How we raise our puppies through adulthood…
Mental Development and Stimulation
We believe that the proper stimulation during a puppy’s development will help them throughout their lifetime.
- Play area with toys that emphasize problem solving
- Bio Sensor exercises from age 3 days to 16 days
- Training: conditioned to come; shaped sit; introduction to crate training; car rides, walking on leash; etc. all training is based on positive training techniques including clicker training that utilizes proven learning theory.
- Experience with bathing/grooming; nails trimmed weekly
- Use of desensitization CDs for introductions to a variety of sounds
Our puppies are:
- Raised right in the middle of our home where they can experience the sounds, sights and smells of family life
- Allowed to interact with the other dogs in the house
- Allowed access to dam until they go home at 9-10 weeks old
- Given the opportunity to socialize with people through weekly socialization parties
- Handled daily
The puppies will receive:
- An introduction to house breaking
- A large play area filled with interactive toys to carry, climb on, and climb under
- Exposure to different textures and movement (ramps, wobble boards, various toys, agility tunnels, etc.)
- Walks outside in the neighborhood and open fields as appropriate for their age
- Swimming as weather permits
Our dams are fed a high quality diet of ground RAW meaty bones and supplements key to the development of healthy puppies. It is our belief that feeding natural diet, utilizing raw meaty bones—ground or whole—leads to healthier puppies and adult dogs.
Both the dam pre-whelp and the puppies post whelp are fed a good quality wild fish oil. It is well documented that fish oil is rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid are important for neural and visual development. A recent study found that feeding sufficient levels of DHA to puppies during their critical neurological growth period led to the development of smarter puppies.
The dam is allowed to wean the pups on her terms rather than on a “time schedule.” All pups are weaned onto ground meat/bone/organs and vegetables, usually at about five to six weeks of age. The type of meat may vary from meal to meal in order to expose the growing puppies to a variety of protein sources. We also feed a high quality kibble, like those recommended by the Whole Dog Journal, as one of their meals and as during training as treats.
The puppies are fed 3 meals a day to approximately 6 months and possibly longer—2 RAW meals and a kibble meal, plus training treats. The pups are eventually weaned down to two meals a day. All of our adult dogs receive two meals a day—one RAW and one kibble which is often given to them as treats during a training session.
Our general philosophy in raising our dogs and puppies is to keep it simple and natural. We limit the amount of chemicals given to our dogs in both their food and in the care.
- We follow a minimal vaccination schedule, limiting our vaccinations to Distemper/Parvo as puppies. Our adults receive yearly titers for Distemper/Parvo with vaccinations as required based on their lab results.
- Rabies is given between 6 months and a year, then every 3 years after that or according to state laws.
- We do not use chemical flea and tick products on our dogs.
- Puppies are de-wormed as needed.
- Adults have all their clearances: eye, heart screenings with Board-certified specialists, hips (OFA/PennHip) and elbows (OFA).
- Puppies receive a health check and certificate from veterinarian before leaving for their new home.
- We do not remove the dew claws because they are believed to be important in assisting the dog in turning and descending down hill/slopes/a-frames.
- We utilize the full range of health treatments available, ranging from traditional western medicine, to Chinese herbs and acupuncture, to chiropractic adjustments to homeopathy, etc.
Physical and Behavioral Assessments
- Puppy temperament testing
- Structural assessment by a knowledgeable evaluator (Debbie Gross Saunders, DPT, MSPT, OCS, CCRP, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner)
- Chiropractic assessment and adjustments as needed