Meet the parents of the litter. See their photos, view and verify their health clearances.
Nursery – 0 to 4 Weeks
The puppies are whelped and raised in our home. The nursery is located in our living room and includes a whelping box, as well as all the necessities for both litter and breeder. From birth to four weeks of age, We live in the nursery with the pups. During this critical period, the pups are monitored around the clock.
The whelping box has pig rails (to prevent pups from being suffocated by their mother) that are removed after two weeks and replaced with a small potty area. The pups begin housetraining as soon as they start to walk.
Visitors – Day 3
Once the litter is stable and mommy Yara is feeling well, we welcome visitors by appointment. Guests are shown how to safely handle the puppies, as well as age appropriate interactions. Puppy adopters are encouraged to visit as often as possible. The puppies receive multiple visitors weekly until they leave at 9 weeks of age.
Early Neurological Stimulation – 3 to 16 Days
Early neurological stimulation (ENS) has been proposed to enhance the natural abilities of dogs. ENS involves subjecting pups aged between 3 and 16 days to mild forms of stimulation leading to “stress.” When tested later as adults, these same animals were said to be better able to withstand stress than littermates who were not exposed to the same early stress exercises.
The claimed benefits of ENS have not been proven, but neither have they been disproven. We suspect it likely works to some degree, although some of the claims may be overstated. It takes but a few minutes each day, there is no risk to the pups, and they receive extra handling. All of which is good, and why we have chosen to include ENS in our rearing protocols.
Early neurological stimulation involves five brief stress exercises.
Transitional Period – 10 to 21 Days
Transitional period begins when the puppies eyes open and ends when they first startle upon hearing a sound. During this period:
→ Pups begin eliminating on their own
→ Pups begin walking (around the same time they begin eliminating on their own)
→ Teeth emerge
→ Pups start lapping
→ Pups become interested in other food than milk from mommy
→ Pups begin vocalizing (barking/growling)
→ Non-verbal communication begins, such as tail wagging
Startle Recovery – 3 Weeks
At three weeks of age, puppies develop a startle response yet have no real fear response. The lack of fear and quick recovery to being startled provides a small window of opportunity to exercise the puppies’ recovery muscles without worry of fear imprinting. Beginning this week, the puppies are exposed to a variety of sights, and sounds intended to exercise their startle recovery, including but not limited to: a hand clap, dropping metal bowls, starting a vacuum cleaner, dropping books, shaking a marble-filled bottle, loud laughter, a chorus of barking dogs, and dropping a new toy into the weaning pen each day.
Separation – 3 Weeks
During the third week, pups are separated from their littermates for short periods of time. This individual handling helps encourage the puppy’s bond with people, as well as aids in preventing future separation anxiety. Brief one-on-one time with visitors and family creates a positive association that will help them adjust when they leave for their new homes.
Puppy Pen – 4 Weeks
When the puppies are 3 weeks we already add a litte pen to the whelping box. This way they learn that there exists a world outside of their whelping box without it being very overwhelming. At four weeks of age we enlarge this pen. The larger pen provides an area where the pups can run freely at any time. The exercise will help them grow strong and fit, and will help reduce friction in the litter. The weaning pen incorporates a large “potty area”, some cozy beds, lots of toys, and later on we add some crates. Under supervision we also provide them with an adventure box. The remainder of the weaning pen is covered with a special non-slip material which provides traction and is easily cleaned.
Adventure Box – 4 Weeks
An adventure box is an innovative piece of equipment that helps puppies become confident and stable adults. The interactive activity center encourages puppies to experience different textures, shapes and sounds, providing both physical and mental stimulation.
The adventure box is loud. Objects are placed strategically to generate the maximum amount of sound with the least amount of effort. The pups “self startle” during play and eventually become immune to the continual clanging.
Challenges & Problem-Solving – 4 Weeks
At four weeks of age, the pups are introduced to challenges that build their problem-solving skills. They are motivated to overcome obstacles, are challenged by puzzles, experience new textures and flooring, and are introduced to novel objects daily. Below is a sampling of the challenges presented to our puppies.
A children’s play tunnel is placed in the puppy pen. The pups walk through, or over, the tunnel and like this they get used to smaller spaces and things above their head.
A nest swing is standing inside the puppy pen. On it, the puppies will learn how to improve their balance and the swing helps against motion sickness.
An x-pen is placed on the floor and covered with a tarp. The uneven surface helps prepare the pups for walking where footing is unsteady.
Heights and slopes
Hills and blocks will be placed inside the pen. The puppies learn how to cope with minor height differences.
Outdoor Playtime – 5 weeks
Depending on the weather the puppies enjoy daily outdoor exercise between 4 and 6 weeks of age.
The pups are closely monitored while outdoors and are promptly brought inside if there is a change in weather, or if the pups appear uncomfortable for any reason.
Introducing Event Marker – 5 Weeks
An event marker is something that is used to mark a desired behaviour at the instant it occurs. Common markers are audible, such as a clicker or verbal cue. In order for the marker to have value, we need to change the way the puppy feels when he hears the click or cue. The goal is to create an association in the pup’s brain between the marker and a tidbit of food. This is accomplished by presenting the marker and immediately following it with a treat. With enough repetitions, this pairing of marker/treat will change the way your puppy feels about the marker. This process is often referred to as “charging the clicker”.
Offering Behaviours – 5 Weeks
Once the marker is charged, the pups are ready to learn how to offer behaviours. A shallow box is placed on the floor, and we wait for voluntary interaction with the box. The goal is not to get the pup to do anything, in particular, but to teach the puppy to offer a behaviour of any kind. We click anything at all that the puppy does with the box – look at it, touch it, step in it. It doesn’t matter if the puppy touches it by accident, we still click and treat. We want to teach the puppy that they will be rewarded for offering a behaviour.
Unfortunately the video footage from these sessions is lost.
Enjoy individual weekly photos of the pups from birth to 12 weeks of age.
Our puppies are raised using the Puppy Culture protocols for rearing, socializing, and training.
All our puppies will receive x-rays at the age of 7 weeks and when they turn 1 year old they get an extensive health screening. Watch their results here.
Weights are charted daily from birth to 10 weeks, and then weekly until eight months.
Follow the progress of the litter and celebrate individual milestones for each pup.