A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PUPPY
An in depth overview of Rensai Kennels puppy raising program.
My puppy raising program starts way before a puppy is conceived, it starts with hours upon hours of research into pedigrees and proving the parents of your puppy should be bred. My goal is to produce dogs that are within the written breed standard with longevity, great temperaments, structural soundness and a versatile dog who can sit on the couch and win in the performance/show ring.
Why would you need this if you just want a pet and not a show dog?
1. Because a family dog should be healthy. We all want our best friends to live forever, and while I can't promise forever, I can promise I have done hours of research into the health and longevity of every relative of your dog.
2. Good dogs are bred and not made. It's not all how you raise them, genetics play a HUGE roll in temperament. Sure you can sway some behavior from socializing (or lack there of) but the temperament has to be there first. No one wants a dog who bites or is scared or has unmanageable separation anxiety. While, we cannot promise we won't sometimes have anomalies, dogs from good natured parents are way more likely to be good natured themselves.
3. At the end of the day dogs are companions first. No one wants a dog they cannot live with in their home due to their neurotic behavior. Will some puppies have higher energy than others? of course but a well managed puppy who has been given the proper outlet should be able to sit on your couch AND be up for any adventure you throw at them. This is why I pick puppies for my homes and my waitlist isn't decided in chronological order. My job as your breeder is to match you to your new best friend. That means I spend hours upon hours with these puppies. I have outside people temperament test them and use these tests to pair the puppy in the right home. It wouldn't be fair to put my rambunctious puppy in a home who wants a lap dog. You can view more about my puppy selection process below and on my FAQs page.
BIRTH TO WEEK ZERO
Mom is fed a high quality diet, daily probiotics and given a B vitamin complex to help with fetal development. Approx 30 days post breeding pregnancy is confirmed via ultrasound. Around 10 day before whelping mom is dewormed to aid in the prevention of intestinal parasites of the puppies. Around 58 days post breeding an X-Ray is performed for puppy count. If the mother is expecting an exceptionally small or large litter or we're concerned about complications we book her for a C-Section. Her safety and well being are of utmost importance.
All during nursing mom is fed a high quality kibble, raw meat and wholesome foods that are high in calcium, vitamins and minerals and pre and probiotics. She is fed many common grains and proteins to help lessen the chance the puppies will develop food allergies later in life.
After puppies are born (either naturally or C-Section) they are dried off, umbilical cord clamped, checked over, weighed, assigned a collar color and handed over to their mama for their first meal. After everyone is born and doing well individual and group photos are taken (usually the next day-- I'm exhausted!). Smaller puppies may be supplemented with FFP (fresh frozen plasma), tube feeding, bottle feeding and/or placed in an incubator to keep warm. Puppies are weighed two times a day the first week of life. Some puppies may lose up to 10% of their birth weight the first 24 hours but by the end of week 1 should have nearly doubled their birth weight.
Puppies will have their first vet visit and healthy puppies will have their dew claws removed (usually at 3-5 days old)
Starting at about 3 days old Early Neurological Stimulation & Early Scent Introduction is started and will be continued every day until the puppies eyes/ears open at around 16 days.
Puppies will have their nails trimmed at least once this week.
A Foam Egg Crate pad is added under the whelping box to encourage muscle development. Puppies are now weighed twice a day and Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction is continued. Puppies will have at least two nail trims this week.
Weekly photos taken. Puppies are dewormed. Puppies are now weighed daily and will have at least two nail trims this week. When puppies eyes and ears are fully open, ESI & ENS stop (usually around 16 days). Mom will be fed goat's milk inside the whelping box to encourage puppies to begin lapping up the milk.
Weekly Photos are taken. Puppies are weighed every other day. Nails are trimmed 2x this week. Puppies are treated for Coccidia Prevention. Puppies will have their first "real" meal which is a Goat's Milk and Ground Raw Turkey Slurry. Different food (all raw) items (Proteins, Grains, Fruits & Veggies, and Dairy) will be added to expose puppies to different types of food (to encourage puppies to not be picky eaters/ to prevent allergies later on). Puppies are eating 1 meal a day so most of their nutrition is still coming from mom. We remove the pig rails from the whelping box and turn off the heating pad since puppies now can regulate their temperature and get away from mom if needed. We introduce a new toy to the whelping box each day this week. A litter box is placed in the whelping box and most puppies immediately start using it. New visual and audible objects are added to expose puppies to novel objects. Puppies get to explore the house outside of their whelping box, meet a few select guests and get individual time with people.
Puppies are dewormed.. Weighed Twice this week. Puppies have their first real baths. Weekly Photos are taken, including first "stacked" photos (puppies are given food for standing on the table). Puppies are given a special treat on the grooming table daily. Nails are done 1x this week. Puppies are moved to their weaning pen at the beginning of the week. Everyday a new and challenging toy is introduced to the puppies. Puppies spend a good part of the day in the living room with the family and will meet some of the other pets in the household. If the weather is nice they'll experience their first time outside this week, where they will get to play with new toys and play in the yard. They are eating food 2x a day (1 meal of softened kibble and one of various raw food items). Learning (clicker training) and problem solving activities are introduced. Puppies are given a new collar that they'll take home. First group short (around the block) car rides happen and puppies are introduced to the crate.
Puppies are only weighed weekly from here on out. Individual and group photos are taken. Nails are done 1x and baths as needed this week. Puppies receive their coccidia prevention. Structured introductions with other house pets are done. Puppies usually are going through a fear period this week so puppies are always handled so they are in control of the situation to build confidence. Puppies are fed 3x a day this week (2 kibble and 1 raw meal) and are getting very little nutrition from mom. Raw meaty bones are introduced. Appropriate visual challenges are introduced daily. Puppies are introduced to "shaping" during their individual training sessions (the box game). Puppies get 1-2 hours of outside playtime (weather permitting). Puppies are put in a crate with a couple of their littermates to nap. Short group (under 15 minute) car rides at least twice this week and each puppy gets to take an individual car ride. We start working on puppy independence from their littermates to prepare puppies to leave.
Deworming, group and individual (stacked) photos. Weekly weigh in. Nail Trim x1 and Baths as needed. Puppies are introduced to toys that encourage natural instinct such as wings & flirt poles. During the day the puppies are kept outside as much as possible when they're awake and weather permits. We introduce puppies to various surfaces and large toys. Puppies are introduced to sit and down during individual training this week. Puppies are crated in pairs or trios in the crate and go for short car rides.
Individual Stacked and Group Photos are taken. Puppies are dewormed with Panacur for 3 days in a row. Weekly Weigh In. Nail Trim x1 and bath's as needed. Puppies spend a considerable amount of time outside weather permitting. We do lots of playtime in different areas of the house and puppies learn to navigate the doggie door. New items are introduced daily. Puppies are still eating 4 meals a day ( 2 Raw & 2 Kibble) out of individual bowls. We do short (less than 5 minute) training sessions on various basic commands such as Sit, Down, Impulse Control, Come, Tricks, etc. Puppies are crated in pairs this week at various times throughout the day in different style (wire, plastic, soft, etc) crates. Puppies are introduced to clothing, gunshots and other audible, visual and tactile stimuli. Puppies are introduced to harnesses and leashes. Mom is most likely finished nursing them at this point and spends little time with them but she is permitted to participate in feeding and playtime if she wishes. Puppies are integrated into the other dogs and are allowed to spend time with them inside and outside of the house. Puppies go on short car rides in individual crates. Puppies will start going out in public alone for safe adventures away from their littermates. Puppies see the vet when their mother's nomograph states they need their first vaccines (usually 7-9 weeks), they will get an exam, vaccinated and a state health certificate if the appointment is within 14 days of puppy departure.
Puppies have their individual and group photos. They have their conformation evals done by other breeders and breed fanciers to help me decide on conformation and structure of each puppy. Stacked photos and movement videos are posted online for even more public reach to gather opinions of other dog fanciers. Volhard Temperament Tests are performed and puppies are paired to their new homes. Prospective puppy homes are invited to attend conformation evals to learn about breed type and structure. Volhard Testing will be videoed and posted of each individual puppy. All the above socialization and training are still being done this week. Puppies are crated individually in the house for no more than an hour at a time. Puppies take turns spending individual time in an Exercise Pen at night. Puzzle toys are introduced. Puppies are fed 3 meals a day (2 kibble and 1 raw), at this point your puppy has been exposed to all popular food ingredients. Puppies are groomed and dried on a grooming table. Nails are done 1x this week and they have a weekly weigh in.
Homes will be notified who their new puppy will be. Weekly Individual and Group Photos will be taken. Puppies will have a nail trim 1x this week. Flat Coat Puppies will have their first "groom" (shaving the paw pads). Weekly weigh ins. If new homes have a name for their new puppy we will begin calling him/her by that name. Puppies will be microchipped, started on heartworm and flea prevention and given a state health certificate if needed. Puppies will still be learning basic obedience, socialization, emotional response and other important life skills during this week.
Puppies start going home!
This is very bittersweet but I sure do love seeing puppies flourish in their new homes.