How Swallowfield Puppies are Raised (and why)
As a veterinarian I know how important proper socialization and training is to make the dog successful. Temperament and trainability is genetic, and we select for the best possible sire and dam of the litter, but how they are raised is also vitally important. We do as much as we can here to raise the best possible puppy, but the new puppy owner will also have huge amounts of work to do. Puppy owners go home with training books, information as well as clickers and toys.
I raise the puppies with Puppy Culture - this is a video and formula of training steps for certain ages. Young puppies get Early Neurological Stimulation, a program designed for military working dogs to help increase adrenal function and response as adults. Puppies of all ages get huge amounts of visual, tactile and auditory stimulation- new toys, people, and sounds daily. They are raised in my house and are around all the normal house things like vacuum cleaners and doorbells. They are exposed to dogs of many sizes, cats, large animals and many different people. This helps make them into confident dogs and good citizens.
I also do a lot of individual training starting at about 4 weeks old- young puppies learn very quickly with the clicker and time. Puppies are trained to sit for attention instead of jumping, to seek out new experiences and to think for themselves. They learn to go to the bathroom outside or in litter boxes and not on their beds. They learn to be comfortable in crates.
When the puppies are babies, I am with them about 23 hours a day- sleeping and eating in the room with them and keeping them as healthy as possible. My husband takes care of them when I have to work. As they start to get a bit older and more mobile, they get moved to a bigger pen in our living room, and are gradually transitioned from mother's milk to puppy food. They are taken outside for walks and in a play area, and have new toys/experiences daily. They are dewormed and vaccinated at appropriate times. We spend about 8 hours a day intensively taking care of them and training, and are constantly watching to make sure nothing goes wrong.
New puppy homes will need to commit to weeks of intensive socialization, training classes and lifetime love and care. We will always be attached to puppies we have raised and are available for consult at any time. Here are a few photos of different ages, and also check out the Puppy Culture link.