Schnoodle Shazams Dog Sports!

How a Banksia Park Schnoodle is dominating dog sports competitions…

 

One pure-white, long-haired Schnoodle has been strutting her stuff. Not just down at the local park, but on the national stage! This super smart Schnoodle – appropriately named Shazam – has been dominating the dog sports of Obedience and Trick Training. She has quickly made her way through competition levels; even achieving the Ultimate Obedience Grand Champion title.

(Scroll down below to see Shazam’s super cool trick videos.)

Dog sports include a wide variety of activities, obstacles and competitions for dogs but also their owners/handlers to participate in. They are designed to challenge a dog both mentally and physically as well as strengthen the canine-human bond. This fun and positive stimulation not only improves their overall wellbeing but helps create positive interactions with other people and paw-pals.

If you’d love your puppy/dog to start obedience training or dog sports but not sure where to start, Shazam’s Mum, Sylvia shares her Top 5 Tips, below. To lay a great foundation for your puppy/dog’s obedience we also recommend Ian the Dog Trainer who has decades of experience as a Dog Trainer and Behavioural Consultant.

Shazam’s mum, Sylvia, has kindly taken the time to answer our questions and share with us some amazing information and fun videos:

We are very proud of Shazam’s elite level competition achievements and both of your dedication to dog obedience training…

 -How did you and Shazam get into the Obedience/Trick sport and competition?

Shazam is my third dog I have competed with in Obedience. My first dog (Labradoodle) had big dominance aggression issues. Not the loving companion I had imagined. I needed help, that is why I started going to a local Obedience club. One thing led to another and I started competing. I was able to get her to Obedience Champion, which was the highest title at that time. I was hooked. She taught me so much, including that you don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need! She really changed my life. She enriched it so much and gave me a new passion.

-What are the categories in an Obedience Competition?

Community Companion Dog (CCD). The only level where the dog is permitted to be on lead except for the recall exercise. This level is optional and you are allowed to go straight into competing in CD.

Companion Dog (CD)

Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)

Utility Dog (UD)

Utility Dog Excellent (UDX)

Each of the above require 3 passes at each level with at least 170 points out of the maximum 200 (except in CCD which is out of 100 and you need 70+).

Obedience Champion (OC) can be obtained after you achieve UD. Then you need a further 5 passes in UD of at least 185 points. An alternate route is if you have obtained UDX you can get a further 3 passes in UDX of at least 185.

Obedience Grand Champion (O.GR.CH) is gained once you are both an Obedience Champion and obtained have obtained your UDX title. Then you need a further 5 UDX passes of at least 185 points.

 

-Can you list Shazam’s achievements/records?

 There are so many. I will only list the ones that mean the most to me.

Shazam skipped CCD and went straight into CD. She got 3 passes in a row of, 200, 199 and 199. Not sure that has ever been done before.

We gained our UD title in one weekend. Again, not sure that has ever been done before.

We competed in UD and UDX at the same time as an option to see which would get her OC quickest. Everyone said that you could not compete at both levels at the same time as a dog could not do the different exercises required at the same time. Too confusing they said. I took up that challenge and showed it could be done. The first time getting 198 and 197 in the same trial. So straight out of the UD ring into the UDX ring. Never been done before.

Shazam was very consistent and obtained her O.GR.CH within one year at the tender age of 3. Not sure that has ever been done before either.

To show how elite this title is, it was introduced in 2011. My second Obedience Dog was the first to gain the title in Victoria. Shazam was the 7th and last in Victoria. I think that shows how difficult it is to achieve.

Every time Shazam gained a pass she achieved a first place.

At Obedience trials, they award ‘Best In Trial’ to the highest scoring dog overall categories. All except one time when Shazam passed she achieved Best In Trial.

She trialled over 2 financial years and obtained Victorian Top Obedience Dog of the Year awards in both.

An interstate judge had judged her in both UD and UDX on the same day. At presentation, he said, “I have never judged a better dog and I have been judging for over 30 years”.

There have been many more great things I could mention but I think that is enough showing off.

 

-How much time and dedication goes into training for an elite event?

 A lot. How much? It depends what challenges each dog presents and how you are able to overcome them. I have never trained for lengthy periods. A short but effective training session is much more fun for my dog and me. It usually is full of games targeted at what I am working on at any particular time. I used to call myself a TV commercial trainer. I trained during the TV commercials.

I worked full time until Shazam was 2 years old so time was always tight. Most of that time I had 3 dogs. You have to prioritise and have a goal for each session.

Planning is key. Using ‘Post It’ notes helps many people. Write down 2 or 3 things you are going to do next. Eg. Spin in front to right, then left. Lure with food. As they complete the action mark it with a marker word like ‘yes’ and then release the food. Do again the same while the dog still thinks you have food in your hand. When the action is complete mark with ‘yes’ and gives the treat. The Post It would simply say spin right then left with a lure. Repeat without a lure. The rest of the explanation above is the same with any trick. Do trick/action, mark then treat. First time with food lure in hand. Second time with fake food, but still mark and treat. Once they know the trick/action you put a cue word to it. So you may say ‘spin’ then mark ‘yes’ and reward when they have done it.

 

-In your opinion, are there characteristics of certain dog breeds that lend themselves favourably to dog obedience training, or do you feel that any dog and breed can be trained successfully with the right tools and tricks?

 Absolutely any dog and any breed can enjoy training and succeed, no matter what ‘success’ means to you. Tricks can be done by puppies as young as 8 weeks and also enjoyed by our more senior dogs. Tricks allow a bond to develop that enriches both the dog and owner. Seeing what your dog can do for you and how much you both enjoy it is priceless. The more your dog learns, the easier it is, and the more eager they are to learn more. In effect, they learn to learn.

 

-What have been the positives you and Shazam have gained from training and competing together?

 She focuses on me above all else. She wants to be with me, not go sniff, go lunge at other dogs, or jump on any stranger that comes close. 100% reliable off leash. She values me as I do her.

She also has good manners at home. No counter surfing or stealing food from the coffee table. Treat pots are throughout my house so they are close at hand for training. She could steal these treat but she does not. Even if I am not at home. She can be calm while I am busy doing other things. My dogs learn to take turns. Work with one and the others patiently wait for their turn. One can race to a ball while others wait and then it’s another’s turn etc.

-Have there been any negatives?

 I don’t get frustrated with my dogs. If things aren’t going well I try to look for what I can do differently to allow my dog to understand what I want. Dogs generally will not disobey on purpose. So it is my job to often break things down into easier steps where the dog gets wins (and treats for them) so they want to stay engaged with you.

I find it very difficult to see dogs be mistreated sometimes just because they are misunderstood, but they get blamed as a ‘bad dog’, a ‘stupid’ dog, or much worse.

-What would be your top 5 tips to help a puppy/dog owner starting out in obedience/trick training?

1. Always have fun.

2. Never blame the dog. Sort out how you need to work with them.

3. If you are new to training, get into a good class. Go and watch what they do without your dog first. If they do not use methods you agree with, go somewhere else. Many councils provide training. These are run by volunteers. Check them out, but sometimes paying for an Obedience or Trick class is worthwhile. Trust your gut.

4. For Tricks and to a lesser degree Obedience, Youtube is amazing. Plenty of step by step Tricks training can be found. Again, pay attention that they are only using positive reinforcement methods.

5. Consider private lessons. Be sure to ask what training methods they adopt, as well as asking what their training plan would be for your dog. They should ask for a history of your dog’s behaviours and what they have already been trained in order to come up with an individual plan. 

Bowing Puppy

Pickpocket Puppy

Chase Your Tail

Lift Your Paw

Cuddles

Going Shopping

Piggy-Back Puppy

Houdini Puppy

Watering The Plant

Kisses For Butterfly

 

 

Does your Banksia Park Puppy have any special talents or tricks? We’d love to hear from you!

Puppy Purchasing Process

Follow these simple steps to learn about our Puppy Purchasing Process and to help you secure your pawfect puppy!

The pre-purchase phase involves researching what breed of puppy will suit you and your lifestyle as well as the essential supplies required to welcome your puppy home! We’ve helped you out by making the Research process straightforward.

Our Priority List is a convenient way to view and purchase our available puppies via photos before they are released to the general public on our website! We’ll explain how puppies can also be reserved straight from our website without the need to join a waiting list!

Once you have picked out your pawfect puppy from the Priority List or our website we’ll show you how to Reserve your puppy!

Now for the fun part, Meet & Greet time! This is when we arrange an appointment with you to meet your puppy and take it home!

For the Interstate customers, we have you covered! We’ll explain the puppy handover process and what service we trust to transport your beautiful puppy safely home to you!

Feel free to comment below or email us if you’d like more steps included or information about the process! 🙂


So after long and careful consideration, you’ve decided you’d love a new family member…a puppy! Puppy ownership is a big and lifelong responsibility which takes planning and commitment but is extremely rewarding. So with an abundance of puppy facts and information in the media and internet where do you start?

Click on the breeds bone to learn about each of the puppies we specialise in and their relevant information.

You can also view photos of what each breed looks like when grown-up. Our customers/extended family have kindly provided photos of our puppies and dogs living pawsome lives! If you’re on Instagram you can view our ‘Grown-Up’ Highlight Story or #banksiaparkpuppiesgrowing to see growth comparisons of our customers’ dogs from when they were puppies to older dogs!

Still can’t decide? Try out our quiz to find a breed that fits in with you and your lifestyle.

Wondering what you need for your puppy can be daunting, especially when there are puppy information and accessories for every occasion. We’ll help you get prepared so you’ll have your essentials ready for puppy pick-up.

 

     

Our Puppy Consultants are on-hand to help you through the process – from choosing your pawfect puppy to selecting any doggy accessories you’ll need!


The Priority List allows you to view our puppies at 6 weeks old before the general public! Puppies can be viewed with photos and the relevant information on our webpage to make choosing your pawfect puppy convenient. For each puppy breed we specialise in, we have a corresponding Priority List. This allows you to view just the puppies from the breed you want which also helps narrow down the waiting time!

In order to join all you need to do is click here, follow the prompts to create an account and become a member. To then become an active member a $100 deposit via Paypal is required. The deposit is required to show that a customer is genuinely interested in purchasing a puppy from us, but it is also fully refundable should you not follow through with the puppy purchasing process!

The Priority List is in chronological order, so if you join today you will automatically be added to the bottom of the queue and will be sent a confirmation email that you are now an active member! Even though you will be placed at the bottom, don’t worry, it will only be temporary! You will still have a chance to view the latest available litters once customers higher on the list have had their viewing time and if there are puppies ‘Available’! You will then be moved up a spot each time a customer above you has reserved and purchased their pawfect puppy!

Each Friday that we have your selected breed you can log in to your account and see your provided activation time. The customer who is first on the list has access at 9.00 am (AEST and AEDT) and the list is then deactivated at 3.30 to 4.00 pm. The more people on the list, the shorter viewing time each member has before the next member’s activation. If a customer would like the ‘pick of the litter’ they are more than welcome to wait until they are at the top of the list.

You may be wondering what happens if you’ve been waiting for your activation time on a Saturday, you log in, only to find out that all puppies have been ‘Reserved’! We understand that this can be frustrating but, it’s great to remember that as this is a fair queue-system, every time someone above you on the list reserves a puppy, you are a place closer to the top!
If you’re keen to buy a Banksia Park Puppy but aren’t sure about joining our Priority List, don’t worry! You do not have to be on a waiting list to purchase a puppy but instead, can view our website at any time and click the ‘Reserve Me Now’ button or call 1300 255 277. The latest litters and puppies which aren’t reserved through the Priority List on a Saturday are released to the general public on a Sunday, which is good news for all!

 

Read on to learn about how to ‘Reserve’ or place a puppy ‘On Hold’…and later ‘Meet & Greet’ your puppy and ‘Interstate’ information…


When browsing for your pawfect puppy or if you’ve chosen ‘The One’, How do you purchase the puppy? And what happens afterwards!? Keep reading to follow the process into ‘Reserving’, ‘On Hold’ and what follows…

When browsing for available puppies on the Priority List or looking on our website you will notice the “Reserve Me Now” buttons on the left.

 

The ‘Reserve Me Now’ button highlighted in blue below with the contact number will make a phone call to our Information Centre Office where you will speak to one of our helpful Puppy Consultants. They will help you reserve that puppy (make sure you check out the ‘Puppy Enquiry Code’ as they will want to know this!). 

 

The ‘Reserve Me Now’ button with the arrow will open up into a Contact Form (below). Here you fill in your details and will then be contacted by one of our Puppy Consultants shortly afterwards.

Once you have officially ‘Reserved’ your puppy and paid your $100 deposit, your chosen puppy will then have the ‘I’m Reserved’ title listed on our website!

You maybe be wondering about puppies on our website with ‘I’m On Hold’ title!? This means a customer is interested in the puppy but is either waiting to pay the deposit or waiting to make their final choice to secure the puppy. A puppy is ‘On Hold’ for 24 hours and other customers are still welcome to express their interest for that puppy if the first customer does not follow through with the purchase.

 

Next is “Meet & Greet” and or “Interstate” (if that applies to you), for the final steps into the Puppy Purchasing Process…


You’ve ‘Reserved’ a beautiful Banksia Park Puppy…so what happens next!?

Whether you have reserved one of our puppies from the Priority List or from our website, one of our helpful Puppy Consultants will contact you to arrange an appointment time to ‘Meet and Greet’ your puppy at our Information Centre in Chirnside Park, Melbourne.

You may be wondering why we arrange puppy pick-ups from our ‘Information Centre’ and not a ‘Pet Shop’!? A politically based Bill was passed late last year in Parliament which affects the dog breeding industry and pet shops of Victoria! The new legislation prohibits the selling of puppies and kittens from ‘Pet Shops’ in Victoria. This has resulted in us closing down our Pines Pets shop and opening up our Puppy Information Centre. Our Information Centre is strictly involved in only the consultation and support process, as well as the handing over of our puppies to their new families. Puppies are not kept or homed at the Information Centre but instead safely delivered to the puppy-friendly facility via a climatised van and only when the puppy is fully sold and paid for by the family. This is due to the legislation, and unfortunately, although this is not convenient for many families, it is not something we can change. For these reasons, Meet and Greet pick-up times are by appointment only and held on the designated delivery days. If for some reason a puppy owner does not want to follow through with the pick-up of their chosen puppy at their Meet and Greet time, you can be fully refunded and the puppy will be transported back to our Banksia Park Puppies breeding facility in Stradbroke, Victoria.

To operate within the boundaries of the new state law, we must receive full payment for any puppy before it leaves our property here in Gippsland. This can be paid by direct transfer, Bpay or credit card. In the unlikely event, you are not 100% happy with your puppy when you meet, for any reason whatsoever, the transaction will be reversed and your payment refunded in full immediately, via the same payment channel you used.

Our Puppy Consultants will also email your invoice and send your entire puppy pack electronically for you to read, along with detailed directions to the Puppy Information Centre (as it isn’t yet on Google maps).

The date your puppy is ready to ‘Meet and Greet’ and to go home is listed alongside the puppy photos as ‘ready to go’ on the website (see below). If you reserved a puppy via the Priority List it will be 6 weeks of age at that time and will be ready to go home in 2 weeks time, at 8 weeks. Why 8 weeks of age? This is when your puppy is developmentally ready to leave it’s Mum and siblings and has been weaned of Mum’s milk onto soft but solid puppy food! 8-10 weeks is an invaluable time for your puppy to bond with you and your family as well as learn positive social and human interaction, also known as the Human Socialisation Period, so it is ideal that your puppy is collected as close as possible to the listed ‘ready to go’ date.

Arrangements need to be made for us to keep the puppy beyond this date, and are not preferred given the important time that this is both for your family as well as your new family member.

 


We are fortunate enough to be able to provide families throughout Australia with the gift of puppy ownership! To make this possible we have entrusted JetPets to safely deliver our puppies to most states, territories and cities. They are an Australian and Worldwide recognised animal transport company. They have two decades of experience in the safe and comfortable transportation of family pets via aeroplane and vehicle. 

Before your puppy leaves Banksia Park Puppies in Stradbroke, Victoria, we will email you updated and relevant photos and a video of your puppy to show that it is happy, healthy and ready to travel. Our Vet will also assess whether your puppy is ready and provide a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate. Once satisfied, your invoice must be paid in full (JetPets costs included) before your puppy leaves our breeding facility in Stradbroke. One of our friendly JetPets Consultant will then contact you to arrange flight times from Melbourne to your capital city. 

We will then transport your puppy in our climatised van from Banksia Park Puppies to our Information Centre, in Melbourne, where we will bathe and get your puppy ready for transportation to the JetPets depot at the Tullamarine Aiport in Melbourne. JetPets will then arrange puppy for the safe and comfortable flight to your Capital City (or regional airport if arranged). 

We recommend that you personally pick-up your puppy from the JetPets depot or at some airports the freight terminal, upon arrival. JetPets do offer vehicle transportation within most cities, which is convenient, but also costly. 

Congratulations!

Congratulations, you are now the new pawrent of a beautiful Banksia Park Puppy! We hope you share many happy memories and milestones together. Share with us your pawfect puppy moments on Instagram, Facebook or email

Remember we are always an email or call 1300 255 277 away if you need help before, during or after the Puppy Purchasing Process! 🙂

 

 

 

Puppy Information Centre

You may be wondering what happened to our Pines Pets shop and where families now pick up their puppies?! Well, we are super excited to announce the opening of our new Puppy Information Centre in Melbourne! Even though it officially opened in July this year, we would love to share with you our brand new puppy and family friendly pick up stop.

As you may be aware, a politically based Bill was passed late last year in Parliament which not only affects the dog breeding industry but pet shops of Victoria! In compliance with the new state laws, Pines Pets sadly needed to be closed, but as a positive, we were able to open up our Puppy Information Centre! Our Information Centre is strictly involved in only the consultation and support process, as well as the handing over of our puppies to their new families. Puppies are not kept or homed at the Information Centre but instead safely delivered to the puppy-friendly facility via a climatised van and only on designated ‘Meet & Greet’ pick up days. Unfortunately for families who want to visit their puppy prior to purchase; there are never any ‘available’ puppies at our Puppy Information Centre, the puppies there are already sold and ready to be picked up by their new families on the same day they arrive at the Centre.

This means that ‘Meet and Greet’ pick-up times are by appointment only and held on the designated delivery days. If for some reason a puppy owner does not want to follow through with the pick-up of their chosen puppy at their Meet and Greet time, then that puppy will be transported back to our Banksia Park Puppies breeding facility in Stradbroke, Victoria.

You may be wondering why do we have puppy pick-ups at our Information Centre and instead of our breeding facility?! At our breeding facility in Stradbroke, Victoria we prefer to focus on looking after our parent dogs and breeding our puppies. If we were to introduce selling puppies directly from our property we feel that our time and energy would be spread between both tasks. We believe that is best for the health of our dogs that we focus our attention and resources on raising them and producing the best puppies in Australia. That is why we have a wonderful team in Melbourne to focus on the area of consulting. They are very experienced at what they do and can focus on delivering exceptional customer service that we know you deserve. It is also convenient that our consulting team are located in Melbourne. This means that most customers can easily visit our Puppy Information Centre to talk to our team and pick-up their puppy. It is also close to the Melbourne airport making it efficient for the team to safely fly our puppies to Interstate families!

When you contact our Information Centre via phone 1300 255 277 or email you’ll be in contact with one of our friendly Puppy Consultants, Nick, Steve, Kate, Mia and Annie! The team has many years of experience consulting our customers before, during and after the puppy purchasing process. They have invaluable knowledge when it comes to all of our puppy breeds and they know how to help you choose your pawfect puppy!

 

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!

20180822_101607

 

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!