1. Are Lagottos good with children?
Lagottos are the very best dog, I have ever seen in my life for children. They are patient, playful, sweet and seem to automatically know they need to be gentle with little ones. I did not have to train mine to be this way, it was just their instincts. They seem to be the perfect kid dog. I have never seen one that didn't adore kids. They are also great with other pets.
My five year old granddaughter is here a few days of the week. Usually one of the first things she says after walking in the door is, "can I play with baby puppies?", whether we have puppies or not. All my babies are very well socialized and loved on continuously. They are really good with her, and she with them. That is another key. Children must be taught how to behave with a puppy. There are lots of things that are tempting to do, but can lead to bad behavior. Many people think it is funny when they irritate a puppy by wuffling their heads, and making them bark or growl. It's really not funny at all. That is an animal, and you are teaching that pup that hands coming towards them may hurt and harass them. That could lead to undesirable behavior, through no fault of their own. Teach your kids to be gentle, and they will have the best friend imaginable.
2. Are Lagottos hypoallergenic?
Lagottos are a wonderful choice for people with allergies. I have had many people want to meet them to see if their allergies acted up and to date, nobody has ever had a reaction to my dogs. My grandson is severely allergic to dogs. He scored 10 out of 10 with the allergy test. He has been around them his entire life, and he is absolutely fine with them. If anyone was ever going to have a reaction, it would be him. I cannot speak for other's because I do not know the purity of their bloodlines. You will not have a reaction with mine, guaranteed. If you are still skeptical, and want to test for yourself, you are welcome to mail something to me, like a blanket, shirt, piece of fabric, etc., that I will rub on the dogs, let them lay on, and send back to you.
5. What do you feed your dogs?
We feed our adults Wellness Core. It is a 5 star foods, grain free and provide high quality protein. Lagottos seem to do better with a grain free diet. Actually I think most dogs do better with a grain free diet. Most grains are fillers. Wolves do not eat grains in the wild, so it makes sense that neither should dogs. I also feed raw organic beef or venison bones, to supplement their diet. It provides them with a natural source of minerals. Bones are the greatest things for keeping their teeth pearly white. No need to brush their teeth, if you feed bones on a regular basis. Mine get them every week, but a couple of times a month will do it. I have zero food related problems. My dogs have great coats, bright eyes and plenty of energy.
Our puppies eat Wellness Core dry puppy food.
Shipping is actually less stressful for the puppy than a very long car ride would be. Most of my puppies are picked up here, and I would never discourage that. I am just considering the puppies. If you are driving 600 miles to get here, then 600 miles back, that is a long time to be in the car, for you and the puppy. You have to stop frequently, and then you are tasked with finding an area where no other dog's have gone potty. Remember, they have not had all their vaccinations yet, and can pick up anything from the ground. Just food for thought. If you live far, but want to pick your puppy up, please consider flying in.
7. Why is this puppy the last to be sold? Is there something wrong with it? Why didn't anyone choose him/her?
This is a question that all breeders have to deal with. Some people assume that there is something wrong with the last puppy. It could be one of a dozen things, none of which are that the puppy is less desirable in any way. We may have held back the very best show prospect puppy(s), to see how they develop. I rarely offer my best show puppies, first thing, unless I have no need to retain one back for my breeding program, or I have no reservations for a show puppy. Then they are sold as companions. Only after I decide to not hold a puppy back, will I offer him/her for adoption.
I have offered many top show quality puppies as companions, and they have been the last chosen. I also occasionally have puppies that are owed to me as a stud fee, or are from a co-owned litter in the US or Europe. The puppies that come from Europe, come to me later, because they cannot fly until they are 12 - 16 weeks old. I keep them long enough, to assess temperament. I have had puppies that were reserved first, and for whatever personal reason, the people couldn't take their puppy. I could have had 10 people, all wanting the same puppy, and I wasn't comfortable with them, so I didn't approve them. I will keep a puppy for the rest of it's life before I will ever allow them to go to a home that I am not comfortable with. While people can choose which puppy they would like to have, I have the the final say about where they go. Honestly, if you are getting my last puppy, or a slightly older puppy, you are extremely lucky. That just means that you are getting a puppy that is here long enough for me to start individual training. They are further along with their crate training, teething, etc.
8. What is your policy regarding breeding/show puppies? Do you require the dogs to be spayed/neutered?
My puppies are all sold with a spay/neuter agreement. Registration papers will be withheld until proof of spay/neuter is received. No exceptions. If you are approved as a show/breeding home, you will be required to sign a contract, pay a fee of for breeding rights, and all health testing must be completed. If you purchase a puppy as a companion, and you think you may want to show or breed, this should be discussed with me before choosing a puppy, because not all puppies mature show/breeding quality, so I can help you choose a puppy with the best potential. If you do decide that you want to show or breed, you must discuss it with me prior to the pup's first birthday, otherwise the spay/neuter agreement stands and must be complied with. Your desire alone, does not guarantee that I will approve you to breed. Purchasing a puppy from me means you agree to all terms. I will not contribute to back yard breeders, but I will work with responsible people. I do not ever want one of my babies to end up in a kennel, so if that is how you keep your dogs, please contact another breeder. If you breed mixed breeds, please contact another breeder.
9. What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept deposits with Zelle. If your bank doesn't participate, we can discuss other options. Deposits are non-refundable unless the desired puppy cannot be provided for you in good health. Do not put a deposit down, unless you are sure. If you are unable to take the puppy after reserving one, the deposit can be transferred to a future litter, within a year.
For the final payment, if the puppy is shipping, then the balance needs to be paid two weeks before the anticipated ship date. We only accept bank deposits or bank transfers for puppy's that are shipping. I have had numerous people show up to pick up their puppies, without bringing payment. If you are picking up your puppy, you will need to bring CASH, and you will receive a receipt. The majority of ATMs will only allow you to take out a limited amount. This may cause some frustration if you wait until the last minute. No personal checks are accepted for any reason. I do not accept credit cards for the balance of the puppy. I do not accept Paypal. I do not offer payment plans, after a puppy is born. No puppy will leave, before it is paid in full.
10. How do I know I will get a puppy and you won't steal my money?
This is an extremely rude question, and unnecessary. A thief isn't going to say "oops, I was going to steal your money, but you asked, so you caught me". This is not the way you want to start off with any breeder. Most of us choose who our puppies go to, and if the breeder is worth their salt, they will give you a lifetime of support, whenever needed. If you are rude to us, that isn't a relationship that we will care to continue. I understand that there are scammers and some people are paranoid. It is extremely easy to tell the difference between a breeder and a scammer. Scammers steal pics, and usually only have one or two. They don't have websites, they are agreeable to pretty much everything you say, and immediately ask you to send money. They can almost never tell you anything you ask. If you ask to come pick your puppy up, they will usually ignore you. Typically the price is well below current value. People that either don't want to, or cannot pay the price for a rare breed, are the normal targets. They go for the low price and do something stupid like send money Western Union to a person you cannot confirm is a real person. Just use common sense when looking for a puppy.
I have a FB for my businesses, and an Instragram (links to the Lagotto FB and my instagram are on the home page) and a very comprehensive website, that I pay for a URL. Scammers have none of this. If you are still nervous, please find a breeder local to you. I don't want to accept money from anyone who is nervous, because they tend to worry me to death, and occasionally get rude if I don't answer an email within an hour. I do not have a lifestyle that will always allow me to do that. I have a working farm. I also have a commercial greenhouse, and attached store. I want this to be a great, worry free experience, and not unpleasant for either of us.
11. How do we know if the puppy will like us, if we don't meet them first?
Meeting a puppy doesn’t necessarily give you an accurate idea of that baby’s personality. You’d be with them for 20 minutes, and all you see is exactly what they are doing, in that minute. You don’t have any idea whether some of them woke up, and had been running around like little maniacs for two hours before you arrived, and another two may have been napping, and woke up a couple of minutes before you got there. So what you may see is a couple of very sleepy babies, so you might just assume they aren’t playful, aren’t interactive, or don’t like you. Then you’d see the other two, and since they just woke up, you might think they were more friendly, and more interactive.
In a previous litter, I had a busy little stinkerella, that needed a particular type of home. The man that wanted her, wanted a very active puppy. He did a lot of hiking, kayaking, camping etc, and that’s what he wanted. She had not stopped moving for three minutes, for almost two hours. She was sweet as honey, and was extremely outgoing, but had a very high activity level. (She was the exception, and not the norm for the breed) She laid down for a nap, literally less than a minute, after he pulled up. She would not play. She would not come to him. She was wholly uninterested, in anything but napping. She made me look like a crazy person, but it’s just because she was a baby, and was sleepy. He held her for a long time, and she didn’t move. She napped quietly in his arms. He sat her down, and she laid on his foot. He stayed for awhile, he wanted to talk about things in the shop, and the farm... As he was ready to go, she woke up, and it was like someone turned her switch on. Her little tail started wagging and she was so excited to play. I was relieved that she was showing her normal self, even though I knew he trusted me. If someone wanted a calm puppy, came in and experienced that, that’s the one they would want to choose, if allowed to, and it would be a huge mistake. Only the people who live with a puppy, would know the average activity level, and true personality of the puppy.
As far as the puppy liking you, baby animals don’t have those sorts of feelings. They don’t have the same thought processes, as we do. When most folks think a particular puppy chooses/likes them more than the others, it’s for the above mentioned reasons. The pup that is most awake, will seem like the one that likes you the best. They are babies, and if you are nice to them, they will love you instantly.
12. What will I need to get to prepare for my new puppy?
You will need to have a bag Wellness Core dry puppy food. You MUST have this on hand BEFORE your new puppy comes home. I give you a coupon for a free bag, but you can use that for your second bag. Too often people wait until they have their puppy, and if they walk into a petstore and they are out of it, they get another brand that the clerks will say is just as good. It doesn't matter, it may or may not be true, but any sudden change in food, and you will make your puppy sick. You will also need two bowls, preferably ceramic or stainless steel. They can chew plastic. We keep a variety of toys on hand, different textures, so they always have something interesting to play with. Never give rawhide, or antlers. The rawhide can make them sick, and/or get it caught in their throats. Many dogs die yearly from the use of rawhide. Much of it comes from China, and is substandard. While some people rave about antlers, this is another thing that is not a good idea. There are so many broken teeth each year from these things. They are just too hard and can hurt your dog. You will need a crate, preferably a plastic one with metal door. They are portable and easy to clean. They give the pups a safe "den like" space to sleep. The all wire cages are not great. It isn't cozy. Some puppies hate them, and will scream unless they are covered. If this is what you plan to use, plan on covering it on all sides, except the door. They can be dangerous when puppy is little, because they can get their teeth caught.
If you are picking your puppy up, you must show up with a crate or carrier of some sort. Please do not show up with just a box, or nothing at all. You cannot hold the baby all the way home. It isn't safe. What if you are holding your pup in your lap, and you get into an accident? Your puppy could be seriously injured, or worse. Better to be safe than sorry. No puppy will leave here, unless there is a crate for them to safely travel in.
13. What about shots and deworming?
All puppies go with age appropriate shots. We give the first shots at 8 weeks, because the mother's antibodies will interfere, if the shots are given too soon. I do not believe in over vaccinating puppies. There are some that are unnecessary, and others that can be dangerous. We give the core vaccines only. All puppies are on a stringent deworming schedule. We alternate medications, because there is some resistance with certain parasites, and we want to make sure we do everything possible to ensure our puppy's health.
I do not give leptospirosis, bordetella/kennel cough, or lyme. Lepto vaccine can have very dangerous consequences. They have found that the leptospirosis vaccine causes the most violent reactions of all vaccines, which is another way of saying it causes the most seizures, anaphylactic shock and death. I have known many people whose dogs have had bad reactions and died because of this vaccine. Read about the risks, for giving and not giving, then decide for yourself.
The only time I have given my dogs a bordetella vaccine, is when a vet convinced me that I needed to, because I showed my dogs. So, the vet gave one of my first litters, an intranasal bordetella vaccine. Guess who got kennel cough? That is right, every puppy in that litter got kennel cough. That is the only time I have ever allowed that to be given, and it was the only time I ever had any of my dogs get it. My dogs are not kennel dogs, they are house dogs. I do not board them, so for me, it isn't necessary. If you do board your dogs, then it will be something you should do.
The lyme vaccine is one that I also will never give, for a number of reasons. In a study of 1.2 million dogs, the lyme vaccine caused more adverse affects than any other canine vaccine, ever. They aren't the same violent effects as leptospirosis, but there was a higher incidence. The vaccines were administered individually and not in a combination shot. It has only been proven to be effective 60% of the time, and the immunity wears off after 6 months. You'd have to give a booster twice a year for life. There are many vets now that simply refuse to administer this vaccine. There are worse tick borne illnesses than lyme, that there is not a vaccine for. The emphasis should be on tick prevention, so the dogs never get bitten in the first place. I make a tick/flea/fly/mosquito repellant spray for my dogs, and I use Seresto collars on my cats.
Humans are given vaccines, and boosters when we are kids. We do not have to keep getting vaccinations for measles every year, for the rest of our lives. So why do we accept that our pets need this? We aren't doing them any favors by over vaccinating them. If you want confirmation, then do a titer test, before getting a yearly shot. See if your dog actually needs the booster.
I am not telling you not to give these vaccines, I am telling you that I don't and why. I am also telling you to inform yourself before making the decision. Vets can be pushy, and not for the right reasons. They charge you $35 or more for a shot that costs them $2. Be an informed pet parent, and decide for yourself.
14. Which training books do you recommend?
I have been involved with dogs for so long, between being a pet parent, volunteering for rescue, fostering, etc., I have not really had any need to read training books for many years. I decided to go through some of the more popular titles. There was not one single book that I completely agreed with. I decided to check some websites. When looking at some of the websites, I began to wonder if some of these people have ever had a dog, much less trained one. Please take anything you read online, with a grain of salt. While some people know what they are doing, I am seeing many that don't. There are also things that do fine for another breed, but isn't a one size fits all. For example, one website says to hand feed your puppy, to deal with food aggression. Lagottos don't have food aggression. More accurately, mine do not. I cannot speak for others. I used to have very large dogs, so I did stick my hands in their bowls, took the bowl away while they were eating, and gave it right back. It was a necessary thing to do, so the technique is fine, but it isn't necessary for many breeds.
I believe in positive training. Lagottos are some of the softest, sweetest dogs I have ever known. They are so eager to please, which makes training easy. They get their feelings hurt easily, so they do not respond to harsh training methods. If they are mistreated, they will not forget it. That being said, they do need appropriate corrections, and some books do not teach that, at all.
I wrote a booklet, that is very condensed, and hits the most important parts. It has some of the information I have written on this website, but it has much more. It has most of the information you need to get you started, and then some. A copy goes home with every puppy.
15. Can we come visit the puppies?
Many people ask if they can see or play with our puppies, when they are tiny babies. Until the puppies have been vaccinated, the answer is no. There are several reasons we do not allow visitors around the puppies sooner, and they are all to protect the puppies.
Like a new baby, the opportunity for young pups to pick up infectious diseases is increased with all new contacts. Their immune systems are building. Most illnesses and diseases are innocently carried on people’s shoes and clothing. Entire litters of puppies can be wiped out within 48 hours by the parvovirus. This disease could be picked up unknowingly by people in a school yard, a park, or on a sidewalk - and this is only one disease. We cannot risk exposing our dogs and your puppy to diseases.
It is extremely stressful for the mama dog to have strangers visit, as she is caring for her litter. This in turn will put stress on the new born pups. Remember, you are only one of many people who want to adopt a puppy, not including everyone else who “just wants to peek at the new babies.” If we allow everyone to see, touch, or spend time with the new pups, the mom’s routine would be disrupted, and that could have very negative side effects.
By protecting all of our puppies from stress and disease that could be brought in by visitors, we are protecting your puppy. Just think about how you would feel if someone who just wanted to see his or her pup, happened to bring in an illness that would cause us to lose a puppy, or even the entire litter. We have heard from many people that pet stores and some breeders allow people to visit puppies early. If that is the case, the reality is most likely the concern for the puppy’s well-being is secondary. They may want to keep customers happy, or they may not understand the dangers.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We take great care and much time caring for all of our dogs and puppies. It is time and energy consuming. We understand your excitement, and we are happy that you are enthusiastic about getting your pup. However, until you take your puppy home, we are responsible and the puppy’s health and safety is our number one priority. We guarantee, waiting a few weeks will be worth it.
16. What do you think about this breeder? or I talked to this breeder and do you know what he/she said?
Here is where I differ from many breeders. I don't gossip about them. I am not going to make up stories, or spread rumors just to make a sale. I don't need to put someone else down, or trash their dogs, to make my own look good. My dogs are wonderful, and I do a great job raising my puppies. They stand on their own merit. You either like me or you don't, and vice versa. I also don't want anyone calling me telling me nasty things about other people. I don't know you, and I haven't the slightest idea whether you are telling me the truth or embellishing, because the breeder made you mad for some reason. Simply put, I will tell you everything about me and my fluffy butts that you want to know. I will not participate in a negative conversation about another person, because that is not my way. I may generalize, but will never bad mouth another breeder, even if I don't like them. Actually, especially if I don't like them, My personal feelings should not influence your opinion. You should judge each person you talk to, on your own feelings, not mine, and not anyone else's. I want you to really want my puppy, not because I scare you away from wanting someone else's. I have never purchased a puppy from an American breeder and I have never sold to an American breeder, so anything I would say would be second hand information anyway. i.e. gossip, and vice versa. I stick by the old saying: Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.
Not sure how to phrase this as an FAQ, so I will put it here, since it has to do with other breeders, and something I get asked about, almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. Lagottos are a very rare breed, and come with a higher price tag than more common breeds. It costs us a great deal to get quality dogs, all health testing, and it costs quite a bit to raise a litter. There are people charging as much as $8000 for a dog. That boggles my mind. Talk about good marketing, and excessive greed. Those folks probably make you feel like their dogs are so superior to other people's, you must get one of theirs or... I hate that type of breeder, and it is not even close to true. I could say so much more, but I will leave it at that. I am only putting this here, because it is double the average price. A puppy sold as a companion is typically $3000 to $4000. A show/breeding potential pup is $4000 to $5000, depending on breeder and bloodlines. If you don't want one of mine, or I do not have any puppies, I can refer you to a list of wonderful breeders, all over the world, where the welfare of the dogs and puppies come first. They have the top bloodlines in the world, show their dogs, and raise them correctly.
17. What about Registration?
There seems to be a misconception about what registration actually is. Registries started as a way to keep track of bloodlines, for breeders to choose a mate. It was originally called a "stud book". Registries are simply there to record and process what breeders submit. They are a paid service. We tell them who the parents are, pay them a fee, and they send us paperwork. That is it. It does not guarantee accuracy, it does not guarantee parentage. They print what we tell them to. They charge us to record/register the litter, then charge an additional fee per puppy. Then they got an idea to make more money, and that was to start playing to the people who only have companions. They could increase their income at least 600%. So they charge us to record the litter, they charge us an additional fee per puppy. They send us paperwork, with the information we told them to print on it, give it to pet people and then they charge them an additional $25 for "registration", plus an additional $40 or $50 if they want a pedigree. The pedigree, we registered with them, and could just give you a copy for free.
When people asked if dogs are registered, what they usually mean, is "are your dog's purebred". Registration is not a guarantee of that. It just means someone paid money to have papers sent to them. Here is a link explaining it. Link
Now that being said, my adult dogs are all European born, and are FCI registered. That is the largest dog registry in the world. They can be registered with AKC, UKC, CKC, ARBA, and all are dual registered with at least one of them. I prefer UKC because they do more than just beauty contests, which often have more to do with the handler, than the dog. They do not allow professional handlers, and they focus on keeping the working ability of dogs intact.
The reason I will not give anyone registration, until their puppy is spayed/neutered, is because spay/neuter contracts do little to deter people from breeding anyway. If someone gets AKC limited registration, they can take that, register their dog with another registry, and then register puppies anyway. If I give the UKC registration, they can take that and register puppies with UKC, because they do not have limited registration, and they can then be registered AKC, CKC, etc. I can't stop it, but at least they will not get to claim my bloodlines. I have learned this the hard way, more than once. It is super easy to tell someone's intentions, when they seem more interested in registration, than they do the puppy. I also don't buy the whole "I am not wanting to breed, but I want my children to witness the miracle of birth, just once". That is an absurd reason, and no breeder is going to accept that. I take my stewardship of the breed very seriously, so that is not going to work, in fact the opposite. The only way we can talk about breeding, is if you understand the responsibility that comes with it, and want to do the right thing, for the right reasons.