Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poodle Expert Recommends Raw-Meaty-Bones!

Recently, I decided to expand my kennel to include a breed that should be more popular in Hawaii -- standard Poodles.  When a member of the Kona Raw Pet Food Co-op brought her black standard Poodle to my farm, I was reminded of how lovely these dogs are and how seldom I see them in Kona.  So, I began to look at standard Poodle web sites, looked for breeders in Hawaii (none), and migrated to my favorite canine web site, Dogzonline, the Australian online marketplace for purebred dogs (it also lists NZ dogs).

For dog lovers in Hawaii, where we have no rabies, importing dogs from the mainland US is a torturous process of quarantine, immunization, and testing that requires 9 to 10 months.  Puppies cannot be imported from the mainland (or anywhere else in the world, except the UK and Guam) until they are nearly a year old.  Australia and New Zealand, however, are also rabies-free, so puppies can come directly into Hawaii at 2- to 3-months of age, without quarantine.

Australia has many dog breeders, and pets are a major export.  Unfortunately, Australia has puppy mills that supply US pet shops with questionably bred puppies that received poor early socialization, many of whom end up in shelters.  Fortunately, Australia also has very fine, reputable breeders, who raise world-class dogs and who are quite picky about who buys their puppies.  Dogzonline screens its breeders carefully, requires them to be members in good standing with their regional kennel clubs, and to adhere to a code of ethics that excludes puppy mills.

After searching Dogzonline for several weeks and contacting half-a-dozen standard Poodle breeders, I found Stuartlea Poodles in Victoria, which breeds gorgeous red standards.  Minna agreed to send me two puppies, a boy and a girl.  By the way, most Poodle breeders will not sell puppies to someone who breeds Labrador retrievers, because they fear cross-breeding (Labradoodles).  My quest for Poodle puppies was more difficult than most people would encounter.

My two babies, Teddy (left) and Ruby (right), arrived two weeks ago.  They are sweet, smart, funny, loving puppies, and I am thrilled with them.

With Poodle puppies coming, naturally I needed to read more about care and rearing, so I went to my favorite books web site,, to search for books on standard Poodles.  There are fewer books than I imagined about standard Poodles, a fraction of the number of books on Labrador retrievers.  After reading reviews and contents, I selected a few, notably one that reviewers said is the "bible" of standard Poodles -- Eileen Geeson, The Complete Standard Poodle, NY: Howell House, 1998.  1998?  That's an old book.  I ordered it anyway.

As soon as my Complete Standard Poodle arrived, I dove in.  The author has bred, shown, and judged standard Poodles in the UK for three decades (by 1998).  She is recognized as the leading British authority on the breed.  To my total astonishment, she feeds her champion Poodles, and recommends you feed your Poodle, the RAW-MEATY-BONES diet! 
There is no doubt that dogs like a variety of foods.  Being natural carnivores they love the internal organs of other animals such as beef (usually complete with well-chewed grass and vegetables), their meat, bones. everything.  As natural scavengers they eat anything from scraps to the compost heap.  Dogs descended from wolves and still carry their natural instincts.  These instincts are often depressed by an owner who refuses to accept their dog is a dog.  I have had Poodles come to stay with me who will not so much as look at a raw meaty bone while there is a human in sight, yet leave the dog alone with the bone and you will soon hear it crunching with great passion.
In addition to RMB, she says table scraps and cooked veggies are good supplements to the diet.  Tom Lonsdale (author of Raw Meaty Bones) could have written Ms. Geeson's feeding recommendations.  I would love to know if she read Dr. Lonsdale's earlier writings; his major book was not published until 2001.  The book has no index and acknowledges only a few Poodle experts and photographers.  Perhaps, Ms. Geeson is simply a sensible dog expert, who recognizes their wolf origins and the dietary needs of carnivorous pets.

My Poodle babies adore raw-meaty-bones.  In fact, they spend a lot of time gnawing on each bone to get every last scrap of meat -- more time than my more "casual" Lab puppies, who rush on to the next bone before finishing the first.  Poodle puppies are tidier than Labs, less likely to strew their food over a wide area or leave morsels behind.  Regardless of how they approach RMB, all the puppies get lots of minerals and clean teeth from their hours of gnawing on meaty bones.

I am happy to follow Ms. Geeson's advice to feed my Poodles RMB.  I wonder how many other standard Poodle owners have similarly followed her advice.  She is the leading Poodle expert in the UK ....  

As my puppies mature, they will be joined by other standard Poodles to form a breeding program.  My friend
and Poodle collaborator, Joslyn, is importing a brown (we prefer to say, chocolate) female from a Montana kennel, who will join us in August after all the Hawaii quarantine requirements are met.  I am still looking for more red and chocolate Poodles in rabies-free areas.  Our newly launched web site, Kona Poodles, will keep you abreast of developments.  

While we raise Poodle puppies to maturity, we plan to try a litter of Labradoodles with a black Labrador retriever female Joslyn owns, mated by AI to a red standard Poodle from the same Montana kennel that is sending us the chocolate girl.  We shall see how we like F1 Labradoodles.  They are much in demand.  The only one I know is a gorgeous honey-colored, large boy with a delightful personality.  He was bred as a service dog for a Kona Raw member's paraplegic husband.  Unfortunately, the husband died, but the dog became the wife's best friend and companion.  Oliver thrives on raw-meaty-bones, which may explain his happy disposition.

Regardless of breed or species, all carnivores on my farm eat raw-meaty-bones.  It was delightful to find the UK's leading Poodle expert recommending the same.

1 comment:

  1. I too have a standard poodle puppy ( silver) and he comes from an incredible breeder in Ontario, Canada called "Bibilot Silvers." You may want to consider contacting them for one of your next puppies. They very much subscribe to eileeen Geeson's book and i do to. My poodle puppy is on " Royal Canine" which seems fine but i would like to start supplementing with more meats. The raw meaty bones are so excellent!