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- Ivywest Puppies (pre-breeding -> 8 weeks) -

Before breeding.  

Each of our litters is carefully planned to produce healthy, long lived, beautiful Golden Retrievers with correct stature and temperament.  We start by selecting parents with healthy pedigrees and pay specific attention to longevity of life.  Our dogs are feed high quality kibble as well as supplemented to support the healthiest function of their minds and bodies.  We provide training, exercise, enrichment and a comfortable, safe environment for all of our dogs.  Each of our breeding dogs are screened to examine the health of their hips, elbows, eyes, and heart to ensure we don't knowingly pass on undesirable health traits.  

During Pregnancy.

Expectant mothers receive extra special attention and gentle exercise throughout their pregnancy to ensure a low stress environment for the growing puppies.  Nutrition is carefully adjusted and dams receive additional supplementation of folic acid, just like human mothers, to help with the smooth development and support of the growing puppies.  We do not expose our dams and developing puppies to routine x-rays.  We also discontinue any medications the dam may be taking (such as flea and tick prevention) from the beginning of her heat cycle until weaning.  Low stress, appropriate exercise, ideal nutrition, and no toxins make for a healthy pregnancy.


The Infant Puppy.

Puppies are whelped (born) in our home in a special puppy nursery.  The dam and her puppies stay in this room for at least the first 3.5 weeks.  We closely monitor each individual puppy to make sure it is eating well and developing normally.  We continue to pay close attention to the dams wellbeing and ensure she takes seriously the care of her litter.  Over the next five weeks the puppies undergo a massive amount of brain development.  We do everything we can to enhance this growth with Early Neurological Stimulation, the introduction of different scents, daily interaction with a variety of people, new toys and sounds, household sounds, sights, and smells, and careful bonding with their mother, litter mates, a variety of humans, and other dogs.  Puppy nails are trimmed at least weekly to discourage any abrasions to the dam while nursing as well as to get puppies used to grooming.


The Toddler Puppy.

As the puppies begin moving around with ease, the important work of potty training and general manners begins in ernest.  Puppies learn to use a potty area within their inside and outside pens beginning at 3.5 weeks.  A preference for outside potty is encouraged as puppies mature.  Age appropriate toys and a variety play equipment is introduced and explored.  Puppies are introduced to kibble and given supplements of fish oil, antioxidants/vitamins, and a pre/probiotic to help with growth, development, and their developing immune systems.  Puppies learn the "come" command as I feed them and by taking the puppies for walks in the wood, which also teaches them to follow.  Additionally, the puppies will all be dewormed, treated for parasites, and have a full physical exam and vaccinations performed by a Veterinarian before going home.  It is important for puppies to stay with their mother and their litter mates until they are eight weeks old.  

The first eight weeks of your puppy's life are critical to your dogs wellbeing for it's entire life.  The care the puppies receive from birth, with regards to environment, nourishment, socialization, and veterinarian care impact the potential of the dog's life.  This thoughtful care does not end when we send a puppy home.  Well before puppies leave, we work with each client to make sure they have the information they need to successfully integrate a Golden puppy into their home.  We take this business very seriously and are dedicated to bringing about the greatest potential from within each and every Iyvwest puppy.


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