In preparation for bringing your new puppy home, we highly recommend doing a little homework! Here are some of the books we have found very helpful (though you don't have to read them all!):
If you prefer to listen rather than read, behaviorist Dr. Jen has some great podcasts about early puppyhood education:
Favorite Toys & Gear
Hide-A-Squirrel by Outward Hound. Our dogs love pulling the squirrels out of the stump! Nabisco takes especially good care of the squirrels, though some of our other dogs are inclined to pull the stuffing out.
I got it on Amazon.com ~Lydia
Dog collars, harnesses, and leashes by Lupine Pet. Made in New Hampshire and guaranteed, even if chewed! Many of our dogs have been wearing Lupine gear for years. It's great quality and comes in so many beautiful designs!
I've bought directly from Lupine, from our vet, and on Amazon.com ~Lydia
Awesome Bandanas by Cooper Loves Sophie.
Cooper and Sophie are two Dutch Haven dogs who live in New York. Their high quality bandanas come in a bunch of fun colors and designs and are just the thing for a Cockapoo to step out in style!
Buy directly from Cooperlovessophie.com ~Lydia
Ethical Pets Skinneeez Crinklers. They squeak. They crinkle. They don't have stuffing to pull out. They're soft. They come in a variety of cute designs. The puppies adore them!
I usually buy on Amazon.com ~Lydia
Chuckit! Squeaky Ball. It's held up to even our strongest chewers, and the medium is just the right size for our mature dogs. Hanna carries hers everywhere with her, and it's been a great bark-deterrent - even when she wants to bark we can't hear her because it's muffled behind her ball!
My go-to shopping cart is on Amazon ~Lydia
We are good friends with artist Pete Dixon, who loves to paint and has done several really nice dog portraits for some of our doggy friends! Contact him to see about capturing your Dutch Haven dog on canvas!
One of our Dutch Haven families highly recommended Cozy Companions for locally made dog coats and beds. They have a wide variety of colors and patterns so you can order a custom coat just right for your Dutch Haven dog! Karen (owner of two Dutch Haven girls!) tells us, "The owner, Deborah Joyce, is fantastic. Sadie and Brandy have several custom made coats and fleece sweaters to keep them warm, dry, and fashionable! They both love the Pet Puffs most of all and not any of the manufactured dog beds we bought before. The great thing about these is that the pillow, bed, and cover can all be washed in a washing machine to keep them clean and fresh."
The Docking Question
As many of you already know, our background as a family was in raising purebred Cocker Spaniels. Here in the United States, it is most common to dock the tails of Cocker Spaniel pups shortly after birth, and that is what we did as well.
Years ago, when we bred our first Cockapoo puppies, we decided to leave the tails intact. We did this for our first three litters, enjoying those cheerfully wagging puppy tails! However, as these pups matured, we discovered that some of the pups did not hold their tails up very high, even to the point of sometimes letting them drag on the ground. For some reason, they seemed to lack the musculature to fully elevate their tails. With health and hygiene concerns in mind, we decided to return to docking all of the tails. This process has always been done by our vet, using a stitch to help ensure healing is quick and safe.
We understand that the tail is an important communication device for dogs, so we have tried to make sure to leave enough length that the pups can clearly communicate with their people and with other dogs, too. But over the years we have often thought about those long tails!
Now that we have a number of Cocker Spaniels as part of our program, we have decided to give long tails another chance. Our decision all those years ago was based on litters who all had the same mother and father. Now, we have several active studs, and over a dozen active mamas in our Dutch Haven family. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to begin offering some litters with natural-length tails. We will be selecting from our Cockers who naturally hold their tails in a more upright position. Our adopting families can choose a pup with a docked tail or natural-length, depending on their preferences.
If you are already on our waiting list, we will still offer you the earliest available puppies, regardless of tail status. If you have a tail preference, you will have the option to wait for a litter that has pups that best meet your desired parameters.