Raising Labrador Retriever Puppies in Georgia
“The proof is in the puppies”.
Okay, the puppies are on the ground – now what? We have spent days or weeks researching genetics, talking to other breeders and stud dog owners. The pups are on the ground and the genetics are there.
Now, we focus on environmental and/or socializing the puppies. When I started my breeding program I wanted to set myself apart from folks just breeding dogs. I knew a lot about early child development, and knew that this was the approach I wanted to take.
I consider myself a very transparent breeder. I post many photos and videos of each litter. My belief is that being part of the process is beneficial and necessary for my families. My dogs live with me, we spend hours together and I am completely devoted to them. Just ask my husband.
When we whelp a litter we are in it together. It’s extremely emotional because so many things can go wrong. You just pray for a successful outcome and do what you can to make sure that the pups are healthy and thriving. Once we get passed this critical period, we start to concentrate on the pups development progress. How can I make their chances better?
This is a brief overview.
We whelp in our whelping room (which is the bedroom next to my bedroom). I have a single bed in the whelping room which allows me to sleep in the whelping room for a few nights. Once the pups are mobile I increase our area to little puppy run. I sit in the run and allow the pups to crawl all over me. Once the weaning period is established (depends on the litter and the dam) we move down to the basement where we utilize a wonderful puppy pen. The puppy pen is a game changer. We use a puppy pen that enables us to increase the area during each stage and introduce new elements, sights, sounds, and textures. After we have started to become familiar with our new area we have access to the kennel for play time and the outside patio, and airing yard. We are on a schedule which is extremely beneficial for their growth, which entails going out every 2 hours to air, play, learn, potty and explore. By the 7th week I am ready to start our evaluation process which will help placing the puppy with his/her new family based on temperament.