I prefer lt fall/winter litters and find the hunters like getting puppies in the winter too (and the pet people don't because they are all worried about potty training in the crappy weather!). Parvo and other soil borne pathogens tend to be a lot worse in the spring/ summer here and it cuts into my "play" time (competition). I raise my litters in my basement which is very comfortable for all of us, starting them on a tray of the pellets in their whelping box. Then they go to an ex pen w/ the potty pool set up in one half of my garage. This works beautifully and is very clean but you have to take the time to show the puppies starting at ~3 wks where they need to do their potties, so it is a little more time consuming up front. Very well worth it those last 4 wks though, esp if you are so unlucky to have the runs go thru the litter!!!