Kilraeke Westie’s are bred to meet the breed standard. We feel strongly that a responsible breeder must always keep to the breed standard as closely as possible when breeding a litter. It has taken us awhile to acquire the Westie’s we have, simply because our goal is to produce gorgeous, healthy and well mannered puppies. We strive to be as true to the correct type and temperament of Westie’s as possible. Our Westie’s are correct weight between 12-14lbs for the females and 15-18lbs for the males. They are lovely compact short coupled dogs with thick black pads, broad skulls and short muzzles. They possess correct ear and tail placement. Westie’s were never meant to be tiny, frail or slight dogs with long bodies, long ears or muzzle. This is incorrect. Too large and leggy is also incorrect.
Breeding a litter of healthy, well socialized westie puppies is very involved and time consuming. For this reason we only breed our dogs occasionally. Our whole family is involved with the care of the mother and the puppies.
Our girls are kept in optimal condition and have been vet checked for parasites and possible other health issues before breeding. After the breeding process is completed the future mom is kept on a healthy diet of Nutro Natural puppy food and a pregnancy vitamin supplement throughout her pregnancy. She becomes the queen of our home during pregnancy and will actually whelp her litter in a custom made whelping box in our family room.
When the big day arrives we are all set for delivery with our whelping kit, watch and scale. As each puppy is born the time of their birth, weight and sex is recorded. We keep an updated record of health and weight until they are ready to go home. This way we are always on top of their growth progress.
After the litter is whelped and mom is resting with her new babies we take a few digital pictures and send them to all the anxious new puppy parents on the litter list.
The new owners will receive updated picture albums of the puppies twice a week from us until the puppies go home. This is our way of involving the new owners in the growth process. Many new owners begin a "baby album" for their puppy, this is a nice way to begin.
The new mommy and her babies will remain in our family room until the puppies are around 4 weeks old or trying to climb out of the whelping box. From 4 - 8 weeks the puppies will be raised in our "puppy condo" in the garage. At 5 weeks the puppies will spend most of their day outside in "Camp Snoopy", weather permitting. Puppies need to exercise to develop correctly and they need plenty of sunshine and fresh air. "Camp Snoopy" is just that place, it is a special area in our yard custom designed by my husband Jim. The puppies can romp together with their mom and litter mates. They have all their toys in "Camp Snoopy" along with three dog houses to nap in. They love it.
We believe a great pet is one that was socialized well with humans and other dogs during the first 8 weeks. Our puppies are handled by our family from birth. They are used to the human touch from being weighed and having their nails clipped every other day. During the first 3 weeks they are very "cuddly" and they spend a lot to time sleeping in our arms while we watch T.V. in the evening, this is my favorite time. Nothing quite compares to "puppy breath" and giving kisses on little muzzles and necks.
Our best "puppy socializers" are our two daughters Elizabeth and Robin. They both spend a great deal of time with the puppies during the first 8 weeks.
We are very mindful of their health and do all we can to insure a great start in life. We have never had a problem with our mommies producing enough milk for her puppies during the first 4 weeks. She is very well fed and then some. At 4 weeks the puppies are started on a transition diet and by the time they go home they are eating like champs.
The puppies have their dewclaws removed at 3 days.
We begin worming at 2 weeks followed by worming at 3, 4, 6 and 8 weeks. At 6 weeks they receive their first puppy vaccine and 8 weeks they are examined by our veterinarian.
At 8 weeks the puppies are allowed to go their new home. Each puppy will go home with a Nutro Natural puppy kit, information from the West Highland White Terrier Club of America, and a Kilraeke Puppy Packet which includes AKC registration papers, pedigree, health record, health clearance information on sire and dam, care instruction sheet, grooming and crate training tips.