Our Program

truly pups

Between birth and 8 weeks of age, puppies have key critical stages of development that can affect them for a lifetime, both positively and negatively. As breeders, we have our puppies during the majority of their critical socialization period, which is the most important time in the shaping of a dog's future behavior. We have implemented a science and research-based early learning program to give our puppies their best start. Our program is very labor intensive. We devote hours and hours of time and love to the socialization and training of our puppies. We have become Avidog Associate Breeders to bring both tried-and-true and cutting-edge scientifically-sound methods to our development program to produce healthy and stable puppies. Because of our work, the puppies leave us self-assured, confident, & resilient.

NUTRITION DROP DOWN

Omega 3 supplementation for optimal brain development and probiotic supplementation for a strengthened immune system. Additionally, providing excellent nutrition for our mothers while they are pregnant can positively impact puppy trainability, vision, immune systems, and lifetime cancer rates.  Our dogs and litters eat a diet combining a kibble rotation (Purina ProPlan Sport/RC Golden Retriever Blend) and a natural raw diet.

EPIGENETICS DROP DOWN

A dam’s nutrition, stress, and levels of enrichment she receives both before breeding and while pregnant has been proven to have lifelong effects on her puppies. Providing positive enrichment, activity, grooming, and touching will produce puppies that will handle stress better. Maternal stress is linked to offspring that are more likely to be hyperactive, respond to stress poorly, have abnormally high blood glucose levels, mild impairment of intellectual activity, and anxiety.

assessment

We evaluate health, structure, temperament, and working aptitude. We use the Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (APET) to evaluate up to 33 temperament traits and develop a custom training plan for each puppy before they go home. Structural evaluations are done at 8 weeks of age as well.

SOCIALIZATION 1

Our puppies are raised in our home to make them accustomed to daily family life. Studies show that puppies raised in domestic environments (like a breeder’s home) are significantly less likely to show aggression to strangers and to display avoidance behavior, compared to puppies raised in a garage, kennel, barn, or other non-domestic environments. Our puppies become the focus of our lives, and receive daily handling, socialization, and attention from birth. They are socialized with many different people while they are with us and are allowed to interact and play with other dogs.

Experiences during the sensitive period (from 3 to 12 weeks of age) affect puppies in powerful ways that are difficult to alter later on. Studies have shown that a lack of appropriate socialization during the sensitive period plays a large role in determining whether the dog develops behavioral problems later on. In one study, the amount of socialization before 12 weeks of age was found to be the measure most associated with desirable behavior in adult dogs. In addition, anything learned (again, positive and negative) before the age of 16 weeks can become part of a puppy’s mental and emotional self for life. It is important for our families to expose their puppies to the types of activities (and lifestyle) they hope to enjoy together before 16 weeks of age. To help with this, we provide our families with key activities (on a structured schedule) and techniques to help prevent any negative associations or fear reactions.

SOCIALIZATION 3
SOCIALIZATION 2

Mental Development & Enrichment

  • Early neurological stimulation
  • Early scent introduction (including bird wings)
  • Sound habituation and desensitization (including gun shots)
  • Early work on positive conditioned emotional responses
  • Body handling & touch conditioning
  • Environmental Enrichment & habituation to novel stimuli
  • Problem solving, social cognition, & scent games
  • Introduction to clicker training (Learning to learn!)
  • Automatic sit training
  • Grooming conditioning & desensitization
  • Beginner house training
  • Exercises for the prevention of resource guarding & separation anxiety
  • Core behaviors foundation training (sit, down, come, etc)
  • Introduction to crate training
  • Body awareness work (through daily woods walks & play equipment)
  • Aquatic conditioning
  • Car training
  • Exposure to game birds & retrieving games
truly pups

Between birth and 8 weeks of age, puppies have key critical stages of development that can affect them for a lifetime, both positively and negatively. As breeders, we have our puppies during the majority of their critical socialization period, which is the most important time in the shaping of a dog's future behavior. We have implemented a science and research-based early learning program to give our puppies their best start. Our program is very labor intensive. We devote hours and hours of time and love to the socialization and training of our puppies. We have become Avidog Associate Breeders to bring both tried-and-true and cutting-edge scientifically-sound methods to our development program to produce healthy and stable puppies. Because of our work, the puppies leave us self-assured, confident, & resilient.

Omega 3 supplementation for optimal brain development and probiotic supplementation for a strengthened immune system. Additionally, providing excellent nutrition for our mothers while they are pregnant can positively impact puppy trainability, vision, immune systems, and lifetime cancer rates.

A dam’s nutrition, stress, and levels of enrichment she receives both before breeding and while pregnant has been proven to have lifelong effects on her puppies. Providing positive enrichment, activity, grooming, and touching will produce puppies that will handle stress better. Maternal stress is linked to offspring that are more likely to be hyperactive, respond to stress poorly, have abnormally high blood glucose levels, mild impairment of intellectual activity, and anxiety.

assessment

We evaluate health, structure, temperament, and working aptitude. We use the Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (APET) to evaluate up to 33 temperament traits and develop a custom training plan for each puppy before they go home. Structural evaluations are done at 8 weeks of age as well.

Our puppies are raised in our home to make them accustomed to daily family life. Studies show that puppies raised in domestic environments (like a breeder’s home) are significantly less likely to show aggression to strangers and to display avoidance behavior, compared to puppies raised in a garage, kennel, barn, or other non-domestic environments. Our puppies become the focus of our lives, and receive daily handling, socialization, and attention from birth. They are socialized with many different people while they are with us and are allowed to interact and play with other dogs.

Experiences during the sensitive period (from 3 to 12 weeks of age) affect puppies in powerful ways that are difficult to alter later on. Studies have shown that a lack of appropriate socialization during the sensitive period plays a large role in determining whether the dog develops behavioral problems later on. In one study, the amount of socialization before 12 weeks of age was found to be the measure most associated with desirable behavior in adult dogs. In addition, anything learned (again, positive and negative) before the age of 16 weeks can become part of a puppy’s mental and emotional self for life. It is important for our families to expose their puppies to the types of activities (and lifestyle) they hope to enjoy together before 16 weeks of age. To help with this, we provide our families with key activities (on a structured schedule) and techniques to help prevent any negative associations or fear reactions.

 

Mental Development & Enrichment

  • Early neurological stimulation
  • Early scent introduction (including bird wings)
  • Sound habituation and desensitization (including gun shots)
  • Early work on positive conditioned emotional responses
  • Body handling & touch conditioning
  • Environmental Enrichment & habituation to novel stimuli
  • Problem solving, social cognition, & scent games
  • Introduction to clicker training (Learning to learn!)
  • Automatic sit training
  • Grooming conditioning & desensitization
  • Beginner house training
  • Exercises for the prevention of resource guarding & separation anxiety
  • Core behaviors foundation training (sit, down, come, etc)
  • Introduction to crate training
  • Body awareness work (through daily woods walks & play equipment)
  • Aquatic conditioning
  • Car training
  • Exposure to game birds & retrieving games