What is "raised underfoot"?
We do our part to ensure this is the case by making sure our puppies are warm, well fed, lovingly and gently cared for, groomed, trained, living and sleeping in a clean, safe, natural home environment.
They grow up with their parents and are handled and gently/trained/groomed from 2 weeks onward. They are exposed to all normal household sounds, paper trained inside and then trained to go outside to potty. They begin informal crate training at 2-3 weeks, and are individually crate trained by 7 weeks. Because they are exposed to vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, tv, etc, they are not afraid of normal loud noises later on in life. As it becomes age appropriate, they are taken outside every two hours (day and night and in all weather) for potty training. While at play during the day, they are taught basic commands, and to come when they are called.
Everything is done in a gentle and natural fashion, producing dogs that are not only not anxious or afraid, but dogs that are mellow and a blessing to their human families!
Goldendoodles by Buddy & Annie
Our puppies are born in a whelping box in our Master Bedroom. I sleep near them as long as they are in my home and because they are close by, the puppies and mother are under my constant observation and care. We make note of which puppies have nursed and we make sure to rotate the puppies so they all get the incredible benefits of the wonderful breast milk. Since we have large litters, we also supplement mom’s milk with whole Goat’s milk in bottle feedings twice a day. This supplemental bottle feeding has added benefits, far beyond insuring that every puppy is well hydrated and well fed; it leads to puppies that are incredibly well socialized to being handled by humans.
For the first 2 weeks, the mother (dam) is waited on hand and foot as she will seldom leave the puppies in the whelping box, not even to eat. Water is kept close by to her, and we bring her food to the whelping box. Poodle mothers are extraordinary mothers! Loving, kind, and firm when necessary, Poodle moms bring all their intelligence to bear when raising their puppies, so we only need to facilitate them having their way during whelping, training, weaning, teaching, and we do.
At the 2 week point the puppies’ eyes have opened, so they will be start carefully exploring the whelping box, although they won’t venture far from mom while she’s in the box with them. Now we move the whelping box downstairs to the living room, which is in the middle of our living area. Living and sleeping in the midst of family life, they are socialized to all the different aspects of a normal home. We reorganize the whelping box, adding potty training paper to one end. Within hours, the smartest puppies will have figured out that it’s there, and they will leave their mother’s side to go and tinkle on the paper. —It sounds like magic, but when one is raising puppies under foot, one simply accommodates their natural instincts,… no puppy is born wishing to pee or poo where they eat or sleep—
At 3 weeks their ears open. Because of where the whelping box is located, they will see and hear every normal household sound. And because they receive supplemental bottle feedings as well as nail clipping/grooming, they are entirely socialized to human handling as they grow. Now they are taken outside for the first time, and over the next few weeks, are weaned from using potty paper to going outside to do their business (in any weather). As they now have baby teeth, they begin eating softened dry kibble (kibble that has been soaked in filtered water), while continuing to nurse and receive goat’s milk. The whelping box is exchanged for a pen and crates. We move it around the house from time to time, giving the puppies a chance to learn and to adjust to being flexible. It also sparks their natural intelligence and switches their little brains on!
At the four week point they are going outside, in any weather, every 2 hours from 5a to 10a. They are eating softened kibble, scrambled eggs, and cottage cheese. They are still nursing somewhat, but they always have water available, while they get Goat’s milk as well. They see Dr. Natalie for full physicals at this time.
From this point on it is routine trips outside, praise when they potty outside, and play, play, play (or play, eat, sleep, play eat sleep, lol).
At the 6 week point the crates are closed at night and opened at 5a. Loud noise training begins now. By the time they leave beginning at 8 weeks, they are accustomed to rain, storms, lightening, car engines, etc. It all happens naturally. It is simply life happening, but as they are with their mother, father, and auntie 24/7, they learn by example.
When the puppies go to their forever homes, they are 100% baggage free…. No anxiety, no fears, no worries, and no issues, housebroken, crate trained, and ready to make their forever families incredibly happy.
This is raising puppies underfoot.