Shirley Gaul – Poodle Breeder

Comments (5) Interviews

Shirley Gaul is a poodle breeder, animal groomer and obedience instructor, and puppy preschool instructor and teacher – in her spare time. As well, she works full time as a vet nurse.

“I was born and raised in Port, went to school here and grew up on the beaches, riding my horses all round this then small town where no one locked the doors. As a child I’d walk to the corner store knowing neighbours were watching out for me. Shopping trips with my grandmother took hours because we knew everyone and stopped to chat. I grew up having horses, dogs and cats, went to pony club and local shows and had lots of horsey friends. We had dirt roads to ride along and plenty of green open paddocks to go adventuring in. I married Wayne, also a local, and had two children, Dylan and Danielle, now in their 20s. My kids also grew up in Port/Tele Point and enjoyed owning horses and riding and having many pets, too.

I bought my first show dog 30 years ago and started showing, competing in obedience trials, and breeding dogs: English springer spaniels, then Belgian shepherds. I also began grooming dogs: I was taught how to clip and groom various breeds. Most weekends, all the family would pile into our campervan and go off to dog shows or trials. It was a lot of fun; we enjoyed travelling to different places.

I started work as a vet nurse in 1986 at Oxley Highway Veterinary Hospital, where I also did the grooming. I’ve been nursing full time at the practice ever since and love looking after the animals and our great clientele: I’ve known a lot of clients for over 20 years and many of their pets all their lives. Our practice is very family-oriented and friendly. It’s so rewarding to see a pet go home well after a major illness or surgery: being part of the team that makes it happen is very fulfilling. Every day’s different: part is planned (consultations, surgical cases and hospital patient care) but things change instantly when an emergency case arrives and it’s all hands on deck to ensure a successful outcome.

I started running Puppy Preschool classes in 1990 after attending seminars by leading experts on dog behaviour and training. I trained and qualified as an Obedience Instructor with the Royal NSW Canine Council and belong to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers of Australia. Preschool usually runs two evenings a week for five weeks with classes for no more than seven puppies 8 to 18 weeks old. The whole family is encouraged to come along and I’ve put together a 60-page booklet covering everything we talk about in class. Owners come in with a new puppy unsure about handling the little bundle and finish up knowing how to handle and train the puppy, and well informed of health issues. They learn to solve problems like toilet training, biting, jumping, digging, chewing … all the things puppies do but need to be taught the correct behaviours, to settle smoothly into their new homes. Owners need to set boundaries and become leaders as well as learn positive-reward training techniques. Classes are relaxed and, with gorgeous baby puppies bouncing around, always fun, with plenty of laughs. It’s often the start of a lifetime association: preschoolers now maybe ten years old still greet me enthusiastically at the clinic: they never forget fun times in puppy class. I also help with behavioural consults in the clinic and enjoy the challenge. Not only puppies but often older dogs and their owners need help with problems such as separation anxiety, leadership issues, boredom/environmental enrichment, barking, socialisation or aggression. I help owners with strategies that make life more rewarding for pet and owner.

I’ve been breeding bi-coloured miniature poodles for seven years and my poodles are my life and interest now. For many years I trained and trialled them successfully in agility, travelling to compete in trials. I breed just one litter a year and ensure every puppy goes to an excellent home with people who care as much as I do for their wellbeing. Quite often this starts a new friendship with owners emailing me photos and updates or returning to visit. Quite a few buy a second puppy from me because the first little gem’s been fun and easy to live with. Most of my life has revolved around animals in some fashion … I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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5 Responses to Shirley Gaul – Poodle Breeder

  1. Eugene Toner says:

    Hi Shirley,
    My name is Eugene I have met a couple who bought a poodle from you Trevor & Judy from the Central Coast. We had two miniature poodles until last November they had to be put to sleep due to health problems they were 15yrs and 151/2yrs both with different issues. It’s been awhile and I am now missing the company of a little four legged companion. I was wondering if you had a litter or one due in the near future that could buy . I was told you only sell to special people so I would come to visit if necessary. My husband and I have retired after having the pharmacy in Harrington for just over 25years that’s why we had 2 dogs to keep each other company while we were at work. Now we are both at home travelling in the caravan occasionally so miss the love and company of a little fluffy puppy.. My phone no is 0427561445. Please let me know if you have a litter or when one is due.
    Kind Regards
    Eugene Toner

  2. Eugene Toner says:

    Hi Shirley here are the details that you need
    Eugene & Paul Toner
    40 High Street
    Harrington 2427
    Phone No. 0265561445
    Mobile No. 0427561445

  3. Lisa Powell says:

    Dear Shirley I am interested in your recent pups dec 2015 I cant seem to open your web site and have no way but to contact you, like this .
    I hope you get this message
    I have always had poodles and my white boy died at 17 yrs old 3 months ago If you could email me at xaerie@yahoo.com.au I would be most appreciative
    Lisa Powell

  4. Cheryl Rees says:

    Dear Shirley I am looking for a puppy to replace my beloved Rusty a beautiful cream minature poodle I have just finished chemo and rads for breast cancer and am hoping to have reconstruction before Christmas so after that my husband and I will be able to give a little boy lots of love. I miss my boy so much thankyu Cheryl Rees .

  5. Alice Baird says:

    Hi Shirley I live at Redbank and was wondering if you had a litter due if so I was wondering if you could spare the time to see me and access if you would consider me suitable for one of your puppies.
    We moved here from Sydney eight years ago I am no retired owning caring and loving a little bundle of enthuastic fluff as these dear little ones are is something I have desired for many years but until now circumstances were not. Ideal as working did not allow the time I believe is necessary for these little ones.
    Look forward to your reply
    Regards
    Alice Baird

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