From Birth to Your Home: How Our Puppies are Raised
All my dogs live in my home with me, sleeping on my bed, traveling with me to agility trials and dogs shows. When I am away for work or visiting family far away, I employ a dog sitter who stays at my house to care for my dogs. We go out onto the fenced acre I live on, kind of a private dog park, to run, play, chase tennis balls and practice agility.
Puppies are born in my bedroom, where I can watch over mammas and babies for their early weeks of life. Puppies move from a whelping box to a larger space in my bedroom, where they start to play with toys, and begin the process of learning how to walk, run, and enjoy food.
When they are ready – – walking well, eating on their own, around 5 1/2 weeks of age, they move to an exercise pen in the kitchen/den area, so they can be in the middle of home activities. Here, they learn to go outside to potty on grass, play with adult dogs, get used to lots of household sounds.
They get trips to hardware and garden stores, traveling in a crate in the care and a laundry basket in stores, to experience the car, store noises, meet lots of people! My backyard has trees to go around, bushes to go under, some agility equipment to experiment on, ledges to jump up on and off — a doggie jungle gym!
It is during these weeks of development that we observe their behavior, how they interact with the world, to assess their temperament.
In the end, we know these puppies well, and hand over a well socialized puppy to its new own.