16 Jan Puppies, puppies, puppies!
This week at Smart Pups…
Well I’ve been busting to tell you about our gorgeous new puppies here at our training facility, but with their welfare in mind we decided to keep their arrival a little low key until they all had the necessary vaccinations and health checks.
Now it’s official. Yay! Introducing cuteness overload, not one but two litters, each of nine pups born one day apart. Of course, they decided to arrive on a weekend, so it was a busy, exciting and tiring time for our dedicated CEO and founder, Patricia and our kennel staff.
First to deliver was seasoned brood mother, Miss Daisy the golden retriever. This will be Daisy’s last litter and now the pups are weaned she can enjoy a well-earned retirement. Pepper the black Labrador came next with her second litter, another beautiful mix of chocolate and black pups and one little yellow boy.
9 News caught up with the newest and arguably the cutest additions to the Smart Pups family.#9News | http://9News.com.au
Posted by 9 News Sunshine Coast on Sunday, 13 January 2019
Each pup has its own personality and of course name. Peppers litter being named after the children’s cartoon Paw Patrol and Daisy’s litter following our alphabetical naming system are the T litter. I will be looking forward to giving you updates on their training as they progress through the modules.
Puppies are always lovely but at Smart Pups they mean so much more than warm fluffy cuddles. Eighteen pups born to our own bitches is the result of a long-term goal and a lot of planning towards achieving this result.
Our goal is to breed the very best candidates for our program, with carefully selected parentage considering temperament traits such as intelligence, drive, confidence, willingness and wish to engage with and please people. Health and conformation standards are also vitally important for a service dog. Our breeding stock are all X-rayed at 12 months to check for hip and elbow dysplasia and full DNA screening tests are done to detect any breed specific hereditary health issues.
To maintain these high standards, we sometimes must make the hard call to withdraw one of our star pupils from training and promote this dog to a future brood career so that we can attempt to duplicate positive traits. There is still a certain amount of luck involved, but we are fortunate to be able to draw on the knowledge that Patricia has gained from over forty years of breeding Golden Retrievers. This combined with our air-conditioned puppy house and the very best food and care gives our newest Smart Pups the very best start in life.
Having our own in-house breeding program has significant benefits not just in the sound selection of trainee pups. The purchase of pedigree pups from outside breeders has been a major drain on our precious funds and made consistency more difficult to achieve. It is hoped the ability to produce good numbers of quality pups from service dog lines will increase our ability to meet client needs, reduce waiting times and get us closer to meeting our goal of helping more children with special needs.
For now, though there is plenty of work ahead. Our eighteen new recruits have already enjoyed ‘play’ as they learn through our puppy enrichment program and will soon be ready to try on their new red jackets and begin an exciting journey that we hope will be the very first tiny paw steps towards a service career.