Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pictures of Keena and her puppies

Puppies are four and a half weeks old now. Keena is quite patient with them but they are getting to be a handful. She certainly set some boundaries. Her favorite toy is off limit, even though pups try really hard to get access to it. When they go too far, she raises her lip and she growls.

There is a lot of play fighting going on. This is an important part of puppies' development and education.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting up close and personal

Last night John came back from Canada (he attended a blood tracking workshop in Quebec) and today he spent some time handling puppies. They really are a nice bunch!

We checked Keena's pups' teeth out and counted incisors. Good info on dental anatomy is here. As far as we can say they are all there.

We also went over males and checked their testicles. All four males have already their testicles down. One pup (White Female) has umbilical hernia but it is too early to say whether it will need to be repaired.

Gilda and her puppies

Gilda has an enormous appetite, and her puppies are getting plump. They get all their nourishment from her.

This week the pups will be handled often, and they will be exposed to a variety of noises, sights and smells. This helps in the development and stimulation of puppy senses.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ready for weaning

P-pups had their first meal that was not supplied by Keena. They were ready for it and cleaned the plate very quickly. This time it was just a formula for pups. Tomorrow we are picking up a new supply of frozen Oma's Pride mix and they for sure will enjoy that.

After dinner pups need to go to the pen with wood chips.

Pups's bathroom needs can be highly synchronized!

Update on Remi (Olive v Moosbach-Zuzelek)

We received a very nice update on Remi (Emma and Joeri's daughter whose registered name is Olive).

Matt wrote:

Hello John and Jolanta,
Remi is settling into her new surroundings, and has found Freedom to be a great playmate. Freedom has been very gentle and really enjoys her new companion.

Only once was there a little bickering, and it was from Remi. I wasn't paying attention and Freedom approached Remi when she was playing with a buck tail. Remi let out quite a warning and Freedom got the message and walked away. It is very interesting to see the change in her personality when Remi is in "hunt mode." She definitely takes on a different tone around anything that smells like deer.
After the raw venison dinner each night, she will walk back and forth to the laundry room, where I hand feed each dog, for 15 minutes with her nose from the ground to the air trying to figure out where the bucket of meat has gone. She is taking to the raw diet with eggs, bananas, oat meal, yogurt, etc. pretty well, but dinner is definitely her favorite... :)

She's had a few accidents in the house, but is getting better. She has no problem holding her bladder in her crate all night, and she doesn't seem to mind her crate at all.

We've done two liver drags, each about 75 yards with a couple turns. Neither was a challenge, each time she found the prize in under a minute. Truly amazing to watch!
She seems to like the lake, but hasn't ventured in far enough to swim yet.

This picture was taken when Peg and Matt picked Remi up. You can see John, Peg holding Remi, and Jolanta.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Keena's pups are entering second awareness/identification week

One of the best books on puppies is Another Piece of Puzzle: Puppy Development by Pat Hastings and Erin Ann Rouse. The book includes Kathryn Lanam's article on behavioral development of puppies. According to the article the 5th week (28-35 days) is a second awareness/identification week.

During this week puppies need physical and mental challenges, and their play behavior becomes much more sophisticated. I could see today that pups are making a really fast progress. They started to use the box with wood chips to go to bathroom. It is not easy for them as they have to climb out of the box to do it, then they have to climb back. Of course exercise like this helps develop their strength and coordination.

We are having a really warm spell - yesterday the temperature was reaching 90, and today was around 75. These pictures were taken today when pups were playing outside on the grass. They were chewing on each other, on Keena and they tried to chew on me too. They are now also showing stalking behavior. They like to be touched, they wag their tails, and they snuggle. Some of them growl more than the others.

Light Blue Male.

This is Green Male.

Yellow Female.

White Female.

Light Blue Male drinking water.

After playing hard, pups zonked out and fell asleep.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keena's pups are almost four weeks old

On Monday Keena's pups will be four weeks old; they are six days older than Gilda's pups. Several days ago we rearranged whelping boxes. Keena's pups got move to the family room, next to my den. Now they are in a smaller whelping box, which is attached to the pen with wood chips. Gilda's pups are in a larger whelping box in my den.

P-puppies are not ready to use the chips yet but they will start doing it this coming week. Giving the pups a separate bathroom area will help them follow their instincts not to soil their bed. This is a good start to housebreaking training.

This coming week we will also introduce the pups to raw diet and will start a gradual weaning process. Also this is a good time to start handling pups separately from their littermates.

Keena is an excellent mother but she is a bit tired of the pups. She cleans them very well and nurses them (their bellies are round), but other than that she prefers not to have contact with them. No wonder as the pups are large and strong, there are many of them, and their teeth are coming out now.

Gilda's three-week-old puppies

The pictures were taken yesterday and today when puppies spent some time outside. They still sleep a lot, but certainly started to interact a bit, mainly by mouthing one another.

Orange Female has quite a bit of coat.

Lime Female (right and below)) has the least amount of coat. She might be smooth after all but right now I just don't know. It is too early to say.
Cream Female is quite similar to Orange Female.
This is Purple Male. I guess we did not include a picture of Pink Female.

Red Male (above) has a pretty tight coat while Green Male's coat will be fuller.

Again Cream Female (right)
Cream and Orange Females (below)

Sage Male

Orange Female

Green Male

Lime Female and Green Male

Friday, April 24, 2009

Keena's puppies are more active with every day

Raising two litters at the same time takes work and time so this is why the posts have not been very frequent. Anyway, both litters are doing well. We moved Keena's pups from my den to our downstairs living room, where the coal stove is located. Gilda's litter was moved to my den.

Today, finally the weather got better, and pups could spend some time outside again. These are the pictures of Keena's puppies. To the left - White Female is trying to lick my shoes. Keena's pups were a bit stressed out when they were taken out as this is a sensitive stage in their life and we have to be careful not to cause sensory overload. When they heard unfamiliar sounds, they barked and howled.

The pups can move well now and are steady on their feet. They get all their nourishment from Keena, who spends now less time with them. They are aware of their littermates' presence now and I noticed some playfighting already.

Keena would like to play with puppies' toys all by herself!

Yellow Female

White Female

Blue Male

Navy Male

Pups spend a lot of time sleeping. They don't want to be isolated by themselves and usually sleep maintaining body contact with other pups.

Keena enjoys abundance of puppy toys.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Keena's pups at three weeks

Yesterday Keena's puppies spent some time outside too. I went over them and took detailed notes on their coats, dentition (their teeth are starting to show a bit) and how they like to be handled. They are a very relaxed and easy going bunch.

Green Male is the largest and most precocious. His coat is going to be the shortest, well, at least it looks this way right now.

Red Male is almost as large as Green; he is a very mellow pup.
Pups weights at three weeks:
Green - 1360 gr
Navy - 1010 gr
Light blue - 1205 gr
Red - 1310 gr
Pink - 1285 gr
Yellow - 1120 gr
White - 950 gr