Our philosophy for breeding puppies is a simple one: Breed the best dog you have to the best available stud dog, and hope for the best. We also feel that the puppies are never to young to learn.
Really there are no guarantees when it comes to breeding, and there is no such thing as “the perfect dog”. We just want strong healthy puppies. Our puppies are whelped in our house, and at 3 days old we start doing what is called Early Neurological Stimulation, a program developed by the U.S. Military. These 5 simple exercises continue until the pups are sixteen days old, and are proven to help develop stronger, more healthy puppies.
When the pups are about a month old we move them to the Playpen, a much larger area than the whelping box where we set up different obstacles for them to climb on, under or around, explore, and just have fun. We change it up on a daily basis. It really helps them develop strong minds, and body, plus it helps us evaluate each puppy so it can be placed into the proper home.
We only have eight weeks to set a strong foundation, so it’s up to you to continue to build on what we have started. Puppy kindergarten/obedience classes are strongly recommended in addition to classes as the puppy gets older. Ridgebacks are really food motivated, so that helps with training. Plus you should only use positive reinforcement when training your puppy, keep training sessions short, and always end on a positive note. You only have one chance to get it right with this breed.
To learn more about Early Neurological Stimulation, visit Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s web site: http://breedingbetterdogs.com