The Furry Farmhouse

Breeding Blog

Welcome to our Breeding Blog!  We will post a variety of things here, including information about Saint Berdoodles, tips for breeders, and the latest happenings at The Furry Farmhouse!

Why Do Saint Berdoodles Cost So Much?

 Why Do Saint Berdoodles Cost So Much?

Ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for?” With dog breeding, this could not be more true.  Reputable breeding is expensive.  Reputable breeding is also worth it.

Factors Influencing Puppy Cost:

  • Reputable Breeding
  • Breeding Costs – Supplies, Food, Supplements
  • Time Associated with Reputable Breeding

Let me explain.  

You decide you want a puppy.  You begin your search online.  Most likely, one of the most deciding factors is PRICE.  How much does the puppy cost?  If it doesn’t fit the budget, the puppy isn’t coming home with you.

Let’s say you decide you want a Saint Berdoodle puppy.  You begin your search.  First of all, finding a Saint Berdoodle can be tough.  When you do find one, you see a few prices.  The lower end is likely around $1500.  The upper end is likely around $3000 plus. 

$1500 sounds better.  But what goes into that $1500 puppy?  Why is one puppy priced at $1500 and one priced at $3000?  They are both Saint Berdoodles.  Why wouldn’t you buy the $1500 puppy?

(Disclaimer: Just because a puppy is less money, does not mean it came from subpar breeding. It may mean that the breeder is willing to part for puppies for less.  Or, it may mean the breeder is having difficulty selling a litter.)

What Goes Into Our Puppies:

  1. Lots of LOVE.  
  2. Quality Supplies
  3. Quality Food
  4. TIME

    Love

    We take care of our mommas, our daddies, and our babies.  We love them as our family, and most of them come home with us at night.

    Quality Supplies

    Numerous supplies are needed to ensure a safe delivery of the puppies.  We keep Oral Cal on hand to ensure labor progresses as necessary and to ensure momma doesn’t have a dangerous drop in calcium when her milk comes in.  In addition, we stock whelping pads, towels, clamps, scissors, cleaning supplies, gloves, heating pads, heating lamps, kennels, and more.

    Quality Food

    We feed on a regular basis Purina Pro Plan to all of our dogs.  

    Once a momma dog delivers, we immediately start her on quality puppy food.  We choose to use Royal Canin Large Breed puppy.  In addition to her dry puppy food, we add Puppy Gold formula, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, sunflower lecithin powder, vitamin supplements, and calcium supplements to her food at each meal.  

    Our puppies nurse with their mother for at least the first 3 weeks of life.  At 3 weeks, if ready, puppies begin to transition to mush.  We use Puppy Gold and Royal Canin Large Breed puppy dry food.  Blended together, it creates a powerful blend of nutrients for these growing babies.  Around 5-6 weeks, puppies transition to all dry Royal Canin Large Breed puppy dry food.

    Each puppy is watched carefully to ensure he or she is ready for dry food.

    Time

    Perhaps the most underestimated part of reputable breeding is the time commitment.  We spend several nights before labor and one week after delivery of the puppies with the momma dog and her babies. 

    We have a suite set up at the business with a bed, shelving, microwave, food processor and more to ensure both the humans and the dogs and puppies are well taken care of.

    We have a webcam set up for 24 hour audio and video access to ensure both mom and puppies are okay.  We watch for any possibility of mom (being a large breed) rolling onto a puppy.  We ensure all puppies are latching and nursing well.

    We weigh puppies up to twice daily to ensure adequate weight gain.  We supplement puppies with quality formula if needed and give extra nutrient support when needed.  Ever heard of a fading puppy?  It happens frequently, and if not watched closely, can end tragically.

    Balancing heat for the puppies with the coolness needed for a large breed momma takes precision and time.  It takes fans strategically placed, as well as heating pad and lamps strategically placed.

    Breeding Practices that Say RUN THE OTHER WAY

    As a dog business owner, we have had the opportunity to peer into the world of a few other breeders.  Breeders occasionally approach us to sell their puppies for them.  We have yet to agree to this, as we have not had a breeder YET that meets our standards.

    Things to Watch Out For, Red Flags:

    • The breeder won’t show you where the puppies are.  You’ve never seen pictures or videos of the whelping area/breeding area/living quarters.
    • You’ve never seen pictures or videos of the mother and father of the puppies.

    It can be very normal to not actually see the mother and father in person.  For us, Waffles is very protective of her puppies.  It’s actually quite safer if she isn’t around when you’re looking at her babies.

    Beau, on the other hand, is fine for you to look at, IF you can catch a glimpse of him. He’s very shy and timid, and usually runs the other way! 

    • The breeder cannot give you a clear picture of the puppy’s lineage.

    If the breeder can’t give you details about mom and dad, chances are they are unsure themselves.  This is a red flag.  This signals a puppy mill at times.  You want to ensure there is no inbreeding occurring.

     

    Ultimately, it is your decision.  Reputable breeders spend thousands of dollars and hours of time to breed healthy, quality puppies.  We desire to ensure our puppies go to homes where they will be loved, nurtured, cared for, and are at homes with a means of caring for them financially.   

    The cost of the puppy is not the end of the money you will spend.  There will be veterinary care, grooming costs, and supplies for home that will be necessary for your new furry friend.  

    Puppies can be expensive.  Make sure you are prepared before embarking on the journey.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out any time.  

    She WAS Expecting! Saint Berdoodles…

     She WAS Expecting!

    Surprise! Waffles had eight beautiful Saint Berdoodles last Thursday!  They are now one week old.  She had four boys and four girls.  Two creams and two tricolors in each male and female.  It is a beautiful litter!

    The above photo is Cookie, one of our cream males.  Isn’t he absolutely gorgeous?!  I can’t even with that face! More to come!

    Is Waffles Expecting?

    Is Waffles Expecting?

    We think she might be! It’s too early for pregnancy confirmation just yet.  She’s been a bit irritable lately.  I know I was irritable when I was pregnant! 

    I’ve spent some of today making a list of things we need for upcoming puppies.  I even ordered a couple things.  Hoping I’m not jinxing anything!  I’m just so sure she is pregnant!

    I’m getting excited about the possibility of some sweet Saint Berdoodle puppies.  But the work… oh the work.  We have lots of it ahead of us.  

    If you’re interested in a Saint Berdoodle puppy, scroll up or down and add your name to the email list! 

    Saint Berdoodles Coming Soon

    SAINT BERDOODLES COMING SOON🤞

    Well, much to our surprise, Waffles is in heat!  Not quite 7 months post her litter of puppies, she is again in heat.  We had honestly expected it to happen a few months down the road.  But here we are!

    When I look back at my previous post, it’s kinda funny.  When I wrote about “Looking forward to puppies…,” I had no idea it would be so soon.

    Guess we better get busy prepping our area and stocking up on supplies.  If all goes according to plan, we could have puppies around the beginning of July.  Poor Waffles… it’s gonna be HOT!  No worries, though, we will be sure to spoil her a little extra.  She absolutely loves our swimming pool at home.  I think some prenatal canine aquatherapy is in store for her!

     

    Looking Forward to Puppies

    Looking Forward to Puppies…

    Left to right (dogs): Rosie, Finn, Otis at 6 Months Old; Momma Waffles also pictured

    Waffles (our Saint Bernard) is now over 6 months postpartum.  Rosie (our Saint Berdoodle) is now a little over 6 months old!  It’s got us thinking about when the next litters of puppies may arrive!

    With that, come thoughts of preparation.  We’ve been doing some brainstorming about the possibilities for our breeding area at The Furry Farmhouse.

    With the last litter, we set up an area in our garage at home.  We had a whelping box and several kennels to accommodate Waffles and her puppies.  Obviously, we learned a lot, as that was our first experience with a litter of puppies.  

    We learned that when the time comes, it’s nice to make sure you have everything you, Momma, and babies need nearby.  

    We are a very hands-on family.  We want to be there for Momma, for the puppies.  We probably go overboard, but we cannot help it!  We want to make sure that if anything goes wrong, we are there to help.  

    For us, that means having an area that is both comfortable for us and for the Momma and puppies.  We need quick access to supplies, formula, medications, food, and water.  We need organization to ensure if we need the vet, we have a phone number handy.  And if we cannot get in touch with the vet, we have a backup plan.

    I don’t think people realize the preparation involved and the COST involved with being a responsible breeder.  Yes, our puppies come at a premium.  But did you know that we spent over $7,000 in supplies to prepare for our first litter?  Yes!  

    Between the cost of puppy formula, premium dog food, supplements for Waffles, veterinary visits, various puppy supplies, and various lodging supplies, it adds up!  

    It can also take a toll physically.  The first week the puppies were born, it felt like having a newborn x 9 all over again!  It didn’t help that I threw my back out the very first night they were born getting in and out of the whelping box.  That coupled with lack of sleep is rough!

    In looking to the coming months, we are considering many options.  We plan to move the whelping area to The Furry Farmhouse, creating an area solely for our breeding program.  As part of this move, we will have one room dedicated to whelping, complete with a bed for us to stay in and keep a watchful eye on momma and her babies.

    Nearby, we will have access to a kitchenette, and COFFEE.  My daughter, Ella, and I have been scouring Pinterest for whelping room ideas and decor.  There are some really neat organizational ideas for supplies on there!

    We have so many ideas and aspirations for these upcoming litters.  And we can’t wait to share our progress with you!  Stay tuned!

    Waffles and Purina Pro Plan Food

    Waffles and Purina Pro Plan Food

    Not a lot to report on the breeding front. We continue to wait for Waffles to go into heat again. We obviously want her to be as healthy and as ready as possible. She looks SO GOOD right now. 

    The above photo is her checking out the new grooming table at the business. 

    We switched all of our dogs to Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials All Breeds Chicken Shreds formula. Like everything out there, I saw mixed reviews. But overall, it seemed like a reputable, good choice, recommended by vets. And the dogs are loving it. They eat it up and all seem to have gained a little weight! 

    It does come at a cost. I’m telling y’all, though, I research prices like no other to find the best one. The best price I found was through a company called Fuzzy. We order a LOT of food, like 6 47 pound bags a month! We feed 8 dogs! 

    I checked Chewy, multiple online stores, but came across a company called Fuzzy. Fuzzy offers a discount and low shipping ($2.50 TOTAL on 6 huge bags of dog food!) in exchange for an annual $99 membership. For us, it’s totally worth it. Membership includes access to vets and vet techs 24/7 for advice related to your animals. It helps avoid unnecessary vet calls and visits.  We love it! I even order their Frontline and other various products at a discount. 

    Make sure you sign up below for our Furry Farmhouse Breeding Program email list!

    Grooming a Saint Berdoodle

    Since having out litter of Saint Berdoodle puppies, I’ve groomed them twice. I started grooming our dogs a couple years ago. At the time, we had five dogs. And I just couldn’t stand the thought of paying over $400 to get all of them groomed when needed. So, I bought grooming equipment and figured it out.

    Let me begin by saying that I’ve figured out that typically your dog will be better at the groomer than it will be for you. Our puppies act crazy when we groom them! I get that they are puppies and still learning. But wow… we groomed all three today, and it was a hot mess! They whine, jump around, put their front paws on our shoulders, lift their legs continuously, pull constantly… my back is feeling it currently.

    I’m hoping the more we groom them, the better they will behave. The first time we groomed them, we used the longest comb to keep their beautiful coat fluffy. Recently, however, they’ve taken to rolling in the rain and mud, which has gotten to be quite the hassle. So today, we cut their coat fairly short, but left their faces fluffy. It’s definitely a different look, but still oh so cute.

    As I’ve perused the Saint Berdoodle groups on Facebook, I’ve found different people prefer various groom types for their Saint Berdoodles. Some prefer them long, which requires frequent brushing to avoid mats. Some prefer to keep their coats shorter. Climate also tends to make a difference. It hotter climates, shorter coats may be better. In colder climates, longer coats may be preferred.

    Whatever groom style you choose, start early. The earlier you start getting your dog into the habit of going to the groomer, the better and easier it will be on both of you, and on the groomer. Frequently handling your dog’s paws may also help when it comes to fear of nail trims. Just massage those paws while you’re snuggling together.

    Do Saint Berdoodles Shed?

    After having a litter of F1 Saint Berdoodles, I can tell you that this breed, though having a high shed dog as a parent (Saint Bernard), does not shed much. I do see a tiny bit of shed from our F1 puppies. I suspect F1b puppies would have little to no shed, as these puppies (assuming the pure bred is the poodle) would have more poodle in them than Saint. 

    I’m actually surprised that F1s don’t shed more than they do. Saint Bernards shed so very much. I’d also venture to guess that the shed rate varies from puppy to puppy, litter to litter. That only makes sense from a genetic standpoint. The more poodle, the less shed. The more Saint, the more shed. 

    As a breeder, I don’t think any of us could guarantee a shed level for an F1 Saint Berdoodle. It really depends on a variety of factors, including the coat of the parent as well as a number of genetic factors, making each individual puppy a little different.


    Confused by the F1/F1b/F2 lingo? An F1 is a pure bred female to a pure bred male. For example, a Saint Bernard to a Standard Poodle. An F1B is a pure bred to a Saint Berdoodle. So, a Saint Bernard to a Saint Berdoodle, or a Standard Poodle to a Saint Berdoodle. An F2 is a Saint Berdoodle to a Saint Berdoodle.

    Shed amount is directly related to the amount of poodle in the puppy. The more poodle, the less shed.

    Otis the Lobby Dog and Temperament Tester


    So we opened our business today! I inadvertently skipped a week of writing due to being so completely consumed with getting the doors open to The Furry Farmhouse. But, we opened today, and we survived! We also discovered that Otis, our Saint Berdoodle puppy from Beau and Waffle’s first litter of puppies, makes an awesome lobby dog and temperament tester. We never would have guessed it!

    Ya see, we never would have dreamed Otis would be the dog to do this. We had hoped he would. Honestly, when we decided to keep him (our EIGHTH dog), we intended for him to be the lobby dog at the business. But his behavior at home led us to believe this might not work.

    He is only 5 months old, and still very much a puppy. He may weight 50 pounds, but his overall demeanor is full of puppy like characteristics. He has become known around our house as “the foodie.” He can sniff out food from what seems like a mile away. You open a can of something, he’s there. He hears a bag of chips crackle, he’s there.

    Otis is also the one who never wants to go in his crate. Finn, the 5-month old standard poodle, and Rosie, Otis’ sister, are so very obedient and go willingly as soon as we call them. Otis, on the other hand, rarely comes to the crate when called. He will sit down and look the other direction, blatantly ignoring whomever is calling for him to go in the crate.

    We just assumed that his behavior may cause an issue when it came to being our calm, loving lobby dog and temperament tester. But y’all. He was GREAT today! We couldn’t have asked for a better dude! At 5 months old, he was so chill and relaxed around other dogs. He didn’t growl or bark at anyone, just wagged his tail and inquisitively sniffed around.

    I know everyone has their favorite breed. But these Saint Berdoodles are amazing. Otis is a special guy.

    Breed Back to Back?

    Initially when we began thinking about breeding Saint Berdoodles, we thought it might be better to allow Waffles to have one litter, and then skip a heat cycle, to allow her body a break after having puppies. I mean, as a human, this makes a lot of sense. Having two kiddos back to back (13 months apart) was really hard on my body.

    However, I am a member of several groups on Facebook, including a couple groups where veterinarians weigh in. From what I can gather, many vets say it is actually better to allow breeding back to back. One commented that she was not only a vet, but a breeder also. She said not to compare dogs to humans, that in the wild dogs bred without skipping heat cycles and that “a pregnant uterus was a happy uterus.”

    There were numerous vets who recommended you allow a dog to have a certain number of litters and then spay her, reducing her risk of reproductive cancers. I was surprised to hear this, as I had assumed we would give Waffles a break between litters. But maybe we shouldn’t…

    I realize, just like everything else in the breeding world, this is a controversial topic. Know that we always put the health and well being of our dogs first.


    Waffles at The Furry Farmhouse, 1/23/22

    Waffles last litter of puppies is 4 months old now! Hard to believe! No signs of any heat thus far, but that’s fine with us. She’s busy gaining weight and living the good life, getting spoiled rotten.

    She and Beau are so sweet. They love each other! And they love being together. He will cry at night in his kennel if Waffles isn’t with him. And when she gets to the kennel, he starts jumping so excitedly. It’s just the sweetest!