We learned years ago how potentially harmful some viruses and other microbes, which are present in the soil throughout the states of Texas and Louisiana, can be to young puppies... until they have completed a series of inoculations, at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks of age. Therefore, we go to great lengths to prevent our puppies from being exposed to ground level contaminants. Mother dogs (before they give birth) are placed in one of our 8 ft by 32 ft kennels which are partially shaded, partially enclosed & air conditioned, and totally off the ground. Mother and puppies remain there until they all go home. We even sterilize all feet and all hands of anyone entering the kennel.