My dogs are my personal pets, and I am just as loyal to them as they are to me. 🙂 Here’s a little bit about my philosophy regarding the care and raising of my puppies. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
First thing first. I believe that the best way to have a happy, well-balanced adult dog is to give him/her a lot of tender love and care right from the start. All of my puppies are VERY well socialized with children and adults one-on-one as well as in large groups. We live on a ranch, so the puppies get lots of outdoor playtime in nice weather and even get to socialize with cats and other dog breeds. (We have two outdoor Blue Heelers here on the ranch as well as visiting dogs from time to time.) I take my puppies on car rides when they are young so that they start to get used to it and are unafraid of vehicles. The same goes for crates; my puppies are crated every night when it’s bedtime so that they always think of the crate as a quite, safe place. By about ten weeks of age they have trained themselves not to go to the bathroom at night, saving new puppy parents the need to get up at night to take the puppy outside. It’s a win-win situation.
Many breeders let their puppies go home at 8 weeks old. They do this because that is right around the time when they are completely weaned and from all appearances are old enough to leave the family. However, I don’t let my puppies go to their new homes until they are 9-10 weeks old for the simple reason that through experience I’ve come to believe they are much better prepared for the transition with two extra weeks spent here at the ranch. There is a critical fear period that begins right after weaning, and that starts right around 8 weeks old. The last thing I want to do is send home a fearful puppy with his new parents.
I do not ship or fly puppies. because that puts them under unnecessary stress during this transition away from their mother and litter mates. The health and well being of the puppies is my chief priority. Instead, I welcome visits for pick up here at the ranch. This allows you to see where and how the puppies are raised, to meet the parent dogs and meet my family!
I have a slightly different take on puppy vaccination then some, but more and more vets and breeders are beginning to share this view as test results are revealed. I am not against vaccinating our pets. It is a very smart, well-established, preventative method against viral diseases in dogs. However, more recent clinical studies are proving that less is best in terms of vaccinating puppies when they are very young. Since I am definitely not a vet, here is a link to an extremely well researched and well written article on the subject, if you would like to check it out more thoroughly.
Because I have decided not to vaccinate my puppies before 12 weeks of age, that removes some of my overhead vet costs in bringing you a healthy, happy puppy. I am able to lower my prices slightly to reflect that difference in comparison to other breeders. I watch and care for each puppy’s health very closely, and I will not let him/her grow up or come home with disease or parasite of any kind if I can help it. I always like to get a health check done by my vet before your puppy goes home for peace of mind.
I recommend that new puppy parents vaccinate at around 14-16 weeks old. Keep your puppy away from strange dogs until a little after the vaccine has been administered. (This would be the case with typical vaccine protocol as well.)
It is my goal to encourage each pet owner to make informed decisions on how they choose to care for their puppy. My choice in not vaccinating while they are so young in my understanding gives the puppies the strongest, healthiest, and most natural start. This is an unusual thing, because many breeders have not yet adjusted to these more recent research findings and do not see pet care from a holistic natural perspective. My parents have always raised me and my siblings naturally. We use holistic and natural means to treat and prevent disease in people, so we try to apply some of that same understanding to our pets and livestock on our ranch as well. This is what led to my research about vaccinating puppies. Also, because my dogs are our house pets, and not dogs raised in a large kennel environment, they are at less risk for viral diseases than other larger kennels.
As always, please get in touch if you have any questions about how I raise my puppies. I will answer any questions you may have to the best of my knowledge, and I love to talk to fellow dog lovers and learn from your experiences as well!