Our Puppies

Our Puppy protocol

Born At Home

Our puppies are born in our living room and whelping is not taken lightly.  Long before breeding we have prepared mom.  She has been on a good quality food and has regular vet health checks.  Approximately one moth before whelping, we start her on a higher protein diet and continue this until the puppies are at least 6 – 8 weeks old.  Once mom is relaxed after having the puppies, we gradually re-acclimate our other dogs back with mom and the puppies.  This marks the first steps in socialization. 

 At approx. 3 weeks old we move the puppies to the Foyer area where they will begin their next phase of  development.  Eyesight is continuously improving and socialization increases through mom and the litter mates.   Learning new boundaries starts at this time as mom and litter mates let the puppies know when they have been playing to rough.  They also at the beginning stages of potty training during this phase.        

1 week old
Portuguese Water Dogs Mother feeding Babies
2 days old

Puppies teeth start coming in when they are approximately 4 weeks old, and mom will gradually start weening them.  While she is doing that we are starting them on a kibble and puppy starter mix.  We increase varying human interactions since their immune systems are getting stronger.  Socialization is most important between the ages 4 – 16 weeks.  

The puppies have already become familiar with the everyday household sights and sounds, since they have been raised in our home.      

 

Transitioning

Potty training starts in the whelping pen.  We gradually reduce the size of the sleep area each week.  The idea is to encourage the puppies to want to keep their sleep area clean while eliminating outside this area.  It is a natural instinct for wild and domestic dogs to keep their babies and den clean.  For this to be successful it is imperative to keep the sleeping pad clean at all times, which of course leads to lots of laundry.  This process continues as they  transition to a crate.      

At approximately 6-7 weeks old they are moved to a crate as this helps with acclimating process and readying  for their new homes.  See about purchasing a puppy here

oUTDOOR pLAY tIME

Lastly, we give them lots of outdoor playtime to explore, and they are exposed to the sights and sounds of the surrounding wild life.  Particularly, deer, Canadian Geese and Sand Hill Cranes. 

All though never left unattended, we introduce the puppies to outdoor boundaries.  This is important that they are familiar with fencing prior to going to their new homes.   One area is larger which is a  15 x 30  fenced in Play yard and the other is a smaller 4 x 4 playpen.  This smaller one comes in handy.  We use it quite often  for our larger dogs when drying them off before coming in the house. 

We also make a small swimming pool available for those daring little puppies whom choose to venture.