Cherished Puppy Raising Philosophy

How we raise our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Swissy) puppies

Foundation

To produce happy, healthy puppies that look like what a Swissy is supposed to look like...you need to start with the best parents you can find. The way to prove that a dog looks like the breed is to show it in conformation. The way to prove that a dog is healthy is to do health clearances. The way to prove that a dog is mentally and physically sound is to show it in working events. We do all three!

We don't rush to breed our dogs at a young age- we prefer to breed more mature dogs that can give a better reflection of their, their littermates and parents' health histories. The health of our dogs and what's behind them is more important than maximizing litter size or number of litters to us!

Training

socialization

The time during which your puppy is with its breeder is some of the most crucial socialization time. That is why every litter we have is taken to at least 3 - 5 new places outside of our home (friends' and families' homes), goes on multiple car rides and has regular playtime outside (weather permitting).

Before your puppy goes home to you they have met at least 40 new people including at least 10 children. They have experienced lots of different surfaces, toys and common household sounds and sights.

Our puppies are not kept isolated in a kennel or garage with only visits to check on their status or from new people wanting to see them occasionally. Rather, they live in the main area of our house and experience new things each day.

Diet

Nutrition

We strongly believe that nutrition plays a key part in a dog's health, wellness, and longevity. A bag of dog food is like us eating Total cereal for every meal of the day. Yes, it may have everything required to survive but it doesn't allow your dog to truly thrive.

Most people these days are trying to incorporate as much whole, fresh, local, unprocessed foods into their diets as possible...and the same should hold true for our canine companions.

Raw feeding helps decrease the occurence of bloat, cancer, and lots of other problems. Why wouldn't you want to give your pet (from the beginning) the closest to their natural diet as possible to help them live up to their full potential?

More information below


There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face

Early Puppy Socialization

We believe very strongly that the time during which your puppy is with us is some of the most crucial socialization time. That is why every litter we have is taken to at least 3 - 5 new places outside of our home (friends' and families' homes), goes on multiple car rides, and goes in every room of our house and has regular playtime outside (weather permitting). Before your puppy goes home to you they have met at least 40 new people including at least 10 - 15 children. They have experienced lots of different surfaces, toys, and common household sounds and sights.

Meeting different people (and things) in different surroundings is particularly important. Dogs don't tend to generalize their experiences (i.e. when learning a new command they often times only understand it in the context it is first taught...for example sitting directly in front of you means 'sit' but asking the command while they're at your side or on a different surface doesn't get you any response, or as quick of a response, until you teach them to generalize the command).

Therefore, if they only meet new people or see new things in one set of surroundings they will be unfamiliar (possibly even uncomfortable) with new people or things outside of the environment they are used to. For instance, a puppy at the pet store may seem very outgoing and playful; however, they have only met people and had experiences in a very limited environment. That's why this same puppy when taken out of the environment they are used to will not necessarily demonstrate the same level of confidence and sociability. Exposing puppies to a wide range of people and things before they go to their new homes is a very important first step (and the very minimum that should be done); however, it shouldn't be all that is done. They should be exposed to lots of people and things in a wide range of different settings as well. The prime socialization window is only open from approximately age 6 weeks - 12 weeks, this is why it is very important that you get a puppy from a breeder who has spent the time to properly socialize the puppy since a big part of its socialization window occurs while it is still with its breeder.

All of our puppies are only placed into homes that plan on keeping them inside as part of the family. If you plan on keeping your dog inside during its life with you, why would you want it to be raised any differently as a puppy? Our puppies are not kept isolated in a kennel with only visits to check on their status or from new people wanting to see them. Rather they live in our house and we make sure that from 5 weeks on they are continuously taken to new places, meet new people, and experience new things each day. We take the socialization of our puppies very seriously and we expect each of our new homes to do the same.

Puppy Nutritional Philosophy

Starting with our 'C' litter in 2010 all of our litters going forward will be weaned to and raised on raw only. We strongly believe that nutrition plays a key part in a dog's health, wellness, and longevity. Just like people - dogs need a variety of fresh, whole foods to achieve ultimate wellness. A bag of dog food is like us eating Total cereal for every meal of the day. Yes, it may have everything required to survive but it doesn't allow your dog to truly thrive.

We feed all our dogs using the 'prey model' of raw feeding - this means that our dogs eat lots of fresh muscle meat, some edible bone, and some organ/liver meat (we do not feed veggies, fruits, or grains as a part of their regular diet - they will occasionally get them as treats though). Everything you need to feed your pet can be found at the grocery store (no special shopping trips required). Instead of buying a bag of processed 'cereal' (dog kibble) - you will simply pick up additional real, whole foods for your puppy/dog when you are at the grocery store for yourself. The daily cost of raw feeding your puppy/dog is about the same as what you would pay when feeding a premium kibble (about $3 - $4/day for an adult dog).

Here is a link to some great information about raw feeding

When getting a puppy from us we will send lots of information for you to read (including a book by a leading veterinarian on the subject) about how and why we feel it is best to raw feed your dog/puppy before you even take your puppy home. We will always be available to answer any questions you may have because we know this is a new concept for a lot of our puppy homes. Raw feeding helps decrease the occurence of bloat, cancer, and lots of other problems. There is some new research about how what we eat affects how our genes are expressed (epigenetics): video | definition - why wouldn't you want to give your pet (from the beginning) the closest to their natural diet as possible to help them live up to their full potential?

We do not require that our puppy homes continue feeding raw to their puppies once they take them home; however, we do strongly encourage that you keep them on raw to allow them to live up to their full potential of health and longevity. Again, we will be here for the life of your puppy to answer any questions you may have at any time!

If interested in a puppy from one of our litters please fill out our puppy application and we will keep it on file and let you know once we have a litter on the way. Before filling out an application please keep in mind the time committment you will need to make to raise your puppy right. A puppy's first six months is the most influential time in its life and you will want to make sure you have the time, energy, and committment to take it out to new places and to meet new people each week. Training classes are strongly encouraged for all puppies from 10 weeks thru adulthood!



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