About Our Puppies
See Available Litters for current puppies.
A puppy from Spirit Poodles will be a lifetime family friend. I breed for a well rounded poodle, able to be a companion to young children, a running partner, hunting dog, performance dog,agility dog, or service animal. Our pups are a cut above the rest. There is nothing a Spirit Poodle cannot do. And the titles on our versatile dogs prove it! Other breeders claim to have performance poodles, but check if the dogs are actually titled.
We health and genetically test our parent dogs and post those results online for your verification. (www.offa.org) Tests include hips, eyes, elbows, hearts, thyroid, NE, DM, and VWD.
All of our breeding dogs are AKC or UKC Grand Champions and also have at least one performance title. Many of them are ranked in the Top Ten Poodles in America the year that they were showing. Some are titled in multiple dog sports: Agility, obedience, hunting upland/retriever, dock jumping, lure coursing, therapy dog, herding, just to name a few!
We don't believe in inbreeding or line-breeding, but do breed complementary dogs with excellent health and pedigrees. We prefer to wait 3 or 4 years before breeding a female and often breed to the oldest, healthiest stud dogs we can find. We hope this practice, along with health testing, will reduce the incidence of autoimmune diseases so prevalent in all poodles. We have yet to have a heath problem produced in our puppies and are trying to keep it that way!
My dogs are family pets that live in my home, not in kennels. We don't have a breeding/kennel facility. Feel free to visit my home to see my adult dogs. Their puppies are raised in my second bedroom and are a part of our family. A web cam is running 24/7 from the puppies' birth to when they leave at 8-8 1/2 weeks. We love to show off our care of our pups and you can watch your puppy grow! Early socialization is key to a well- adjusted adult and I spend a lot of time on this. I am convinced no other poodle breeder in Minnesota socializes their puppies to the degree I do!
Our puppies are gorgeous, conformationally correct, healthy, and outgoing. The new parents of our previous litters cannot say enough about their intelligence, beauty, and calm temperaments. Please ask for references anytime.
My Socialization ProcessOne of the most important effects a breeder has on their puppies, beyond genetics, pedigrees, and nutrition is the way they bring them up. Dogs are products of both nature and nurture. The experiences puppies have between 1 to 16 weeks shape their personality for life. Positive socialization makes for happy, bombproof dogs that are adaptable and easy to live with. My goal is to give puppies as much preparation for their lives as I can in the short 8-9 weeks I have them. We raise our puppies in an "enriched environment"
My socialization process includes:
Week 1: Puppies are handled during the birthing process, weighed, and marked with a colored color. They are weighed and held daily. At day 3, their tails are docked. At day 5 we start the neuro stim biosensor exercises. Otherwise they are kept with mom in a quiet warm enviroment.
Week 2: Biosensor is continued daily. Weighed daily and held gently. Still kept warm and with mom, as growth and food are most important. Bedding is changed as often as needed for puppy and mom's comfort. Puppies may start opening eyes during this week.
Week 3: Biosensor is continued until day 16. Weighing continues until midweek, thereafter weighed weekly. Pups have visitors holding them gently, as well as our family. Mom spends a bit more time away, and pups are up toddling around with open ears and eyes. They get soft toys of multiple sizes to play with. Soft food and goats milk is introduced. We move them out of the whelping box at the end of this week.
Week 4: Puppies are in a small area with fencing, walls, and windows. Eating, sleeping, and pottying areas are available to them. Introduction to large litterboxes (pine pellets) and paper show them the correct area to eliminate. Music daily. Total darkness and silence at night. Soft, hard, and chewy toys available. Toys available, as well as the mini tunnel. Hard food and fresh water available as well as soft food, but mom still feeds and stays with them day and night. Handled by many visitors and taken out for their first outdoor time with mom. Allowed supervised play in other rooms in our home. Usually wormed this week. First bath and dry
Week 5: Puppy area gets bigger, and allows them a larger play space that is on the tile, allowing them the opportunity to make better choices of going potty in their litterboxes. They are getting very good at this by now! Larger play objects are added, like a small pause table, tiny jump, cardboard boxes, teeter board,large stuffed toys. A new toy is added daily, in a variety of textures and sizes. Pups play daily with adult dogs that are not their mother. Pups go outside to play in our big yard (in any season) twice daily for up to an hour. They start to learn the doggie door. In summer, they get a baby pool to play in (supervised) Music and talk radio stations change daily for different noises. Fan, vaccum, and loud bangs are introduced. Of course lots of visitors including children and older folks. Our Sunday open houses often have up to 30 people in a day visiting the babies. Starting on weaning, hard kibble is available at all ties, and soft food is offered 3 times per day. Bathed and shaved on face, feet, and tail.
Week 6: More cognatively able, the pups get the full puppy room, with no more papers, and just two large litterboxes. Accidents outside the boxes are infrequent. Doggie door is mastered, and they are allowed full range to go in and out (unless under 10 degrees) into a 10X4 fenced run. Morning and afternoon they are allowed to go into the full yard with the adults. Mom is beginning to feed infrequently. New toys include a mini dog walk, tiny teeter totter, cardboard tubes and more. Bird wings are used as fetch toys. All these build on activities and challenges from past weeks.
Week 7: Car trip as a group. In summer, go to the beach to feel sand and go in the water. Introduced to clicker training, come, and sit. Lots of outdoor exploring, fetching toys, and learning to interact with adult dogs who like, and dislike them (learning social cues). Puppies get a full haircut and bath. By this time they have been in every room in our home. One litterbox available, but 90% of pottying is done outside via the doggie door. Firecrackers/gunshots are introduced in a safe way. Activities are continuing to build on last weeks. Formal temperament testing is completed by a stranger to the litter. They are also evaluated by us and other breeders for their physical structure and our show picks are picked near 8 weeks. Shots and vet checks are done at the vet at almost 8 weeks. Final worming is performed.
Week 8: Puppies start to go to their new homes and begin their lives with their loving families!
Where we raise our pups
Our Puppies go home with: