops in the forward direction to encourage movement in that direction. You may also pat your leg and use your voice to encourage your pet to move forward. Once they get back into the correct leash walking position, praise them verbally and reward them with affection.

Straying to the Left: This can happen when you pass by interesting looking, smelling or sounding distractions. Your pup begins to pay more attention to their surroundings than they do to their pack leader (YOU) and then they start moving away from you to the left. To address this you want to give a leash correction and then immediately make a sharp turn to the right. This will automatically redirect your pup’s attention back to you. Remember to make sure that your level and intensity of correction matches your level and intensity of praise/reward.

Cutting in Front of You:  Your pup may try this if something on your other side catches their attention and they want to go investigate. If this happens your pup will be hovering in your space or trying to cut across your body. To correct this behavior you will NOT use the leash to correct, instead you will use your body. While keeping the leash slack make a sharp turn to the left using your knees or shins to move your dog out of the space that you want to claim. This movement should be decisive and assertive. Your goal is not to move carefully to avoid making contact with your pup. Your goal is to require your pup to pay attention to you in order to avoid getting stepped on as you move.

Remember that leash training, like all areas of puppy training is about consistency and repetition. Your puppy is not going to be the same everyday. You may have one day where they seem to have everything down to an art, then the next day they don’t seem to remember how to do anything. When this happens make sure you don’t get discouraged and lose sight of your long term goal. Keep at it, be diligent, and persevere. The days where your pup seems to have it all together will become more frequent, while the days of them seeming to be at square one will become few and far between. With patience and consistency you will soon have people stopping you to compliment you on your pup’s manners. Believe me, we have all seen it!

How to Handle Submissive or Excited Urination

Understanding and Tackling Dog Submissive Urination

Have you ever experienced your dog suddenly urinating when greeting you, during an exciting playtime, or when corrected? This behavior is known as submissive urination and can understandably be frustrating for dog owners. However, it’s important to understand that this action is involuntary and may have a variety of causes. We will discuss the causes of submissive urination and the steps you can take to help your canine companion overcome this behavior.

Identifying the Cause of Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is not necessarily a sign that your dog is ill or improperly housebroken. It can be a natural way for some dogs to communicate their submission to their owner or another dominant figure. The behavior often occurs more frequently in puppies and timid adult dogs, and while most dogs grow out of it as they mature, some may continue with this behavior into adulthood.

Common situations that trigger submissive urination include greetings, petting, scolding, a sudden change in an owner’s tone of voice, or an unexpected touch. Recognizing and understanding these triggers is the first step to addressing the issue.

Building Your Dog’s Confidence

One of the primary reasons for submissive urination is a lack of confidence. Boosting your dog’s self-esteem can go a long way in resolving this behavior. Begin by reinforcing positive behaviors like sitting, or upright positions, and staying with rewards like treats and praise. 

Changing Your Interaction Style

Modifying your approach in specific situations can help prevent submissive urination. When greeting your dog, avoid making direct eye contact or standing over them. Instead, keep your posture relaxed, allow the dog to approach of their own volition, avoid reaching over the dog’s head. When offering pets, scratch under the chin or on the chest.


Desensitizing your dog to the triggers that cause submissive urination can significantly improve their response. Start by identifying a trigger (e.g., being touched) and creating a gradual exposure plan. For example, begin by gently touching the dog’s shoulders and providing a treat, then gradually moving towards more sensitive areas over time.

Practice counter conditioning, this involves pairing a trigger with something your dog loves – like a favorite treat or toy. This approach gradually changes your dog’s emotional response to the trigger itself, making them less likely to demonstrate submissive urination.

Seeking Professional Help

If your dog continues to struggle with submissive urination despite your best efforts, it may be a good idea to consult a professional dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist. These experts can offer personalized guidance and support, helping you address the root causes of the issue and developing a tailored behavior modification plan.

When should I Spay or Neuter my Puppy?

We believe that part of being an ethical breeder is protecting your breed. Here at Recherche Kennels, we sell almost every one of our pups with a spay/neuter contract because we simply do not have the time or energy to fully vet potential breeders. Because of our rules in this area, we are quite often asked the question; “When should I spay or neuter my puppy?”

The Controversy over when to Spay And Neuter

We have personally worked with over 20 veterinarians in several different states, and through our clients we have worked with hundreds of veterinarians in almost every state and several countries. There is one consistent truth we have learned: there is no black and white answer.

It seems that the more research we do, the more confused we become. Some veterinarians believe that there are many health problems associated withneutering/spaying too early, while many other veterinarians believe just the opposite. It is very controversial. The biggest problem we run into is that most veterinarians are very strong on their stance and unwavering in their opinion.

What we are writing below is our opinion based on years of research. We don’t believe that we are infallible and incapable of being wrong. Because of this, we put a lot of freedom in our warranty. We allow for a pup to be up to 2 1/2 years old before being spayed or neutered. It’s not that we think you should wait that long, but just in case you are strongly opposed to doing it earlier, we do leave that judgment call to my clients.

The Gap between Genders in a Pup

Our opinion does vary on the gender of most puppies. We personally have a much stronger opinion on when to spay a female than when to neuter a male. From most veterinarians and multiple websites, I believe that a female should be spayed prior to having her first heat. Again, some veterinarians believe you should wait until the first heat, but the majority of theriogenologists (reproductive veterinarians) and practicing veterinarians agree that it should be done before the first heat.

The reason for this is that studies have shown that females who are spayed prior to a heat have almost little to no chance of many types of reproductive cancers. For example, breast cancer (Mammary neoplasia) can be common in females. Female dogs that are spayed prior to going into their first heat have less than a 1% chance of getting mammary neoplasia. Female dogs that are spayed after going through one heat have an 8% chance, and females getting spayed after going through 3 heat cycles have a 26% chance of having tumors sometime in their life (Click here for 1 out of many studies).

These are astounding facts. Because of this we highly recommend spaying a female before they go into their first heat. Most female dogs typically go into their first heat between 8-14 months old. Our recommendation is to have a female spayed between 7-8 months of age.

When to Neuter your Male Puppy

When it comes to neutering your male puppy timing can be a lot more flexible. There is information that supports neutering them around the same time as a female to keep them from becoming dominant. There is also opinions that you should wait until they mature fully or they will have behavior or health problems after neutering them. Because of this extreme controversy, we really don’t have a strong suggestion either way.

We would more than likely suggest to neuter him somewhere in the middle, around 1 – 1 1/2 years of age. The main danger in waiting until your male is fully grown to neuter him is that he may be prone to “find a soul mate.” Whenever a female goes into heat here, our wonderful, sweet, obedient and loving boys become obsessed and even seemingly possessed. They are not themselves. They will do whatever they can do to get to the female, even if that means breaking out of their enclosure.

If there is an intact female anywhere near where you live and she goes into full estrus, then beware because your male will do whatever he can to get to her. That could obviously be very dangerous to your pup.

To Wrap it Up

Find a seasoned veterinarian that has years of experience with spaying/neutering. Again, our warranty does require both boys and girls to be spayed/neutered by 2 1/2 years of age, so don’t put it off.

Many owners worry about recovery time and try to wait until the “right time”, which can lead to waiting TOO long. But most clients are actually quite surprised at how fast their dog recovers from the surgery. Every dog we have had spayed and neutered has had to be crated and wear the “cone of shame” to keep them from ripping their stitches out, but it is generally very short term. We are always amazed by how tough pups can be. Usually they recover in a few short days. Don’t delay, get it done!