Puppy evaluations… otherwise known as “eenie, meenie, miney, moe”! Puppies were stacked on the grooming table last night (7/29/18) by my friend and fellow Golden Retriever club member, Terri, while we all went over “parts”. What we are looking at is how does each puppy, on his or her own, compare to the Golden Retriever standard on exactly WHAT a Golden Retriever should look like! (The standard for the Golden Retriever was part of your “puppy packet”; it has the absolute specifics of what I’m talking about here. It can also be found on the AKC and GRCA web site.)
It was after work (for Terri) when we did the evaluations. Pups were out in the backyard running around as we evaluated one puppy at a time. And we watched as the storm clouds were moving in too! Pups all brought inside just before the rain and hail started and the evaluations continued inside. Pups were getting hungry (we all were) so I’m afraid some of my photos were only so-so. Today, I re-stacked pups on the grooming table to re-shoot all of them in much better light.
Mark is on his way to the airport to pick up Sherry. Once I confirm with Sherry, I will be able to let everyone know for sure who is getting what puppy. And I will email you the health info I have from MY vet for you to keep for your records/give to YOUR vet on your puppy.
I am sure I’ve said this many times but it bears saying again… These puppies ALL are incredibly beautiful puppies and very consistent with each other in “type” and “substance”. They have been from the start! I am VERY PROUD of each and every one of these puppies!
August 30, 2018
Where did the time go? Oh… crazy busy time with folks coming to pick up their new babies. Puppies getting situated in their new homes, vet visits, and house-breaking/training started. And just like that, my house is back to “normal”! Puppy pen taken down and dining table back in its place.
It occurs to me that while the folks getting their puppies KNOW all of this, others who may be following my blog do not. Sitting in my “drafts folder” is this entry yet unpublished! So for the folks who may want to see how these pups “stacked” up for the evaluation, here they are. These puppies came at a time in my life when I needed a bit of joy and joyful they were! Some litters are just like that!
Yeah! Pups are 6 weeks old today! Folks out to meet puppies last Saturday and although cloudy with a breeze, the heat was still stifling for the fluffy pups. What a brilliant idea of Mark’s to bring out the kiddie pool and soak pups to cool them off! Pups went from lethargic, hot, fur-balls looking for shade to perky, playful puppies which is their normal selves!
Puppies continue to be GREAT little eaters now eating solely solid food (no more nursing!) The benefit of this is better poops! You might expect some softer poops upon the transition to your home(s) when you first take home puppy but with consistency and patience, poops should firm up quickly again. Until pups are acclimated to your new homes, I would recommend you NOT feed any additions to their diet at least not right away… At least until they have their “sea legs” again and are getting used to yours and their new routines in their new homes.
Today was much cooler out, although quite humid! Pups are now doing single steps and followed me out to the “dog room”. There, Beanie (the French Bulldog) proceeded to bark at them and as everyone knows, her bark can be a bit shrill. Poor pups just looked at her wondering what on earth was HER problem? Kudos to the pups who walked right up to her and licked her nose! They probably thought she was one of them? She IS their size!!
We didn’t stop long but proceeded to work on learning “doggy doors” today! Again, stepping up and over was no problem for pups (as long as I held the flaps open for them to see where they were going!)
Once outside, a whole new world opened up to them! First and foremost was “chasing the broom” as I swept! After dining Al Fresco, pups enjoyed running up and down the covered run (on cement; another surface mastered!) Because we had rain on and off all day, I didn’t pull out a ton of toys but they all enjoyed running through (and trying to climb over) the tunnel!
But the outside slide was the “big hit” of the day! Pups climbed through the tunnel-like slide and enjoyed “spinning” the toys hung on the side of the slide. Funny to watch the pup on the inside of the slide spin the toys back to the pup on the outside of the slide!
It was a full day for pups being outside in the covered runs and then back through the doggy door and back inside everyone went. Some play time, some napping, and then dinner was eaten outside again this time on the grass. Pups had a “mini-bath” since the grass was wet from the rain. Inside just before the rain started again, this time with a bit of hail! Definitely a full “puppy day”!
Weights for this week:
Blue (M): 7 lbs 12.6 oz
Black (M): 8 lbs 8.6 oz
Purple (M): 7 lbs 13.6 oz
Green (M): 8 lbs 1.2 oz
Hot Pink (F): 8 lbs 5.6 oz
Lime Green (F): 7 lbs 12.4 oz
Red (F): 8 lbs 1.2 oz
Yellow (F): 7 lbs 8.2 oz
Orange (F): 7 lbs 5.8 oz
This is probably the biggest weight difference between puppies since birth. Heaviest puppy (Black Boy) at 8 lbs 8.6 oz to the lightest (Orange Girl) at 7 lbs 5.8 oz. Nine puppies all within essentially one pound of each other means… VERY UNIFORM weights between all puppies! The weight difference is really negligible. Puppies de-wormed again today as per their schedule. You will get this info, along with their feeding schedule, when you pick up your puppy to let your vet know. It is standard protocol to de-worm puppies, based on their weight, at 2, 4, and 6 weeks.
And while this probably won’t mean much to most people, both Mark and I have felt both testicles on ALL the boys! That’s a good thing!
Puppies Playing Outside As The Sun Is About To Set
The Golden Hour, in photography, is that hour or so just before sunset (or after sunrise) where the light is just magical. Add nine bouncing Golden Retriever puppies and that hour just became MORE magical!
I am very thankful for my “help”! Mark thoroughly cleaned the puppy pen then met us outside to help. Andrew watched (and counted) pups while I got the chance to “focus” (tee-hee!) on taking photos.
So here you go… a ton of shots taken of puppies once the temps were cooler as the sun was setting. The only editing I’ve done to these shots is fix my horizon (straighten the shot), changed my ratio from 2:3 to 4:5 (just a bit more square) in some shots, and in some, brought up the shadows. IOW, these are pretty much “straight out of camera”! I’ve tried to get every puppy. If I missed any, well, there is always tomorrow night! 🙂
Puppy Chaos With Puppies Outside By Myself! (5 Weeks Old)
“Go play with puppies”, Mark says. That sounds like a GREAT idea! But sitting on the tile floor in the puppy pen about kills my knees so I have this great idea… I’ll take puppies outside! I check the temp; only 88 degrees and it IS cloudy out so I decide pups will have a good time!
I start pulling pups out of the pen past the soon-to-be-surmountable barrier. I can do two at a time except for a few out of reach. I step into the puppy pen to get the pups farther back. In the meantime, pups already out of the box decide to pee… THREE of them! I throw down paper towels as I call them to the back door.
Holding the door open, I lift pups two by two outside the threshold. As I’m holding the door open, three flies fly into the house. Drats! I finally get all the pups outside on the back patio and two of them are pooping on the concrete. Oh no… I call them onto the grass (because it will be easier to pick up the poop); some follow, others do not. When you have to go, you have to go!
And then the sun comes out! I go back inside to grab their water bowl and after refilling, I take it outside. Now I’m doing that “count to nine” thing again. I only count eight! Deja is supposed to be “helping” me but she takes off towards the side yard; yep, there is the ninth puppy meandering off! Deja comes when I call and that puppy follows mom. Good girl, Deja!
I leave pups for a moment to grab the pooper-scooper (remember the flies earlier?!) Now I can’t find where they went (except for the ones on the back patio of course). Some puppies are hanging out in the shade but the others, some go right; some go left!
I go out to the grass where I can see them all. Snap a few photos until they see me and then, they come running. I have one biting my ears (I’m lying on the ground) and another chewing on my camera strap. I disentagle the puppy chewing on the camera strap and do my count again… all accounted for!
And then, two decide our little water fountain looks interesting and climb up on the lowest edge peering at the trickling water. I call them back to their water bowl but it is the trickling water that is fascinating pups.
Several are panting by now. I start picking them up two at at time and take them back to the puppy pen. I make three trips with two and two trips with single puppies. I’m missing one! Back outside calling for puppy… P-U-P-P-Y! P-U-P, P-U-P, P-U-P-P-Y! And I hear before I see that last puppy deep in my planting bed! As she comes towards me, she will have to go through a rose bush. I quickly swipe her up thus avoiding the thorny branches of the bush. Whew… all nine pups accounted for and back in the house!
I pull out frozen water bottles and ice cubes. A few lick the ice cubes while some lie on the water bottles to cool off. I sit with puppies until none are panting any longer. As I leave the puppy pen with everyone fast asleep, my parrot starts calling… “PUPPY, PUP, PUP, PUPPY!”
Lesson here: DO NOT TAKE THAT MANY PUPPIES OUTSIDE BY MYSELF!
Blue (M): 6 lbs 3.6 oz
Black (M): 6 lbs 10.0 oz
Purple (M): 6 lbs 1.0 oz
Green (M): 6 lbs 4.6 oz
Hot Pink (F): 6 lbs 9.4 oz
Lime Green (F): 6 lbs 5.2 oz
Red (F): 6 lbs 7.8 oz
Yellow (F): 5 lbs 13.6 oz
Orange (F): 5 lbs 14.8 oz
In other news: Puppies are now eating only slightly softened food. I sat with them to make sure none had a problem chewing the harder kibble the first time. All did great! Watching them wrestle with each other (and chew on each other), time to add more “chew” toys! And time to make sure Deja doesn’t try to steal them from the pups because… everyone likes a good chew toy!
This was brought up with me at the “puppy party” last Sunday. One of my guests was telling me how he was interested in “testing” one of his dogs after he brought the dog home (I don’t recall what age he was “testing” this puppy/dog?) I responded that yes, we do do “early neurological stimulation”. Does it make a big difference long term? Is it really worth doing it? Hmm…
My feeling has always been that it can’t hurt the puppies. And if it helps puppies have a better tolerance to stress and a greater resistance to disease later in life, why not do the early stimulation! And because “I breed for myself”, I’m down for anything that will make MY puppy a better dog!
The stimulation I am talking about is from the “bio sensor” program first developed by the military for their canine program. It consists of five types of early tactile stimulation done to puppies to stimulate their neurological system. The stimulations is done once per day from day three until pups are sixteen days old. It is just something we do for every litter.
There are five exercises or stimulations:
Tactile stimulation (between toes)
Head held erect
Head pointed down
The benefits of Stimulation:
Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
Stronger heat beats
Stronger adrenal glands
More tolerance to stress
Greater resistance to disease
These early stimulations are then followed up with various socializing activities (many I’ve already mentioned in the puppy packets). The “window of opportunity” for socializing puppy to those various things that he/she will likely encounter during his/her lifetime is relatively narrow but well worth the effort to get puppy exposed to as many of those things mentioned previously as possible.
And as far as the benefits of that early neurological stimulation… I prefer to err on the side of providing it than neglecting to do it. Here’s hoping that all of “my” puppies grow up to be “super dogs”!
(Link below if anyone cares to read more about this… )
I’m using one of my favorites lenses for the below photos. This lens gives a velvety soft look to the shot which may not be the best for moving puppies (the lens requires manually focusing!) Still, it was fun to “play around” taking puppy photos!
Great time meeting all the new families last Sunday who are getting a puppy from this litter! It COULD HAVE BEEN a bit cooler but all-in-all, we swung with the weather and still had a good time! I know the puppies had fun; they were all exhausted after all the guests left and slept soundly… Until the next meal that is!
LOTS of info sent out yesterday (Puppy Packets + Contracts) along with another email packed with info… Things I wanted to make sure I said on Sunday and may have forgotten?
Puppy Weights this week (4 weeks old):
Blue (M): 4 lbs 10.6 oz
Black (M): 4 lbs 14.8 oz
Purple (M): 4 lbs 3.6 oz
Green (M): 4 lbs 6.4 oz
Pink (F): 4 lbs 13.0 oz
Lime (F): 4 lbs 9.0 oz
Red (F): 4 lbs 12.0 oz
Yellow (F): 4 lbs 6.0 oz
Orange (F): 4 lbs 6.4 oz
So our “biggest” puppy is Black Boy (4 lbs 14.8 oz) and our lightest puppy is Yellow Girl (4 lbs 6.0 oz). Essentially, the puppies are only ounces different in weight from each other! All are “chunky monkeys” and doing well eating solid food. We’ve now increased the amount in each feeding and have increased the number of times puppies are being fed per day. We have quit the goat’s milk substituting water to make sure pups stay hydrated. ALL have sharp puppy teeth; Deja is very grateful for the “help” in feeding her babies!
Speaking of sharp puppy teeth, everyone needs to make sure they buy “teething” chew toys (Nylabones are great!). This is a great way to substitute chewing on hands or clothes that puppy will likely do. And those puppy teeth are SHARP! When puppy puts their mouth on hands, just put the chew toy in their mouths (and remove your hands) instead! Pups will soon learn that hands are a “no!” but chew toys are all right to chew. You will definitely want to make sure they are chewing on these types of toys and NOT your furniture! Goldens are definitely “chewers”. And for those with kids, have them be consistent with substituting chew toys also. I would suggest that when you go to pet puppy, have a chew toy in your other hand as they will likely respond to your petting with chewing first!
After their initial bout of teething, pups will again teeth at around 4 months of age when their permanent teeth start coming in. Have those chew toys handy! ESPECIALLY for the kids when playing with puppy!!
As I may have mentioned to some folks on Sunday, we have a visiting girl with us this week. Rooster is quite enamored with his new girlfriend! I want to specifically thank Terri for helping stack puppies “just for fun”. We were just playing around and only did a few puppies but Terri has promised to come back to help evaluate puppies when they are older. This is great as I can’t stack puppies and take photos at the same time! Terri’s method of stacking puppies is very different from the way I stack puppies… I was very pleased at how well the pups did her way!
Meanwhile, I was worried about pup’s “going home” packages. I’m happy to report that everyone will receive a Royal Canin sampler pack courtesy of Royal Canin! These sample packs are now on order and should arrive soon! YEAH!!
(Pups were sleepy when we woke them up to stack them. But for the first time being stacked, they all did very well. We only stacked these puppies this time; we’ll do all of them when they are older!)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counted to “nine”! 1, 2, 3, 4 and then over there, 5, 6. There is 7 & 8. Where is 9?! Where is NINE! Oh, there is 9… Whew! Checking puppies happens a LOT here! I check them when mom is in with them and I check them when mom is NOT with them! I check to see if they are too hot or too cold. I just check them ALL THE TIME! And I count to nine!
Today was “paperwork” day. I tried to make something I had “work” but that darn “editable” PDF really wasn’t so “editable”! So, I re-typed my intro out and found/corrected several typos. Oops! In reality, it needed retyping anyways. There are always “new things” to add; I would be remiss if I didn’t go over new things too. My “puppy contracts” are up-to-date and ready to be filled in by the new owners. That is another thing I wanted to “get ready”. And the info AKC mandates I have on every new home in every litter, well, my “boxes” are getting filled in which will help not only for the contracts but also for the AKC paperwork I will fill out later.
Meanwhile, folks are locking in their registered and call names. Such fun, great names so far! To the folks who haven’t decided, keep thinking! Yes, you do have time yet; I don’t absolutely NEED your names now but… If your are sure and ready, definitely let me know. We have:
Jema’s Journey of Vim, Vigor, and Valor; call name “Vee”
Jema’s Journey to the Finish; call name “Finn”
Jema’s Lost Paddle Journey; call name “Eddy”
I also chatted with Journey’s owner, Shannon, today. It has been a while since we’ve “touched base”; so nice to catch up! Shannon has been such a wonderful breeder to work with; we ALL are very lucky in that regard! We can never forget “dad” who is why we are where we are today!
I “think” we are ready for the upcoming “puppy party”? I KNOW my dogs are going to LOVE all the extra attention! And the puppies… they play hard and then they sleep but then they wake up again so it will be a fun time giving them lots of extra attention too! Crossing fingers we have nice weather to take them outside! Not too hot and not too cold!!
As everyone knows, pups have started on solid food. I wean pups on Royal Canin Starter Mousse. I swear, this is THE BEST product in the world! Okay, it is a bit “stinky” but that is why the pups probably enjoy it so much? Easy to digest; easy to eat; just the right consistency! The last thing I want is for one of my babies to choke on a home-made “gruel” that might be too thick! This stuff is the best!
Deja helps “clean up” any remainder of the food not eaten by pups and does try to clean pups a bit too! I admit, I help her out wiping faces and cleaning paws. Learning to eat is a messy business! And I’ve started “brushing” puppies. I am sure this must be a strange sensation to them but… It helps get the food out of their fluffy coats and it IS something they will need for the rest of their lives!
Speaking of Deja, now is the time we are REALLY watching her closely (well, really, when have we not watched her closely?!) She now has less demand for milk so should produce less but it is better to have a gradual drying-off period. This is the main time mastitis rears its head with her body thinking it should continue producing as much milk as she has up to now. What I really want to happen is those back nipples (the really “good ones”) to get emptied to prevent any chance of mastitis from coming back! I might say put one of the hefty boys on those back nipples but in reality, the girls are keeping up with the boys in weight. My “lighter” girls are not so light any longer!
Which brings me to 3-Week Weights:
Blue (M): 3 lbs 0.6 oz
Black (M): 2 lbs 14.2 oz
Purple (M): 2 lbs 12.6 oz
Green (M): 2 lb 12.2 oz
Hot Pink (F): 3 lb 2.8 oz
Lime Green (F): 3 lb 0.6 oz
Red (F): 2 lb 13.2 oz
Orange (F): 2 lbs 7.6 oz
Sometimes there is a “runt” in a litter. Not in this litter though! Every puppy has had a good nursing reflex and has been a strong “fighter” to get the best nipple. And once on, s/he doesn’t allow another puppy to knock them off! At one point, I thought Lime Girl was a little behind so I “helped”. To see her go after the solid food now, she is a moose! I will probably “help” orange girl over the next few days; I’m sure she’ll pick up a few extra ounces to catch up to her mates soon enough! Seeing the pups grow, it is definitely time to help Deja out and start the pups on solid food!
I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July celebration with family, friends, and neighbors today. Happy Birthday, America!! I really hope we don’t have anyone who thinks it is “all right” to set off fireworks tonight!! Our ground is dry; the grasses brown! Plus, it just isn’t good if you have animals. So like most years, Mark and I will be home with our critters ensuring everyone stays safe and out of harms way!
Have a SAFE 4th of July celebration everyone!
UPDATE (and a day late but…): Puppies have now been introduced to (and are doing very well) on the kibble they are being weaned on… Royal Canin Starter Food. The kibble is soaked until “mushy” then mixed in with the Royal Canin Mousse. And because we haven’t given them water yet (but will today), a nice drizzle of goat’s milk around the bowl. ALL puppies are chewing the softened food and drinking/licking the milk.
Then, Deja comes in to clean up any “leftovers” and helps clean puppies’ faces. Pups are now nursing while she is standing and on the move! Again, we want to make sure Deja doesn’t “explode” but pups are getting the majority of their nutrition from solid food.
And puppies… They readily seek people out for cuddling. They are all barking more and becoming more inquisitive about their surroundings which is now filled with interactive toys. They eat, they play, and they sleep! What a life, eh?!