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Start a breeding program, they said. It will be fun, they said. What an adventure! Creating what we call PICKEREL PUPS has come from blood, sweat, tears and prayers. We started in 2021 with our "Big 3". Dot, Olive and Claude who are the anchors in our program. We have since added Valentino and Pecco, Fiona, Betty and Polly. After lots of trial and error (mostly error), we came up with a plan. We have rearranged THE LODGE several times, switched out dogs and changed plans again. We adjust with the needs and demands of our customers, with the goal being happy, healthy pups and satisfied buyers.

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A Little More About Us...

Pickerel Pups- A small, family-owned operation. We are Kate and Craig Kleindl, and we raise AKC Standard Poodles, and Doodles (more coming soon) in our West Central Minnesota home. Our dogs live right here with us on our 10-acre property where they have lots of room to run, play and swim in the lake or romp in the snow (depending on the time of year). 


We love all of our dogs and spend plenty of quality time playing with them both in and outside of our home. This way, we are sure to know all about their temperaments, personalities, little quirks, likes and dislikes. 

Pickerel Lake is the place we call home. While Craig is originally from Minnesota, Kate was born and raised in California. In 2021 we moved from California to our new home just outside of Detroit Lakes. We live on a beautiful plot of land with a cute little log cabin style home on it. We both love our home life, and spending time with our dogs.


Our Philosophy & Mission

Learning the ins and outs of breeding healthy dogs, is important to us. Healthy babies come from happy, healthy parents. Our dogs are health tested genetically and physically to guarantee the healthiest puppies. We prioritize health and temperaments, and back our puppies by guaranteeing their health for their first year of  life*.   We start by being selective with our parents, after they have passed all the necessary testing (genetically, physically and passed OFA’s) we pair with intention, then expose and test our puppies to give them the very best start at being the finest pups possible.  We incorporate raising our pups with “puppy culture*” and exposing them to the lake life and life with the pack at The Lodge (we like to follow Jeanette Forrey BAB’s training). We also make sure our puppies are up to date on their vaccinations, are de-wormed, and vet cleared when they are ready to go to their new homes. 


*Puppy culture explained

At Pickerel Pups, we do what we can to help our litters grow and develop to be the best dog of their ability.  We weigh puppies daily, and on days 3-17 of life we start introducing neurological stimulation.  ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) is when we take the puppies through a series of exercises which will help the puppy’s rapid neurological growth and development.  According to the American Kennel Club “Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to ENS, including improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate); stronger heart beats; stronger adrenal glands; more tolerance to stress; and greater resistance to disease.”

We also introduce our puppies to a variety of scents (ESI or Early scent introduction)  starting on day 3 of life which is a training program for puppies that enhances their ability to identify, and react to, specific scents.   Puppies who excel in the scent area make excellent candidates for companion, service, and therapy dogs. Understandably,  some dogs have more of a natural nose instinct compared to others. By doing this training and recording their reactions it helps us match the right pup with the right individual need.

Thank You For Your Interest in a Pickerel Pup!
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