There have been several articles and news stories over the last few months regarding "puppy mills" and
irresponsible puppy breeding. There are responsible, good, caring breeders. I have put this page together to
let you know how and why we are different from the horror stories being seen on TV and in your local
newspapers. The new TDLR law only requires a dog's living space to be 6" wider than the dog on all sides and
stacked cages. You will find NO cages of any kind in my kennel and my dogs all have ground pens with inside
and outside access and over 500% larger pens than required by the TDLR. Our Kennel has met all the
requirements of the new law and we are way beyond the requirements according to TDLR. The TDLR Inspector
was very impressed with our kennel and the amount of space, time and care that our dogs and puppies
receive. The inspector was very pleased to see that we have a retirement home for our older dogs. We do not
euthanize or discard any of our older dogs, they are very well taken care of and the inspector gave great
compliments. You may visit our kennel but are no longer allowed to walk through the entire barn due to TDLR
laws. Before you buy from a breeder, visit their kennel and make sure you can see the entire area and that the
dogs are not in cages of any kind!
I have taken quotes from the book "THE DOG'S MIND, Understanding Your Dog's Behavior" by Bruce Fogle,
DVM M.R.C.V.S. We use the principals in his book to offer you a well adjusted, happy puppy. (All excerpts are italicized)
We are very careful to only breed from our dams who are sweet natured and make good moms. If for any
reason we feel that one of our dams is not suitable to pass on her personality characteristics, she is not bred.
"The concept of 'critical periods' in the emotional development of the dog is a well documented one. "
"The first weeks of the pup's life are the most important, that the earliest experiences it has will have a
tremendous impact on the mind of the pup."
To insure our puppies are well adjusted we start from the day they are born. Everyday our newborn puppies
are picked up and very gently rolled over on their backs. We continue this process until the day they go to their
new homes. We encourage our new families to continue this process. Puppies who will roll over on their backs
will make better pets because it tells them we are a very loving and gentle boss. We do this as well as the
children as illustrated below.
By 3 to 4 weeks "The influence of the litter mates and us starts to increase."
We accomplish this concept by taking the puppies away from the mothers for 30 minutes
to an hour twice a day starting at 3-4 weeks. They are introduced to different
environments (playpens, outside) and are given wet food, toys and lots of tender play
time. We feel this is very critical in the human bonding process. We have found that
puppies raised in puppy mills and only receive food and water with no social interaction,
do not have the social skills to transition into a new home. We spend countless hours
with our adults and puppies handling them and giving them the loving, playful time
"As the pup leaves the transition period, he enters what will be the most important eight
weeks of his life, the time during which he learns to live both with his own kind and with
At 6 weeks is when we wean our puppies and introduce them to world that they will be
living with when they go home with you. We use Katie (westie in pictures below) and
other "super grannies" to help the puppies make the transition from their mother into the
big world. The puppies continue to be placed in different environments and are also
placed in a pen with a dog door. This enables them to learn to go outside away from
their food, water, and living area to eliminate. As you can see from the pictures, we have
an excellent trainer for the dog door!! This is when we also start testing the puppies to
decide what personality characteristics they have developed to better enable us to place
them with the right families.
As part of the "going home" process, we make sure your puppy has been introduced to
other dogs and animals. We believe this helps them be better family members. Many
families today have multiple animals and this is our way of helping your puppy be ready
for whatever animals you may already have. Sammy (golden retriever) loves the puppies
and are pretty much given free reign. We also have some kittens that the puppies are
allowed to play alongside.
Last but not least I would like to show you the barn where the puppies and adults are
raised. While it is not the most cosmetically beautiful building it serves its purpose
perfectly. Because it is open and not a closed in environment, the adults and puppies
suffer no respiratory problems. Dogs and puppies that are kept in "storage building" like
conditions often suffer from respiratory infections. While it can be hot during the
summer time to us "humans" the floor level of the barn is kept at a comfortable
temperature for the dogs. This is also the case during the winter months. Heat lamps
and dog houses with blankets are used in the winter time to keep everyone warm.
Almost all dogs have access to the outside ground ( no wire cages) at all times. The
pregnant and whelping females are kept inside the open barn in large pens until after
the puppies are born then weaned.
Dear Prospective Puppy Buyer:
I’m writing this letter because I, like you, did extensive research into the breed(s) of dogs that
would be most appropriate for my family – a family of four with a chaotic lifestyle and a lot of
After my husband and I made the decision to expand our family of 4 to a family of 6 (by
adding 2 puppies – not more kids), I began my mission to weed out the breeders from the
notorious puppy mills. It was during one of my infamous “searches” that the Martin Ranch
website came up, over and over and over again because, well, I did several searches!
I read their website thoroughly and it was Peggy’s candor that prompted me to give her a
call. She and I talked extensively to work together to match the right personality of each
puppy to that of both of my children, my husband and quite frankly, me! I honestly feel that
only a breeder would have known her puppies as Peggy did and does. She could not have
been more on target in her selection of Riley and Max for us! They are thriving and adapting
beautifully and that comes from spending the appropriate amount of time with their mother in
an open and protective environment and being lovingly cared for.
When I read how Peggy and her crew “…gently roll the puppies over on their backs to let
them know that had a loving boss…” I knew she genuinely cared for her puppies (I even
thought about signing up for that job)! I can promise you will not experience that with “the
puppy mill” owners. Walking about the ranch and seeing the dams and sires, as well as the
puppies, we immediately knew these dogs were at home and would comfortably adjust to our
home. It is the Martin’s dedication to the care of their puppies and grown dogs that set them
apart from not only the puppy mills but other breeders as well.
I encourage you to do your own research, talk to Peggy and then plan a trip to
Fredericksburg to pick up your puppy. It’s worth the drive and it’s a great little getaway!
Tim and Kim, Noah and Lana – Max and Riley too!