How We Raise Our Puppies

Our puppies are raised in the middle of household activity, not in kennels or breeding rooms. They are exposed to propper biostimulation a few days after whelping and are handled daily. Puppies are weighed daily, and while it is rarely needed, they are supplemented when necessary. At about the time the puppies' eyes open we start getting them out away from Mom for a bit, exposing them to different textures and surfaces. Puppies are worked with together as well as individually. The get used to typical household noises quickly, and since we do not have a very quiet hosehold, by the time they are ready for gunfire exposure, they simply take it in stride.

sleeping puppy

1 day old puppy pile
Their first "outing" is at about 3 weeks old. They get to tumble around (because they don't do a whole lot else at that stage) and explore a limited piece of the big bad world. At this stage they are discovering how much fun it is to chew on their brothers and sisters. They growl and try to bark and try to act tough. Of course they also make good pillows for each other, because all that fresh air and exercise makes for tired puppies..

1st day out
1st day out 7
Around 4 weeks we expand their world and start their walks in the woods. This introduces them to all kinds of sights, sounds, smells, and early agility. They get lots of time to explore and build their confidence around various obstacles.

visiting the woods
watching inwoods

Side Note



sitting pupWhile we want strong working pups, we also need correct structure and strive to produce litters that exemplify the Malinois standard. While many breeders dismiss "looks" and "structure", because really all that matters is the dog works well. We cannot sacrifice one for the other and feel that (as per the FCI or AKC Malinois standard) the two are ultimately inseparable in order to have a solid quality Malinois.

Why does structure matter? It matters because as a working dog, we do not want to put 1 - 2 years of training into a dog we can only work for 4 years after that. In many cases, sport dogs (who may work until they title and compete for a few years) and companion dogs (who may have a more relaxed life), do not necessarily need to work until they are 10 or 11 years old. Although it isn't a guarantee, we certainly have a better chance of working longevity if we start with correct structure.

music pupWhen Funky was 10 years old he participated in an area search beta test for a national SAR organization. He covered approx 160 acres in 56 min., locating both of the subjects hiding in the area. He completed the search faster than the certified 4 year old on the team. That is the kind of longevity and working ability we want to pass on in our pups.

Does color matter? Well, it depends. Some people prefer the lighter colors, some the darker sable or mahogany colors. As far as the black points, according to the standard, yes, it matters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a hard working Mal with a reverse mask (and there are a lot of them out there). However, again, we feel there is no reason to sacrifice one aspect for another. We can certainly have an awesome working dog that fits the standard in coloration.

So when we are looking at a pair to breed, they have to be able to compliment each other, and they have to have as many of the qualities expressed in the Malinois standard as possible.

Weeks 5 and Beyond

By week 5 the puppies are taken to their first formal training session. Of course they just socialize and play, but that is the point, to get them out away from home, start traveling, and get them socialized with other people and the big dogs. They are placed in the middle of base so everyone can play with them, and they can watch all the activities. Between 6 and 8 weeks they start exploring larger stuff like the catwalks and A-frames.


tugging puppies
puppy recalls   Pups that stay for training beyond 8 weeks of age enter into "puppy boot camp" and begin their future careers.

More training information can be found at our
Canine Training Division
puppies on catwalk
puppy on lifting plank
puppy on a-frame





 

Please email us with any questions you may have, we are always happy to discuss our dogs or the breed in general.