HOW WE CARE FOR OUR PUPPIES
Our dogs and puppies are home-raised, never kenneled, and puppies spend the first eight weeks of their lives living intimately with our family and learning how to be good family members. We believe that if a puppy is born into our breeding program, they are entitled to every resource at our disposal to keep them healthy and help them grow and thrive. We believe every puppy is a precious life we helped bring into the world. They are literally born into our hands and we are there from their very first breath. We believe that we have deep obligations to support and nurture that life. If a pup develops complications (which thankfully is rare, but it can happen,) we will always do everything in our power, always go the extra mile, to get that puppy well again. So much so that we are often a resource for special-needs dogs and puppies from other breeding programs.
We have 24/7 care for our dogs, which includes overnights. We are very fortunate to have dedicated veterinary experts who are available at any hour of the day or night for consultations and assistance.
We practice Puppy Culture with ENS, a science-based protocol where each puppy receives early neurological and sensory stimulation beginning on day 2 and continuing until 8 weeks of age. It provides a schedule and structure for exposing pups to specific experiences on a precise developmental timeline. The purpose of Puppy Culture is to promote and foster physical and temperamental resilience that will allow a pup to better handle stress (physical, emotional, environmental) its entire life. We also follow the Puppy Curriculum developed by Jeannette Forrey of 4E Kennels, known as BAB - Badass Breeder protocols - with particular emphasis on evaluating and placing puppies.
Our Puppy-Raising Protocol
From the moment of birth, even though they can’t yet see or hear, our pups are under constant observation. They are literally born into our hands and from that moment they receive our continual support. They are gently handled every day. Starting on Day 3, the pups experience very mild interventions and early neurological stimulation that have been shown to build resilience. Each and every pup’s responses to mild stresses are noted.
Puppies develop hearing well before their eyes are open. We expose them right away to low level household noises, voices, music and sounds from other animals. As they pups get older, the volume and intensity of these sounds increases. It is not “white noise.” The sounds are varied and intermittent. The purpose is to make pups comfortable with unexpected noise and to make them non-reactive to it. Have you ever seen a dog who startles at every noise and barks madly at normally occurring sounds? Well, so have we, and we certainly don’t want that!
Eyes open – Hello world! Puppies are extremely nearsighted when their eyes first open, and they have no depth perception at all. We introduce pups to carefully structured physical environments that let them safely explore while beginning to use their eyesight, noses and little legs.
As they begin to be really mobile, at about 4 weeks, they begin house training by learning the potty box. We start to introduce slightly raised, textured platforms, wobble boards, catwalks, noisy toys, and so forth. This not only fosters excellent physical development, but is also mentally stimulating and through these experiences, builds their confidence. At this age there are a number of our really fabulous cats that enter the playpen to interact with the puppies to give them familiarity with other animals and teach them proper manners, the ultimate goal being to make them neutral to the birds and small mammals they may encounter later on. This is often hilarious - truly one of my favorite activities with the puppies. By six weeks of age they are introduced to collars, harnesses, lightweight leashes and the clicker. At seven weeks they have a full vet check up, their first vaccinations, and introduction to crate training. Week 8-9 is learning to ride in the car and lots of socialization.
Files coming soon.