What you should know when purchasing one of our puppies
Goals for Our Breedings
We strive to produce quality dogs who will bring pride and joy both to us and to their new owners. We will usually produce 2 litters a year, occasionally 3 if the timing and other circumstances allow, but because we personally train and compete in a wide variety of venues with all of our dogs and spend countless hours socializing, playing with, and observing each litter, to produce more than that would be counter productive to the goals and high standards we have for our breeding program. Because we do compete with all of our dogs and spend so much time with each litter of puppies, we know and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each dog and puppy and can and will happily discuss them.
Early Training and Socialization
From the moment they are born, our puppies are imprinted with human contact. They are identified with colored collars so we can track their weight, health, behaviors, and personalities as they grow. Every week, the puppies weights are recorded, their nails are trimmed, and photos are taken. As they grow and develop, we introduce the pups to many different stimuli. Different surfaces are put down for them to walk and play on such as tarps, plastic, wood, cardboard, metal, textured fabric items, dirt, grass, cement, tile. Also, while taking safety into consideration, they are introduced to unstable surfaces like wobble boards, rolled around on wheels, lifted up and down on a hydraulic table, driven around in a vehicle, suspended in air with hands or harnesses, and weather depending they are introduced to water and swimming. The puppies experience various noises including radios, vacuums, television, and audio tracks of other noises like thunder, gunshots, children, dog show noises or other sounds they may encounter during their life. We use several types of interactive toys and food games to build and encourage drives in our puppies. Our puppies are accustomed to wearing collars, have been introduced to spending time in a crate, and have been started in potty training. Our daily interactions with and observations of our puppies give us an overall evaluation of each puppy’s temperament, energy level and drives which we then use when pairing each pup with his or her new human appropriately. It is extremely important to continue socializing and training once the puppy has gone to a new home.
Matching the Right Puppy to the Right Person or Family
We believe that matching a family with the correct puppy is very important and is a team effort. You tell us what type of dog you are looking for, your activity level and interests, and based upon our daily observations of the puppies, we will assist you in picking the puppy that is the best match for you, so the dog with the highest drives and activity levels doesn't get placed in a low activity home or a more challenging puppy doesn’t end up with an owner who doesn’t have the necessary experience to cope, etc.
Registration & Identification
Our puppies are given names beginning with the letter of their litter and including our kennel name (von Cluskey) and registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Puppies are sold on limited registration to begin with, but that will be lifted to full registration at no additional cost to the new owner upon the puppy officially receiving passing hip and elbow certifications through the SV or OFA (PennHip is also accepted for hip certification) and earning an advanced performance title or working certification of some kind. Prior to going to their new homes, all of our puppies are microchipped for identification purposes.
Our breeding stock are all fully health tested and current on their routine veterinary care prior to being bred. Nomograph tests are performed on all females to determine the length of time the antibody they pass to the puppies through their colostrum will protect the puppies, and the puppies will not receive their first vaccination until the suggested time given by the results of the nomograph test. This helps to insure that the maternal antibody does not block the vaccine, rendering it ineffective. Puppies are de-wormed as necessary.
Spay & Neuter
We feel that it is a personal decision to spay or neuter your dog, therefore we do not have any requirements to do so. However, if you do choose to spay or neuter your dog, we strongly recommend waiting until they are fully mature.
We recommend feeding a balanced raw diet, however if that is impractical for your family, we recommend finding a quality kibble that is formulated specifically for the correct growth of large breed puppies. There are many choices of quality food available at your local pet store or online. When you get your puppy you will take home a bag of the food they are currently eating so you can make a gradual switch to whatever food you decide to feed. Currently our puppies are fed a mixture of raw and Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Large Breed Puppy formula.
We guarantee that our puppies are healthy when they go to their new homes. We also offer a written guarantee for 26 months against genetic hip and elbow dysplasia.
Life Time Breeder Support
When we bring a litter of puppies into the world, we consider those puppies to be our responsibility for the rest of their lives. This responsibility extends to the puppies’ new family. Our relationship with you as the new puppy owner does not end when the puppy leaves our care. If at any time you have questions or concerns regarding your new puppy, we are simply a phone call or email away. If ever you are unable to keep your new puppy, no matter at what age, we will gladly take that puppy or dog back and find it another appropriate home. We do not ever want to find one of our puppies in a shelter or rescue!