Archive for the ‘breeding’ Category

Holy Moly!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

This puppy….holy moly. The last time we practiced (three days ago), Alice still didn’t quite “get” tunnels, she’d go in with encouragement but she was still climbing on top and not quite seeing the point of them. And then yesterday (her next training session) she became a tunnel suck! In fact, she was SO enthusiastic about tunnels I had to do a quick couple of sessions of rewarding NOT going into the tunnel. I cannot believe how quickly she learns, how few repetitions it takes of most things before she really seems to understand them, and how much focus and working drive and enthusiasm she has at just five months of age.

She is jumping 4″ bars. She steps on bumps so I elected to stop using them, 4″ is well below her hocks, and we actually do jumping very rarely. The OneMind Dogs “offering the jump” exercise is extremely effective. And Puppy Culture is amazing.

To say I am pleased would be an immense understatement. I am absolutely thrilled. She is amazing. I feel very lucky. So far she is EXACTLY what I was hoping to get out of this breeding.

Baby Agility

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Holy crap. I can’t believe how well this little 4 month old is doing! Huge thanks to Sue! We were using bumps but she was stepping on them. Per the OneMind Dogs folks, you’re OK to use jumps below hock level, so that’s what I’m doing. She’s doing very little jumping anyway but I needed something for her to go over rather than step on.

Today we went to a Barn Hunt workshop and found some rats! Very fun to get out of my comfort zone and learn about a dog sport I know nothing about! She did great. Awesome focus and working drive on this puppy.

 

Admiral Perry Obedience Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

…The Return Of Zhora.

She made the most of it! Turning in a perfect weekend in her first trial since early last July (other than the Invitational, of course). She was amazing, even accounting for my stupid handler tricks that nearly cost her a Jumpers Q today. She picked up QQ’s # 55 and 56, only 4 to go for MACH3!

Nina had a lovely JWW Q yesterday but Nina’d the rest.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #55, 18 points, third place, 4.75 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 22 points, 5.36 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #55, 26 points, third place):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #56. 13 points thanks to my random misplaced front cross that nearly sent her to the wrong jump, I praised her for calling off it, which nearly caused a refusal…then she slowed right down because my GPS was clearly malfunctioning):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, rough angle on that first bar down, then after the third bar I say “HEY!” at which point she shouts back at me, judge Laura English said it was like she was saying “HEY YOURSELF!”, she didn’t knock any more bars though!):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #56, 26 points again, third place again, at least she’s consistent!):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, allergic to yellow, I caused the weave issue by praising her for making th entry):

8 WEEKS OLD TOMORROW!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

When you have a newborn litter, the days seem much the same, you don’t have to do much except make sure the dam is looked after, keep the whelping box clean, and handle, weigh and monitor the puppies. With this litter we had to do a bit more because Popcorn (now Cora) was struggling at bit at first, but overall, they grow, they eat, they crawl around. And then, all of a sudden, their eyes are open, then they’re walking, then they’re moving to the big pen, they’re learning things, and now, somehow, we’re almost at the point where they’ll start leaving to go to their new homes and now….now we have to figure out how to let them go. I love this litter so, so much, they are exactly what I was hoping to get from this cross so far. And while I am SO looking forward to following their adventures out in the world, I am also going to cry….a lot…as they leave me.

Today we took them all to the vet (where I work) for their first doctor exam, microchipping (we use a local anesthetic so they don’t mind that big needle), and since Cora is scheduled to leave on Saturday, she got her first distemper/parvovirus vaccination. The others will get theirs next week.

Cora getting her checkup (with a snack) from Dr Julie.

Everybody was healthy! No heart murmurs, everybody who should have testicles has two, and nobody who shouldn’t have testicles has any. Bites were good. And they really did very, very well. They played, nobody was really worried about being up on the exam table, nobody cared about their local anesthetic injection OR their microchip. Cora was very brave with her vaccination and didn’t even notice it. They wrestled and played in the exam room and then played tag up and down the hallway with the staff.

Licensed Veterinary Technician Simone and Chex

There are many reasons I love working where I do. We have an awesome staff who are dedicated to making sure pets have a good experience at the vet, we’re a certified Fear Free clinic and we work hard to make the vet fun if possible! I love the doctors and staff I work with and seeing how they all interacted with the puppies was awesome. We have Adaptil diffusers in every dog examination room, we play music specifically intended to help dogs feel calm and comfortable, we use food and low stress handling techniques, but even so, I was very happy with how the puppies did! They played, they ate, they wagged and barked and socialized!

Simone and puppies

Simone getting the bities from Alfie (formerly Orson):

“Sorry Jan, she knows how to bark!” (Cora, wearing the blue collar):

Veterinary Assistant Jason had LIVER….they liked liver AND Jason

 

7 Weeks Old (and thereabouts)

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

SO MANY THINGS happened this week! The puppies took their first ride in the car (to visit my work, since they’ll be getting their microchips next week, I wanted their first visit to a vet clinic to be all fun), they started eating meals in crates, many different enrichment things, they’ve been going out onto the deck…

We played with paper and an apple at Amanda’s work!

The cool kids are outside!

Sheepskin!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Nicole came over with a sheepskin for the puppies’ enrichment item. They were in HEAVEN! They leaped on it and shook it and tore fleece off it (they most definitely would have been excused for excessive gripping in a herding trial). They wiped themselves out they played so hard. What a GREAT idea for them – new smells, new textures, new things to bite! They are real little dogs now.

SIX WEEKS OLD!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

How did we get here so fast? The first few weeks seem to pass so slowly, but now they’re changing nearly every day and when you think you should do something with them you blink and they’re already doing something else!

What’s happened recently?

Several more visitors.

One puppy pierced Jim’s ear. Now they’ve tasted human flesh we’re all doomed…

They’ve had various different enrichment items, including a beach ball!

They get to run around the downstairs when I clean their pen. This makes for some interesting monitoring….

They spent some time on the deck today since it was warm out. The grass is soaking wet so I haven’t had them on it, but at least they got some new smells in a new location today!

They’re eating wonderfully, they LOVE their raw. They’re eating two raw meals and two kibble meals a day. I want them to eat a variety of things, not only because I think it’s probably healthier over time, but also because I want them to be willing to eat whatever their new people want to feed them. My own dogs eat one kibble meal and one raw meal a day.

We started charging the clicker (finally!) last night with baby food. We also took their first set of individual “stacked” pictures. I am very pleased with this litter so far, they’re well built and all have lovely temperaments so far. Chex already has two ears standing up! I expect they’ll fall again when they grow, but it’s really cute.

They had new visitors all the way from Connecticut today!

They’ve slept in the big pen all alone the last three nights, with Zhora and I next door.

Ruffles:

Orson:

Chex:

Frito:

Popcorn:

 

Various videos from the last few days:

36 Days Old – BREAKTHROUGH!

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Clockwise from top left: Popcorn, Ruffles, Chex, Orson, Frito

…and it was NO thanks to me!

As you know if you’ve been reading along, the puppies haven’t been all that interested in solid food. Well between my friend Lynn Uram of CastleGate Shelties (who suggested the Answers goat milk), and Jim, who just happened to offer them straight kibble today instead of soaked mush, THE PUPPIES ARE EATING LIKE REAL EATING PUPPIES WHO EAT! Mush is for babies, I guess.

This is truly my “it takes a village” litter!

They have the cool chewies suggested by my friend Megan, and they’re extremely playful and interactive (or “obnoxious”, depending on your point of view and/or mood and/or if they’ve just demolished the potty area you just finished cleaning). They still sleep probably 80% of the time (that’s when they grow after all), but when they’re awake, they’re very, very busy.

Yesterday I snapped open a garbage bag next to the pen and startled the bejeezus out of them, it was loud enough that they actually ran away, but then they came RIGHT BACK to see what it was. Can’t hope for more than that!

FIVE WEEKS OLD!

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

They celebrated by getting their nails Dremeled for the first time. Baby food was the reward. They mostly complained about having to hold still, none of them seemed to care about the actual Dremeling.

They’re eating a bit better but still prefer mum. I’m starting to keep her away for periods of time so they’ll be hungrier and eat more. I don’t normally do this but Zhora can only keep up with so much demand and they’re BIG and HUNGRY. They drain her in a very short amount of time now. I’m adding Answers raw goat milk to their kibble/mousse/tripe mush and they seem to really like it.

I think they liked the baby food enough that I can use it to at least charge the clicker, I’m champing at the bit to start clicker training but with them not really caring that much about food, it’s been impossible.

They visited with Sue on Tuesday and had a wonderful time. They got dried duck feet as their enrichment item on Tuesday, yesterday it was a different toy, and today it was various different chew things suggested by Megan (who works at Pet Supplies Plus).

Yesterday we separated them from each other and the other dogs for 2 1/2 hours so that we could do their cheek swabs for the Animal Health Trust DNA test for retinopathy. Again, caution is the key here, remember that there is a LOT we don’t know about the retinopathy, almost no dogs go blind if they have it, and dogs who are genetically “affected” can still have normal eye tests (Nina is one of these, she had yet another normal eye test this year at the age of 10). But still, I think it’s important to test and know what you have, so I opted to test this litter instead of doing eye examinations. They were surprisingly (or not) wonderful for this – just some fussing but mostly they just snoozed. I was very impressed considering they’ve only been apart for considerably shorter periods. They did NOT like the swabs, poor babies. Their soft little mouths must be so tender. But it’s for a good cause.

They are definitely baby dogs now, they’re looking very attractive and they’re so outgoing and so BITEY….oh lordy they’re bitey…sitting in the puppy hot tub is an exercise in trying not to be eaten alive too badly just now. They definitely tell each other off for biting too hard, and they’re NAUGHTY – part of the problem with all this enrichment is that everything is something to be explored and experimented with and dragged around, including the potty patch (not mentioning any names…RUFFLES), the litter box (not mentioning any names ORSON AND POPCORN), the TOWEL THEIR WATER BOWL IS ON….not mentioning any names CHEX! Frito is a perfect angel except when he tried to pull my sock off and run away with it….poor Zhora can’t be enjoying nursing them. I keep waiting for her to kick them to the curb but she’s still gamely in there feeding them of her own volition. Definitely going to start pushing the food though.

Weigh in:

Ruffles – 3.7 lbs/1680 grams (birth weight 216 grams)

Orson – 4.5 lbs/2050 grams (birth weight 189 grams)

Chex – 4.2 lbs/1892 grams (birth weight 180 grams)

Frito – 3.8 lbs/1720 grams (birth weight 179 grams)

Popcorn – 2.7 lbs/1247 grams (birth weight 158 grams)

30 Days Old – Collars!

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Usually with Vallhund litters there’s enough variation in markings, tails (not in this litter obviously), etc. that you really don’t need to put unique markers on the puppies at birth. And I’m paranoid about collar safety. However, they do need to wear collars eventually so today they took them out for a test drive! These are breakaway puppy collars but still, they will only be wearing them while we’re in the same room just in case.

As with the last litter, I’ve purposely tried to avoid anything other than relatively neutral colors to avoid influencing my opinion (or your opinion) about the puppy. Just like in Reservoir Dogs, everybody wants to be Mr. Black.

Collar colors:

Ruffles – red

Orson – orange

Chex – yellow

Frito – green

Popcorn – blue