We choose to use Baxter and Bella’s program because it helps produce dogs that have greater tolerance of stress throughout their lifetimes.  They also have more resistance to disease, a more responsive adrenal system, and a stronger heart rate and heartbeat. The methods we use are proven by science and experience to promote the best outcomes for our puppies.

We start introducing our puppies to positive touch before they are even born by rubbing on mom’s side during late pregnancy. Puppies are capable of sensing and responding to touch even in the womb. Research shows this touch results in the birth of more docile pups than mom’s who don’t get the extra loving.


It is important to teach puppies early on that human touch is not only to be regularly expected, but can likewise be a very mutually enjoyable, worthwhile and rewarding experience, helping to form a strong foundational bond for the ongoing positive puppy parenting that is to come. In fact, even from the very beginning, handling our newborn puppies every day in a gentle and loving manner will do so much good toward their long-term healthiness & happiness. We do the following, a minimum of (1-2) times per day during a 60-second socialization session with the puppies: Carefully begin by softly touching the puppy all over his body but don’t force it any more than what is comfortable. Use your pinky finger and gently touch between the puppy’s paws and paw pads from above, below and all around. Lift each puppy up in front of you for 3-5 seconds, holding it mid-air. Lay the puppy upon his back in your lap and carefully rub his belly and softly stretch out his legs. Place the puppy on both warm and cold items, such as a washcloth to help socialize them to things and temperatures. Spend some time to simply love and adore the puppies.


Puppies begin seeing as early as 2 weeks of age and start hearing at approximately 3 weeks old. It is important for us to spend time during these development stages to begin introducing them to many new sights, sounds, smells, things, and people. We continue the daily handling exercises as outlined above for Weeks 1-2 to ensure proper stimulation. We carefully clip puppy nails once a week and introduce a new toy or object everyday into the whelping box. We add a litterbox potty area to the whelping box in order to begin the housetraining process. We practice startling the puppies in a friendly way and watch their recovery times. For example, we use rattle keys, drop toys, shut doors, start vacuums, etc. Puppies may initially startle react but should subsequently investigate. At this time we also begin to separate puppies from the litter for 5-10 minutes a minimum of (2) times during the week.


By the time a newborn puppy turns 4 weeks old, they are ready to start the weaning process from their mother’s milk and continual care. Hence, it is time to introduce commercially available solid foods, among other fun and exciting things too. We start this process by adding water to their Fromm puppy kibble. This softens the kibble so the pups can easily eat it when their teeth are not fully developed. We gradually wean puppies over the upcoming couple of weeks by separating them from their mother for up to multiple hours at a time. Fresh water is added to their pen. We introduce new objects daily to the pups. Making random puppy challenges like a home-made teeter-totter, food puzzle, tunnels, or bridges and barriers to cross in order to obtain toys and treats as a way to encourage thinking. We start to use the words, HERE, COME, PUPPY and YES. We wait for the puppies to sit, and mark “YES!” And then give a treat – repeat regularly.


By now, puppies are beginning to experience their first period of fear. It is important that the puppies are gradually and safely socialized to the world around them. We keep on performing all the exercises and activities from the previous weeks as more practice will undoubtedly make for all the better behaved puppies long into the future. We introducing new things regularly and specifically watch for any signs of fear. After their first vaccine has been implemented we can introduce them to family members that don’t live in our household. We increase our level of people interaction and handling with each puppy daily and continue separating them from one another for longer periods of time regularly as appropriate.


This week the pups work on transition and training. We continue with each of the previously outlined exercises and activities as practice makes perfect and it’s much easier to build better behaviors than deal with breaking bad habits. They will be eating full kibble this week as their teeth are all in. Crate training is a great way to help with potty training when our pup enters your home. We will add a wire crate when mom has been taken away. We gradually begin introducing the puppies to a crate and have them spend short amounts of time (5-15 minutes) inside of one.This allows them to understand that it is a safe resting area. We do use the buddy system during this time since they are still working on the weaning process and we don’t want to cause too much stress. Now the fun starts! They get to go outside and start learning to go potty outside. We believe that it is critical that our pups are being socialized to grass and know that is their proper potty area. This helps you have a successful potty training experience when they join your family.


This week we begin introducing them to collars and leashes. These key items will play a huge part in their transitions. We continue with each of the previously outlined exercises and activities, as these will do so much good toward the long-term healthiness & happiness of the puppies. We have the puppies, one at a time, become comfortable walking around the house while dragging a leash behind them. We need them to be familiar with and accustomed to having a leash attached. We spend time one-on-one with each puppy walking backwards while holding their leash and encouraging them to follow us. The puppies will start sleeping in crates at night. We give the puppies 1-2 potty breaks throughout the night, taking them out and bringing them right back into their crates with no playtime in between.


The puppies get to join their new furever families!