What is a “Puppy Culture Puppy”?

In this program, “Puppy Culture: The Powerful First 12 Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppy’s Future”, breeders and puppy raisers are given a protocol to follow to raise well-adjusted, socialized puppies that will also already have some important skills for living with families when they arrive in their new home.This program, designed by Jane Killion, author of the book “When Pigs Fly”, was introduced as a 4-DVD set primarily targeted to dog breeders.

What makes Killion’s program stand apart includes collaboration with top behavior professionals and a wealth of scientific evidence behind her recommendations. She is also extremely thorough, explaining the rationale and evidence she uses. In addition, interviews and commentary from top behavior professionals further underscores the importance of the early exercises.

When completed, these puppies for example should have a wonderful recall (come when called), sit for attention instead of jumping up on people, be basically potty trained meaning they naturally will avoid housesoiling where they eat, sleep and play, have become socialized to loud noises and more.

My Puppy Search

As I began my puppy search in the fall of 2015, it was not going to be easy to find breeders using this new program. It had only become available in 2014. Even when I did find a breeder I liked that was using it, the timing and the puppy had to be right for me. There are certainly many great breeders using their own system or other great protocols, such as one by Carmen Bataglia but I wanted this program because of incorporation of the most recent evidence and the incredible detail. In addition, Jane Killion used our materials from the AVSAB (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) for support and some of our members for collaboration, so I wanted to begin recommending it to clients and others in my community. If her program could further the prevention of behavior problems in dogs and lower the chance of relinquishment, then it was very important to support it. So of course, it made sense to search it out for my own puppy! As said, because the program was new, I looked knowing it may not work out.

I finally found a litter that fit my criteria, was highly recommended and that I could emotionally connect to. David and Laura Clayton of Sunfire Dogs were actually using Carmen Bataglia’s protocol, had been breeding for 30 years and they were exceptional. David and Laura also show in a number of competitions including conformation, herding, agility and more.

I didn’t want to imply that David, who was my main contact for this litter, wasn’t doing enough so I was cautious about suggesting the program. I knew the programs were not terribly different either, so it could be fairly easy to incorporate Killion’s recommendations. So once he and I agreed I would be taking one of his puppies, I carefully approached the subject and asked if he was interested. David was very easy to talk to and most generous when I suggested it. I was so happy when he would be happy to take a look at it! I promptly sent him the set. The puppies were about 3 weeks old by then and he had already done neurological stimulation amongst other exercises but loved what he saw in the set. He decided to use it. Please see his comments below.

I am so grateful that he not only embraced it, but later said this is one of his best litters if not THE best giving credit to the Puppy Culture protocol! I continued Jane’s system after picking Rae up at 8 ½ weeks old and I have to say, Rae is an incredible pup. She is bold and confident and catches on fast. She also has the best recall I’ve ever seen in a puppy this age. So if you are a breeder, I highly recommend that you check this set out.

To Jane Killion:

Rae and I thank you for your part in this fabulous puppy! And David and Laura Clayton of Sunfire Aussies, we thank you for all the work you did! It’s not easy with 8 puppies in a litter, a full-time job and a farm-full of animals to care for.

Now I am going to get started on Jane’s other new DVD’s – a series called “Unplugged”. I’ll be working on “Attention is the Mother of All Behaviors” and “Killer Free Stacks” to start!

A few comments from Sunfire Kennel breeder, Dave Clayton:

At 7 weeks:

“This is a really nice litter and I am so happy with how they are turning out…loved the Puppy Culture guidance…especially good with timing and allows you to be creative. I feel all the pups are going to be good learners… and all have good skills and love people. I think it is amazing that I can call them from two rooms away or several hundred feet and they all come running to me.”

“What I feel really good about is each of these pups is a really nice pup….confident, outgoing, love to explore, love to play and love people. I do not know if it is the extra from Puppy Culture but it is a very uniform litter and I think the nicest drive and confidence I have had in a litter. They have the first steps of knowing how to learn and that is a big plus for a pup as they are ready to start baby training…and are athletic pups.”

At 11 weeks:

“What I really love is they will sit in your lap for pets for a really long time and love being petted. They are really active pups but so well adjusted and their coats are so shiny black. I cannot thank Carolyn enough for sending the puppy culture videos…