Thursday, July 23, 2015

Woods Walks!

If you've been following how we raise our puppies, either through this blog or Avidog, you know that woods walks are an integral part of their development.  We are blessed to have woods where we can safely walk our litters.  Had that not been the case they might have been called beach walks or field walks.   Regardless of where we walk them, the goal is always the same, to give our puppies the chance to solve problems, develop their proprioception, explore the world, be around adult dogs, practice recalls, and learn to follow.   This week the Light Litter had some wonderful adventures, swimming, climbing, walking through jungle-like cover (for a puppy), mud wrestling and racing to us on their recalls.   Here's a quick video of a few minutes of today's walk with the Light Litter.


Tomorrow we head to Otterkill Animal Hospital for their general physical, microchips and first vaccine.   I will report back on that tomorrow.

There are more photos and videos up in Smugmug.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2015

What A Week!

It's been such a busy few days, I am not sure where to begin.  

Jim enjoying his last time with the pups
My husband Jim had to say good-bye as Peach, the pups and I traveled up to Gayle's on Friday afternoon.   They were incredibly good on what turned into a four-hour drive.  A few whimpers for the first five minutes and after that not a peep!   There are a few tricks to how we get that success.   In our new business, Avidog, we put together Driving Home With Your Puppy, a free e-book that will help new puppy owners get that same success!

When they arrived they literally hit the ground running and have not looked back.   They checked out the chickens, met Una, Dreamer and Glee and settled into their new digs.  They have an indoor area with a potty box, beds and lots of toys.   Their outdoor area is like Puppy Disneyland!  I will post pictures of their play area tomorrow!
The Pups meet new friends!

Saturday we were invited to Connecticut to spend 
the day with our friends Richard and Margrit, who own one of our "Magic" pups, our friend Diane, who owns another "Magic" pup and four amazing women from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Penn Vet Working Dog Center!   What a day it was for us and for the puppies!  We all spent hours down by the pool watching the big dogs romp and swim, and the pups had their own baby pool to get their feet wet in, too.

After a few hours we went up to the house for lunch and they joined us in an ex-pen on the patio.  At the end of the afternoon we all took a walk with the adult dogs around this magnificent property and ended it with a photo op on "The Rock!"

Dr. Otto, Richard and Dr. Mason with Peach and Mighty!

The pups settle in for lunch
Keira, Una, Spell, Peach and Fantine

Once again, the pups did great in the car both to and from the party!   By the time they go home traveling will be old hat to them!  

Today I spent much of the day trying to get the webcam to work.  I am frustrated by my inability to get it working, but probably less so than those who have been watching it faithfully.   I will try something new tomorrow to see if I can get it going.

Today was also a day of fun with visitors - our friend Noelle and her niece stopped by for a few minutes and Lee and Dave drove in from PA.  It was incredibly hot, so we decided to take the pups down to the creek for their first woods walk.  They did a great job and all of them ended up going swimming.   I have posted this rather long video, but they were so wonderful I wanted to share the experience with you all.

I put some more photos and video up on SmugMug and will post more tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy the video!!

Monday, July 13, 2015


Their first solid food!
This weekend the gang was introduced to solid food  It is common for breeders to start feeding their pups at about 3.5 weeks.  We go a more natural route, letting the dam nurse them exclusively until somewhere between four and five weeks old.  So this weekend we started them with each one ounce of a raw food called mORIGINS, which is a grass-fed beef.  That first meal is the first step in the process of weaning.   They are now eating four times a day, including the supplements we hope they will get for life..   Should Peach choose to, the pups will nurse every day until they go to their new homes.  But that will be her choice.  The pups' teeth are quite sharp and many dams decide at some point the milk bar is closed.  In Peach's last litter she nursed them right up until the day they went home, teaching them along the way to use their mouths gently.   There is no better teacher for bite inhibition!!  

Once they finished eating on the first night we brought them right back to their pen where they quickly went into the potty box.   Things are really going well in that department.   

Sunday morning they had breakfast outside.  They ate with helicopters flying overhead, and ended up playing hard in the yard.  During the last meal of the day I fed them one by one, by hand, conditioning the clicker.  

They are also really enjoying the Adventure Box!  Here's a quick video of one of them playing with it!

Oh, and a lesson I learned tonight.  Even if you think they are asleep when you go into the pen to do nails, DO NOT go in with bare feet!!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! 

Lots of new photos are up and more will go up tomorrow. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

More Visitors!

It's been a busy few days.  The pups' area has changed again and their daily living area has been enlarged considerably.  They have been outside playing a lot, listening to all kinds of noises while they are inside (the one of all the kids screaming drives me from the room!) playing in the Adventure Box and visiting with lots and lots of people!   Dianne and Betsy came from PA and NJ on Thursday, and Sandy, her daughter Samantha and grandson Jake came by for a visit on Friday.

Miss Yellow posing for the camera!

Mr. Blue vying for the title of Top Dog!

Dianne playing with Mr. Green

Betsy having a chat with Mr. Brown

Today Jerry from Field Dog Imagery came by for more puppy breath and more photos!    Sue Carpenter gave herself a birthday present and came to visit the puppies today!   She is expecting her own litter next weekend, so is getting an early puppy fix.  We took them down front to check out the hill and the water.   Lots of fun to watch them negotiate going downhill.  By the end they were little pros.  They also were introduced to the water.  They played for over and hour and then crashed!  Here's a couple of minutes of video for you to enjoy.

Lots more photos are up on SmugMug for you to enjoy, too!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Holiday Weekend!

Happy 4th of July!
This weekend was the pups' first 4th of July, obviously.   Since they are not eating solid food yet the only ways we can reward them is with Peach and with us.  So as the fireworks went off, Peach went into the pen to let them nurse and we spent lots of time playing with them. So now they have experienced fireworks and thunderstorms, each of which resulted in wonderful things happening to them.

Lee asking Mr. Brown, "Are you the one?"

Visitors were another fun aspect of the weekend.   The visits started on Friday when Karen Lechner stopped by to say hello.    Then Saturday Sandy Washburn, Lee Clark and Dave Carpenter stopped by and took in a fair dose of puppy breath.   We had the pups outside for a little while, but they were heating up pretty quickly, so we brought them back in.   Just about that time our friend Carol Cassity arrived.   We are the last stop on Carol's summer trip which started in Oklahoma, then went to Wisconsin, upstate New York, then here to Long Island and later this week she heads back to Florida.   She says she's not a puppy person, but we have photos to the contrary!

Carol showing us how much she does not like puppies!

What flavor is this?

The pups met the Avidog Adventure Box and thought it was pretty cool when they noticed it. We introduce this novelty to them at this age because most pups are curious, not fearful, of novel things at this point.  When they bump into a paint ban that bangs on another paint can, they rarely startle, and if they do they come right back at it to see what it was.  

More photos are up on the SmugMug link - enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The great outdoors!

Today was a beautiful day here on Long Island.  The temps were in the high 70s with very little wind.  Dawn Spano, one of Avidog's A2Z students, stopped by so we decided to take the pups out for the first time.  We set out a blanket in the shade and were outside for about an hour.  All the pups hit the ground running.   They used their noses a lot checking out the grass, the blanket, the weeds, the dirt and everything else the outdoors has to offer.  I don't know who had a better time, Dawn or the puppies! 

There are loads of new photos up in SmugMug.

Here's just a few photos and an up-close video of them nursing outside.   I will get more outdoor video up tomorrow.

Dawn loving on one of the puppies

The first few minutes on the ground

Moving out

Wait for us!

Did someone say "handsome?"

Loving the outdoors!

A snack before we head insdie!