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.
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!
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!)
Breeding puppies to the conformation standard is more than just “pretty dogs”.
I saw this illustration today and knew I just needed to SHARE it! It so perfectly shows how “purebred” dogs can look so different from well-bred dogs!
Ahhh… My very first golden looked like the dog in the lower left hand corner. We loved her dearly and she was a very sweet dog but… She just wasn’t “pretty”. Fortunately, she had a wonderful temperament and lived a long, happy life with us. This dog started my life-long love for this breed and helped convince me I wanted not just “pretty” dogs but also dogs that were health tested (long before they were ever bred!)
Health testing is major event here held every year at a local health clinic put on by the Cavaliers of The West breed club. Why do I go to this particular clinic? I just love how organized and competent the gal that organizes and works so diligently every year to provide this service for the dog community. Every year, ALL of my dogs have their eyes dilated and are seen by a veterinarian ophthalmologist. They say “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. They can also be the first indicators of other disease processes!
Dogs over a year of age are also “heart tested” by a veterinarian cardiologist. Genetic heart diseases such as “SAS” (sub-aortic stenosis) along with other heart anomalies can be ruled out.
Then, all the paperwork is sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of American); the registration organization that provides online access to health clearances.
The other big health clearances done in Golden Retrievers are x-rays of hips and elbows. I usually have my regular vet, who is adept at positioning for these x-rays, do them. Again, that information is sent to OFA. For a permanent “clearance”, dogs must be over two years of age. Another registration organization for hips is PennHip. These x-rays measure slightly differently than OFA x-rays; I usually have these done also. You can’t get too much information regarding “hip health” when considering a future breeding.
Copies of these health clearances are always given to new puppy owners. I just believe in total transparency in puppies I’ve bred.
Other factors to consider when considering breeding a litter of puppies: Temperament! I live with what I breed and “good temperament” is a hallmark trait for this breed! By following the pedigree of any litter, I can generally predict the temperament of each puppy. Other factors of good temperament is socialization of puppies. We work hard here providing a LOT of early puppy socialization and send home information to new owners on how to continue that socialization for the benefit of that puppy as it grows into adulthood.
Last but not least is Longevity! Sadly, “man’s best friend” is never with us long enough. But through genetic research of ancestors, hopefully they live a long life for this breed. This is a big goal for us in any litter also.
“Looks”, by this time, that is almost icing on the cake! But by breeding to the Golden Retriever standard and after being evaluated by judges through dog shows, our goal is always to produce the next conformationally correct dogs! Do all of our dogs end up in the show ring? No! But many could be shown! And many live in “pet homes” pampered and loved that attract attention and praise when walking down the street! They are “pretty”!
Lofty goals for any breeding/litter of puppies, huh? This is what we’ve done over our thirty years being involved in this breed. Generation after generation, staying true to the golden retriever standard, improving each generation as we continue our life-long love for this breed.