At Hillcrest Kennels we believe in Socializing puppies at an early age is key to early development of your hunting companion and pet. We have a whelping area set-up in our attached garage so that we can give constant attention to the female and puppies. We start socializing within a couple days of the litter whelping and the puppies are handled multiple times each day by family members.
When puppies are 3-4 week’s old they are introduced to the backyard with all the new smell,sounds and places to explore. The pups are introduced to a portable kennel around 5-6 week’s of age. This is a start to crate training and we take the pups on a couple of short trips to get them comfortable with the crate as well as motion. The pup’s that are flying to their new home will generally be given a few more trips to prepare them for their travel time.
The last couple weeks the pups are with us is a particularly important time for socialization. We get down on the ground with them which makes the pups more comfortable and secure. We also take them in and out of the whelping area which helps to establish a response from the pups to take our lead and go with us.