It all started when Denise and Dave adopted their first Black Standard Poodle with the passion to breed better and healthier puppies for families to enjoy as much as they do. It wasn’t long before their family members fell in love with Doodle and Poodle breeds so much that they became Guardian Homes for companion and ethical breeding as well!

Collectively, we make up Doodles & Poodles Naturally.

Denise and Dave

Denise is a Certified Natural Health Professional and Master Herbalist and lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa. For almost thirty years, she taught classes in alternative healthcare and considered herself to be a teacher and a coach to those who sought a healthy lifestyle. Now she is semi-retired and describes herself as an animal advocate and a coach for their human companions. Her familiarity with natural health options and modalities makes her an essential team member to the Doodles and Poodles Naturally family. She works alongside the other Guardian Families to ensure the health and wellbeing of both the breeding dogs and their puppies. Denise and her husband, Dave, have five grown children, several grandchildren, and a household of beloved, furry, family members including, Goldendoodles, Standard Poodles, and one Aussiedoodle. Dave is an amazing builder who designs, builds and refines the whelping boxes and puppy nursery areas for Guardian Homes. Recently, Dave built a wood deck, paw bridge, and tree bench as more space to enjoy with the dogs outside amidst the nearly 2 acres of rolling hills in he and Denise’s backyard.

Going for Walks with Your Dog

Paw care

According to Dr. Marty Goldstein, it is never a good idea to take your dog for a walk on a hot sidewalk or black asphalt without first testing it. Your shoes protect you, but paw pads can suffer from the heat. He suggests before going for a walk on a hot day, that you press your hand against the pavement to test the heat. If you can’t do this comfortably for at least 5-7 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Generally dogs should not be in the sun for any more then short periods of time, and the best time to walk your dog is before 11:00 a.m and after 4:00 p.m. Dr. Goldstein suggests that to avoid heat exhaustion, make sure your dog has access to water and a shady spot to rest. Even with these cautions, watch for excessive panting, and if your dog seems to be showing signs of lethargy, or exhaustion. If this happens you should cool them down as quickly as you can and provide them with cool water to drink. If you are still concerned, he suggests you take him to a vet to be checked out.

Another issue that has become more common in recent years is poisoning by lawn chemicals. This is something few people think about, yet skin problems and paw chewing, both a sign of chemical exposure, have become one of the leading causes as to why people take their dogs to the vet.

Even with rain and/or watering treated grass, the ground that is chemically treated may be unsafe for puppies and young children for as long as two years. To test for safety, a soil sample can be tested by your state. Contact your state Agricultural department to find out where to send it in your state.

Dog paws can get damaged in the winter, too. If your dog is like mine, they love the snow and cold temperatures and want to stay out for long periods of time. Just like children though, they should be monitored with care and brought in where they have shelter as soon as they appear to be getting cold. Short walks are harmless, but overexposure can lead to frostbite. If you plan on being out in the snow for a long time with your dog, you might want to consider purchasing dog boots.

Puppy Training Tips

Every Interaction is an Opportunity to Teach

Have you ever had a puppy bite at your hand? It’s not meant to be harmful! Think of your puppy’s mouth as his third hand. But even more then a hand, it’s their dominate hand. If you watch puppies play, you’ll notice they grab each other with their teeth. I have learned to stay clear when my dogs are playing around me because there are times when one of the young ones wants to add me into their games and grabs my hand with their teeth. Even though they don’t mean to hurt me, my thin human skin isn’t made to take sharp puppy teeth, regardless of how soft they grab me.

A yelp or a loud, high pitched ouch (the human version of a puppy yelp) is what puppies and young dogs do to let another dog know they bit them too hard and need to lighten up. By doing this, you are telling them in their own language that their bite hurts you. Do this as often as necessary until the biting stops, which is usually within a day or two. 

If your puppy seems to want to chew on everything in sight, including your socks, shoes and clothing, this is normal. This will be part of his life for the first several months, and for some breeds, even longer. Should you allow it? NO. Puppies can be quite destructive if allowed to be.

Chewing On Everything

It is best to keep things out of puppy reach until they get older, but it is also important to stop bad habits as soon as they begin. For example, don’t let your puppy chew on your shoes and socks even when it is cute. If you don’t take this opportunity to teach them as a young puppy then they may grow up thinking it is allowable. Create a command to say every time the puppy is reaching for something they shouldn’t such as “Leave It.” Using this command consistently followed by removing an object not allowed reinforces the behavior to leave something alone in the first place. The same goes for anything that is within their reach that you don’t want them to chew on. 

For some breeds, it is helpful to feed them their biggest meal in the morning so their stomach is satisfied most of the day. This will reduce the temptation to eat non-edible objects, like your socks and shoes. Keep in mind that if he was outside or in the wild, he would naturally chew on and eat anything he sees. For a puppy its not just teething, its learning about his environment and filling his hungry tummy.

What can puppies chew on? Having their own chew toys and sticks will help both of you adjust to this phase of life. I have found that in general, when a dog is given an option, they will turn down chew toys that have chemical additives, stinky plastic parts, have been bleached, are too hard, or are in any way harmful to them. At the same time, I have seen hungry dogs who will eat all of these things to fill their hurting, hungry stomach. Ensure your puppy is getting the proper amount of food at meal time to prevent chewing triggered by hunger.

Favorite Chews

After spending a lot of money over the years on various toys and chew sticks for my dogs, as well as researching their safety, I have come down to only three things I give my dogs to chew on. Not only because these are safe, but also because they are the only chew things my dogs like:

  • The first one is the Castor and Pollux Good Buddy USA rawhide sticks. The rawhides aren’t bleached, chemically treated and have been flavored naturally.
  • The second option is more of a food. Its raw, organic bones. My dogs love these. You can purchase these from a local butcher.
  • The third item is sticks that I pick up off the ground after they have fallen from a tree on our land. These are a treat for them, but be warned, they make a mess.

These are all we give to our dogs. It doesn’t have to be complicated or costly, just safe and chewable.

Bringing Your Puppy Home

Some Helpful Tips to Make a Smooth(er) Transition

All Things Feeding & Chewing

Food: At Doodles and Poodles Naturally, we continuously research the best, most ethical dog food formulas available, and we also provide our dogs and puppies (when they are old enough) with raw food days. Ask us about the specifics of what your puppy has been eating and we will be glad to tell you all about it. If you decide to change foods at any time, it’s important to make this transition gradually, especially for a puppy, adding a little bit of new food to their older food each day until you’ve made a complete switch. Your puppy has been enjoying their meals along with their siblings, so it is very hard to be sure of exactly how much they eat until they are on their own. Fortunately, you can consult your dog food label for suggested amounts by age and weight. You can also notice whether your puppy leaves some food in the bowl after meals. If so, you can cut the feeding amount back a tiny bit, but be sure to increase it gradually as your puppy grows. They will have a lot of growth spurts during their first year, and they can even have growth spurts for up to two years of age.

Treats: Treats are loads of fun, but should not be loads of food. Try and keep treating to a minimum in your puppy’s diet. Consult labels for store bought treats for suggested amounts by age and weight. For things like table scraps, consider whether the puppy would be eating anything like this as a canine in the wild, and limit accordingly. The more natural and meaty the treat the better. Some doggies enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables. (NO GRAPES! Sprays used on grapes, even some “organic grapes” can be very toxic for dogs.) Always notice what happens to your puppy’s stools and energy when they try a new treat. How does it sit with their digestive tract? Not so good? They might need to take in less of it at a time, wait until they’re older to enjoy that treat, or skip that one entirely.

Label Check: Check labels and don’t be misled by deceptive advertising. There are unfortunately a number of junk food treats and kibbles made for puppies and dogs. You will learn by reading labels, trial and error, and perhaps doing a bit of reading and sleuthing, what treats and food your puppy really loves and does well with. Notice how their coat, energy, teeth and stools are all reacting to their diet. They should have lots of energy, regular stools, shiny coats, and white teeth. We strongly suggest feeding treats and food that are grain-free and also very low in starch.

How Often to Feed: Your puppy eats 3 times a day. Currently, your puppy eats breakfast early in the morning (about 6 or 7am), lunch at about 11am, and their last meal is at 4pm. To avoid accidents, we suggest not feeding them after 4pm and no water after 6pm. Water should be available pretty much all day until you remove it, usually about 2 hours before bedtime. This will help prevent a lot of wake-ups at night to pee and poo.

Chew Bones & Toys: Natural, safe chew bones are great for helping puppies teethe, providing entertainment for kennel time with you nearby, and cutting teeth without chewing on hands and non-dog-toys. We like the Castor & Pollux brand, Good Buddy natural rawhides. Don’t overdo these rawhides or chew bones. Check the packaging for suggested amounts, provide plenty of water with them, and take a break from them for a couple of days if stools seem loose. Don’t resume until stools completely normalize. You can also supply non-toxic chew toys that are not consumed. It’s important to watch your puppy when they have a rawhide or other chew bone, as they could choke if they bite off too much at once.

Keep your eye on your puppy if they have a stuffed toy or any new toy to assure that they are not actually eating it. Toy and bed stuffing and other toy pieces do often pass through a dog’s stools, but they can create a blockage, and it’s not really food, so it’s best not to be eaten.

Crate & House Training

Crate Training: If you choose to crate train, and we suggest you do to avoid accidents or chewed up toys that aren’t for the puppy, as well as to support general sanity for all of your household, it’s important to make the crate a safe, positive space, and not a space where your puppy feels like they are being punished or bored to death. The crate should be just big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay down. Any bigger than this and puppies tend to find a “corner” they can go eliminate in. They have an instinct to avoid eliminating in their own bed space. If you want to get a bigger crate to start with so that your puppy can grow into it, many crates have dividers you can use to adjust as your puppy grows. 

Here is a link to watch a little video that talks about controlling your environment when you bring a puppy into the home, and specifically about crate training. 

House Training: House training is easier than you think – especially if you incorporate crate training at the same time. Celebrate progress and remember that your puppy may not do perfectly at first, but with your consistency and positive reinforcement, they’ll become accident-free. Here is a link to a helpful video on potty training your puppy during the day. 

Getting Through the Night

Maybe we should have started here. Don’t worry, nights of interrupted sleep won’t last forever! Your puppy is growing fast, but they are still a baby and they will need to go to the bathroom at night, but this will not last very long, FAR less than for human babies. 

What to Expect for Sleeping: The length of time between waking up to go to the bathroom continues to lengthen as your puppy ages and eventually it becomes a thing of the past. You’ll need to know what to expect to avoid accidents or causing your puppy to “hold it” for too long.

Here is some extra info to help you plan for getting through the night with your puppy, including what is normal regarding your expectations for how long they can hold their bladder, poo, etc. as they develop. 

Evening Potty Time: In the evenings, it’s a good idea to let your puppy out as late as you can within your sleep schedule. You might have to carry them outside and wait for them to pee and maybe poo, you may even have to wake them a little to get them going. After they go, or it becomes apparent that they are not going to wake up to go, carry them back inside and gently place them directly into their crate for bedtime.  Avoiding Crazy Early Mornings: When your puppy wakes up in the morning earlier than you want them to, pick them up and carry them outside to do their potty and poo business, then carry them back inside and put them in their crate or other controlled space. Don’t talk to your puppy or play with them at this time. That will let them know that this is not playtime yet, and it will help you to set up good habits for the future when they do sleep through the night. They’ll quickly learn to get up for the day on your daily schedule.

Parvo, the Clinic Disease

One of the breeders we purchased a poodle puppy from called me one morning in a panic. She knew I used holistic support for my dogs and my family and was hoping I could give her some suggestions for 2 of her puppies she was afraid she might be losing. It was a Friday and both of these puppies were scheduled to fly to their new homes on the weekend. I asked her what she thought the problem was and she said “parvo.”


She had taken them to the veterinarian just two days earlier for their healthy puppy exam, where nothing was found to be wrong with them. Friday morning they were both sick and had all of the symptoms of parvo. The first thing she said she did was call the veterinarian, where the receptionist, who wasn’t at all surprised with the news about the new illness, told her the puppies probably got it when she brought them to the clinic. They offered no solution.


Another story I heard came from a lady who had an adult dog get symptoms of modified parvo virus after playing in a neighbor’s yard. Because he was an adult, she thought his symptoms couldn’t possibly be parvo. She assumed it was something he had eaten in the neighbor’s yard, but symptoms got worse over the week until he was passing mucousy, bloody diarrhea. When she sought help, it was suggested she give a homeopathic remedy made from the parvo vaccine, so it would be the same resistant form he would have been exposed to. It was explained to her that this would more appropriately support her dog’s immune system in detoxing the vaccine toxins. She gave three doses the first day and symptoms were greatly improved by evening. The next day he was himself again.


Out of curiosity, I asked her about the her neighbor’s dogs, and she said they didn’t have them anymore. After my initial shock, I asked why she felt this came from their yard if they didn’t have any dogs? She proceeded to tell me about the thirty years they bred, trained and showed hunting dogs. In fact, she said, they have a whole room in their house dedicated to dog ribbons and trophies. Knowing they no longer had dogs, I asked if she knew how long it had been since they had dogs in that yard. I wanted to know how long the laboratory-created resistant strains of bacteria, viruses and pathogens can live in the soil from vaccines. I had heard theories and read comments from scientists and doctors on the topic, but hadn’t come across a real live scenario that may shed some light on the topic. She learned that it had been 22 years since the last vaccinated dog was in their yard! What does that say about dog parks?!


In dogs, parvo has become a “disease” in the past 40 years, according to  Drs Pitcairn and Hamilton, both veterinarians, and they believe it is from vaccine exposure.


According to holistic veterinarians, this is considered an iatrogenic (doctor caused) disorder, most commonly caused by exposure to the Parvo and Feline panleukopenia virus vaccines, either from the vaccine itself or an animal who has recently gotten the vaccine. 


We aren’t veterinarians, and wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do for your pet, but what we can do is share with you the list of things we found in our research to both stop doing and to start doing, in order to support your pet’s health from this point forward. As always, we recommend consulting with a Naturopath that works with animals or Holistic Veterinarian. 



Baptisia (offensive, watery, dark, bloody diarrhea, and pet is very weak), China (Cinchona), Phosphorus, Parvo vaccine remedy, Feline Panleukopenia virus vaccine remedy.


Parvaid, by Amber Technology is another homeopathic for Parvo. It can be found at which is also a website that includes more information.  



To avoid your dog from being exposed to parvo, you might consider avoiding veterinarian clinics/offices where vaccines are done.


If you want a veterinarian, it has been suggested to find a house call veterinarian. The benefit is that they can come to your home, away from sick animals and vaccine caused resistant strains of diseases. They also don’t need to push vaccines to pay for their clinic costs.


Avoid places, such as dog parks, kennels, stores, etc., where dogs go that may have been recently vaccinated because, like people, they will “shed” their vaccine for at least 10 days after the vaccine is given.


Aggression in Dogs

It is not hard to find stories of dogs being aggressive anymore, although this didn’t used to be true. Like some of the holistic vets, I wonder if this isn’t due to what we are exposing them to, or even from vaccine damage to the brain and nervous system. I have personally been told many stories of aggressive dogs that were helped when the offending substance was eliminated. Here is one story:

Teresa had a sweet, loving bichon frise. Her dog loved the children in their neighborhood. When she was two years old Theresa took her to the vet to have something checked on her and she was given a distemper-parvo vaccine. Not at all what she was there for, or wanted her dog to have, but they did it anyway. Within 24 hours the dog became aggressive. It growled at her children and the neighborhood children. By the end of the week, there was no change in her attitude and Teresa was considering putting the dog down rather then risking a law suit for a dog bite. Before doing so, in an effort to save the dog, she took it to someone who was familiar with vaccines and their damage potential to the brain. This person made a homeopathic remedy for her from the dog’s saliva in an attempt to stop, and hopefully even reverse the damage that was occurring to the dog’s brain. She said she gave her dog three doses of the homeopathic saliva remedy and then waited to see if it helped. Within 24 hours she had her sweet dog back. She said it worked so well that it was like flipping a switch. I know that isn’t very scientific, but this is not the only story like this that I have heard.

Another story involved a one year old standard poodle that lunged at a four-year-old in an attempt to bite him. Then there was a bichon mix who, on several occasions, lunged at and tried to bite children. Even another dog was just a 10 week old puppy who, 2 weeks after receiving her parvo-distemper vaccine, growled unprovoked at a three year old child. And last, an 8 year old little boy and his golden retriever who were both described as having a “Doctor Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde personality” by the boy’s father. The change in personality occurred shortly after the dog received his vaccines. The little boy, in this last case, slept with his dog which means there was plenty of exposure to the boy from the dog’s vaccines. In all of these cases, the dogs (and the little boy) went to a person who gave them the Distemper-Parvo vaccine homeopathic remedy. All had the same “flipping a switch” reaction.

What was most interesting in all of these stories, was that it wasn’t just the family or owner of the dogs that noticed the changes after the homeopathic remedy was given. For example, in the last story, the little boy’s teacher was so surprised by the changes she witnessed in him that she called his mother to ask what she had given him. He was not only calmer and more cooperative, but she said his school work was rapidly improving. She was hoping the mother had found a “miracle supplement” that she, the teacher, could tell other parents about who also had children struggling in school.

Dr. Pitcairn said he found dogs sometimes become aggressive, destructive, and even hysterical after receiving a vaccine. In his 20 years of practice he witnessed a dramatic difference between pets that were vaccinated and those not vaccinated. Pets not vaccinated have less illness, better coats, they tend not to attract parasites and are generally healthier overall.

Additionally, Dr. Don Hamilton, DVM in his book Homeopathic Care for Cats & Dogs says “A second type of aggression can arise as a consequence of anesthesia with ketamine (Ketaset) or tiletamine (Telazol).”

As you can see, doctors have found chemicals used on animals as the underlying cause of dog aggression.

We aren’t veterinarians, and wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do for your pet, but what we can do is share with you the list of things we found in our research to both stop doing and to start doing, in order to support your pet’s health from this point forward. As always, we recommend you consult with a Holistic Veterinarian or a Naturopath that works with animals.


Belladonna, Hepar sulph, Hydrophobinum or Rabies vaccine remedy (especially if there is also a fear of water), Hyoscyamus, Lachesis, Lyssin, Mercurius, Nux Vomica, Stramonium, Thuja (after any vaccine is given), CoronaVir vaccine remedy (if aggression is toward moving objects, such as cars or bikes), Distemper & ParvoVirus vaccine remedy combination (if aggression is primarily aimed at children); ParvoVir & Tetanus Vaccine combination remedy (aggression is aimed at people of all ages and a thyroid imbalance appears to be involved); Rabies vaccine remedy (aggression aimed at other animals), Parainfluenza vaccine remedy (aggression is more like rage).


More organic meat, or raw meat in the diet.


Vaccines you might consider detoxing: Parvo & Distemper together, Rabies, ParaInfluenza, Tetanus.

Herbs & Supplements

Feverfew capsules or extract supports the health and normal circulation to the brain. It also supports the elimination of headaches if that is a factor, and if it started within six months after vaccines were received.


Avoid poison exposure, including toxic dewormers, pesticide shampoos, pesticide sprays, pesticide ointments, and collars that contain chemical pesticides, all of these weaken the immune system. 

Consider using natural products on the lawn pets have to walk on.

Consider getting titers on dog before revaccinating.. According to Don Hamilton, DVM., in his book Homeopathic Care for Cats & Dogs, “Aggressive animals are much more prevalent these days than ever before” and many holistic vets are suspecting vaccinations as the main cause.

As always, we recommend you consult a Naturopath that works with animals. 

Is Your Dog What You Think?

As a customer, I want to see pictures of the parents of my new puppy. As a breeder, I want my customers to see pictures of the parents of their potential new puppy.


Seeing what the parents look like, also known as the sire and the dam of the litter, is an additional way to ensure that you are getting the breed of dog you are wanting.

Last night, I was visiting with a friend who had recently adopted a new puppy.  She didn’t know what the puppy was before she had purchased it, but felt sure it was a Goldendoodle.  She showed me a picture of the female puppy, and sure enough, her puppy looked like a Goldendoodle.

In fact, her puppy looked very much like my new puppy Goldendoodle.  Then she told me she paid $75 to have the puppy’s DNA checked to find out if she was right.

What my friend learned will surprise you! We learned that she was 25% Bichon, 25% Shitzu, 25% poodle and 25% “don’t know”.  Makes one wonder – how did those turn out a puppy that looked like an apricot colored Goldendoodle?! Luckily, my friend was okay with this; although, a little disappointed.  She hadn’t received any assurance of her puppy’s breed when she purchased her because she was a rescue puppy, but hoped she was right about it being a Goldendoodle.

This story reminded me of another couple I know who purchased a Collie-Australian Shepherd Mix puppy.  She fell in love with her puppy right away, but was a little shocked to find out when the dog got older that it most likely (no DNA test with this one) was neither Collie nor Australian Shepherd.  Instead, her puppy grew up into something that actually looks like a mix between a Pitbull and a Boxer.  Obviously, she ended up with a breed much different from what was intended. They love their dog dearly nonetheless; but, they have a dog with different characteristics and behaviors than what they originally thought would be the best match.

This got me thinking about how many of us buy puppies from breeders without ever getting any reassurance (not even so much as a picture) of what the parents look like.

Have you ever noticed how many breeders don’t offer photos of the sire and dam? Often it can be because a breeder does not have the tools or desire to keep a website. In other cases, it can be because the website is not regularly updated. A really good breeder will go out of their way to make photos available to be seen by those interested in adopting whether they have a website or not. Photos can be sent via email, posted on their website, or posted to their Facebook page.  If photos are not made available, you can request to see a picture of the sire and dam before making your decision.

In the beginning, I had purchased “purebred” standard poodles 3 different times without ever being offered any visible proof of parentage. Yes, my poodles are all AKC registered, but I don’t believe that certificate of paper always guarantees as much as people would like to believe it does. None of those purchases were from breeders that had photos available of the sire and dam, but luckily my breeders were honest and my poodle puppies grew up into the adult Standard Poodles that I was intending to purchase.

Fast forward to today, now that I know better, and after hearing a number of mystery-puppy stories, I always ask to see pictures of the parents.  With persistence I get pictures!

This is why, as companion breeders, we will always try to have pictures posted of the sire and dam of our litters.  If you are paying for a purebred dog, I think you should get what you pay for.  I know that is what I would want!