Holistic Puppy Log - Birth through week 1

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
Puppy Log - Week Seven
The pups are growing well. They are all each still eating the same amount; now up to 5 ounces three times a day today. We increase each day, and no one has left anything on any day, and they are all at good weights, with ribs that one can easily feel. All weigh ten pounds or more, and everyone gained at least a pound this week.

Pups had a few different foods this week. Their favourite was the fish skins, paws down!
Another new treat was venison and chicken jerky, and I used a trachea (not my own, a cow’s) as a pacifier while I trimmed their toenails. I did this in the open garage, during a thunderstorm, and the pups accepted the nail trim and the weather with no fuss.
They also started fish oil, 200 mg once daily on their breakfast, topped with their raw yogurt.
I started a teaspoon of pumpkin in the evening to see if a little more fiber might help them be a bit less ravenous at breakfast. They don’t cry in the morning until they see me actually coming in the pen, but the way they dive into their food is pretty intense.
The pups are always fed individually, and they eat many of their meals on top of the big crate. I comb them out every morning. This week we graduated from the flea comb to a big dog comb.

The pups enjoy meeting more friends. This bunch welcomes everyone, swarming up people when possible, and usually gnawing - gently or otherwise - on body parts! They like playing tug, and will gnaw on the Zogoflex toys that are in the pen.

The pups had time loose in the house and yard individually with the older dogs. Maerzen was a little too protective in the yard, trying to herd them back inside, so we had them with Great Grandmum Rubiy in the yard. Ru loves pups, and is incredibly gentle with them, even when they are pesky. Grandmum Rheswyn like to clean them, but she is a bit rough. Rubiy cleans gently, as if she were stroking a butterfly. Rheswyn cleans like she is removing a coat of paint. Maerzen often pushes between Rhes and the puppy; perhaps Maerzen remembers those days? In the house Maerzen follows the puppies, and if they want to play, she will mouth tussle with them. Only a few still try to try to nurse, and she moves away rather quickly - guess she is ready to have her figure back!

We continue to work with habituating the pups to new sounds, sights, and experiences. When working with pups, it is important to be a coach and cheerleader. These pups need encouragement if they are worried. Think ‘You can do it, we will do it together’ manner and tone of voice. ‘Poor baby, are you scared?’ sounds like whining to a pup, and does not inspire confidence!

Vacuuming near the pen seemed to worry the pups, so I moved the vacuum away and fed treats until they decided it was not a big deal. One pup was especially concerned, so I held her in my arms and walked around the room at a good distance from the vacuum until she was more relaxed. When pups are afraid of something, you want to create a good association without frightening them. Oddly, when John plays drums in the lower level, they come to the front of the pen and sing along.

I set the bottle pool up this week, with a ramp up to the top. I let the pups decide what they want to do with it. All of them climbed on the ramp, but only four went in, which is fine. Even if they don’t choose to go in, they hear the noise and see what the others are doing. I’ll set it up again this week.

Individual leash walking continued. The collars the pups are wearing now are quick release safety collars, so if they were to get tangled in the pen the collar will pop open. This means that if they get afraid and yank back on the leash, the collar will pop open. These collars are good for teaching here in a confined space with which they are familiar, but they will need a collar that does not pop open for leash walking. I use a plain flat collar with a quick release buckle for all training, and a safety collar with ID tags in the house.

We are slowly introducing stairs. All pups tried going up two stairs, most succeeded easily. We are careful and slow about going down stairs, and we only allow pups to go down one stair on to grass or a cushioned mat. A lot of the pups were worried about this, so I gently helped them down.

Car rides went about as well as expected. They did a lot of screaming for the first ten minutes, then calmed down, with occasional talking. I took three or four at a time, one solo in a crate, and two or three together in a larger crate. I had a ice bottle in each crate, as being cool helps them settle down. From loading to unloading, it was over half an hour for each set; about twenty minutes of driving. I will do this at least once more, and I will try to give them two more rides. I can pop treats in the crate when they are quiet, the goal is to give them positive associations.

I am hoping for some warm weather for water play. At any rate, we will see what the pups think of wheelie bins, umbrellas, and bicycles this week!

All of the new families know which pup will be theirs. They will let us know what call name to start using, so we can give that a positive association, too. I will continue to use the colours as well in the posts.
All pups will get an AKC registration name. The name can have up to 36 characters, counting spaces. All of the pups will have Bernvonrust as part of their name, and I hope the new families will include the bird name, as it helps me remember which litter is which! This will take up 17 - 20 spaces, including the space before or after those two names.

It is hard to believe the pups will start going to their forever families in less than two weeks. Our house will feel so empty, and ten other homes will have bouncy baby Berners!

Two pictures: The top is Greatgrandmum Ru with a pup, the second is Mum Maerzen mouth wrestling a pup

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DSCN4567.jpg
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
Pup Log - Week Seven
The pups are growing well. They are all each still eating the same amount; now up to 5 ounces three times a day today. We increase each day, and no one has left anything on any day, and they are all at good weights, with ribs that one can easily feel. All weigh ten pounds or more, and everyone gained at least a pound this week.

Pups had a few different foods this week. Their favourite was the fish skins, paws down!
Another new treat was venison and chicken jerky, and I used a trachea (not my own, a cow’s) as a pacifier while I trimmed their toenails. I did this in the open garage, during a thunderstorm, and the pups accepted the nail trim and the weather with no fuss.
They also started fish oil, 200 mg once daily on their breakfast, topped with their raw yogurt.
I started a teaspoon of pumpkin in the evening to see if a little more fiber might help them be a bit less ravenous at breakfast. They don’t cry in the morning until they see me actually coming in the pen, but the way they dive into their food is pretty intense.
The pups are always fed individually, and they eat many of their meals on top of the big crate. I comb them out every morning. This week we graduated from the flea comb to a big dog comb.

The pups enjoy meeting more friends. This bunch welcomes everyone, swarming up people when possible, and usually gnawing - gently or otherwise - on body parts! They like playing tug, and will gnaw on the Zogoflex toys that are in the pen.

The pups had time loose in the house and yard individually with the older dogs. Maerzen was a little too protective in the yard, trying to herd them back inside, so we had them with Great Grandmum Rubiy in the yard. Ru loves pups, and is incredibly gentle with them, even when they are pesky. Grandmum Rheswyn like to clean them, but she is a bit rough. Rubiy cleans gently, as if she were stroking a butterfly. Rheswyn cleans like she is removing a coat of paint. Maerzen often pushes between Rhes and the puppy; perhaps Maerzen remembers those days? In the house Maerzen follows the puppies, and if they want to play, she will mouth tussle with them. Only a few still try to try to nurse, and she moves away rather quickly - guess she is ready to have her figure back!

We continue to work with habituating the pups to new sounds, sights, and experiences. When working with pups, it is important to be a coach and cheerleader. These pups need encouragement if they are worried. Think ‘You can do it, we will do it together’ manner and tone of voice. ‘Poor baby, are you scared?’ sounds like whining to a pup, and does not inspire confidence!

Vacuuming near the pen seemed to worry the pups, so I moved the vacuum away and fed treats until they decided it was not a big deal. One pup was especially concerned, so I held her in my arms and walked around the room at a good distance from the vacuum until she was more relaxed. When pups are afraid of something, you want to create a good association without frightening them. Oddly, when John plays drums in the lower level, they come to the front of the pen and sing along.

I set the bottle pool up this week, with a ramp up to the top. I let the pups decide what they want to do with it. All of them climbed on the ramp, but only four went in, which is fine. Even if they don’t choose to go in, they hear the noise and see what the others are doing. I’ll set it up again this week.

Individual leash walking continued. The collars the pups are wearing now are quick release safety collars, so if they were to get tangled in the pen the collar will pop open. This means that if they get afraid and yank back on the leash, the collar will pop open. These collars are good for teaching here in a confined space with which they are familiar, but they will need a collar that does not pop open for leash walking. I use a plain flat collar with a quick release buckle for all training, and a safety collar with ID tags in the house.

We are slowly introducing stairs. All pups tried going up two stairs, most succeeded easily. We are careful and slow about going down stairs, and we only allow pups to go down one stair on to grass or a cushioned mat. A lot of the pups were worried about this, so I gently helped them down.

Car rides went about as well as expected. They did a lot of screaming for the first ten minutes, then calmed down, with occasional talking. I took three or four at a time, one solo in a crate, and two or three together in a larger crate. I had a ice bottle in each crate, as being cool helps them settle down. From loading to unloading, it was over half an hour for each set; about twenty minutes of driving. I will do this at least once more, and I will try to give them two more rides. I can pop treats in the crate when they are quiet, the goal is to give them positive associations.

I am hoping for some warm weather for water play. At any rate, we will see what the pups think of wheelie bins, umbrellas, and bicycles this week!

All of the new families know which pup will be theirs. They will let us know what call name to start using, so we can give that a positive association, too. I will continue to use the colours as well in the posts.
All pups will get an AKC registration name. The name can have up to 36 characters, counting spaces. All of the pups will have Bernvonrust as part of their name, and I hope the new families will include the bird name, as it helps me remember which litter is which! This will take up 17 - 20 spaces, including the space before or after those two names.

It is hard to believe the pups will start going to their forever families in less than two weeks. Our house will feel so empty, and ten other homes will have bouncy baby Berners!

Top: GreatGrandmum cleaning Green
Bottom: Mum tussling with Blue

DSCN4569.jpg

DSCN4567.jpg
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
Puppy Log - Week Eight

These pups continue to be champion eaters. As of Sunday 5 May they are eating 6.8 oz, three times daily. I expect they will be eating 8 ounces, three times daily when they go home this coming weekend. We have added some new foods: chicken wings, chopped hard boiled egg with the shell, dried chicken feet, and peanut butter. The eggs and chicken wings were fed as part of their total food intake; the chicken feet and peanut butter, like their beloved Icelandic fish skins, are treats to keep them occupied.

Along with champion eating comes champion elimination. The pups get about 75% of their eliminations on the pee pad or the newspapers, when their siblings haven’t trashed the joint. They also get outside two or three times a day, and often they eliminate outside; hoorah! They all gained around three pounds this week, and weights are now in the 13 to 13.5 pound range. We get a fabulous workout, between lifting them for meals, and carrying them up stairs and outside.

The pups are getting individual time, and time in groups of two or three, to roam in the yard. They excel at following. These pups are so friendly, and want to be with people, so they follow quite well. We have gone up and down hills, seen jumps and walked on low boardwalks. I love letting them out after dinner to bounce around the front yard in small groups; they are so enthusiastic, even when shredding my azaleas!

We allow exploration in the house as well, with the big dogs. They have learned that Rheswyn, Maerzen, and Rubiy are not the same. Grandmum Rheswyn tells them she is not to be pestered, while the other two are much more tolerant. Great Grandmum Rubiy wants to lick the first few, and if / when they get pestiferous, she asks to go behind a gate, away from them. Maerzen likes to play with them and order them around if she thinks they shouldn’t go somewhere. Play with mum can look kind of scary, because she play bows to them, and swings her big head and teeth at them. They are undaunted, though some are more interested in mixing it up than others are!

When training new behaviours, channel your inner coach and teacher. You want to be upbeat, and avoid stern or begging tones. Pups have excellent hearing (listening is not always so good), so when you repeat verbal cues, you are teaching them to ignore you. Get their attention before you try to teach anything. The best way to get their attention is by being interesting, with food, toys, and happy talk. Get the behaviour you want - say a sit - by luring them into it with a piece of food or a toy, then when they sit say 'Yes! Sit!' and give the treat or toy. Don’t use the word before the desired behaviour until you are pretty sure that they are associating the word with the behaviour. Use an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ when they do something right, and follow it up with praise, and a physical reward when you can.

The pups are progressing nicely with leash walking and sitting. They know that if they yank on the leash, we just stop until they calm. If they seem reluctant to go forward, I never tug on the leash, I just pat them under their tummy, give a few encouraging words, and up they get. For a sit, I use my hand as a lure to bring their attention up, then when their bottom hits the ground, they get a ‘yes!’, a ‘sit!’, and often a treat. Sometimes they jump at my hand, but I just wait them out, and they figure out what I want.

We often play fairly loud music, and that doesn’t bother them. Music can be useful as a way to mask background sound, so consider leaving some playing in your pup’s crating area.

The pups did well with wheeled objects and with umbrellas. They ignored them, alerted to them, or went after them. All these responses are normal. If they showed hesitancy after alerting, I showed them how much fun I was having patting the thing, and they came up to it just fine. Show the puppy new, potentially worrisome objects, from a distance. New similar objects won’t look exactly the same as what they have seen, so pup may alert or show a fear response. Sitting down on the ground with pup is usually a good move. They can come up on you, and see the thing from a safe perch and distance. Remember, don’t use ‘poor puppy’ tones, use ‘brave puppy!’ tones.

We had an excellent car ride with all the pups, with no screaming at all. We started the ride with an ice bottle in the crate, and a treat before starting. There were a few tiny whines, but nothing significant. Hoorah, pups! I will try to do one more car ride, if the weather cooperates.

I have been handling their mouths and teeth, and will start using a finger brush on the teeth this week. Weekly nail trims continue; they are getting bigger and more wiggly, but a fun thing to chew on or an ice bottle to lie on makes the procedure easier.

I comb the pups daily, and they all are fine about it. Daily grooming keeps the coat in good condition. Pups start to get their adult coat at three months, beginning at the base of the tail. The adult coat should not be clipped, because it protects the skin and prevents sunburn. Double coats do not grow back with the same quality. If the coat is shaven, it will take two shed cycles (a year) for the coat to be normal, and some dogs will never have the same coat after being shaven. Shaving the belly for surgery is not a concern, as it is not as thick as the rest of the body. I use a comb or rake on my adult Berners, and have never had a problem with matting.

The most important thing that pups are learning in this last week is how to be a dog. This is why pups should stay with their litter until they are at least 8.5 weeks of age. This is an important period in learning to read signals from other pups, and from the adult dogs in the household. As most dogs are ‘only dogs’ this teaches the pups to relate appropriately to other dogs that they meet. One reason so many dogs have bad ‘dog manners’ - rushing up to other dogs, or jumping on dogs - is that they never learned what behaviour is acceptable from adult dogs. Dogs that are separated even earlier (6 to 7 weeks) experience profound stress from the separation, as this is the period of strongest companion / location attachment. It would be a lot easier for the breeder to send the pups (aka: poop machines) home earlier than 8.5 weeks, but it would be a poor choice for the pups!

I will be filling out the contracts, health certificates, and AKC registration this week. I have your addresses and email for AKC from the questionnaires. I don’t give the AKC your phone number.
I would like to have everything ready in advance so pup can get on the road with you speedily. Please let me know:
1- If you have a spouse / partner, are you to be listed as co-owners for the AKC registration? This requires a $10 co-owner fee. Let me know what name or names I am to put as the owner. The basic registration fee for one owner is $35 which I pay. If you want co-ownership or any of the other AKC ‘goodies’ (pedigree, magazine subscription, etc), be aware of the additional costs.
2 - What puppy name do you want on the registration papers? As discussed last week, you have 36 characters, which will include Bernvonrust, and hopefully the 4 to 7 letter puppy name, as well as whatever else you want.
3 - Who should be listed as owners on the sale contract?

Please remember to bring:
Leash
Collar - current neck size is 12 inches. They have their safety release collars which are safe to wear all the time, as they will separate if the pup gets tangled. They need something that doesn’t release if the pup yanks for leash walks
Crate or harness for transport; if using a harness you will need a person to sit with the pup and a thick towel or blanket for underneath the pup and ice bottle
Cooler for the raw dog food
Large sock (soccer or knee sock) or old t-shirt or pillowcase for their ice bottle
Check book
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
Below:
Blue noshing on a chicken foot
Maerzen play bowing to Green

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Dr. Christina

Veterinarian
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
131
Pup Log - Week Six
The pups are growing and developing beautifully. They weigh between 8.2 and 9 pounds, and are eating 4 oz of ground raw three times daily. Puppies should eat twice as much protein as fat, so I alternate between K9Kraving turkey and their chicken and chicken / beef. They also have raw yogurt on one meal, and snacks of Lakse Kronch baked salmon treats.

Maerzen’s final few days of nursing were at the beginning of this week. She no longer will nurse the piranha gang, though she is happy to clean them up. In fact, while feeding the pups their meals, Maerzen and Rheswyn (grandmum) wait outside the pen, or behind a baby gate. After the pups are done eating, we hold them out for the mamas to team up to clean both ends of the puppy! Who knew maternal grandmums were so interested in cleaning?

Pups have gone outside in groups and solo, though the weather has not yet been warm enough for water play. They continue to enjoy the tunnel and Adventure Box. They graduated to new nylon collars this week, so you may notice a slight difference in some of the colours. Brown is a lighter brown, White is silver, and Pink is a lighter pink.

We started leash walking this week, and I was quite pleased with the pups. The goal is not to have perfect heeling, it is for the pup to walk nicely without pulling against the leash or getting afraid. I coax the pup to come with me, and give lots of praise. When I stop, I let them roam away a bit to the end of the leash, until they realise that the leash is stopping them. Most of the pups accepted this well. A few pulled away, but I stayed down low and coaxed them to come back, and praised them when they did. It ended up being a positive experience for all.
Next week we may do a few short car rides.

Developmentally, this is a remarkably even bunch.
They all eat well - no leftovers from any of them, so they are all still eating the same amount at each meal.
Some are slightly more active than others, but it is not a big difference. There have been a few times when one or another puppy slept through most of a playtime or visit, but then they made up for it in the next playtime!
Some are more vocal than others, but that is when they are waiting to be fed. They don’t wake us in the morning.

The pups are developing bite inhibition. Ian Dunbar has an excellent discussion of this, intitially shared with me by my breeder mentor, Lesley Rouillier. It details how important it is that puppies go through a bite-y phase with their siblings and the adult dogs.
https://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition
The pups learn not to use jaw pressure by the reaction of their sibs and the mamas. Some are developing this faster than others! I place pups that have better bite inhibition with families with young children, because any hard bite can be frightening to a child. The pups may still nip, because they are quite young, so parents will always be careful to supervise puppies and children. Puppies and children are alike in that they can both become over excited. If your pup will be around children, watch carefully, and avoid over stimulating the puppy and the child. An over stimulated pup is more likely to forget bite inhibition and give a hard nip. Over stimulated children may scream, which can frighten pups, even though I have tried to habituate these to sudden and sharp noises. Keep toys on hand, and insist children play with pups with toys, not with their bare hands. When my pups are young, I carry a tug toy with me at all times!

I have sent out information about diet and training, so hopefully that is helping everyone prepare for the big day. The pups will go to their new homes between Saturday 11 May and Wednesday 15 May. They will have a collar, the food bowl that they have been using, five pounds of their current diet, and a frozen water bottle.

The pups will need their new families to bring:
1 - A secure solid sided carrier or crate, at least 21 inches long by 15 high and wide, or a secure harness. A bigger crate is just fine, but your pups will weigh 15 - 20 pounds, and smaller would be a squish. Pups must be secured to go home, as animals become projectiles in accidents, just like people who are not secured in a car. Harnesses can work, but pups can get themselves tangled, so a crate would be simpler. Your pup will have ridden in a crate, so this will not be a totally new experience.
2 - A leash. You may not need to take your pup out of the car while on the road, but if you do, you will need a leash to be safe.
3 - A bottle to take home some of the water the pup has been drinking. Our water is reverse osmosis, and it is wise to change as few things as possible.
4 - A cooler to take home a five pound tube of the pup’s food.
5 - A long sock, old pillowcase, or t-shirt to put over the frozen water bottle. If it smells like you, so much the better!

The pups will like their new families to have at home:
1 - A stainless steel, glass, or crockery water bowl. Plastic bowls leach plastic into the food and water, so they should not be used.
2 - A hard sided crate on the main floor of the house that they can use as a den and for confinement when they are not closely supervised. I house train my pups using a crate that is 35 inches long by 25 high by 23 wide. These pups do not usually use the bedding that I have in the crate, but I have a sheet, towel, or small blanket in there if they want it.
3 - Non-slip floor coverings in all areas of the home through which they will be walking. They may prefer to lie on bare floors, but you must ensure that they are doing their fast moving and turning on good footing to avoid damaging their joints.
4 - Delicious, nutritious food, fish oil, and yogurt. - You may feed either the K9 Kraving to which they were weaned, or another high quality non-kibble diet which has been approved by their worry wart breeder.
I will start a fish oil supplement this week, as virtually no diet has enough omega fatty acids for optimal development and antioxidant protection. Pups get 500 mg of fish oil per 20 pounds of body weight. Some high quality brands that are checked for purity and lack of heavy metal contamination are: Nordic Naturals, Carlson’s, Barleans. There are others, too!
The pups have had raw cows’ yogurt on their breakfast since weaning for the probiotic content. They are up to a teaspoon; the adults get a tablespoon, so you will slowly increase the amount of an unsweetened yogurt with live active cultures.
5 - Toys. They like tugs, soft toys, toys that make noise, and firm chew toys. It is good to rotate toys out, as ‘new’ old toys are more interesting.
6 - Treats. The pups love Lakse Kronch salmon; there are many other high quality treats available. At this age, they can’t manage hard treats well, and they could choke on overly chewy treats. Lakse Kronch are good because they break into tiny bits, so they are easy to use as training treats. The on-line Only Natural Pet Store has many other treats and other items:
https://www.onlynaturalpet.com/Dogs/default.aspx
7 - Cleaning products. We clean with white vinegar diluted 1 to 1 with water. This is safe, non-toxic, and effective. We spot clean with Pure Ayre Odor Eliminator, which is also safe on the dog if needed.
8 - Flea control products. We use Wondercide, which is safe and effective. In the height of the season my girls need to be sprayed twice a week. Your pups have been sprayed several times with Wondercide; we use the rosemary or lemongrass solutions on our dogs. Wondercide also has excellent grooming products such as soaps, ear cleaners, and spray for irritated skin.
https://www.wondercide.com/
There are other safe and effective products. In choosing any product, consider if you would put it on or in yourself. If you would have any hesitation, it is likely not something you should be using on your puppy.
9 - Nail trimmers. I use human fingernail and toenail clippers until the nails get too thick for those to be effective. I then switch over to the Millers Forge Professional Nail clip:
https://www.millersforge.com/millers-forge-nail-trimmers-files.html
This is much sturdier than the basic model. Get new clippers when the old ones seem to be getting dull, usually after a few years on my three Berners. Cuddle and love on your pup while trimming the nails, and if need be, have someone help by feeding treats while you nip the nails.
10 - Patience, love, and a sense of humour! It may have been a while since you have had a puppy. These wee beings are totally dependent on you to gently teach them how they will live in their new home. As my husband - who is NOT a dog person says - “If something goes wrong, it is always the human’s fault.” We are the ones with the big brains, and we are asking the dog to learn our language, our culture, and understand our rules. We have to figure out how to explain it to the puppy’s tiny brain so they can do what we want. The books that I have suggested by Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, and Stanley Coren can help you understand how to better teach this being who wants - so much - to be a member of your family.

Optional items that may be helpful are:
1 - An x-pen. Midwest Metals has good quality, relatively low cost x-pens; there are many other vendors. Thirty inches is the minimum height if you want the dogs to stay in it (always a plus), and a door that opens is helpful for you!
2 - A bed. My puppies generally haven’t had an interest in beds, though my adults like them. The Whole Dog Journal did a review of dog beds recently. Important considerations, if you decide to buy a bed, are that it be washable (urine accidents happen) and durable. My girls like the memory foam beds; we cut up an old mattress and put it in DogBeds4Less covers. Maerzen HAD to dig in beds after whelping, so we also purchased a rugged Alden Odor Solutions bed.
3 - Indoor elimination supplies. I house train my puppies directly outside when I have one puppy at home with me. I have found it easiest to train directly outside, by putting some ‘accidents’ in the area where I want the pup to eliminate. I then take the pup to the spot and tell them ‘busy’ after they eat, wake up, play, or if they are sniffing around. In short, any time I might suspect they need to go. When they go, I praise lavishly. With ten puppies, I can not do this. Your pups eliminate on the newspaper or the elimination pads about 75% of the time. If you wish to give the pup an indoor elimination spot, be aware that it can slow down the house training process, because there will be a smell of elimination in the house.

I had hoped to be able to let families know which puppy was going to which home by this weekend. However, since I have a few families with children, and a few with other dogs, I want to watch them a bit longer to assess how the bite inhibition continues to develop, and how they interact with my other non-mum adults. Thank you for your patience with this; I will definitely be able to let you know by next weekend.
 

Dr. Christina

Veterinarian
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
131
I was able to meet two of your pups new guardians this weekend, Sara, and they are so excited about having berners who have been raised so holistically. They will be doing everything they can to continue the great start you have give the pups.

These puppy posts have been so much fun to read and I know that many members will now be looking for breeders raising pups and kittens this way.

Dr. C
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
I was able to meet two of your pups new guardians this weekend, Sara, and they are so excited about having berners who have been raised so holistically. They will be doing everything they can to continue the great start you have give the pups.

These puppy posts have been so much fun to read and I know that many members will now be looking for breeders raising pups and kittens this way.

Dr. C
Thank you, Christina! I'm sure that they benefitted greatly from the weekend!
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
45
Pup Log - Week Nine and New Homes
The ninth week continues pup socialization and teaching, in preparation for going home with their forever families. We had a large group of friends over for socialization this week, and the pups were delighted to greet and climb on everyone.
We continued letting them interact with the older dogs in ones and twos. Maerzen likes to play with them, and Rheswyn and Rubiy like to clean them. The pups have explored the downstairs area, going under cupboards and sofas, and all over the big dogs’ beds. A few insisted they are big dogs and should climb stairs, too, but we limit them to two up and one down on their own to protect their developing joints. Even with that, there are a few who think that going down off a stair should involve a leap. This is why we have good footing cushioning the stair descents!
The pups are more adventurous, so they run about the yard in small groups, investigating / destroying plants, running on the terrace edge, and pouncing on one another. They will often watch out the picture window in the pup pen at the wildlife in the yard below. They nonchalantly experienced more thunderstorms, and improved with seeing / hearing the vacuum. This is an ideal time for them to go to new homes, because they are have enough self confidence and curiousity to leave the familiar behind.
We introduced more different training treats, all freeze-dried, baked, or dehydrated meat based treats. Lakse Kronch salmon is a favourite, are are the Only Natural Pet Store’s venison and chicken jerky, and lamb liver. I break these into tiny pieces the size of a fingernail trimming for treats. The pups have all learned that sitting in front of me and looking up is a good way to get a treat, or to get chosen first for meals. I also ask for a sit with a lure and the word sit.
We continued feeding the pups individually this week. We took them outside immediately after each meal and encouraged them to ‘busy’. By the end of the week, they were usually urinating consistently outside after meals, though they still urinated inside as well. Many had stools outside; one pup is quite determined to eliminate in some way each time outside! We don't hurry inside right after eliminating, as that might give them the idea “Oh, I eliminate, and then no more fun outside”. They all had a bit of a leash walk, free walk, or playtime after the elimination attempt.
We were feeding 8.3 ounces three times daily when the pups went home. Two pups are still with us for a few days, and they are eating 8 to 8.2 ounces three times daily. There is big difference in appetite when you have 9 siblings rocking and rolling with you! The new families will need to watch that the pups don’t get heavy.
I am often asked, “Won’t you be sad when they go?” I AM sad to see them go, and, yes, I do cry, but that is tempered by some facts:
1 - The pups are reaching an age where I could not provide sufficient intellectual and emotional stimulation for the pups to reach their full potential. My life for the last 9 weeks has been these puppies, and in the last two weeks, virtually all of my time has been consumed by these puppies. I love to nurture and teach pups, and I feel that I have fulfilled my commitment to these pups to raise them to nine weeks with the optimal socialization and stimulation that I have provided to other litters.
2 - The sheer volume of waste produced would shortly become physically impossible to manage. Even taking the pups outside (which takes 5 to 15 minutes per pup, three times daily), they still have to eliminate inside. Taking the pups out in bunches would be more time effective, but they play, rather than eliminate, and we have other playtime for just play. In addition, I like to monitor the stool quality, and as they don’t sign their stools, unless you see it happen, you don’t know whose it is.
3 - Moving ten fifteen pound puppies in and out, up and down, has become physically taxing. The exercise has done wonders in burning calories, but has not been so fabulous for my back!
4 - The most important factor - I know the pups are going to excellent homes. When people enquire about pups, they get a detailed email relating how I want pups fed, and basic good management. The questionnaire asks in depth questions to ascertain that the pups are going to homes where they will be cherished and cared for in an appropriate manner, stipulated in the sales contract. This knowledge takes a lot of the sadness out of sending the little ones home. I see the delight on the faces of their new families, and the new families know that I am an email away for support.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the litter. They are a delightful bunch of unique personalities, united by their friendly, outgoing natures. I look forward to hearing and seeing how they continue to develop!
 

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