Friday, May 31, 2013

What an accomplishment!

I am do delighted to share with all of you the news that 6 month old Cooper from my Pearl x Coriander litter has already achieved his Canine Good Citizenship certificate!  An amazing feat for a puppy so young.  Kudos to both Dale and Bob for working so hard to make Cooper such a wonderful canine citizen!  They are now going to prepare Cooper to become a therapy doodle.  :+)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Figgy is slowing down....

She is truly feeling pregnant now.  Likes to just laze around and get scratched and cuddled.  I think the pics say it all.  We should have pups in a couple of weeks, so not much longer to know how many she is carrying and what color they are!  :+)

Doesn't that face tell you a story?  'Poor me, I itch, can't groom my toes, the babies don't stop kicking....'



Please!  I need a massage!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Anyone read '50 Shades of Grey?' I did (blush) but this isn't about the books. :+)

This is our 3 year old stud, Felix Gumshoe, in the 'grey suit'.  The bottom large pic shows Felix in the back with Betty, who is 6 1/2 years old in the forefront.  Betty is black, Felix is charcoal grey.  He is still 'turning' and reminds me of a piece of cooled charcoal - pretty much grey in the middle with 'edges' still black but slowly becoming ash-like.

I finally got to see him today to determine if he was a Blue, Silver or a Grey.  The differences are unique for each color:  To be a 'Blue' the doodle must have blue skin and a deep blue-grey nose;  puppies that will be Silver will show that color by 8 weeks of age - the 'grey' gene is totally different.  It has it own 'timeclock' for becoming grey.  Some dogs just have grey hairs along their top line or saddle area and the color does not continue to to spread; others continue the grey coloration  throughout their entire body but it can take as long as five years to complete.  It is a striking color and the dilution that takes place is akin to when the chocolate colored puppies in a litter become Lavenders or cafe` at maturity.  What an array of colors our Labradoodles have!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Piper Moon, another breeding hopeful visited us on Friday and Saturday.

My daughter has Piper Moon and spent the night with us catching up on a Mother's Day promise which included Gramps sitting our grandson while Heather and I went out to dinner and did some shopping.  :+)

Piper also needed a bit of a trim.  She has the prettiest coat which is even a better grade than Olive's, her mom.  Piper's dad is Connecticut's Cowboy and his coat is fabulous.

Her coat looks like so many different tints depending on where the sun was.  She is such a clone of Olive that it is very difficult to tell who was who unless you see the tails.  Olive has a curly tail and Piper does not.

The tender, caring personalities are evident in both dogs, however.  Piper is Heather's shadow as Olive is mine.  So funny how these traits are passed on.  I am always amazed at how much humans and canines can be so much alike on temperaments and physical quirks. 

I expect Piper Moon to follow in her mom's tracks with regard to weight and height as well - at maturity 32 lbs. and 18 inches.  Right now, at 8 months, Piper weighs 27 1/2 lbs. and is 17 inches tall.  She has done most of her growing and will 'finish off' at a year or so.

So far, I am loving Piper's conformation.  At a year, we will begin testing and see where she ends up.  I am hoping as a breeding girl for our program; but if not, I know she has a wonderful home with owners who love her dearly which is why the Guardian Home concept so great.  The dogs are always a pet first and foremost.

She is a love and just like her mom - HATES to have her toenails cut.  I can't say I blame her!

Her standing pic on the left is an excellent example of a fine form.  You could almost balance a glass of water on that topline!


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Betty's saga.

Betty's family has decided to give her up because their lives have become too complex to deal with her anxieties of chasing bikes and UPS trucks.*  They are extremely sad over this decision but realize it is in the best interest for Betty who needs an owner who has the time, energy and space to work through her fear anxieties to the above.  Yes, it will require a commitment to help her overcome and face her fears but with steady exposure and positive training, the effort will be worth it.   She is lovable, cuddly and a true companion doodle.  Betty is fully house trained and knows basic commands.

Here are some words from Betty's owners:

'Betty starts her day around 7, by licking me in the face. She goes out for her "potty" shortly thereafter. Then she has breakfast (1/2 cup of dry food Blue Buffalo organic). We take her for a 1/2 hour - 45 min walk around 9:30. We use a gentle leader on her b/c she pulls (she's a hunter and would chase after anything she could). Then she usually rests till noon when she goes out to go "potty" again. She usually has some table scraps at lunch time (sandwich etc that is "accidentally" dropped from the kids places). Starting at around 1/1:30 she spends lots of time outside in the yard, watching birds, squirrels and playing with her ball. She has dinner around 6-7 (1/2 cup dry) and likes to go potty again after her meal. Sometimes we go for another short 20 min walk after dinner. She has her "final potty" around 9/9:30 and gets a taste of whipped cream for dessert then off to bed. Her favorite things to do are play with her ball (she has a preference of the Kong brand squeaky tennis balls), be outside and swim. She especially loves jumping off a dock or embankment into the water after her ball. Betty does not like delivery men (ups and mailmen) or the vacuum. She is shy, very sweet and loves to be challenged mentally and physically. She is a natural athlete! We usually call her "Betsies" or "Bets"

Betty is very sweet. She'll lick and give you kisses all day long if she could. She is very devoted to her family, particularly to one person (that being me) and will follow that person around like she is their own shadow which makes her a great companion. She is very smart so is easy to train and is fun to play with (games like hide and seek...hiding her toy and having her search for it). She loves playing fetch and swimming, so good for an active outdoorsy type. She is a great size, transportable and likes the car and is easy to scoop up and hold if you need to. Her coat is easy to maintain. She is obviously very cute :) Mostly I'd say she is a great companion dog, likes to do typical dog things (unlike Norman who would prefer to lounge around all day, doesn't swim or fetch etc). The kids definitely prefer to "play" with Betty and these fun traits are what we will miss most.'


In a perfect world, I would love to see Betty with a new owner that would love to be her best friend and work to build her confidence level, using a trainer with experience for reactive dogs.  She needs a job to help focus her energies into a positive, calm state when faced with a challenge. This can be accomplished through mental focus like therapy training/mentoring/reading programs; or physical training which include Agility, Rally O or dock diving/swimming - she loves the water.  Betty is highly intelligent and a natural hunter.  Her favorite animal to chase is rabbits, so be aware.

Betty needs a home with older teenagers or active/work from home adults so there is more time to focus on socializing her.  A large, fenced yard would be a huge benefit.  Betty is trained to an Invisible Fence system. 

*I must add that the diesel engines on UPS trucks are very annoying to many dogs.  It is akin to nails being scrapped on a chalkboard to humans.  FedEx trucks have a different engine design that does not seem to affect them.

May 20th Update:  Betty has been with us for almost a day.  She walks beautifully on an Easy Walk Harness made by Gentle Leader.   This type of harness gently guides the dog toward you if they pull in either direction - a wonderful device.  She was shy and unsure of herself last night and would not eat her dinner, so I hand fed her to develop a bonding.  Amazingly, my four females that live with us accepted Betty with very little fanfare.  She has gone outside to potty but is still not quite confident yet about the dogie door - small steps!  I was totally surprised when a truck went by during our walk with a barking dog hanging out the window and Betty did not even flinch.  Returning from our excursion, another small dog was loose and barking at her and then raced across the street to sniff her and Betty did not show any signs of being upset.  These were very good indicators that Betty seems to be less concerned when she knows someone else is in charge. 

In the afternoon, I had errands to run and I brought Betty with me.  First we stopped at the local dog park.  I wanted to see how she would react to completely strange dogs.  A Lab mix greeted us and then an American Pit Bull, named Rocky.  Betty was shy but no snarling, shivering or 'whale' eyes.  A good sign.  She did not mingle with the dogs but when they did their sniffing, Betty was calm.  We stayed about an hour or so with Betty sitting close or next to my chair.  We then headed off to PetCo for some of her food and people socialization with both adults and kids.  I had her tied to my carriage and she showed no anxiety with the wheels at all and I made it a point to make her circle, go backwards, turn in small spaces - the works.  Next we headed to the garden center of Home Depot.  Again tied to a carriage with people stopping me numerous times to pet and tell Betty what a well behaved and lovely girl she was.  We headed home and she ate all her dinner mixed with an egg yolk and blueberries.  Tomorrow we head up to Freeport, Maine.   A good day!  :+)

May 21st. Update:  Today, Betty and I took a trip up to Freeport, Maine to meet Felix Gumshoe and his guardian mom, Deb.  This trip was scheduled before I received Betty and I felt it would be good exposure for her.  Betty pretty much ignored Felix but they walked side by side very well with no arguments.  Serendipity occurred when a UPS truck turned into a driveway right in front of us.  I immediately seized the opportunity to walk with Betty to the truck, watch the driver bring the package to his customer and we waited for him to return and drive off.  Betty was non-plussed. My feeling right now is that she ONLY reacts when she feels she 'owns' the property that the truck comes on.  This is good to know and training will be needed to help her realize she does not need to be 'in charge'.

After two full days, Betty has finally picked up her tail for a slight wag - a milestone!  She is beginning to feel comfortable here.  I was very glad to see this small measure of acceptance.  :+)

May 22nd. Update:  Yea!  Betty is playing ball now!  She and Olive would run together and chase the ball and return it to me.  I am so happy to see Betty beginning to exhibit her true self.  It generally takes about three days for a dog to begin to feel comfortable in a new environment.  She is also eating well without any hand feeding and meshing into the household.  Best of all she is wagging her tail! 

I also took her and Olive for a walk using a 'two dog coupler'.  This is a short length of leash that connects the two dogs together so I can use one leash which I connect in the middle of the coupler.  I go crazy when I see people walking two dogs with two separate leashes because they can get tangled up so easily.  Betty did very well and did not mind being 'tethered' to Olive at all.

I continue to post here so that when she eventually goes to her permanent home that you will refer back to these posts and compare notes.  

May 23rd. Update:  This morning I awoke with Betty still sleeping in her bed on the floor.  She no longer tries to sneak up into my bed during the wee morning hours.  Good girl, Betty!  :+)  Also, as I got out of bed, she rose with a wagging tail and a gentle morning kiss.  

I also took this pic of Betty very close to our vacuum (it was turned on).  She showed no reaction to it other than moving to her bed when I was vacuuming the spot near her.  She did not charge, whine, scurry away or show excessive stress.  Mine is a Sharp maybe a different type would bring on a different reaction.   

'Throw the ball, already!!!!'  Betty on left/Olive on right.

May 25th.  Update:  Unfortunately the rain has been with us for a couple of days and does not look like it is going away yet.  We have been limited to playing ball in between the showers.  :+(  We are all looking forward to some rays of sunshine to go for a walk around town.

Although Betty has had a few scuffles with my girls, I am glad to see it.  When a new dog comes into an established pack, it changes the dynamics and now all of them are trying to see what position they hold.  It also means, Betty is comfortable.  This is normal and Betty is not the leader....yet!!

May 27th. Update:  Finally, some sunshine!  I took Betty with me to some outside garden centers to meet more people and to get some plants.  She is so very good on the Easy Walk Harness and a leash.  Lots of adults walked up to her and allowed her to sniff them and then get patted.  She also had a young girl (about 10) allow petting along with some gentle licks; but later when that same girl rushed up to Betty like some children will do, Betty barked at her.  The running up frightened Betty and she reacted with a bark.  This helps me define a placement.  Adults with older teenage children would be fine and adults that have good dog sense will work well.  I am going to refrain placing Betty with any family that has young or adolescent children because I don't want Betty to fail in a new home from lack of understanding her fear of the spontaneous and unpredictable behaviors of youngsters that some dogs may interpret as 'charging'. 

Betty has happily embraced my pack and is doing very well on that score.  She is still ambivalent of strange dogs and I don't expect that will change.  I consider her 'snobbiness' to other dogs better than charging them!!

May 28th. Update:  I had a breeder friend over the house today and Betty did very well with her - like one of my pack.  I think anyone reading this portion of my AnnaBlog on Betty can see that I am a very truthful and 'lay it on the line' type of person.  Since Betty is my first re-home, it is very important to me that I make a very careful decision on her placement. Betty is a sweet, sensitive, loving Australian Labradoodle!  She listens well, travels great, happily takes a walk, comes when called, sits and lays on command, fully house trained and has a gorgeous non-shedding ebony coat.  My personal opinion is that Betty would do best in an adult household who has dog experience and wants a loving furry partner to share their life with.  

May 30th.  Update:  It is a beautiful, very warm day today.  I have been working in the gardens as there is much planting and weeding to be done.  Also, Betty has really meshed in well here and I decided to put on her Invisible Fence collar and let her hang around with us.  

All my dogs love water and even though the pool is not open, not cleaned, the cover is still on and it is full of leaves and debris, it is a beacon for water dogs and Betty is no exception.  Betty was in her glory!
It was so nice to see her so full of life and vigor!  She ran around like a crazy thing and would jump in, swim after her ball, get it and loop around the pool over and over.  She chased the other girls and was out and out teasing the bejeebies out of them!

Finally, she would roll all over the Forget Me Knots that had reseeded in the stones around our pool to help dry herself off.  Betty had a great time and now she is cool and taking a snooze at my feet.  

It certainly is nice to have some Spring-like weather.  Back to weeding and I hope to keep Betty out of the pool but I doubt it will happen.  She is a water baby.  :+)

June 6th - Update:  Today Betty was picked up by her new family.  They were all smiles as you can see from the picture.  My gut tells me that Betty will be 'all smiles' once she has become comfortable in her new environment just like she did while here.  I know Betty will miss the pool as it became the highlight of her day but I also know her new family will do their best to take her to water this summer.  I know she will be loved and cuddled by all and have lots of good times with her new buddy, Albert who is also a ball-a-holic.  :+)

They have promised me updates, as I am extremely fond of Betty.  I will miss her soft, gentle kisses and those lush soft curls that I snuggled with each night on the couch. 

I picked this family because they were the closest replica to what she had originally.  They also have great doggie sense and a desire to give Betty what she needs in training and being leaders so Betty does not have to take on that role.  I had to smile when I saw the youngest girl give Betty the signal to 'sit' before giving her a treat and Betty complied without a hitch.  Then the older girl played fetch with Betty but was undaunted when Betty only wanted to bring the ball back to me.  Little does she know that once Betty is comfortable in her new home, Lila will be followed by Betty WITH the ball in her mouth initiating the game.  :+)

Although I sigh every time I think of Betty in her new home, I know it is a good fit - maybe even a perfect one and that makes me smile too.  Be a good girl, Betty - lots of kisses being sent to you.  :+)

June 7 - A few words from Betty's new home:

We made it! The car ride was long, but we made much better time going home than going up, even with 4 rest stops! The pups behaved beautifully. Albert growled twice, which seemed to be enough to establish for Betty that, at least for the moment, Albert is the boss. I switched which pup rode on the seat, and rode under my legs with each stop we made, and they both seemed quite happy with that arrangement. Betty was perfectly behaved in all respects. The girls were having a laugh riot with games they were making up, until they fell asleep at around 10:45, and Betty actually seemed to enjoy the laughter and antics.

The first overnight was pretty funny, now that it's over. Todd, Albert, and I walked Betty all around the house, letting her sniff to her hearts content. I decided to sleep on the bed in my office, where there is more floor space than in the bedroom. Getting those two to pick their beds and settle down was hysterical. It was like musical chairs! Albert was mildly possessive of his bed at first, but with just two admonitions and two treats, he was over it. I did wake up at one point and saw that Betty wasn't there. When I peaked into the bedroom, there she was, on the bed, snuggled next to Pippa! She had that look that says "I'm busted," which I'll take as a good thing. I picked her up, and had her follow me into the office, put her into bed, and there she stayed for the rest of the night. At one point, I found Albert half in his bed, and half in bed with Betty, with his tail wagging and sniffing and kissing her. I think that's the "no looking back" moment I was hoping for!

I took them on a very wet walk this morning, on the tandem lead. Albert walks much faster than Betty, and with his longer legs, it's a bit of a mismatch. I'll figure out how I want to handle that as I go along. No worries there, though, as they both walk nicely on a leash - well, Albert nicely, and Betty *very* nicely lol! We'll work on that :-)

Betty also got her first intro to the cats/kittens this morning, and was seemed so shocked to see a tiny creature that didn't run from her that she was a little dumbstruck. She showed no interest in chasing them, at least not yet. My sense is that, as she becomes comfortable here, her quirks will begin to emerge. I'm going to utilize this "tentative" time period to acclimate her to the cats, and to as many things as possible so that, hopefully, by the time her comfort level is sufficient to show quirks, she'll be used to the cats as a presence. I hope that makes sense. I am sleep deprived!

They ate together this morning, with no territorial behaviors. We saw lots of squirrels and a bunny on our walk, and she didn't even tense up. She is showing affection to everyone in the household, and is sleeping under my feet at this very moment. Albert seems happy as can be. I think we're off to a great start. Pippa and LIla both said (separately) this morning "It feels like Betty has always been with us."


We are all so pleased everything is looking so positive.  Thank you Andrea for knowing when to let go, even though it was such a hard decision.  Thank you to all the inquiries for Betty - she is special.  THANK YOU Knowles family for taking Betty into your home and heart.  :+) 

Maybelline came over for a trim and a visit. RETIRED


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Since Mae lives so close, I am able to see her pretty often and it is easy for me to give her a bit of a trim when she comes to visit. She is doing so very well with her puppy training and is now ringing the bell to do potty outdoors.

Mae is five months old and her guardian is doing a terrific job socializing and training her.  Thank you so much, Karen!  Keeping fingers crossed Maybelline will join our breeding family some day.

Maybelline has many interesting facts for her name which is not limited to just the make up company owned by L'Oreal.  The original owner named it Maybelline after his sister 'Maybel'. There are some of us that will remember the talented guitarist and singer, Chuck Berry, whose many hits included the song, 'Maybelline'.  Chuck heralded in a new wave of songwriters and talents that included Keith Richards of Rolling Stones fame and so many others.   Lastly, it does mean LOVABLE.  So, I hope Maybelline will continue to be gorgeous, talented and lovable.  :+)

Maybelline will live with two other dogs and a cat.  I am also happy to note that she will have many visits with her mom, Camden, as she is living with a relative of her family.

Pics of Maybelline at almost 2 years after a trim.

She has the doodle prance down pat.

Her eyes explain her name!

She does have nice leg length.

A windy day just blows her coat around.

 January 2015:  I decided to not add Maybelline to my program as her sister, Hazel Mae, is doing a great job and I need to keep breeding stock from diversified lines.

She is a lovely girl and her family is delighted to just have her as a pet.   Thanks Karen!

Please read this link on VACCINES!

So many pet owners are really intimidated by their vets and the vaccine protocol.  Repeated vaccines are NOT needed in many, many cases and you, as a pet owner, need to read and understand how REPEATED, unnecessary vaccines do not help your pet at all.  Please take the time to read this link.  Copy it and bring it to your vet to state your reason for not doing annual shots!

This is another link just published in 2013 - PLEASE take the time to read it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HAPPY THREE YEAR OLD BIRTHDAY TO: Callie, Brewster, Cody, Lily, Mac and Felix!

Olive and Chico's litter!   I can't believe three whole years have gone by.  I hope there are many more years of sloppy, wet kisses and tail wags.  :+)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tillie and Jaxon had a 'date' today!

There was a group of us at the vets today getting Tillie prepared for her big date.  Lil Jaxon tried and tried but without the help of a 'stepstool', he just was not tall enough.  So he was collected and produced a whooping 6 million sperm to inseminate into Tillie.  They will meet again at the vets on Monday for a repeat performance.  Then, Jaxon will go back home to his guardians and Tillie's mom will watch her like a hawk for pregnancy symptoms!  :+)

If we were successful, adorable, mini, parti marked puppies should be coming around mid July!  A busy summer is projected between Tillie's possible litter and Figgy's litter due in June.

Unfortunately, this mating did not take and Tillie is not pregnant.  No one is more disappointed than I am.  I have been looking forward to this pairing for a long time.  Bummer.  Hopefully, a mating when she next cycles will be successful.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Percy Jaxon is ALSO visiting for a few days!

For sure my lull is over!

While Dublin was visiting with one of my friends for the day, I went to meet up with Jaxon's guardian so that I could have him to mate with Dancing' Matilda aka Tillie.  We all met at my vets only to find out Tillie is not quite ready. I have TWO studs entertaining my four ladies of the house!

The pics below are of my little guy having a ball, especially with Willis, who seems to really take to him.  Jaxon is now a year and a half and his soft, curly, apricot coat is delightful.  He reminds me so much of Annabelle.  I hope to eventually get a clone of my foundation girl as to meet her is to fall in love.  Jaxon and Annabelle's personalities are identical right down to the flip on their back for a belly rub - they are true Welcome Wagons to any and all visitors.

Jaxon and Tillie will have adorable puppies together!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tango Wool's Needle In A Haystack aka DUBLIN - (RETIRED FROM THE ADNE PROGRAM)

Dublin at one year.
Dublin has always had soft curls and his guardian, Cynthia, brushes him often so he looks his best.  He is such a mamma's boy and soaks up hugs and kisses like a sponge.

Enjoying a pine branch as a youngster.
I see Dublin often and each visit provides me with the opportunity to cuddle with him for an hour or so. He is so delightful to be around. I am so looking forward to using Dublin in my program with some of my upcoming and current girls now that he has passed his stringent testing.
Dublin's conformation pose - 6 mos.
Dirty Dublin!
'You called'?

Can I say how delightful this potential stud boy is?  He has the most wonderful personality that is so true to the Australian Labradoodle standards.  He melts in your lap for belly rubs and then hugs you with his soft furry paws.
Dublin looking out the window
at a friend's cottage.

His deep apricot/red coat has lightened to apricot now that he has matured but still glistens like a copper pot when the sun's rays fall upon it; yet has a lovely subtlety in the shade. Dublin has nice proportions with a perfect top line and leg length.

This stud has all the right ingredients to make a positive mark on the Labradoodle world. Thank you Tango Wool Labradoodles for sharing this fabulously balanced male out of new American lines with me and Blueberry Cottage Labradoodles!


DOB:  November 6, 2012 out of Tango Wool Salsa Merengue, F1 and Tango Wool Dixieland Jazz, F2B.

Size/Color/Coat:  Approximately 19 inches and 32 lbs.  Color DNA is BBee.  Dublin does not carry for any chocolate genes.  Mature coat is apricot color and very curly - no shedding on this boy!

  • Thyroid/Blood Work/Chemistry's and TgAA:  Dr. Dodds HML55145 - No evidence of Thyroid issues. TgAA is '0' done 11/21/13.  On 4/10/16 Low T3 and T4 noted.
  • Hips:  P/H is .45/.44 (70%)  and OFA Prelim is 'Good' done 11/19/13.  
  • Patellar Luxation:  OFA Certified on 11/26/13.  OFA #:  LD-PA164/12M/P-VPI
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy:  12/9/13 is 'Clear' through VetGen DNA.
  • Elbows:  OFA Prelim shows 'Negative' for Elbow Dysplasia.
  • Legg-Calves-Perthes:  OFA Certification #:  LD-LP5/12M-VPI shows 'Normal'.
  • OFA Eye CERF:  Clear and Normal on 11/3/13, 4/21/14, 4/12/15, 4/19/16.
  • Heart:  12/13/13 Certified Echo cardiogram OFA #:  LD-CA194/12M/C-VPI-ECHO.
  • von Willebrand's Disease:  Cleared through parental testing.  Copies provided.
  • PRA/prcd:  Cleared through parental testing.  Copies provided.
  • Incorrect Coat: Normal IC
  • DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) is Normal.
  • Carrier for Exercised Induced Collapse known as EIC. A 'carrier status' is not a health issue.
Pedigree will be sent to serious inquiries only. Available for stud services through Blueberry Cottage Labradoodles.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Flea and Tick treatments.

PLEASE research reactions on any and all Flea and Tick treatments before putting on your pet.  There have been numerous reactions to Vectra, Advantix, Frontline etc.  A lot of dogs that have the worse reactions are cream or smaller dogs BUT don't let that give you a sense of security.  Ask questions, look for Google sites that explain about the ingredients and don't think your vet knows everything.  Remember, they ARE a business.

Consider using a natural remedy like products that contain Lemongrass, Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary or Thyme oils.  Dab it on a scarf and put that on your dog.  Remember dogs have a much more sensitive nose than we do, so you don't need much.  It may not be as effective as the commercial products but none of the commercial products are 100% effective.  They are, however, 100% chemical based.  There is no perfect solution to these pests except you checking your dogs and removing the ticks as soon as possible and frequent baths during this time.

I don't have a magic pill but I refuse to knowingly put chemicals on my doodles here at home that I know can cause such awful reactions.  So far, I have been quite happy with using natural ingredient herbal oils.  Insects are highly sensitive to smell and heat, so if the 'smell' of the oils repels them, they won't land to bite.   Just be sure to spray your dogs daily or dab on the scarfs.

Some sites I have used with decent results are:
  • Green Hope Farms - They use flower essences
  • The Natural Path in Dover, NH.  They have many blends for insect repellents
  • Joyce Belcher of Herbs for Life at York, Maine  800-510-9597
  • I like these two as well:,99,9.htm for ticks, etc. and this one too for the same:  I use both these products and am happy with the results.  No, it is not 100% but neither are all the other chemical products recommended by your vets.
Consider the gentler alternatives to keep away these pests.  A recent update has been promoting a collar that is both children and pet friendly and also excellent for killing and controlling fleas and ticks.  It is called Seresto from Bayer.  It is an expensive collar ($50 to $70) BUT it lasts for about 8 months which is cheap for one season of protection from these nasty predators!  It is definitely worth looking into and comparing using the chemical based monthly spot ons versus the collar which still works when wet from swimming, etc. It has been used in Europe but is new to the U.S.  Read the reviews yourself and make an informed choice!