We raise our pups with a balanced mix of science, nature and experience. We seek to have as natural an upbringing as possible for our puppies while inserting important experiences at development-appropriate times. We provide as stimulating an environment as possible as the pups’ physical and mental development allows them to engage. We do not want to do too much too soon but we want to stretch and challenge the pups, both physically and mentally, as they grow.
We strongly believe that we can actually increase the size and complexity of our pups’ brains by the things we do with their dam before they are born (nutrition, Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation) and the pups themselves after birth. We do BioSensor exercises and offer unique scents before their eyes and ears open. We then increase the complexity of their environment once their eyes and ears open, they become more coordinated and their minds can handle problem-solving. We let them get themselves in and out of trouble, solving their own problems, while ensuring their safety. All of our efforts focus on making each pup the best that it can possibly be.
Click on the links to see videos of our pups in action.
Mental Development and Stimulation
- our pups are raised in our home to ensure their development includes the sounds, activities and smells of a typical home
- Biosensor exercises from 3-16 days: Biosensor Video 1 Biosensor Video 2
- introduction to unique scents daily from 3-16 days
- introduction to game birds
- a very large puppy pen filled with opportunities for complex problem solving
- problem solving (toys, puppy pen) Problem-solving Video 1 Problem-solving Video 2
- daily woods walks from 6 weeks on,
- training (conditioned to come, introduction to crates, regular car rides)
- our pups are raised in our home to ensure their development includes regular interaction with people
- free access between dam and pups till the pups go home
- interaction with other dogs (this clip is a video of Corey playing with one of Una’s pups while Una looks on)
- socialization with an average of 100 different people, of all ages, sizes and shapes, before they go home
- daily woods walks from 6 weeks on, occasional beach walks
- a very large puppy pen filled with physical challenges–moving items, edges, agility equipment
- introduction to housebreaking
- excellent nutritional foundation (see below)
Our dams are fed a raw diet throughout their pregnancy with specific supplementation to aid in the pups’ development and careful avoidance of chemicals and drugs. Although there is some thought that raw diets cause bitches to do a poor job whelping, we have not found this to be the case. Over 90 percent of the time, our raw fed litters are whelped naturally and quickly. Our average litter size is 7.5 pups, quite normal for goldens.
We supplement dams and pups with high quality, wild fish oil to provide the pups the Omega 3 fatty acids required for optimal brain development. We delay the introduction of solid food until the pups’ teeth are in and jaws are capable of chewing. We believe that early introduction of solid food and dairy products can result in skin allergies later in a dog’s life so we are patient, waiting till our pups are physically ready to eat.
We do not ever feed the typical “puppy pablum,” instead introducing pups directly to ground meat/bone/organs and vegetables. Since not all of our pups go to raw-feeding homes, we use a super-premium kibble for training treats.
- A raw diet supplemented with Dr Havey’s grains for dam and pups
- Omega 3 supplementation before and after birth for brain development
- introduction of solid food at 4-5 weeks
- introduction of as many protein sources as we can find
- mix of whole bone and ground meat products
- super-premium kibble listed in the Whole Dog Journal food review for training treats
- regular deworming
- titering, nomographs and vaccinations
- eye and heart screenings with Board-certified specialists
- health check and certificate from veterinarian
- microchipping and chip registration with AKC CAR
- we do NOT remove dew claws since we believe these toes play an important role in turning and hill descents for active dogs
- conformation: structure and type
- temperament and working ability using the “Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test“
We have some blogs that follow how some of our litters have been raised to give you more detail.
Thank you again for your interest in our breeding program. We are happy to discuss it with you in greater detail at any time. Since we offer only a limited number of puppies each year, we do recommend reserving a puppy in advance of the actual whelping. If you are still interested in a Gaylan’s puppy, please read carefully through our website and then contact us via e-mail.