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About our Puppies and Puppy Culture

74 Ranch is a MASCA Hall of Fame Breeder, AKC Breeder of Merit and Bred With Heart!

74 Ranch raises puppies using the techniques Puppy Culture offers.  Puppy Culture is a birth to 12 week program implementing the science of behavior and puppy development designed to help develop pups to their full potential. It prepares our puppies for life through a series of exercises to be more adaptable, confident and more able to fit in our society. It also helps puppy owners be more effective in their training and understanding their puppies. Since our implementation of Puppy Culture our litters are even more ready to handle life's challenges.  They are more resilient, stable, responsive, smarter (if that's a possibility) and their recovery time is even faster. We help shape our puppies futures to be the best that they can be so that they can be the dog that everyone would want to own with less or no puppies ending up needing re-homed! We highly recommend you continue on with the program from 8 to 12 (or longer) weeks old. The first 12 to 16 weeks of your puppy's life is the MOST IMPORTANT time to shape the way that puppy will live and cope with its life. Puppy Culture is available in DVD, BLU-RAY, and Video on Demand with over 50 lessons arranged in a logical, week-by-week timeline to provide breeders and puppy owners a clear roadmap for raising a puppy.

Much of what people feel is a problem adult - from aggression to lack of focus - often comes due to a failure or omission in the first 12 weeks of life!  Since we have the pups the first 8 weeks of their life we feel it's highly important to do our part in producing a well-developed, well-balanced adult dog.  You can still get good results on an older puppy/dog but it will take a lot more time and effort. The first 12 weeks the puppy's brain is a sponge.  Once that window closes you have to train behaviors or desensitize.

A typical timeline for our puppies:
Pregnant female's belly is stroked and she gets a lot of attention.  The emotional health of mom reflects on the puppies.
3-16 Days we do Early Neurological Stimulation and Scent Introduction. We also start trimming nails every 3 days. They get 3 car rides by 10 days old before their ears open. They get weighed every day to 2 weeks then on
ce a week. Main thing is to keep puppies happy and feeling safe at this time, as well as mom.
2-3 weeks: Eyes and ears are now open so socialization begins.  We also start potty training and have their bed in a crate with the door open so they get used to going in and out of that and it makes crate training easier at 6 weeks. We play classical music a while during the day, sound desensitize them each day to 4 weeks and take another car ride.  Lots of time and love too! We continue to do nails every 3 days if needed.
3 weeks: They ask for attention. They sound violent at times but it's normal for them to growl.  We keep the nails short and introduce a new toy each day. We start having visitors.  We start teaching recovery from fear - bouncing back.  We make loud noises, slam doors, vacuum, use blender, drop pans, play noise CD's, etc. They recover almost immediately and don't really have fear.  They need to recover from startling from people.  We touch and handle their ears, paws and mouths. They start eating soft food 3-4 weeks depending on the pups.
4 weeks old: We start giving them lots of space to play and exercise throughout the day.  We introducing challenging things and change objects daily.  We start introducing cats, other dogs, etc.  We take each pup out individually each day.  We start feeding food, when needed,
at this time and start teaching them to 'come' when putting the food down. We feed in a frisbee, stainless steel, plastic, a round sled so it wobble some, etc. so they get used to eating on different surfaces.  They are asked to do some problem solving (and dealing with frustration), we do not help them they have to figure it out on their own.  We start training them to mand and take treats by hand.  We want them to 'ask' for things not just expect it so they must sit when they want something from us - in front of us with no verbal cue.  When they do they get a treat.  We introduce an adventure box from Avid Dogs with different textures, colors, items for more stable puppies.  If the crazy Wyoming weather happens to be nice we introduce them to the outdoor world. We add using 'come' as they come towards and back in to the house.  The puppies go for their first car ride this week. They have grates to walk over, cat toys to play with, wobbly items, things to step and climb over, different textures to walk over - rock, wood, tile, carpet, cement, dirt, grass, etc. from now until they leave for new homes. We start our manding training at this age too.  They have to sit to be picked up, get fed, get a treat. etc.  We continue this until the puppy leaves our home. 
5 weeks: A Fear/sensitive period can set in during this time.  We expose them to new things but if they are overly afraid we proceed with caution.  We want their experiences to safe. We have lots of lovey time and continue clicker training.  The puppies go for another car ride or two this week.
We spend even more time with them away from their mom and siblings.  Short periods of training  are necessary because they get tired quickly.
6 weeks: They have high curiosity this week.   We have visitors come play and work with the puppies setting down the rules beforehand.  We take them to the neighbors for new experiences.  We put clothes and scarves on them ;)!  We start group then individual crate training in different crates. By now they know the doggy door and we try to give them a new experience every day.  They get a bath this week and face baths daily.
7-8 weeks: We continue what we have been working on with them as well as work on resource guarding, following our hands/fingers with food in them, give them food puzzles, start on scent training, having a collar on and leash training. They get another bath before going to their new home and we do some trimming, getting them to learn patience and to stand.   We start our matching to new prospective families at 7 1/2 to 8 weeks old. Puppies are vaccinated, get microchips and are ready to go!

After they go to new homes: The new home reinforces what we have done and continues on.  The first 4 months are the most important in your puppy's life so be sure to do the most the first 2 months you have them!


Benefits of Puppy Culture For Puppy Owners:

  • The Critical Socialization Period

  • Helps you Find a Good Puppy Class

  • Research on Vaccination vs. Socialization

  • Helps you Handle Fear Periods

  • Helps you with Leash Walking, Recall, Crate and Potty Training

  • Training Markers

  • Manding - response is reinforced by a characteristic consequence

  • Prevents common behavioral problems -resource guarding, separation anxiety, biting, jumping and more...

    Dogs are SOCIAL animals they need our time, love and attention. For this reason we keep VERY few females at our home and co-own with smaller breeders who will have and take the time to do Puppy Culture!


The illustration below shows the difference is starting young.  We start them at 3 weeks old here, you continue for your first few months they live with you and it will change their whole life as well as yours!!! Be sure to buy your own copy of Puppy Culture and you will be amazed!!!

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We also have started incorporating Avidog, Superdogs and Badass Breeders programs for our puppies as well as a few other programs that we feel will benefit!

Our puppies are whelped and raised in our home until about 5 weeks old then they go in and out of our home and a heated/air conditioned building right next to the house through the doggy door. 

Our puppies leave to their new homes up-to-date on their shots and worming, started on crate, leash and potty training. They will have been on many car rides (3 by 10 days, then 1 per week until they go home). One of those trips is normally a trip to the carwash. They are exposed to different surfaces, a grooming table, wobble boards, singing/dancing toys, lots of noises, a collar and leash. We can ship puppies through a nanny, but we prefer you meet you personally at the airport and you fly home with the pup in cabin.  Puppies are structure evaluated using the Pat Hasting's Puppy Puzzle method and the help of our handler and personality/temperament evaluated at 8 weeks using the Avid Dog and Clothier methods and a professional evaluator as needed. There are no good or bad puppies, no good or bad scores in the personality evaluation but there are differences between puppies that enable them to fit better in one home over another-matching them to the right home is of utmost importance to us. We want you to 'fit' each other as you will have a 10-15 year relationship. Our prices start at $2500 and go up, depending on pet/show/breeding, etc.  We rarely sell to breeders but when we do it must be a breeder who's whole purpose of breeding is to improve the breed and their own program, not just trade dogs.  They must also do health/genetic testing prior to breeding.

We are breeding for the 'whole package'.  Our dogs do performance events - agility, rally, obedience, acrobatics (doggy dancing), disc dog, etc then walk in the conformation and WIN! We keep only those puppies for our program which will improve the breed in both structure and personality, especially looking at resilience to bounce back after something traumatic happens.  We do not keep a pup from every litter or even many litters for that matter, it depends on how each litter evaluates, we are looking for puppies to keep from consistent litters so they will throw that in the future of our program. If mom is squirrley, reactive, inappropriate to things, sensitive to noise, puppies will learn it.  It will be imprinted on them so temperament on our females is of utmost importance. Some litters we keep more than one in our program.  Most of our puppies for show/breed prospects are placed in co-own/partner/guardian/pet homes. Ask for more info on this program. Only about 50% of those dogs will be bred in the future after we see how they mature as adults.

Reasons why you should adopt your new family member from 74 Ranch:

  • At 74 Ranch, we do extensive genetic testing on both parents (OFA, CERF, PRA/PRCD, HC, MDR1, CDDY/IVVD, CEA, NAD and Non-HSF4 cataracts, etc). We are very strict in keeping any breeding prospects back- to keep our standards high. We run numbers on the genetics - COI, epilepsy to avoid future problems (if possible).  We are now allowing people to pick their top 3 choices while young but they understand a change can be made (meaning I might keep a pup back for my program or the pup/s they want just do NOT match their family) We would rather match our puppies according to their personality and their potential new home, than by looks, color or gender. We do structure (Puppy Puzzle) and personality evaluations (AvidDog method) at 8 weeks using a conformation judge and a professional dog trainer and evaluator in Indiana when needed.  So if you want a particular sex/color puppy it could take a few litters to find one that matches you/your family.  We will not place a puppy just because you like the look of the puppy. If it doesn't match it won't make either of you happy in the end.

  • We do NOT make you feed a certain food or give a certain vitamin in order for our contract to be viable. We will give recommendations only!

  • We raise our puppies in our home WE ARE NOT a kennel. We have 1 kennel setup on the place (with a yard attached, building/room attached with heat/air) that we RARELY use.  We start crate training, manding and potty training at 5-6 weeks old, and play with puppies and train them individually at a very young age. We routinely separate them from litter mates, taking them for car rides, and exposing them to new things almost daily to build confident, well-socialized individuals who are adaptable in every environment.

  • Training and Exposure: We use the Puppy-Culture method as well as AviDog, UltimatePuppy, Badass Breeders and Carmen Battaglia Superdogs in raising pups so your puppy can be raised with the most skills and potential to live the best live possible. We do ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) from 3-16 days old as well as introduction to scents. Puppy Culture pups have proven to have greater resistance to stress and disease and a stronger heart and adrenal system.  The pups are more stable and they have an increased learning ability with better retention. They are also less fearful and better able to cope and recover from frightening experiences. “Puppy Culture” is based on the expertise of veterinary behaviorists, breeders ,and dog trainers.  It is scientifically proven to greatly improve outcomes for puppies. We have followed many of the recommendations that you will see on Puppy Culture….now you can take over where we left off to socialize and train the most amazing puppy! Our dogs are raised in our house and a fenced area where they can run and play but be protected from outside elements (cars, coyotes, other dogs, etc.). They have a dog building that is heated and air conditioned they can go in and out of through a doggy door.  The "smaller dog world" borders the house (and our patio) which they come in and out of continually throughout the day.  They have all kinds of toys to stimulate their little minds.  We have horses, cattle, chickens and cats so they are socialized with them when they get to go into the "big world" under watchful supervision.  Our dogs and puppies all eat raw dog food along with kibble. They learn how to go through the doggy door and are usually going potty outside before they leave. They are exposed to several footings: rock, dirt, grass, weeds, foam, blankets, newspaper, tarps, concrete, tile, carpet, and wood flooring. We use dog bowls for feeding, as well as frisbees, cookie sheets, ceramic dishes and Kongs.  They are exposed to many sounds at a young age: people, vaccuum, tv, blender, clapping, hitting pan for noise, soft music, loud music, etc.  They are exposed to many toys: rope toys, squeeky toys, crinkly toys, cardboard boxes, nylabones, tennis balls, frisbees, yard/children toys like slides and tunnels, kongs, etc. We can keep your puppy a little longer if you have plans for vacation or something comes up as long as it is fully paid for.  We handle the puppies daily, take pictures of them weekly and update the site regularly. We weigh them every day the first 10 days, then at 14 days then weekly to be sure they are growing at the right pace. They are weighed weekly thereafter.  They run with the older dogs as soon as they are old enough (usually 5 to 6 weeks). They get 3 car rides by 10 days old then 1 to 2 times per week until they leave at 8 weeks old so car sickness is very rare in our puppies. 

  • Our puppies are microchipped before they leave. They come with a packet of information: health record, training/socializing info and a bag of goodies - treats, food, toys, blanket, collar/leash, bones, microchip, educational material, health record, etc.

  • We also do NOT raise any other breeds, we specialize in Miniature Americans and we have just a few - no Puppy Mill here.  We normally have 20 or less pups per year so all get individual attention.   We place most of our dogs on a spay/neuter agreement as pets even if they are a nice pup that could be shown in the conformation ring.  We do not sell our pups to pet stores, puppy mills, large breeders or put them up for auction nor allow our clients to nor do we sell same litter siblings.  We view it our RESPONSIBILITY to improve the breed, not just breed to produce pets or make money.  We provide a 30 month guarantee against genetic issues and will take back a pup adopted from us if a purchaser cannot keep it.  We provide advice and guidance for the lifetime of the dog.  Visitors are welcome at the ranch (for the most part).  We do not wean our pups before 8 weeks old and don't breed our females until they are 2 years old or older and have their testing done. 

  • We were very involved in our breed club, MASCA, for over 10 years but due to the direction they are headed we have decided to become more active with AKC.  We also took our first dog AKC Miniature American in Jan. 2019.  We started the WayOutWest Mini Aussie club locally to promote the Miniature Australian Shepherd. Michele was the secretary of that club and was the show secretary for many shows including several Nationals. The club is not active at this time as none of the board members are pursuing MASCA programs/shows, we are all AKC now.  Possibly in the near future we will become active again with AKC or UKC.  74 Ranch slowed down in showing our dogs in late 2019 due to having our first grandchild here on the ranch and reaching many of our breeding program goals. 

  • We are here for you for the life of your dog. We will help inform you on everything from training to raw feeding to vaccination protocols. We will allow you to speak your voice on things such as vaccinations, allowing you to choose what we give your puppy at 8 weeks old.  We now only give our pups (the pups we keep in our home) Parvo and Distemper shots and they are given 72 hours apart (if possible). We are willing to give the 5 way vaccinations to our client's puppies but we have chosen the 'less is more' approach, so will inform you and allow you to make your own decision before you even take your puppy home.  We have a list of resources we will email you around the time you pick up your puppy which will help you raise it to be a great dog!

  • HONESTY - We are honest with our pedigrees, testing, pictures, evaluations, comments, etc. and have proof to back any of it up! And you are welcome to come here and see for yourself!

  • Our puppies come with a 30 month genetic health guarantee. We offer choices for vaccinations. We will vaccinate your pup before it leaves with your choice of 1) No vaccine if you choose or 2) Parvo, then 3 days later Distemper with either 1 or 2 with an Anti-Vaccinosis homeopathic treatment for 2 days (doesn't counteract vaccine, only the side effects from them). See contract for more details on our genetic health guarantee.  WE do NOT use heartworm medications and can explain and show you why!

  • We do NOT breed for color, eye color or haircoat, we breed the best specimens to better the breed! We are very concerned with temperaments so are careful to keep only parents who should pass great temperaments and personalities on to their progeny


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How do I get my puppy:

  • You can come to ranch and pick your puppy up anytime after 8 weeks old - we are 1 1/4 hrs north of Cheyenne, 30 minutes west of Scottsbluff NE or 3 hrs north of Denver.

  • We meet 1 time per litter to the south - Fort Collins to Longmont CO (usually) free. IF you cannot meet the 1 time we arrange for as many as possible to pick up their pups (usually a Saturday) there will be a $40 fee to meet you in Cheyenne, $60 further south.

  • We have several wonderful trusted flight nannies that can fly your puppy to you.  We do not play middle man, we just give you each the other's information and you work together on dates, times and fees.

  • You can fly in to the Denver airport to get your puppy. We may charge $60 to take the puppy to the airport.  If you need a carrier, we charge what we pay for them, usually $30-40.  The fee is your airline fee plus $125 that the airlines charge - IN CABIN. (You will arrange that when you get your airline ticket).  We no longer fly cargo.

  • Puppies are due to leave at 8 weeks. If you need us to keep it a little longer please arrange that with us ahead of time.  

  • Ground Transport. We can ask around for recommendations as we have never used one before.

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