Our dogs are fed a high-quality kibble, healthy toppings and supplements throughout their pregnancy to help them stay in top shape and to ensure healthy puppies. About a week prior to our dog’s due date we set her up in a quiet room that consists of a comfortable whelping box with calming music playing in the background.
We use a Vetbed in our whelping box, which is a very thick fleece padding that allows liquids to move through onto a washable pee pad which we put underneath the Vetbed to soak up any liquids. The puppies stay very warm and dry this way. The Vetbed also provides an excellent grip to promote healthy muscles and joints. We also have pig rails in our whelping box to help prevent our dog from rolling on the puppies.
There is always someone in the whelping box at the time of delivery to assist with removing the sack, aspirating fluid, tying off cords and so on. All of the puppies are identified with different color collars shortly after they are born and given a physical exam. We record the time of birth, sex, weight, and other important details. This allows us to keep track of each puppy's growth and health. Delivery can go for as long as 24 hours or more and we must stay awake so we are ready to help our dog or her puppies if needed. After our dog is done whelping her puppies she will receive extra calcium to help her with her milk production. When all puppies are nursing well and everyone is looking healthy; We will try and get some well-deserved sleep somewhere nearby the whelping box so we can assist quickly if needed. There is a great deal of care that goes into supervising a litter of puppies and it can take several days after helping with a delivery for us to catch up on our sleep. So please be understanding if it takes us a little bit longer to answer your emails and phone calls (We will be able to get back with you sooner if you email us).
From birth to around 3 weeks of age, one of us here at Tiltonhaus will sleep in the whelping room at night. We also have a camera set up in the room so we can keep an eye on our dog and her puppies when we are unable to be in the whelping room. We spend a lot of time touching and loving on our dog and her puppies throughout the day. When puppies receive consistent handling, they become more outgoing and friendly and show less inclination to be fearful when they are older.
Each puppy here at Tiltonhaus has had Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) starting from the time the puppies are 3 days old until 16 days old. The benefits of ENS include: stronger heart, greater endurance, stronger immune system, promote greater resistance to disease, faster recovery from and tolerance for stress, among others.
We also incorporate many of the Puppy Culture principles into our puppy raising. The puppies are exposed to different types of surfaces and textures, play with different types of objects, experienced different locations, meet different types of people, are exposed to different challenges, puppies are exposed to a variety of sounds from indoor and outdoor environments, including a desensitizing CD playing thunder, fireworks, rain, lightning, etc. Our puppies have ridden in a car and slept in a crate. This starts teaching them at a young age that new things are fun to explore and play with and helps them develop into an emotionally balanced mature dog.
When the puppies are 3 weeks old we add a potty area to the whelping box so the puppies can learn that there is a place for sleep/play, and a place for potty. They naturally do not want to soil their bedding so this is the window of opportunity for success, and they all seem to catch on fairly quickly. We also add a crate to the whelping box at this time. We remove the door of the crate so the puppies can freely enter and exit the crate as they please.
We delay the introduction of solid food until the puppies are around 4 weeks of age if at all possible. We believe that the early introduction of solid food and dairy products can result in skin allergies later in a dog’s life.
We start them off by soaking kibble in hot water (not boiling as this removes vitamins that were added). We also add goat’s milk when it is available, which is a great supplement to their diet. We reduce the amount of water over the following weeks and add other healthy toppings and supplements to their kibble. We feed them four meals a day until they are around 6 weeks old, then we change them over to 3 meals a day.
The puppies are brought up into our living room on a regular basis so they become accustomed to family life and noise around them. We add new toys and obstacles regularly for the puppies to crawl into and on top of. They have gentle encounters with our other dogs (with supervision) and a lot of family and friends are invited to our home to interact with the puppies. The puppies are provided time outdoors so they can explore and go on short hikes in our woods with us, weather permitting.
At 7 weeks old the puppies will be given a physical exam by our vets and given their vaccinations. They are not fully immune so you must be
careful in choosing where to go and what to expose your puppy too! You will need to follow up their shots with another 2 boosters, these should be spaced 4 weeks apart.
At around 8 weeks old, puppies can experience a “fear period”. During this time be very careful introducing any new situations or experiences.
Our goal is to bless others with this amazing breed that God has given us such a love and passion for. So we want to do everything we can to help these puppies grow into confident dogs that will love people and that people will love back.
If you are interested in putting down a deposit on a Tiltonhaus puppy please fill out our “I’m Interested” page and we will get back with you as soon as possible. Since we only offer a limited number of puppies each year, we do recommend reserving a puppy in advance.