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 questions.
2. Contact Us Using Our Contact Form Please provide some basic information about your family, we'd love to get to know you~! It's helpful to let us know where you are located, especially if you are not livng in the province of Ontario. If you have any questions about us, our dogs, or our breeding programme, we would be happy to answer them!
3. Wait for an Open Reservation Period
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. The reason we wait to reserve puppies is that the newborns are in a more delicate stage of development, and we just want to be sure that they are thriving before promising them to their very eagerly waiting families.
Application packages are only available through emailing us. We are happy to have families fill out an application for us to review prior to a reservation list opening. Howerver, we do receive a high volume of applications so unfortunately, not all applications that are submitted will be approved.
Reservation periods are open for one week following the birth of puppies. Once a reservation list is opened, interested families must contact us to confirm their interest in a reservation for the litter and/or submit an application if they have not already done so. . Families that have already submitted an application for our review must still follow up during a reservation period to confirm their interest in the litter.
Reservations are not first come, first served. All families who have expressed interest in the litter and submitted an application during the week that a reservation period is open will be considered. Priority for reservations will always go to the families who have great quality applications that demonstrate their readiness for the responsibility of a puppy. If we have more families with good applications than we have available puppies, we then look at the date that they initially contacted us via email to determine who has been waiting the longest. So the families with great applications who have been in contact with us the longest would be the ones to receive reservations.
We will only provide a reservation to a family whose application we feel demonstrates a readiness to provide a loving and responsible home for our puppies. 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 want 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 like to see that families have absorbed credible resources on puppy training and canine behaviour. We are happy to recommend our favourite books and websites. 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. We want to see that applications include a family plan for socialization (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPGd7ElMCJ8) Applicants should have identified positive and credible training optionsin their community and plan to take obedience class as soon as their puppy comes home. We would also want to see that applicants have thought through and have a general family plan for raising a puppy (socialization, training, housebreaking, grooming, crating, etc.). Please note that applications are used to help us allocate puppies to their families, so detail is always appreciated.
Typically families with quality applications will wait >1 year between first contacting us and receiving a reservation for a puppy- this wait could be longer or shorter depending on nature providing us with healthy puppies to share. Animal husbandry never comes with a guarantee. Please note that puppies are raised in our home as part of our family so events or changes in our personal life could also affect our litter plans. We use the date that families initially emailed us to determine how long they have been waiting.
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 eager families, but it is possible).
3. Reservation Confirmation
We will email families to confirm their reservation once puppies are 1 week old and thriving. 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 a first weekly email 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. To hold your reservation for an available puppy, we do ask for a $500 deposit.We ask that all deposits be submitted by e-transfer or bank transfer. Deposits are non-refundable, but may be transferred to the wait list of 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 so that they are provided with details about the individual puppies, information about puppy development, current concepts of canine behaviour, and describe how puppies should be cared for once they have joined their family.
We post almost daily 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. We also do our best to post regularly on our Instagram page at hillmeadow_puppies.
While our 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 basic obedience (conditioning to a clicker, sitting for attention, following, and recall). 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 vet check-up 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
Socialization testing occurs close to day 49 (seven weeks of age) with our trainer to provide us with further information and an objective perspective on the character qualities of each puppy. Socialization testing results are not definitive predictors of adult temperament, but we do feel that it is helpful information for us to use to match each puppy and their family.
We do take into consideration a family's colour, gender, and temperament preferences when matching puppies to families which is determined by a puppy preference questionnaire unique to the litter that is sent out and filled out 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 and socialization testing results 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!).
8. Prepare for Homecoming
We will send families a supply list to provide an idea of what 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 puppy class so that you can start class as soon as your puppy comes home in order to optimize your puppy's experiences during 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 taking 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 do 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.
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.
We will set a Saturday for pick-up. We feel it is kinder for the puppies to all go home on the same day.
10. Let Us Know
No question is too big or too small! We are always available with our education and experience 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 1-2 times a year. These are awesome events to meet up with your puppy's extended family!