Q: Where are you located and how do I get my puppy?
A: We are located in near Rochester, MN. We live near a small town in SE MN which is north and east of Rochester, MN. When picking up your puppy, you must bring a crate or have an adult able to hold puppy for travel home. We want a safe trip for driver and puppy.
Q: Do you have a health guarantee and if so for how long? Will they have been seen by a Vet. Will they have had shots and worming?
A: Yes, we do have a full health guarantee. We guarantee all our puppies to 1 year of age. We will go into detail on this subject in our purchase contract. We do vaccines at 8 weeks and worming at 2, 4 ,6, and 8 weeks of age. All our puppies will be vet checked before leaving but will need more vaccinations and worming as they get older.
Q: What type of puppy food do you feed?
A: We start the puppies out on a puppy food called Iams puppy in the yellow bag with the St. Bernard on it. Please purchase this to make the transition from our home to your home the easiest possible for your puppy!
Q: Have the puppies been started on potty, crate, or house training?
A: The age of the puppy determines how much training they have before they leave. All of the puppies get a good start on potty training by watching their mom go outside to go potty. At 8 weeks old, it is still very difficult for the puppies to be able to “hold it” for a long period of time. As the puppies get older, we will start them on crate training, which helps with potty training. We try to make the transition from our home to yours as easy as possible, but the training time varies with age and breed. Some breeds catch on a lot faster than others..
Q: Do you accept deposits to reserve a puppy?
A: Yes, we accept non-refundable deposits of $500 to hold the puppy of your choice. Should an accident or incident occur and your puppy is no longer available or your puppy does not check out with our vet, you will either get your deposit back or you can choose a different puppy that is available.
Q: What are the different payment options?
A: Cash payment is preferred. Deposits and payments can be made with Pay Pal, there is a 4 percent extra charge to use Pay Pal.
Q: Do you have any hypoallergenic breeds or suitable breeds for people with allergies?
A: Yes, we currently have several breeds that would make great pets for those who have allergies, but would still like to have the love and companionship of a puppy. These breeds are Goldendoodles and Bernedoodles. F1B puppies have more poodle in them thus will likely give you a better chance of not having an allergic reaction.
Q: Do you do health testing on the parents?
A: Yes we have testing done on almost all parents. They include the Hips, and Elbows. BUT even though we do testing on our parents it has been found that only 12 percent of dogs with health issues can be considered genetic. So this means any dog can come up with a health problem even if parents are clear of such problem. We also DNA test the parents for common diseases for their breed. Many of our dogs are DNA cleared by parentage meaning that both parents are tested clear thus their puppies would also be clear of those diseases. We test through Embark DNA testing for animals. They are very thorough in their testing and we have been very pleased with the results!
Q: What age do you release your puppies?
A: We let our puppies go home at 8 weeks or older. Sometimes we may require a little longer stay with us if a puppy isn’t quite ready to go at 8 weeks. It is what’s best for the puppy not what’s best for you.
Q: We would like to get one of your pups but we are going on a month vacation when the puppy is ready to be picked up.
A: To be fair to the puppy, it would be best to pick a puppy from a different litter or find a friend or family member to keep the pup for you. We will keep your puppy longer then 8 weeks for you at a cost that is considerably more then the kennel close to you. We will likely be busy working with our dogs to spend enough time with your pup, like you would. We can keep your puppy for $30 per day while you are on vacation. You could also send your puppy to one of the recommended trainers which is $65 per day where they bring the puppies into their home.
Allergies to dogs!
The question is important, as it has been estimated that nearly 5% of the U.S. population have varying degrees of allergies to dogs. The term "hypoallergenic" is a created word and was coined in an advertising campaign for an Almay cosmetic product in the 1950s. The derivation of the word is the Greek "hypo" meaning "below normal or less than" and was used to describe cosmetics that produced fewer than normal allergic skin reactions in individuals with sensitive skin. The FDA tried to define the term "hypoallergenic" by requiring the cosmetic industry to provide evidence that a product with this label caused less allergic complaints. Two cosmetic firms Almay and Clinique that used the term extensively in their advertising sued the FDA and the US Court of Appeals overturned the proposed FDA regulation in 1977. Therefore there is no medical definition or criteria for the term "hypoallergenic". It is commonly used to mean a lower level of allergens or less allergy causing.
We must emphasize that there is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog. (All dogs shed skin cells (dander), lick (saliva), shed some hair and urinate (urine) which are the prime sources of canine allergens.)
Recent studies have demonstrated that Canis familiaris allergen 1 (Can f 1) is the major allergen that causes human allergic reactions. Can f 1 is secreted by tongue epithelial tissue. Can f 2 is secreted by the parotid gland and is considered a minor canine allergen. Both are present in large quantities in saliva and to a lesser degree in urine. Both allergens are small lipocalin proteins which act as ligands when bound to human protein receptors and trigger intense human allergic reactions. Canine albumin also found in saliva and urine can be an allergen in a minority of cases. A recent study has shown that levels of Can f 1 vary widely between breeds and this may explain why some breeds are less allergic (hypoallergenic). The sebaceous glands of all dogs produce some level of Can f 1 and Can f 2. The greater degree of sebaceous gland secretion that we call seborrhea increases the level of Can f 1 found in canine fur. Dried sebaceous gland secretions together with dead skin cells are called dander and contain large amounts of these allergens. This dander becomes attached to fur that is shed into the environment and this explains why breeds that shed are much more allergenic. Dogs that shed their skin cells frequently are also thought to be more allergic than breeds such as BDs who shed their skin cells less frequently with the right coat.
Paradoxical Reduction of Childhood Asthma
Several large recent prospective birth cohort studies have clearly shown that a home with a dog reduces the incidence of childhood asthma if the child is exposed to the dog early in life (less than 1 year of age). The more pets in the household the greater the protection. The most striking observation is that the protection is greatest in families with a strong family history of asthma. This would seem paradoxical since children with asthma worsen with exposure to pets. This protective effect appears to be related to the fact that all dogs and cats for that matter shed endotoxin from Gram-negative bacteria. This may explain why rural children have such a low incidence of asthma since farm animals shed massive amounts of endotoxin. The old belief that "country air was better for asthma" might be caused partially by this finding although polluted urban air clearly plays a role in the high incidence of asthma in children living in large cities. The one takeaway from these studies is that if a young couple with a family history of asthma is planning on starting a family. They may want to bring an allergy-friendly dog breed into the household may lessen the chances of their children developing asthma.
Testing for Allergens
Most allergists rely on some type of testing to sort out the allergens that any individual may be sensitive to. Usually skin prick testing to a wide gamut of potential allergens is used in initial screening. It has been used in diagnosing human allergies for more than a hundred years. Intradermal allergen injection may be done but tends to overestimate the degree of allergic potential to an allergen. Blood tests may be required using ELISA or RAST (food allergies) methodology if the individual cannot be taken off of medications such as antihistamines that might alter the results of skin testing. Blood testing is almost always used to confirm the allergen in an individual who has had an anaphylactic reaction. The recent wide availability of pet allergens produced by recombinant technology allows precise testing for Can f 1, Can f 2, and Fel d 1 (cat allergen). Almost all individuals who are allergic to dogs will have additional environmental allergies and this frequently complicates treatment decisions.
Mechanism of Allergic Response
The human immune system has evolved to defend us against various threats. The Immunoglobulin E system (IgE) is our protection against parasites and when they attack us the human body mounts a tremendous IgE response. "Allergic" or "atopic" individuals generate a similar exaggerated response to nonparasitic allergens. This is medically termed a "Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction". The three most common human environmental allergens that can induce this IgE response are dust, pollen, and pet dander. Less common allergens are certain foods, molds, medications, plants and insect bites. IgE mediated reactions to allergens range from mild such as hives and sneezing, moderate such as wheezing (bronchospasm), or severe such as anaphylaxis. Individuals with severe allergic reactions to dogs that have required aggressive medical treatment should never consider adopting a dog.
Over the years we have found that wavy or loose curly dogs are best for families who have allergies. A tight curly coat tends to trap environmental allergens such as pollens and seeds and brings them inside the home and this can exacerbate other allergies. We have placed tight curly puppies in homes with allergies and they seem to work out well but our preference is a wavy or loose curly coat. INCORRECT COATS ARE NOT NONSHEDDING AS THEY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS DOUBLE-COATED AND DO TRIGGER ALLERGIES WHEN THE UNDERCOAT SHEDS.
Bathing the BD frequently reduces environmental allergens (dirt, pollen, other plant material, etc.) that can be trapped in the coat.
Hand washing after playing with the dog is mandatory.
Carpeting, drapery and upholstery trap allergens in the textile interstices and must be vacuumed with a closed vacuum system with HEPA filter frequently.
Many allergists suggest removal of wall-to-wall carpeting and upholstered furniture to minimize trapping of airborne allergens (dander).
Leather covered furniture is much easier to clean.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) room air filtration systems are mandatory in the rooms that the dog lives in.
Use of impervious mattress and pillow covers with weekly hot water washing of all bedding reduces canine allergens in the bedroom.
Keeping the dog out of the bedroom of the allergic individual or at least off the bed is crucial.
The dog's bedding and particularly his/hers soft toys which are coated with saliva should be washed in hot water twice a week. Use an anti-allergenic detergent such as Nature's Miracle® Anti-Allergen Deodorizing Detergent, Allersearch® AllergenWash™, or AllerTech® Laundry Detergent to wash all bedding and toys.
David E. Smith, MD
Created September 2008
Modified May 26, 2009