Archive for December, 2011

puppies to go

Hi all,

Regarding food…. I’m feeding Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken, Puppy formula. I’ve decided they need to go with the Vet’s recommendation for Tempie…. and transition to *Large Breed Puppy* formula now. I will provide some kibble for the puppies to go home with. For any change, mixing the old with the new makes transition easier.

Well Thursday I took the puppies in for structural evaluation by an AKC Herding group judge. He said it was a nice litter and gave some interesting comments. I’m not really into conformation showing but I am ‘into’ a very thorough structural evaluation with the objective of breeding to prevent unsoundness’s. I didn’t hear anything of concern about any of the puppies from him. But the funny part was that when I showed up with the puppy potty pad he asked "what for?" And "do you mean to tell me they’ll actually use it?" … my response "you bet!!!" So when I opened the crate doors, within about two minutes four of the five had demonstrated for him just how well these babies have learned "what for!!" 🙂 He said he wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes. I will say that when the potty pad was all mudded in, they no longer seemed to be able to recognize and find it. And, BTW, Ian Dunbar points out that dogs do not poop over and over in one spot in a ‘pile’. If you want a dog to use a limited area, you have to keep the poop picked up. It’s not like pee where the more the better and they ‘go’ over and over in one place, no problem. If you don’t pick it up, the area will get bigger and bigger and in the case of the potty pads, the puppy will ‘miss’.

Regarding the puppy potty pad arrangements, I started with the pads clipped to the upside down plastic top of a storage bin. As time has gone along, I found that the plastic trays that come with wire dog crates were larger and am using those now. Either would work, or anything else to which you can secure the potty pad. They sell a tray thing which clamps the potty pad down on the edges, even available at WalMart, but it is almost $20. No real need for that. Also, I use binder clips to secure them (if/when they secure … the puppies do find it entertaining to tug on them :-)). The small binder clips were not puppy proof by a long shot and I’ve been using medium ones for weeks. Those pretty much stay in place. Anything to help hold them down in place would be good. It would be nice if the dimensions of the potty pad matched up with the tray (but not necessary), but the pads come in all sorts of sizes. I’m told that the underbed incontinence pads (which are stocked near ‘Depends’) are cheaper than the scent treated puppy potty pads. [I didn't compare prices.] But the incontinent pads I found where significantly larger and more absorbent than the potty pads which I also bought. These puppies no longer seem to need the scent to get the right idea. At this time, I strongly suggest that a potty pad arrangement be available to the puppies at all times. If nothing else, when the puppy goes there and squats, you can catch them up and take them outside…. it is an early warning sign. The trays are portable and you can keep them nearby for the puppies. I also recommend NOT doing any correction especially for going to or using the pad. If anything, the puppy should be complemented for seeking it out …. even if what you really want is for the dog to go outside.

Potty-ing management is done by managing intake and outgo. Puppies potty when they waken and after they eat. One strategy is to crate them for 30 minutes after they eat, then ‘walk’ them outside. By walk I mean stand where you want the deed performed. As I’ve mentioned… despite the additional effort… putting the puppy on leash when you do that will pay off eventually. Take the puppy outside on leash when you can predict the puppy will eliminate. Use an encouraging command word (I like "busy, busy". Most common are "hurry up" or "go potty") Then reward the puppy … even go so far as offering a food treat when puppy performs. The end objective is a puppy which will potty on the leash, with you standing still, promptly, and right where you plan it. Although we say… "walk the dog"… in the end you will benefit if you stand in one place and wait. Male dogs, especially, do not need to be allowed to mark along the way when you go for walks. And, if you take your dogs for walks, you probably know that dog etiquette requires that you pick up and carry out the poop. If your dog will potty on command before you start, you can potentially relieve yourself from carrying full poop bags all the time. Ian Dunbar has a whole video devoted to this. And also, BTW, withholding water before night time crating is recommended. The puppy won’t waken and cry in the crate so early. However, the puppies are not going to be quiet if they’re thirsty … spoken from experience. They are thirsty after eating kibble… even with water added to the kibble.

So… on the subject of crating. Yes crating is a useful method of potty training. It is useful because the puppy will hold it in the crate unless you do not give him/her relief appropriately. That means that crating enables you to predict when the puppy comes out that he/she will eliminate promptly. I’d guess that four hours is probably safe, provided the puppy has eliminated before being put in the crate. And at night, the puppies are probably good till as late as 3 or 4 am. At this age, the puppies still sleep for many hours … in fact dogs of all ages sleep a lot, off and on all day. If the puppy sleeps enough, you can walk, crate, play, crate, walk, play, crate, etc. But this means *you* are walking or playing with the puppy when he/she is out. I’ve done this. But the puppy I had was in a crate by my desk and he slept *a LOT*. If you don’t choose to be so very entertaining, then an Xpen with a crate/bed in it and a potty pad at the other end and lots of toys is a practical solution. We’re doing that now … In bad weather, or if you’re not home, or your puppy is too active to sleep at a time you can’t play with, or walk him/her, the Xpen gives puppy some freedom to entertain him/her self. Regarding the Xpen… the practical size is 36" high .. that way you can lean over and pick up and put down water and food dishes, pick up tootsie rolls 🙂 etc. Dogs are "trained" to stay in Xpens, not truly physically restrained. Right now they are restrained, but eventually they still stay in regardless whether they can jump out, or not. And whether a border collie can be physically restrained by anything less than a chain link run with concrete floor and a top is doubtful. They stay home or in an Xpen out of choice.



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new photos

I’ve uploaded new photos to the Picasa album here:


There are two new videos being uploaded on the You Tube Channel:


I’ve had very poor performance out of my internet service recently. Several videos have failed to upload. The video of purple playing with pink is up now. The other clip is longer and I can’t be sure it will upload at all. I’ll check later and try to get it going if it stops but I have had several failures so all I can tell you is that I’m trying!

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Hi all,

After careful consideration of information from various resources, I’m now planning to worm the puppies (and their mother) one time…. as soon as the wormer I’ve ordered arrives, and to give them one vaccination on about Dec 27th for Distemper and Parvo. Both the wormer, which treats only for ascarids and hookworms, and the vaccine, are as safe as I can find. I plan to have my daughter who is a Vet Tech, administer the vaccinations.

The worming is a one time shot to prevent the puppies from the unlikely possibility that they are harboring worms. They tested negative for any intestinal parasites when they were still in the whelping box, before 3 weeks old. Even the vet thinks it is unlikely that they are harboring worms but at the same time recommends a worming saying that fecal exams on every single puppy would be the only justification for withholding the one worming. Even doing fecal exams on all of them would not be an absolute assurance that none of them had any worms. Worms do not shed the tell tale eggs constantly and a negative result on the tests is not an absolute indicator. So, to prevent the possibility that any of the puppies could harbor intestinal parasites over a longer period of time, this small ounce of prevention is represented to me as being safe.

The one vaccination shot at 7 1/2 weeks is an attempt to start the puppies in building immunities. It is definitely possible that this preliminary shot will not produce any immune response from the puppy at all (the reason given for waiting to 9 weeks) given that the puppies could still have maternal antibodies. However, vaccinations have been given at even earlier ages traditionally, and sending them home with no start on immunizations is worrisome. This will be a distemper/parvo vaccine. One of the two is a killed virus and takes a full two weeks if not possibly even the second shot in the series to yeild an immune response. [Modified live virus' give quicker results.] So these vaccinations are not to be considered to make the puppies safe right away in the case of an exposure. Continued vigilance against exposure is still very important. The vaccine is Intervet’s Canine DPV. The local vet here gives a warranty for puppies who have had a full series of shots directly through their office. The warranty pays the puppy’s medical bill if they actually contract one of the diseases. Invervet charges the Vets a small fee per shot to purchase this 3 year warranty on the immunizations from this vaccine. It may be a program your vet offers also.

If you choose to wait and do the worming and all the vaccinations yourself, let me know and I will not administer them,
Thanks… see you all soon 🙂

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Outings yesterday and today

The puppies are getting big…

Yesterday we ventured to the Willow Winds Retirement Home and paid a visit. Paula helped me set up an Xpen and blankets and all the babies had a social hour in the assisted living facility. Lots of cuddles for all. And a show time of play, socialization, and training.

Today we had some nice weather midday. After lunch we all took two turns around the landscaping feature outside and all but one puppy did their first potty outside.

Onward and upward for these adorable fun babies.

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patience, patience

Well seven of the ten videos have not started uploading yet….. apologies … I’ve shyed away from uploading longer videos, and I think that You Tube pares them down when they upload them, but here is why!!! Hopefully today or tonight still.

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Videos take such a long time to upload so I’ll just tell you that they’ve launched and it will be a while before they’re all up. There are ten new ones today. They are at the same url for my You Tube Channel:


The puppies are all tugging well. This demonstrates confidence and trust in whomever they’re tugging with. It is also an engaging play activity … a social thing to do. Regular play activities is what binds packs together and binds dogs to their human masters. Those of us who train working dogs really like to see enthusiastic tugging. A dog with low confidence will build a better outlook on life if he/she can be encouraged to tug and gets better with it, more eager, more enthusiastic, and more confident. Some people, usually in protection dog breeds, caution against tugging with your pet. But that is for cases where the dog is so dominant and confident that the dog has little or no respect for whomever is on the other end of the tug. Most dogs which are being trained regularly are respectful and will yield the tug on command. Play always needs to be on the human’s terms. That means initiated by the human and under the human’s control… dog stops when asked.

The puppies all got their lure reward training session this morning. A friend Paula and I started them a couple days ago, but only two were awake enough to try it with them. I did get all positions out of each of them, sit, down, and stand in various orders. I didn’t use a clicker … I didn’t have them well separated and it seems they must be one on one for that, and I didn’t start voice commands. As soon as they’ll reliably take each position, I can start with the voice commands. They were tentative about the string cheese … most never having tasted it before. But they got through it. That’s an encouraging first step.

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I finally found them! I knew there were free downloads, and here they are:

Direct urls:



These come from: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

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