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
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 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 lamp 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, 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
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 their kibble soaked in boiling water to
make it the consistency of baby food and as they get older the water content goes down until they
are eating solid kibble.
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)
At this time Visitors are welcome by appointment.
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, Poulty (chickens, turkeys and/or ducks depending on
At this time I also give the pups a lot of time free in the house. There is always paper around for
them to eliminate on and they start to seek the paper when they have to go.
At 6 weeks I start to crate train the puppies that have been reserved and ONLY those puppies.
They have a crate in their whelping area to play in during the day. I will place the ones with
reservations 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)
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 and
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 payments
- 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
order payments were received. So get your payments in early.
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.
Please note that we no longer crate train entire litters. We are crate training the puppies who have
paid reservations on them and only those puppies. It is too hard to work with all of the possible left
over puppies. So only those puppies who have paid reservations will get the extra training time.
Puppies you pick up from me that are over 8 weeks will have no crate training. Crate training is a
thank you for planning ahead and leaving payment well in advance.
If we haven’t answered all of your questions, please feel free to contact us any time.