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The Wonders of Whelping - What Dog Breeders Know

By Content Admin, 04/21/2018 - 10:57am

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith


As a pet owner breeding the family pet or as a professional dog breeder that operates a successful business, the wonders of whelping are an exciting time. The needs of the mother necessarily come first, and like any birthing there is much that can be done to provide an optimum experience and outcome for the health and happiness of both the breeding bitch and the litter of cuddly puppies.

Dog Breeding Tips - Little Gem Onyx of Windy Ridge

Horizon Structures provides dog owners with both residential and commercial dog kennels, houses, and pens and their team of experts all have experience in the doggie world to share with purchasers on the search for just the right features for function and fit for the dog owner’s specific needs.

Horizon Structures is pleased to announce the newest addition to the team, Ted Burrows. Ted is based in Elmira, New York and will be covering the Upstate New York region kennel sales for the company. As a dog breeder Ted brings a wealth of experience and we asked him for some dog breeding advice to help make the wonders of whelping a positive experience for both dog and owner.

“As a dog breeder I would say cleanliness and ease of cleaning and a whelping room separate from the other dogs to make birthing and raising the litter as stress free as possible for the mother are top priorities. A piece of advice I would give anyone that is in the market for a kennel for a pet as a homeowner or breeder is to consider these Horizon Structures units. They are built with everything you need and more for the comfort of your dogs and the easy maintenance and convenience for you. You and your dogs are our number one priority at Horizon Structures.”

Ted Burrows operates Windy Ridge Labradors and while he has experience breeding cocker spaniels too, his passion for retrievers is apparent. With two litters expected any day, Ted’s house and life is hectic. He and his wife and family currently house six labs in their home, and between the two male breeding dogs, two bitches ready to pop and two canine ‘teenager’s coming along behind, it was no wonder Ted was on the hunt for a commercial dog kennel for breeding.

Ted explained that he priced a kennel design that he planned to have built on his property. The sticker shock from that exercise drove him to look for an alternative and he came across a company in Missouri that had a ready built kennel that might meet his needs. Unfortunately the company was downsizing due to family health issues and was no longer building kennels. The pre-fab option was significantly cheaper and Ted found the specialist features offered from a professional dog kennel builder very attractive.

“ I was concerned about doing a stick build on my property because it would require a concrete foundation and the idea of a wood floor didn’t seem a good option when you have dogs peeing all over. Wood rot would definitely happen. The idea of a pre-fab building was appealing because not only was it much cheaper, it also offered neat features in materials that would enhance the longevity of the building and its ease of use.”

Not to be thwarted in his efforts to find the best kennel Ted continued his search and by chance Ted came across Horizon Structures through an ad on Facebook.

“ I was so excited when I saw that ad. It looked like the kennel options were exactly what I wanted and I couldn’t believe they were so close by in Atglen, PA and that the designs they offered looked great and importantly the prices were affordable too.”

Ted made his way down to Atglen, PA to visit the Horizon Structures plant and met with Mindy Rinier to discuss the best options for his Windy Ridge Labrador dog breeding operation.

“ Mindy and I were talking about layout and my best options and this got me very excited to say the least. When I was finally able to make a road trip and meet with Mindy and go to the plant I was again amazed when I was able to physically see and walk inside a kennel model they had on display. Pictures do not do them justice. I liked the quality and saw how easy it would be to set up and maintain.”

Aside from the easy clean walls and polyurea floors, well placed drains, electrical package, radiant floor and air-conditioning options and easy clean design and build of the Horizon Structures kennels, Ted explained another factor about the prefab kennel option that appealed to him.

“ If I decide to retire and move, I love the fact that I can just call Horizon Structures and ask them to move the kennel to wherever I move. This makes it a great investment for me.”

Ted also shared that as a dog breeder his litters of lovely Labradors sell quickly, and his clients often return not just for more puppies, but also asking if he could house their dogs while they are away on vacation.

“ I can’t offer this service right now, as I wouldn’t want to just crate their dogs all day. When I can offer them a kennel space with its own run so the dogs can come and go as they like in a safe space I could add it to my business,” Ted suggested. 

Another added value business idea Ted shared was his plans to add training services to his dog breeding business especially for his own litters of puppies where he could train them for the field at a young age and present a young dog with the training already well started to a prospective purchaser.

Advice for dog breeding - Burrow's Darlin Daisy Duke and Mighty Marley

The relationship between Ted and Horizon Structures did not stop with the ongoing design chat about the kennels. Ted was so excited about the kennels he determined that he would like to help spread the word about their availability to other dog breeders and dog training professionals.

“Talking with Mindy and seeing the quality of the kennels really got my wheels turning and not only thinking of myself as a pet owner/breeder but the numerous people that are one of me! I proposed my interest to be given the opportunity to be a Sales Associate for Horizon Structures and they accepted. I am proud to say that I am a part of such an awesome company and the Horizon Structures family to promote and sell such an awesome product.”

So if you have been debating about buying a kennel, whether it be for a professional operation or as a backyard pet owner, and would like to talk with Ted about what is available and how to best design a kennel for your needs, shoot him an email at

1959bowhunter@gmail.com

If you need a dog or two to put in your new kennel to expand your business don’t forget to ask him about his lovely Labradors! The two litters are well through their incubation phase and ready to hatch soon.

Nikki Alvin Smith

Nikki Alvin-Smith is a seasoned freelance writer who loves to share her lifelong experience with everything horse, farm and travel. Her work has been printed in more than two hundred equestrian magazine titles worldwide and her published articles number in the thousands including travel and lifestyle press.

A Brit who has called New York home for more than 37 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to her writing.

Her experience as an international level Grand Prix dressage competitor, coach and worldwide clinician, with a youth spent showjumping and foxhunting, provides lots of educational truths and fun moments to share with the reader. Additionally she has been a horse breeder/importer of Hanoverian, Dutch and Iberian horses for 25+ years.

Together with her husband Paul, also a Grand Prix dressage rider, she lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York and operates an organic hay farm and dressage yard. She is the proud mother of three children, Tristan, James and Chelsea (twins), and the latter two have kept with the horse riding as adults.