Please review our website for information about our breeding programme and our dogs. We have done our best to create a detailed website that will answer most general questions.
2. Contact Us Using Our Contact Form Please provide some basic information about your family, we'd love to get to know you~! We would be happy to answer any questions about us, our dogs, or our breeding programme.
Formal applications are only available through emailing us.
We will have set periods where we will review new completed application forms (when we have a break from raising puppies and have caught up on the number of approved applications we have on file so that we can be realistic about wait times and not disappoint anyone). We will announce our availability to receive new applications on our website. Once our upcoming Mizpah & Sonje litters arrive we will be able to reassess our list of waiting families and may reopen to accepting new applications.
We will only approve an application if we feel it demonstrates a family's readiness to provide a loving and responsible home for a puppy. We put a lot of time and effort into the early socialization and training of our puppies using Puppy Culture and Avidog protocols, so we would like to see that families are able and excited to carry on the work that we have started.
What do we look for in an application?
We would like to see that applicants have thought through the addition of a puppy to their family and have a general plan for raising a puppy (socialization, training, housebreaking, grooming, crating, etc.). Please note that applications are used to help us match puppies to their families, so detail is always appreciated.
We like to see that families have absorbed credible resources on puppy care and training before completing an application. We are happy to recommend our favourite books (ie. Puppy Start Right by Dr. Kenneth & Debbie Martin) and websites (ie. KikoPup, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-qnqaajTk6bfs3UZuue6IQ).
It is very important that an applicant can identify what the early socialization period is and understand the significance of a puppy's critical socialization window. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPGd7ElMCJ8, https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf)
Applicants should have identified credible positive training options in their community and plan to take puppy class as soon as their puppy comes home.
Reservation periods are open for one week following the birth of puppies and will only be open to families who have an approved application form on file.
Families that have an accepted application must follow up during a reservation period to confirm their interest in the new litter. Reservations are not 'first come, first served' and we will take expressions of interest from application families all week. At the end of the week, we will review applications and email families to confirm reservations. Families with approved applications that have been waiting the longest (this is determined by the date that each family first emailed us) will receive priority to receive a reservation.
The reason we wait to reserve puppies is that the newborns are in a more delicate stage of development and we want to be sure that they are thriving before promising them to their very eagerly waiting families. We also feel that it is important for families to be able to confirm their interest once we have the specific details for the litter (colours, genders, coat types, sizes, and timeline for going home).
Reservation periods will be detailed on our website under 'Available & Upcoming Puppies' and on our Facebook page at Hillmeadow Cobberdogs. Due to the volume of emails that we receive, we are not able to contact each family individually about reservations and availability. Dogs are bred about 2 weeks after starting their heat and puppies arrive 9 weeks after ovulation, so we will always be able to provide a two month 'heads up' on our website about the possibility of new litters and reservations.
We may select puppies for breeding or therapy purposes at any time. Normally, we decide to hold a reservation in advance. However, if we have a really special puppy in the litter we may decide to keep them for breeding or therapy roles (this has yet to happen because we do not like to disappoint families, but it is possible).
4. Reservation Confirmation
We will email families to confirm their reservation. Families who have a confirmed reservation will then be asked to sign a deposit contract and submit a financial deposit. We will also send out our first weekly email update with more details about the litter and information to help families prepare for their puppy's homecoming.
4. Submit a Deposit
Deposits are only required once we have confirmed your reservation for an available puppy when the litter is one week old. To hold your reservation for a puppy, we do ask for a $500 deposit. We ask that all deposits be submitted by e-transfer or bank transfer. Receipts will be provided via Quickbooks. Deposits are non-refundable, but may be transferred to a future litter as per our deposit contract. Deposit contracts must be signed and dated to confirm your reservation.
5. Receive Updates
We will send out thorough weekly email updates and our puppy book to reservation families. This will provide families with details about the individual puppies, information about puppy development, concepts of puppy training, and our puppy care advice.
We post regular videos and photos on our Facebook page at Hillmeadow Cobberdogs so that families can watch the puppies grow and can feel included in the puppy process. While puppies are with us we do our best to facilitate early socialization experiences, start handling and grooming, introduce open and closed crating, begin potty training, and introduce some basic obedience skills. We spend time with each puppy individually in our home so that they can build their confidence away from their litter-mates in preparation for going home to their family. We use principles from Puppy Culture and Avidog to guide puppy rearing.
6. Veterinary Visits The puppies will have their first veterinary exam and first set of vaccinations at 6 weeks of age.
Puppies will be de-wormed at week 2, 4, 6, and 8. They will have a fecal test done to hopefully ensure that they are all clear of any parasites before going home.
Puppies will have a final veterinary check within 48 hours of going home and will receive a health certificate.
7. Puppy Matching
We do take into consideration a family's colour, gender, and temperament preferences when matching puppies to families. We send out a puppy preference questionnaire unique to the litter to be completed by each family before week 7. We look at each family's application, correspondence, and puppy preferences combined with our daily observations of each puppy before making any decisions about which puppy fits best with each family. Puppies are then matched by us to their families between week 7-8. This is the best way to make sure that all families are the most happy (puppy pick is only fun if you have the first pick!).
We will do our best to arrange socialization testing for each litter, but our ability to do the testing will depend on our trainer's availability. Socialization testing results are not definitive predictors of adult temperament, but we do feel that it is helpful objective information for us to use to match each puppy and their family.
8. Prepare for Homecoming
We will send families a supply list to provide an idea of what puppy supplies are needed and what items we like as experienced dog owners.
Contact your vet office to set up appointments for a wellness check after homecoming and next vaccinations.
Contact your trainer to enroll in a positive puppy class so that you can start class as soon as your puppy comes home to optimize your puppy's experiences within their critical socialization window. Please consider a positive reinforcement trainer supervised puppy socialization class or a few sessions of trainer supervised positive doggy play groups so that your puppy can learn how to comfortably and confidently communicate with other canines. We recommend a minimum of basic obedience, but continuing with intermediate and advanced classes is a wise idea to solidify skills such as loose leash walking, recall, and prolonged sit/stays.
9. Puppy Pick Up Day
We will set a Saturday for pick-up. We feel it is kinder for the puppies to all go home on the same day.
We require the full payment after allocation and before your puppy leaves our home. Payment is received via direct bank transfer, interac e-transfer, or cash. Receipts will be provided via Quickbooks.
Registration paperwork will be completed at pick-up. A sales contract and health guarantee will be provided.
We will have puppy packs that include a collar of your choice, a blanket with mom's scent, a soft toy to snuggle with, vet information, and food to get your puppy started at home.
10. Let Us Know
No question is too big or too small! We are available to help your family and your puppy be successful. And if we don't know the answer, we have access to experts who will~!
We love updates! We would love to know how our puppies are doing, and we love getting picture updates!
11. Join the Hillmeadow Community!
The Hillmeadow community is amazing. Seriously! Consider connecting with other Hillmeadow Puppies on Instagram or Facebook, it's a great way to set up puppy play dates!
Attend a Romp! We would absolutely love to see you and your puppy at our Romps! We aim to host a Romp each year. These are awesome events to meet up with your puppy's extended family!