Our Breeding Program
Dear Puppy People,
I’ve been a dog lover, puppy trainer and expert on all things canine for decades. I won’t share how many or you’ll know my age but suffice to say that dogs have been a passion from childhood and continue to this day to fill my life with many blessings.
Because of the dogs I’ve founded a pet supplement company (Agatha’s Pet Wellness), become a writer of dog books, and dog stories for children, a how-to book for living life with a new puppy, even dog blogs and tutorials on subjects like safe flea control and helping your dog stay healthy, who knew this journey would lead to so many ways to help people live better lives with their pets?
Most amazing of all, our puppies and products have found a world-wide audience, as one lady told me the other day, “I love your website! I’ve read every word and I just can’t stop looking at your puppies!” Foxglove Farm puppies have won the hearts of puppy lovers from the USA to Australia and almost every country in between.
I never dreamed when building that first website (with almost nonexistent computer skills) that the journey would take us on such a winding path to this place. There was no high-speed internet then, only dialup, it took eons to upload a single photo. I spent my days on the phone with technical support, learning about hyperlinks and navigation menus, all completely unintelligible to this decidedly non-techy dog fancier.
Who knew that Foxglove Farm would be “visited” by literally millions of people, either personally at the farm, or as digital visitors. (over 1.31 million page views last year!) So many of our dear “Puppy People” would become good friends and adopt one two or even more dogs as the years went by.
The inevitable downside of that kind of audience are the literally thousands upon thousands (upon thousands!) of emails and calls I receive (and make a valiant attempt to answer). One day recently, I counted over 65 calls yikes! To save an enormous amount of time (and repeating myself a few thousand times more) I’ve put the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on this page. Not only to share more about how we raise puppies, but allow a few hours in my day for living a slightly more normal life. If some of these questions seem odd, believe me, I’ve been asked all of them, sometimes they’re peppered at me in rapid fire fashion by a zealous puppy seeker who forgets which time zone we’re in (EST) and rings up at midnight with a long list of burning questions that just can’t wait till morning!
Without further ado, here’s probably more about Foxglove Farm than you ever wanted to know!
What are your bloodlines & tell me about your breeding program?
On this page are pictures of our adults and individuals from the pedigrees of our puppies. Our bloodlines are a much sought after recipe of exceptionally beautiful and very sound Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bichon Frise and Poodles. We’ve personally imported dogs from the very top European bloodlines, highlights include:
The sire of our Cavalier male was sired by a WINNER of the impressive CKCS entry at Crufts!
His mother is an International Champion!
Our pedigrees include Best In Show winners in the first two generations!
I’m always trying to improve our breeding, keeping beauty, health and loving disposition at the top of my list of priorities.
By the way, I don’t share pedigrees, sorry, I’ve worked hard to collect some really wonderful dogs and with new kennels popping up in this very competitive field, bloodlines like recipes are carefully guarded.
Last of all, I’ve always felt that matching the right family with the correct puppy was the ultimate goal.
Puppy seekers can get distracted by pictures of parents, hoping to choose a puppy from this or that combination of parents which honestly isn’t my goal in raising puppies.
Fitting the right puppy with the right family is key, regardless of prizes won or the number of ribbons a dog has accumulated.
What about a health guarantee & genetic tests?
While I’m happy that our bloodlines include top winning dogs, I’m not swayed but just fancy pedigrees. Soundness and loving and gentle temperaments are paramount and I’ve learned through hard experience that wins at prestigious events aren’t enough. We do yearly genetic testing on all of our parents and also back our puppies with a 5-year health guarantee which you can read HERE:
Are Your Puppies F1 Hybrids?
Of course. All puppies are 1st generation, F1 hybrids. We only use purebred parents and never breed hybrid to hybrid. The first generation puppies are believed to have the most benefit of the hybrid vigor that is the hallmark of the “designer dogs”.
Do you own all the parents?
Yes, and I’ve invested several small fortunes in acquiring great dogs from both the US & Europe.
So how many adults do you own?
It varies from year to year. Sometimes I’m in the midst of growing out a couple of promising youngsters to add to the breeding program, occasionally, our parents are being retired on average, from 10 to 15.
Do your dogs all live with you?
After many years of raising all of our own puppies, we decided it was either time to retire or get help with daily care and whelping of babies. For quite a few years now, our adult dogs have lived in guardian homes. We work with a few families who love dogs and thankfully, also have children for an added layer of socialization. Puppies stay with their mothers for a full 8 to 9 weeks for the priceless training that only she can provide.
I’m passionate about helping puppies learn the essentials for growing up to be obedient and well mannered family pets and companions. When puppies leave momma and come home to Foxglove Farm, work begins on the basics that each puppy needs to learn before going to their new homes (at between 11 to 14 weeks). At Foxglove they begin learning everything from grooming, nail trimming, bathing, walking on a lead, tethering, and the all important crate training and beginning potty skills and more. At this age puppies are mature enough to be able to sleep through the night, a key factor to making house training advance more quickly. Also beneficial for puppies are the lessons they learn from littermates all help teach them everyday skills from bite inhibition to playing nicely with others.
How many litters does each mother have?
That varies too. Sometimes a mother only has one litter and never has puppies again because of fertility problems. Others will have several litters, but typically, at between 3 to 6 years of age mothers are simply not as fertile and their days of raising puppies are over. I want each of my dogs (after being spayed or neutered) to be someone’s family pet and enjoy life on the couch after having raised and enjoyed their babies.
How many puppies do you have in a litter?
I’ve seen tiny litters with only 1 puppy, but on average 3 to 5 puppies.
Why are your puppies different prices?
Our puppies range in price according to conformation, coat, markings and yes, beauty. Just like a dog show, it’s a canine beauty contest, the good breeder should be able to grade her puppies, to choose “Pick of the Litter” and the ones who while every bit as healthy and sweet tempered, fall just a bit short of perfection in the looks department.
A thousand things go into judging a puppy, but having an “eye for a dog “ takes decades to acquire, a good dog breeder can tell at a glance which puppies are the closest to her goal for a truly stunning puppy.
Do you have any adult Cavachons or Cavapoos to place?
No, we don’t use them in the breeding program, only purebreds.
Can you send me a video of the puppy I’m interested in?
Nope. (Sorry, if I start doing videos I’ll have to clone myself).
And on a lighter note:
Do you take your own puppy pictures? Yep! Every. Single. One.
Sometimes it’ s a bit hair-raising when little people are in the mood to play not pose lol. I love choosing themes for litters and coming up with cute accessories to make people laugh, to help each puppy’s heart shine through for all the world to see.
And lots more questions about puppy care:
What kind of puppy food do you feed your puppies? How much should a puppy eat and how often? How often can I bathe my puppy and what shampoo should I use? How do I house train a puppy? How often do I take her outside? How old should she be before I get her spayed? Are Cavachons & Cavapoos really hypoallergenic? Which is better, a boy or a girl? Should I get one puppy or two? (ONE at a time almost always!) How do I introduce my new puppy to my older dog? Or my CAT? What vaccinations will a puppy need? How do I find a good groomer? How often should I have my puppy groomed? How do I trim my puppy’s nails? Where should my puppy sleep? Can the puppy sleep in our bed? How much should I feed my puppy? How often? How much? Etc Etc Ect!
Poor Puppy People, are often in a tizzy of indecision and the questions come tumbling out so quickly, I can tell a great deal of anxiety comes with the perilous journey of finding a puppy.
By the way, these kind of questions relating to general puppy care and training are ALL covered in my eBook “New Puppy 101” along with my Bon Voyage email that comes with pictures and links after you purchase a puppy to make everything easy-peasy as pie!
Trying to buy a puppy online can be an arduous task indeed. I decided years ago that when someone comes to me to find a puppy that I’m going to do my very best to make that experience as delightful as I possibly can.
I’ve bought many puppies myself over the years and I sympathize with people trying to wade through the internet and find their perfect dog. I’ve dealt with some wonderful dog breeders and unfortunately, lots more who were just not very nice to deal with to put it kindly : (
My puppies yes, come at a premium, but I like to think that no one works harder to make buying a puppy such a pleasure. My aim is to encourage people to open their hearts to the beauty and love that a great dog can bring. But loving dogs isn’t enough if you want to be a dog breeder, you must love people too.
Whether someone buys a puppy from me or just reaches out for help with a health or training question for the puppy they bought elsewhere, it’s been my desire to be as genuinely helpful as possible and never forget how hard finding a puppy can be.
That being said, while I love what I do, at times it does threaten to take every waking moment to keep up with it and Agatha’s too. Each time I hold a sweet little fluffy bundle or send out a box of healing products I try to remember that being in the middle of such doggie goodness is a gift to be grateful to the Lord for, but balance is key for dog breeders as well as the rest of the human race.
So in closing, hopefully, you’ve found answers to the questions you may have. At the end of the day, if you buy a puppy from Foxglove Farm or decide another breeder, I hope you find a puppy to make your dreams come true.
More than anything else, I want to raise wonderful puppies who bring much puppy joy to their new homes. Puppies who are not only healthy, but easy to train, who are, to the best of my ability, the most beautiful, the smartest, the very best puppies,,, on the planet!
With Warmest Wags,
Terry Ellen Cross
Foxglove Farm & Agatha’s Pet Wellness