Temperament is one of our foremost concerns, and we strive
to produce sweet- natured, outgoing, people-oriented pups that are gentle
with children, tolerant with outsiders, eager to please their owners, and
protective of their family and surroundings without being aggressive towards
other dogs or people.
Physical Soundness: All of our regular breeding stock is OFA-certified or otherwise radiographed clear of hip dysplasia. All pups are raised on a program of sound nutrition, with regular vaccinations and wormings in accordance with the most up-to-date veterinary recommendations. Dew claws are removed from all pups.
Natural Hunting Instincts: Strongly bred into our pups and encouraged from a very early age. At 5 weeks of age pups start pointing a game bird wing on a fishing pole; at 6 weeks they have their first live birds: pigeons or coturnix quail. By 7 weeks we know which are the most stylish, the boldest, and the birdiest pups for folks interested in serious hunting or competitive field trialing.
All pups are born in a home bedroom and raised there until they are 3 - 4 weeks old. They are then moved into the kitchen where they become accustomed to normal household hustle and bustle, noises, other adult dogs, and a number of people of all ages. Table training for grooming and showing begins by 4 weeks, and the pups are exposed to toenail and hair clippers. They have a great variety of toys and are presented with different levels, surfaces, and textures. They have a large outside playyard and go for regular romps in our 4-acre field daily after the age of 5 - 6 weeks. We grade the pups initially during their first 24 hours of life and do our final written evaluation at 7 weeks of age. Pups may go home anytime thereafter unless they are being shipped. We prefer to wait to ship pups until they are 10 weeks old.
Many times people tell us they would like to purchase two pups from one of our litters. While we agree that for many reasons, having two dogs in a household offers benefits both to the dogs and to their owners, we will not place littermates in the same household.
We understand that dogs are very social animals and having a living companion can be important to a dog that does not get a good daily measure of exercise and interaction with one of its own species. Two dogs will occupy the time and alleviate the boredom and anxiety that can result from too much time alone. They will provide exercise and play for each other that a busy person may not have time, strength, or energy to give them. A tired dog is often ready for quiet attention and interaction on a gentle level, rather than needing and demanding roughhousing.
Dogs will often eat competitively, whereas a single dog may lose its fascination with food and be picky about its own food and demanding of tidbits from its owner’s plate or sandwich or snack: Anything to get the attention and interaction that it craves. A second dog can often change Mr. Persnickety into an avid feeder.
This competitiveness can be applied to many activities: chasing a ball or stick, retrieving, being first in line for a walk or car ride or other outing, swimming, even in greeting and interacting with well-known humans – "Pet me!" "No, pet Me!" And there is absolutely no substitute to the enjoyment owners get from watching their dogs interact.
So we fundamentally agree that a two-or-more dog household is a positive, aiding both the dogs and their owners with many benefits and much enjoyment.
So why don’t we sell littermates?
When a new puppy comes into a household, it has left behind everything familiar: its littermates and mother, its physical surroundings, its toys and playthings, the people that it has come to know, often its food and feeding schedule, even the mineral composition of the water it drinks.
A puppy with a good temperament that has been raised with love and kindness will adapt remarkably quickly to its new living situation. It has already learned that people are its source of food, daily schedule, play objects, and activity, and, of course, affection. Everything is new, with no attached baggage, and since the new people are the ones showering it with care, new guidelines, and the all-important attention and love, it quickly bonds to its new family. Structure and training come a bit later, once the puppy has realized that it is safe to love and trust the new people. The new family becomes the puppy’s safety net and it is free to develop in this supportive structure.
Now look at littermate puppies coming into this radically new environment together: everything is new and unfamiliar, except their littermate! When presented with all the many changes that a new home unavoidably brings, who do these puppies turn to for reassurance and security? Why, each other of course. They know each other; they have a relationship with each other already, they feel most comfortable and safe with each other. Whatever bond they had with each other in the litter is now reinforced. Why need they bond strongly with their new family; they have each other. They miss that crucial experience of bonding individually with the people in their new environment.
While these littermate pups will both grow to recognize and respect their new "pack members," so to speak, they will always be first in the heart and mind of their litter sibling. They will always maintain their dependence on each other, lifelong when they are together. You can often see them check with each other first before following any instruction from their people. They may severely pine when separated, including refusing to eat and settle down comfortably. It is not a pretty sight.
So what is the solution to having a multi-dog household without the perils of raising littermates? Simply allow some time between the acquisition of puppies. Our recommendation is at least 6 to 9 months, with two years being ideal. This gives each time to bond to its new family and surroundings independently. An added benefit is that the older dog(s) already knows the house rules, commands, and routines and will assist in teaching them to the new pup. Waiting much longer than two years incurs the risk that the older dog has accepted its position as the sole dog in the household, and instead of welcoming a new playmate may become jealous and non-accepting, although this doesn’t usually last past a relatively short time in most cases.