This is a brief overview of what goes on from planning the litter the whole way to the puppies leaving when they are 9 weeks old.
Each litter is carefully planned, before the breeding even takes place. Once a female is pregnant, I take the utmost care before they whelp. When a female goes into labor it can take up to 48 hours before the first puppy is born. Each litter is like Christmas morning and each puppy is a new present that I get the privilege to nurture. After all puppies are born the first week is critical. Tails and dewclaws are docked (for Miniature American Shepherds) and I make sure each puppy is gaining weight and thriving. After the first 7 days we start ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation). ENS give each puppy the best start possible at life. It gets them use to being touch, handled, and manipulated. Also at 7 days old I will put photos of the litter up on my website.
At 2 weeks of age the puppies start to open their eyes and ears. Toys begin to make their appearance in the whelping box. This helps the puppies start to get use to other textures, smells, and sounds (interactive baby toys). They also start to get their voice! They start to growl, and bark and whine.
Once they are 3 weeks old we start litter box training. They are still in the whelping box at this point. Also at 3 weeks they get head and noise sensitive. we make a point to make sure that they "recover" when they hear a scary, or loud noise.
At 4 weeks old they move out of a whelping box into their first x-pen. We continue to litter train. Each puppy is getting better and better about potting in potty area (litter box). Everyday toys and bedding is changed and the puppies starts eating puppy grool. ( ground up dog food mixed with espilac) Another major step is during week 4 is clicker training!! Each puppy gets 1 on 1 training from 4-9 weeks of age. When clicker training we start by loading the clicker, and capturing behaviors.
When the puppies are 5 weeks old we start inviting family and friends to meet the puppies. We start exploring the house more and they get more interactive toys, (crinkle tunnel, activity box etc.) We continue to clicker train.
At week 6 we continue to clicker train. By this point clicker training consists of working on sit, come, and watch. We do short, 60 second training sessions 1 to 2 times a day. If the weather is nice we start going outside daily, weather permitting. Don't forget PUPPY MEET AND GREET WEEKEND!! The families that have deposits down on the litter get invited to visit the litter and meet the puppies. This gives me a good idea of which puppies gravitate to which family and too see how the families interact with this breed.
Once the puppies are 7 weeks old the vet visits start. They are given their first parvo/distemper vaccinations, wormed, and the car rides begin. Clicker training continues. They are also evaluated for temperament and conformation. After the evaluations I call each family to tell them the results. When possible, I provide 2 choices on puppies. The 2 puppies that you choose from are what I feel are the best fitting puppies for your family. Once you choose your puppy, your deposit becomes non-refundable and a date is scheduled for pick up.
At 8 weeks the puppies go to my vet for their health check. Along with my regular vet the litter goes to see an ophthalmologist. This is to make sure that their eyes are healthy. By week 8 we start potty training outside. Each puppy gets a lot of 1 on 1 time. (clicker training, nature walks, being held, etc.) Clicker training at 8 weeks consists of Manding (Manding is asking for attention by sitting), leash walking, and playing the come game.
At 9 weeks puppies are allowed to leave for their forever home!
At 7 weeks once each puppy has been evaluated I give you a choice of 2 puppies. Photos are posted every other week. Week 1, 3, 5 and 7. Puppies leave between 9-10. I also have an extensive interview via email or phone so that I know what you are looking for in a puppy. Gender, temperament, energy level, intelligence, eye color, coat color. I talk all of this into consideration but I will not strictly sell a puppy based on coat and eye color. They have to be the whole package for your home.
When you come to pick up your puppy he/she will be bathed and groomed. The puppy will also come with an extensive puppy packet which includes: AKC registration, 3 generation pedigree, a certified health certificate, spay/neuter contract, 3 toys, along with a blanket that smells like their er litter mates.
I start taking deposits once the litter is 1 week old. By week 1 I know that my litter has been through their critical care period. A deposit is $500. The deposit is REFUNDABLE until 7 weeks old when you choose your puppy. Once you said yes to a puppy the deposit becomes NON-REFUNDABLE. The deposit holds a spot in the litter. I do not take a deposit on a specific gender or color. I do take all preference into consideration when giving you 2 options off puppies.
Once your puppy is chosen i make an appointment for you to come and pick up your puppy anywhere from 9-10 weeks old. The remaining balance is due when you pick up your puppy via paypal or cash.
If you have any questions please feel free to call me or email me. If i do not have what you are looking for there are a few breeders that i highly respect and have gotten dogs from and have been great to deal with.
Miniature American Shepherds & Basset Fauve de Bretagnes
My goal as a breeder is to not only better my breed but also send home a happy healthy puppy that is afraid of nothing.