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Exceptionally maintained within a loving environment!

Our facility is located on 65 beautiful acres in Durand WI.

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Facility Photos Stage 1 (Newborn-2 weeks

Newborn - 2 weeks

This stage of our care mom and puppies are in our home. Depending on the preferences of the individual female dog the whelping box is usually situated in the living room, dining room or utility room. This gives us round-the-clock monitoring convenience for our expectant mother as well as ensuring we are close at hand for when labor begins. We are with her throughout her entire labor and delivery and puppies are safe in our hands within seconds after they are born. We assist our mother dogs in making sure puppies have their airways correctly cleared, umbilical cords are detached safely, puppies are all dried off and eating well shortly after birth. Mother and her newborns see our family veterinarian Dr Beth within 48 hours of being born for their initial health exams, dew claws removal and tail docking. We take daily weights on all of our puppies over the course of their first two weeks to ensure everyone is getting their fair share and growing at a normal rate. Mom is fed her usual diet (free fed a dry kibble) along with supplements of raw eggs, cottage cheese, and chicken/beef/venison to help her with milk production and offset the extra energy she needs to recoup what she lost during the birthing process and raise all of her new little ones!

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2-3 weeks

Puppies graduate into the nursery. Puppies are still blind and deaf which is why it is important that the whelping box moves with them down to the nursery. This keeps them safe in a contained area so they do not get lost or stuck somewhere. Although they cannot see or hear they are beginning to move around more as their muscles and coordination develop. They use their noses to find Mom and she is with them about 95% of the time. We bring her out regularly for walks and to play with the other dogs but she doesn't like being away from them for too long at this stage. Once eyes and ears come open and they begin using the space better they are introduced to something new: the litter box!

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3-4 weeks

The whelping box is removed as puppies eyes begin to open and they start to climb out. Mom is given a crate and has a section of the nursery area cut off from her puppies so she can have free access to her food and water but be able to jump in and out of the puppy area at her leisure to tend to their needs and have her time alone. Puppies are given a bed and have access to a shallow bowl of water. She usually starts introducing them to the female members of the pack at this age who we refer to as 'their Aunties'. Once they are old enough (closer to 4 weeks) puppies are introduced to the great outdoors. We spend a few hours each day playing, cuddling, lounging and talking with them both inside and outside. Their eyes and ears have slowly been opening each day but they startle easily and can't see in any great detail. As they near 4 weeks old they get their first taste of softened puppy food that has been well soaked in puppy formula. Not only does this entice them to try it but helps them eat it as their teeth are not fully in yet. Mom is with them about 80% of the time. 

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4-6 weeks

The wooden divider is removed and puppies are given access to the crate. Their bed is moved inside of the crate (although they drag it out to play with it at regular intervals), they are given free fed access to softened puppy food that is now being softened with water, a little less each day! As their eyes and ears continue to develop so does their coordination - the puppies start acting like puppies now; wrestling, barking, playing, running and jumping! Visitation officially opens and weaning is in full swing - as their teeth grow in...Mom grows out! By the time they are 5 weeks old Mom is with them about 40% of the time. She comes in to feed them 3-4 times a day, cuddles, cleans them and then requests to be let back out. Mom usually lets Dad and 'their uncles' come in to meet them during this stage - although admittedly, the males have much less interest in puppies as females do. Over the course of these couple of weeks we begin their sensory development and introduce them to fun and exciting new things every day! We start them on our small course in basic beginners obedience training. We spend 5-15 minutes a day (training sessions are 5 minutes long) with each puppy teaching them basic commands. At some point during this stage our resident barn cats come in to spend time with them daily (Ok, Mabel just likes their food) and they usually get to meet and spend time with our bunnies as well (who love to run up and down the hallway and frustrate the puppies that can't quite keep up)! At 6 weeks old they get to see Dr Beth again for their comprehensive exams, health certificates and first set of booster shots. 

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6-7 weeks

​Puppies are mostly weaned and are eating completely solid food now. They are using their potty training skills at regular intervals and start to develop a schedule. The food is taken away at 7 pm and they go out for their last potty break at 10 pm. All of the puppies get to sleep in their crate together during the night. They get let out at 6 am the next morning for their first potty break. Mom is with them about 10% of the time - she leaves most to all of their doggy needed care to the other female members of the pack but feeds them for a few minutes 1-2 times a day. Their 'aunties' spend most of their day with them teaching them all types of manners and skills they will continue to use throughout their entire lives - like bite inhibition and body language cues. They are usually doing well with their basic beginners obedience training and at some point we step it up to slightly more difficult commands. Training sessions also increase to 10 minutes long. 

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7-8 weeks

Puppies graduate into the crate room. The feeding/potty time schedule remains the same but puppies begin sleeping alone in their individual crates at night. We continue to work with them daily on potty training, socialization, obedience training and development. Puppies are fully weaned and Mom avoids them as much as possible but they still try to catch her for milk sneaks if they are fast enough! By the end of this stage puppies are usually maintaining completely clean crates throughout the night. We have enjoyed having them so much and are so incredibly proud of how much they've learned in such a short time!! By the end of this stage they are ready for the next part of their journey - to go home!! 

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