Saturday, July 31, 2010

A deer liver drag for two ten-week-old puppies

I have included below two video clips of Rilla and Questa working a 50-yard deer liver drag. The track was fresh, and it included three turns. We were in a hurry this morning when we did the drag and did not put any flags or markers along the way. The commentary is at the end of each clip. Rilla worked the drag first.

To see a video of Rilla in a high resolution click here.

To see a video of Questa in a high resolution click here.

Quipster left for a new home in North Carolina

Today first puppy left for her new home in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Quipster (whose new call name is Jezy) is going to live with Jerry and Arlene Davis. She is going to join Jackson (Arko von Moosbach-Zuzelek), a wirehaired male that Jerry and Arlene got from us ten and a half years ago. It was great to hear how much Jackson is loved as a companion and appreciated as a tracking dog. Since apparently Jackson is "the most wonderful dog in the whole world" Jezy is going to have a good role model. We hope that we made a right decision about Quipster. She is a pretty active pup, who would not do well being at home by herself for long stretches of time. Since Jerry and Arlene are both retired and have a very active lifestyle, they will be able to give the pup a lot of attention and exercise. Good luck to Quipster and her new "parents".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A good puppy is a tired puppy

At the age of 9-10 weeks puppies seem to have endless energy. It is up to us to keep them busy so their bodies get exercised and brains get stimulated. With 14 pups it is not easy. At this point I swear that we will never have two litters of pups at the same time again! Remind that next year, if by any chance I block bad memories.

During the day puppies are separated into two packs of 7 as they are much easier to handle this way. We have tried to sort them out according to their temperaments, energy level and dominant/submissive tendencies. If you watched the video clip from yesterday, you probably noticed that Ruger was picking on Quentin several times. They do not need to be in the same pen.  Low key pups that are more submissive stay together and pups on a more dominant side are in a different play pen. Of course, the division is not so clear cut. During the night all pups are together, and they sleep through the night pretty well. Last night Geiko slept in a crate by himself all night, and he was very good about it.

Ruger is trying to get dry after a swim.

A walk to our 11-acre enclosure

Helping John in the garden

Ruger is sharing his opinions with others

Swimming is a good form of exercise

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Play-fighting and bite inhibition

This video taken today shows how puppies play at this age - when they are 9.5 weeks old. They are starting to learn about social structure and pack ranking. Their wrestling, mounting and biting may look very rough to us but this is a part of normal process. It allows puppies to learn about bite inhibition. To quote from Dr. Joël Dehasse:

Play-fighting and learning to control biting:

Play-fighting, which begins at 3 weeks, can sometimes be painful when a puppy begins cutting teeth, especially when its ears are bitten. A bitten puppy whimpers or squeals. In a one-on-one or one-on-two fight the bitten puppy is able to turn the tide of the 'battle' and bite its adversary(ies). And this is precisely one of the "rules of the game": to change roles, with the biter becoming the bitten and vice versa.
- The puppy learns to make an empathetic link between the opponent's squeal and the pain invoked.
- Reciprocal biting negatively reinforces its intensity.
- Biting is thus stopped, inhibited and controlled.
These play-fights also lead to a certain hierarchization of relations.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The best picture of swimming puppies

Well, some would call it a complete waste of time, but I was very curious how other puppies would respond to the water.  I took additional two groups of pups to the pond. In the first group Ranger and Quipster proved to be very good swimmers. Even though Ranger was the first who went to the water, he was also the first to come out. Quipster was a natural - the way she navigated and made turns reminded me of Paika from a year ago. Then I took a group of three - Queenie, Geiko and Rilla. They were a bit reluctant at first so I took them on a walk around the pond. When I almost completed a circle I crossed the pond where the water was pretty shallow and very warm. They followed and swam across. The picture shows Queenie in the front, then Geiko, and Rilla.
Queenie, Geiko and Rilla swimming across the pond

Puppies swim for the first time

It is hard to believe that Keena's puppies are already nine and a half weeks old. The summer days go really fast, and this coming weekend first puppy will go to her new home. Days continue to be hot so blood tracking conditioning takes place in the morning and evening. Now pups are worked one at a time.

Today I took Bernie and two groups of two pups to the pond to see whether his love of water would lure pups to wet their feet. As it turned out puppies did not pay much attention to Bernie, but they watched very closely what I was doing. When I took few steps into the pond they followed. They are very trusting at this age and are willing to try unknown things. Of the four pups, three swam on their own will - Quanta, Questa and Quint. Quella (orange) stood and watched but was not willing to join us. This was very interesting because Quella is a very curious and enterprising puppy. She is doing an outstanding job in her blood tracking training but she has an independent streak. When on walks she just does not follow us in a straight line like many other pups do, but she investigates and takes short trips to the side.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Questa, Queenie and Quipster at 9 weeks

Three sisters at the age of 9 weeks - Questa (lime), Queenie (yellow) and Quipster (white).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quentin, Ranger and Remy at 9 weeks

Quentin (light blue) - above and below
Ranger (black) above and below
Remy (yellow) above and below

These three males, even though now look quite short coated, will have very nice wirehaired coats when they mature.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Playing with adult dogs

At almost every meal we bring 2-3 puppies to our kitchen/dining area and let them play with other dogs. This morning it was Rilla and Questa's turn. They had a chance to play with Keena (white collar) and Paika.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Puppies meet kids

posted by John

The Dunnells family lives near the foot of our long driveway. Paula and Kevin are animal folks like us and their children Mackenzie, Logan and Alicia are maintaining the family tradition. They visited us this evening and we watched to see if the puppies would wear out the kids or vice versa. It was a draw, but we cheated a little bit and sent the puppies to play with them in two shifts.

Mackenzie, the youngest girl was the individual winner with the most energy. She inspired the pups to keep up with her as she ran circles around our big lawn. We are beginning to learn a lot about our pups. Now we are pretty sure that they will have the stamina to be tracking dogs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Puppies in the garden and on the lawn

 Rilla and Geiko

Pictures of Rilla

Rilla (currently no collar, previously white collar)

Monday, July 19, 2010