Raising Confident Puppies

Our puppies are bred with a particular focus on solid temperaments. We do not raise our dogs in kennels; they are raised in a loving home environment.  Puppy Culture is a puppy-raising system that provides an experience-rich foundation that promotes physical, social & cognitive development to ensure a confident, happy, and well-adjusted family companion.

We introduce them to other animals, kids, sounds, toys, & various surfaces, take them for car rides & let them explore the world around them so they are better prepared for life after they leave our home.

Generally speaking, good genetics and well-raised pups make a difference in how well your puppy adjusts to their family living with you. Raising confident pups is our goal.   

With the popularity of Puppy Culture, many well-informed puppy buyers have come to recognize the value of breeders that utilize the PC methods of puppy rearing.

If you haven’t heard of Puppy Culture, it is a comprehensive program for raising puppies that aims to optimize pups’ physical and mental development. It is based on the latest scientific research and focuses on providing puppies with a wide range of early learning experiences and socialization opportunities.

If you are familiar with what Puppy Culture is. . . do you know what it does for the pups?

  • Improved Cardiovascular performance
  • Better tolerance to stress
  • Larger brains
  • Increased learning ability and better retention
  • Stable adult dogs
  • Less fear overall
  • Better coping/recovery
  • Builds handler value
  • Creates independence away for littermates

Early neurological stimulation (ENS) begins in the whelping box at 3-16 days old. ENS is special handling of the puppies one at a time while performing a series of five exercises in a controlled way.  Research shows that these small struggles and stresses in appropriately small doses are good for puppies and will help them grow into strong, healthy, well-adjusted adults. ENS puppies explored more, were better at problem-solving, were more social toward humans, and were more confident when engaged in a social situation with other dogs.

Noval Items and Sound
We start noise experiences when the puppy’s eyes and ears first open between 10-14 days old. We use recorded sounds that introduce pups to a variety of everyday sounds to familiarize them with things like vacuums, trucks, fireworks, kids playing, construction building, and grooming dryers, to name a few.  We also provide soft tactile toys for them to smell, touch, and crawl over as they begin to use their wobbly legs.  Nail trims have occurred every 3-5 days, but now we introduce a Dremel-type tool to do them.

At three weeks, We start litter box training. POOP SCHOOL. We begin with paper pellets, then and 4-5 weeks transition to pine pellets, commonly called ‘stall pellets.’  Early potty box training is vital in teaching pups to keep their sleeping areas clean and helps them transition easily to outdoor potty areas in their new homes. Less stress for the puppies, less stress for you.  We continue to do nail trims every 5-7 days with the Dremel tool.

We devote a lot of time prepping our puppies for the most significant transition they will ever make in their lives by progressively moving from group whole-litter activities to individualized Skills built on as they learn.

At four weeks, is when the fun really begins for us here.  Pups are moved from the whelping box to a playpen area in the active center of our home, where litter box training continues. Here, they are exposed to our dogs and all the comings and goings of our busy household. Pups are now old enough to go outside and experience a variety of outside play areas, each with different enrichment experiences.
Most activities (walks & adventures in new environments, car rides) are done as a group, sometimes with dam and other puppy-wise older dogs. Each pup is picked up and handled individually daily, and nails are trimmed with a Dremel. We introduce them to being on a table for grooming; the Crate experience comes with them in small groups for car rides. 

At five weeks, we continue with daily handling, brushing, and their nails as needed. Poop school continues. We put pups into pairs or trios for the daily novel adventure activity, PLUS the whole group activities continue.  Crating in small groups for car rides continues.
Pups begin eating real food at this point in preparation for weaning them off mama at about seven weeks. And of course, poop school continues. 

At six weeks, now we have every pup begin receiving the all-important ‘solo’ time in their novel adventures for about 15-20 minutes daily. This individual socialization is critical because learning to be without their littermates may make the transition to your home easier and clearer. During this time, handling, brushing, and nail trims continue. 

This individual daily time continues from 6 weeks on until placement. We gradually add crating in pairs or solo for car rides, for feeding individually, and during the last week or so, we use a separate exercise pen for naps and then — about four days before the pup goes to their new home — Sleeping overnight solo. 

This is just a tiny portion of the things we do that develop a pup that can handle anything life throws at them with eager curiosity and confidence. 

It is a LOT of work for us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Make no mistake about it, 6-8 puppies x 15-20 min per pup per day, plus group activities = tired humans. But oh, what a gift for the puppies and the new homes. A gift that lasts them a lifetime.