Amish Breeders that sell to pet stores such as Aden Graber, like most breeders, have strict rules and regulations to follow from several different governing bodies. The first of those bodies is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is typically followed by state, county, city, and local governments.
Most pet store breeders and pet stores are required to be licensed, regulated, and inspected by the USDA. These breeders hold a Class A license, which permits them to have more than four breeder dogs and to sell privately to buyers or publicly to pet stores. They also have years of breeding experience and are dedicated to their craft. They’re always learning and implementing new ways of bettering the lives and environment of their dogs.
USDA Amish breeders usually keep their breeder dogs and puppies in kennels apart from their homes either on or near the same property. These kennels are designed with the dogs’ comfort, health, and well-being in mind. They’re equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and the attention to detail that goes into their architecture can easily be seen while touring these facilities.
The dogs are provided with ample living space, including a safe and secure outdoor area. They have access to quality food, and fresh, clean water 24/7. When they feel like getting some sun, running around, playing, or need to go potty, all they have to do is exit through their doggy door.
All USDA licensed Amish breeders are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA was passed by congress in 1966 and strengthened through several amendments that were acquired in 1970, 1976, 1985, 1990, 2002, 2007, and 2008. For nearly 50 years, the USDA has enforced the AWA to protect animals from inhumane treatment and negligence.
The AWA requires by law that all individuals and businesses dealing with the buying, selling, and/or distribution of animals be licensed. Each breeder will have a unique license number that looks like this: Example: 31-A-0010. This number serves as an indication of the class of license as well as the location of the individual or business. The first two numbers refer to the state identification, the letter indicates the class, and the last four are unique to that specific breeder.
Referring to the example, 31-A-0010: 31 is the state number for Ohio. The letter A refers to the Class A license, which under USDA and AWA regulations indicate a commercial license to breed. (Class B would indicate a license for breeding and distribution). The last four digits 0010, indicate the specific breeder or their registered business.
So, Aden Graber may be a breeder who is licensed with the USDA, and their license number is: . That means that Aden Graber is regulated under the AWA and is a commercial breeder. That also means they are required to comply with unannounced, surprise inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS).
These inspections mandate that the APHIS inspector is given full access to all areas where the animals are kept. They will also require access to the records and history, or all animals regulated under the AWA. They must be accompanied by a responsible adult over the age of 18 throughout the process, and they must be shown all animals within the facilities. Additionally, they will examine the animals and observe their caretakers as they interact with the animals.
Any breeders, caretakers, dealers, exhibitors, or researches that interfere with the inspection are in violation of the AWA.
The transportation of puppies from the breeder to the pet store is a crucial moment in the sales process as well as the puppies’ lives. It’s a heavily regulated portion of the puppy distribution business since it requires getting the puppies from A to B safely, comfortably, and stress-free.
The transportation vehicles used are referred to as high-tech mobile kennels. In addition to having a Class B license, the puppy broker in question must have a USDA Class T license—”T” refers to transportation—and the driver must have a CDL license. There must also be a licensed veterinarian or vet tech on board throughout the entire drive to ensure the puppies’ health and safety.
Mobile kennels are designed to provide all of the basic needs for the puppies in transport. They’re temperature controlled for maximum comfort, they provide access to quality food and fresh water 24/7, and they’re equipped with “wash-outs” which take care of any messes and odors. All puppies are thoroughly examined before they leave the kennel and once they arrive at the pet store.
Amish Breeder Inspection Checklist
- Housing ✓ – All animals must be housed in a structurally sound facility in satisfactory condition. The facility must contain the animals and protect them from other animals, extreme weather, and temperatures. Drainage systems must also be in good working conditions.
- Ventilation ✓– Animals must be provided with cool air or increased ventilation if the ambient temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they must be provided with ample heat.
- Lighting ✓ – Facilities must be well lit to ensure safe and easy access to food and water, for cleaning, and for the complete inspection.
- Interior Surfaces ✓– The interior of a facility must be resistant to moisture as well as to clean and sanitize. All surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
- Primary Enclosures ✓– Animals must be housed in structurally sound enclosures in satisfactory condition and meet APHIS minimum space requirements. The floors must provide the animals with protection from injury. The cages must be kept clean and dry, and allow animals easy access to food and water.
- Sanitation ✓– Animal waste must be removed and disposed of regularly and as necessary. Primary cages or enclosures should be completely sanitized at least once every 2 weeks. Facilities must dispose of trash regularly and not allow it to accumulate.
- Pest Control ✓– Facility managers must have an effective program to control insects, and ectoparasites, as well as avian and mammalian pests.
- Feeding and Watering ✓– Animals must be provided with high-quality, nutritious food that is free from contamination, properly stored, and served in a clean receptacle. Potable water (safe drinking water) must be made available twice daily for 1 hour minimum, if not available all the time.
- Outdoor Shelter ✓– Animals’ outdoor enclosures must be protected from sunlight, precipitation, and extreme temperatures.
- Compatibility ✓– Female animals in heat must be separated from male animals except for breeding purposes. Animals with aggressive dispositions should be housed apart from other animals. Puppies and kittens should be separated from adult animals other than their mothers. Different species of animals should not be housed together unless compatible.
- Record Keeping ✓– Facility managers must maintain accurate and complete records of all animals that come into their possession, including where they came from. Managers are also required to keep records of the dates of acquisition and disposition and to properly identify the animals on the premises. These records must be made available for inspection whenever necessary.
- Adequate Veterinary Care ✓– Programs of disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and veterinary care must be established and maintained under the supervision and assistance of a licensed veterinarian. A caretaker also must observe the animals daily.
- Handling ✓– Every licensee is required to handle animals properly at all times whether he or she is petting, working, feeding, crating, performing, or transferring them.
- Transportation ✓– Licensees and registrants are required to provide animals with adequate space, ventilation, and shipping containers during transportation. Most animals transported must be weaned and at least eight weeks old.
The First Eight Weeks of a Amish Puppy’s Life
A puppy’s journey to the right home always begins with its parents. Once it’s born, it needs special care from its mother until it becomes resilient on its own. Of course, the mother needs special care as well to ensure that her pups are healthy and develop properly.
For an amish breeder, the journey begins long before the first eight weeks of a puppy’s life. Let’s take a closer look at how puppies are bred and cared for before they become part of your family.
Finding the Right Parents
It’s safe to say that the parent breeds play a crucial role in the life of a puppy, even long after the homes are found. This is because most breeders’ goals involve maintaining generational lines that strengthen the breed and uphold certain standards based on health and temperament.
More importantly, they want to ensure that each litter is strong and healthy, and void of any defects. It’s an art and a science. Responsible and dedicated breeders invest their time in learning about canine health and training. They study their breed’s standards and attend events and seminars to prepare for such a responsibility.
To ensure the best for each litter and future generation, the breeder will select their healthiest male and female to procreate. Before the procreation process, both parents must undergo several health checks by a licensed veterinarian to ensure that they are of optimal health and wellness.
Gestation and Post-Pregnancy
Once it is determined that the female has become pregnant, she and her unborn litter are closely monitored. The gestation period typically runs between 58 and 68 days (or about two months). During this time, the pregnant female is given special supplements and prenatal vitamins in addition to a high-quality and well-balanced diet to ensure optimal nourishment for her developing pups and milk.
Throughout her two month gestation period, she will be seen by the licensed vet regularly. These prenatal check-ups are to ensure a healthy pregnancy, making sure there are no signs of illness or discomfort.
Two weeks before the expected birth date, the mother is moved to a special area known as a whelping area. It’s a warm and safe space that pregnant mothers naturally seek out to give birth to their puppies. By moving her in prior to the birth, she can adjust to her whelping area and prepare for the coming birth of her puppies. Here she will have 24/7 access to the outdoors, receive extra attention, and can come and go from the area as she pleases.
Once the birthing process begins, the breeder remains by the mother’s side to assist if needed. A licensed veterinarian is typically present as well, especially for the specific dog breeds that require special procedures for the birthing. Once the litter is born, the puppies are licked clean by the mother and begin nursing within hours.
For the first week, the breeder will continuously check on the puppies and the mother to make sure that they are in good health. They will make sure that both the puppies and the mother are eating regularly and that there are no complications.
From 15 Days to Eight Weeks
During the first 15 to 20 days the puppy’s eyes will begin to open as they become more active. At around 20 to 25 days, most breeds begin to fully walk. Once they start walking, they begin to socialize and become exposed to the outdoors, exploring the world around them and familiarizing themselves with different surfaces and objects.
Their mother’s guidance is especially important during this time as the mother will pass along more than just physical traits. She will help them with their initial social behavior and trust, which is why those first eight weeks are crucial. The trust and socialization also come from the breeder and their kennel staff. They consistently monitor and interact with the new litters and breeding dogs, treating them with love, compassion, and respect, which helps create well-rounded and happy pups.
By the third or fourth week, puppies begin to wean from their mother and are introduced to soft food. By the sixth or seventh week, they begin eating dry kibble. At week seven the puppies are fully weaned off their mother and also start having less interaction with their mother. This is to prepare them for their new homes.
By week eight, the puppies are ready for adoption. Before each puppy leaves for their new home, they are checked out by the vet and given a certificate of good health. Once cleared, they’re on their way to a life filled with love, happiness, and good health.
A Healthy Puppy is a Happy Puppy
Breeders do all they can to care for their breeder dogs and pups. They invest a lot of time, money, and effort into what they do. This kind of dedication and commitment ensures healthy and happy generations of puppies as well as happy families.
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Disclaimer: Not All Breeders on this website are Amish Breeders.