Breeding frequency and bitch age:
The key to understanding reproductive health in dogs is knowing that, as far as a bitch’s body knows, there is no difference between being pregnant and not being pregnant, after a heat cycle.
Those of us (humans, cows, horses, etc.) that cycle on a regular basis prepare our uterus to accept a fertilized egg or eggs every month or so. For a couple of weeks after ovulation we have a higher-than-normal progesterone level, which makes the uterus, which has grown a bunch of soft blood vessels and tissue, keep those vessels and tissue thick and strong so a fertilized egg can land on a lovely spot where there’s lots of blood to suck up and start growing its own little blood vessels.
For humans and other repeated cyclers, when there is no fertilized egg, the body gets the signal very quickly and the ovaries stop producing progesterone and the lining of the uterus breaks down and goes back to normal, at least for another few weeks until ovulation occurs again.
Dogs have a completely different system.
It starts out roughly the same, with the uterus preparing for the eggs by growing a good plush lining, and the eggs ripen on the ovaries and hooray, there’s some lutenizing hormone, and the eggs are released. It gets a little weirder from there, because unlike humans that have fertilizable eggs within a few hours of ovulation dogs’ eggs take two or three days. And unlike humans, whose eggs implant and begin to grow into the blood vessels about a week after ovulation, dogs take about three weeks. But the process is basically analogous.
Where dogs are VERY unlike us is that there is never any signal given to the body that there are in fact no fertilized eggs to nourish, that this has been an unsuccessful heat cycle.
Instead, a dog’s progesterone level stays high for the entire 63 days that she would have been pregnant; her uterus develops the incredibly effective and thick system of blood vessels that would be necessary to nourish an entire full-term litter.
You can honestly say that the only difference between a bitch who was bred and a bitch who was not bred is how many calories she’s burning–either she has to support a litter or she doesn’t–because her body honestly doesn’t know any difference. Aside from some relaxin to loosen her joints (which is present in pregnant dogs but not in non-pregnant ones after the heat cycle is over), the hormone levels are the same.
This would all be just a veterinary curiosity were it not for the fact that the body doesn’t like growing things and then not using them. When the uterus grows this tremendous blood supply, the blood supply actually shapes itself as though there are puppies there. The little attachment sites where the placentas would grow into the uterine lining are shaped differently and have different types of blood vessels. When there are no puppies to fill those shapes, the attachment sites form cysts. After multiple empty heat cycles, much of the uterus can be filled with fluid and cysts. In many bitches, that progresses to infection and pyometra.
The upshot of this whole situation is that bitches are not meant to have empty heat cycles. All else being equal, it is better and safer for them to be pregnant at each heat cycle (or spayed) than it is for them to remain unbred. And diet, panties, and other interventions (or lack thereof) are not the answer – the answer is to use the uterus or lose it.
Now of course not all things are equal. We all keep bitches unbred so we can finish them, or special them, or because it’s not a good time for a litter according to our schedule, or because we don’t have the time to screen puppy people, etc. We typically skip at least the first cycle if it came before the bitch was fully grown, so she can put all her calories into growing. I think that’s a perfectly reasonable trade-off to make, from a veterinary health perspective, though I am not sure it must happen; in production-based species like sheep and goats we know that breeding the young females before they are done growing is actually beneficial to them (when you look at lifelong production and health) and they catch up just fine. But I’m not comfortable looking at a bitch who’s still a puppy with puppies, and I would not want to risk a glitch in growth, so waiting until the bitch is fully adult is something I’d always advise.
I don’t think it’s necessary to wait a full two years, though, that became conventional wisdom because OFA gives you a final number at that age. But if you PennHIP or if you choose to rely on orthopedic opinion, or if you have a breed with virtually no dysplasia, there’s no reason to wait until the full two.
Skipping the first season, or the first couple, is certainly totally normal. Sometimes we have to skip more because of our needs or timing. But after full growth has been attained, she’s finished or shown as much as you plan to show her, health testing is done, and the bitch’s reproductive life is ready to begin, what is not supportable, from a health perspective, is INSISTING that bitches skip seasons; I’ve even heard people say that the “best” breeders skip two seasons between each litter.
This is purely us thinking of dogs like humans–we get tired and worn and unhealthy if we produce babies every nine to twelve months, so shouldn’t we give dogs at least a year–but it’s not the same thing! Humans are pregnant for nine months, and we are designed to lactate for another two years (minimum) after birth. If you put a pregnancy in the middle of that lactation you deplete yourself; you want to complete the full lactation (or the time the lactation would have lasted if you choose not to breast-feed) and then get pregnant again. This leads to babies two or three years apart, which is (if you look around at your family and friends) what usually happens anyway and is certainly not viewed as unusual or dangerous.
Bitches are pregnant for nine-ish weeks (though they are actually nourishing puppies for only six of those weeks), they lactate heavily for about four or five weeks after that, and then typically have at least two months before their next heat cycle. Unless her calories were so inadequate that she did not recover her normal body weight during those two months (and if she didn’t, I’d be looking seriously at how she’s being fed and cared for) there’s no reason she cannot have a normal and safe and uneventful pregnancy on the next heat. There is CERTAINLY no reason to rest her for two seasons; in fact, you’re making it a lot more likely that she will have reduced fertility or fecundity (number of healthy puppies) if you do.
Remember that as far as ANY bitch’s body is concerned, she IS having two litters a year. You don’t “do her a favor” by having one or both of them be invisible.
Most of our puppies are reserved at birth by families who have already have a deposit placed. On the rare occasion we do have a puppy available, he/she will be posted on the Puppies page.
Please begin by filling out an application. I will contact you after reviewing your application with an opportunity for you to place a deposit. This will begin the process of getting your foot in the door.
The wait time varies. The more particulars you have, the longer the wait. To view how selections happen please begin by reading the Our deposit system Page. On average, deposit families are offered a position in a litter within 5-7 months of placing their deposit.
Yes. Our smallest Bordoodles are 10-20lb.
Yes. We currently breed F1, F1b and F2b. We will be breeding multigen by the end of 2020.
Our standards are 40-55lb.
Yes. Our “moyan” (French term used in the purebred Poodle world for medium) Bordoodles are 20-35lb.
Rarely. If we have an adult available he/she will be posted on our Facebook page.
No. Our puppies are $2,800.
Yes. Once or twice a year we donate a top of the line Bordoodle to a local Service Dog training organization.
We do! See our Bred for Brilliance Border Collie page.
Yes! Many of our puppies have been placed with working families and it is possible! I will teach you how to use an X-Pen system properly while you’re gone long hours. Potty training will likely take a little longer than if someone were home but it is absolutely do-able! We have designed a healthy and productive plan for working families with their new puppy.
Absolutely not. We use high quality Border Collies that are bred for a balanced energy level, not the Americanized neurotic Border Collie. Puppies are puppies and they have energy. A tired puppy, is a good puppy 🙂 Frequent walks and playing fetch are vital to a Bordoodles happiness and well being. However, they don’t need to be competing in aglity 3 times a week, going for a run everyday, etc. to be happy and balanced. Their energy level is suitable for an active family lifestyle. I would not consider it a good breed for a elderly couple spending their days in their comfy condo. They need regular activity.
An Oregon Bordoodle puppy is $2,800. A deposit can be placed via Paypal or check once your application has been reviewed. Deposits are $300 and promise you a place in line to choose a puppy. Puppies are chosen in the order deposits are received. You will be offered a puppy from each litter born until your puppy has been chosen by you. Deposits are non-refundable.
Each pairing produces a different average weight. On my “Available Puppies” and “Upcoming Litters” I will write my expected approximate weight depending on the parents.
All Bordoodles have varying degrees of herding instinct, but it’s very rare for one to have even half of what a purebred Border Collie does!
When introduced to water properly, at a young age – absolutely !! Many of our puppies have grown up at the lakes and oceans around the US.
At night, I strongly recommend crate training. During the day for naps or play, we do allow our puppies on our bed HOWEVER our dogs are always ONLY invited to join us on the bed. They are not allowed anytime they please. We use an “okay, bed” command. Then a “all done, off” command. Even through adulthood. Do not allow your dog to ever claim dominion over your bed.
Poodles have a very deep bark designed to alert their families of an intruder. Our puppies tend to carry on this special trait. It is not difficult to train them to only bark when it is appropriate.
Several, small car trips seems to eliminate this issue. Running for coffee? Grab the puppy! Running to return the movies? Grab the puppy! 🙂 He/She will grow out of it.
A handful of our puppies have been placed in homes with family members that are allergic to dogs, and they have not been allergic to their Bordoodle! They do shed hair, just as a person will lose hair strands while brushing or combing. However, they do not have an annual shed where they “blow coat” as a Border Collie does.
This is not a one size fits all answer. We expose our puppies to full body baths starting very young. We also do nail trims and anal glands. Most do quite well. Exposing your puppy to water often as a young adult is key to avoiding water fear. Do not overbathe your dog as that increases oils and makes for a dirty dog quickly. Once every 4-6 weeks, using a natural and gentle shampoo is plenty. Continue frequent nail and ear trims to keep your dog accustomed to them.
Please see our Dog Food page!
We can ship Cargo but our preference is either our flight nanny coming to you, or you flying in to fly home with you puppy.
Proper medical care is extremely important to us. We don’t use cheap Farm store medications but instead always use Veterinary supplies.
Puppies are dewormed with a gentle, liquid wormer for roundworm several times during their 8 weeks with us. Nearly all puppies are born with roundworm, regardless of proper care for the females before, during and after breeding. We also deworm for hook, whip and tapeworm as a precaution, a few days before sending a puppy home.
Our puppies are always flea and earmite free. We never use harsh flea shampoos or powders. If a puppy were to contact fleas (during a trip to the vet or from an outside visitor bringing them in by accident) we apply Revolution or Activyl topically. Our adults are treated year round to always keep a flea free home.
It has been scientifically proven that vaccinating a puppy before 8 weeks is not only unsafe, but is also not helpful. A puppy gets antibodies through mother’s milk and before 8 weeks, those antibodies will actually reject a vaccine. Because of this research, we do not vaccinate a puppy until it is 8 weeks. We vaccinate for canine distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus. Each puppy will go home with a medical form stating when he/she was born, was dewormed and what product was used, and vaccination details. There is also the information on what to do next, making it very easy for you! Exactly what is needed and when, to help start a plan between you and your veterinarian.
Absolutely! Please see our Genetic Testing page.
We have a flight nanny, or you’re welcome to fly in and pick your puppy up in person!
We are always delighted to receive a photo an update when a family picks up their puppy at the airport!
Danielle, just wanted to let you know we just picked her up and she is doing wonderful! She had not even pottied in her crate, we were so surprised! She has gone potty and she gobbled up the canned food you told us to bring. We will watch her blood sugar as you suggested and keep you updated. Thank you, she is EVEN BETTER IN PERSON and full of kisses.
Feed your new puppy often during the first 48 hours of coming home, to help avoid hypoglycemia. After that, feed 3 meals a day until six months old. I do not recommend “free feeding” at such a young age because puppy will need to potty after eating so controlled feedings help potty training. Feed your puppy ALL he/she wants to eat (kibble) in a 15 minute setting, three times daily. Doing this has given my puppies wonderful eating control for adulthood and actually has developed dogs that don’t tend to overeat.
We send each of our puppies home with a custom collar! Once he/she outgrows that, we prefer martingale collars. Be sure to use a tag silencer, as the constant jingle of tags is uncomfortable on such sensitive ears!
Please see Crate and Confinement page
Paper towels and Nature’s Miracle cleaner is my absolute favorite as it takes away the urine enzymes, helping puppy to not return to the same place to potty.
All of our dogs can be viewed on our boys and girls pages. We even feature our dogs that are still too young to breed as we have full transparency with our buyers. However, all of our dog except for Summit live in guardian homes because we love dogs and believe this is what is best for them. Read more on our Guardian Dogs page!
We have two Savannah cats that our puppies are very socialized with during their 8 weeks here. As long as it’s continued in a controlled manner by their new family, this positive relationship should continue!
We love to meet our potential puppy families in person whenever possible! Keep in mind that most of our dogs live in Guardian Homes and that only Summit may be here for meeting. If you have a specific dog you’d like to meet, let me know so we can arrange it with the Guardian. Please also read our Visiting Oregon Bordoodles page!
Around 10-11 weeks of age is a good time to bring your puppy into the groomer for a short visit. Possibly a bath and brush-out, with no dryer. Or just a brush out, if your puppy is particularly weary. About 3 weeks later, do that again, but add 2-5 mins of blow-dryer time with lots of treats. Pick your puppy up soon, or even stay there for the visit. Slowly build up about every 3 weeks until your puppy can tolerate a full groom which includes bath, blow dry, nails, hair trim and brush out. Once puppy is confident with a full groom, you can move to every 6-8 weeks.
Yes! See our Board and Train page.
We have many Oregon Bordoodles in Canada! There are various ways to do this and non have proven too complicated.
Most of our Bordoodles go home to be a buddy to another dog and become quick friends!
Please see our Bordoodles packet!
Bordoodles are not recognized as an actual breed yet, and are still considered a “hybrid” therefor, they cannot be registered. However, each puppy has a pedigree that goes back at least four generations that can be provided to you! Our Bordoodles ALWAYS come from purebred, registered dogs.
Coats do vary based on generation, individual pairing etc. Luckily, all of our dogs are tested for various coat traits so we will be able to give excellent suggestions on which pairings are most suitable for a home with allergies.
Every Bordoodle is a little different depending on the genetics of the parents! On average; F1s are wavy to wavy/curly (aka “Fleece coat”) F1bs are wavy/curly to curly (aka “Wool coat’) and F2bs are generally a step between the two. More curly than Fleece coat but less so than a Wool coat.
You can see what they look like as adults on our “All grown up” page.
The F1, F2 and other designations refer to the breeding and cross-breeding generations in dogs. See our section on About Bordoodles for the complete breakdown.
Once your application is approved, you may send a request to join our Facebook group called “Oregon Bordoodles family group.” There, you may post your location and ask if anyone nearby would like a play date! We have dogs all over the US & Canada!