How we raise our puppies and puppy curriculum
My goal is to produce family and therapy dogs that are purpose bred ethically with love and care. Raised on a curriculum that supports cognitive development and proven to produce dogs with high self esteem, confidence in own abilities, with less chance of behavioral problems. I have combined this with my passion for the Australian Cobberdog, raising the bar as a breed in development to produce consistent, healthy, beautiful dogs in looks, temperament and behaviors.
My dogs are a huge part of my life and I believe that they deserve to be loved and honored as a valued member of the family. My adults live with us on a beautiful small acreage property in the Lockyer Valley, where they have their own private safe doggy park, and sleep inside the house (generally my bedroom), they come to brunch, go on regular walks & outings to the beach as well as accompany me into work environments to provide relief and comfort and easing work related compassion fatigue.
I feed a high quality diet based on whole foods, including commercially prepared meals from LYKA, chicken wings, brisket, beef mince, sardines, eggs, goats milk, liver, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, fresh vegetables, home made chicken feet bone broth, in addition to a quality kibble and marrow bones for enrichment.
All of our puppies are fed whole real foods from weaning and go home with a supply of their diet to get you started on the right foot.
Our whelping room is within our our house, heated, clean and calm. I am with my girls 24/7 for the first few weeks of life to support and assist with the care of the puppies. At about 3 weeks old the puppies move to a more active part of our home, so they can experience the sights and sounds of a family life. As we follow the development of each litter, puppies are exposed to new areas in and around our home and garden, new sights and sounds, people and activities.
I am proud to be a part of the Badass Breeder (BAB) community and mentorship program,
developed by Jeanette Forrey Badass Breeder follows a structured curriculum for the development and socialisation of "empowered" puppies and a comprehensive evaluation system to recognise and record traits to assist with correct placement in family or therapy settings.
In the Beginning
The first few days we support mum and bubs in the whelping room, ensuring everyone is clean, warm and fed, and maintaining a calm environment. Pups are monitored for weight gain and mum is provided support whilst she recovers from birthing.
Day 3- 16
Our puppies are exposed to the Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction (ENS & ESI) program starting at 3 days old right through to day 16 for each and every litter. (See below for further details)
During the first few weeks puppies are handled with love and care, conditioned to human touch & smell, held at our hearts and mouth, laying the foundation that humans are kind and safe. As puppies develop their senses we continue to enrich and enlighten their lives gently exposing puppies to different sights, sounds and age-appropriate experiences to advance confidence and ability to self-regulate.
We spend a lot of time with our puppies each day setting up safe play spaces and new activities, aligned to their cognitive and physical development. Always ensuring play space is safe and supported, the goal is to build confidence in puppies and assist to trouble shoot novel situations, move from reactive states to thinking states when under stress. It is not just about keeping them busy, but providing guided activities in line with their development.
During this time, little teeth will start to erupt a biological signal that pup's gut is now ready to eating real foods and the weaning process will begin. We start with natural yoghurt and finely minced beef, made into a slurry, and transition over the week into a solid diet of whole real foods including chicken wings which are fantastic for teething.
At 3 weeks puppies whelp box is divided into 2 areas, one for sleeping and one for pooping. As they become accustomed to using potty pads or mats their area increases.
We continue laying the foundation, building confidence in new experiences, observing puppies abilities, and where they might need further development. During this time we start noting puppies innate and acquired traits and assess their suitability for family homes and therapy roles. I want to get the foundation right from the start, not only in how we raise the puppies but by ensuring we make the right matches for families so our puppies can fulfill their purpose and reach their highest potential.
During this time we transition puppies to sleeping in crates (group housed) and going potty outside after meals. This starts pups up for crate and toilet training in your home.
Sight and Sound Sensitivity
Emotional Sensitivity (tenderhearted-ness)
Between week 8-10 its time for puppy to go home to their forever families. Pups are given final exposure activities, washed bathed, blow dried, have had a trip out in the car, visited the vet clinic, and are ready to move on to developing bonds with their new families. Socialisation and exposure to new activities continues with you and we provide an in depth handover to assist with puppies development and keep you on track. Now its time to really cement toilet and crate training and start formalised training in obedience.
For those who are wanting assistance with training we offer the following:
- Online Baxter & Bella puppy school (25% discount)
- In house stay and train, 4 week development program limited to 2 puppies per litter
Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI)
What is it? and Why do we do it?
In the first three weeks of life, the neonate puppy is undergoing critical growth in cognitive and physical development, Puppies are born without being able to hear and see, during this early development, neural pathways are forming at more than a million per second, new and repeated experiences assist the brains wiring and making connections. Growth and development in the neonate is at its most critical and time sensitive period, studies in both human and canine confirm we can maximise their cognitive development and abilities to problem solve and deal with complex tasks.
Why is this important in dogs?
Studies have shown that dogs who have undergone Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI) have a far greater ability to handle stress, improved confidence, greater performance in problem-solving, exploratory skills, learning and performance potential.
In addition studies have concluded ESI during critical time points improves adult scenting ability, which is crucial for dogs engaged in the service industry such as search and rescue and as diabetic alert dogs.
Whilst not every Cobberdog we breed will go on to become a medic alert dog, the benefits of this early work with your pups will shape and provide a lasting effect resulting in a more optimistic attitude toward life and fewer behavioural problems. It has been proven that puppies who have undergone correct ENS and ESI results in a calmer, more trainable and better temperament dog.
ENS and ESI lead to immediate and life physiological results including:
1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats
3. Stronger adrenal glands
4. More tolerance to stress
5. Greater resistance to disease
Puppy Training and Ongoing Support
It is so important to me that you have the correct training and support for your pup to reach their best potential that I have partnered with BAXTER & Bella where our ‘Lovelocks Family’ can receive a lifetime membership at a discounted rate.
Please click HERE to learn more