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Our Difference

DEAR POTENTIAL PUPPY PARENT….

I want to tell you about what makes our puppies special - in short - you get what you pay for! This is a long note, but I highly encourage you to make it all the way through as you will better understand the quality of the companion you will be getting when you welcome one of our dogs into your life.

Or difference is all in how we treat our dogs and raise your puppy. It all starts long before your puppy is even conceived.

Our dogs are all loved and meticulously cared for. They are not just “breeding stock.” They live in our home or with guardians that adore them. They are our pets first.

Phantom Poodle Puppy

Each dog has been selected from breeders that care for their dogs as we do for ours. Our dogs are not from puppy mills, backyard breeders, or one-time breeders with a “cute dog” that they want to breed just once for the experience of having puppies. Our dogs come from experienced breeders with “heart” that provides their dogs with the best possible start in life. As we do for ours.

All of our dogs are thoroughly health tested and bred to produce the healthiest puppies possible. You might pay more for a puppy from us than from Joe’s uncle who had an accidental litter, but our dogs will save you lots of money and heartache down the road. We have no genetic heart conditions in our lines, no genetic eye issues, no genetic seizures, no genetic thyroid issues, etc.

Before a female is bred we make sure that she is in top condition. She needs to be at a perfect weight, physically very fit, and healthy in all ways. She is health tested, structurally sound, and has a great disposition. We will also know her unique colour makeup before she is matched with one of our boys. She is always fed raw, and we do increase her consumption of fish and green vegetables to make sure we grow big poodle brains!

During the pregnancy, we continue to exercise our dogs as vigorously as they will allow for. We let them set the pace and don’t push them for more, or hold them back. We truly believe that nature knows best. During the last week of their pregnancy, we might forgo the ball for a walk around the block.

We carefully instruct and support our guardians throughout the whole process of caring for and nurturing a pregnant dog. We are available 24/7, should they have questions or concerns.

The puppies are already loved before they arrive.

We make sure that our dogs gain enough weight to support nursing, but not so much as to impede an easy delivery. Our females are provided with a safe and comfortable whelping area. We allow them to nest and scratch away at the blankets all they want.

Puppies are born into a warm soft environment. Each one is carefully cleaned and dried by their mama and myself. They are allowed to nurse right away while their mama births their siblings. Our girls get to enjoy Hagen Daz ice-cream during whelping. This provides them with energy, hydration, and a little bit of calcium.

Because of our dogs’ healthy condition and all of our planning and preparation, whelping usually goes quickly and without trouble. After all the puppies are born we give our mama a quick clean-up, fresh bedding, and a meal. We tell her that she did well and that we are proud of her.

Should any issue arise during whelping, no effort or expense will be spared in saving the life of our dam or that of her puppies. We don’t play “wait and see” games, nor do we try and “fix” things ourselves. We rush her to the vet and get everyone the expert care they need. We have set aside thousands of dollars specifically for this purpose.

We sleep right next to your puppies for the first two weeks. Thereafter, for the next 3 weeks, we set an alarm for 12am, 3am and 6am to check on everyone, mama included.

On day 3 we start ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) with each puppy. The success and positive outcomes of these gentle methods have been proven over and over again. We continue with this protocol until the puppies are 16 days old and the sensitive window has closed.

Most puppies eyes are open by two weeks of age. This is when we introduce daily novel items into the whelping box. This varies from a stuffed animal to balls, a mirror, or a crinkly paper bag. We trim their toenails and make sure that the puppies have a floor with good traction as they start wobbling on their feet. Puppies are handled often throughout the day and stroked and cuddled by all members of our family.

As soon as the puppies are waddling around with more confidence they are moved to their puppy pen and housetraining starts! This process is completely natural and results in pups that are 90% housetrained when they go home! We continue to feed their mama a high-quality, calorie-rich diet with added omega 3 oil in support of the puppies’ brain development.

Week 3 - 4 is a transition period between being babies and young puppies. We continue to introduce them to new items, smells, and sounds daily. We also add small obstacles, like a dog bed with a low bumper or a rolled blanket. They might hear the sound of thunder played to them or other, non-family dogs barking.

By 4 weeks of age, the puppies become explorers and this is where the fun (and work) starts!

The pups are given an even larger area to roam. Our puppies are only confined to their substantial sized pen when we are not around to keep an eye. This happens very seldom. Puppies at this age are not crated or caged. However, they are provided with a crate to go into if they choose to. It becomes just another interesting object for them to explore, along with a tunnel, see-saw, slide, wobble board, “puppy gym,” etc. They are given lots of different textures to walk on, things to climb onto, and a hidey-hole to play in. They will be exposed to a variety of sounds and household noise. Naturally, all the toys and activities we provide them with are safe and gentle. No pup is ever forced - just lovingly encouraged, should they need it.

We also introduce solid food and more grooming. Puppies meet safe dogs from outside the household. They meet big dogs, old dogs, yappy dogs, playful dogs, and aloof dogs. They also meet strangers: people with glasses, big men, teenagers, seniors, and young children. They get their feet wet in a shallow pan of water and play outside until they drop! The list goes on. We take exposing our puppies to as many safe things as possible very seriously around here!

Each puppy also receives individual attention. Each puppy is held and played with by himself/herself numerous times throughout the day. They are cuddled and spoken too. We teach them to sit on command and to “wait” and to “come.” They don’t always get this right away, but they enjoy the process.

Puppies are bathed and dewormed at least twice before they are 8 weeks old. Puppies visit our vet who does a very thorough check on them. They receive their first set of vaccinations.

By the time to puppies go home they are about 95% housetrained. It is up to their owners to continue taking their pup outside regularly to preserve the work we have done.

I have seen many breeders send their puppies home with a substantial goodie-bag filled with odds and ends they pick up from the dollar store. We see no point in this. Your puppy will take home a baggie I thoughtfully put together: a smelly blanket the litter has been using, information on your microchip, information about the month of free pet insurance from Trupanion, a specific toy that your puppy liked, veterinarian certificate, contract, and some of the home-made treats we use to train our pups.

Puppies are only sent home when THEY are ready - nobody is ever rushed out the door as we truly want what is best for them. For almost all puppies this is by 8 weeks. The puppy will be confident, playful, and bold. They are curious and willing/able to learn. They are rambunctious as a puppy should be.

Please know that our puppies are not pampered and spoiled beyond what is healthy for them. They are challenged and placed in situations that are not always 100% comfortable. They learn to be resilient problem-solvers. Our dogs are not fearful or nervous because they have learned to overcome challenges. They get corrected when they are naughty and we expect a lot of them. But above all, we LOVE them!

Not mentioned or discussed in this writing is how we select our potential puppy parents. This part of the process is very important to us. Puppies are not sold “first come, first served” or sold as quickly as possible to get rid of them! We take as much care in this as we do in everything else.

Even though it is hard for us to let them go at this stage, they are ready to be loved by a family of their own. We love to stay in contact with all of our puppy owners without being pushy or needy. Every photo they send us warms our hearts as we remember something particular about that puppy and its individual personality. We are available for help and support for the lifetime of the dog.

As your puppy leaves my arms and into yours, I know that the puppy surrenders his/her life to you. I say a silent blessing for him/her and I pray that I have chosen the best person deserving of this devotion. I have done my best and I am grateful for the time we had together.

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