Our Breeding Philosophy

Riverhillpugs is a licensed breeder of American Kennel Club registered Pug puppies for pets and companion animals. We strive to breed highly intelligent and healthy puppies. We assure that every puppy has a solid beginning in life, receiving the best support and care possible. Some of the steps we take to produce superior puppies are outlined here.

The first two weeks: Birth to 14 days

Even before the mother gives birth to her litter we have been working to give her a clean and comfortable environment, away from distraction and stress. She has a place that she is familiar with and feels safe to whelp her litter in. Labor usually occurs at night and often takes the entire night. We attend to the mother throughout the process, and provide assistance when needed, while trying not to interfere with her natural instinct. The puppies come about one per hour of labor, and we work to trim and tie the navel cords. Our mothers seem to know that we are there to help and expect us to assist when necessary.

The first week we closely monitor the puppies. To assure they are growing and developing well, they are weighed twice a day, and the data is charted. The chart is used to help keep them on track. If a puppy is not adding weight as quickly as their litter-mates we see to it that they are allowed extra time to nurse. Three days after birth a licensed veterinarian examines each puppy and removes their dew claws. At the end of the first two weeks the puppies, along with their mother are dewormed.

Week three through four

By the third week we have gotten to know each puppy individually. Their eyes are open and we have handled them everyday of their lives. To familiarize them with us we hold them to our ears and allow them to sniff our scent. We stimulate them physically by rubbing and petting them.

The fourth week the puppies are really starting to get around well and have had solid puppy food available to try for awhile. This is when they really start to shine as unique individuals. They are learning to eat puppy food and to venture outside. They and their mother are dewormed again at the end of week four.

Week five to six

The fifth week is the week that potty training begins. We keep the puppies area clean and allow them access outside to potty. They quickly learn that it is better to go outside than to "foul the nest" for everyone.

When the sixth week arrives it is time to say goodbye to mom, except for short visits to nurse three times a day. This is the beginning of weaning, which takes a week. The puppies still have access to nurse during this week, but at the same time they are able to increase the amount of puppy food they consume to compensate for the gradually declining amount of milk they receive from mom. Again, at the end of week six, everyone has to be dewormed, and each puppy is inoculated with a vaccine that provides immunization against the five major canine diseases.

Week seven to eight

By this time the puppies are very playful and spend most of the day romping together, with short breaks for naps. The puppies are growing very rapidly now and they receive a vitamin supplement that boosts the available omega 3 and 6 acids in their diet. The omega vitamins contribute to prolific brain tissue and synaptic development, as well as giving the puppies a superior quality coat.

Each puppy is individually socialized with people, cats and other non-litter-mate dogs, to help ensure that they are not surprised by any particular encounter in their new homes. Potty training continues, but at this age they have gotten into the habit of using a doggy door to go outside. At the end of the eighth week everyone has been dewormed again. The puppies are now physically and emotionally mature enough to meet their new families!

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