HOW WE RAISE OUR PUPPIES
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One size rarely fits all, and that’s why we use a combined approach when raising our litters. We use elements of Puppy Culture, Avidog, ENS and the Volhard Temperament tests in a combined program with wonderful results. Our puppies are exposed to multiple different types of stimuli through their short time with us so that we can better prepare them to be successful in their new homes. They are started on housetraining and learn basic principles while still in the whelping box. Our babies stay with mom until 8 weeks of age which allows them to learn from their mother and their siblings, how to be social and respect boundaries.
Puppy Culture is a program used by many of the worlds top breeders to help take a litter from ordinary to extraordinary in terms of temperament and health. It involves a series of steps from Day One of their little lives to the final day they go home, exposing them to different sounds, feels, scents and textures. The results have been amazing to see and in combination with ENS and the Volhard temperament tests we are getting some wonderful results from our puppies.
Avidog is an in-depth program which covers every step of puppy raising from before the female dog gets pregnant to the last day the puppy is with the breeder. They incorporate many elements including stimulation, exposure to new things and even the best nutrition and supplements for the females during the whelping time to best benefit the puppies. Using the best parts of Avidog in conjuction with the other programs has helped us to produce strong vibrant and healthy puppies.
ENS or Early Neurological Stimulation all begins on day three and goes through day 16. It involves stimulating the puppies by rubbing their paws with a cotton swab and holding the puppy in different positions along with other actions. All of this works together to increase a dogs cardiovascular performance as well as have stronger adrenal glands and more tolerance to stress. There has been a marked difference in puppies who have been raised with and without ENS as a part of the protocol.
When the puppies are between ages 6 to 8 weeks we test them using the Volhard temperament test and the puppies will end up with a score between a 1 and a 6. A puppy that ranges in the middle makes a wonderful family pet and a lot of the other numbers make wonderful sport or working dogs. They are tested on how they interact and react in each different situation we place in front of them, varying from a umbrella being opened, something being thrown to incite a chase instinct, to dropping something on the ground that makes a sound. Each puppy is unique and their scores will always change a bit as they grow and mature. We do allow you to pick your puppy from the puppies which would fit you and your family best, Usually each family will have two or three to pick from as we go down the list. We go in order of who has contacted us first, however those seeking a potential service dog and who apply and are approved will get priority.
Days In Our Puppies Lives While With Us
Day 3-16 - Puppies are exposed to ENS and ESI (Early Scent Introduction) . The kit we used is very similar to the one seen on the side. Early scent introduction is a program developed by Gayle of Avidog and Gaylan Golden Retrievers. This simple exercise involves holding a new scent item about 1/2″ away from each puppy’s nose once daily. We use a new item to introduce each day from days 3-16. At the two week mark we will also do our first dose of deworming for the puppies and continue handling them getting them used to their paws and faces being gently handled.
Day 16- 21 - At this point our puppies are no longer little helpless potatoes but begin opening their eyes and exploring the world around them. Here is when we help them learn about their environment as their eyes and ears finally open and they begin hearing new sounds. We slowly begin to desensitize them to common noises and sounds from construction noises to fireworks.
Day 22 - 40 - We begin weaning them off of mom and onto goats milk and softened puppy food. Most of our puppies absolutely love this time as they get to try new foods and puppy mousse. They will still get full access to mom to top off their bellies as we start incorporating new textures and environments into their life. At this point they go into puppy play pens and are no longer in the whelping box. We always let our girls tell us when they want to be with their puppies and we are very lucky to have dogs who are wonderful mothers. During this time they get their second deworming and weights are still being monitored for healthy growth.
Day 40-60 - We incorporate fun things at this age including play tunnels, some safe outside and backyard time as well as continue desensitizing the puppies to things like car rides, loud noises and time with other dogs. At the 6 to 6.5 week mark we take them to the vet for their clean bill of health and first vaccinations. We often will deworm one final time at this age to help them stay nice and healthy. This is also the time for pickup and they get to go home to their new homes and families. While going home is forever hard for us we love to be kept up to date with their progress and how they are growing! We support our puppies for life!