How you raise puppies matters.
When selecting a breeder, this may be the most important factor to consider after you have ensured that your breeder has puppies with the correct bloodline and heritage. Why does it matter how they are raised? They are just puppies. What can they really learn when they are so young and fragile?
In fact, research has shown that the overall success and happiness of the puppy is mostly formed during the first 12 weeks. If you would like a puppy to grow into a dog that is social, has the correct temperament, confident, obedient, and happy, the process will start while the puppy is under the care of a responsible breeder. When we say that we work hard to ensure that our puppies are loved and cared for during the first few weeks before they go to their new home, we really mean it. It is our belief that this attention and care will manifest itself in our puppies' being ready to be a wonderful addition to their new family.
This whole process actually starts before the puppies are even born.
The week prior to the puppies being born, we spend time with the mother loving and caressing her side so the puppies get a jump start in responding to human touch. We ensure the mother is well fed, restful, and kept in a tranquil nursery allowing the puppies to arrive in the best environment possible.
The First 16 Days...
When they arrive they are so sweet. Unable to walk, helpless, eyes and ears closed, making sweet sounds, sleeping in little piles, and drinking all the milk they can before falling back asleep. It is during these first 16 days that we keep the puppies safe, low stress, well fed, and weigh them often to see that everyone is doing well. We spend a lot of time touching and handling them to get them familiar with human touch on each part of their bodies.
We also use early neurological stimulation exercises daily to improve the puppies blood pressure and nervous system development. The mother is placed on a special diet and we work to help her manage the stress involved with caring for the litter to not allow the puppies or mother to be placed under too much stress. All of this to help the puppy develop even during this small window that you would think there is nothing to do with them except watch over them and the mother.
Week 3... Becoming Individuals
Around the third week we see the puppies transition from helpless furry puppies and begin to establish themselves as individuals.
They begin to see and walk in what seems like slow motion. Soon they start to hear sounds and begin the process of exploring their littermates and their surroundings in the den.
It is at this time they also begin to use the bathroom on their own, making noises at littermates, and crawling begins. We continue to have a lot of contact with the puppies by touching and playing with them. All this is done in the safety of the whelping box.
Introducing new toys to help them explore new textures and shapes.
Daily Individual time spent with each puppy outside of the den also helps each puppy to learn and grow on their own. Potty stations are set up to help start to learn potty training. It is amazing how quick they pick this up. It is during the third and fourth week that we begin to enrich the puppies emotional development. The den becomes bigger and new things are introduced to allow the puppy to learn how to be startled and recover from their fear quickly.
Simple exercises like dropping things, running the vacuum cleaner, music, tv, introducing new objects, and sounds all to help show the puppy not to fear but explore. All of this allows the puppy to grow into a dog that doesn't fear new things but sees them as not harmful and should be explored. We introduce low stress learning and problem solving training to help the puppy learn how to solve frustration and stress in a meaningful way without aggression. We want them to seek out new challenges, solve them, and we try to give them the opportunity to learn these early skills to be a well balanced dog that loves to explore and embrace new things.
Week 4... How To Talk To Humans
What? You teach puppies how to speak? No, what we teach them is how to begin to understand to communicate with humans in the proper way. We do this through clicker training. Teaching the puppies to respond to a marker(a clicker) and learn to offer a behavior. This teaches them to ask for what they want in the correct way. In other words, they gain a voice and learn how to speak to us.
The goal is for the puppy to learn that the way to get what they want is to go through their owner and thus learning how to communicate with a human. After several short training sessions the idea is that the puppies learn the way to speak to a human is to first sit down. Then they get the love and attention they desire.
Week 5... Overcoming Fears
Week 5 brings new challenges as the puppies enter a period that fear may become more real to them and can often leave lasting scars and imprinting.
During this period we are careful to continue developing the puppies ability to respond to fear quickly by introducing new things for them to learn from but always looking for the newfound awareness of things can now be scary. So we introduce objects and challenges and then look for areas the puppies may need help overcoming a fear within an environment of low stress. Thus building the puppies confidence as we individually help them to overcome a partial fear and still continue to be a seeker of exploring new things.
Week 6... Encouraging Their Curiosity
So we introduce them to as many things as we can without impacting them in a negative way. Helping them to learn about unstable and elevated surfaces, objects over their heads, etc. All designed to teach life lessons and help with coping with everyday challenges when they are older. Potty training continues with giving the puppy the opportunity to do what they know to do and keep the den clean. This comes very natural to the puppies.
With this stage of the puppies life there are several other areas that need to be addressed such as biting, resource guarding, and handling. So we work with each of the puppies discouraging biting, learning how to share resources through training sessions, and we continue to help the puppy to remain comfortable with being touched on all parts of their body. All of these offer huge rewards for dog owners as the puppy has already been conditioned to learn how to copy with these challenges during this period that it is much easier for them to learn. Thus helping to eliminate unwanted natural instincts not wanted by most owners.
Weeks 7 & 8... Individual Training
In Week 7 and 8 we begin to look for areas that the individual puppies may need help with and address these areas with additional love and training.
Week 8 will often bring another period of fear development. We continue to ensure the puppies are not exposed to any single event that could have lasting negative impressions. Making sure that none of the positive training is undone during this short period before they head to their forever homes.
At Majestic Labradoodles we look for every opportunity to help these loving puppies to be a successful addition to their new home. We ask that our buyers continue the puppy protocols through the first 12 weeks as it is during this time that we can make the most rewarding and positive impact on the life of the puppy. We offer our continued support for the life of the dog.
Our puppies come from the bloodline formed by Tegan Park and Rutland manor in Australia. It is our desire that the training and work we put into our puppies will truly produce a well balanced Labradoodle. If this is what you are looking for then we encourage you to fill out our adoption application and take the first step in finding out why we love this breed and experience all they have to offer.
Yours in doodling,
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