There are many variable factors that all must fall into place to produce a litter and it is not uncommon for a year or more to sometimes go between litters; however, people on my waiting list of potential future puppy owners have always been very patient waiting for their puppy.
There are no guarantees. I try to ensure that I have taken all reasonable steps to minimize the potential for a puppy to end up with an inheritable disease or have temperament problems; however, when a breeding takes place, nature will take its own course. When current research reveals where all the DNA markers are for each inheritable disease it will help minimize the risk but regardless of anything that may be learned that risk will always be present.
I normally do not allow future puppy owners to pick and choose their own puppy from within a litter. I make the determination as to which puppy goes to which home. This is based upon the personality of the puppies, what the new owners are looking for, and what will be expected of the new puppy (hunting, show, companion, family with young children, older couple, etc.). Many puppy buyers travel great distances to obtain their new puppy and simply do not have the opportunity to view the puppies in person, in advance, to make a personal pick. It is much better for everyone to know that they are receiving a puppy picked specifically for them rather than to feel that they are just getting what is left over.
All puppies within a litter will be pre-registered with the AKC and will be eligable for AKC Registration. I normally limit all registrations to AKC Limited Registrations. An AKC Limited Registration will allow the dog to participate in all AKC performance events (Hunting, Obedience, Agility, Rally) except for Show Conformation. If the new owner is interested or becomes interested at a later date in showing their dog in AKC Show Conformation Events the AKC Limited Registration can be modified to an AKC Full Registration with the breeders approval.
If your puppy is not going to be shown or participate in any of the AKC performance events it is recommend that you have your puppy spayed or neutered.
I no longer dock my puppies tails for several reasons. First; It is very evident that even as early as one to two days after birth the puppies are being put under an unnecessary amount of stress and trauma. Second; The original reason for docking the puppies tails does not in general exist in this country. In Wales, severe hunting conditions in heavy terrain with brambles and blackthorn bushes and their very long thorns have been known to lacerate the tail of an undocked dog causing severe injury. While severe hunting conditions do exist in this country the conditions are not the same and the posibility of the tail becoming lacerated are greatly reduced. Third: I personally feel that the dog presents a better, more well balanced appearance when the tail has not been docked.
Puppies will have received at a minimum their first vaccination prior to being released to their new owners. The vaccination schedule that I use is the first vaccination will be given when the puppies are seven to eight weeks old. Your puppy should be re-vaccinated every three weeks (11, 14, & 17 weeks) with the Lepto portion being included in the last two vaccinations if you live in an area where Lepto is prevalent. Follow your veterinarian's advice for the Lepto. The first rabies vaccination to be given after the completion of the first four vaccinations (20 weeks). The puppy should receive its first booster one year after completion of the series of vaccinations. From that point on, booster vaccinations should be given only every two to three years or as titer results dictate or as required by local law. It is important not to over vaccinate as this can lead to auto-immune and other health problems.
All puppies will have been wormed several times to ensure that they are clear of all the normal roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworms, etc.
Heartworm and Flea/Tick Protection:
I recommend that you discuss with your veterinarian the use of heartworm medication and flea/tick protection. All areas of the country have now reported heartworms in non-treated dogs and your dog should at a minimum be treated during the summer months. My recommendation is to maintain the heartworm medication year round. Depending upon your area you may not need both flea and tick protection. Follow your veterinarian's advice on this.
All puppies will have received their electronic microchip for permanent identification. I now use the AKC INDIGO ISO Microchip. I recommend that the new owners register your puppy with in the AKC Renuite Program as soon as possible. This ensures that should the puppy be lost or stolen the puppy will be traceable back to the new owners.
I strongly encourage all new puppy owners to make an appointment with their own veterinarian in advance of receiving their puppy. I promise to do my best to provide the new owner a healthy puppy; however, I cannot be responsible for the health of the puppy once it is in the new owner's care and no longer under my personal care. The appointment is to reassure the new puppy owner, establish a baseline for your veterinarian, and ensure that the puppy is placed on your veterinarian's vaccination schedule.
Release to new owners:
A puppy will not normally be released to its new owner prior to ten-to-twelve weeks of age and an earlier release date will not normally be considered. This is to ensure that the new puppy will have had its first vaccination, its microchip implanted, and will have had the opportunity to better socialize with its litter mates learning what is or is not acceptable behavior.
Puppy Kindergarten Classes:
I recommend the new puppy owner enroll yourself and your puppy in a good, well run, puppy kindergarten, and that the new owner take the time to teach the puppy basic obedience commands. Behavior that is acceptable and cute as a puppy often is not acceptable as a young/adult dog. This will make for a more obedient and loving relationship as the puppy grows and becomes a young dog. There is no "rocket science" involved, only a bit of common sense.
For those individuals interested in going further with their dog, whether it is show conformation, obedience training, field training, agility training, tracking training, or even if it is just simple throw and fetch training, I offer as much encouragement as possible. The important thing is to develop a mutual love and respect between yourself and your puppy; doing things together is the best way to accomplish this.