How we raise our dogs

        Our dogs are raised in our home, underfoot all the chaos that is normal life. They are socialized with people of all ages, acclimated to music and noise and odd and strange sounds, and have had a wide range of physical and mental stimulus by way of footing and toys and other odds and ends. 

        Here’s a better breakdown of what I mean. 

We believe in natural rearing:

  • Our dogs are raw fed, and minimally vaccinated. We feel that less is more when it comes to added fillers and chemicals. A natural, species appropriate diet is crucial to building a healthy immune system, and this is where the vaccines come in. We give first vaccines no earlier than 8 weeks, so that the first vaccines will be effective (not blocked out by maternal antibodies). We do first vaccines, then booster at a year, and then titer after that, only vaccinating when necessary. *Rabies is the exception; rabies vaccines are required by law, and it is recommended that you follow your vet’s prescribed schedule* 
  • We believe that Momma knows best. By this we mean that we allow Mom to wean in her own time. At approximately 3 weeks of age we begin by introducing goats milk formula, then add beef tripe, then add ground turkey, beef, or venison. By 5 weeks of age our puppies are on a full raw diet, and still sometimes nursing on Mom until 8-9 weeks. 

We believe in setting our dogs up for success:

  • We use Puppy Culture when raising our litters, and highly recomend that each new home continue on with this method. This fun, interactive method of raising puppies brings out the best in them. They are brave, outgoing, and social. 
  • We believe in rewarding good behaviour. We utilize markers, and other positive (R+) methods in our training. We believe that our dogs want to work with us, and want to have a relationship with us, and we believe in fostering that relationship. 
  • We believe that boundaries are important. Just because we are positive trainers does not mean that our dogs walk all over us; Positive does not equal passive and all-permissive. This begins in the whelping box when Mom first tells her puppies “no.” 
  • All of our dogs are crate trained. Crates are a dog’s den; their safe space to go hang out. We begin the foundations for crate training as early as 3 weeks, when we move the puppies to their bigger space and introduce an open crate. 
  • We use gates and crates to give puppies safe spaces to play. The toys are “ours,” not “theirs,” and as such are not left lying around. This goes back to boundaries and fostering positive behaviours. 

We believe in safety:

  • Our dogs travel in crates. We are well aware of doggy seatbelts and barriers, but we do not feel that these are safe methods of containment for our dogs in our vehicles. We often travel with more than one dog, and the risks outweigh the benefits. We can leave the windows open and not have to worry about the dogs sticking their heads out, or jumping out the window. 
  • Our dogs don’t wear collars when off-leash. It only takes once for your dog to be choked to death. DO NOT RELY ON SNAPS OR BUCKLES! This is something we feel very strongly about, possibly most of all. We don’t use “puppy collars” on our litters, instead utilizing other options to identify each puppy. 
  • We don’t go to dog parks. Some are good, some are bad, but we don’t feel they are worth the risk. When there’s a litter on the ground we don’t go to shows, or frequent other high dog-traffic areas; It’s too easy to bring something home. 
© Shari Joanisse 2023