**Important Announcement** Starting in 2022, Mount Zion Kennels will only be accepting payments through GoodDog.
Waitlist and Picking Puppies To get on my waitlist, you can apply here. Applications are accepted at anytime!
The puppy picking process will begin after conformation evaluations at 8 weeks of age.
Mount Zion Kennels will have the Breeder’s Pick male and female first. If both are chosen from a litter, one will likely be available to a guardian or co-own home. After Breeder’s Pick, depending on the number of suitable prospects in the litter, Show Homes will get to pick their puppies next. After the Show Prospects have been picked, the Service Prospects will be picked next. After that, I will help Companion Homes pick the most suitable puppy for their family, based off of their lifestyle and desires in a puppy.
If you choose to pass on a litter, you will be moved up to the next litter.
All puppies will have docked tails and dewclaws intact.
Puppy Starter Packs When you pick up your puppy, he/she will come with a puppy starter pack containing the following items: - A Collar - A Starter Bag of Food - A Blanket/Toy with Scent of Mom & Littermates - A Small Bag of Treats - A Comb and Slicker Brush - Cleaning Spray - Waste Bags
How the Puppies will be Raised My puppies will be exposed to my 7 younger siblings of all ages, different sounds, sights, smells, and different forms of exposure before going to their new homes. I will utilize the following enrichment methods: Early Neurological Stimulation/Bio Sensor Exercises, Household Desensitization, Socialization with Children and Other Animals, and the Rule of 7's. I will also be doing ESI (Early Scent Introduction), grooming desensitization, as well as temperament and conformation evaluations. Some puppies may also have health, color, and diversity testing done.
ENS and Bio Sensor: From 3 to 16 days of age the puppies will be exposed to early neurological stimulation through Bio Sensor exercises. This is also called The "Super Dog" Program. Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:
- Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate) - Stronger heart beats - Stronger adrenal glands - More tolerance to stress and - Greater resistance to disease.
The Rule of 7's Socialization Method: By 7 weeks of age, puppies will have been exposed to a variety of new situations and experiences. They will have been in 7 different safe locations, eaten from 7 different containers, met at least 7 different people, ridden at least 7 miles in a car, been in a crate at least 7 times (more is better), played with 7 different kinds of toys, been exposed to 7 different contexts, been played with or taken somewhere alone (without mom or litter mates) 7 different times.
Introduction to Grooming Starting around 4 weeks of age, puppies will have their faces, feet, and tails (just the base) shaved. They will also be introduced to the bathing and drying process. This will prep them for regular grooming when they leave to their new homes.
Early Scent Introduction (ESI)
Volhard Aptitude Testing by Wendy Volhard At 49 days of age (7 weeks), our puppies will do the Volhard Aptitude Test. I want each family to have a good idea of each puppy’s temperament before picking. It’s easy to become emotional when picking a puppy, they are all so cute and cuddly. But you must remind yourself that this dog will be with you for the next 12 to 16 years. Take a step back to contemplate your decision, sleep on it and review it in the light of day. If you're a first time owner, avoid a puppy with a score of 1 on the Restraint and Elevation tests. This puppy will be too much for you. For that first time, easy to train, family dog, look for a puppy that scores with mostly 4’s and 3’s. Don’t worry about the score on Touch Sensitivity - you can compensate for that with the right training equipment.
The Test Guidelines and Scoring are as Follows: The puppies are tested one at a time, there are no other dogs or people, except the scorer and the tester, in the testing area, the puppies do not know the tester, the scorer is a disinterested third party and not the person interested in selling you a puppy, the scorer is unobtrusive and positions him or herself so he or she can observe the puppies’ responses without having to move, the puppies are tested before they are fed, the puppies are tested when they are at their liveliest, do not try to test a puppy that is not feeling well, puppies should not be tested the day of or the day after being vaccinated, only their first response counts.
Social Attraction Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence. Owner or caretaker of the puppies places it in the test area about four feet from the tester and then leaves the test area. The tester kneels down and coaxes the puppy to come to him or her by encouragingly and gently clapping hands and calling. The tester must coax the puppy in the opposite direction from where it entered the test area. Hint: Lean backward, sitting on your heels instead of leaning forward toward the puppy. Keep your hands close to your body encouraging the puppy to come to you instead of trying to reach for the puppy. 1. Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands 2. Came readily, tail up, pawed, liked at hands. 3. Came readily, tail up. 4. Came readily, tail down. 5. Came hesitantly, tail down. 6. Did not come at all.
Following Degree of following attraction. Not following indicates independence. The tester stands up and slowly walks away encouraging the puppy to follow. Hint: Make sure the puppy sees you walk away and get the puppy to focus on you by lightly clapping your hands and using verbal encouragement to get the puppy to follow you. Do not lean over the puppy. 1. Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot, bit at feet. 2. Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot. 3. Followed readily, tail up. 4. Followed readily, tail down. 5. Followed hesitantly, tail down. 6. No following, or went away.
Restraint Degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations. The tester crouches down and gently rolls the puppy on its back and holds it on its back for 30 seconds. Hint: Hold the puppy down without applying too much pressure. The object is not to keep it on its back but to test its response to being placed in that position. 1. Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit. 2. Struggled fiercely, flailed. 3. Settled, struggled, settled with some eye contact. 4. Struggled, then settled. 5. No struggle. 6. No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
Social Dominance Degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person. Let the puppy stand up or sit and gently stroke it from the head to the back while you crouch beside it. See if it will lick your face, an indication of a forgiving nature. Continue stroking until you see a behavior you can score. Hint: When you crouch next to the puppy avoid leaning or hovering over the puppy. Have the puppy at your side with both of you facing in the same direction. 1. Jumped, pawed, bit growled. 2. Jumped, pawed. 3. Cuddles up to testor and tries to lick face. 4. Squirmed, licked at hands. 5. Rolled over, licked at hands. 6. Went away and stayed away.
Elevation Degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control. The tester cradles the puppy with both hands, supporting the puppy under its chest and gently lifts it two feet off the ground and holds it there for 30 seconds. 1. Struggled fiercely, bit growled. 2. Struggled fiercely. 3. No struggle, relaxed. 4. Struggled, settled, licked. 5. No struggle, licked at hands. 6. No struggle, froze.
Retrieving Degree of willingness to do something/work for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training. High correlation between ability to retrieve and successful guide dogs, obedience dogs, field trial dogs. The tester crouches beside the puppy and attracts its attention with a crumpled up piece of paper. When the puppy shows some interest, the tester throws the paper no more than four feet in front of the puppy encouraging it to retrieve the paper. 1. Chases object, picks up object and runs away. 2. Chases object, stands over object, does not return. 3. Chases object and returns with object to testor. 4. Chases object and returns without object to testor. 5. Starts to chase object, loses interest. 6. Does not chase object.
Touch Sensitivity Degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required. The tester locates the webbing of one the puppy’s front paws and presses it lightly between his index finger and thumb. The tester gradually increases pressure while counting to ten and stops when the puppy pulls away or shows signs of discomfort. 1. 8 - 10 seconds before response. 2. 6 - 7 seconds before response. 3. 5 - 6 seconds before response. 4. 3- 4 seconds before response. 5. 1 - 2 seconds before response.
Sound Sensitivity Degree of sensitivity to sound. The puppy is placed in the center of the testing area and an assistant stationed at the perimeter makes a sharp noise, such as banging a metal spoon on the bottom of a metal pan. 1. Listens, locates sound, walks towards it barking. 2. Listens, locates sound, barks. 3. Listens, locates sound, and walks there curiously. 4. Listens, locates sound. 5. Cringes, backs off, hides. 6. Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
Sight Sensitivity Degree of response to a moving object. The puppy is placed in the center of the testing area. The tester ties a string around a bath towel and jerks it across the floor, two feet away from the puppy. 1. Looks, attacks and bites. 2. Looks, barks and tail up. 3. Looks curiously, attempts to investigate. 4. Looks, barks, tail-tuck. 5. Runs away, hides.
Stability The degree of startle response to a strange object. An umbrella is opened about five feet from the puppy and gently placed on the ground. 1. Looked and ran to the umbrella, mouthing or biting it 2. Looked and walked to the umbrella, smelling it cautiouslyLooked and went to investigate 3. Sat and looked, but did not move toward the umbrella 4. Showed little or no interest 5. Ran away from the umbrella
Structure Degree of structural soundness. The puppy is gently set in a natural stance and evaluated for structure in the following categories: Good: The puppy is correct in structure. Fair: The puppy has a slight fault or deviation. Poor: The puppy has an extreme fault of deviation.
Mostly 1’s: This dog is extremely dominant and has aggressive tendencies. It is quick to bite and is generally considered not good with children or the elderly. When combined with a 1 or 2 in touch sensitivity, will be a difficult dog to train. Not a dog for the inexperienced handler; takes a competent trainer to establish leadership. Mostly 2’s: This dog is dominant and can be provoked to bite. Responds well to firm, consistent, fair handling in an adult household, and is likely to be a loyal pet once it respects its human leader. Often has bouncy, outgoing temperament: may be too active for elderly, and too dominant for small children. Mostly 3’s: This dog accepts human leaders easily. Is best prospect for the average owner, adapts well to new situations and generally good with children and elderly, although it may be inclined to be active. Makes a good obedience prospect and usually has a common sense approach to life. Mostly 4’s: This dog is submissive and will adapt to most households. May be slightly less outgoing and active than a dog scoring mostly 3’s. Gets along well with children in general and trains well. Mostly 5’s: This dog is extremely submissive and needs special handling to build confidence and bring him out of his shell. Does not adapt well to change and confusion and needs a very regular, structured environment. Usually safe around children and bites only when severely stressed. Not a good choice for a beginner since it frightens easily, and takes a long time to get used to new experiences. Mostly 6’s: This dog is independent. He is not affectionate and may dislike petting and cuddling. It is difficult to establish a relationship with him for working or as a pet. Not recommended for children who may force attention on him; he is not a beginner’s dog. When combined with 1’s (especially in restraint); the independent dog is likely to bite under stress. When combined with 5’s the independent dog is likely to hide from people, or freeze when approached by a stranger.
If there are unclear patterns (several 1’s, 2’s and 5’s): This dog may not be feeling well. Perhaps just ate or was recently wormed. Wait two days and re-test. If the test still shows wide variations (lots of 1’s and 5’s), it is probably unpredictable and unlikely to be a good pet or obedience dog.
3 in Social Attraction and Social Dominance: The socially attracted dog is more easily taught to come and is more cuddly and friendly. Its interest in people can be a useful tool in training, despite other scores. 1 in Restraint and 1 in Touch Sensitivity: The dominant aggressive dog, insensitive to touch, will be a handful to train and extremely difficult for anyone other than an exceptionally competent handler. 5 in Stability: This is likely to be a “spooky” dog which is never desirable. It requires a great deal of extra work to get a spooky dog adapted to new situations and they generally cannot be depended upon in a crisis. 5 in Touch and Sound Sensitivity: May also be very “spooky” and needs delicate handling to prevent the dog from becoming frightened.