Hello and welcome! This website is still very much under construction but please visit the various pages by clicking on the navigation buttons. These pages are more or less up and running, though some are not yet finished. We hope that you will check back often as we'll be adding a lot of important and useful information as time allows. Available puppies will be posted regularly on the pages designated for them. There is so much more to come!
A Guest Book has been placed at the bottom of the Bullmastiff page and the Small Breeds page. If you've purchased a Bullmastiff or a Small Breed puppy from Small Wonders Kennel, please sign the Guest Book on the relevant page and share your experience. If you're just visiting and want to say hi or comment on the website, you're welcome to sign the Guest Book as well. We'd love to hear from you. Small Wonders Kennel is also on Facebook. Like us there to let others on your friend list know we're here.
Our dogs are our friends and our family so no expense is ever spared to give them the best quality of life possible. This includes top-of-the-line nutrition and supplements, lots of exercise and play time and, of course, lots of love and affection. We strive to raise the healthiest, happiest of puppies with gentle temperaments and fun personalities. Our goal is to raise long-lived family friends and companions and we believe it all begins with healthy, well-socialized parents and everything we do in the first 8 weeks of their lives. With 30 years of combined experience we can honestly say that dogs are our lives. To us, every single puppy is a small wonder. We are proud to be able to offer our guaranteed babies to discerning, responsible individuals and families. All our puppies come with a vet certificate, 1st shots, wormed 3 - 4 times, a health guarantee, and a lifetime of support and advice. We are located about 50 minutes south of Ottawa, just past the Kemptville area. We offer delivery to Ottawa, Kingston, Napanee, Belleville, Trenton for reasonable fees to offset the cost of gas. We can also deliver to Brockville and Cornwall as well as Smith Falls, Perth, Carleton Place.
Please note that all our puppies are sold as pets, not for show or breeding and never for re-sale. Every prospective new owner is asked to sign a Basic Pet Maintenance Contract which outlines what we expect of you as a responsible pet owner. Your signature is your promise to adhere to this contract. A copy of the Basic Pet Maintenance Contract will be emailed to you upon request. We reserve the right to make the final decision about whether a particular puppy is a good match for you and your family and to recommend a different puppy or to refuse to sell you a puppy. Do not take it personally should we decide not to let you have the puppy you've come to see. Please understand that our first responsibility is to our puppies and finding permanent matches for them. That having been said, should a puppy not work out for ANY reason at ANY time in its life our contract states that the puppy/dog will be returned to us unless another arrangement is agreed upon (ie., your parents would like to have her). Our commitment is for the life of the dog. Please feel free to ask for our contract and to send on any questions you have.
This page was last updated: January 15, 2017
You're here, so it's likely you've seen one of our ads for available puppies or someone you know referred you to us because you're beginning your search for a puppy. We use kijiji for most of our advertising. I am always completely overwhelmed by the number of advertisements there are for puppies of every breed. It's probably a safe bet that you are too. I think my first question to any breeder would be, "Why you? Why should I buy my puppy from you instead of one of the other thousands of breeders I've seen advertising puppies?" I think that's a pretty fair question. In answer, I'm going to tell you what we do and what we believe at Small Wonders Kennel. Somewhere in the telling I think you will find a few good reasons to choose a Small Wonders puppy. I will include many pictures and videos, making this a kind of virtual tour of Small Wonders Kennel and ours and our dogs' lives.
We believe that every great puppy begins with great parents. What comes to mind when you think about what a "great puppy" means to you? Healthy, playful, smart, well socialized, stable temperament? These might be some of the descriptions you would use? We agree. Every puppy born is a living, sentient little being and, like all living things, who or what they will become is dictated, to a large degree, by the parents who bear them and the environment in which they're raised. Of course, when it comes to living things, there isn't a 100% guarantee of anything but if you start with great the odds are better that you will end up with great. So... before we even think about puppies, we think about the parents who will produce the puppies. This doesn't mean, to us, the dogs that are most likely to win in the show ring or that most perfectly match the breed standards as determined by judges and registries. This means dogs that are in exemplary health, have friendly, dependable temperaments, display a high level of intelligence for their breed, and have the stability to be good pack members. These are the dogs that will produce the best pets, the healthiest friends, the most loyal and long-lived companions. And that is our focus.
We believe it is our responsibility to see that every dog in our care is healthy, comfortable, safe, happy, and has the opportunity to reach its potential. Together, Jan and I have more than 30 years experience with dogs but neither of us ever believes there is nothing more to learn. We keep abreast of new studies, research, and training techniques so that we can improve the lives of our dogs wherever possible. For example, a research facility in the U.S. studied the effects of dogs kenneled alone versus dogs kenneled in groups and concluded that dogs housed in groups were physically healthier, showed fewer signs of stress, were more stable, and exhibited better social skills than dogs housed by themselves. Dogs are pack animals by nature and, in nature, would learn social behaviour, who they are in the hierarchy and many life skills from more experienced dogs in the pack. It makes sense that when a number of dogs are being housed in one area, they would benefit from the security and social order of a pack. As a result of this and other studies, we started housing our dogs in small groups that include elders, young to middle-aged adults and older pups, just as a pack would in nature. The results have been wonderful. Nervous dogs became more settled and content. Dogs that never seemed to eat enough developed healthy appetites. Rambunctious, nippy pups learned some manners. The dogs exercised more, became more playful, slept better at night, were cleaner in their shared "den" and just seemed happier. This is one example of how staying abreast and being willing to try an alternative approach has benefited the dogs in our care.
We believe that every dog deserves to feel valued and loved. Every dog deserves to have a special bond with humans and to trust that humans will treat them with kindness, respect, and a good dose of humour. This can be a tall order in the kennel setting but that is where actions speak louder than words. We don't just talk about how much we love our dogs. We actually prove it through our actions 365 days a year. We spend time with our dogs, brushing them, clipping them, clipping nails, cleaning ears, cleaning eyes, bathing, petting, playing, walking, photographing, feeding, taking them to the vet, and training them to be good canine citizens. We also have a small group of trusted friends and family who take them for car rides, sleepovers, and walks to help ensure that every dog gets enough attention. Our dogs take turns spending time in the house with us, going for car rides with us, hanging out with us in the gardens or around the main fire pit. We also have a large, fenced yard for the dogs that includes a picnic table, fire pit, and lots of toys for throwing and fetching. The groups or small packs spend time outside every day, always with humans to run to for pets and praise. Every dog here is special and knows it.
Jan and Leah (known locally as the Dog Ladies) with some of their pack.
Why Choose a Small Wonders Puppy?
Great Parents, Great Puppies
30 Years Experience + Continued Learning
Valued and Loved
Another example is the diet we feed our dogs. After much research, questioning, trial and error, we took all our dogs off of commercial dog food and started them on a species appropriate raw food diet (S.A.R.F.) even though it meant a lot more time, preparation, and cleaning. We have never looked back. The benefits to the dogs were incredible. I could go on and on about this subject alone but instead I will invite you to go to the navigation button above marked, "Nutrition Matters" and read my article. All our dogs receive freshly prepared raw meals daily, tailored to suit the individual needs of every dog. An average meal consists of fresh, human grade chicken, beef (meat and bone), liver and heart, fish or fish oil, and supplements of probiotics and glucosamine. We buy whole livers and hearts, cases of hamburger grade beef, cases of chicken, all of which has to be cut and bagged in daily portions. This is a huge commitment of time and energy but, having seen the results, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Clean, Comfortable, Protected
Our kennel is attached to our house and both were planned and built at the same time. From the front of the house, the kennel simply looks like a change in the roof line and is very much a part of our home. Most kennels are a separate building set well away from the house. Our kennel shares a wall with our living room, kitchen, dining room, no different than the walls that separate one bedroom from another. We want to know when the dogs bark or when one sounds distressed so that we can check on them or reassure them immediately. The dogs are members of our family and, therefore, are part of our home.
Small Wonders Kennel was built in compliance with the rules that govern kennels in our township. For reasons of disease control, the floors of indoor and outdoor runs must be made of sealed concrete or other non-porous surface that can be scrubbed and disinfected over and over and won't harbour parasites, bacteria or viruses. Concrete is the most durable surface available but it looks and feels so cold.Â We solved this by putting radiant heat in the floors. This heat source put warmth where the dogs are, on the floor. Soft, fluffy wood shavings that are changed out three times a day provide cushioning between the dogs' bodies and the floor. We've tried many types of beds and mats but have not yet found anything that the dogs don't chew and destroy. The floor was professionally graded to slope towards a gutter and drain so that if water gets sloshed out of a bucket the liquid quickly runs away from the dogs' quarters. We went with a high, vaulted ceiling and huge windows that run the full length of the kennel to give an airy feel and lots of natural daylight. Florescent lights were installed to keep the kennel bright even on dull days and through the evening hours. Ceiling fans push rising heat back down where it's needed. Pulley doors open into spacious exercise runs and beyond the runs is a large, fully fenced play/exercise yard. Our next project is to add platforms, tubes, play structures and a digging area to the yard. Floodlights light the outside runs and play yard at night. Nightlights burn inside the kennel all night and the radio plays soft, soothing, sleepy time music.
For the Bullmastiffs we fenced in a half acre area and plan to expand it next summer. Fencing is a bit of a challenge as we have only 6 - 10 inches of soil over bedrock to work with. Still, where there's a will there's a way. We used food grade barrels placed every 8 feet as our posts, affixed 2 X 4 rails to them with carriage bolts, and then filled them with sand to give them strength and stability. We then stapled 5' corn crib wire to the the rails. It's a good fence. It wouldn't work for more agile, energetic breeds who would simply jump over it but it is perfect for Bullmastiffs. Our dogs simply don't challenge the fence.
To Be Continued....
We believe that cleanliness is paramount to the safety and comfort of our dogs. Where any species of animal is kept in groups, disease control should be a top priority. Dirty conditions encourage growth of bacteria and viruses and form the ideal habitat for parasites and fungi to flourish and spread. In an unclean environment, dogs can end up with itchy skin, staff infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections, not to mention that it's just plain uncomfortable and undignified. Dogs are instinctively very clean animals. In nature they would leave their den to do their business. Puppies as young as 2 weeks old will crawl away from the sleeping/eating area to do their business and then return to the bed. Innately, dogs do not want to eat or sleep or play in filth. When we confine them to pens or yards or crates we take away their right and ability to control their environment. It becomes our responsibility to control it for them through thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the premises they occupy.
The day begins early. The dogs are let out to do their business. While they're out, the inside quarters are thoroughly vacuumed, pressure washed, and disinfected. Water buckets are scrubbed, disinfected, filled with fresh water, and clipped back in place (secured so they can't be tipped). When the floors are dry, new bedding is added and the dogs are let in. We move outside to scrape the runs, pressure wash and disinfect them, then squeegee them dry. Low-sided, rectangular Rubbermaid boxes are placed in each run and filled with the required portions of raw chicken parts which include necks, wings, drumsticks, and giblets. The dogs are then let out into the runs and the feast begins. Pack order is observed in each run, the dogs taking their food from the box in accordance with the established hierarchy. There is no fighting. Eating is actually very orderly and calm. When they're finished (never rushed), the dogs are let back inside, the boxes are gathered, washed and disinfected. The runs are, again, pressure washed and disinfected. The gates on every second exercise pen will be left open now so those groups can go out into the yard to romp, play, chew a meaty beef bone, or just lay in the sun. They will be switched out later.
Cleaning and Feeding - Daily Routines
While the small dogs are being fed and the kennel cleaned, others are busy letting the Bullmastiffs out, feeding them, cleaning their rooms, and washing and disinfecting their bowls. They live right in the house with us as one big, happy pack. They eat in their crates and go to bed in them at night. The rest of the time they are loose in the house or in their yard or on our heels wherever we may be.
At the same time that the kennel and the Bullmastiffs are being cared for, my son is busy in the nursery letting Moms out to do their business, get some exercise, and eat. While Moms are taking a break from the kids, Ryan cleans and disinfects the puppy boxes, feeds and waters the puppies that are old enough to eat, removes blankets and replaces them with fresh ones, washes and disinfects bowls and puppy pans, sweeps and mops the floors, and checks to make sure all heating pads and heat lamps are working properly. When that's done he goes on a tour of the property with his wheelbarrow and his poop fork. :o) We call him Scoopy Doo or just Scoopy for short. He just loves that! Ha!
We believe it is our responsibility to make sure our dogs are clean, comfortable, and protected. Dogs give us so much and ask for so little in return. Both Jan and I spent years working in rescue and have seen animals subjected to extreme human neglect. Dogs, whose owners professed their love, living in filthy environments, coats matted and pinching, partially crippled by overgrown nails, no vaccinations to protect them from disease, water bowls thick with slime, trembling at the back of a pen or crate, dispirited and despondent, stripped of dignity and hope. Some of these dogs were registered purebreds in the care of so-called responsible breeders. Again, I insist... Don't tell me how much you care. Show me! Jan and I hold ourselves accountable to the same demand we make of every person responsible for another life. Don't talk about it. Do it.
Karma, our brindle Bullmastiff, keeping her eyes on a very tiny ShihPoo puppy. She is so careful and gentle.
Karma playing with her babies and a few others she adopted. A lot of people think of a mother dog laying in a box with her puppies but have never actually seen a mom playing and interacting with her puppies. We thought we'd share the fun. Enjoy!
Dr. Kruikshank has been caring for our dogs and puppies for about 12 years now. He was so kind and helpful during the years I was doing rescue that I stuck with him when I started raising my own dogs. He is quick to tell us when we're doing it right and just as quick to tell us what we could be doing better. Wouldn't trade him for the world. Love ya, Dr. Bob!!
A cleaner/disinfectant is applied to runs, walls, fencing with low pressure. The solution is allowed contact time and then all surfaces are pressure washed to clean and rinse. We follow this up using a system called a Wysiwash which mixes water and bleach automatically to the correct ratio to kill even the hardiest bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
The pens are squeegeed to speed drying time.
Groups of dogs play in the yard while the runs dry after pressure washing.
Sasha relaxes in the shade.
A cow's liver is BIG!
Breakfast:Â Fresh chicken, beef, heart, egg, salmon oil, and probiotics.
Bagged and ready for the freezer.
This is Stacie, officially known as the receptionist. She is really a jack of all trades and an integral part of the clinic. She has been an enormous help more times than I can count.
Clean, disinfected, piled to dry.
Ransom & Harley enjoying the back deck, which is part of their yard.
Little supervisors check out the pens from the outside.
Ryan taking one of our moms out for some exercise and a break from the kids.
Lots of fresh meat for the dogs makes me smile.
Our dogs receive small amounts of fresh vegetables and even fruit with their meals.
Beef heart, thought of as an organ meat but is also a muscle meat.
Beef that would be ground into medium hamburger.
It's a nice day so the doors to the outside runs are left open so the dogs can be in or out as they please.
A small group taking a stroll in the yard.
Umbah - having another rough day. Altogether now... awww, poor Umbah!
Inside the kennel, we used a grinder to shorten the gates. These were originally full sized gates but we found that everyone stopped to pet, pick up, and cuddle the dogs more often if they didn't have to open a full size gate and go inside the pen to do it. No matter who is cleaning, watering, feeding, it is a much more interactive experience with the dogs dancing at the gates for attention.
The young fellow peaking around the post is Sebastien. We call him the "Wait-a-Minute" dog because if we pass him without petting him he stretches his neck, grabs a sleeve or pant leg and says, "Wait a minute!"
Many, many chicken necks.
Oh and I suppose you use your tub for bathing?
The room where Bullmastiffs eat their meals and sleep at night. There are no blankets in the crates at meal time as it's too messy. Thick blankets are put in at night.