At what age do your puppies go home?
Our puppies are ready to go home between 7-9 weeks of age providing all their teeth are in and they are eating well on their own and are mature enough to leave.
Where are your puppies born and raised?
Our puppies are born and raised inside our home in our sunroom right off the kitchen. It’s my favorite room in the entire house! We also have a bed set up in there so that during the first 1-3 weeks of life I can monitor the pups day and night.
Do you potty train the puppies?
Because our puppies go home between 7-9 weeks of age they are only accustomed to using puppy pads. We set up a schedule based on their naps and meals to help get them used to eliminating outside of their living quarters. We set up a pen away from where they play and sleep with just a puppy pad in it and use the words “go potty” to help them understand where to go. This helps them to understand it is better not to go in their pen where they sleep which helps set them on the right path for housebreaking.
How are the puppies socialized?
Puppy socialization is not just about seeing people and other dogs! It’s important for them to see and hear new things as they grow and become accustomed to noises and change. Our puppies are raised in an active room in our house right off the kitchen. They hear all sorts of noise from the dishwasher and vacuum to my daily blender and food processor and our very noisy Conure who is in the same room with them. They become so acclimated to these noises that they usually sleep right through them. We also carry them to different parts of the house to see new sights and smells and let them explore different rooms to help them gain confidence. We handle them in all sorts of ways from day one to ensure they are used to be handled even in ways they don’t necessarily like. This all helps in getting them used to grooming, nail trimming, training, and other people. Every puppy has a different personality, so of course, some are more receptive to it than others. We are a family of 7 so they do get to interact with quite a lot of us as well as the adult dogs when they are old enough.
Do you offer a health guarantee?
Yes, we do! We offer a 2-year health guarantee against life threatening inheritable/genetic defects.
Are your dogs and puppies AKC Registered?
Yes, all of my adults and litters are registered with the AKC. My puppies are sold with a limited registration and once proof of spay/neuter is shown, I mail the AKC paperwork to the new owners.
Are the parents health tested and what is checked?
Yes, my adults are all checked for any health issues including their patellas and hearts to be sure they are healthy for breeding. I will not breed any dog who is found to be unfit in structure or health. After consultation with my vet, I do not check for hip dysplasia as he said it is not that common an issue in smaller dogs and did not believe it was a necessity. He said knees and heart are the most essential musts in the health testing world.
At what age do you start breeding your girls?
My girls must go through at least two cycles before being bred. That means they are at least 18-24 months of age, or almost 2 years old. Sometimes I wait longer depending on timing of other litters or if I feel they need to mature a little more.
How often do you breed your girls?
There is much debate in the breeder world and much misinformation thrown out there from certain organizations regarding how often a female dog should be bred. This then causes much confusion for dog lovers in general and for folks looking for reputable and ethical breeders. Renowned reproductive vet, Dr. Hutchison, believes it is healthier for a female to be bred back-to-back vs. skipping a cycle to avoid complications and health problems. Why? “Progesterone is inflammatory to the uterus lining. While true it is needed for pregnancy, the level is the same when the bitch ovulates and is not bred. Progesterone causes diseases such as cystic endometrial hyperplasia, mucometra, and pyometra for example. Skipping cycles does not benefit the uterus.” He concludes it is more dangerous to skip than not! He also believes it is healthier to start breeding on the second cycle, breed back-to-back, and stop breeding at an earlier age rather than skipping cycles and stop breeding at an older age. To be clear, the majority of female dogs cycle every 6-8 months regardless of whether they have a litter or not. I have heard it said that unethical breeders will take mothers away from the puppies early so that it forces her to cycle again and get another litter of puppies right away. This is ridiculous and impossible! Now, it is not healthy or wise for the pups to be taken or weaned from their mother early, however, she will not cycle again until at least 4-6 months after she has had a litter of puppies.
So, where do I stand in all of this? How often do I breed my girls? Well, it depends on several factors. I have evaluated the information given by trustworthy vets including consulting my own vet, and I conduct both practices in my breeding program. I skip and also breed back-to-back. I evaluate each litter and how my girls handle them and how they recover. In order to have another consecutive litter I consider how many litters they have had, how old they are, were there any complications, were there any health issues for the mom, how many puppies were in the last litter, and was there a c-section as well as if there would be any other litters from other moms at the same time and when. The health and safety of my girls is of utmost importance, and I will not risk putting them in jeopardy just to have puppies.
How do you prepare moms for pregnancy and delivery?
All of my dogs (including my boys) are on year-round supplements designed specifically for breeding that support reproductive, bone, skin, and coat health. The girls then go on prenatal vitamins as soon as breeding occurs. While in labor they are given a high calcium supplement, with 3 calcium sources, that supports strong and normal contractions throughout the labor. It also contains MCTs to support mental alertness and energy and uses Vit. D. to support proper calcium absorption. After the puppies are born, I continue to give a calcium and a postpartum supplement to help meet the demands of nursing and caring for puppies so that she remains healthy and strong with no complications.
What do you feed your dogs?
I feed a mixture of natural premium kibble, ex. TOTW Ancient Streams or Canidae and raw food, ex. Instinct, along with occasional fresh tidbits. The grass some of them lick and eat outside, is not part of my regimented diet! haha
How long have you been breeding and working with dogs?
My introduction to dog breeding began when I was 12 years old. I loved helping my mom with our dogs and puppies. I went to handling classes with her, almost all the dog shows when we handled our own dogs, and helped when needed with birthing and taking care of puppies as they grew up. I also helped with her grooming business and took care of all the dogs when my parents went away. After my husband and I moved away we had a couple litters of Bichons, raised Gouldian Finches and Cockatiels, but decided it was best to focus on our growing family. When our 5 children were old enough, we started boarding dogs through one of the online platforms and loved it so much that we realized how much we missed having our own dogs and really missed raising puppies. In 2018 our family brought home Jaina and Pedro, the beginning of our very own Havanese breeding foundation.
Are champion lines important?
There are many breeders who tout that their dogs come from champion lines/parents. Does this matter and why? Are they just being boastful? I do not believe most are being boastful. For those that are show breeders, and having been in that world myself, it takes a lot of work, dedication, time, and sacrifice to gain championship titles and they should be delighted and proud to share that. It is a wonderful accomplishment and helps preserve the breed they are showing and breeding. I believe it certainly does matter! I no longer show my dogs, but I know the importance of breeding from the best in order to adhere to and preserve the breed standard. Champions are true representatives of the [AKC] breed standard in form, structure, dentition, personality, coat etc. and it is important to keep that going to preserve the breed by having champions in the lines and knowing what to look for in future breeding dogs. Because of this, I do seek to only breed from champion lines and carefully pick future puppies to make sure they too adhere as best as possible to the correct breed standard. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with my mom and the help she has given me to know what to look for.
Are the puppies kennel trained?
All of our puppies are at least acclimated to being in a kennel for short periods of time with the door closed. Every meal is fed in a kennel individually. They also have an open- door kennel in their playpen to sleep in whenever they want. We get them started for those that want to continue on with kennel training.