Courageous Cavoodles!

Banksia Park Cavoodle & ‘Cousin’ Cavoodle Save The Day…

 

Liberty and her ‘fur-cousin’ Buzzy recently became unknowing heroes after a slithery encounter in the backyard of a property in Sanctuary Lakes, Melbourne. Both brave Cavoodles fought off a deadly Tiger snake, which inturn saved their human family from potential danger! Buzzy (Liberty’s ‘fur-cousin’ and bigger Cavoodle) was the first to take-on the snake and slay it! Liberty, 3AW Radio presenter Stephen Quartermain’s 9-month-old Banksia Park Cavoodle followed the lead and helped ‘finish up’. Unfortunately, poor Buzzy was bitten several times during the ordeal but Liberty was lucky to escape injury! Both dogs were checked and treated at an Animal Hospital straight away and thankfully Buzzy is now on the mend.

Read below for the interview with Liberty’s family…

According to DELWP Victoria, Tiger snakes are considered to be one of the most venomous snakes in the world! They are actually quite popular along the South-East coast of Australia and particularly Melbourne suburbs. Although they are mainly ground dwellers they are also confident swimmers as well. Like most snakes, they are most active during warm sunny weather. Even though Tiger snakes and snakes, in general, have a bad reputation they are still an important part of the ecosystem and help keep down rodent numbers.

To help protect your family and dog it is best to reduce the chance of a slithery encounter by keeping grass short, removing piles of backyard clutter and staying alert when walking your dog in the park especially during warm weather, near water sources and or around long grass and hollow logs!

Living and working out in the bush here in Stradbroke, Victoria, we’re all too familiar with snakes! We have dozens of sightings per year, some coming within metres of our dogs and house! Strategies we use to keep these slippery critters away and our dogs safe include:

  • installing snake-wire along the bottom of our dog pens
  • regular dog/pen inspections by our team
  • keeping the pens and surrounding yard clutter-free to reduce snake ‘homes’
  • mowing long grass and controlled burn-offs to keep dense shrubbery low.
  • educating team members about watching for snakes and wearing correct PPE

If bitten by a snake, call 000 or if your dog is bitten call an animal hospital or Vet immediately!

DELWP Victoria’s Tiger Snake Fact Sheet

 

Liberty’s family, have kindly taken the time to answer our questions about the snake ordeal:

We are very proud of Liberty and Buzzy for their bravery, taking on the Tiger Snake and protecting your family!

Did you know at the time that it was a snake and or that it was deadly?

I was upstairs at my Grandma’s house with Liberty, I then went downstairs looking for Buzzy. They have a patio with grass surrounding it and I saw him flinging something around in his mouth, my immediate thought was that it was a stick but as I approached him I realised that It was a snake. My immediate thought was of course to panic, it is a generalized idea to think that all snakes are dangerous, thus leading me to panic even more. But no at the time I didn’t realize that it was a tiger snake, but if it did I think I would have panicked even more. When Liberty went outside with Buzzy I wasn’t sure if the snake was dead or alive.

Was the Tiger Snake hiding in the grass, under an object or in plain sight!?

I was upstairs at the beginning so I didn’t know exactly where the snake was. But at the end of the day, my whole family inspected the backyard, and we have reason to believe that it went through a hole in a fence, also because behind it is a river with high grass which is a prime spot for snakes.

I’m sure you were very worried but proud of Liberty and Buzzy! Did they receive lots of cuddles and or doggy treats?

Not at the time, they had snake bits around their mouth and fur, and truthfully my immediate thought was to make sure that we can get them both to the animal Hospital as quickly as possible. In the car, I comforted Buzzy by scratching his favourite spot behind his ear and after Liberty was dismissed I gave her the biggest cuddle of relief.

Is Buzzy doing well now after being bitten and has Liberty and your family recovered from the ordeal?

Buzzy is on bed rest for 6-8 weeks as the venom can reactivate during this time. This means no walks or ball games which he dearly loves. He is eating well, but sleeping much more than previously but this is to be expected.

It was very stressful for everybody! when you come down from such a high of adrenaline and stress, you can feel quite tired and emotional, which I definitely did. It took me a few days to fully recover. I don’t think I will ever react the same way to a snake after the attack. We knew we had to act quickly because it was a life or death situation. I was scared to go outside for a few days thinking there could be more snakes. I’ve recovered but will not forget.

What advice would you give to other puppies and dog owners out there if they encounter a creature that looks like a snake?

Get inside! 100% try to avoid any contact with any creature that looks like a snake. You may be curious but it’s not worth the risk.  Especially now in Spring, as they are most active. If you have any reason to believe that your dog has been near a snake, take it to the vet, it is better safe than sorry.

 

Photo credit: @libertyrose.q & 3AW

Puppy Prices!

 

We receive lots of questions about our puppy prices and how we set them. Prices for puppies around the world seem to be in hot debate with some people wondering at what owners are willing to pay for the joy a puppy brings to their family, while others understanding that the care that is put into breeding a dog that is healthy, happy, and perfect for their lifestyle is important. We definitely understand that it can be daunting for some future puppy owners to justify paying a high price for a puppy or a dog especially when general life expenses can make finances tight. You may have noticed that Banksia Park puppy prices have increased since the beginning of the year and you may be curious as to why. Well, here we will explain in detail our reasoning for our puppy prices and why we are conscious of trying to make our gorgeous puppies affordable for the average family as well as covering our costs. In turn, you will also gain insight into the level of care and attention that goes into raising our puppies and parent dogs as well as running our family business!

 

Inflation:

It is common for our puppy pricing to slightly increase each year to keep in line with the rising costs of inflation. Inflation is the general and gradual increase in goods and services. It can be inconvenient to pay more for the same product or service, but it keeps our economy healthy. You might be wondering how does this affect our puppies? Well, products such as dog food, hay, medicine etc. and also services such as labour hire, veterinary costs and energy bills gradually increase with inflation and in turn, we adjust our puppy prices to keep in line with that.

The Bill:

The puppy breeding industry of Victoria and in turn our family business has been affected by a politically based Bill that was passed in Parliament late last year. This has been one of the main reasons for our puppy prices to increase! With fewer mum dogs to breed with, there will be fewer puppies for us to sell and potentially fewer puppies up for sale and available for families in Victoria as well. Even though the Bill will not be fully enforced until April 2020, we have already made changes and one major change is the rehoming of many of our parent dogs. In order to comply with the laws, we will need to reduce the number of our mums to fewer than 50. This will mean a big drop in numbers, but we are very mindful of gradually rehoming them over the next two years to ensure they find the right homes to go to! In the near future, we will have fewer puppies to sell but of course they still require the same amount of attention with higher costs to raise due to less economies of scale. This means that we need to pay more for the same amount of care and focus. Victorian puppy market prices will increase but we are very mindful of not increasing our prices in line with competitors but instead offering fair pricing for outstanding puppies based on meeting our costs with the services we provide.

Vet:

Veterinary care is often understated, but what it achieves for our puppies, parents and animals in general, is amazing! We have great relationships with our local Vet in Sale, Victoria and Boronia Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne. All our puppies are Vet checked at 6 weeks of age. The Vet microchips each puppy and checks that they are healthy and developmentally ready for sale at 8 weeks of age. Having regular and professional medical care ensures that our puppies and parents are kept healthy and that any potential ailments are prevented or treated ASAP! This professional medical care does come at a price and we feel it is absolutely worth it. The Veterinarians come out to our property twice a week, and sometimes we even drive to Melbourne to get an expert opinion. We need to pay all these costs which include 6-week checks, rechecks, microchipping, vaccinations on puppies and parents, pre-mating checks, post whelping checks, 12-month checks, fitness to breed checks, any medical checks in the meantime, questions on everyday happenings, rehoming checks and desexing checks. As you can understand this is one of our biggest investments at Banksia Park Puppies. While we are very happy to invest so much in Veterinary care, this along with our wages are the biggest ongoing costs we have every week.

 

DNA Testing:

At Banksia Park Puppies we test all our parent dogs by an independent genetic analysis service. This service screens the blood samples of our dogs for every DNA disease currently detectable in their breed type. The potential for genetic disease varies for different breeds and cross-breeds, so different and appropriate screening tests are used per dog. You may ask why we go to these lengths to have all our dogs tested in this way? DNA test results help us determine which parent dogs should be used to breed our puppies. Healthy puppies are important especially in the long term when we want them to have long and healthy lives with their new families. Testing is a speciality service and comes at a price but we feel it is well worth it. Not many puppy-breeding providers indulge in this service, but we intend to set a great example in our industry.

It is important to note that a lot of the potential genetic diseases are rare and are not known in Australia but being proactive is the best way of keeping Australian dog’s safe. For more information and a list of potential genetic diseases in dogs visit our blog DNA Testing.

 

Health Guarantee:

To ensure our customers’ peace of mind we offer the highest health guarantee for our puppies and dogs! At Banksia Park Puppies our aim “…is to breed the healthiest, most vibrant puppies possible, with a placid temperament, lovely nature and the instinctive ability to become loyal and faithful companions. These puppies will grow to be the perfect addition for families, especially those with children.” We keep this in mind when we sell each and every one of our puppies and dogs but we understand that unforeseeable health ailments can arise! Our Puppy Consultants are on hand to assist with helpful before, during and after service and know the right services and Vets for referrals. Health Guarantees are invaluable especially during a potentially stressful and sad period if your paw-pal happens to require extra care! We don’t know of any puppy-breeding businesses that offer the level of service and financial assistance that we offer and we pride ourselves on this. Read here to see what your Banksia Park Puppy is covered for under the Health Guarantee.

Lifetime Guarantee:

Here at Banksia Park Puppies we understand that life can throw curveballs! We empathise with our Banksia Park families especially when tricky life circumstances mean that you may no longer be able to care for your puppy or dog. It is a huge and difficult dilemma for a family to face, but we believe a Banksia Park puppy is a part of our extended family for life. We prefer to know where our puppies and dogs are homed and so offer this lifetime guarantee. The guarantee means that if you have carefully decided that you are no longer able to care for your Banksia Park puppy or dog that we will rehome it for you! That can be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders especially during a stressful life-event! So, how does a lifetime rehoming guarantee affect puppy prices? It only marginally affects the cost of a puppy with the potential cost to re-advertise and sell the puppy/dog to an owner or family that will be personally vetted by us to ensure they are a pawfect match!

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Team Members:

A major and invaluable part of breeding and raising our puppies is our Team. Their hands-on round the clock care and love ensures that our puppies and parents are happy and healthy. Our team knows each one of our dogs personally, from their lovable quirks to their moody-moments! This attention to detail not only makes for a happy dog but also is also handy in the event of picking up on potential illness early. Puppy and dog documentation and archives are also very important and ensure thorough record keeping and future referencing. We have high standards for our team which we include in our Induction Manual, “Every worker or volunteer at Banksia Park Puppies, no matter your ‘title’ or the particular work you do has a very important role; to make our dogs the happiest and healthiest that they can be. We want you to see your role as an employee at a 5-star hotel.”

We understand that without our team we would not have such a smooth-running business. Some of our team members are trained in Animal Husbandry and grooming and many have learnt on the job with hands-on learning and further education, which we highly encourage. Here at Banksia Park Puppies in Stradbroke, we employ 30 team members from our local area, some of which have mild disabilities. At our Information Centre in Chirnside Park, Melbourne, we employ a further 10 team members who deliver impeccable sales service and puppy advice. We also hire local tradesman and handyman to maintain and improve our facilities. Team member and labour costs are a big part of the price of our puppies but we personally feel that it is well justified. The round-the-clock care, hard work and passion for animals can’t be skimped on!

 

Enrichment:

Our team extends to our Socialisation Staff, who ensure our parent dogs and puppies receive a great start to life with continual learning and development. Socialisation involves physical exercise that is provided with play and running; mental stimulation with interactive toys and new experiences; and emotional stability provided with the regular love and care from our team with pats, cuddles, conversation and support! Enrichment is very important for puppies especially during the 7-12 week developmental phase known as the Human Socialisation Period. If puppies are nurtured correctly during this period and beyond, they will grow into happy and confident adult dogs. Positive experiences and human interaction early in life lead to a well-rounded dog and therefore a happy family!

 

Marketing:

To maintain a professional and successful business and to ensure that our families receive photos and the best information wherever they are across Australia, our photography and marketing team is required! With many social media platforms these days we want our families to be able to interact with each other and us wherever they are most comfortable. Photography and videography are an important part of this and our 6-week puppy photos posted on our website are usually the first image of what a future owner will see of their potential puppy! Videos also show customers their puppy’s temperament and/or that they are happy and healthy especially before travelling interstate. We also have a Banksia Park Puppies Family Group on Facebook so we and our extended Banksia family can stay in touch and watch our puppies grow! We love to see and interact with the families into the future, and we think it’s appropriate for us to interact and be available to answer questions on platforms other than email or phone. Things such as blogs and newsletters help our families learn about the best ways to look after their puppies, about their development, and to stay updated with the things happening at Banksia Park Puppies such as details on mums rehomed or our renovations. Our marketing Team maintains our professional level of service to our families and provides our customers with ongoing and extensive puppy knowledge!

 

Food, Shelter and more:

It’s a given to provide puppies and dogs with the basic level of care such as food, water, shelter and a comfortable environment and temperature… but we like to go beyond and provide an extra level of nutrition and comfort like they’re living in a swanky hotel! We achieve this with a nutritionally balanced dog and puppy food appropriate for their level of development; regularly freshened hay as bedding; underfloor heating and wood fires in the sheds in the colder months; fans and air-conditioning in the warmer months; and immaculate hygiene and upkeep with regular cleaning and disinfecting! Although this might seem pretty straightforward, it is labour intensive and costs can add up quick!

We also look to renovate our nurseries and facilities regularly and always provide the best level of care, cleanliness, and facilities possible; all of which require ongoing investment. We cannot stop investing in our property and for this reason we require more than just our daily costs met – to invest in the best facilities requires updates to things like new gates, new concrete floors, new air conditioners and heaters when required. Investments such as swimming pools for the parents to swim in and to enrich their lives we see as ‘necessities’ but which do require high ongoing investment.

 

We hope we have shed light on the processes involved in breeding and raising our puppies and dogs as well as background information for our puppy prices.

Owning a puppy is a life-long commitment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Puppy ownership costs continue beyond the initial purchase price of a puppy and include regular food, grooming, vet checks and accessories just to name a few. We urge future hopeful puppy owners to only commit to a puppy if they have given it much thought and know that they can financially and emotionally provide for their paw-pal well into the future!

We look forward to being of service to you and your puppy throughout its life! 🙂

 

Birthday Celebration!

4 Generations at Banksia Park…

Today Mary Hams – one of the founders of Banksia Park Puppies at Stradbroke – will celebrate her 90th Birthday! Just looking at her and her immaculate house and garden you would never guess she was a day over 60! Still fit and agile, she loves to get out and about to tend to her plants and chooks, with her dog Roxy close by and her rescued sheep Rambo wanting yet another feed. Our team members love to stop and have a chat with Mary as they walk the dogs past her house. Scrabble with her friends every week keeps her mind sharp and she’s never short of a witty comment or wise advice! She is still determined to do her own shopping and won’t even let you push the trolley, but this tenacity is what helped to start off Banksia Park Puppies at its current Stradbroke location nearly 30 years ago!

Mary’s son Colin had been breeding dogs for the pet industry for over a decade before that and his wife’s dad Alan had been breeding working dogs and then companion dogs since the 1950’s. Colin later moved the family’s dog breeding business to Stradbroke, Victoria in the early 1990’s. The environment is more favourable here in Stradbroke, with even temperatures, lower rainfall compared to other parts of Gippsland and sandy soils, which is ideal for good drainage to reduce the chance of potential waterborne diseases.

When Banksia Park was in its early stages Mary lived on the property by herself taking care of the puppies and parent dogs at night and on the weekend when her son Colin was travelling to and from Trafalgar. Over the years the successful family business has grown and now 4 generations of Hams’ reside at Banksia Park!

Mary has long retired from the business but is always influential with her moral support, level-head and witty advice. Colin is still actively involved as one of the Managing Directors and his supportive wife Kay is well known in the local area as a most loved Primary School teacher, and for her volunteer and charity work which the family is extremely proud of. The reigns have now been passed onto their son Matt who has grown up with puppy breeding in his blood, and along with his wife Kirstin are the Managing and Operational Directors and the face of the brand; you most likely have seen them on the news or heard them on the radio. They live here with their two children, Bella and Diesel who have grown up on the property and enjoy inviting friends and family over to play with the puppies.

On the weekend the family went above and beyond to pay respects to Mary with a spectacular birthday celebration fit for a Queen! A beautiful horse drawn carriage, lead by a bagpiper escorted Mary through the pines, across the road and through Banksia Park, stopping at Mary’s house. Over 70 guests enjoyed the afternoon with a traditional style high-tea and uncanny nice winter weather!

Happy Birthday Mary, may we celebrate many more!!

 

Puppy Teething

 

 Do chew marks on furniture or destroyed slippers sound familiar? What could be considered as naughty puppy behaviour may actually be less sinister than originally thought and in fact a part of the puppy teething stage! Puppy teething sounds much like toddler teething in humans and actually, it is quite similar. It is a tender time for your puppy as it is losing its ‘baby’ puppy teeth and growing ‘adult’ dog teeth all within the short time frame of 3-4 months. During this period your puppy’s primary aim is to ease the pain, so not only will there be excess chewing but also bleeding gums, whining, apathy and potential aggressive moments! We have some great tips about easing your puppy through this milestone as well as some great oral health information!

 

 

What to do?:

This stage in a puppy’s life can sometimes be challenging for puppy and owner. On-off pain due to losing and growing teeth can cause what looks like puppy mood swings and behavioural issues. You may feel helpless, concerned or have run out of options. Don’t worry, we have some helpful tips to soothe puppy’s pain, save your furniture and keep everyone happy:

  • Use tough but safe puppy chew toys to help relieve your puppy’s mouth pain and stress and hopefully save your belongings. If your puppy decides that socks etc. are more interesting, reinforce the use of their own toys and make it into a fun game so they associate the toy with fun. There are also many puppy toys on the market that can be filled with treats or a smidge of peanut butter, which is another fun way to keep puppy distracted and entertained.
  • Freezing puppy safe foods and even toys is a cooling chew treat. Foods to freeze can include sliced apples, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon (rind-and seedless), carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato, as well as ice blocks. These cool treats help to reduce sore and inflamed gums.
  • Playtime and obedience training not only is great for your puppy’s development but also a good distraction. When your puppy is active and mentally stimulated it has less time to remember its teething pain and also less likely to return to negative chewing habits.

 

Dental Care:

  • From a young age, get your puppy used to you touching in and around its mouth. This will help a lot in the future especially with brushing, oral examinations and vet visits.
  • Puppy and dogs can’t clean their own teeth, and chew toys and bones can only do so much. That’s why it is a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and to start when they are young. Brushing helps to reduce plaque build-up and keep breath fresh. This will reduce the need for regular vet visits and potential mouth diseases.
  • Begin with just a finger brush and then when you are both confident move to a soft toothbrush with puppy toothpaste (human toothpaste can cause an upset tummy).

 If you’re worried about your puppy and see that it is in a lot of pain or not acting its usual self, talk to a Veterinarian. They may prescribe puppy pain medication or provide other helpful advice!

 Also if your puppy’s behaviour requires extra attention it could be a good idea to get help from a dog behavioralist such as Ian the Dog Trainer. Even puppies going through their teething stage need set boundaries and discipline to prevent negative behaviour turning into long-term habits.

 Is your puppy going through Puppy Teething or are you passed those days? What cool tips and tricks did you use to keep your puppy happy and healthy? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

 

Groodles

See our puppies all grown up…

 

We love watching our Groodle puppies be born, reared and grow into happy and healthy 8-week old pups. Thanks to social media and our extended families, we can watch our puppies grow up having pawsome lives! Here, families have shared with us just some of the many milestones and happy-snaps of their beloved Banksia Park Puppy!

For more information on our Groodle breed visit here.

If you’d like your Banksia Park Groodle to star on this page we’d love you to contact us via email, Instagram or Facebook.

Cavadors

See our puppies all grown up…

 

We love watching our Cavador puppies be born, reared and grow into happy and healthy 8-week old pups. Thanks to social media and our extended families, we can watch our puppies grow up having pawsome lives! Here, families have shared with us just some of the many milestones and happy-snaps of their beloved Banksia Park Puppy!

For more information on our Cavador breed visit here.

If you’d like your Banksia Park Cavador to star on this page we’d love you to contact us via email, Instagram or Facebook.

 

Spoodles

See our puppies all grown up…

 

We love watching our Spoodle puppies be born, reared and grow into happy and healthy 8-week old pups. Thanks to social media and our extended families, we can watch our puppies grow up having pawsome lives! Here, families have shared with us just some of the many milestones and happy-snaps of their beloved Banksia Park Puppy!

For more information on our Spoodle breed visit here.

If you’d like your Banksia Park Spoodle to star on this page we’d love you to contact us via email, Instagram or Facebook.