Raising Poodles Naturally

Natural rearing is simply caring for our dogs according to their species and caring for them as closely to nature as possible. This includes feeding a raw diet, allowing the dogs plenty of time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air, on the dirt and grass, supporting natural immunity and using safe/natural alternatives to chemicals when needed; in order to give each dog the opportunity to live a long life of health and well being.

We have been naturally rearing dogs for close to 30 years now.  We have found that by doing so, our dogs are thriving and healthy in both mind and body.

What Does Natural Rearing Entail?


“Epigenetics tells us that little things in life can have an effect of great magnitude.” ~ Dr. Moshe Szyf

It was originally thought that genes predetermined outcomes. Now research is telling us that anything eaten or anything the animal is exposed to in its environment — can affect the gene expression and that of future generations.

It has been found that powerful environmental conditions (near death from starvation or a vaccine assault) can somehow leave an imprint on the genetic material in both the eggs and sperm. These genetic imprints can short-circuit evolution and pass along new traits in a single generation.

Scientists still know very little about how environmental forces transform sperm, or how these changes get passed on through the generations. However, more and more research is showing that diet, age, and life experiences can have profound influence on offspring.

 It takes more than good genes to have good health. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene function that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence.

  • Epigenetics Controls Genes. Certain circumstances in life can cause genes to be silenced or expressed over time. In other words, they can be turned off (becoming dormant) or turned on (becoming active).
  • Epigenetics Is Everywhere. What we (or our dogs) eat, where we live, who we have interacted with, when one sleeps, how one exercises, – all of these things cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time. Additionally, in certain dis-eases such as cancer (we and our dogs all have cancer cells), various genes are switched off or on depending on ones experiences and diet.

This point is dramatically demonstrated in this short video showing two mice from the same mother, but different litters. The two mice are genetically identical, have eaten the very same diet since birth, and were raised in exactly the same environment. The ONLY difference is that of the diet of the mother during her pregnancy! Not only do these mice look different, but along with the one being obese, it is at higher risk of developing diabetes and cancer. In contrast, the brown mouse is leaner and less likely to develop these diseases. The same principles of epigenetics hold true for our dogs.

We have found over the last 28 years of breeding and naturally rearing dogs that a naturally healthy dog will be able to fight back against most ailments. Good exercise, a healthy raw diet, elimination of chemicals and plenty of enrichment and stimulation contribute to them having a stronger, more balanced immune system. Recent studies and findings in epigenetic research are now bearing this out.


Whether one wishes to admit it or not, dogs, both domesticated & wild, are members of the carnivore family. Anatomically, they are designed to thrive on a raw meat, bones and organ diet. Like their wild cousins, Standard Poodles are carnivores, thus we feed our dogs, exclusively a prey model-style Species Appropriate Raw Food diet (SARF).

We firmly believe that a raw diet is critical to the health and well-being of your new puppy. The following information will help guide you in understanding why we feed raw.

What is a Raw Diet?
A raw diet recreates the way our pet’s ancestors ate and continue to eat in the wild for thousands of years. Dogs and cats are carnivores. Left to their own devices, their typical daily diet, like that of their wild cousins (wolves and the big cats), would involve catching (or finding) and eating another animal. A raw diet returns our dogs to this more natural and bioavailable form of nutrition, as if they had hunted and caught their “perfect” dinner.

When a carnivore eats an herbivore (plant and grass eating animal) like a rabbit or a deer, the carnivore eats some meat, some bone, some organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, etc.) some glands (pancreas, thyroid, etc.). These ingredients are the four main food groups of a good raw diet. Fresh, raw meat Some raw/uncooked bone Some raw organ meats Some raw glands or glandular supplements

Why Feed a Raw Food Diet?

More and more professionals in the world of companion animals (breeders, breed ring handlers, sports competitors, animal health coaches, etc.) and thousands of concerned pet owners, are advocating a second look at what we feed our animals.

There is a growing community that have come to realize that dogs (and cats) are indeed biologically and physiologically – carnivores, that they need a raw, natural diet to thrive. Commercial pet foods cannot supply the nutrients necessary for good health and a long life and actually contribute to long-term health problems. Just like us, our dogs are what they eat.

Raw Fed Dogs have:

  • Shinier, healthier skin and coats
  • Cleaner teeth and fresh breath
  • Better weight control Improved digestion
  • Reduction of allergy symptoms
  • Harder, smaller, less smelly stools
  • More energy and stamina
  • Decrease in abnormal hyperactivity
  • Increased mobility in older animals
  • Reduced or completely eliminated need for veterinary dental work[/learn_more]

Toxic Chemical-Free Environment:

Our dogs are first and foremost our companions, living with us as part of the family. We use NO chemical cleaners of any kind in our home, nor are synthetic/chemical ‘cides’ used in our garden or anywhere on our land. We do not expose our animals to flea/tick insecticides, heartworm treatments, frequent worming, etc. Chemical products are simply not used in, on, or around our dogs or at home! We have been able to prove the theory that animals with strong immune systems do not have pest or parasite troubles. If they should pick up a flea or two here or there, there are many natural remedies at our disposal.


True Natural Rearing involves not using any vaccines (except where mandated by law), but rather relies on the dogs’ own natural immune responses and healing ability to get it through a dis-ease cycle, along with the use of holistic (natural) medicinal help, be that essential oils, herbs,homeopathy, massage or any other natural healing modality when needed.

There is NO science behind vaccinations being safe or effective in preventing disease. In fact, science is proving just the opposite!

Our dogs bodies are allowed to build their own immunities naturally, the way they were marvelously designed to do.

We realize the topic of vaccines is controversial and we provide information and research to back our personal decision to not vaccinate (except where mandated by law).

It’s a decision every pet owner must face and make on their own, carefully weighing the risks of all options.

Nature knows what to do and how. The immune system was marvelously designed! A strong healthy system is more resistant to All disease than one that has been compromised by vaccination.

* Please Consider These Things When Making Decisions About Vaccinating Your Dog *

  • Vaccines DO NOT prevent  or guarantee protection for your dog from disease.
  • Vaccines Cause Acute and Chronic Disease and often death in susceptible individuals/dogs.
  • Vaccines Cause Changes in DNA and RNA, and the negative impact is passed on to the next generations.
  • Studies show that there are links to Collagen damage, Joint Disease, AutoImmune disorders and Vaccines.
  • The Distemper Virus Is No Longer Found In Its “wild form.” Cases of distemper today are vaccine strains of the disease.

Here are some articles you may be interested in reading for more information:

Vaccinations Bloat Seizures and Distemper
Collagen, Joint Disease and Vaccines
Canine Hip Dysplasia – So Frequently Misunderstood – Collagen Related?
The Link Between Rearing Practices and Hereditary Disease
Natural Immunity

Please remember that while the ultimate choice is yours when it comes to whether your Standard Poodle is vaccinated after he/she leaves us, or not, we ask that you please, study this out for yourself.   Empower yourself to make an educated decision. Don’t be afraid to challenge your veterinarian or seek out an animal naturopath or truly holistic  practitioner that is more open minded and has done the research.

If your doctor told you that you had cancer….I would hope you would seek out a second opinion….don’t treat your puppy with less concern and consideration than you would treat yourself.[/learn_more]


Life Experiences – Emotional Well Being

When we have puppies, they are raised with lots of love, early neurological stimulation (ENS) and daily enrichment using the Puppy Culture program.  They  are weaned naturally by their Dam (when she is ready) and further socialized by the adult dogs and to exposure to strangers and household events. Studies show that puppies that are taken from their Dam and litter-mates before 9-12 weeks of age often have not learned important life skills or how to be submissive or cautious. Puppies require this time with their litter-mates and Dam to learn the skills of getting along with strangers, both human and animals

Particular attention is paid to ensure our dogs and puppies are happy, well adjusted and sound physically, mentally, emotionally. We place particular emphasis on correct temperament and movement – both of which are noted health indicators.

Dew Claws & Tails

As a natural rearing breeder, we do not remove dewclaws and if we dock tails at all, we dock them on the longer side. Dewclaws and tails intact are necessary for a sound, well performing dog.

READ an explanation of why we don’t remove dew claws HERE

READ why dogs need their tails HERE

READ why I ask my puppy familes to wait until the puppy is at least 2 years old before spaying or neutering HERE


Our Poodles are thriving from Natural Rearing. We don’t purport to infer that Natural Rearing is a cure for anything or everything. However, we have experienced that it is an optimal method of rearing and feeding (nutrients being bio-available, high in micro nutrients, and generally easily absorbed) which raises and maintains the dogs overall general health which in turn means the dog’s immune system will work at an optimal level as well.


Read Dr. Jeannie’s book: Natural Rearing: Breeding & Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended




Thanks for visiting!

Dr Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason

Genteel Standard Poodles
Naturally Reared for a Healthier Future

Northern California

Email: genteelstandardpoodles@gmail.com