How Puppies are Raised

Puppies are raised in my home and handled daily with lots of love.  I implement Puppy Culture protocols, ENS, and Volhard Temperament Testing. Puppies are placed accordingly to the best possible match for each puppy’s needs and who best mirrors our own personal ideals in enrichment, socialization, nutrition, health and wellbeing.  This means we do not sell on a first come first serve type of basis, but of a carefully assessed lifestyle matchup to ensure the best outcome of a happy life and home for both puppy and family. 

Puppy Culture 

PC Is a program developed for breeders to help guide them through a series of socialization, training and an enriched raising environment for puppies to learn, develop and excel with their new families. 

Early Neurological Stimulation

aka ENS. This is a set of very brief gentle stressor exercises performed ONCE per day between 3-16 days old thought to improve their stress responses later in life. These are skipped if any puppies exhibit any signs of failure to thrive, stress, or trauma. Click HERE to read more about the studies. Or you can watch a short video HERE.

Benefits of ENS:

  • Improved Cardiovascular Performance
  • Stronger Heart Beats
  • Stronger Adrenal Glands
  • Higher tolerance to stress
  • Greater resistance to disease


Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing

Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing is a series of small tests performed at 49 days of age to evaluate temperament – I have performed this test on several litters, not just my own. Generally, the majority of puppies I have tested have been pretty accurate in temperament as adults to their results. But there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules. However I firmly believe that this is a good assessment of temperament to understand how a puppy will need to be worked with to excel in training and socialization.  This also helps me determine the type of home/environment they will need for placement to be the most successful. You can read more about how it is done HERE.

Rule of 7’s! 

By 7 weeks of age puppies will have:

  • Been on 7 different surfaces, such as: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, newspaper, etc.
  • Played with 7 different types of objects, such as: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy balls, squeaky toys, metal items, wooden items, paper/cardboard items, milk/soda jugs, etc.
  • Been in 7 different locations, including: front yard, backyard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, kennel, etc.
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges, such as: climbed a box, climbed off a box, gone through a tunnel, climbed up steps, climbed down steps, climbed over obstacles, played hide and seek, gone in and out of a doorway with a step, etc.
  • Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc.
  • Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bedroom, x-pen, etc.
  • Met and played with 7 new people, including children and the elderly.


Raw Reared and Raised

Here at RouStaff all dogs are fed a fresh and species appropriate diet of raw. This also means puppies are completely raw reared and weaned. I have been feeding raw diets for over 10 yrs and believe that a balanced fresh raw food diet is the best you can provide for your dog(s). 

Benefits of feeding raw include:

  • Shinier healthier skin & coat
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Smaller stools
  • Less shedding
  • Better Mobility/Joint Health


That being said, I also understand the constraints of sourcing, costs, etc to feeding a raw diet and can recommend some high quality kibbles, but there are very very few and far between that I approve of. While your puppy WILL be weaned 100% onto a raw diet, if you absolutely MUST feed kibble I will work with you to appropriately introduce puppy to a kibble before they leave.  However, I STRONGLY encourage consideration to feeding raw and have several resources to getting started. Please ask and I can direct you to the right places! 

A fantastic Book on getting started with raw and homemade diets – Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson

Facebook Nutrition Group – K9Nutrition

Great resource on choosing a high quality Kibble – Dog Food Advisor

Vaccine Protocols

I implement Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol which means I do not give the first core vaccines until 9 weeks of age which is a two way Parvo/Distemper only. I keep puppies until 9-10 weeks and I will be happy to send home the second core vaccine with you to be done at around 14 weeks and a final at 18 weeks.  The only exception to this is if the mother dog is unable to continue nursing at a very early age providing the necessary antibodies through their milk. I also strongly advocate for continued titer testing in leu of vaccinating throughout the dogs life to evaluate current antibodies. Research has shown that core vaccine antibodies typically last for 7+ years — that is nearly a dogs entire life. I have personal experience with this with one of my girls having had the first two core puppy vaccines and no boosters. At nearly 6 yrs old I titer tested her and she still had full immunity to Parvo.