Briar Hill

Naturally Reared English Shepherds

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Raw Food Sampler

At Briar Hill, we feed a raw food, species-appropriate diet. This keeps our dogs in tip-top shape. Here are some samples of meals that the pups and adults have been getting.

Ground Lamb and Heart, Salmon and Pollock

Whole Ground Beef, Heart, Liver, Kidney, Tripe and Chunks

 

Pastured Goat chunks and Organic Chicken legs

 

 

Whole Prey Wild-Caught Sardines chopped and mixed with Pasture-Raised Goat chunks

 

 

Organic free-range Eggs and Chicken chunks, Chicken carcass (not pictured)

 

Lamb trachea, Pasture-raised lamb chunks, Duck necks

 

 

Whole ground beef, heart, kidney, liver, spleen, pancreas, tripe

Whole ground rabbit, Lamb tracheas, Duck feet, Goat chunks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary: Snorkeling in the Pool

Mary is playing with leaves and snorkeling in the pool, while Ceallaigh, Breannan, and Áine wrestle in the background. The rest of the litter sought out shade and are sleeping on this hot September day.

Why Buy a Naturally Reared (“NR”) Pup?

The importance of buying a naturally reared pup versus buying a pup and then naturally rearing them is concisely addressed in the post below. With a NR pup, you’re investing in the long-term health of your new companion. You can’t put a price tag on that.

I’ve done both. While I don’t go into that in this post, I make some points that will hopefully get you thinking. I will not purchase an animal that has not been raised as nature intended. Well, I should mention a bit about my Golden, who I raised on a raw food diet (not quite NR). It didn’t go so well. By the time he was 18 months, I noticed problems that were brewing, which would have started before it was obvious…him showing symptoms. He passed a couple of weeks after his 8th Birthday. That’s not fair! His life was way too short! I did and tried everything I could to help him. To back up and fill in the gaps a bit. The next 6½ years we worked with herbs and diet, every day. He was happy and had a decent to excellent quality of life, but it was one that I had to be vigilant with providing him the necessary care to maintain. The last 2 months were awful for both him and us. I am not going to lie, I did get weary. Wishing I didn’t have to do any of it. The Veterinarians should have had their licenses taken away. What he had to endure and the time and money wasted on non-sense. During the last 3 years of his life, I decided I could not be a part of that world anymore. I went searching for breeders who were raising their dogs and puppies holistically, organically, green, whatever words I could think of to describe what I believed in. I knew there had to be someone out there that felt the same way I did. Sure enough, I stumbled upon natural rearing and have not looked back. Shortly after, I bought my first English Shepherd, Ula, who is 2nd-generation naturally reared. Eventually, Laddie followed, who is 4th-generation NR.

My litter of pups are 3rd-generation naturally reared. My breeding practices are strict, perhaps stricter than other NR breeders. This stems from my determination of not having a family and their dog suffer the way we did. It was horrible! Even now as I think about it, it breaks my heart. My poor boy didn’t deserve that. Can I prevent everything, no, but I can sure try.  My goal is to be conscientious and thoughtful in every decision I make. There is a reason behind everything I do. The more generations of natural rearing, clearing toxins, and building immunity that are behind them, the better. To a long, healthy, enjoyable life with your new puppy. Cheers!

From our Facebook Page.
(BTW, be sure to visit and like us, here!)

Meet the Parents!

We’ve started a new page, CLICK HERE, to tell you about our puppies’ parents. It’s a work in progress, but it’s our latest addition to the site. Enjoy!

Here Comes the Rain…All Day

I was hoping to put up fence today, but there have been thunderstorms up until a little while ago when the rain stopped. The sunshine is pushing those clouds away. Finally! Now it’s 5:00 p.m., the grass is wet and needs to dry; it also needs to be mowed before the fence installation. Looks like making fence will have to be tomorrow. I can’t wait to get those little puppers out in the grass. They are going to love it! I will take some footage of that new experience for them.

Tour de Toys for the Puppies

Here’s a look at some toys I purchased for the pups and some of the features I like about them…

Tour de Raw Dog Food

Here’s a look at a recent raw dog food order from My Pet Carnivore and the range of meats we feed to our English Shepherd dam and sire. What was also ordered, but not mentioned in the video, was whole-ground rabbit, pancreas, spleen, and beef organ mix. They are also given various types of fish, emu, alpaca, muskrat, beaver, duck, goose, different kinds of meaty bones, and other items that are based on availability or season. We believe that feeding a variety of meats provides our dogs with balanced nutrition over time. In addition to feeding raw, as diet is everything, herbs are used to cleanse, nourish, and heal them, which maintains their health. We live in a toxic world and there’s no avoiding it. Herbs are a great, gentle, plant-based, whole food that can accomplish this goal without harmful side-effects.
We were planning on getting goats, lambs, chickens, and ducks (maybe rabbits and guinea hens) this spring, but a sturdy perimeter fence needs to be installed first. We’re working toward getting this done before winter, so we’re ready for next year.
 

Wee Wee Pad Alternative

As an alternative and in addition to the wee-wee pads, which some of the pups started using at a week and a half old, we set up a boot tray a week or so later filled with natural hardwood pellets. I chose a boot tray since it has a low profile and easier for young pups to get in and out of. I decided to try the wood pellets after speaking to a breeder who has been using this method for years and recommends it.
What I like about the pellets is that they have no chemicals. Yeah for chem-free! Pups like to romp and take naps in them. What I am not sure that I like is if the pups are ingesting them while I am not there and when they urinate on them the pellets do get crumbly. When this happens, the powder gets all over them.
This is a safe and natural pee-spot for pups, with the added benefit of a new sensory experience beneath their paws. It’s important for pups to feel different kinds of surfaces, and this is a way to do that while giving them a place to go when nature calls.

UPDATE:
After using the boot tray we used under-the-bed boxes, kitty litter boxes, then we moved onto a 30″ x 36″ tray that is used in the bottom of metal rabbit cages from Tractor Supply. It’s called the DuMOR Rabbit Tray.

The Wee Pads Have Landed

In my quest for a more natural wee pad, I found a brand that looks very promising. Here’s a bit about them…

Laddie chases his ball

You’ve never seen a dog who loves to play ball like Laddie loves to play ball. Here he is, chasing down his “Frankenball”, as we call it.

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