We believe that the development of a happy, sound, healthy dog begins even before they are born, and the time from birth until they leave for their new homes also carries a burden of responsibility for us as breeders. This responsibility begins with selection.Inbreeding depression, which has occurred in abundance within our breed (and others) for years, has lead to a steady decline in functions that have compromised the health and vitality of our breed. The Institute of Canine Biology has a lot of great information about all of this and we are trying hard to help our breed by following scientific (genetic) recommendations without looking outside our breed.Dam CareWe feed a high-quality food to our parent dogs to avoid deficiencies that could cause improper fetal development. At 4 weeks gestation, cooked eggs are added to our pregnant moms' food to provide for their extra protein requirements.We no longer have ultra sounds done on our pregnant bitches. Read the following: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/50-in-utero-human-studies-confirm-risks-prenatal-ultrasound/.
Our parent dogs are genetically tested for the diseases most common to the poodle breed. Despite all of this testing, we offer a 3-year genetic health guarantee. What we have learned from our various searches for dogs for our hunting/breeding program is that few breeders test beyond hips and eyes, while other breeders offer a guarantee against "life-threatening" genetic diseases only. (Most genetic diseases are not life threatening, but rather, life altering.) Other breeders may only cover genetic issues they test for (which are few in number). Please read the contract carefully if you are considering a pup from another breeder, as someone offering a guarantee against life-threatening diseases, or only those they test for, is basically not providing a guarantee at all.
Our puppies are born in a special whelping area. Research has proven that too much stress on the dam has a negative effect on puppies. Bitches are innately aware of the total and complete dependence puppies have on them. With this living arrangement, we are able to ensure all adversarial stimuli is avoided during whelping and shortly thereafter, thereby avoiding undue stress on our precious pudels. This safe atmosphere builds a strong foundation for our puppies from their birth and into their most formative stages, and their existence within "our private and quiet space" ensures that the needs of each pup and the mom are met.On days 3-16, we conduct Early Neurological Stimulation on our puppies to give them the best hope for a stress free life.At around (depends on the dam) 3 weeks of age, our puppies become a part of the pack (human and other dogs). This age is oftentimes referred to as the Awareness or Identification Period. The pups now have use of all of their senses, but still need to be housed in a stable environment. Being raised in the house allows them to become accustomed to household noises and the constant movement of people and other pets which will be a part of their lives. Living in our family area also provides socialization opportunties that would be lost if they were raised elsewhere. (Puppies who are raised in garages or other isolated areas can become so traumatized when they go to their new homes that the owner is working double time to help them to overcome their sensitivities.)Our pups are sent home with a small towel that has their littermates' and mom's scents on it. This can be placed in the pup's crate at night to comfort them during the first few nights away from "all things familiar."