Finding Inspiration in my Dogs, in Every Turn

My passion, my dogs, my life; it is not just about competing, trialing, or winning trophies, or breeding multiple litters, it is about a lifestyle, values, morals, a way of life that I lead with my pack of beloved dogs, from how we live, to how they eat, and how we spend our days here at home, as a team, as a family, from beginning, to the time we must cross the "Rainbow" bridge.

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daily k9 supplements

Many people ask me what supplements do I add to my dogs' raw food, and grain free diet? Here is a list, with a brief explanation of, why?

I feed a raw diet 85% of the time, however, in between acquiring raw food, there is always a wait time, during this time, I feed my dogs Zignature Grain Free Dry Food, why? Because all of my dogs are tested for food sensitivities, and ALL of my dogs are sensitive to ALL grains, and grain products are not recommended as part of their daily diet.

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We live on approximately ten acres, near a beautiful Heritage town called Fort Steele. Surrounded by nature, the Kootenay river, and Hoodoos. The dogs enjoy free rein on the property without a visible fence line, never leaving the property boundary lines. How do I accomplish this? We do a boundary pack walk, in the morning, the afternoon, and in the evening. The classical conditioning of the dogs to the property perimeter, is a natural, positive way of establishing where they can roam. When outside, I am always outside with them, to supervise, and to work on outdoor chores. When outdoor activities are completed, we go inside. I never allow my pack, to roam for more than 15 minutes outside, unsupervised.
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Daily life

How does one live with multiple power dogs in their home? When I bought my first working line dog, Ossa, the best thing I could have done is taken the following course, linked below. Now, I have adjusted my techniques based on my experience, the age of my dogs, and their current training, however, the root of my management strategies comes from Ed Frawley, who offers this free course on Leerburg. This course is NOT recommended, it is a MUST DO, for first time owners, or for owners adding additional canines to their pack, or simply to grow in knowledge and experience.

My Whelping Box

Every litter, I prepare my litter box in my living room, where the puppies are born, and spend their first 3 weeks of life in. At 4 weeks, I open the litter box, expand their area using exercise pen enclosures until 6 weeks of age. At six weeks old, the puppies go outside into one of my outdoor kennels for the day time ONLY, and come back inside at dinner time. At the six week old mark, I further expand my living room, and simply puppy proof the main room. The litter, starting at 4-5 weeks, is exposed to, and meets the other adult dogs, from here on, they play and learn the rules of pack life with all of my adult dogs.

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Puppy picking

The question everyone wants to know right away, and the answer I cannot give until all my notes, and tests are concluded. Puppy picking is a test of human patience, and the handler and breeder relationship here, requires the utmost trust. 

Many people ask, is birth order important when picking a puppy? Is size of the puppy in comparison to the rest of the litter important? Can I select my own puppy? No, no, and no, are my answers. Essentially, both client and I, go over the test results, and we choose together :-)

 

Birth order does not guarantee the best puppy, if the size of the puppy is a healthy weight, that is what is most important, and when the time comes to choosing your puppy, you have not been the person, looking after, caring for, observing, and testing the litter; I am the person that spent the most time with the puppies, and most capable of predicting the suitability of the puppy for their new home.

My litter test comprises of three parts, part one: Birth to 8 weeks anecdotal notes on, rank drive, prey drive, pack drive, food drive, aggression, and nerve strength. These notes are made daily, via hours of observation time, spent closely watching the litter interact and play inside my home.

Part two: At 6-7 weeks old, our first visit to a brand new environment, the veterinary clinic takes place. Here, I observe for nerve strength, by observing the confidence of each puppy as it is released from the kennel to explore the veterinary room for the first time during their first check up.

Part three: At 7 and 8 weeks old, I transport the puppies to a brand new facility, with strange smells, new sounds, strange dogs, new people, slippery floors etc. I get a completely strange person, who has never interacted with the litter, to test each and every puppy individually. I simply stand off in the corner, observe and record my findings. Here he puppies are tested for: entrance into a new building, reaction to new surfaces, reaction to strange dog, reaction to strange person, reaction to new sounds, prey drive via play with the new handler, food drive via play with the new handler, genetic grip via play with the new handler, and overall nerve strength.

The scores that I assign to each puppy is on a scale of 1 to 3. 1 being Good & Drive Medium, 2 being Very Good & Drive High, 3 being Excellent with Drive being Extreme. Puppies who do not show the aptitude to score a 1, are not a part of my program, nor a part of my breeding lines. Based on these scores, I am able to recommend puppies best suitable for SAR, Sport, Protection, Companion, and Family.

*All puppies must, go to experienced companion and or family homes only! Even as a companion, or family dog, these puppies will come with a lot more drive than one is aware of. A medium drive working line puppy, is comparable to a high drive Golden Retriever that wants to play all day long, except, it ALSO bites! Occasionally, I will let my puppies go to NEW handlers, however, knowing that they have a support system in place, and or a training program that will ensure their success.

**All KVG puppies cannot be resold, or rehomed without my knowledge. Both parties are in agreement to return the said puppy or grown adult to the breeder should the owner be unable to raise, train, or continue to give the quality of life that the dog deserves.

E.H. Gorka