How We raise our litters
Thanks for having an interest in how we do things here at Stoverly.
The first thing we do is we get to know our dogs and their backgrounds. Since we do not
breed our dogs until they are typically two years old or more we get to know them and have
plenty of time to research their backgrounds. When we know what our strong and weak points
are in each dog, we can choose mates who compliment them in hopes of producing puppies
of better quality than their parents.
To start off with we are always handling our dogs. We are checking for signs of heat cycles
or problems. By the time we are ready to breed our dogs we have a good idea when to
expect their heat cycles.
We witness each planned breeding that takes place. We record the dates and can calculate
our due dates to within a few days. Expecting mom’s are kept on a good healthy raw diet,
they are well exercised and kept mentally stimulated. About 2 weeks before pups are due
to be born we set up our whelping (delivery) area. When we hit 1 week before pups are due
we start to take the female’s temperature 2 or 3 times a day. We record each temperature
and the time it was taken. When we notice a certain drop in temperature we know labor will
start within 24 hours. Now we keep a close eye on the female. Shortly we will notice a lot of
signs that says labor has now begun. She will be breathing heavy, she will start to dig and
show signs of nesting. She will have to go out to potty often. At this point I break out the tea
and coffee because I’ll get very little sleep over the next 24-48 hours. I will not leave the mom
alone at this point. This stage often finds me on the floor with pillow and blanket right next to
the whelping box.
The next step is the arrival of the puppies. Once they start to arrive I mainly supervise. If I notice
a pup is having any problems, I take over right away. However if all seems well I let mom do
her job. As the second puppy is arriving, I will remove the first puppy. I will photograph it, weigh
it, note its color, gender and any identifying marks it may have. I will place it in a separate box
with a heat pad until mom is done delivering the current puppy. Then she can have it back until
she’s ready to deliver the next puppy. I will record all this information for each puppy.
Once we are finished delivering puppies. I will place the pups in the clean and heated box and
clean out the whelping area. I’ll put down fresh bedding and turn on the heat lamp or heating pad,
and then I’ll put all the pups back in with their mom. Now I maybe able to catch a few hours of
sleep depending on the time of day or night it is.
Docking of tails (while it is still legal to do so) will occur by the time pups are 48 hours old,
and dewclaws are done at the same time.
When puppies are 24 hours old and I have had a few minutes to collect myself, I send out
emails to let everyone know puppies are here. Since lots of people have been waiting as long
as I have, a lot of people are as excited as I am. In all honesty pictures and emails often go out
as pups are being born.
For the first few weeks of the pups’ lives they go through what is known as early neurological
stimulation. This gives the brain a kick-start. We find this makes everything easier with the
puppies. They house train, crate train and learn everything just that much faster. We make sure
that the puppies are handled often. They are exposed to as much as possible before going to
their new homes. Puppies are weighed daily for the first week and then weekly for the
remainder of their stay.
VISITORS ARE RESTRICTED UNTIL PUPPIES ARE 5-6 WEEKS OLD.
At 2 weeks old we get our first dose of wormer. (strongid or panacur)
By 3-4 weeks puppies have started eating real food, it is the same raw that mom gets, just
ground up to make it easier to ear. As they get bigger we offer less ground up foods and 'more
whole pieces like chicken wings.
When we start to introduce food to the puppies we also introduce the clicker. It hangs on the
fence of the whelping area and before I place food down, I click. This teaches puppies very
early that click = food.
At 3-4 weeks old we have started to introduce them to as many new things as possible. We
give them tons of toys, new sounds, other animals and lots of people. We also have the
whelping area divided in two, a sleeping and playing area, and a potty area with wood chips
for potty breaks. This helps puppies to learn to leave the sleeping area to eliminate.
At 4 weeks old we get our second dose of wormer. (strongid or panacur)
By 5-6 weeks we can start to take them outside to explore their new world weather pending.
They are exposed to our other animals as well. At this time I also give the pups a lot of time
free in the house. There is always a potty area around for them to eliminate in and they start
to seek the area when they have to go.
At 6 weeks I start to crate train the puppies, they have a crate in their whelping area to play in
during the day. I will place them in crates with a sibling to start as this adds comfort. I will crate
them after a hard play session when I know they are tired as this makes the adjustment easier.
At 6 weeks we get our third dose of wormer. (Strongid or panacur)
At 6 weeks we arrange 1 group visit for anyone getting a puppy from this litter.
Between 7 and 8 weeks of age all puppies go in and get their eyes examined. Results are
given to buyers and at this time via email and if anyone comes down with a defect we will
then narrow down any one we may have been planning on keeping, or anyone who may have
had hopes of going into a show/breeding home. Puppies always travel in a crate so it is more
crate training and travel training.
That week the puppies also go in to get their first set of vaccinations where the vet will listen to
the heart, check that the boys have both testicles descended and make sure everyone is happy
At the 8 week worming we give our puppies 3-5 days of Panacur. This is a stronger wormer
that will get anything the other worming dates may have missed. It also kills an organism called
Giardia which puppies get a lot when playing outside and putting new things in their mouth and
licking up wet leaves, grass, puddles etc. For more information on Giardia follow this link
The day after the eye exam and vet check all of the puppies go through what we call a puppy
puzzle. This helps us to judge the puppies’ conformation and structure. At this time we make
our decision of who we are keeping or who is going to a show/breeding home and who is not.
Once we have made our decision then it’s time to place puppies with owners. We take into
consideration which color and gender you prefer. We take into consideration which pups you
were drawn to most. We will review your original application and your families’ needs and
activity level. Then we look at each puppy’s personality and eliminate the puppies we feel
would not fit well with your lifestyle. Then we let you know which puppy is yours or which
puppies you may choose from if a choice is available. In the event that we have a few pups
that are very middle of the road and would do well just about anywhere, we will allow people
to choose puppies based on the order payments were received.
All puppies leave with a puppy pack, which may include most of the following: Food, toys, treats,
collar, blanket, leash, bowls, and contracts.
REMEMBER Even if you specify a certain color and gender that you prefer. And even if I have
that puppy born. There is no guarantee that puppy will be offered to you.
- As breeder I get first pick
- If there is a pup owed back to a stud dog owner or to the breeder of the female they get
- Pups are placed in active homes first above pet homes regardless of the order of
order payments were received. So get your payments in early.
- Pups are placed based on their personality and activity level.
- Then if there is a choice of more than one puppy for you, I let you choose based on the
That’s the way it works here at Stoverly. That’s how our pups are born and raised.
Feel free to read our How It works page to see exactly how we place pups in new homes in
case we did not answer all of your questions here.
If we haven’t answered all of your questions, please feel free to contact us any time.