Health is of utmost importance in raising puppies, starting with my parent dogs before your puppy is ever even conceived or born. Not just physical health (see page on nutrition & feeding) but mental health also. My dogs are all very happy & healthy here as you can see if you take a few moments to view my photo albums in my gallery.
My parent dogs are my buddies. If you ask me which one is my favorite I will tell you “They ALL are! – All for different reasons!” Rest assured, I will go into detail and talk your poor head off about them!
The puppies are born in our “Labor & Delivery / Bath House” attended & hovered over by an RN (me!). My father-in-law “Grampa” and I custom built it just for me & my girls! I have a fold out cot that I sleep on when I stay with them before, during their labor, & after delivery. The puppies and their Mommy’s stay in here for their 1st couple weeks or so after they are born where Mommy has a doggie door to her outdoor yard. Nutrition, daily exercise, fresh air, sunlight, & love are just as important to dogs as it is to us humans. The puppies are held & cuddled every day of their lives starting here. But really, Mommy is doing all the work here, very busy looking after her new young-uns.
WEEK 2 / 3
Now the puppies graduate to the doggie barn to their large special custom-made boxes that are cooled/warmed for the puppies as needed. Here they begin their potty training. Half of their box is bed/sleeping/play area and half is potty area. As soon as they can barely walk, they naturally want to go away from their bed area to potty. My job is simply to make that possible – easy, but very important. This is one of the many things that is neglected with a cage raised puppy. Those puppies are much more difficult to house train. The puppys’ days are mostly still filled with the tough jobs of eating and sleeping but they are growing and their senses are developing rapidly. Their eyes & ears open. Now, they can hear the Country music playing on the radio (station WDOG of course), the cows, horses, chickens, and other critters here on the farm. They get their first toys now too!
This is the puppies time of absorbing knowledge about more of their world.
Their nose, ears, and eyes are soaking in knowledge at high-speed now! Mental & physical stimulation are very important now but not to be overdone. Tails wagging, full of kisses, wrestling with Mom & litter-mates, investigating their home. Here, they learn to come outside of their doggie box all by themselves (and most importantly – to get back in!). They go outside their bed/food doggie box area to use the potty. Again, I simply make it possible. They begin to take a little less milk from Mommy and learn to eat real food. As soon as they hear or see me, they come waddling right over, wagging their little tails and give me kisses with their tiny little tongues! Trust develops during this stage so individual attention is important. They are socialized daily – and it’s certainly FUN!! It’s hard to describe the feeling when I come in and call them, then they all come piling out of their sleeping box head-over-heels excited to see me – wagging their tiny little tails all ready to cover my face with kisses!
Time for graduating again to an even larger world! Now, they are grown enough to progress to a larger 10×12 stall area with a doggie door to an outside 10×16 covered, sky-lighted play/potty area. Indoors they still have their custom-made doggie box to sleep and warm up in the cool months. They have PLENTY of fun toys, a ramp to a higher level play area, and LOTS of chewies for their developing teeth. This stage again, is very important for their developing minds & bodies.
Mommy is away some for the daytime, but back to play, cuddle, & sleep with her kids at night-time now. Adequate stimulation here again, leads to smart and well-adjusted dogs. Every morning before breakfast and most afternoons, they come out to play in the big yard with some other adult dogs. One-on-one time is important here also. Here they learn social skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. This is an important time for them to be meeting new people and children.
Continuing social skills with people, children, & dogs of ALL sizes (including our farms big working dogs) daily. Mommy plays with her kids 2 times a day but does not stay with them now. They are gaining their independence and ready to go to their new homes now both mentally and physically. If your puppy is going to fly, we practice flight lessons at this age in preparation.
Now that my dogs & I have done our magic, it is finally time for our babies to come home to you! I do REQUIRE you to read my advice on caring for your new puppy in preparation for this important time of transition to his/her new home.
Preparing for Your New Puppy & 1st Day Care. This page leads on to several more pages of required reading information.
Be sure to look through my Photo Album in my Gallery of all of the pictures of our Kennel Barn. There are LOTS of fun pictures there! Sometimes, pictures are worth a thousand words! Dog Kennel Barn