Happy 6-Weeks Old!

Puppies are much more active these days. They LOVE being outside to explore their surroundings!

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LOTS of new experiences for puppies this week! Developmental leaps and bounds! Puppies keep us really busy along with caring for our other critters too! All the puppies are eating dry food now. I’m feeding a little over 1/2 cup per puppy three times per day now. When puppies go to their new homes, you will feed about 1 cup per feeding. I doubt they will eat the entire cup of food but you will know they’ve eaten enough (after 15 minutes of feeding or when puppy becomes distracted. Then just pick up the feeding bowl. Puppy has eaten his/her fill.) And again, when puppy shows little interest in that mid-day feeding, you will know you can eliminate that feeding and go to your permanent twice per day feeding schedule. (Usually at around 3-4 months of age).

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Pink Girl “caught a tail”! Well at least until the other puppy gets mad!

Puppy poops are firming up more now too which is a good thing! We are in the process of drying up Deja who still wants to nurse her babies. And puppies LOVE nursing on Deja even though they bite her now.

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Puppies LOVE being outside! They play hard (and then sleep hard)! 

Puppies weight this week has everyone around 8 lbs. Light Blue Boy weighed in at 7 lb 14 oz so he has effectively “caught up” to his siblings. Purple Girl  and Dark Blue Boy have both hit 9 lbs (9 lbs 4.6 oz and 9 lbs even respectively). Pink Girl will hit 9 lbs today, I suspect, weighing in at 8 lbs 15.6 oz yesterday! Puppies are usually 10-12 pounds by the time they are 8 weeks old. We are right on target for those weights. And… All the puppies have had their third de-worming, dosage based on their individual weights. This is common practice with puppies to ensure their health. Roundworms are dormant and become “active” during whelping and through lactation. Treating them now as young puppies immune system are being built up fosters their health now. Later, puppies will start heartworm preventaive meds that will continue to prevent “wormy puppies”!

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Surprise attack

In other news…

Light Blue Boy went to the door this morning to be let outside to potty. I think he is absolutely BRILLIANT! Of course the other puppies went outside also and had to potty too but watching this bitty puppy sit at the backyard door and look up willing it to open/be let outside… BRILLIANT!

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Which way to go?

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ALL the puppies have met my barn kitty! “Gusto” has taught many puppies to respect cats although he is very gentle with puppies!
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Definition of a happy puppy? One who can play in the water and dirt! 
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Light Blue Boy… SO ADORABLE!
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Dark Blue Boy… He’s a retriever!
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Black Boy deciding what to do next? He LIKES the shade he’s found! 
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PRETTY PUPPY!
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And there off…
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Funny puppy!
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Pretty, pretty head piece on this puppy!
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Yep, she is a little piranha! Those puppy teeth are SHARP! 

5 Weeks Old Today

Feeding schedule and other info

And just like that, it seems, pups are growing up! Puppies now go outside several times per day (and are doing a great job pottying outside!) They all have found the “hole” Deja has dug where she only THOUGHT she would have her puppies! Puppies like to dig in this hole unearthing the cool dirt. Fortunately, the area is dry so the dirt just brushes off puppies. This is a really good thing for folks to know… No matter how dirty puppy/dog seems to be, let them dry off and much of the “dirt” will fall off or be easily brushed off. Crate puppy/dog until they are dry and voila… clean(er) dog again!

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Puppies learn SO MUCH from each other! One of the most important things learned… bite inhibition! Red Girl is going to tolerate that puppy playing with her unless that puppy gets too rough. Then, she’ll let him/her know… NOT COOL!
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So much exploring to do!
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If you are going to “play rough”, you’ve got to be ready to get it back in return!
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Light Blue and Pink playing… Like kids, they use their mouths for everything!

Puppies have more toys now including a small child/toddler’s slide… They love climbing up the little steps and sliding down the slide! “King of the Slide” IS a thing here! And they now have yet another newcomer to play with… A rather large stuffed tiger that tolerates their tugging, climbing all over, and snuggling with.

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Having them outside in our covered dog run is still iffy, in my mind. It really depends on the weather and heat. They are 100% safe in the run with LOTS of room to run and play except for the heat (and humidity). I’m really following the big dogs lead… If they don’t want to go outside, I figure they know best! Regardless, hubby has now put up additional shade clothes over the run to give puppies more shade but really… It depends on the heat! Pups still prefer to sleep on the concrete (cooler) and enjoy the AC in our dog room!

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Successful attack of that menacing tree branch!
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Pups are in and out of the shadows where it is cooler!
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Now which way to go?

Deja continues to nurse puppies a handful times per day but puppies are getting the majority of their nutrition from solid food. And all are drinking from the water bowl although we still have a few who try to “swim” in the bowl! Regarding feeding, puppies go to new homes eating three meals/day. About one cup of food per puppy per feeding. They will probably NOT eat all of that food so don’t be alarmed if they don’t eat it all. I just figure it best for them to get their fill than leave feeding time “hungry”.  You can always re-feed any leftovers at the next meal time.

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Getting ready to pounce on littermate!
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Meal time and pups come running!

At around three months of age, they will start showing little interest in the mid-day feeding. They may eat some then prefer to play instead of eating. That is when you will know you can quit that mid-day feeding. Puppy is just not that hungry anymore. That is the time you will go to twice/day feedings; still one cup per feeding morning and night.

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Yellow Girl
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I just LOVE this photo of Red Girl! Deja went inside and she is trying to figure out, “where did mom go?” 
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The “hole” underneath my arborvitae
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Moxie has no interest in “nursing” Deja so… she tries to get Deja to play with her instead. Deja is SUCH a good dog tolerating Moxie’s antics!
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Places to go…
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Regrouping, no doubt! “Which way shoud we go next?”

When your puppy is getting their series of vaccinations from your vet, puppy will be weighed. So often, folks get caught up with the number. A better guide for weight is “how does the dog look?” I’m attaching two guides that I use frequently to gauge weight in my dogs. These guides have nothing to do with a number but more on how your dog “looks/feels”.

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The BEST way to describe how fat/thin your dog should be! Use this guide!!

 

P.S. Sorry for being a day late! Computer glitch and internet down yesterday afternoon! Ahh… the love-hate relationship with technology!!

Potty Talk

And you may have thought canned pumpkin was only good for making pies…

Yep, two of the big four things we all monitor in our dogs to ensure their good health. We want to make sure they are eating and drinking well but also peeing and pooping! And they are all related…

Puppies start off getting all of their nutrition and liquid from “mom” until they transition to eating on their own. They learn to bite/chew instead of just sucking. To help with this transition, we start them all off on Puppy Mousse also called “starter”. Many breeders have nicknamed this “Puppy Crack”… they LOVE IT! So what’s the problem? This is a very rich, nutrient-dense, canned food and yep, we now have problems on the other end with loose stools! Now there are alot of reasons for loose stools, especially in puppies, why am I blaming the “Puppy Crack”? Because Deja is having problems with this rich, canned food too. She frequently “cleans up” what puppies don’t finish at meal time so yep… We have a potty problem with her also!

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“Moxie” joins the puppy pen!

The first thing I did was eliminate the canned food. Puppies all have teeth now and have learned to chew so all are doing really well on the softened “maternal/puppy food” we start them off on. You may slightly soften your food when puppy first goes home but they will quickly do well on their dry food. (You might also go back and soften their food again at around four months of age when they are teething again and getting their permanent teeth. You may notice they start eating slower; softening their food with plain water may help with those sore gums?)

The second thing I’ve done is treat all the puppies with Benebac; a probiotic easily administered to puppies. You can buy Benebac from Amazon and probably any of the big box pet stores (although I do buy from Amazon and always have “on hand” when I have puppies). You can also buy from your vet if digestive problems arise later although for bigger dogs (any dog already eating well), Forti Flora from Purina (obtained from your vet) is probably the best probiotic to give your dog should you later encounter tummy/digestive issues.

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Three weeks difference in age! Moxie on left; red collar girl on right

The third thing and really what I want everyone to know is… the miracle of canned pumpkin! NOT pumpkin pie filling that also comes in a can but the actual, plain, pureed pumpkin that comes in a can and that you can buy at almost any grocery store. This IS the “metamucil for dogs”! It will help if a dog is constipated or if a dog has loose stools! And yes, it will turn stools a lovely orange color! We ALWAYS have several cans of pumpkin in the pantry and ALWAYS travel with canned pumpkin also (a time when dogs can get upset tummies)!

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Puppy pile (yes, Moxie is in between two of the younger pups).

So puppies all received a good dollop (several tablespoons to go around) of canned pumpkin and already stools are firming up! YEAH! It will take a few days for the canned food to get out of their system but we are headed in the right direction.

Now, this is NOT to replace vet/medical treatment if puppy/dog suddenly has a problem without a discernable reason; if they do, a trip to the vet is always in order. But feeding plain, canned pumpkin won’t hurt them. Most dogs like the naturally sweet puree and gobble it down… Puppies included.

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Deja & Moxie (“Are you my mother?”)

With the puppies, I KNOW they have not been exposed to giarrdia or coccidia; both organisms that can cause loose stools. And if stools don’t firm up with what I’ve done, I will talk to my vet to have them tested/treated. But I do want folks to know about the use of canned pumpkin.

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It’s a big world out there! 

As an aside, you definitely do not want your dog to get fat! Feeding canned pumpkin as a “filler” can also help with “dieting” to get a few of those pesky extra pounds OFF your dog. NOT the reason I fed pumpkin to the puppies but just a good thing for folks to know.

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Day 2… Getting used to her new home.

In other news… Deja now has EIGHT puppies! We now have “Moxie”; a Rooster sired puppy that joined our household yesterday. Moxie is only a few pounds bigger than the puppies and believe me, they are ganging up on her more than she is on them! She sleeps with them at night but is out with the “big dogs” during the day. Of course, she is fed separately than the puppies too. Moxie is still adjusting to being in a new household much like your puppies will be doing in a few weeks when they leave us. And thankfully, I have “help” caring for them all although adding her to the web site may take awhile yet!

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Rooster and daughter, Moxie… Rooster is an incredibly gentle and tolerant dog! Happy Birthday, Rooster (he turned 7 on Saturday, 8/3/19!)

Registered Name Ideas?

Possible Suggestions for Registered Names…

In thinking more about “name ideas” for folks, I’ve compiled a list of possible names. Let me know if any of these names resonate with you and I will mark those names as “used”. These are certainly not all possible names; they are just “ideas” of what puppy could be named.

Also… my kennel name, “Jema”, will precede any chosen name to show where the puppy came from/who the breeder was…

Ideas:

Jema’s…

  • Let Freedom Ring; call name “Belle”? Or “Ringer”?
  • Free-King Awesome;
  • Free As A Bird;
  • Two’s Company; Free’s A Crowd;
  • Free At Last
  • Home Free
  • Free Samples
  • Get Out Of Jail Free
  • Free Trade
  • Free Agent
  • BOGO Free; call name “Bogo”
  • Free To Go
  • Free To Set Sail
  • Free Falling; call name “Tom” or “Petty”?
  • Land Of The Free; call name “Soldier”?
  • Love Will Set You Free
  • Born Free; call name “Elsa”?
  • Free At Last
  • Nobody Rides For Free
  • Free To Be Me
  • Freek On A Leash
  • Feel Free
  • Let Freedom Ride
  • I’d Hammer About Freedom
  • Freebird
  • Freedom Of Speech; call name “Barker”?
  • Freedom to Roam
  • Free Style
  • Footloose And Fancy Free
  • Free-quent Flyer; call name “Jet”
  • Free Spirit
  • Below Freezing; call name “Polar” or “Polaris”?
  • Freelance
  • Scott Free
  • Free Wheeling
  • Free Will
  • Free World; call name “Leader”?
  • Free To Be
  • Gravity Free; call name anything from space program like “Apollo” or “Mercury”?
  • Carefree Trail as in… Home on Carefree Trail (thanks, Krystal!)
  • Free And Clear
  • Freebies For All; call name “Alvin”?
  • Feelin’ Free

Mom and pups doing well this morning. Puppies had their first nail trim last night. Deja, especially, appreciates their nails NOT being quite so sharp!

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Milk Coma! Yep… this is what that looks like! (Look at that full belly!) 

One Week Old Today

Looking at the future; LOTS of information!

It’s hard to believe a week passed so quickly? So much happened in such a short period of time or so it seems to me! That first week of life can be a very critical stage for puppy’s growth; I’m celebrating that all are doing so well! Pups are all growing/gaining weight; I’ve had to loosen their paracord collars to accommodate their growth twice now. Deja’s body has figured out the milk requirements to make for the demand of puppies and is doing great also. Time to think about “down the road”…

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Amazing, when you think about it, just how fast puppies grow!

Puppies will go to their new homes any time after Friday of Labor Day weekend. When folks decide exactly when they want to come pick up their puppy, let me know so we can all coordinate calenders.

A week before puppies go to their new homes, I will take them all in for their first vaccinations and wellness exams. New owners will get a copy of this exam for their puppy along with everything I’ve done for puppies prior to them going to their new homes. This information is what you will want to give to your vets to continue puppy’s care. I always want to keep puppies a few days after that first vaccination to make sure all puppies are doing well. It just doesn’t make sense to stress puppies’ system with both vaccinations AND leaving mom/littermates and going to a new place at the exact same time.

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Puppies are growing and Deja is smiling 🙂 

At around 4 weeks of age, we will have a “puppy party”. Puppies are more interactive by this age and mom’s LOVE to show off their babies as well as soak up any extra attention they can for themselves. Looking at the calender, this is that first weekend in August. I realize folks have made summer plans so can be very accommodating to everyone’s schedule. This is true especially for out-of-town families. Just let me know what works for you.

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What I like to see… Puppies “spread out”. This means they are not too cold (otherwise they would huddle together). 

Picking puppies… I’ve taken into account what each family has requested when they filled out my questionnaire. It is through ongoing observation and interaction with pups that I will match up each puppy with what each family is looking for/stated they want in their next puppy. My personal goal is to make sure each puppy is placed in the “perfect” home from the start… I am sure that is what every family would want also.

Which brings me back to puppies themselves. Frequently, folks may have heard there is a “runt” in a litter? We take a more “hands-on” approach and “help” every puppy be the most s/he can be. I’ve taken the lightest (weight) puppies and make sure they get the best, most filled nipples at feeding time. I don’t let stronger, heavier puppies bully or push the lighter ones away. Consequently, we don’t have “runts” in our litters. By the time pups go to their new homes, they all weigh basically the same amount of weight. And once they start on solid food, even the lighter puppies “catch up” on their own.

Uniformity… All puppies will be a medium color. There are a few puppies who may be on the lighter shade of medium but none of them will be as blonde/white as my girl, Vee (her mother is Deja from Deja’s last litter). Being that this breeding is an “outcross”, I’m very pleased at how consistent each puppy is to each other. An “outcross” means… Deja and the sire do not share common ancestry/pedigree.

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What I like to see… Nice dark pigment on nose, lips, and pads of feet! 

In your puppy packet, you will receive info on both sire (dad) and dam (mother). In that PDF packet that I will send ahead of time/soon, you will see your puppy’s pedigree and see what I mean. The goal of breeding an “outcross” is to produce consistent puppies while still bringing in new genetics to diversify the pedigree.  We don’t practice “in-breeding” which can double up on genes that increase the likelihood of disease or problems in puppies produced. For those not aware, the sire of these puppies is named, Elton. He is the sire that produced the dog that won Best Of Breed at Westminster last February. Besides being a champion himself, he is from a pedigree of longevity, health, and good temperament which really, is the hallmark of the breed and what we always look at first before comtemplating any breeding.

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Belly up to the “milk bar”

Lastly, we always like puppies to be named according to a theme. It is a fun thing to do while waiting for puppy to arrive. The theme for this litter, in their registered name, will be anything with the word “Free” in the name (since they were born on 4th of July). Think of names you would like your puppy’s registration name to be; of course you can call puppy whatever name you choose. I will work on some name options and post later but time to start thinking of those registered names. I will register the litter and then each puppy with the registration name you pick out all at one time later. This is one less thing new owners have to do after bringing home their new puppy. AKC will immediately send you your puppy’s registration congratulatory email and in about a week, you will receive the formal registration in the mail.

As always, if you have any question, let me know…