Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Dogs are social creatures, genetically designed to operate within a pack for maximum survival. As wolf descendants, they have maintained highly-evolved behavior patterns that help them adapt to living within a canine pack. In the wilds, wolf mothers teach their pups to hunt for food and to respect the pack hierarchy by exhibiting submissive gestures to more powerful pack members. The pups leave their den to eat, and to play with each other. When they misbehave, the mother consistently reprimands them or rolls them over on their backs (alpha rollover). Their contact with other animals is very limited. Wolf packs play and sleep together after the hunt within their territory. There is no need for them to cope with interspecies communication. Understanding their instinctive behavior is important in order to build a successful human-animal relationship.

Today’s domestic dog has emerged with many of the behavior patterns from their wolf ancestry, including living in small social groups, following the alpha dog or pack leader, and exhibiting territorial protection. Dogs have relatively stable, hierarchical social structures that mediate interactions between pack members and help them avoid regular aggressive confrontations. Complex body signaling of dominant and submissive postures is involved in the establishment and maintenance of the hierarchies. In canine domestic life, it is important for people to maintain the leadership role within their household. “Winters Foxy Lady” & Puppies

Wise breeders start the process by handling the puppies from the moment they are born. They weigh each pup in a baby scale, gently move them to clean the whelping box, provide them with clean blankets for padding, and make sure each puppy has an equal opportunity to nurse. As time passes the pups see, hear, and explore their surroundings. The breeders expose them to family members and friends, a variety of toys, different surfaces and temperatures, music and household sounds. The puppies enjoy daily routines that involve outside exercise, litter playtime and human interaction with family members. They are taught how to behave, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, house training, grooming acceptance, short car trips, and many other experiences. The puppies that are raised in this manner learn how to accept the litter hierarchy and how to interact and respect other dogs. Building this solid foundation prepares the puppy to respect authority and to live happily in the human world.

Puppies that are placed in new homes before 8 weeks of age are denied the opportunity to play with their mother and littermates. They lack the opportunity to learn canine body language and respectful behavior. These puppies are more prone to develop behavior issues and become fearful or aggressive as a result. It is very important that the new owners provide positive socialization skills.

Early puppy hood (8 to 12 weeks) is a critical time for socialization and learning. Family lifestyles and canine knowledge varies for each owner. The willingness to learn varies in each breed and every puppy within a litter. Placing a young puppy in a new home can be a wonderful experience or a complete disaster. During this period, the human/animal bond is strengthened between a young puppy and their new family. If properly socialized, the puppies learn to trust and respect family members. Owners are able to teach them how to learn, and how to modify their natural canine instincts in order to survive within their new environment. By four months of age, the puppy's personality is developed and the stage is set for the rest of their life. This developmental stage should be used wisely to teach puppies how to confidently relate to other puppies, their family, unfamiliar people, strange sights, sounds, and events. Teaching household manners is extremely important.

Helpful hints for new puppy buyers:

  • Carefully choose the breed of dog that complements your lifestyle and family.
  • Select a breeder that lays a solid foundation for learning in the pup’s first seven to eight weeks.
  • Select a puppy from good dog parents that are mentally and physically sound.
  • Choose a puppy that is at least 8 weeks of age before you take it home. It should have ample opportunity to interact with its mother and littermates. The basic dog-to-dog manners are learned during this period.
  • Enroll your puppy in a puppy socialization or kindergarten class that provides play time for puppies as well as opportunities to teach basic commands. Ask lots of questions.
  • Feed a good quality food such as Orijen or Natural Balance. A good quality food will add years to your puppy’s life. The filler (in less quality foods) may increase their activity level.
  • Attend obedience training classes that promote positive reinforcement.




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