We consider every puppy we raise to be part of our family, from their first 8 weeks through the rest of their lives. If selected as one of our puppy families, we consider YOU part of the family, too and we do have some expectations. Please read below to make sure we will be a good match over the lifetime of your new dog.
Goldens thrive on human interaction. Puppies and adult dogs will primarily be kept indoors, positively interacting with your family.
Puppies will be trained. A trained dog, with clear guidelines, is a happy dog! We do require you attend basic obedience classes and provide mental stimulation for the dog throughout its life.
Follow our feeding and exercise guidelines (located in our contract) and keep the puppy/dog in good body condition.
Keep in contact with us throughout the puppy's life, providing relevant health, temperament, and other feedback.
If for any reason you cannot care for or keep your puppy, at ANY age, you will contact us. We do continue to provide relevant updates and medical information as it becomes available throughout the puppy's life, so it is important to us to know where that puppy is and how it is doing. We will always accept a puppy we bred back for any reason, at any age.
Our Puppies, how they are raised, and what you should expect from us:
Early development in dogs is vitally important to the rest of their lives. Before ever breeding a litter, our girls are evaluated by board certified reproductive veterinarians (theriogenologists) in addition to obtaining OFA clearances for hips, elbows, hearts, and eyes, and genetic screening for heritable diseases. We work closely with those specialists throughout the breeding and whelping process. Our moms are first and foremost our family companions, so their care is our top priority. Puppies are whelped and raised in our home and I spend every night sleeping next to their box for the first several weeks of their lives.
At Day 3, we begin Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI) to expose them to various scents, sounds, textures, and situations to encourage problem solving and build confidence. There is good evidence that this early exposure helps create more stable adult dogs. They are socialized with cats, other dogs, children, and numerous people, taken on car rides, and exposed to the sounds and situations of "daily life" (vacuuming, television, etc).
Before going home, they are introduced to a few basic obedience commands, started on the concept of housebreaking and crate training, introduced to game birds, puppy agility equipment, and water (weather permitting).
Between 7-8 weeks of age, we evaluate puppies using the Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (APET) and use this information, along with our own observations and a structural evaluation of each puppy, to match each puppy to their new family. And yes, we do use this to match the right puppy to ourselves! While we understand it is difficult to not be able to choose your own puppy from the litter, we have found this system results in much happier puppies and puppy families. In addition, it allows us to tailor recommendations for training that are specific to your puppy, setting you both up for success. Our puppies go to their new homes at 8 weeks of age. To learn even more about the guidelines we follow when raising our puppies, visit: http://www.Avidog.com/avidog-associate-breeder
Health, longevity, and temperament are our highest priorities when considering a breeding. Though we do compete with our dogs in a variety of sports, and even show in the breed ring on a limited basis, some are surprised when we do not necessarily use the popular stud dog with all the titles in our program. Breeding to win is never our primary goal. Breeding to improve diversity and overall health, and aiming for a sound, stable dog who can excel as an active family companion, working dog, or competition dog, for many, many years, IS our goal. Ribbons and titles do not equate good health or temperament. So, while we won't deny it is FUN to win (and there are a select few dogs who do have it all!), we only consider titles as part of the equation.