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Hi DK friends!

DK started an Instagram account just over a week ago and I'm trying to intersperse bits of education between photos. So far we've shared info on:

-- finding a rescue
-- choosing a responsible breeder
-- why doodles are not "hypoallergenic"

Now we can break each of these down into smaller bits of info and CONTINUE to educate on specifics, but wondering what you think are top priority OTHER topics worth doing education on via social media?  Some ideas I have are on poodle facts/history and retriever facts/hx for the sake of education on the parent breeds...but what else?

What should other doodle owners and potential doodle owners know?  What do you want to shout from the mountain tops?

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Me shouting from a mountain top:
TRAIN YOUR DOG!!!!!!!!!

What's that? Couldn't hear me?
TRAIN YOUR DOG!!!!!!!!

Being involved in rescue as well as too many dog-oriented forums and FB groups, I am astounded and dismayed by the numbers of adult dogs who clearly have received little to no training, and doodles are high on the list of dogs I hear about who have behavior issues ranging from being untrustworthy in the house (go in the garbage, counter surf, tear up things that don't belong to them, etc) and pulling on the leash to reactivity, severe resource guarding, bolting out of the house, and even biting people. Sadly, I often hear about these dogs when their owners submit rehome applications to DRC.

I know the doodle breeders advertise them as "living teddy bears", but guess what? That's marketing.

They're dogs, and they don't come trained and well-behaved. They need to be taught. 

Training. It's not just for German Shepherds. 

HUGE ditto on training !!  I get so tired of hearing people say "She's so calm and well-behaved, I'm getting a dog like that next time!"  I want to scream at them that dogs don't come that way, but they need to be trained and have appropriate energy outlets that allow her to then be well-behaved in public.  I know they are trying to be nice, but they don't realize how many training classes we have been to, how much exercise she gets EVERY day, and that she has been exposed to soo many different situations that she knows what is expected of her.  (And if it is a rare situation she is unsure of, she has had training that she KNOWS that the heel position by my side is her 'safe zone".)

I get every dog is different, and has different abilities and needs, but dang, it just makes me so sad to see dogs given up when they were just never given a chance because they were never trained.

Sorry for the soapbox.

Preach it, sister! 

Not a week goes by that DRC isn't contacted by someone about rehoming a doodle who has resource guarding issues. Of course, the owners rarely know that what is going on is called resource guarding; usually they talk about aggression. In many if not most cases, there is already a bite history. And of course, they have no idea that this is a training issue. Never been to a class, never learned to teach a dog leave it or drop it, never learned to trade with the dog, never learned the basics of "nothing in life is free", never even heard of it. Just today, a third party contacted us about a mini goldendoodle whose owner is threatening to have her euthanized on Monday (!!!!!!) because of "toy possessive issues." :(

My favorite part of DK's "Considering a Doodle?" article (under the Help tab above) is this, which reads a lot like what you said above:

"That doodle you met at the park -- he and his owners have worked very hard to get the calm dog you see before you.  He has most likely been through several training programs and gets walked several miles per day along with some vigorous off leash exercise and obedience practice.  "

And in keeping with that, THIS:

Dog Trainer Unpopular Opinion of the Day:

My dog is not my child.

My dog is not my furbaby.

I am not her mother.

My dog is my friend. She is my partner and my companion. To treat her like a child, to infantilize her and make it seem as though she needs my constant coddling or protection, would be unfair to her.

She is an adult carnivore that I have brought into my human world. Because of that it is my responsibility as her owner:

1) To communicate with her in a way she can understand.

2) To provide leadership, discipline and mutual respect.

3) To understand her instincts and needs, and provide appropriate outlets for them.

4) To train her and provide her the skills to function effectively in our human world, including acceptable manners and behaviors.

Our dogs deserve to be given responsibility and allowed to be adult creatures, not perpetual babies. Please, don't try to make them tiny humans, they aren't and they don't want to be. Dogs are wonderful because they are dogs. Let them be dogs.

Teach them to be good ones.


Also, since apparently being told the furry mammal they live with isn't actually human is terribly upsetting to some people:

My point is that dogs aren't people. Trying to make them into tiny people or spoiling them very often leads to insecure, anxious, reactive, fearful or aggressive behaviors. Hell, spoiling your children causes the same issues. Try applying those same guidelines above to them too.

If your dog can be babied with zero negative consequences, ok. Enjoy your unicorn dog. But if a person's dog shows any of the above behaviors, the babying/coddling is the first thing that needs to change.

No one really cares if you call your dog your baby. It's treating them like one that causes issues.

~Kat Carter

So from your two suggestions I got:

  • Train your dog
  • Doodles aren’t actually teddy bears
  • Doodles aren’t children

And I'm going to add

  • Doodles don't need "room to run" 


Although I have to change these from being "nots" and negative to something a bit more positive or I'm going to end up preaching to the choir...lol.  Which feels really good when the choir claps back enthusiastically, but may not reach as many.

The other day when I posted my "Doodles are not hypoallergenic" I showed it to my 9 yo and had to define hypoallergenic and her response was "Why don't you post something happy?"   

I think the following is worded in a very positive way; there are no don'ts or and few nots. It's about DO :


"Because of that it is my responsibility as her owner:

1) To communicate with her in a way she can understand.

2) To provide leadership, discipline and mutual respect.

3) To understand her instincts and needs, and provide appropriate outlets for them.

4) To train her and provide her the skills to function effectively in our human world, including acceptable manners and behaviors.

Our dogs deserve to be given responsibility and allowed to be adult creatures, not perpetual babies. Please, don't try to make them tiny humans, they aren't and they don't want to be. Dogs are wonderful because they are dogs. Let them be dogs.

Teach them to be good ones."

I got a ton of push back on my FB page when I tried saying this in my own words: that the people whose knowledge of dogs we most admire never refer to dogs as "fur babies".  (A term which always makes me gag.) Several people responded that they do think of their dogs as their children, that they do call their dogs "fur babies", and one person (whose post I deleted out of embarrassment for her and a refusal to allow my FB page to be used a psychiatrist's couch) justified her use of the term "fur baby" by saying that she had never  had human children and never had parents or other people in her life who gave her unconditional love. Whew, that's a lot to put on one little dog. I think it's significant that this same person posts "cute" photos of trash and torn up paper that this 9 year old "furbaby" regularly strews about her home. 
Perfectly illustrating my point.

In fact, I find a direct correlation between the amount of "fur baby" sentiment someone expresses and the amount of bad behavior and/or anxiety issues displayed by their dogs.
But be prepared for a lot of pushback from people who may similarly respond when you tell them their dogs are not children. 

Some people will always consider dogs their babies--I guess as long as it isn't hurting either of them, so be it.  But it sure can create problems!

I got a little pushback on the hypoallergenic post because "hypo" just means lower not "non-allergenic."  I'm okay with that.  Mostly because nobody who has dog allergies wants a dog that is "less" allergenic, they want one that is NOT allergenic at all.  And the way people use these words is intermixed.  

I saw that one comment about "low not non" and it read just like something a doodle breeder would post. She objected to your post as being "misleading". Who is being mislead by that? Isn't it better to know that the dog might affect your allergies and end up pleasantly surprised than the opposite? Only someone who is selling puppies would object to that, IMO. 

I call Riley "baby" as a term of endearment.. but I have zero illusions that she is a large, powerful carnivore and not in fact a baby.  :p

It's fine to call Riley or any pet "baby" or "fur baby" if you want. Actually my real kids would be offended if I refer to them as baby (lol)! I think the real message is that pets should be trained properly and not allowed to have bad behavior and control. I understand and certainly agree.  My Khloe will try me because she is tiny and people just look and  think oh look at the cute little yorkie.   I have to be cautious and vigilant because this little toy dog has teeth and will bite.  I can't allow her tiny cuteness to be her free pass.  Khloe is a toy dog but not a toy.

There are plenty of people who don't train their small dogs at all.  They tend to get away with it too because if the little terror is not behaving they just pick up the dog and they are no longer a threat to anyone.  

I absolutely agree that a lot of people who get dogs (in general, not isolated to doodles) don't make any effort to train their dogs... or really don't do their research about what a big commitment it is to have a dog of any size.  I do feel like big dogs everything is just amplified and the difficulty level is increased, I imagine there are more standard doodles in rescue than minis.

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