Our Puppy Raising Philosophy
The most important thing we can do for our puppies is prepare them for their life ahead and find the best possible home for each puppy. We take raising our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppies very seriously and go to great lengths to make sure we do the best possible job.
The Critical First 16 Weeks
During the first 16 weeks of a puppy's life, his brain is rapidly growing and expanding. It's a very magical time as well as a very critical period of time in the life of a puppy. It's called the "imprint period", a time when breeders and owners can actually shape the puppy into the dog he will be for the rest of his life.
Whatever a puppy experiences during this time will stay with him throughout adulthood. Likewise, whatever he doesn't experience during this time, also stays with him forever. If for example, a puppy meets many people during his first 16 weeks of life, he will willingly accept strangers when he is grown. If his exposure to people is limited, he'll be more likely to react to strangers by being timid, shy, or aggressive when he is grown. This is true for virtually everything that occurs in the life of the puppy during his first 16 weeks. Both positive and negative experiences will stay with him forever.
Our goal in raising puppies is to maximize each puppy's potential by exposing them to as many positive experiences as we possibly can during the first 8 weeks when they are with us and then provide new puppy owners with the information they need to continue the process for the next 8 weeks.
Raising Puppies - Birth to 8 Weeks
Maximizing a puppy's potential means giving him every opportunity to grow into the very best dog he can be. Our puppy raising program takes advantage of every opportunity to maximize a puppy's potential at each stage of his early development. Following is summary of our puppy raising process during the puppy's first 8 weeks of life.
We have 4 phases to our puppy raising program, some of which have finite time schedules, others which are overlapping and ongoing:
Raising Puppies - Weeks 9 through 16
When you take your puppy home, the fun begins and the clock is ticking! There are 8 more weeks of the puppy's imprint period. You need to be prepared to pick up where we left off by continuing socialization and enrichment for your puppy and continue bite inhibition training. Housetraining needs to begin as soon as your puppy is in your home.
Continue Socialization: Socialization doesn't just happen; you need to have a plan. Your puppy will have met at least 100 people before you took him home. Set a goal for him to meet another 100 people before he's 16 weeks old and have a plan in place to make it happen.
Continue Puppy Enrichment: Enrichment means new experiences, new places, sights, sounds, smell, surfaces. Plan stimulating experiences for your puppy.
Continue Puppy Training: At this age, puppies are like little sponges and they learn very quickly. Keep training sessions short, 5-10 minutes, but give the puppy multiple training sessions every day.
Housetraining: Housetraining needs to begin as soon as your puppy walks through the door. Follow the housetraining guide contained in the E-Book "After You Get Your Puppy" by Dr. Ian Dunbar.
We're Here to Help! We encourage you to call on us at any time if you have questions or need help with your puppy.
To Create Great Puppies!
This book has lots of good ideas for puppy socialization and enrichment.
After You Get Your Puppy
by Dr. Ian Dunbar
This e-book contains important developmental milestones and a guide for teaching bite inhibition and housetraining.
We take puppy raising VERY SERIOUSLY!