What goes into your puppy before it comes home to you:
Starting the day its parents are born we provide the best nutrition and socialization possible because that will affect its future offspring
Next Mom and dad are health tested long before they are old enough to breed
When mom is old enough to breed (not just physically but mentally as well) we carefully plan which mate will best suit and compliment her genetic strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if mom is extra-long backed she will be bred to a slightly shorter backed mate to avoid future back injuries. You can read more about our breeding philosophy or why we breed here.
We also put hours and hours of research into color genetics to help produce the colors you are wanting. Some would say color should never be as important as personality which is why our dogs are socialized, spoiled, and chosen for well-rounded temperament. However, we also know a young pup’s future personality can be shaped by its life as it grows. Even the most outgoing and Alpha type personality pup can be affected by a single traumatic change, or how its human pack members treat it once it goes to its new home.
The week before your pup is even born mom receives a vaccination and de-worming to help her pass strong immunity along to her pups. Read about our puppy health program here.
2-3 days before the pups are due we start taking mom’s temperature which helps us lose a little less sleep as it can give us an idea when within 12 hours of arrival.
Mom gets extra cuddling and spoiling during these couple days as she nests in her birthing bed (commonly a kiddie pool or tub) in our front room (because we do some serious binge movie watching while waiting those long nights)
When the happy day arrives we are prepared for every contingency. After many years of whelping, we have seen just about every way it can go wrong or right.
The first 24 hours are the most critical mom is exhausted and some pups may be struggling to adjust to life outside the womb. We take shifts watching the group as mom naps and takes care of her duties. Sometimes a pup can be laid on by an exhausted mom so we are there to help. Often times with large litters mom just doesn’t have enough colostrum and milk to start so we supplement the pups a couple of times a day and monitor their weight daily to be sure no one is falling behind. We handle each puppy daily to not only monitor its health but begin socialization even though they cannot yet hear or see they can smell and be desensitized to touch. Read about how we use Puppy School to help with desensitization.
As the first few days pass mom’s milk comes in and the pups get more vocal and mobile so being laid on is less of a risk. We continue to monitor daily weights for the entire first week after that we do weekly checkups. We include this first week’s worth of weights in the health record provided when the pups go to their new homes. As a general rule, the pups will gain about an ounce a day through this time.
By week two eyes and ears begin opening and we can tell what type of coat the pups will have.
Week three is when the fun begins the pups start to get their bellies up off the ground, heads come up, and my personal favorite, play begins. This is when we start training the pups in earnest so many new sights, smells, and sounds to be exposed too so that shyness can be avoided.
To read more about how training and socialization continue click here.