Here is a picture of one of our "Frog Dog" French Bulldog puppies born 7-1-10!
AVAIL-A-BULL PUPPIES & PLANNED UPCOMING LITTERS!
We have no puppies available at this time (2-8-2018)
If you would like a puppy application please email Suzan at: [email protected] .
Pet Puppies are $3000.00 (sometimes a little less or a little more depending on show quality, pedigrees & conformation) show puppies with full AKC registrations are available. Pick of the litter male or female is an additional $250.00 if that spot is open on the waiting list (If you decide you'd like to get a pick of the litter puppy just add the additional $250.00 to your deposit & your name will automatically go to the top of that waiting list, if the particular puppy you want is not in the current litter your deposit is good for the next litter, we want your puppy to be a perfect fit for you!!! The deposit is $400.00 which is deducted from the total. Please don't send a deposit unless your puppy application has been approved or it will be returned, thank you!
Also check out our photo albums on Flickr & our videos on our You Tube channel!
The puppy waiting list gets filled up fast so email for a puppy application ASAP if you are interested in getting a puppy from one of the upcoming litters! Please email Suzan at: [email protected] for a puppy application & more information. You can see pictures of the parents and their pedigrees on the Frenchie page (link in the navigation bar. I will be updating the Frenchie page very soon!)
Thank you to everyone who has emailed over the last couple of months, I am horribly behind in my emails, I got so behind when I lost my beautiful daughter Amanda (just 33 years old) to brain cancer in late August 2012, I am still in shock! Thank god for my dogs, they have helped me so much. I am not much of a "sales person" we are in the veterinary buisness our breeding is not a business it's our passion, our love, I spend a LOT of time taking proper care of my dogs, spoiling them and loving them I don't spend all my time answering emails or phone calls selling puppies, taking care of my dogs is my number one priority so I can get behind in emails real fast. If you have not heard back from me and are interested in a puppy please resend the email and I'll get back to you as soon as humanly possible, you know people who sell puppies and get back to you right away are "selling" puppies, that's all they care about is selling & making as much $$$ as they possibly can totally ignoring their dogs except for just the most basic care (if that!), it's the "salespeople" that you really want to stay away from!!!
I know when you have made up your mind to get a puppy you want one right away but it's the "impulse" buyers that are most likely to get a puppy from a puppy mill origin or from someone posing as a real breeder who imports whole litters of puppies from other countries at a discount and sells them for a lot of money never even knowing where they come from, I don't know how they can still have auctions for dogs in this country but they do, far too often and those are the real puppy mill puppies, also pet store puppies (also puppy mill puppies) are just waiting for the impulse buyer, how a breeder can sell babies to a pet store not knowing where they will end up, if they will be well cared for and will never have any contact with the puppies again is beyond me,
I spend so much time with my puppies and get so very attached, I carefully screen all applications looking for only the best of the best people to adopt my babies and give them a magical life in a loving family. Wanting to get the best puppy you possibly can from a very caring breeder who breeds only the best dogs and raises the puppies in such a responsible way that they will be the best puppies, most friendly, lovable, cuddly, healthy, super smart and most easily trained puppies ever! If you want a puppy like that they rarely are available for impulse buying, if you want a really great dog you sometimes have to wait & be patient just like waiting to have a baby, the wait is ALWAYS worth it!!! But for those few people whose applications have been approved for one of my very special puppies I will send loads and loads of pictures, videos & updates so you don't miss a thing of them growing up while they are with me, I also copy all the full size high resolution photographs onto a DVD for you along with pictures of the baby’s parents and other family members so you have all the pictures of your baby & their doggie family in print quality :) I teach the puppies all kinds of handling by humans, paws being handles-nails clipped, ears handles and cleaned, body groomed and handled, the first thing everyone always says is how awesome the pups were at their first veterinary visit, they will totally steal the crowd’s attention and are so loved by the doctors and staff because they aren't only totally cute but are fantastic to work with, having a puppy or dog that is afraid of the vets is a life long struggle for everyone involved so I make sure the pups are all very well trained to be handled and are even great about getting vaccinations! They are sound desensitized listening to over 900 different sound effects including fireworks, sirens, thunderstorms and lots more, so sudden loud noises don't freak them out at all! They are trained to their individual crates/kennels and so you don't have to be the "bad guy" when it comes to keeping them safe at night, they are denning animals and are very happy if gradually acclimated to sleeping in a crate, they love small enclosed spaces, it's their private space and they are happy to hang out while you go to the store, take a shower or cooking dinner, so they are safe while you are not able to watch them, I recommend setting up a crate (a plastic Vari Kennel) with the door off inside of an Iris exercise pen with their litter box, toys, food & water bowls so they have freedom to move around an play, use the litter box when needed (eliminating accidents on the floor) but are safe while you are unable to watch them! The puppies have also been trained to use a litter box, by training the babies to use a litter box it makes your life & the puppies life so much easier!!! Puppies have a bladder the size of a dime so they just physically are not able to hold it that long, by having a litter box in an area that they are able to get to it they never get into the (bad) habit of going on the floor or carpet, you are also able to sleep through the night without worrying about the puppy having an accident or having to get up at 2 am to go outside in the middle of a rain or snow storm to get the puppy to go to the potty, by the time they are all house trained you can put the litter box away or keep on using it, your choice but it makes the puppy house training time a dream! The puppies are also trained to walk on different surfaces (that's a common phobia in dogs-especially shiny slippery floors), also have a tiny baby A-Frame to walk on, tents and tunnels and more toys than any human kids have so their little brains are constantly engaged and growing! They are around my big Bullmastiff dogs, cats, any kids I can find in the neighborhood and other adults so they are well socialized. I will send them home with instructions for raising a happy healthy puppy both physically & mentally as well as your own copies of the sound effects CD's, loads of information on disk and audio books from Tufts Veterinary School of Medicine called "Puppies First Steps", videos on common puppy issues and training and so much more. I just try to make not only the adoption process a great experience but also your first year and way beyond a very good experience full of joy instead of a challenge!
I don't always get a chance to get to my emails right away, I spend a lot of time with my dogs, I love & care about my dogs, their care and happiness always comes first! I am not much of a "salesperson" but a very caring and responsible breeder and care far more about my dogs than anything else. I think that really shows in the puppies that we bring into this world!
Thanks so much for understanding!
below are pictures some of the puppies that have been adopted by loving families!
The little guy below has been adopted
A picture of me (Suzan) Playing with the Bullmastiff puppies from our 2008 litter :)
I've been adpoted :) female AKC French Bulldog Puppy
email me at: [email protected]
Video of the puppies playing with their mom in the nursery on You Tube:
I've been adopted! (Pictured below) DOB: 11-25-10 (Thanksgiving Day!)
I've been adopted! (Pictured below) DOB: 11-25-10 (Thanksgiving Day!)
email Suzan at: [email protected] for more info & a puppy application.
Video of the puppies born 7-10-10 playing with the mom in the nursery on You Tube:
(Above) Pictures of Aristocrat's AKC Champion Luca Brahma-Bull, AKC, DNA, CGC, TDI-Sire of the newest (Bullmastiff) puppies!
Luca is available for stud to nice AKC Bullmastiff girls, check out more info. about our stud service on the Stud Service link in the navigation bar :)
Here is a picture of one of our "Frog Dog" French Bulldog puppies born 7-1-10!
If you are interested in filling out a puppy application, there are a few openings available email us today while we ARE accepting puppy applications now!
Email: [email protected]
WE THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING ONE OF OUR VERY SPECIAL PUPPIES!
PLEASE CHECK OUT MY PUPPY PEOPLE PHOTO ALBUM SO YOU CAN GET AN IDEA OF THE TYPE OF HOME I AM LOOKING FOR MY BABIES! THESE ARE PICS OF MY PUPPIES AFTER THEY HAVE GONE HOME:
THERE ARE ALSO VIDEOS ON MY YOU TUBE CHANNEL OF THE SOME OF OUR PAST LITTERS AS OF ALL OUR DOGS! IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE LINKS JUST SEND ME AN EMAIL AND I'LL EMAIL THE LINKS TO YOU!
OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL WITH LOTS OF VIDEOS OF OUR PUPPIES AND DOGS:
We only accept puppy applications periodically when we have openings available on the waiting list for an upcoming litter since we always have a waiting list, If you'd like to be put on the waiting list for a puppy please email me for a puppy application. I do the very best that I can keeping up with emails although it’s just me taking care of all my dogs and I hope you understand they always come first! My dogs are my life and I don’t believe anyone should have a dog if they aren’t prepared to take care of them properly both physically & emotionally! I have Chronic Lymes disease that causes frequent nerve pain and my dogs always know when I’m having a bad day and are right there with me the whole time, they are just the best dogs in the world! I’ve also had to deal with a lot of family health issues over the last few years but I spend as much time as possible (usually around 3-4 in the morning before I go to bed for the “night”), I have a rough time with phone calls because of my lack of free time but as I said I do the best that I can. I know exactly what it is like buying a puppy from out of state “on line” not being able to see them prior to sending the money, I buy puppies too, probably a lot more than the “average bear” so knowing how difficult it can be I try to make it different for the people who buy puppies from me and try to make the whole experience a good one! This is a new family member coming home for the first time and I want it to be a great experience for both the new puppy parents and the puppy & I work very hard to make that happen!!!
I don't have a kennel, all my dogs are house dogs, they sleep in bed with us, and on their own beds & are VERY spoiled dogs! Below is a picture of me (Suzan) and my BIG Bully-Gang in bed while I read their favorite "Puppy Love" bed time story! :)
I LOVE taking pictures of my dogs & puppies (if you couldn't tell!) I design and make all their collars by hand designed specifically for each of the dogs personalities-I Love making the collars and everything else I do for them! The proceeds from the custom collars, leashes, bandannas, etc. I make through my business VetzPets International go to help fund our rescue program through North East Rescue where we are able to care for medical needs and behavioral therapy of rescued dogs and find them loving homes!
THE BED TIME STORY
(USUALLY I DON'T HAVE THE WHOLE CREW ON MY BED AT ONCE, I'D GO THROUGH MATTESSES FASTER THAN I GO THROUGH CARPET CLEANERS!) :)
I always wonder about people who say they are a small family "kennel" but are able to get right on top of phone calls and email everyone right back, I work sometimes 22 hour days just taking care of the dogs so if they are able to do that their dogs aren't getting the attention they deserve!!! If you do send an email or a puppy application and don't hear from me, send it again someone who is persistent always wins points in my book it tells me that you are really serious & committed to finding the best puppy possible!!! I chose only the best of the best homes for my babies, I put my heart & soul into raising them to be the best dogs and to make the transition from going from their nursery to their new homes as easy as possible & stand behind our babies for life making ourselves available to give you to answer all your questions after the puppies go home in regards to nutrition, health/wellness, always able to answer the question whether you have to take you puppy to the vet or no. I do consult with people all over the world in regards to their bullmastiffs because their breeder gave them bad information in terms of raising a giant breed dog and even some vets will even get on board with all kinds of things like "growing them slow" and "limiting exercise", etc. there's a lot of misconception on the web today and it's causing harm to giant breed puppies!!!
These puppies come from very carefully health screened parents and have a superior genetic makeup, we breed for health, longevity, temperament (I mean the sweetest dogs, they trust you no matter what and would let a one year old baby take a bone out of their mouths!) and for conformation according to AKC standards for the breed. We do NOT inbreed our dogs, knowing far too much about genetics to ever do that, we don't even line breed them (meaning breeding close relatives) it's very common for "show" breeders to line breed and frequently in breed talking to some who actually brag about it, they inbreed to maintain a certain "look" but the people who end up getting these puppies from them I end up doing consult with and not only do they have a host of medical problems, they have a lot of emotional issues (Like severe shyness or aggressive behavior). I am a canine behaviorist so I see a lot of dogs of all breeds in my office for issues just like that. It never made any sense to me to inbreed aside from the pain and suffering they cause the puppy & the family that loves them, what sense does it make to breed a dog that looks great if they die before the age of 3 yrs old!!?? My concern aside from the immediate effects of their actions is that they will end up ruining the breed ultimately passing on all these bad genes like so many other breeds have been ruined in the past, I've made a lot of enemies out of people who breed badly because I ask them why and ask if they don't care about the future of the breed or just care about patting each other on the backs for winning ribbons-they don't care about the dogs, most spend the first couple of years of their lives living out of crates, given god knows what kind of drugs or supplements to bulk up their muscle (I'm sure you can guess-then wonder why the females can't get pregnant on their own...ugh), these aren't happy dogs, they look happy in the ring probably because it's the only time they get any real attention, I feel so bad for them since my dogs are so spoiled.
If your puppy application is approved, first a BIG congratulations because I am EXTREMELY picky about who gets one of my babies!!
Pet puppies are $3000.00 (sometimes a little more or a little less depending on pet or show, conformation, pedigree, etc.) & show puppies are $3500.00 +, pick of the litter male or female is an additional $250.00 (that gives you first choice no matter what order your deposit came in!) If you'd like the "pick of the litter" option just add the additional "pick of the litter" fee to your deposit, but only if your puppy application is approved.
We ask for a $400.00 deposit to hold a puppy for you, deposits are not refundable but I will apply them to the next available puppy you decide on that is available :) You do not have to chose a puppy that isn't the color or sex you want, I am more than happy to apply your deposit to whatever puppy makes your heart throb that is available! A puppy is for life and I literally will raise the puppy you chose specifically for you & your life style! After I recieve your deposit your name will go on the waiting list (for the litter you want a puppy from) in the order of which I receive the deposits, for example if I received your deposit as the 2nd deposit that came in for the litter you are interested in then you would have 2nd pick of the litter (depending on if you wanted pet or show). I supply loads of pictures and videos so you don't miss a thing during the time that I am raising the puppies and doing all I can to get them ready for the rest of their lives! People who are adopting show puppies or pick of the litter puppies always get first pick.
You also have the option to get pick male or pick female of the litter at an additional cost which would give you first pick of the litter no matter what order your deposit came in.
A CD rom containing all the information you would ever want to know about raising a puppy to old age, and what that doesn't cover you get us, we to answer training, medical, behavioral, or any kind of questions you might have about your new puppy, older puppy or adult dog-we don't put a limit on contacting us we are behind you for the life of the puppy 100%, I put in years just researching pedigrees, health, longevity of dogs I intend to breed and by putting these two dogs together to create these beautiful puppies, I want the whole package & expect nothing less in my breeding-health, temperament, looks, personality, longevity, intelligence, and athleticism, I put a huge amount of time into he pups after they are born, I have monitors throughout the house & cameras at every angle in the nursery so I can watch them at all times in the rare event that I'm not already in the nursery with them. I love each & every one of these pups and love to raise them for the time I can, each have their own separate personalities although so similar-in other words, they will always be my babies! You cannot bother me by asking me questions, I've called people at 2:00 in the morning after getting an email saying a pup had a high fever to tell them to get him to the emergency room-however if it's not a life or death emergency I can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in vet bills by just asking me first-especially if you have a digital camera, there isn't much I can't diagnose from symptoms & a good digital picture!
PICTURES OF SOME OF OUR PUPPIES FROM PREVIOUS LITTERS :)
Hector living in NY
Luca Jr. living in TX
MORE PUPPY PICS WILL BE ADDED SOON!!!
REGISTERED BREEDERS CODE OF ETHICS
Responsible breeders seek to preserve and improve their chosen breeds, and are involved with clubs, rescue, education, and other dog-related activities. They register their puppies with reputable registries, screen their buyers to make sure their animals are placed in appropriate homes, and make provisions to ensure that the dog will have a good home for its lifetime.
Registered Breeders Code of Ethics breeder, I state that:
MORE PUPPY PICTURES WILL BE ADDED SOON, TO SEE LOTS OF PICTURES OF OUR PUPPIES FROM PREVIOUS LITTERS PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LINK TO OUR PHOTO ALBUMS ON FLICKR!!! ALSO CHECK OUT PICTURES OF OUR PUPPIES THAT WE GET FROM OUR PUPPY PEOPLE AFTER THE KIDS GO TO THEIR NEW HOMES!
A LETTER FROM YOUR PUPPY
I am your puppy, and I will love you until the end of time, licensed
but please know a few things about me.
I am a puppy; this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning
are the same as an 8 month-old child. I am a puppy; I chew EVERYTHING I can
get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN
children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is
mine to chew and what is not.
I am a puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1-2 hours.
I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out.
I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have
"bladder and bowel control" until 6-9 months. Do not punish me if you have not
let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a puppy, it is
wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, Playing,
Drinking and around every 2-3 hours in addition. A crate will
help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me.
I am a puppy; accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time
I will learn.
I am a puppy; I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary
monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and "attack" you and chase
fuzz balls, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do.
Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day.
If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an
older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use
your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate chew toys and activities
like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys
for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a
loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate
with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few minutes,
or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy for a time out.
I am a puppy; hopefully you would not yell or hit me, you wouldn’t yell or
a 6 month old HUMAN infant, so please do not do that to me.
I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now,
I will grow up learning to fear.
Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance,
if I am chewing something wrong, say, "NO CHEW!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew.
Better yet, pick up ANYTHING you do not want me to get into.
I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old
sneaker and your $200.00 Nikes.
I am a puppy; and I am a creature with feelings and drive much like your
own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit,
neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim.
I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life.
You got me (I hope) because you wanted a loving partner and companion,
so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me
harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into
the kind of family member you want me to be.
I am a puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either.
I LOVE YOU ANYWAY. So, please, learn all you can about training, and puppy
behavior and caring for me from your veterinarian, books on dog care and even
research on the computer. Learn about my particular breed and it's
"characteristics" , it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do
all the things I do. Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to
behave and socialize me with training in a positive puppy class,
we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.
I am a puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you,
and to please you. Won't you please take the time to understand how I work?
We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst,
discomfort, fear, but yet we are very different and must work to understand
one another's language, body signal's, wants and needs. Someday I will be a
great dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love
as much as I LOVE YOU.
Annie has also passed all health screening, she has text book perfect hips, elbows, eyes, heart, lungs, thyriod normal, Brucellosis Negative, and a complete blood chemistry profiled done & is also in perfect health!
Ruby at 10 months old posing for the Eukanuba calendar & filming for a commercial, she was March/April in the Living Large section of the calendar!
Red Ruby Rag-Doll, AKC, CGC, TDI, CAR, Multi first placements, Multi R. Winners, Best of Winners, Best of Breed
Ruby is not only gorgeous she's very athletic (we are going to start working on her utility dog title soon!) super intelligent (but all of my puppies are), and just the sweetest dog. I bred Ruby & have raised her since she took her first breath.
EARLY LEARNING FOCUS
We focus on early learning because a puppy’s first seven weeks are a time of tremendous growth and development. Early learning experiences have profound implications for later success in life. From birth to seven weeks is the time when the greatest changes, physically and behaviorally take place and a time when basic personality is shaped. Behavior is never entirely inherited or entirely acquired. It is developed under the combined, interdependent influences of hereditary and environmental factors. However, it can be guided and modified by the influence of experience. Therefore it is possible to modify behavior by modifying the environment through early conditioning and training.
Research has shown that in moderation, stress stimulates the brain at the most crucial time in its development. When a puppy is stimulated during this time, his brain matures faster and he will grow up to have a larger brain with more cells… bigger cells… and more interconnections between them. Because the puppy’s brain is still in such a formative state, the experiences it undergoes at this early age will have a tremendous impact on the development of his mind. This is why the first weeks are such a critical period in the pup’s life. By managing his environment we can therefore influence the final form and structure of his brain.
The results of many behavior studies and EEG measurements demonstrate that 8 week old puppies function at nearly an adult level in terms of learning ability. However, as puppies mature, the ease with which they learn noticeably begins to decline by about 16 weeks.
Research has also shown that by exercising the brain with mental challenges the total brain function improves, not just one area of it. Nerve conductivity is improved in both speed and accuracy, recovery time of the neural synapses is shortened as the chemical and electrical signals react faster, and the nerves can fire repeatedly quicker. The brain mass increases dramatically as nerve cell density increases, and overall brain efficiency improves significantly. So, with our early intervention, we're actually helping the puppy's brain develop to it's fullest potential.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
The most influential time of a puppy's life is between three and six weeks. Fear is not present in newborn puppies. It begins to develop slowly around five weeks of age, and increases gradually until it escalates in the fear imprint period during the eighth week.
Therefore, there is a window of opportunity between three and six weeks of age when anxiety levels in the puppy are the lowest they’ll ever be in their entire life. Anything the puppy is exposed to between this time frame will therefore be associated with low anxiety. It will be permanently ingrained in the central nervous system and forever remembered as something that is pleasant or neutral because happening when it does it is interpreted as a non fearful, non anxiety evoking object or experience. This is the time we look at the possibilities of what the puppy may encounter later in life and ensure he is incrementally exposed to the stimuli during this time frame.
Because experiences are permanently ingrained during this time, we also work with puppies to develop their problem-solving abilities, mental agility and mental coordination. It's a perfect time to begin their assistance dog training too!
Scientific studies have established that various types of stimuli can have marked, long-term effects on the behavioral and physical development of some mammalian neonates including puppies. These effects include accelerated maturation of the nervous system, more rapid hair growth, and weight gain, enhanced development of motor and problem solving skills, and earlier opening of the eyes. In behavioral terms, canine neonates exposed to varied stimulation from birth to five weeks of age were found to be more confident, exploratory and socially adept when tested later in strange situations than un-stimulated control groups.
Researchers have discovered that in order for puppies to develop confidence, trust and a positive approach to learning, they require certain types of handling and experiences during specific times in their early development. By giving a puppy this upbringing he will be more capable of interacting normally with his surroundings and will have an increased capacity to learn.
Since a puppy has the brain of an adult dog at seven weeks of age we take advantage of this developmental stage through our early learning program which produces dogs that become super smart we are VERY proud of our babies! !
"A good beginning makes a good ending"
Temperament is inherited and innate. It can be described as a dog’s overall outlook on life. His drives, thresholds, traits, and instincts can give us insight into his temperament. The ideal dog will have an even temperament, and will not become overly emotional when exposed to day to day stimuli including sights, sounds and activities.
We begin making notes of each puppy from the time they’re born to get an early indication of their individual traits which can provide clues to subsequent development. Starting at six weeks of age, we begin performing some tests to determine if they possess the traits and natural tendencies to be placed in an assistance dog program. These evaluations are complemented with temperament testing.
During this time we’re looking at sociability, emotionality, problem solving ability, group dynamics, motor abilities and more. We typically find that temperament testing gives confirmation of the knowledge we have already gained about each puppy, and which show natural inclinations toward future assistance or career work. And, although we’re proponents of temperament testing, we realize it is not intended to predict future performance. Rather, it is used to evaluate a puppy's temperament at the time of testing, and helps to evaluate their basic personality. We use the testing to isolate and quantify a puppy’s various strengths and weaknesses at the time of testing. When properly structured, the tests can provide some predictive clues of each dog's personality, sociability, and potential train-ability. The testing helps to determine which puppies have the most suitable personalities for their future roles.
The tests we use consist of a series of exercises that give information as to a puppy’s tendencies. The best time to do the testing is at 49 days old. At this age, the puppy’s brain waves are the same as an adult dog, except for experiences. Not all puppies will test the same, and the differences will assist in placing the puppy in the most appropriate environment.
The test is performed by an objective person the puppies have never met. The components of the test include social attraction, following, restraint, social dominance, elevation dominance, retrieving, touch sensitivity, sound sensitivity, sight sensitivity, stability and structure. There are additional tests utilized for assistance dog candidates, such as a terrain test to ascertain the pup's willingness to walk across various textures, or testing responses to environmental stimuli. We also make note of problem solving abilities, energy level, natural inclination, curiosity, and other traits as indicated by the field of work the puppy is intended for.
Like any test, a puppy temperament test cannot be absolutely comprehensive, but it can assess particular qualities, skills or characteristics at that point in time. Environment plays a significant role, and temperament can be affected by the environment the puppy goes to. We work closely with our clients to determine the traits necessary for their future role, so we can be clear in what we're testing for.
If we determine that a puppy isn't appropriate for an assistance dog role, we will evaluate the temperament and traits that would be applicable for other programs such as search and rescue, scent detection, social therapy, etc. The puppies would then be placed with a program that best matches his/her traits.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched...
but are felt in the heart"
EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM - HIGHLIGHTS
**Please note: Early stimulation, and the other early work we do, like most things can be good or bad. It all depends on your knowledge and experience. If not performed correctly, it can be dangerous! Extreme caution should be exercised to avoid excessive stress to the puppies, especially during certain developmental periods.
Our program is based on the research of animal behaviorists, researchers and experts such as Scott & Fuller, Fox, Pfaffenberger, Freeman, Appleby and others. Our early learning program is based on concepts derived from these animal behavior researchers, as well as our practical experience of puppy training/rearing, working with our puppies, and from litters we are asked to consult on. We believe that young puppies should have the opportunity to develop emotionally, socially and physically from the moment they're born. This is done through exposure to a variety of activities and exercises that are necessary to enable an optimal learning experience. Working with puppies at this neo-natal and early age instills a deep rooted bond to humans, gives them a solid foundation for all future endeavors, builds confidence, fosters enthusiasm for training, instills a willingness to be of service (in the case of a working dog future), and so much more. Our early learning focus is on developing puppies to their fullest potential, helping explore, learn, achieve... making them a puppy prodigy!
Puppies continue to spend time with their litter mates and mother to learn proper canine social behavior while at the same time we foster an environment that provides a comprehensive learning platform to build the human-canine bond, enrich the puppies spirit, increase their social skills, build confidence, exercise their bodies, and stimulate their minds. We ensure that we give our puppies the right balance of stimulation, play and rest so they enjoy learning and never feel overwhelmed. We devote a significant amount of time to human socialization because we strive to develop a puppy who is confident, yet socially dependent which is a good combination of traits for assistance work.
All puppies are whelped and raised in a home environment to mimic their future role which facilitate a balance of a calm atmosphere, day-to-day activities, constant care, and learning opportunities. We want our puppies to grow up in an environment that is conducive to their future role as service dog, and feel a home rich in stimulus will be conditioned in their developing brain. Our program consists of structured protocols based on very specific developmental time lines in the young puppy, and includes three components. The first component focuses on human social bonding, imprinting, stimulation, conditioning, enrichment, habituation and socialization which are strategically implemented and include the following which are described below if you scroll further down the page:
The second component of our program focuses on training and helps advance the puppy's intellectual development. They have a natural curiosity, and we find it extremely easy to teach them an array of behaviors beginning at about 18 days of age. Our assistance dog puppies are learning to tug doors open at 4 1/2 weeks, turn lights on at 6 1/2 weeks, and so much more. This is because of their developmental processes at this age, as well as their enjoyment of training and eagerness to learn. We use reward based training with positive reinforcement which includes clicker training and lure/reward training. This early training helps build confidence and problem solving skills. Some of the behaviors and skills that are taught are:
The third component of our program encompasses supplemental activities which include:
We also provide an array of other relaxation therapies such as soothing music, aromatherapy, massage, TTouch and other therapies to provide the best pre-natal environment for our mothers!
|PRENATAL VIBRATIONAL THERAPY|
We have developed a vibrational therapy program which includes vibrations delivered to the pups through a device held against the mother's belly. These various simulations are used in an effort to help the puppies begin their socialization and awareness process pre-natally. Using this stimulation has showed increased activity of the pups in the womb.
We utilize neurologic stimulation based on Dr. Fox's research as well as the U.S. Military's "Bio-Sensor" program. Incorporating exercises from both sources, our puppies are gently handled using a series of exercises to produce brain wave activity that would not naturally occur otherwise. Early brain development is enhanced by creating more neuro synapses. This early stimulation has significant and lasting effects which include improved future performance as well as the ability to withstand stress better than pups that are not-stimulated.
|HUMAN SOCIAL ATTACHMENT & BONDING|
To facilitate the human/animal bond in our puppies, we begin human social attachment and bonding exercises from the moment the puppies are born, and continue throughout their stay. We want our puppies very closely bonded to humans, but not so dependent that they suffer from separation anxiety in the future. We strive for a balance of dependence and independence.
|HANDLING & TOUCH CONDITIONING/DESENSITIZATION|
We provide gentle daily handling from the day the puppies are born which has been shown to improve their ability to thrive. In addition, touch conditioning and desensitization is provided by manipulating their bodies so our puppies are accustomed to being touched in various ways, resulting in low body sensitivity. This conditioning allows for their positive associations and interaction with people, which in turn produces puppies that prefer human interaction opposed to other dogs or the environment. The desensitization also prepares the puppy for potential day-to-day body bumps, tail grabs by children passing by, or environmental stimuli such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc while working.
|STRESS REDUCTION & CALM CONDITIONING|
In an effort to help the puppy develop into a calm and confident dog, we provide the puppy with stimuli and exercises, including TTouch to reduce stress, and facilitate them in learning how to relax in stressful situations. This conditioning begins the moment the puppies are born, and continues until they leave, but we strongly encourage new owners to continue this process.
|TACTILE STIMULATION & CONDITIONING|
Since a puppy's tactile sense is functioning at birth, we begin slowly acclimating the puppies to surfaces and textures they are likely to encounter as an adult. Through short, structured exercises, the puppies are introduced to various stimuli in an effort to condition them, but not over-stress them.
OLFACTORY STIMULATION & CONDITIONING
Based on this research, we provide an enriched environment for our puppies in a systematic fashion to ensure they have the best chance of developing a sound temperament and the capacity to cope with life situations in the future. The puppies get to exercise their curiosity while having fun exploring the novelties they encounter. We also provide ample opportunities for the puppies to become accustomed to mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc. Because our puppies are destined to become future assistance dogs who encounter new environments very often, we prepare our pups by providing an ever changing environment under controlled circumstances . This results in a puppy who is comfortable in a changing, new environment.
The developmental period from three to 12 weeks is the most influential nine weeks of a puppy’s life. This period is associated with the development of many social behavior patterns and a great deal of learning about the environment. Much of what is learned during this early period is permanent and provides a foundation for adult behavior patterns. To decrease the possibility of fearful responses as a puppy develops, it is essential to expose them to many people, places and things during the socialization period when they can most effectively socialize, localize and habituate to these stimuli. We are systematic in our socialization program based on the things the puppy is expected to coexist with in his future role including people, places and other animals. All socialization is performed in a progressive, step-by-step process to ensure the puppy is having an enjoyable interaction, is safe, and is forming positive associations. We also introduce friendly, rock solid adult dogs for the puppies to interact with, so they can learn appropriate "doggie language" from others in addition to their mom.
We want to expose our puppies to new stimuli without creating a stressful experience, so they are slowly and methodically introduced to new situations and environments, including a vehicle. We continuously watch body language, and monitor heart rate for signs of stress. By introducing the puppies to new environments in a structured fashion, they are able to habituate to the stimuli and have positive interactions, thus reducing future issues in unfamiliar situations.
HABITUATION TO NOVEL & ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULI
|SOUND CONDITIONING & DESENSITIZATION|
A puppy is born with his ears closed and is isolated from sound during the first couple weeks. Once his ears open he can respond to sound indiscriminately. His new capacity for learning quickly enables him to discriminate between situations that pose a threat and those which are insignificant. If a puppy is not exposed to sudden noises followed by a low level startle response, and a quick return to normal, he will most likely over react to noises followed by prolonged fearfulness when he enters the fear stage.
We provide sound conditioning and desensitization in a gradual fashion, slowly introducing various sounds in different locations. This is done during the critical period when the puppy's central nervous system is developing. This activity conditions the puppy to have appropriate startle responses followed by quick recovery. In addition, because the puppies are conditioned from an early age, they often develop more confidence and lower noise sensitivity. So, although they will hear an unexpected sound, they may ignore it and continue their assistance work un-phased.
MENTAL & PHYSICAL CHALLENGES
We also challenge the puppies physically in an effort to improve muscle coordination, balance, motor skills, confidence, agile movement, body self awareness, and development. We provide a “playground” of challenges which helps to develop strength, agility and coordination skills in a fun environment. We begin in the whelping box, and continue in our puppy play yard which is filled with equipment including ramps, tunnels, wobble boards, various obstacles, stairs, planks, high reaching toys, and many, many novel items that help build confidence.
We begin touching all parts of the puppy's anatomy from the time they're born in an effort to desensitize to touch. Because many puppies/dogs have an aversion to grooming, we begin by making it a very positive experience. By the time our puppies leave at 7-12 weeks, they are comfortable with bathing, brushing, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, nail clipping, nail clipping, body checks and more. All new puppy people report how great the puppies do at the vets and how their vets compliment them on how well behaved their puppies/dogs are, it makes me very proud
In addition to the activities that our puppies do as a litter, and the time they spend with their mom learning important life lessons, we also work with each puppy separately to develop their individual personalities. Puppies act differently as a group, in sub-groups, and in pairs than they do individually, so it's also important for us to observe the changes in personality in various situations. Helping the puppy build their confidence outside the litter is a very important aspect to the program.
Because separation anxiety in older dogs can be a problem later in life, we begin separation conditioning to gradually acclimate a puppy to short periods of being alone so they can form positive associations. Since many assistance dogs are typically with their partner 24/7, they are not accustomed to being alone. In the event their partner has to go into the hospital for an extended stay, or some other unforeseen event separates them, we condition the puppy to be emotionally prepared. The puppies are crate trained and scent conditioned to their new family & homes before they even go home!!! They actually know their new people before they ever "see" them!!! It makes the transition SO much easier for both the puppy & their new family!!!
We begin house training our puppies at approximately three weeks of age when they develop the instinctual desire to eliminate outside their nest. We provide many different types of surfaces so the puppy is accustomed to eliminating in any environment. This is helpful for assistance dogs that will be working in various environments, where grass (or whatever they're accustomed to) may not be available.
|CORE BEHAVIORS/MANNERS TRAINING|
By the time the puppies leave us at 7-12 weeks, they have been taught core behaviors which are geared to avoid typical behavior problems seen in young puppies, such as nipping, difficulty riding in the car, jumping up on people, leash training, hard mouth, separation anxiety, house training, crate training, etc. We work on all these behaviors so the puppy has a foundation of good manners, making it much easier for the transition to their new environment and follow-up training. We include men, women and children in supervised training so puppies are used to learning from a variety of individuals.
The five week old puppies pictured have learned that if they want to be petted, picked up, or taken out of the puppy pen, they must sit first (learning self control). This results in a default sit.
BEHAVIOR SKILLS TRAINING
We begin making assessments of a puppy’s temperament from the first week. We keep notes on individual traits which can provide clues to subsequent development. During this time we’re looking at sociability, emotionality, problem solving ability, group dynamics, motor abilities and more.
Since the puppies live with us from the moment they’re born, we typically have a good idea of their individual temperaments, and which show natural inclinations toward future assistance or career work. However, formal temperament testing is performed at 49 days of age. As you know, temperament testing is more indicative than predictive of adult behavior patterns. Therefore we use the testing to isolate and quantify a puppy’s various strengths and weaknesses at the time of testing
We have been asked by many breeders, assistance dog programs, trainers, etc to provide educational opportunities so they can learn our methods and use the Puppy neo-natal & early learning program on their litters. We have several opportunities available, and are working on more for each specific situation.
We enjoy working with behaviorists and researchers to further the study on canine development. We also perform various tests and keep specific criteria for future measurement and interpretation.
**Please note: Early stimulation and the other early work we do, like most things can be good or bad. It all depends on your knowledge and experience. If not performed correctly, it can be dangerous! Extreme caution should be exercised to avoid excessive stress to the puppies, especially during certain developmental periods.
"From small beginnings come great things"