Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What size of soft-sided carrier should I use for "in-cabin" flights?
A. Use a soft sided carrier that is about 20 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 18 inches high. Click Here to see an example from Amazon. The brand does not matter as much as the dimensions. The more mesh that is on the sides and top, the more comfortable your new baby will be. They can get hot very easily.
Q. What’s the difference between puppies who look fluffy or smooth coated?
A. Westie puppies have two different coat types. I prefer the puppies who look smooth as puppies because they have the straight full coat as adults that are much easier to care for. The fluffier coated puppies look cuter to some as puppies. Their coats mat more easily and can have a slight wave or curl when adults. Either coat type, as an adult when groomed properly, looks almost the same with the smoother straight coats holding the full-face look a little better.
Q. Are Westies good to have in pairs?
A. Yes they are, if you are familiar with the breed and the classic "Westie" personality. Click here to learn more.
Q. Do you ship your puppies?
A. We used to ship our puppies but have found that sometimes it is more economical for the family to fly into Denver, pick up their puppy and fly back. This way the puppy can be in the cabin with the new owner rather than in a crate in the cargo hold. There are no flight restrictions due to bad weather conditions when puppies fly with their owners. Many clients fly into and out of Denver on the same day. Others fly in the day before and stay at a motel. Some fly in on puppyday, pick up their puppy then spend the night bonding with their puppy in a motel prior to returning home. We currently have families flying in from every state (except Hawaii). About 35% of our puppies are placed in out-of- state homes.
Q. Do you recommend pet insurance?
A. Yes. Check out this site and decide what is best for you. Honest reviews of the eleven pet insurance companies from real people. www.petinsurancereview.com Pet insurance is very necessary in this day and age, simply because a trip to the emergency clinic can cost hundreds of dollars, and sometimes more. You get to choose a policy that is customized for your needs and budget. Pet insurance can range from $100 to $650 dollars a year.
Q. What feed do you recommend?
A. In 2010 after doing extensive research on "premium" dog food, we switched to Fromm pet food. www.frommfamily.com We have been very happy with the switch to a line of dog food with significantly better quality in their ingredients, and a welcomed absence of corn, wheat and soy.
For those of you who do not live in a city with premium pet food stores you have have free delivery of Fromm dog food ($50 or more per order) at www.gofromm.com and if you like to do research as much as we do, then start at www.dogfoodadvisor.com
There are terrific premium dog foods on the market now. And great information available to help avoid the poor grade feeds.
Q. How often do you feed your puppies?
A. We use the free feed method with food and water available at all times.
Q. What toys do you recommend?
A. We suggest rope toys and soft stuffed animals for puppies. Kong toys are always great too. Balls are good as long as they are not small enough to get lodged in their throat. We do not recommend rawhide chew toys as these can become soft and break off causing choking and intestinal blockage.
Q. Would a male or a female make a better house pet?
A. If the puppy is spayed or neutered at an early age they are nearly identical in personality and traits. Males tend to carry heavier coats.
Q. If I have a dog at home can I add a new puppy of the same sex or do we need to have one of each?
A. If they have been spayed or neutered you are no longer dealing with hormonal changes and either sex would work being together, provided you are not trying to introduce two adult dogs to each other to live harmoniously. Puppies with puppies or puppies with an older dog develop their own pecking order.
Q. Have your puppies been vaccinated?
A. We vaccinate once and worm each puppy twice before they leave. You should continue a vaccination program after the puppy moves into your home.
Q. How often should we vaccinate?
A. That depends upon your veterinarian. We suggest once every three to four weeks until the puppy is five months old when its immune system is stronger, then once per year after that. Some veterinarians suggest fewer vaccinations, others agree with the above schedule.
Q. What kind of health guarantee do you offer?
A. The health guarantee is posted on the Health Guarantee page. We take pride in raising healthy puppies, less than 1% of our puppies develop health issues. This percentage is far below the national average for breeders.
Q. May we visit your kennel?
A. Sorry but no. We used to have visitors all the time but we are no longer open for public viewing. For years we allowed visitors to come see the puppies and the parents. A few years ago someone carried in a mite that spread through the kennel. We had a tough time getting rid of it. Once it was gone we agreed with our veterinarian’s decision to close our kennel to the public to ensure our puppies have had zero exposure to any type of pathogen or parasite. Thus allowing us to produce very healthy animals. Our kennel is inspected and approved by AKC.
Q. I want to pick out my puppy in person, is that possible?
A. Yes, we insist you pick out you puppy in person. When they are eight weeks old they are taken to our Brighton house where you can play with all the puppies and pick out the one that is right for you.
Q. How does the pick order work?
A. When you send in a deposit you are given a pick order, for example: First deposit in gets first pick, second deposit gets second pick etc. until all of the puppies are reserved.
Q. Where can I see the puppies?
A. When the puppies are eight weeks old they are taken to our house in Brighton, Colorado (not far from the Denver airport) where you can visit and play with them. Until then you can view them on this website as photos are posted.
Q. Can I purchase breeding stock from you? I’d like to raise puppies.
A. No, we only allow our puppies to become family members. We do not allow our puppies to go to brokers, breeders or pet stores.
Q. Are your puppies registered?
A. Yes, our puppies are AKC (American Kennel Club) registered. The papers are ready when you pick up your puppy. The registration papers allow for showing agility and obedience but are "limited" to not allow breeding or showing in breed shows.
Q. Can we see pictures of the parents?
A. Yes, as photos become available they are added to the family album page.
Q. Do you recommend crate training?
A. I personally confine my puppies to one room with lots of newspaper and puppy pads during the potty training stage. If that is not possible I recommend a double playpen. Puppies need to be taken out when they eat or drink, or get up from naps as well as during heavy play periods. We recommend removing food and water at 6pm to help aid in potty training provided the puppy is at least 10 weeks old.
Q. Where should I send my deposit
A. You can place your deposit on our website or if you prefer to mail it, please email us for that information.
Q. Help! I keep catching my dog eating his/her poop!
A. You're not alone. We recommend reading this great article by the Staff Writers over at akc.org.
Q. Where do I get shredded paper?
A. You can self shred junk mail or cheap copier paper. When buying a paper shredder, ensure that it is a strip cutter. No cross cutters or mini cutters! We recommend a simple shredder like this one.
Q. Why do some of the puppies have folded ears while others have perky ears?
A. All Westie puppies are born with their ears folded down and sealed. As they grow the seal breaks, the ears begin to go up. The rate depends upon the thickness of the skin on the ears and how heavy the coat is. We expect ALL of the ears to go up as they have with the parents. But, we do recommend if you have a puppy with heavy thick coats to keep the ears shaved or trimmed close to reduce the weight on the ears as the cartilage is growing to allow the ears to stand up and stay up. Some puppies have their ears up by 6 weeks others can take up to 12 weeks. We also see during the teething phase ears can go up and down for a week or so.
Q. What kind of treats do I need for training my puppy?
A. For training treats, we recommend a tiny bit of American cheese (about the size of a pencil eraser is adequate for each command or potty praise), very small pieces of shredded chicken breast, or Fromm treats broken into bits. You want it to be just enough that they can taste it on their tongues without affecting their calories or nutritious food intake. Most doggie treats at the stores are too fatty or not healthy and can be made with grains that your Westie should not consume.
Q. Do I need to buy wet food for my puppy?
A. There is no need for wet food as the puppies have been weaned onto dry kibble when they leave us.
Q. What kind of shampoo should I use on my puppy?
A. We recommend three types of shampoo. For an every-day shampoo, us a shampoo formulated for dogs with white coats. We have tried several brands and they all perform about the same. Note: if you have children helping you bathe your puppy, stick with a "Puppy" shampoo which is a tear-less formula. It makes it less critical for you to keep the shampoo out of your new baby's eyes (sting!). The third shampoo, like the other two is not a specific brand but it does have two key ingredients. It is an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal shampoo. It is good for keeping the normal skin bacterial levels balanced. All dog breeds that can have skin allergies can also have skin "sensitivities". Meaning - they can have an over population of yeast bacteria (it can often smell like yeast) on their skin. This is not an allergy, but sure has the same symptoms. The ingredients your shampoo should contain are: Chlorhexadine Gluconate 2% (anti-bacterial) and Ketoconazole 1% (anti-fungal). Some shampoos only contain the anti-bacterial which is the more important active ingredient. Amazon.com is the easiest source for all three shampoos, but the larger pet stores will most likely have at least one choice.