The Grace Wood Farm Difference
Without question, we pride ourselves on providing the best possible experience for all our dogs and new families adopting one of our furballs. We genuinely believe that our dog breeding program is the best and, without question, better than any other program we know of. From the first phone call you make to us to the day your puppy arrives in your arms and the years of cuteness and love following Grace Wood Farm is going to be here providing the best for you and your pooch.
-Luke & Brittney
Founders, Grace Wood Farm
What Sets Us Apart
The opposite of a puppy mill
We get sick to our stomachs over how poor dogs are treated at puppy mills. If you aren't familiar with a puppy mill, let us explain these terrible places. Typically there are dozens or hundreds of dogs at the breeder's site. There is no feasible way to manage that many dogs unless you put them all in kennels. All of those poor parent dogs end up living their entire existence in a small kennel. They don't go out. They don't play. Often they are neglected and rife with infections, parasites, mites, fleas, etc. Sheepadoodles, Poochons, and other designer dogs are highly sought after, and often reputable breeders like us have a long waitlist. On rare occasions, puppies are available now due to someone having to drop their spot on our waitlist.
We pride ourselves on being the polar opposite of a puppy mill. All of our parent dogs deserve to live their best life, still be beloved pets, and be cared for as any beloved pooch deserves. This is why we have the unique model of having several small, family-oriented breeding locations, with a limited amount of doggies at each site. We have a limited amount of litters at each location at a time, ensuring that all our pups get the thorough care they need and deserve. Below we will go into more detail about our practices, which, as you will see, couldn't be further from a puppy mill. There's only one way to shut down puppy mills for good - don't buy from them!
We are professionals
How do you know if a dog breeder knows what they are doing? Are they going to do it all right? Can I trust them?
Get on Google and search for any popular dog breed, and you will find countless breeders in any populated area. Unfortunately, the mass majority are what we in the industry call a "backyard breeder." It's basically someone who got a bright idea to breed their pet dogs. They have no professional experience or setup. Backyard breeders are a red flag and should be avoided entirely.
Here at Grace Wood Farm, we have combined decades of experience in breeding, birthing, animal care, and professional business operations. Our standards in caring for our parent dogs, puppies, and entire breeding program are more rigorous, in-depth, and responsible than any other breeder we are aware of.
From the highest quality diet to supplements, vitamins, neurological stimulation, and birthing protocols, our dogs are getting the best of the best care. We know how to care for our dogs and puppies with a level of quality that is bar-none.
All of our staff are rigorously trained and follow strict routines and rules every day with every dog. All of our operations are held to the highest level of integrity. When we ensure that our dogs have the best, you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality puppy.
All in the family
If you ever get around us, Luke & Brittney, for any period of time, you'll soon find out that we are all about family! We are passionate about healthy families, and that passion is always brought to Grace Wood Farm. We love deep and meaningful relationships. As our breeding program has grown, the only vision we ever had was to keep it all in the family.
All of our location breeders are our close and long-lasting friends. Some of these friends have been with us since we were teenagers! We absolutely love that we get to work with our best friends, and we trust them to operate to our highest level of standards and integrity continuously.
We have six kids, and it's been such a joy to have our kids involved in every litter we've had. These puppies receive premium neurological stimulation as they get held, kissed, snuggled, and played with by our kids' tiny hands. It is recognized within the breeding community that the intentional introduction of new stimuli to dogs during their peak neurological development in their young puppy stage will directly affect the dog's long-term disposition. Their health and temperament drastically improve in the methods we use.
Each of our location breeders has children, and their kids love helping with the puppies just like ours have! Puppies that have not been introduced to new stimuli, including interaction with people of different ages and temperaments, will often be timider, have problems with new people or stimuli, and are more likely to have behavioral issues. It is common for an irresponsible breeder to have little interaction with the puppies and may not even bathe them once before they go home. The critical stage of development for those puppies gets missed, and the dog's risk of having behavior or health problems increases. We personally handle each of the puppies one-on-one on a routine to provide optimal development and socialization.
You can rest assured that with Grace Wood Farm, you are working with a small family business that only works with their closest family. When you adopt a puppy from us, you get to join us as part of the Grace Wood Farm family!
Rigorous vetting of parent dogs
Their family line always influences a dog's health, behavior, and temperament. With all of our parent dogs, we only choose dogs that meet our quality and expectation to meet our goal, providing you with the best family pet you could ask for. If any of our dogs exhibited health or behavior concerns, we would immediately remove them from our breeding program.
We buy our parent dogs from AKC registered and recognized breeders of Poodles, Bichons and Old English Sheepdogs. They are long-standing friends, and we trust their responsibility in their breeding program. As some of them have been breeding for 20+ years, they don't just know the history of the parents, but the grandparents, great grandparents, great great great and on, because they have been breeding that line for generation upon generation. Any concerns of health, behavior, or temperament are continuously monitored in the family lines.
However, a dog can check every box for pedigree, health, and looks - yet if it has a screw loose - it should never be bred! Behavior problems will pass on to their puppies. Unfortunately, many irresponsible breeders only look to check the looks or health boxes without caring about behavior. They breed dogs that should never be bred.
We monitor all of our parent dogs before entering them into our breeding program. We are looking to see that they are friendly with children, other safe dogs, and safe strangers. We want to know that they don't display anxious, frightened, or nervous behavior. We expect them to train well and respond well to obedience commands. They must be non-aggressive in every way towards their caregivers, safe animals, and safe strangers. We expect them to bark at unfamiliar noises but not bark at every car that drives by or any other excessive barking. We want to see that they play with our other dogs in their pack. If a dog gives us any concern in any of these and other areas, we will not enter them into our breeding program.
Our parent dogs are pets, not breeding machines
All of our parent dogs are a part of Grace Wood Farm. Outside of a few dogs who live in host homes, all of our dogs live on-site at our breeding locations. We keep a limited amount of dogs in each location, only 4-5 females and 1-2 males. This allows us to let our dogs get what they deserve and live their happiest doggie life. These pups are our friends, and we want to give them the best!
Ethical breeding is the only mindset we have with our breeding program. We don't have a set amount of times we breed any of our mamas. We judge each of their situations individually to ensure it is what is best for that mama. We have the mamas examined by our veterinarian prior to breeding them to ensure their health is at an optimal level to give them the best success in pregnancy. We watch our mamas while pregnant to make sure they are healthy, active, and happy throughout their pregnancy. We expect their labor and delivery to go smoothly for them and their puppies without complications. We want to see them display maternal instinct with their puppies. They need to produce enough milk for their litter without issue and transition to weaning without a problem. If a mama had complications in any of these areas, we would immediately retire her from our program, even if she only had 1 litter. If they are healthy, we will breed them again and take each litter at a time. The last few girls we retired each had 3 litters.
After our parent dogs retire, we have them spayed/neutered and place them in the highest quality family home to live the rest of their best doggie life. Currently, all of our retired dogs have been placed with close family friends and veterinary colleagues. Our vet actually begs us to let her know about each mom we retire because she always wants them all to go to her friends!
Professionally equipped nurseries and ample space for parents
Each of our locations is outfitted with a professional birthing setup, including nurseries designed for the best experience for the puppies. Our pups are in a home environment, interacting with our families and us. As mentioned, socialization is critical for a puppy. Many dog breeders don't have anyone handle the puppies outside of themselves. Our puppies are engaged daily by our kids and us. Our son Levi loves to get in the nursery and cover himself in puppies, laughing his face off. These pups getting this interaction is so beneficial for their development.
We use veterinary-grade instruments, medicines, and care techniques with all our parent dogs and puppies. We have a strict regimen of cleaning and sanitizing our nurseries to prevent health problems. All of our nurseries are temperature-controlled year-round.
Our parent dogs do not live in kennels and dog runs. Each of our locations has ample space for their dogs to run and play. We provide them a large fenced play yard to run, play, and exercise. We play with and train our parent dogs daily, snuggle, love, and treat them like family. Our parent dogs are all happy, smiling, and healthy. They are social, friendly, and well-behaved. They are professionally groomed regularly in addition to our routine brushing, ear cleaning, trims, and coat maintenance. We've never met another breeder who cares for their parent dogs like we do.
Early neurological stimulation
Often dog breeders leave all responsibility of socializing a puppy to the new owners after the puppy has gone home. With advancements in veterinary research, we now know that developing a stable temperament in a dog has critical stages while in the care of the breeder.
We provide Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises individually to each puppy. The US military created this method to improve the quality of working dogs they trained. This approach has been found to initiate early neurological growth in the puppies, increasing their later capacity for performance. According to the AKC, "Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to ENS, including improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate); stronger heart beats; stronger adrenal glands; more tolerance to stress; and greater resistance to disease. In tests of learning, ENS stimulated pups were more active and exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates, according to Breeding Better Dogs."
This strategic approach helps the puppy to develop more capacity to deal with stressful situations later in life. Research has shown that the puppies are also likely to be more explorative, more social and confident with humans, more confident in engaging in social situations with other dogs, and better at problem-solving. They have reduced likelihood of nervous behavior, awkward sociability, and skittishness.
Research has also shown that proper socialization during the first 8 weeks has long-standing effects on the dog's temperament. We give each puppy individual attention, stimulation, snuggles, holding, play, and tactile exploration. Our puppies are provided regular opportunities to explore new play areas, new toys, and new environments. We and our children all handle the puppies, bathe them, dry them, and snuggle them. Introduction to different handlers, situations, rooms, temperatures, and stimulations improves a dog's long-term mental health. They will be calmer, more adaptable, more sociable with people and dogs, and can even have increased overall health.
Puppies are litter trained for improved house-breaking
Often breeders will keep their puppies in an area filled with pine shavings, and the puppies will poop and pee wherever they are standing. The breeder will change the shaving regularly. Although this makes for a controllable clean-up environment, it is a disservice to the families adopting the pups. These puppies now are conditioned that whenever they feel like they have to go to the bathroom, they just do it wherever they are standing. This now becomes a hurdle their new family must overcome during housebreaking and crate training. Additionally, the puppies may be exposed to other bacteria, diseases, worms, parasites, etc., from being in their own feces.
We litter train all of our puppies, starting pretty much as soon as they can see and walk. We use pine pellets and place them in a large litter box. We then spend several days training the puppies that whenever they have to go to the bathroom, they should do it in the litterbox. You'd be surprised that after a few days, we can have most of the puppies going to the bathroom in the litterbox most of the time.
With this approach, the puppies are now conditioned not to go to the bathroom wherever they are standing, and whenever they need to. Instead, they know they have to go to a designated area to go to the bathroom. When that puppy transitions to house life and housebreaking, we've found that they housebreak and crate train much faster than puppies who have not been litter trained. Of course, an 8-week old puppy who goes home still needs to be housebroken and will have accidents. Our method helps speed up the process of housebreaking.
Additionally, litter training allows us to keep all of the puppies' excrements to a designated area that is routinely cleaned throughout the day and the pine pellets regularly replaced. By containing the fecal matter in a designated space, it allows us to reduce the likelihood of diseases being spread amongst the litter and allows us to keep our nurseries at a level of cleanliness that is of the highest quality.
We have a long-standing reputation as one of the country's top Sheepadoodle breeders and top Poochon breeders. We are nationally recognized as a trustworthy and reliable breeder, and we are known for our family-oriented approach to raising puppies.
We have a five-star rating on all of our online reviews on Google and Facebook. We love keeping in touch with all of our families after the pups go home. Regularly we have families come back to us to purchase a second or third dog from us because they loved their first dog from us so much. Our families constantly report to us that their dog from us is the best dog they've ever owned. We love hearing this because it makes us so happy for the family. But we also love hearing it because the proof is in the pudding that our methods genuinely meet our goal: to breed the best family pets possible.
We maintain relationships with our adoptive families after the puppies go home and are always here as a resource for tips, recommendations, and concerns. We've helped many families work through their dog's health problems from injury, eating something they shouldn't have, infectious diseases, training techniques, and so much more. With us, you don't just get a breeder who passes a puppy off to you. You get a friend who is with you through your pup's whole life journey.
If you scroll through our social media, you will come across hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures and videos of our grown-up pups. We love staying in touch with our families and seeing all the fun, funny, and cute pictures of their pooches. Every year we put together a poochie calendar of our grown-up pups, and it's a big hit with the Grace Wood Farm families. Our sharing of these pictures on social media is a testament that we produce healthy, happy, loving, and well-behaved pets.
We only sell to individuals, not pet stores or unvetted people. We talk to every person on the phone before providing them with the opportunity to place a deposit. We vet all of the folks who contact us to ensure we feel confident that they will be a stable, loving and caring home for a puppy. If we have any concerns about someone, we will not allow them to place a deposit. We have a very long wait-list, and we are not desperate to sell any dogs. We would never sell to anyone who doesn't meet our standards. Having our reputation as a quality breeder allows us to only choose the best homes for our puppies.
Our goal is to provide our families with an unparalleled experience from start to finish. Many breeders won't ever speak with you on the phone and only will text or email. They do this because they are busy, but it's the wrong approach. How can you get to know someone without chatting with them on the phone?
We are always available to potential adoptive families, our deposit holders, and the families after our pups go home. You can get a hold of us, Luke & Brittney, any time you need to. We also have our best friend Stephen, who works for us and manages our adoptive families. You will always receive courtesy, kindness, fairness, open communication, and reasonable response times from each of us.
We believe that we should always be available to our potential adoptive families via call, text, or email. You are making a big decision, bringing a living creature into your home for the next 10-15 years. It isn't something to take lightly! It is never a bother to reach out to us. We always are here to help you make sure on the right breed and if we are the right fit as your breeder.
Once you get on a litter of puppies, we will be sharing pictures and videos of the puppies starting from the week they are born all the way up until we do a pick day at between 5 and 6 weeks. You will get to watch the puppies go from little close-eyed rodents to wrestling, playing, rambunctious little fluffballs. We provide more pictures and videos than any other breeder we know of (some breeders don't give you more than 2-3 pictures total, and you are supposed to pick a puppy, somehow). We share the pictures and videos of the puppies' development so that you have the best opportunity to get to know the puppies and see who is a good fit.
Throughout the process with us, we will provide you with helpful tips and tricks to puppy training. We also share recommended products that you will need when adopting a puppy. We also have a partnership with an online training school, Baxter and Bella, to provide you with the opportunity to train your pup to be the best they can be. A well-trained doggie is a good doggie!
We will take care of you here at Grace Wood Farm.
Transparency and Integrity
We operate with integrity, quality, and honesty in every aspect of our business. We have nothing to hide and are incredibly proud of what we do and how we do things! Under our "About Us" section of the website, you can take a look at each of our breeding locations and setups. You will see the exact format that we use every day for our pups and parent dogs. No other breeder shares photos of their nurseries or areas where their parent dogs are kept. You are left constantly wondering about the actual conditions in which the puppies are raised, and parents are kept. Sadly, more often than not, you don't see these areas because they are in terrible shape.
We show you all of our setups because we want you to see them and want you to know how things are operated. We share countless videos on social media of our puppies, adult dogs, and their interaction with our location breeders. This allows you to see firsthand that our dogs are handled with the utmost love and care and that they indeed are in a family environment.
The approach that we have described here is a picture of our day in and day out method. We, Luke & Brittney, have been community pastors for nearly a decade and have done humanitarian work in Africa. We have a strong belief that integrity is an essential quality for a business to possess. We bring integrity to every action for our own peace of mind, because it is just the right thing to do! Our moral structure of Christian ethics applies to how we treat our dogs, practices, staff, and adoptive families.
Health guarantee and required return of unwanted dogs
We are confident that our puppies will be healthy when we send them home with you, so we offer a one-year health guarantee. For 12 months after birth, we guarantee that your dog will be free from inherited diseases impairing long life, good health, and full function as a pet. This guarantee is part of a contract signed by our adoptive families and us right when placing a deposit, so you know our promise is guaranteed.
When you buy one of our puppies to come and be in your home, you get a 1-year health guarantee, but you also sign a contract that you will NEVER sell your puppy! If the sad reality comes that if you do have to rehome your baby, you agree to give the baby back to Grace Wood Farm to find the dog a new forever home.
Why do we require this?
1) We do not want to see our babies in shelters or kill shelters
2) We do not want to see our babies going from home to home and having no idea what then happens to them.
3) When you buy a baby from us, you welcome a family member, and they are not to be rehomed in a non-ideal situation.
This is our way of trying our best to keep our babies in good homes and not in shelters. When you sign that contract, you agree to pay a $5,000 legally binding fine if you do ever break it. Please understand we just want our dogs to be safe, loved, and in good long-term homes. This also gives everyone the comfort of knowing that we at Grace Wood Farm care about our sweet babies!