Our Puppy Curriculum

WE FOLLOW AN ADVANCED PUPPY CURRICULUM

Our breeding program specialises in raising Border Collies. Our objective is to breed healthy and well-tempered puppies that have the health, aptitude, and temperament to go into pet homes. To achieve our objectives, we subject our breeding dogs to rigorous health and temperament testing and we raise our puppies on our advanced curriculum. This exposes them to enriching experiences appropriate to their developmental stage. We use temperament testing to provide information to our families that will allow us to help our new puppy families understand their puppy and incorporate them into their lives.

Dogs have an amazing ability to fill a need in our heart. They have a way of healing our emotional pain, of making us feel their unconditional love, of accepting us faults and all, of showing us that we can have trust in them, of giving us confidence when we need it, and of having the ability to assist us with our medical needs in a very different way then machines can. They share their gifts with us during our happy times, during our darkest times, when we are healthy, and when we are unhealthy. When we reflect on how much they freely offer to us, the most essential thing we can do for them in return is to help them grow into confident, healthy, and happy puppies. This requires both good genetics and being raised in a safe and enriching environment with their needs being met at each stage of their life.

There are many theories on the way to raise puppies appropriately and to what should or should not be in a puppy raising curriculum. Some theories have been scientifically proven while others have been gathered from personal experience. It is our belief that both have incredible value. Our puppies are raised in accordance to our personal experiences, our goals, and from our learning, We are constantly analysing and refining our breeding and training programs.

All of our puppies are raised using our advanced puppy curriculum. This specialised and targeted curriculum allows us the opportunity to provide families with alert, friendly, fearless, inquisitive, happy and healthy puppies. We are aiming to maximise the potential of each puppy by stimulating their learning ability, nerve strength, and natural instincts. Our curriculum of daily learning exercises and evaluations was put together from years of our own education and experience and from training from specialists in the fields of breeding, obedience, and animal behaviouralists.

We strive to raise our puppies in an enriching environment. Studies have shown that puppies raised in enriched environments tend to have more brain cells and neural connections, an improved ability to learn and remember, greater emotional stability, and better resistance to stress. Since we want only the best for our puppies, we provide our puppies with adequate space to exercise, a stimulating living area with various sounds and textures, as well as opportunities to problem solve.

We assist our "Mums" in caring for their puppies from birth. Beginning on Day Three, puppies begin Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises. Exercises require handling puppies one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. The handler starts with one puppy and stimulates it with the following exercises:

  1. Tactical stimulation (between toes)

  2. Head held erect

  3. Head pointed down

  4. Supine position

  5. Thermal stimulation

In addition to ENS exercises, puppies undergo Dr. Gayle Watkins Early Scent Introduction protocol. Each day we present each puppy with a new scent. According to research, dogs that are taught and engage in scenting have a more optimistic attitude toward life and have fewer behavior problems.

At around two weeks of age, the puppy’s eyes and ears begin to open and they begin to be more aware of their environment. Puppies have the physical ability to startle, however do not yet feel the emotional fear response associated with startling. Startle recovery exercises begin during this age and include exposure to loud noises such as: food bowls being dropped,  blow dryer, vacuum cleaner, cabinets closing, and other household noises.

Enrichment activities begin at three weeks and include opportunities to experience objects with varied sounds, textures, and the ability to manipulate the objects. Puppies will play with items such as: water bottles, boxes, soft, crinkly and squeaky toys, a folded tarp, mats with different textures,  tins containing various scents, balls of multiple sizes, objects with wheels, and opportunities to climb and stand on elevated objects.

Our advanced puppy curriculum also includes:

Beginning toilet training with the puppies at three wks. old:

  • artificial grass mat/wood shavings tray

  • pen/kennel training

  • crate training.

Proper behavior around humans and their clothing:

  • Voluntarily sitting to say please (manding)

  • Not jumping on or biting at feet/shoes

  • Exposure to various clothing (hats, glasses, coats, etc.).

Beginning basic obedience training at seven/eight weeks:

  • Introduction to marker words

  • Leash exposure

  • Introduction to the clicker.

All exposures and training with the puppies are kept positive. Puppies are closely monitored in order to gather information and to assist puppies with support as needed. Our goal is for each puppy to have positive quality exposures that will assist them in becoming healthy and confident puppies. We want them to feel safe and secure in their environment and have the understanding that people are loving, caring, and can be trusted.

At seven weeks of age, our puppies undergo a puppy aptitude test.

Please note that our curriculum is evaluated and adapted with each litter so activities done with one litter may not be identical to activities done in another litter. Every litter is unique and treated as such. Some litters may need to move at a different pace then other litters and our curriculum is adapted to accommodate this.

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