Sunday, July 21, 2013

Uma has left for a new home

Good luck to Matt, his fiance Emile and their new puppy Uma, now "Heidi"! Matt and Emile live in Ithaca, NY, just 3 hours from us. Matt is a licensed tracker and a member of Deer Search of Finger Lakes. Emile is going to take a NYS DEC exam in August. Both are hunters. Matt is involved in two deer management programs in suburban areas. Could we have dreamed of a better home for our puppy? Being able to place our puppies with people who are dedicated to the cause of wounded deer recovery makes all the work worthwhile.

 If a new owner has a car like this one, you know that your puppy is going to be in right hands.

Uma's conformation reminds me of Mielikki when she was a young puppy.

The remaining four puppies will stay with us for the next two weeks. It should be a lot of fun! Last evening they tracked a two-hour-old blood line on a light tracking leash. Two puppies scored 10 on a scale of 0-10 (10 is the highest) and the other two got 9. We couldn't be happier with the pups. Today we started to walk them on a leash and they did well.

Friday, July 19, 2013

10th week in the life of puppies

During the tenth week of pups' life we have continued to work with puppies on tracking. We also took walks in the woods, fields and to the pond.

Puppies were not bothered by the noise of the tractor working nearby.

We exposed pups to unfamiliar situations and objects to observe their response.
On Friday, July 19, Uncas (red male) left for his new home. We are going to miss this lovely puppy, but luckily occasionally we will get to see him as he is going to live not too far from the MD field trials grounds.
Uncas' calling name is going to be Moose, just like his grandsire's.

Uncas' new owner Adam H. is going to give him a lot of opportunities to use his nose. We are very excited about this future tracking team. Best of luck Adam and Moose!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Puppies will start leaving for their new homes at the end of this week

Puppies are 9 weeks now, and as it turned out today's 50-yard liver drag was too easy for them. Now we need to age the tracks more and make them longer. Puppies continue to go on walks around our property, in the woods and fields. They become more independent and their range gets larger with every day. Also almost every day they spend a couple of hours in crates getting a nap. Mielikki has access to pups a couple of times a day, but the weaning process has been completed and she does not produce any more milk.

When we have our own meals we bring one puppy to our kitchen so we can spend some time with pups one-on-one basis. We are learning about pups' tendencies and their personalities. So far we are very impressed with all the pups, and it is going to be very hard to part with them. At the end of this week a couple of pups will leave for their new home.

With our field mowed now, it might be difficult to keep all the pups together on our walks. Their noses might take them in various directions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eight-week-old puppies get examined by a vet

The last week was very busy as our friends from Wisconsin, Larry Gohlke and Cheri Faust, visited us here. They stayed with us from Thursday to Monday, and puppies benefited from the visit enormously. Larry and Cheri believe, just like we do, in early conditioning and training, so every day puppies tracked, swam, played and socialized. It was a lot of fun!

All the pups got accustomed to the water but some like to swim more than the others. This is Uncas.
Puppies played a lot on our dock.
Cheri is very good with puppies and it was great to have her here.
It is so easy to fall in love with a puppy.
"Hot" dogs were dipped by Larry
On Monday Dr. Rebecca Kryzak from Cottonwood Creek Veterinary Services came to examine puppies. It is great to have access to a vet who makes house calls. The picture shows puppies waiting for their turn.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First walk in the woods for Mielikki's puppies

This is a short video shot yesterday during puppies' first walk in the woods. They did very well. Their motivation to follow Mielikki was very high as they wanted to get a drink of her milk. On purpose we took them through some difficult terrain so they had to do some physical and mental work. As you see, we don't baby our puppies. We expect them to be resourceful and resilient. Even Uta, who is still the smallest puppy in the litter, showed how tough and smart she is.

Monday, July 1, 2013

How we raise puppies to be successful blood tracking dogs

We have been so busy working with puppies that we have not had much time for posting reports about all the activities. Puppies turned seven weeks old on Friday, and they are a lot of fun. We usually manage to post individual pictures and videos on Facebook at

Puppies have been exploring a lot. They are showing interest in holes created by other dogs and they do some digging on their own.

The dachshund breed was first developed to hunt foxes and badgers in their dens under ground. This meant that they had to be psychologically comfortable in tight, dark  places. The video suggests that our little tracking dogs still think that it's fun to run though a dark tunnel.

We take pups on walks to the pond, but we have had a lot of rain and the water is deep. It is fine for Mielikki but pups have second thoughts about swimming.

We have been working pups on deer liver drags and we will post about it on our main blog at Make sure you check it out.

The picture shows Ursula at the end of the track. We use large pieces of liver that cannot be swallowed. Liver contains a lot of vitamin A, which in excess is toxic, so while we use deer liver for training purposes we actually do not let pups ingest too much of it.

Puppies continue to be socialized with people. Our friend Dan dropped by on Sunday to play with them. This week pups are going to meet new people as our friends are coming over for the July 4 celebrations and are going to stay for a couple of days..

Today pups went to the woods for the first time, and they were learning how to navigate obstacles and difficult cover. We want them to be accustomed to the outdoors and be comfortable in the woods. After all they are going to be tracking dogs!