We are small, in-home breeders of Australian Labradoodles. I have just a few litters a year and spoil them like crazy! I sleep in the puppy room for the first 2 weeks. At each stage of their development, they are given age appropriate stimulation. From days 3-16 I do the bio-sensor exercises on the puppies. These are followed by constantly rotating toys in the indoor puppy pen. At 4 weeks, they start going out several times a day to the outdoor puppy pen, where I try to provide different objects for their amusement. I put a huge amount of effort into producing well adjusted and socialized little pups, to help you make great family pets!
From birth to around 2 weeks, the new puppies are not able to regulate their body temperature. They are both blind and deaf, so they locate mom and siblings by their sense of smell. I keep the temperature in the puppy room as warm as I can without making momma dog too uncomfortable…but I am able to sleep in shorts and a t-shirt without a blanket in January! They sometimes get separated during the night and their little cries are just pitiful, so I sleep on the couch in the puppy room so that I can get up and put them back next to mom if they are unable to find her on their own.
During these early weeks, even though they are not able to see or hear, they are very aware of their spatial orientation. A Bio-sensor (aka Super Dog) program was developed by the US Army to help the puppies bred for their K9 units grow up to become smarter, calmer, better adjusted dogs. From days 3 to 16, I perform the 5 simple exercises developed by the army, on each of our puppies to give them the best possible start in life. If you’d like to read more about this program, you can follow this link: http://breedingbetterdogs.com/articles/early_neurological_stimulation_en.php.
As soon as they are able to stand and move on their own (2-2.5 weeks). I start adding toys to their environment. Each day, I change the toys in and out to give them a variety of different of textures, sizes, and sounds. I LOVE this stage….it always makes my heart skip a beat the first time I see the pups trying to initiate play with their siblings! I could watch this for hours 🙂
At 4 weeks, the pups start going outside. At first, everything freaks them out….the wind blowing, an adult dog barking, the feel of grass….so many new sights, sounds, and feelings! As they become accustomed to all of this, they really begin to enjoy their time outside. We go in and out several times a day to simulate the experiences they will have when they leave us. In the summer they get to spend a little more time outside, but even in the winter we take the pups out in the yard and around our cul de sac as soon as they reliably follow us.
I really get that this is a big emotional and financial commitment for you…for the lifetime of the dog. I work very hard to ensure that your puppy will have the best possible start in life.