Thursday, September 13, 2007

tracking imprinting

We started imprinting for tracking, which involves having the pups search for their breakfast in the grass.  I use small pieces of Natural Balance to begin with , as it is a tasty treat for them and easy to chew quickly, leaving them wanting more.  At first the puppies want to follow my hand or sit and look at me to have a reward delivered, since that has been their experience.  It is a new thing to look for food on the ground, so being patient and letting them learn is required.  This will require multiple opportunities for them to find their meals, so that they don't go hungry, until I see that they *get it*.  Just one more learning experience for them to put in their puppy toolbox!

Note to Self....

Note to self:  do not let puppies out in the morning wearing drawstring pajamas.

It is a difficult decision to elect to hold pants up (even on 40 acres there IS such a thing as modesty) or try and shag them off, but the ouch-ouch-ouch dance just serves to incite them.  I ran right out of my flip flops in my escape!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Crate Training

The Pupsters are learning to spend the night in individual crates.  This is a big step from hanging out with your buddy, to sleeping alone!  Waaahhhhh!!  The first night, I resorted to wearing shooting muffs.  Nine puppies, all complaining at escalating decibel levels is not pleasing to the ears.  Where one might eventually settle down, nine of them just churn the waters and keep it going. Using the mid-sized crates I had utiltized for the pointers was simply not going to work with this many puppies unless I wanted to build an addition, so off to the  store I went and purchased 9 new puppy-sized crates.

I then added labels with their names, so that I can tell who is staying dry all night, etc.  The first night I fed them too late and it came out the other end too early in the morning. ick.  We've gotten it down to a better schedule now, with no food/water after 8 pm.  This morning there were no messes.  Still too many complaints to be pleasant, but that will come and your ear drums will thank me!

The weather is turning cool here, and I let them play out in the paddock until later in the evening, then they come in to the house to play before bed.  Last night they all got pig ears and ooohhhh was that a treat!  Some carried them around like prizes (Rainbow), some retreated to a location where no one could steal theirs (Red) and some just stole whichever ones they wanted (Orange and Cooper).  The concept was to tire them out before bedtime.  Good thought, only a couple hours of tugging and pig ears apparently wasn't a fair trade to being confined, in their opinion!  Well, by the time they meet their new owners we will have that little hurdle crossed and you will never know the auditory torture I went through.  What did you say??

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Urban Mushing

I'm not endorsing this product; I haven't tried it (can't afford it, frankly) but it sounds interesting.  If anyone decides to give it a try be sure and let us know if it works well.  It is a new dog scooter design where the dog/dogs are behind the steering wheel, thus giving the rider precision steering control and the dog can only go forward, not to the side.  Sounds like something that might be fun in the city (bearing in mind that your dog could not escape roaming neighborhood dogs).  As for me, it might be risky on the county highway and I am probably safer negotiating the ATV off road...





Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hunde aus Laufen

When I was in Germany, at the Police dog handlers school, every morning we participated in "hunde aus laufen".  This far removed, I am not certain my spelling is correct, but it translates to "dogs out running" and we would take all the patrol dogs in our class, in muzzle, for a long walk together. 

My Wisconsin version of this is to take the dogs out running with the ATV. We have mowed paths around the property and I think one circuit is a mile. I take the dogs out in groups and they get to stretch out and feel the grass under their feet, sometimes stop and take a dip in the creek.

Tonight Ali and Roya went first.  Roya, with her swinging underparts (never releasing the retriever bumper in her mouth, ever hopeful that I would throw it for her!) and Ali, who moves a little restricted in the rear yet, ran at a moderate speed.  The next circuit included Jinx, Bart and Digit.  Bart and Digit are both whole males, Dutch Shepherds, and I love that I can run them together, especially with a female.  Every now and then Bart will try a shoulder bump into Digit and I tell him to knock it off but there is no skirmish or disagreement.  Jinx far outruns everyone else.  She reminds me of a cheetah or a greyhound, collapsing her spine and then extending with incredible reach.  The speed and abandon alternately inspire awe and fear. 

Jinx took a second turn, running with Quinn.  I could smell wood smoke from the neighbor's campfire and watching the dogs run at sunset, on a beautiful green path bordering the woods, was a perfect end to the day.  I found another turkey feather, too, and in a different location than before so I know they are still there and moving around.

The last to run were puppies, and they only run around the yard!  They gather around and chase the chamois and the other toys, bite and tug and argue over who gets the most attention.  The dusk fades to dark, odd duck calls interject from the neighbor's campfire gathering (he trains retrievers and that must be some odd party entertainment. I think it involves alcohol.) and the puppies sack out here and there.  There are so many good things to be grateful for, despite the fact that "labor" never gets to take a day off when you have this many dogs.  A wonderful day, indeed.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We have EARS!!

Ears! We have ears!  This morning when I went to the Puppy Suite to take them out to greet the day, I was met by the sight of ears up on Cooper and half-mast on some others.  Within a few days I expect all the ears will be up, and then you will be able to get a sense of their little faces.  The erect ears really give a sense of personality to the pupsters.  Cooper doesn't need to feel stronger but I wonder if his new set of stand-up ears is giving him a big head, as he was a horrible bully this evening.  The Pupsters are enjoying chasing the chamois and tugging, and we played at some baby leg bites by creating a bite bar with the soft, fuzzy frisbee and holding in against my calf.  I desperately need some other surface between my flesh and those sharp puppy teeth now, and sitting on the ground with the vampire pack is no longer a cuddle fest.  Ouch! Ouch! I flinch away from the one attacking me from behind, which only incites the one of my side, and I have to jump to my feet!  Oh, what a joyful time!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just Plain Cute



Red is somewhat more aloof with strangers, but once they give her attention, she snuggles right up.  Here she is doing what she enjoys to occupy her time...biting things!  The rug, my feet... 

Big Orange

Big Orange is the smallest puppy.  He wore the orange collar (which he has since dumped) and has such a big personality that I just call him Big Orange.  He is a spunky little guy, and hilarious to watch with his antics as he is quite active.  He is very people oriented, but ouch! He has quite the grip.  These were week 4 pictures, so he has grown tremendously since then.



Pinkie is an outgoing girl who shows great eye contact.  I will often notice her sitting and staring up at me, so it is easy to take cute photographs of her.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

First Car Ride!!

The Pupsters had their first car ride (well, actually a van...) tonight!  I had a meeting in Appleton, so loaded them up in the crates I carry, four in one crate and five in another on nice fluffy bath rugs.  My first challenge was locating all the pups.  I took the first batch out and loaded them, returned and only counted 1 puppy.  How could that be??  I looked around. No pups.  Then I saw that three of them had sneaked into the metal crate where I had placed Roya.  Roya likes to open doors, so I had put her in what we call the Lion Cage, which is one of those heavy duty welded aluminum things.  There are big metal bars, and the pups had decided it would be pretty cool to go in by mom!  Except one of them -- Pinkie-- some how got STUCK partway through.  I was able to remove her without resorting to Crisco, fortunately!  Got the wayward pups out, Roya back in and off we went.  I travel prepared with clean up materials (spray, paper towels, plastic bags and clean rugs) as well as a container of antibacterial hand wipes for people to use who want to handle the pups.  Hey, I don't know where their hands have been!There were mild protests as we started off, but they soon settled down.  Being Wisconsin pups, it is entirely possible that they wanted to be able to clearly hear the Packer vs Jaguars game, so had to be quiet! 

They were excellent travelers.  The meeting lasted approximately 1 1/2 hours and since it was a dog-related meeting, everyone wanted to meet the Pupsters.  I had to count heads several times as people would start to edge away, holding one of the little darlings tightly... ha ha!  I discovered I am not alone in loving the smell of puppy feet AND thinking they smell like Fritos'!  And everyone loves puppy breath, I think.  There is just something magical about the smell of a puppy and the way they look at you and assess.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  This time there were no cries after going back into the crates and they apparently went back to sleep.  I was amazed when I took them out at home that there were no poops on the rugs and it did not seem that they had peed much, if at all.  I can't believe they would not have, given that amount of time, but once they were free at home every one of them peed.  Maybe?  They had a lovely homecoming meal of Momma and Meat, had a brief romping period and are now fast asleep once again.  

Sweet Dreams

Roya dreams of her care-free days, without puppies mauling her under parts....

Puppies dream of being the Baddest


Uh-oh!! I'm not sure what these three are dreaming of, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal in at least five states....


These puppies dream that toys fall from the sky forever


Rainbow dreams of having her own personal bed to sleep in at night


Sweet Dreams!



more pup pics

Snooze buddies

Can we talk?  (red girl)

Back off, Buddy! I  have teeth!!

CUBBY (has two white toes on each rear foot)


no white, seal brown with faint brindling now seen.  Cooper is easily recognized because he walks around with his tail straight up all the time.  He is abit of a bully, very social with people and confident.


Chuckie was the first born.  Has little white on more of his rear toes than Cubby.  He is larger than Cubby and slightly darker.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some pics for you



Pinkie is a very social girl. She is an official greeter of both human and animal visitors.



I call him Big Orange because he had the orange collar (most have lost or outgrown their collars now so I tell them apart by size, color and markings) and because he is the smallest pup.  He does have a big personality for a little guy and is also a very social little man.


And this guy was formerly known as "Yellow Boy" but has since become Cartman.  He is the one with the attitude, which has mellowed somewhat now that he can see better and he enjoys being handled.  The puppy sitter reported that Cartman discovered the cat tonight and stood and barked and barked.  I can recognize him even from the rear, as he is the largest pup and very stout right now.  He has a patch of white on his chest.


The Pups have now been wormed two times using Nemex2, at 2 and 3 weeks so far.

First Non-Momma Meal

The Pupsters had their first non-Momma meal on Monday.  I feed a mixture of raw meat, evaporated milk (and sometimes adding Esbilac), honey and a couple egg yolks.  Based on the reaction, it must be delicious, but it looks like something you would step over on a sidewalk.  Since they can now reach the milk bar while standing or sitting, it is about time they supplemented their meal plan.  Their little teeth are coming in and I have seen them also nibbling on the National puppy food, which has very small pellets.


New Digs and New Friends

The Pupsters have a very nice 10 ft x 5 ft, 2 compartment whelping box which is now outfitted with a sleeping and eating area, and the romp/potty area.  However, it is a subtantially built contraption and I can't move it from the attached garage where it currently is and I wanted them to be nearby.  So I first tried a kiddie pool.

I plunked it down in the living room where I could reach down and play with a pup any time I liked.

And the Pupsters were very accomodating...they climbed right out of that pool!  Why make Deb bend over?  I gathered rugs and towels and created a landing zone around the pool so that they weren't dropping onto their little heads on the hardwood floor!  I soon discovered that they not only were climbing out, they were climbing back in!  It was not containing them at all!  I gave up and surrendered my living room.  I have rugs down across the entire floor and they roam at will.  They will definately have a sense of exploration and adventure!

The locations they have been in so far are: whelping box, living room (hallway, kitchen...all over!), kiddie pool and outside in the Xpen. 

They have been on (surfaces): grass, hardwood floor, wood floor of the whelping box, newspaper, kiddie pool plastic and rugs.

And since they are free-range puppies at the moment, I had to ask a puppy-sitter to stay with them this evening while I attended USAR training.  Sure, I could have put them in the puppy box but better they have company and stimulation.  My friend, Les, who belongs to their full B litter sister, Callie (Bacall) had fun playing with pups all evening and will bring Callie to play next week.

They have also entertained many visitors, including: the Whitney family, schutzhund club members, Les and Janie, the police officers who train here and prety much anyone who stops by!  They respond now to my call of "puppy, puppy, puppy" and start to cry and bark and come running.  They are really now beginning to be fun little dogs.


Puppy Obedience Lessons at FoxTal

Since all but one of the D Litter Munster pups have gone to homes in this area (a rarity for us, and it will be so nice to watch them grow up!) I will be offering Puppy Obedience classes here at FoxTal Training Center, beginning on Sunday, August 26 at 2 pm. The classes will continue for several weeks while I see what the response is and evaluate. Contact Deb at to confirm your attendance or to make an inquiry.  Initial lessons will include basic obedience and your training questions. Future lessons will include introduction to (bird) tracking and also working on birds.

Danica goes home

Danica, my little Speed Racer, went home with her new owner, Mike K last week. 

The house was very quiet after she left, as she had been my walking buddy and general puppy-bother to Roya.  Danica thought she could convince Roya that she was just another big baby, but here I go with another photo giving evidence that someone is breeding Dutch Shepherds to Holsteins!!



Mike was surprised that Danica could take a dip in the creek, run through the fields and by the time she got back to the house, would be clean and dry.    She really loved to explore the fields and seemed to excel at tracking scent.  I hope they have many happy hunts in the future!

Which is not like the rest?

Look closely.  You might notice something not quite right in this picture.  I know it might not be readily apparently, so take your time and look closely.

Even the cat isn't quite sure....

Nope, it is not the love child of a malinois. This is Lance, a Shiba Inu puppy.   Lance belongs to my neighbor and was a singleton puppy.  This was Lance's first play date.  He is approximately 1 1/2 weeks older than the Pupsters but about the same size. 


Lance didn't know what to make of all these striped puppies.  Especially when they did not react to his huffing and puffing and instead, tried to nibble on his tail or walked right over him.


He especially wasn't sure what to do about lunch.  Everyone else seemed to know where the line formed.  Poor Lance had never had to fight for his dinner before and he was offended by the lack of rules in this rowdy group. He gave it a try, though, but never did find success as those darned little striped brats would just crawl over the top of him and push him off.

Lance started out the day, skirting around the edges of the pups and curling up by himself but by the end of the day, he had started to get in the mix and he found a new friend...a GIRLFRIEND.  Little Pinkie, snuggled on over to him, layed her head across his neck and they went to sleep. Oh, sweet dreams!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Everyone is bringing gifts.

Roya brings them to the babies, but they are too young to play.

Purple boy tries the dumbbell, but it is a teensy bit large for him yet and makes a better pillow.

and Cooper -- formerly called Blue Boy-- thinks these boots are made for walkin..

We're all bringing gifts to help you forget that we've been away and haven't posted recently!  More to come soon!