Philosophy

Why a Domino Puppy is the Perfect Choice

Daily Love & Care

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Ashlee and Snoopy
Ashlee with Red and White Schnauzer
Our Snoopy
Schnoodle brothers

My Philosophy

Raising puppies is my passion.  I enjoy all the stages of ‘puppyhood’ starting from birth.  I believe in being a part of the entire process including helping the mother with the whelping of her litter.  I feel it is crucial for the mother dog to know I am there from the beginning.  Whelping is exhausting for the mother dog which causes them to have trouble birthing and cleaning the puppies as they are born.  I help the mother dog with cleaning and keeping her comfortable which in turn prevents stress.  Stress can be detrimental to the mother dog and the puppies.  The more I can do to make the process easier, the better it is for mom and puppies.  After the puppies are born I make sure that they do not have any fluid in their lungs, are dry and warm.  I give each puppy a dose of colostrum and weigh them.  I will even tube feed the puppies so they are not hungry and crying while the mother is whelping her litter.  The mother dog is given calcium throughout her birthing process to help her with a smooth delivery.  Calcium is a critical part of a mother being able to have good contractions which is the only way for her to have her puppies naturally.  It is also critical in helping the mother dog’s nurturing instinct to kick in so she can care for her babies.  Calcium gets depleted during birth and must be replenished.

All of these things help the mother and puppies to have a smooth delivery.  Smooth deliveries are the only way to ensure the puppies are healthy and not stressed.  The mother is calm and in turn cares for her babies in the best way she can.  A mother dog who is stressed can turn on her babies and refuse to care for them.  Whelping can be a messy process so once it is complete, its important to clean and sanitize everything.  When all of this is done and the mother and puppies are clean and fed, its time for rest.

I believe in having my mother dogs in a quiet place to have and raise their puppies. I have a bedroom in my home established for my mother dogs.  They have their own spaces so they don’t feel threatened by any other dogs.  The main thing is to keep the mother dog calm, well fed and rested.  This ensures that she can care for her babies and feed them.  Often, once the litter is born, I will tube feed them for several days to make sure they are getting enough nutrition while the mother’s milk is coming in.  There are many instances where the mothers milk will take 24-48 hours to come in enough to support her litter.  During this process the puppies must be cared for and once her milk comes in, mother dog can take over.  I continue to weigh the puppies several times a day for the first few weeks to be sure they are gaining weight and getting the proper nutrition they need to thrive.

Puppies with their mom

My mother dogs get the spa treatment after birth which includes a nice warm bath and a massage.  They enjoy all the attention and praise they are given during this time.  This is an important part of the mother dog’s mental health.  They must know they are loved and how good they did during this process.  My mothers know that I am there for the entire process even if it means I am up all night.  I do not go to bed until I know they are all settled in, and the babies are taken care of.  It is critical for the mother dogs to eat after they have their puppies.  I make sure that I have their favorite kibble and some canned food to mix in.  The changes in the hormones can cause their taste buds to change so I often will rotate between different cans of food mixed with their kibble until I find one, they are happy with.  During this time Petco and Petsmart become my go to stores.  In some cases, I feed the mother by hand because she is too tired from birthing to eat.  In my mind I do whatever it takes for the mother and puppies to stay healthy.

Black puppies
Emily and pups

Once the mother dog and litter are settled, I have a camera on her that is linked to my cell phone so I can keep an eye without disturbing her while she rests.  During this time if a puppy gets separated from the mother I can go in and put them back.  My puppies stay with their mother until they are between 4-5 weeks old.

After the puppies are weaned, they are transferred into another bedroom in my home which I call my nursery.  My nursery shares a wall with my bedroom so I can hear the puppies and make sure they are doing well.  I also have cameras set up that are linked to my cell phone so I can watch them and not disturb them by going in there constantly.  The nursery is kept at a constant temperature of between 72-75 degrees, so the puppies don’t get too hot or too cold.  Keeping the puppies comfortable is an important part of their development.  A puppy that is too hot or too cold will not eat and that can lead to a potential illness. When the puppies are initially weaned from their mother, they are checked on every 3-4 hours throughout the day.  During these checks they are fed and watered.  Last check, just before bed, they are given some extra food and water to get through the night.  The puppies are have a great time playing with toys and each other.  Part of a puppy’s development is learning how to socialize with their siblings.  They learn how to play with different toys and to share.  They love playing for a little bit and then they fall sound asleep for a few hours.  Sleep is another critical step in a puppy’s development.  Puppies at this age sleep for about 18 hours a day.  They need this sleep to help them grow and develop.  My puppies are raised in a calm loving environment to help ensure they get all the rest they need.

Chocolate schnoodle puppies
Schnauzer Litter

When my mothers are done with their puppies, they are allowed to be dogs.  They run free with other dogs and enjoy their time.  My studs are also given freedom to roam in their natural environment.  I believe in allowing dogs to be dogs and have fun, I do not cage my dogs.  It is important for the mental health of my dogs to be allowed to live and enjoy life.

All of my dogs, puppies included, are free fed.  They can come and go from the bowl as they wish.  I believe this is important for their digestion and overall health.  I do not want my dogs or puppies hungry and when the food is put down they gorge and make themselves ill as a result.  To prevent this, they have access to food 24/7.  When a dog is raised this way they learn to graze and only eat a little at a time when they are hungry rather than rapidly consume the entire bowl because they are starving.

My dogs are given supplements as needed to ensure that they have all the nutrients they need for reproduction.  The food does not always provide all the nutrients needed for good reproductive health.  I do not give my mother dogs any hormones or steroids.  I let my dogs breed naturally without intervention.  I believe it is important to allow them to breed the way nature intended.  If a mother dog does not get pregnant than it was not meant to be.

I have found over the years that raising my puppies the way I do has resulted in the best quality puppy.  I make changes to my program as needed and continue to keep the same goal which is to produce a top-quality dog.

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