• I am so  behind in your podcasts.  Going there now!

  • This was an amazing interview. I listened to it on the way to Willow's nosework class and on the way home I started it again. There's a lot to unpack there. I had not heard of Pat Hastings, but now I'm going to have to go read all of her books. What a wealth of knowledge. Can you imagine evaluating 40,000 puppies? I have a feeling you could interview her every week for a year and only scratch the surface of what she knows. 

    My question for you, Adina and whoever else has listened and has an opinion, is does speaking with someone who has so much experience with quality dogs in the purebred world impact your desire for another doodle?

    For myself, I had already decided that my next dog will be a purebred - to be fair, I still want a dog the most like a doodle. I find myself very intrigued by the Barbet. But hearing her say something that isn't new information to me - that doodle breeders all start with inferior dogs and have to go up from there, vs someone who has been breeding the best of the best Poodles, for example. I feel like you're already at a disadvantage. And knowing that I want a dog with the best chance of living a long, healthy, pain free life and one who will not break down it feels like it would be counterintuitive to purchase a doodle. I feel the same way about Golden Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs. I don't want to set myself up for that kind of heartbreak when there are other perfectly lovely breeds out there without such a high incidence of health problems. 

    I also really enjoyed hearing her opinion on how long puppies should stay with their litter. As a child my dad (who I do not consider a dog expert) always said we needed to get a puppy as young as possible so they didn't become "too doggy." Meaning that they were more interested in other dogs than people. Obviously he was talking about puppies way too young. Then I was involved with a toy breed where all the breeders kept their pups from 12-14 weeks. It's always interesting to hear different opinions. I also appreciated her very plain language about the long lasting problems with early spay and neuter. 

    Anyway, just a really good interview. I would love to have her pick my puppy for me. It sounds like she kind of has it down to a science.

    • I agree with you on most of the interview. She is not a scientist or a physiologist, though, and her explanations of shedding are not science based and are incorrect. There are 3 growth cycles that determine the rate of hair growth and hair loss, anagen, catagen, and telogen, and the length of those vary from breed to breed. In Poodles and other non-shedding breeds, the anagen cycle is very very long and others very short, which is why there is virtually no hair loss. It's not just about matting, lol.  I've heard it said that Poodles' coats are almost always in an anagen cycle. There's also the matter of the lack of an undercoat. 
      I also disagree strongly that there is any harm at all in puppies staying with their litters until they are 10 weeks old. Speaking only anecdotally, the dogs I've owned who stayed with their litters the longest were the ones who had the easiest time with separation. I mean, maybe there is a problem if a puppy stays with the litter for months, but there is absolutely no harm in 10-12 weeks. 
      I loved that she validated my opinions on doodle breeders starting with inferior stock to begin with, and the negative effects on puppies of guardian moms going back to their "real" homes when the puppies are only 4 or 5 weeks old. 

      • I wonder if staying longer WITHOUT Mama dog being there and without kick ass socialization is really the issue. If you're breeding 3+ litters at a time and sending home Mama at 5 or 6 weeks, I can see that puppies might bond more to other dogs. But not in a permanent way.

    • I'm in about the same headspace for my next dog.

      I haven't thought too hard about what breed I want but I was leaning towards an Aussie or a red standard poodle.  It's going to be hard to convince DH though he doesn't really understand why I was so picky selecting Riley's breeder.  Decisions like that are easier when you only have to convince yourself :p

      I thought what she said about picking the calm puppy was interesting.  Luna was very calm as a baby when we picked her out, she was basically just sitting on DH's feet as if to say "ok I've chosen you, let's go".  Unfortunately she didn't live long enough to see if her joints would do well as she aged but she certainly didn't have any physical issues in her 7.5 years.  Riley we didn't pick her out in person but she was pretty calm when she came home.  Not so much anymore lol but she definitely doesn't have any trouble standing stock still like a big furry statue.

      • I would love to see examples of the "busy" vs normal.  

        • Rosco was sooooo lazy.  Boca was busy.  Can't say that's much of a sample size but Rosco made it a good 11 yrs before any arthritis was obvious.  Boca had torn one CCL by age 6 and another at 9. 

        • We visited Jasper's breeder when he was 6 weeks old. In retrospect, I would choose to go later, at maybe 7-8 weeks. 
          When we were there, the puppies were mostly sleeping. Jasper was one of the last to join the pile of puppies sleeping in and around my daughter's lap, lol. I wouldn't describe him as "busy", but he did seem more independent than the others. he was calmly exploring as opposed to joining in the puppy wrestling matches. In subsequent videos the breeder posted, Jasper was still less likely to follow the pack, and he seemed to be exploring things in a less excited state than some of the others. 
          Still, a good breeder is breeding for consistency of temperament as well as appearance, and the 5 pups in Jasper's litter were all very similar in behavior. The alpha and beta females were the busiest (and that holds true to this day), and picked on the third female a lot. Jasper and his brother were in the middle of the pack, and so similar that I couldn't choose one of them until the day Jasper actually came home, lol. 
          There was one video our breeder posted when they were about 8 weeks old. They were all digging a big hole in her yard, lol. When the breeder approached them and spoke to them, the most submissive female was the first to stop digging and look at her, closely followed by Jasper. His brother was third, and the two "top ranking" female puppies never stopped digging or even took their heads out of the hole to look at her. I think that might be telling. I'm in touch with the owners of three of his four littermates, and nothing much has changed in their comparative behavior. 


          • That's so neat how they maintained their energy levels.  I always wonder how useful *I* am as a buyer in making a decision about a puppy.  I wonder if I'm reading it right or if I just happened upon the puppies when half of them were exhausted from roughhousing and the awake ones simply slept longer.  I have to trust the breeder that they have watched the pups intently for many weeks.

            Interestingly, Boca became less busy after Rosco passed.  It was almost immediate.  It's as if she needed to be busy with another dog there and then suddenly her busy "job" was done as an only dog.  

    • I have to say that I am kind of a black/white person in many areas of life.  I want there to be solid expert opinions that are irrefutable and all experts agree on so it does drive me a bit bonkers when diff experts have differing opinions on things I want to be more 100% clear.  So for example, when the vet behaviorist put in a vote for keeping pups till 10-12 weeks and Pat said 8-9 weeks...makes my brain exhausted.  I want it to be clear.  Although I guess if someone was using Pat or a similar structure expert to help in puppy selection at 8 weeks...that may lead to pups being kept till 9 weeks.  Also if a breeder is amazing at interacting with, training, crate prepping, socializing a litter --then everyone benefits from puppies staying longer.  But if a breeder is less able to do all that, then it's MUCH better for a puppy to come home right at 8 weeks so that their owner can get the job done in that critical developmental period.

      Definitely considering a pure breed for a future dog-from-a-breeder.  But will likely always have a rehomed/rescue doodle too.  The thing that makes me very hesitant is that virtually ALL breeds I like have *something* kind of built into the breed.  Like Standard Poodles and Addisons.  Obv they don't all have Addisons but it can pop up even after a few generations without it.  That worries me.  Neither have a very useful test.  The only test for SA is a skin punch which doesn't really rule out that dog will develop it 6 months later.

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