What is Puppy Culture?
According to the AKC, the first 12 weeks of a puppy's life are what is known as the critical socialization window. 8 of those 12 weeks are spent here with me! So how do we set these puppies up for success? We use a program called Puppy Culture. There are breeders who specialize in raising service dogs that start their puppies with Puppy Culture, that's the same type of success we aim to instill in our puppies!
Puppy Culture is a socialization and training program specifically developed for puppies, birth through the end of their critical socialization period, with age- appropriate protocols and lessons laid out in an organized format. PC is not a top-down training program as that would not be age appropriate. Puppy Culture is based on the premise that the puppy always leads the learning and puppies learn best by appropriate experiences at the appropriate time. We are conditioning emotional responses to encourage curiosity when encountering new situations.
I heard it said once, that if Dr. Spock and Maria Montessori designed a breeding program together it would resemble Puppy Culture. The best way to really "see" Puppy Culture in action is to follow the growth and development of one of our litters on our FB page. We try to document a lot of what we do in the videos/pictures. Here at On Papa's Farm we take our responsibility seriously!
After a lot of research, I have started feeding our litters these raw meat nibbles and patties by Answers Pet Food and here's why....
Scientists are just beginning to learn the importance of the gut microbiome! Early studies are showing that a robust microbiome is synonymous with a healthier life. There is also evidence that, at least humans, have an early window (during infancy/early childhood) where population of the gut microbiome can have even greater long term effects. So in case that is proves true and applies to dogs as well, I've added in these nibbles by Answers Pet Food to our puppies' diet. Along with the raw meats/organs, they contain various ground fermented vegetables and kefir. I am also adding whole food sources of prebiotics to their daily diet, like mashed banana, pumpkin, white potato, rice, etc.
Don't worry, they will be come home on traditional kibble, but I feel like if there is anything I can do to help set our puppies up for a healthy life, it's my duty as a breeder to try it!
Worst case - I'm spending a lot of $ on real whole foods that they love!