PUPPIES ARE DIFFERENT
Working dog breeders take advantage of the first few months of a dog’s life to take advantage of a developmental window. Like with young human children, the early development of puppies plays a critical factor in preparing a puppy for its life, and endowing it with skills that might otherwise take months or even years to acquire. Think about language skills in humans. Human children have a window of about seven years where they can easily acquire language skills. While dogs obviously have no language skills, they do have developmental windows in which they can much more easily acquire skills relevant to being a superior pet and companion.
Working and sport dog breeders have specific puppy rearing protocols that the vast majority of pet breeders do not even come close to. These programs include, but are not limited to,
Early neurological stimulation
Reducing or eliminating sensitivity to environmental factors, such as noises and surfaces with different textures
Increasing desired drives while not stimulating undesired drives
Teaching impulse control
Teaching the puppies to be people oriented
Interacting with other kinds of dogs and people and to focus on their human even under distraction
Imprinting desired behaviors, such as manding and manners, walking on a leash, recalling, sitting, and enjoying a crate
Age appropriate physical exercise
The importance of whole-food, biologically appropriate diet for a growing puppy
And more, depending on the puppy’s career path
Pet dogs are not working dogs and shouldn’t be raised exactly the same way. But we have taken our extensive experience with working dogs and created a puppy raising protocol that selects the best qualities of a working puppy program and adapts those toward raising superior companion and service dogs. For example, instead of creating “drive” for tracking a scent, as we would with a working dog, we create drive for things we want them to be enthusiastic about (such as enjoying their crate or focusing on their human), and balancing that with impulse control).
THE COSMOPOLITAN DIFFERENCE PRODUCES SUPERIOR PUPPIES. When we wanted to focus on having pet and companion dogs, we got our first Goldendoodle. Like potato chips, we couldn’t stop with just one.
The problem was, we discovered that with very little exception, pet breeders did not prepare their dogs for life the same way working dog breeders do, to the detriment of the pet dog and its new family.
Our new companion dogs were wonderful and sweet. They had great natural temperaments but were not raised in an environment that allowed them to be the best they could be.
They weren’t started on crate training. They had some natural confidence, but nothing like the confidence they would have had if they had been given opportunities to build confidence as puppies. They had no imprinting for manners or obedience and absolutely no impulse control. They were clueless about the concept of housebreaking.
Because we have so much training experience, we were able to help our dogs overcome their modest start and become superb companion dogs for us. But we realized that the average pet owner might not have that experience, and most likely wouldn’t have the time it would take to overcome sparse developmental beginnings.
So we worked on developing a program that would apply our extensive working dog development to creating superior companion dogs. We studied the scientific literature on the subject, and consulted other breeders, trainers, and veterinary professionals. We found Jane Killion’s Puppy Culture Program and incorporated that and Avidog Transformational Puppy Rearing into our own protocols.
(NOTE: Many breeders say they use Puppy Culture but really don't follow or even do the program at all. To ensure your breeder is actually raising Puppy Culture puppies, always request videos of the puppies and or/process as proof. Our videos can be found here.)
Because of this, when you take home a puppy from us you are not just getting a puppy from a knowledgeable breeder, but from a breeder who has decades of training experience. Instead of receiving a puppy that is ready to start training, you receive a puppy that has already been properly started by professional trainers and on track to success before she even comes home with you. See below for more specifics about what gives our program an advantage over all others.
While your puppy is too young to be fully trained when she goes home with you, she will have been imprinted with desired behaviors and learned the basics of impulse control and will be well ahead of other puppies in your first obedience class.
For tens of thousands of years, dogs have co-evolved with us. During that time, we selectively bred them to do work for us—hunting, guarding, herding, and more. It is only in relatively recent time that dogs have been bred solely as companion animals.
All breeds, therefore, were originally working dogs. As such, the majority of dogs still have working drives or some vestige thereof.
Drives that haven’t been preserved as working drives can be expressed in strange and sometimes destructive ways. For example, prey drive in a pet dog can cause the dog to have an overwhelming desire to chase and knock down a child. Or drives that have been properly preserved don’t necessarily have a place in a home. For example, the drive of a herding dog to bite at the heels of a herd can manifest as a dog that bites the ankles of family members or guests.
Because of our background with training dogs for a wide variety of lifestyles, we have an understanding of canine behavior and drive that most pet breeders do not. We are able to take drive and temperament into consideration in our breeding program, and additionally, we know how to raise puppies to do as much as we can during the sensitive early developmental periods to shape those drives to create the ideal companion or service dog.
This is a great example of impulse control, which our puppies learn from an early age so they can be exemplary citizens.
In the video to the right, Dakota knows that if she wants attention and to come out of her playpen, she should sit quietly—no jumping, barking, or whining.
Puppies aren’t born with impulse control. They see something they want and go after it with gusto. They see food, they eat it. A kitten runs, they chase it. A person comes in the room, they rush over and jump on her. Impulse control is the ability to control behavior and delay gratification, and it must be taught.
Some dogs give up quickly when they can’t get what they want, others get more frustrated and frantic. Some bark, whine or even growl or nip.
Lack of impulse control and tolerance for frustration leads to the kinds of behavioral problems that leave dogs tied to trees, locked in garages, surrendered to shelters, or worse.
A cornerstone of our program is instilling our puppies with the foundation for proper impulse control to help avoid jumping, rushing through doors, grabbing at food, and other problems. Your puppy will start learning impulse control from a very young age, and we will show you how to continue this training at home so that your Goldendoodle will be the picture of politeness and a delight to be with, as well as the envy of all your neighbors.
The instinctual, inborn motivation of a dog to perform certain behaviors. There are different types of drives in dogs. Common drives include prey drive—the desire to chase something that moves, and hunt drive—the desire to find something.
Accredited Breeder, Goldendoodle Association of North America, adhering to strict Ethics and certified health and breeding standards