Whew! What a day!! Puppies taken into the vet for their exams and first vaccinations… A LOT for any puppy! I have to say, every puppy sailed through their exam and although I am watching puppies closely today for any signs of a vaccination reaction, all puppies are eating well and continue to play hard. And… all did very well for their first car ride too!
On to their last week from me… Such a happy time for new owners but a bittersweet time for me. I’ve LOVED the time I’ve spent with ALL of these puppies. I need to double check with both Donna and Corrie on when you both would like to come pick up puppies? Bad me for not writing it down since you’ve probably told me? Could you both let me know when you get the chance, please.
We’ve also done stacked photos of puppies on the table. I think ALL of the puppies are STARS!
Puppies are much more active these days. They LOVE being outside to explore their surroundings!
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).
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.
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”!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”.
P.S. Sorry for being a day late! Computer glitch and internet down yesterday afternoon! Ahh… the love-hate relationship with technology!!
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!
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.
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Puppies have been moved to a bigger area! Their world just got even bigger!
I’m raising this litter “differently” than I’ve ever raised any other litter. In the past, I’ve set up my big whelping box on a linoleum remnant to protect my flooring and have had puppies in various rooms throughout my house. For this litter, Deja had her puppies in my “dog room” (the most amazing “utility room” and highlight, for me, of my house!) We’ve lived in our current house over ten years; I don’t know why I’ve never thought of doing this before?
I vowed to NEVER have puppies in the summer after last year’s litter! The linoleum remnant covered my ducts thus blocked the AC flow of cool air. Puppies were HOT! Everyone was HOT! My dog room is on its own separate heat/AC system! It has to get pretty darn hot for me to turn on our house AC but the dog room AC… it gets turned on for the dogs!
This room has been finished with indoor/outdoor dog runs. I can separate visiting dogs, girls in season, or in this case… Puppies! Yesterday’s brilliant idea was wondering if I could open up two runs to create a bigger area for Deja and the puppies? HUGE thanks to hubby who reminded we DO have an extra 5′ panel gate not being used. He switched out the plain 5′ gate for the 5′ door panel and voila… two runs opened up! One for puppies and one for Deja to be able to get away from puppies! While the door is open, there is a panel that Deja easily can walk over to get to the puppers but they can’t get to her. Every mother knows it is nice to be able to take a break from the kids!
Puppies now have a bigger area (and toys) to explore indoors as they may still be a bit small to take outside. Eventually, I will open up the doggy door for pups to learn to go through and have protected time outside too (the dog runs are covered specifically for puppies. Nothing can get to them outside. Remember I live “in the country”. We have owls, hawks and eagles that like to “fly over” looking for easy targets/meals!)
We will start weaning puppies onto solid food this week. We will also be getting puppies outside this week also. All puppies have now master walking on concrete (flooring in the dog room) which was no easy task… the concrete is slippery! They will do much better on grass. Puppies are developing their personalities more and more each day… All are curious, outgoing puppies and all LOVE to be petted/touched. They are almost as excited having me in with them as they are having Deja in with them… almost!
They were ready for the move to a bigger space. And Deja is ready for them to be started on solid food. Standing to feed puppies is our sign of that! Plus, Deja gets to “clean up”and eat any puppy food leftovers… I think she will enjoy that part the most!
Puppies growing and hitting appropriate milestones… YES!
All up and walking well. All learning their voice (a few howl because… they can!) They are starting to play with toys (and explore with their mouths). All are being individually handled/rolled in our hands. They LOVE being scratched/tickled under their chins, bellies, necks!
All are really good eaters! We will start weaning, for real, this upcoming weeks. They are learning to “chew”/”lick” and not just “suck” although nothing beats “mom”! Regarding weaning… we always let the mom’s determine when to quit feeding puppies. Deja has, in the past, nursed or tried to nurse her puppies up until the day they leave. She is an incredibly patient “mommy” even when they start biting her! Yes, teeth are coming in!
I need to make a decision on how to treat our “bee problem”!
I made a blunder! Although I refreshed my memory ahead of time before the arrival of one of the families coming to visit the puppies, I mixed this family up with another family getting a puppy. What did I mix up? The gender of puppy they are getting. The folks were incredibly gracious while I sat there trying to figure out how I mixed them up? And I realized my error was due to “juggling”! This is SO not like me!
I could say that I’m thinking of puppies in Nebraska sired by Rooster and the new homes they are going to this week. I still need/want the names/contact info for those homes to keep track of puppies related to my dogs. And why is it so difficult to NOT send me this information? I’m disappointed a home I sent for one of those puppies was never contacted. I just recently was told this and yet, I have no way of “fixing” this problem for this person. This is not the first “problem” I’ve heard back regarding this “breeder” and her Rooster puppies either!
I could say I’m thinking about local puppies sired by Rooster and what homes those puppies are going to in the next two weeks. We are going to see those puppies this upcoming weekend… It’s important to see, for myself, exactly what “my dogs” have produced! And yes, I want names/contact info for each family who is getting one of those puppies too.
I could say that I wanted to contact my vet who has gone above and beyond in helping me with all of my dogs to let her know… I don’t have any problems and just send her puppy photos as a “thank you” for being there for me and my dogs. I missed that chance because she’s contacted me first asking to see “how things are going?” and to let me know their new surgery lights have now been installed. We can now schedule Beanie’s surgery to fix her breathing problems. Ahhh… French Bulldogs! A genetic mess of a breed but so darling too! We are going to hopefully “fix” Beanie’s breathing problem with this upcoming surgery!
But most of all… I’m worried about poor Rooster! He has a BAD hot spot I am treating and yes, he is wearing the “cone of shame” to keep him from scratching/irritating the hot spot. Because my dogs use doggy doors, Rooster can’t get out the doggy door with the other dogs because of Elizabethian Collar. I took it off of him for a short while and yep, he scratched his hot spot which was just starting to heal. Poor, poor baby!
There are alot of reasons dog’s get “hot spots”. Our hot, humid weather is one of them. Dead undercoat because Rooster’s bath/grooming was delayed due to puppies is one of them. I feel very guilty about that! But a big problem we have right now are BEES!
Several of my neighbors have decided to keep bees. Great! I’m all for “saving the planet”; I’m well aware of the benefits of the bees. But when folks keep bees and don’t provide a food or water source for them, yep, they are all in MY YARD and flower beds! I’ve been told the only way to get rid of all of the bees in my yard is to destroy my landscaping and flower beds… NOT a good option in my mind. So every time my dogs go outside in the yard/landscaping that I’ve created for them, they run the risk of being stung by bees… Hence Rooster’s hot spot! He has “stings” all around his hot spot, in his ears, and around his face! That toy left in the midst of the flower bed (or that peanut the blue jays dropped from our bird feeder) was too much of a prize for him to ignore. And being stoic in nature, he never “complained” about being stung until the hot spot developed and we started treating him.
My plan was to spray the planting beds/flowers this weekend to decrease the bee population somewhat and then this morning… I see a hummingbird and worry if the spray will be detrimental to these tiny gems of nature? The flowering bushes I have right now WERE planted to attract hummingbirds. Every summer, we get a few hummingbirds who decide to NOT continue their migration to the mountains where it is cooler and stay and raise a family in our yard! And now, the hummingbirds are back!
Back to dogs… the puppies will be going outside soon. There is no way I want them stung by those bees! I KNOW the puppies will dive under those flowering bushes into the shade disrupting the bees in our flowerbeds! What to do? What to do? And Rooster isn’t the first of our dogs to be “attacked” by these bees… Every summer, at least one of the dogs have been stung badly enough to require vet attention and medical treatment! It is a real problem!
I can laugh at myself for making that blunder! I probably came across as “ditzy” to that family. To those that don’t “live in the country”, it can seem a totally different world? Having lived both in the city and in the country, I wouldn’t trade where I live but it does bring certain problems that I suppose folks living in the suburbs can also have… If their neighbors decide to “keep bees”!
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”…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Puppies will be leaving for their forever homes this week. It is the end of watching these babies grow and develop but the beginning of their new lives in their forever homes. I feel very fortunate to have been invited out to play with puppies frequently and watch these babies grow. Such a consistent, healthy litter!
I’m so very proud of the CH Rooster x Charlie puppies… I know they will bring much joy to their new families!
Working together for a common goal… preserving and protecting our breed
Ahh… Puppy Breath! What could be sweeter than playing with an 8-week-old puppy? NOT MUCH!
Mr. Camo (colored collar) was my “pick” boy from a fellow breeder’s litter. I just loved everything about this puppy when asked to come out to see/evaluate the puppies at 49 days of age. Today, a week later, he came to visit me hours before going to his new “forever” home. His breeder wanted me to double check to see if I could feel both testicles; to determine if both had descended? I felt both although one had not fully descended or better put… It kept moving up and down which can be common in 8 week old boys.
After poking and prodding, Mr. Camo got to run around my yard and even had a “meet and greet” with my barn kitty who is very used to puppies and pays them no mind. What a great way to start the day… Playing with this puppy before he makes some family incredibly happy who have, no doubt, waited quite some time for their new fluff ball of joy!
This is what fellow breeders do to help each other. We evaluate each others litters objectively realizing NO puppy is “perfect”. We share information we’ve learn with our litters and experience to help each other realizing that if you do this long enough, you will eventually have a problem you know nothing about. Collectively, we offer support, compassion, and of course… share that puppy breath.
But most of all, we share our love for our breed… the Golden Retriever! While there isn’t anything cuter than an 8-week-old puppy, it is the breed, as a whole, we care about most. It is our love for the breed that binds us all together.