Lauren has been 'raising' puppies since she was a little girl. While other girls were pushing around baby strollers, she was busy organizing all of her 'pets' into their neatly arranged pens set up all over her bedroom. Each pet always had a name and a special place in her heart. Lauren has always had dogs in the family (including Darby the Dalmation, Missy a Spaniel mix, Daisy the Shih Tzu, and Bailey the Labrador Retriever) and she was very busy helping walk, train, groom, and learn anything she could about her pups. Lauren is a Registered Nurse with a BScN from McMaster University.
Brad is a dedicated 3rd generation dairy farmer and he is always ready with a helping hand or an encouraging word! He has been taking care of living creatures since he was old enough to walk, and you couldn't keep him away from his work and his animals if you tried! He has received a hands-on post-secondary education in animal husbandry and agriculture at Guelph University's Ridgetown Campus. He has previous education and experience as an animal nutritionist. Brad is an able bovine midwife (or 'midhoof'!), and his skills in animal husbandry are often transferrable to our dogs. Brad has always had dogs and puppies growing up which included several Golden Retrievers, Max a German Shepherd, KC the Shih Tzu, Spike a Labrador cross, Bailey a yellow Labrador Retriever, Sheba the Rottweiler x Labrador, and a few of 'farm specials'.
Together, Lauren & Brad have raised and trained puppies, adult dogs, re-homes, and rescues. The dogs get lots and lots of love and attention and are involved in almost every aspect of our daily life. Spending so much time with our adult dogs guarantees that we know and trust their personalities; we are then confident in providing both genetic health quality and temperament quality in the parentage of our litters. We are also committed to handling and spending time with each puppy daily- making sure that they are forming loving bonds with people, and are introduced to basic training and external stimulation. We are life-long learners, and believe strongly that our care of our dogs should be grounded in evidenced based research and best practice veterinary standards.
Why puppies? First of all, we absolutely love having puppies around! Our puppies live with us in our home with designated outdoor play time in our yard as they grow. Secondly, we are committed to raising quality puppies with excellent health and temperament. Finally, we want to help families find the perfect long-lasting companion and support them throughout their dog's lifetime. Our goal is to ensure that each puppy and family gets our dedicated time, love, and attention. We take pride in our relationship with the families of our puppies: we send lots of pictures and updates, we do our best to allow time for families to visit their puppy, and we also ensure that education and follow-up is available after the puppy enters their forever home.
There is always room for one more dog...
Why the name Hillmeadow? Hillmeadow has been the name of Brad's family farm for years. The farm is the reason why we have such a beautiful home and location for raising our dogs, and we're also home almost 24/7 because of the needs of the dairy farm (our cows are milked every 12 hours and we are always on stand-by for labour and deliveries). Hillmeadow is also a neat play off of Brad's first name 'Bradley' which means 'meadow' and my maiden name 'Terpstra' which means 'from the hill'.
Courses and Continuing Education
- Completion of Royal Canin's Elite Academy. Learning modules completed include: Bone and Joint Health, Digestive Health, Natural Defenses, Nutrition 101, Skin & Coat Health, and Special Digestion, etc.
- Royal Canin's Webinar series on Nutrition and the Canine Bitch, Timing of Ovulation, Basics in Canine Reproductions, and many more.
- American Kennel Club's Whelping & Medical Intervention
- American Kennel Club's Breeding Basics
- American Kennel Club's How Nutrition Influences Reproduction
- American Kennel Club's ABCs of Dog Breeding Part 1 & 2
- American Kennel Club's Practical Canine Movement and Anatomy
- Puppy Culture Programme
- Canine Reproduction and Whelping- a Dog Breeder's Guide by Myra Savant Harris
- Advanced Canine Reproduction and Puppy Care by Myra Savant Harris
- Puppy Intensive Care- A Breeder's Guide to the Care of Newborn Puppies by Myra Savant Harris