I believe that training starts here, with the breeder. Before a puppy is born, a breeder can (and does) influence and affect each puppy starting at about the beginning of the second month of gestation. A bitch that lives in a high stress environment often will produce puppies that are more prone to stress through their lifetimes. Comfortable, relaxed bitches tend to produce puppies that can handle life overall better. Breeders have a responsibility to each puppy to give him or her the absolute best chance at an emotionally and healthy life. From 3 to 16 days there is a small window in which small bits of stress are extremely beneficial to the babies as they develop. Doing a series of exercises, called Early Neurologic Stimulation, we effectively increase heart beat strength, decrease the rate, increase neural connections in the brain, and increase sympathetic nervous system response time. From there, as puppies age, it is our responsibility as good breeders to help puppies develop emotionally, mentally, and physically.
From the time puppies are old enough to move away from the "den" and begin potting on their own, we being the process of behavior shaping. At this early age, training doesn't work; it doesn't stick; it's completely pointless. Instead, we use their natural instinctual desires to help guide and shape their behavior. Because they have a strong instinct to keep the den clean, for example, we set up litter boxes right outside their sleeping area. They move away from their sleeping area to potty. As they get older, we move the litter area farther away from the sleep area and puppies continue to use the litter area. As puppies get older, we continue to use these natural instincts to teach puppies to be their best selves for their new homes. We teach our babies to WANT to work WITH you, instead of being afraid. They learn to enjoy offering behaviors to figure out what you're asking for instead of being afraid of giving the wrong answer so they shut down and do not try at all. This, in a nutshell, is the Puppy Culture philosophy and we love it!
1. Potty Training
Do not play with your puppy outside until s/he understands outside means potty. Because we
condition areas of potty eat sleep play, if puppies play outside they will not understand they are
supposed to potty out there. When you first take your puppy home, s/he usually doesn't even
realize s/he has to potty while playing. Consistancy is key. Take puppy out every hour to potty. If
pottying doesn't happen, go back inside, crate for 2 minutes (times may vary) then back outside.
2. Leash Walking
3. Crate Training
5. Stand Sit Down
All our puppies are raised with Puppy Culture. If you haven't heard about it, I highly recommend looking into it!
1. Why do you want to wait until puppies are 8 weeks old to let me pick?
Puppies cannot be evaluated structurally before 8 weeks old to determine which puppies will be best for show, performance homes, or placed as pets. We also evaluate temperaments daily.
2. Are pet puppies not as good as other puppies?
Absolutely not. In fact, every puppy is a pet puppy FIRST AND FOREMOST. Each puppy is evaluated against the breed standard. Puppies that are closest to that standard are chosen as show prospects. If you're looking for a show puppy, you would want the best structured puppy in the litter. A high drive puppy would most likely excel in a performance home, so if you're looking for a performance partner that would be a better pick for you. One of my biggest jobs as a breeder is making sure each puppy is in the correct home for that puppy.
3. Why do I have to wait until my puppy is 10 weeks old before s/he can come home?
At around 8 weeks old, puppies typically enter a fear period. They are very impressionable, so anything that is traumatic during this window will be traumatic and difficult for the puppy to deal with for life. The other reason puppies stay until 10 weeks old is to help increase the likelihood their vaccination took and they are protected. I give a second vaccination at 10 weeks old.