Breeding the right ingredients

Breeding conjures up elitist selection, estates and luxury cars with people, but not with dogs.

Breeding in dogs is still about selection, but it’s all about traits, not boarding schools.

  • What color(s)?
  • How big or small?
  • What kind of temperament?
  • What activities will the dog do (hunting, showing, family)?

Several months ago, this was a daily discussion, along with pictures and videos of dogs. Now that wish list is our reality: LUNA!

More important than the outcome is the breeder who puts the parents and ingredients together and cares for the puppies before they arrive at a new home, to fit or terrorize.

Breeding is not an excuse for dogs that don’t behave — many well-bred dogs end up back at the breeder or in shelters because their humans weren’t ready to make the commitment. We have come to realize that training our first two AKC Bichon puppies — and two human pups at the same time — was a bit much even for Type-A parents.

We have also come to realize, 14 years later, that George, the Old Man Bichon, was probably bred for shows. Having a father who was likely his uncle may have contributed to his looks, but also to his odd behaviors; however, he is still a sweet doggie on a lap. Lily, our first bichon who passed away this spring, was from a different breeder with a larger gene pool and more like Luna. We called her our “Heinz 57” dog.

We looked at many Cockapoo breeders, hoping to find one locally, but happily settled on a breeder who was highly recommend by way of testimonials. Cockapoo of Excellence ( provided us not only pictures and videos, but also the reassurance that their dogs matched with us. Temperament was most important: loving but independent, followed by coloring. So we sent (and offer) this testimonial:

Subject: Luna
Thought you might like to see Scott and Luna are enjoying playing catch! She had such a busy day, she curled up and is sound asleep on the cat’s favorite blankets!
I also wanted to say thank you. She is such a love!! As gentle and kind as she is, I know someone loved her, took really good care of her and is probably missing her! Just know she is well loved and we promise to take good care of her. We were all so sad when Lily passed away. It’s nice to know another little angel is here to cuddle and play, so thank you!!

If you’re thinking Cockapoo, send us a note; we’ll tell you our experiences:

Delta is standing by for your Cockapoo.

This blog is part of a series about our first year with a Cockapoo named “La Signorina Lunetta di Excellence” (AKA “Luna”). Go to to read my blogs.