Ears and Brags

So, I feel like there is a significant portion of the doodle population that struggles with ear infections. I'm definitely one of them. All three of my girls love to grow yeast in their ears. Maggie is weird, because her ears were great until recently and now she's fighting them too. She doesn't even eat the same food as the other two, so even though I knew I couldn't blame the food, it's just more evidence that it isn't the food. I do kind of blame Willow, because she loves to pull on Maggie's ears. Maybe those two things are related. Anyway, it seems like nothing I do can prevent them. Cleaning them with Epi Otic just seems to irritate them and make them worse. So I took Willow to the vet today for ear cleaning and medication and also because she has an infected whisker. (also because the dogs secretly want us to go bankrupt???) I was telling her that it felt like I just needed to come in monthly to have ears cleaned and medicated. So the vet switched our ear wash to something called Malacetic Ultra. It has 1% hydrocortisone and 1% ketaconazole. I really have high hopes for it. We've also been treating ears with Claro instead of Mometavet. Claro is a one time medication that lasts up to 4 weeks, so we don't have to medicate daily. I can do ear drops, but it's a little indulgence. I just wanted to share about the Malacetic Ultra in case anyone else is struggling with ears that won't cooperate. 

And while I'm here, I just have to brag on Willow for a minute. She's been here almost 9 months. And during that time she's been in class every single week - except the random week when there hasn't been a class. And I've been working with her at home. She has turned into the most delightful little dog. The vet was cleaning out her ears yesterday and came into the exam room to tell me how good she was. She said she was just sitting there letting them work on her. She said she was hating every minute, but she was so cooperative. Then we went to Petsmart to practice loose leash walking and get a fish (because obviously I don't have enough pets!) And she was just wonderful. We even got a compliment on my grooming effort. She met people and other dogs politely. She sat while I looked at things. I'm just so proud that all of our hard work has paid off. One of the poodle breeders I was looking at asks their puppy buyers to commit to 2 years of weekly training. And I thought, wow that's a lot. But I thought, I could do that. And it's such a great investment in our relationship. I'm just so proud of her. I'm also incredibly proud of Maggie, this was just Willow's day. Training really pays off. The people with the small dogs don't get nervous when we're around. I'm just really really pleased with our progress.

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  • You are what every dog owner should be: devoted to your dogs and dedicated to helping them live happily in the world. 

    When you consider that less than 5% of all dog owners do any kind of training with their dogs at all, that should also make you proud of yourself! 

    Ears. That's all genetic and it really has nothing at all to do with food. It's the wooly non-shedding coats and the floppy ears, plus the structure of the individual dog's ear canal. Some are more twisted and/or more narrow than others, and there's nothing you can do about that part of it. When Jasper's breeder visited us recently, she gave him the once-over and was pleased with how "open" his ear canals are. Even so, we've had one ear infection. You really cannot own a Poodle or a dog with a Poodle-y coat and not have the occasional ear infection. Maintenance is crucial, and I wish more doodle breeders educated their puppy buyers about ear cleaning and care.

    I know DK doesn't allow breeder referrals, but I don't think that applies to purebred breeders, and I know that any breeder you'd look at is doing full health testing, etc. So who's the Poodle breeder?

    • Thanks, Karen. That means a lot to me. It's easy to be a good dog owner. I just love them and I love spending time with them. What's the point of having dogs if you don't want to do things with them? 

      Those ears are just so frustrating. I know it's genetic, and that I'm fighting an uphill battle against that all the time. I just wish there was an easy fix. I've never seen a papillon with a dirty ear. Obviously giant, open, upright ears are very different. I have big hopes for this new ear wash. I will happily do the maintenance. I just feel like nothing works very well.

      The poodle breeder is Apparition Poodles. She has a nice website that takes you right to the OFA testing for all of her adults. They do it all - conformation and all of the dog sports. She has a litter every year or two. I'm not the best at pedigrees, but 3 generations out and the relatives are all AKC champions. I watched her puppies grow up on Facebook this summer and I was so impressed with everything she did with them. I can only imagine what well rounded dogs they will grow up to be. I haven't interacted with her, but I imagine that she's everything a person looks for in a breeder. She really does check all the boxes. 

      • Yeah. Breeding really doesn't get better than Apparition. I think it's probably very hard to get one of their pups. 

        • I found a good one, right!? I sometimes think I should talk to her and see if I could get on the list for a puppy so it would be my turn in like 5 years. I have references, even if doodles probably do count against me. I tend to want to wait until I'm actually ready for a puppy to start looking and I think that's not the right way to go about it. One of the ladies at the KC just got a mini schnauzer puppy from Texas and she said she'd been waiting for that breeding for 4 years. 

          I'm thinking about taking Maggie and Willow to a dog show in Des Moines in February. We have the weekend off and that's the closest show. It's only about 3 1/2 hours away. Willow might be ready for Beginning Novice and Maggie might be ready for Intermediate Rally. But it's also Iowa in Feb. So it might be a blizzard. I also found a place where I can take a barn hunt class after the first of the year. It's also 2 1/2 hours away, but I really think Maggie would love it. She lives to chase squirrels. I'm going to try scentwork with Willow in January too. I wish there were more Friday shows close to us. We have the bug and I want more ribbons!

          • I'm so inspired by you. I think you need to start looking for a nice display case. :)

          • I first contacted the breeder of my current puppy (not a doodle) three years ago. I wasn't sure when I would actually be ready for a puppy, but I knew she was difficult to get on the wait list with. So, I contacted her, we chatted, we connected on Facebook and kept in touch. As a result, after my Chase passed away in the summer of 2018 I was able to get on the wait list for her next breeding (the following spring). If I had waited to contact her until I was 'ready', it likely would have been a couple of years before I could get a puppy from her. 

            • I think you need to post some pictures of your new guy. Most people here will never even have heard of his breed, lol. 

              • I agree!  I tried to get a wirehaired viszla breeder to come on the podcast, but the Doodle part is a Scarlett letter...lol.  I thought it would be neat to feature breeds that are scruffy like Doodles so listeners can learn about them. 

                • Have you tried Barbet breeders??

                  •  I kinda gave up assuming they'd all say no.

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