My name is Kim Muskat. I’m the breeder of Iceroot’s Labrador Retrievers. My aim is to breed gundogs who are brilliant hunters with strong nerves for shooting days and picking ups.
First of all, it takes me a lot of time to find a good stud dog that suits my bitch. Once I found the one whose pedigree, health and mainly attitude is what I am looking for, I might drive hundreds of kilometers for the mating. With that, the adventure begins.
I take around 64 days after the mating until the puppies are born. The puppies spend their first days in a good temperated room, sleeping and drinking. It’s a huge responsibility for a breeder to make sure that the dam stays healthy, fit and strong to rear the puppies.
It is important to check if the puppies put on enough weight. After 10-14 days they start to open their eyes. In order to avoid infections or injuries at the dam’s teats while they are drinking, I clip their nails. Once the pups are old enough, the first visitors are allowed and the socialization begins. After a few weeks the puppies I start additional feeding with fresh ground meat.
Being outside for the first time is really exciting! We are helping the puppies to feel safe and comfortable in new situations. Also, I start to get them used to different sorts of game, obstacles, and water. When they are between 7 and 8 weeks old, the litter is checked by a vet. The pups get their vaccinations and their microchip as well as their passports.
After their 8th week, they are all set to meet their new owner. But how do you decide which puppy will be the „right“ one for the future owner? I always try to help my clients with the decision and I encourage them to take their time because I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to come here for a short visit once or twice and just pick one of the puppies. That is why we chat a lot within the weeks. I’m listening carefully what the future tasks of the dog will be. If it’s their very first dog or if they plan to use it as a sport or a hunting dog. With this information, I watch my pups every day in different situations to make sure the decision will be the right one for everyone – the dogs, the new owners and also for me.