We are a small family kennel based in Miami Lakes, FL that focuses highly on health, care and socialization of each of our puppies. There are many types of breeders, but we here at Sunshine Kooikers take breeding seriously. We are proud members of AKC's Breed Parent Club, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Club of the USA as well as proud members of the Dutch Breed Club, Vereniging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondje.
Our dogs and puppies are raised in our home like family. We go above and beyond to ensure that our new puppy owners receive a healthy, well balanced puppy. This starts prior to whelping and beyond the 9 weeks they are here. Breeding a puppy is a lifetime commitment and when you purchase a puppy from us, we will be here to support you throughout the life of your dog. We spend countless hours taking classes, reading and working with each of our dogs and puppies. The Kooikerhondje breed is not only a passion of mine, they are my life!
We raise our puppies the Avidog way. Avidog is the world’s preeminent dog breeder education institution providing cutting-edge science tempered with real-life breeding experience through in-person and on-line programs, courses and products. Avidog Breeder Associates are responsible breeders who have publicly committed to raising their puppies the Avidog Way. This means that they have educated themselves about both cutting-edge and tried-and-true methods to produce puppies that mature into physically healthy, mentally stable dogs. We have taken AKC Breeding Courses and continue to take them every chance we have. We fulfilled all requirements to be a part of the AKC Bread with H.E.A.R.T. program and our kennel has also been recently recognized as a good breeder by Good Dog, being the first Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Breeder to be approved by them.
We perform Early Scent Introduction (ESI) program and the Early Neurological Stimulation exercises. This early neurological stimulation has been shown to: improve cardiovascular performance, strengthen heartbeats, strengthen adrenal glands, increase stress tolerance and increase resistance to disease. In tests of learning, stimulated puppies were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non-stimulated litter mates over which they were dominant in competitive situations. Secondary effects on learning have also been noted, including increased calmness, decreased errors and reduced distress signals when stressed. By the time your puppy goes home with you it will be litter box trained, would have begun potty training, as well as, crate and leash training. Once puppies are 6 weeks old, we take them on field trips to safe areas so they experience life outside of our home as well.
We begin socialization at 3 weeks with humans, children and other dogs in our home when safe. Puppy socialization is extremely important for the puppies to become confident, well-mannered, and cooperative adult dogs who will enjoy interactions with a wide variety of people, animals, activities, and environments. Providing positive and diverse experiences for a puppy at this time is a big help in preventing them from developing fearful responses and some behavior problems, and helping them live low-stress, happy lives. By the time they are 8-to-9 weeks old, puppies are ready to explore the world, although their exposure should be limited to areas where they will not come into contact with unvaccinated dogs since they have not yet gotten all of their puppy shots.
As a breeder, my goal is to place each of my puppies in his or her “forever” home. Just as no two children in a family are identical, no two puppies are exactly alike, nor are any two prospective homes the same. During the first 7-8 weeks of the puppies’ lives, we will be observing and evaluating their physical and personality traits. At 49 days, we evaluate the puppies' temperaments, using the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test. This test enables us to make the best match between puppies and owners. In addition, we have trained professionals perform structural and conformation assessments on each of them.
All dogs in our breeding program are health tested to ensure they are free of the genetic problems facing Kooikerhondjes; eye, patella, hip dysplasia, ENM and vWd. Each of them has their CHIC numbers confirming these tests have been completed, results can be viewed on ofa.org. These can also be viewed on Our Papers Tab of our website.
When you begin your search for a purebred dog ensure to look for a reputable and responsible breeder. We do it for the betterment of the breed and for the love of dogs.