RAISING A HAPPY CHEEKY PUPPY
Early experiences are important for the development of good temperaments and trainability of all dogs. Most of our dogs’ “attitude to life” is set by these early weeks of experience.
The first weeks of our pups life they are inside the house with us, with lots of things going on around them. They get used to household noises, crashes and bangs.
We give our pups an early neurological stimulation program, similar to that developed by the US Military to develop their outgoing confident dogs. This may sound a little bit scary, but it really means we make sure our pups get a lot of gentle handling in those first few weeks, before their eyes open.
Our pups, from 3 and a half weeks old, are raised outside with their mum, with a nice warm kennel. shades trees and access to grass. Because puppies develop a “preferred texture” to go to the toilet, this makes house training a lot easier, because their preferred texture is grass.
Their pen is designed to have many different surfaces to walk on as well as the grass. They have tunnels, toys and puzzles which are frequently changed to stimulate their puppy brains. They have lots and lots of visitors and because we have lots of dog lovers come to visit us each day (to train their dogs at Canine fun Sports) they have many hours of handling and playing with people. We have special visitors, too. They are the friends with kids so the puppies have an opportunity to meet and make friends with children.
We try to give them at least one new experience each day. It might be as simple as walking out to the pen and putting an umbrella up and down several times, initially a little bit away from the pups then gradually getting closer. Or dragging the wheely bin past their pen a couple of times; mowing the lawns while one of us is feeding treats to the puppies so that these big loud noises are associated with a good experience, or we can give them little activities such as in these videos.
This one we call Popcorn, featuring the “Reeson” litter https://youtu.be/Dwtv1aBkmGs
This one is “Learn to wobble” featuring the “Twisst” litter
or “Over, under, through the tunnel” with the “Hero” litter https://youtu.be/vGUrKAYd6Bs
“Slippery Slides” with the puppies of the Hero litter
“Spin the Bottle” with the “Storrm” litter and their dad, Floyd
“Learning self control for hungry puppies” with
two of the “Alliteration” litter and one of the “Time” litter
These pups are about 10 weeks old.
Fenrik Pie in the Sky and Fenrik Arsenic and Old Lace
go “Slip-Sliding Away”
We play thunderstorm, fireworks and loud noises DVD’s to ensure our pups do not have noise sensitivities. You are also provided with one of these DVD’s to play for them, at gradually increased volume. Just one of the extra things we do to try to ensure you have a happy, outgoing and healthy pup.
These experiences help a puppy cope with all sorts of different situations in life.
We try to take our pups out to different places – mostly just on our place – just to teach them to explore. On five acres there are lots of different spots to take them, including the dam, through a little bushy spot or the front yard. They do this “as a pack” and as individuals. We like to occasionally take our pups out one at a time, so they get to learn to be confident without their brothers and sisters as backup. We usually have them inside the house, one or two at a time, maybe even watching TV with us. We also take them out for a ride in the car, giving them a puppy chew and using Adaptil spray on their bedding and crate. Adaptil is a canine pheromone that calms a puppy and give them a “warm and snuggly” feeling. Their first ride in a car is a pleasant experience.
They are weaned fairly early at 5 to 5 and a half weeks. But they have a lot of time with our mature dogs, most of them also mothers, so they learn lots of dog language and manners from them. They also get to meet many other breeds under safe conditions. Learning doggy manners at an early age is just so important if your dog is going to react well with other dogs down at the doggy park. (But be careful at doggy parks – not all dogs have good manners, and not all owners take a responsible attitude to watching their own dog’s manners!)
When the pups are out exploring we are always giving them treats when they come back to us. And, of course we treat them when we call them back to us. We play chasing games to encourage them to follow us. All these games set a good foundation for your recall training. That is not to say that your pup will have a perfect recall for their whole life – there is still more to be trained when the puppy goes home, but this foundation should make your part in the training a lot easier.
They are taught to search for their food, or to play with food toys for some of their meals. They are taught to play with toys. Their kennel is a great retreat to give them a start to crate training. All these little games should help you with your home alone training.
This is just a start. When a puppy goes home, they must continue to be socialised, meeting lots of new people and having lots of new experiences IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. If you are introducing something that might be scary, then keep your pup at a distance to start with, and associate the experience with something nice – food or patting. If the pup is worried, back off a little more and then take the pup up gradually. Lots of different people – old, young, disabled (we have a friend in a wheelchair that helps us socialise our pups), loud and quiet. Take them different places right from the time you take your pup home but be sensible, avoid areas where there might have been unvaccinated dogs. Take your pup to a friend’s place – that is fine if the friend’s dog is vaccinated. Take them to a local cafe with outside tables and encourage the passers by to pat your puppy. I take my own new pups for a walk along the Manly Corso and we get swamped by people want to pat them.
Good temperament is partly controlled by breeding, and we choose our puppies’ parents carefully, but raising them right is of greater importance and we do everything we can to ensure you will have a bold and outgoing puppy.
RAISING A SOUND HEALTHY PUPPY
Having a healthy cheeky puppy is a very large part of the story, but there are others considerations as well. We want our dogs to live long and healthy lives. This can be greatly influenced by both breeding and care as a puppy.
We choose breeding stock that we know has minimal health issues in their background. We admit we do not do all the health checks on all our breeding stock. Most have been radiographed to be sure they have sound hips. And those that have not been radiographed have parents and grandparents free of hip problems.
Our dog’s come from breeding lines that are generally long lived. And very active into their old age. Longevity (length of life) is an inherited trait so it it nice to know that the parents and grandparents of our dogs have lived long life.
Puppy’s health care is optimal. As a vet I understand the importance of early heart worm prevention, intestinal worming, diet, flea control and vaccinations. Pups are sent home with lots of extras to be ensure that their transition to their new home is as stress free as possible. We want our puppies to be as happy as possible in their new homes.
We do our best to ensure we are selling you a healthy happy puppy, and it is a rare event that anything otherwise happens. I cannot give guarantees; no-one can. I can say I have a lot more experience, a lot more knowledge (a veterinary degree) and take as much care as I can to give you a healthy pup that will live a long and healthy life.