Socialization, Evaluation & Training

It is very important that puppies be socialized right from birth, be evaluated for coat and temperament and begin basic training before leaving our kennel.  These three things help not only our pups but also helps our clients in choosing their perfect pup.





We believe it is vital that puppies are socialized early on in their lives!  Right from birth our pups get lots of cuddling, interaction with people and exposure to all sorts of sights and sounds. Once they are older they also get to meet some of our other adult dogs (including their mother of course) which teaches them important dog manners.  Early socialization can help a puppy learn that his world is not a scary place. We intentionally create an environment where there is noise (radio, vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, etc.) so that they get accustomed to loud noises.  This helps make the pups confident and easy going. One method we use to socialize our pups is Photo Day!  Each week photos are taken of the pups in which they are exposed to all sorts of lights and photo sets.  During Photo Day, pups are also weighed and have their nails clipped.  These simple steps teach pups to trust people and they quickly learn to sit still and submit to having their paws and nails handled.  These things may seem insignificant, but down the road when a vet will want your pup to sit still during an examination and for you to clip their nails - you will realize how important these steps are.  Pups that have not been properly socialized tend to be nervous, fearful and timid.



“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” 

Samuel Butler, Higgledy-Piggledy



Matching the right puppy to the right family is not just about how a puppy looks - but coat and temperament are also considerations.  When our pups are five weeks of age we do Coat and Temperament Evaluations and encourage our clients to wait until after the testing before choosing their pup.  We use a series of twelve modified tests taken from a book called, “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete (a great book by the way). While temperament tests are best done when a puppy is 10-12 weeks of age, even these basic tests help to ascertain a pup's basic temperament.  Coats are also evaluated for texture, length, curliness, etc.  This helps to determine what kind of coat each pup will have when they grow up.  Our evaluations are a great resource for our clients in choosing their pup.



Training begins early on in the lives of our pups.  All puppies nip - they use their mouths like a toddler uses their hands.  Everything has to go into the mouth.  They also jump all over their siblings which they also naturally do to people too - this is cute when they are small, but not so cute when they get bigger and have muddy paws!  Right from the start, we use training words like “no bite” and off” so that pups learn to respect humans and are well on their way to becoming good doggy citizens before they go to their new homes.  We are huge fans of “Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer”.  We have learned many techniques about how to lead our pack in a calm and assertive manner.  When we are all out together on one of our “pack adventures”, it is vital that our dogs look to us for leadership and correction – not each other.  We highly recommend professional training early on in a pup’s life as well as training material such as Cesar’s books and videos.


Puppies learn a lot from each other and adult dogs. Right from birth and throughout the weaning process Mom teaches her pups “dog language”.  This is vital for every pup and the lesson of submitting to a bigger dog may someday save your dog's life.  Pups are constantly play-fighting which is so important in establishing themselves in the pack.  A pup who has not been allowed to interact with other pups or adult dogs early on in life often lacks social skills with other dogs later on.  Once the pups are older, we allow them to interact with some of our other adult dogs.  Monty, our Standard Poodle stud is such a gentle giant and he will often lay down on the grass and let his pups crawl all over him ... but he also teaches them when enough is enough.  This develops confidence and respect in the pups.



"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them." Phil Pastoret