Please Note: Due to the length of our Master Waiting List, we have closed our Questionnaire for submissions. We will not be accepting any applications or deposits for any future puppies until Fall of 2021 at the earliest. Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates on our waiting list opening back up.
Excellent genetics are certainly important when it comes to choosing your new pup. However, how that puppy is raised during its early developmental weeks is equally important when it comes to bringing home a confident, attentive, capable puppy. In order to produce those traits, our Bernedoodle puppies are carefully raised following a well-structured curriculum until they head off to their new homes.
We go above and beyond most breeders to ensure our puppies experience everything they can to prepare for any future lifestyle. Every litter we produce is raised in our home, where we can provide continuous care. We have thoroughly researched and analyzed components of multiple breeding protocols to build our unique program and provide our pups with the most well-rounded education we possibly can. We have invested in and incorporated many techniques from both The Ultimate Badass Breeder's Guide and Puppy Culture, as well as some techniques from Avidog and The Rule of Seven as well. We believe the unique program we have created using these fantastic resources enables us to produce truly exceptional puppies ready for any adventure. Please keep reading to learn lots about how our Bernedoodles are raised.
All of our litters are born in our spare bedroom, which we've converted into our puppy nursery. I sleep right next to our puppies in our nursery every night for the first two weeks of their lives, so I hear every cry and movement those babies make. They are so fragile during their first few weeks of life, so it is important we stay close to detect and treat any signs of distress before they turn into an emergency situation.
The puppies stay in our bedroom for the first 3 weeks or so, where they develop basic skills like being handled, crawling and walking. We begin nail trims at 1 week of age, and we continue with nail trims weekly until they leave our care. We play classical music at a low volume to introduce sounds in a stress-free way once their ears open, and to help keep mom happy and relaxed.
During days 3-16, our puppies experience Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) using the US Military's Bio-Sensor Program. ENS helps to stimulate the neurological system, which improves the growth and development of the puppy's immune system, cardiovascular system and stress tolerance. Studies show that performing ENS can also provide a greater resistance to diseases. Please Click Here if you'd like to learn more about ENS.
In conjunction with ENS, we will now be performing Early Scent Introduction (ESI) with all our pups as well. ESI is designed to enhance a puppy's ability to identify and react to specific scents. Dogs that are introduced to ESI not only have better scenting skills as adults to perform certain tasks or jobs, they have also proven to have a more optimistic attitude toward life and with that, fewer behavioural problems. Please Click Here if you'd to learn more about ESI.
Once our puppies reach around 3-4 weeks of age, they are then moved from our bedroom into our dining/main room, where they will experience more frequent traffic with our family and our other dogs. Once in our dining room, we set up our puppies to begin their potty training using pelleted bedding. We begin to potty train from a very young age and they do very well with it!
During this time, our puppies continue working on basic skills like walking and navigating around their pen. They start experiencing new toys and exposure activities to improve their confidence and stimulate their senses. We get creative with photoshoots to expose them to various stimuli and play age-appropriate games to encourage interaction. We also start introducing our puppies to a variety of soundtracks designed to prepare them for life outside our home. We find these soundtracks make a significant difference in our puppies' confidence levels and they help with their move into their new homes, which are filled with all sorts of new sounds and experiences.
Soundtracks we use include the following:
Click Here to read more on desensitizing using sounds, along with other tips and tricks for when you bring your puppy home.
Once our puppies reach 4-5 weeks of age, we really start to step up our curriculum! By this age, our puppies start spending time in our puppy playroom, where they have a spacious spot to play and work on our daily curriculum. Our puppies continue their potty training in our playroom, but they also have their own fully fenced outdoor potty/play area that is directly attached. The outdoor area is now more spacious and has a more secure, puppy-proof wooden fence.
Our puppies spend a great deal of time outdoors as well once they are old enough, weather permitting. A surprising number of breeders do not introduce their puppies to the outdoors before they head off to their new homes due to fears of contracting parasites from the ground. While we believe that parasites are to be taken very seriously with young puppies, experiencing the outside world before going home is just as important. We have a very effective parasite prevention protocol that we follow to account for any outdoor risks, and we have never had any issues doing it this way. We are thrilled that's the case because our puppies love playing outside and we believe it is such an important step to preparing them for their new homes.
During the puppies' last few weeks in our care, frequent handling of each puppy continues of course. We also start introducing more challenging stimuli and activities to help them learn in a safe, controlled setting before heading off to their new homes. We begin crate training around 6 weeks of age. We start by breaking the litter up into smaller groups for short time periods, with groups of 3, then 2. Once they're ready to spend some time on their own, we then introduce the crate and break it down into 30 minute intervals to start, and gradually stretch it out to 3-4 hours by the time they reach 8 weeks of age.
Although we work hard to set a solid crate training and potty training foundation, we in no way guarantee they will be crate/house trained once they come home between 8 and 9 weeks of age. They are young and new to life, and a big transition like moving does cause some regression in their training, so all puppies do require ongoing effort and practice to solidify those habits. You will receive a puppy training information booklet to provide you with lots of tips for making that transition into your home a much easier one.
Around 7 weeks of age, we will now be conducting personality/temperament testing for each of our puppies before any puppy selections take place. This test will help us gather as much information as possible about our puppies, so their new families can feel confident and informed when making their selections. We will evaluate our puppies on important traits like energy, assertiveness, confidence, human focus, etc so we can both honour our puppies and help each new owner select the pup that best suits their wants and needs.
We put a lot more focus on socialization during our pups last few weeks with us as well. Proper socialization is just as important as desensitization so our pups get to meet lots of adults, children, other dogs and cats. Under-socialized dogs can become fearful, aggressive and inflexible, no matter how friendly and outgoing their parents are. This is why our puppies are handled daily from day 1 and introduced to a number of new faces during their time with us.
We put the same effort into every puppy we produce as we would with a puppy we'd be raising as our own because we know this will be your next family member! We want to set our puppies up for success and provide them with the very best start we can. Our puppies head off to homes all over the country, so being prepared for that nerve-racking trip, wherever it may be, is an important step we like to make sure our pups can handle. Please Note: We do not ship our puppies as cargo as it is too stressful for them, and we like to meet the families our pups are going to. If you are unable to travel here to pick up your puppy, we are happy to fly/drive with our puppies to their destination. Contact us to discuss rates for hand delivery within Canada.
Although our puppies are exposed to all kinds of activities and human interaction during their time within our home, we still need to be very careful about keeping our puppies safe. There are canine diseases that, when passed on to a puppy, are quite often lethal. We strive to eliminate this risk as much as possible by creating a safe, bio-secure environment for our puppies.
We are happy to offer each family purchasing a puppy one visit to our home prior to picking up their new family member. This visit is scheduled for once the puppies have completed their temperament/aptitude testing around 7 weeks of age. These visits will always take place on a weekend. Appointments are booked in the order deposits were received and you will be selecting your puppy in person at that time (video calls are scheduled for those that cannot visit in person). When planning a visit to our home, we ask that you please abide by the following guidelines to keep our puppies safe:
Please do not visit any unvaccinated dogs, or dogs you do not know are vaccinated, within 48hrs of visiting our home. If you are visiting a friend with a dog, be sure to ask if that dog is up to date. Please do not bring any dogs with you when you visit our property, even if they are vaccinated.
Please do not visit any dog parks or veterinary clinics within 48hrs of visiting our home. A vet office may seem like a safe place for puppies, but there are often viruses lingering at both dog parks and vet clinics that could harm young pups with younger, weaker immune systems.
Under NO circumstances is anyone to visit any other breeder within 72hrs of visiting our home. Even if it is a personal friend, please do not visit any dog kennel or property where a litter of puppies may have been. Doing this could put our puppies at tremendous, unnecessary risk!
Please always wear clean shoes and clothing when visiting our property. Clothes must not have been worn while touching any other dogs (your own pets included) and shoes must not have been worn where any dogs have been. Most canine diseases are tracked in by footwear.
Remember: Just because a dog has been vaccinated doesn't mean they haven't picked up something on their muzzle or paws along their travels. It won't affect them because they are already vaccinated, but it puts our puppies at risk if you bring it in on your clothes or shoes when you visit. Please be extra diligent in helping us protecting your future family members.
Foxboro Doodles Inc.
Madoc, Ontario, Canada
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