The First Show

I entered the Little Bittles in their first show In January. My niece and I practiced a lot with them on moving, stacking and showing their bite. We thought we had them pretty good for 6 month old pups.

So we went to the show early to let them walk around and check things out since this was their first time. They did amazingly well, calm and relaxed and not bothered by the other dogs. We practiced just a bit more. We met up with their brother, Banner, and his mom. Hailee’s family came to watch her show Zelena, so we had a a lot of people to hang out with.

Then it was our turn to go in the ring. All went well with the initial stack and go around, then it was time to stack up the dogs so the judge could go over each dog individually. Thalia was the second dog in line and I was showing her. The judge asked me to show the bite…BOOM…she would not let me show her bite. She was fighting tooth (no pun intended) and nail against me.

Our judge, Dr. Eric Liebes, was amazing! He pulled us over to the other side of the ring and let me work her through it, at one point he said to her “this is one battle you are not going to win little girl”. Finally he caught a glimpse of teeth. I was mortified at her behavior and thought for sure he would excuse us from the ring. I am so thankful he was understanding of a 6 month old puppy in the ring for the first time and allowed us the time to work through it, at least somewhat. Hailee and Zelena did fantastic! This is the first puppy Hailee has ever shown.

After all her shenanigans we were awarded second place, Zelena was third place.

I have no idea why she reacted the way she did. I play with their mouths from the time they are very young and she had been very good about it prior to ring time.

So since then we have been checking bites all the time and she seems okay about it, but time will tell.

Misty Shores Chesapeakes (1)
This is Banner
Misty Shores Chesapeakes (2)
Second handler is Hailee and Zelena
Misty Shores Chesapeakes (3)
Me and Thalia

Tina & the Brown Dogs

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Raising Puppies the Puppy Culture Way

 

I have been interested in the Puppy Culture program for several years now. My friend, Deb, let me borrow her DVD “The Powerful First 12 Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppy’s Future,” so I could watch the program prior to the birth of the pups. I watched it a dozen times, took notes, wrote a complete outline that I shared with my niece, Hailee, who would be my whelping partner.

Now for Riva’s litter I didn’t know about Puppy Culture but I was aware of Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) by Dr Battaglia. I did this with all the pups in Riva’s litter. This is a great method that has a lasting effect on a dogs ability to handle stress, it is also a great way of bonding with each puppy. When I discovered Puppy Culture I was delighted that the ENS is part of the program.

So on day three we started the ENS and continued it every day through day 16. It was fun to watch how each pup responded. Then we continued with each week of the program as it is laid out. My favorite part was obstacle training. I used an x-pen to block off the doorway to the outside, each one had to figure out they simply needed to walk around the barrier and they were outside. I only had one who took a little time to figure it out. It was hard to restrain myself as I watched her go back and forth and whine but I held out and she soon figured it out.

Using Jane Killion’s Puppy Culture Program I feel gave my pups a great start by building strong confident puppies that do not get overly anxious or stressed by things they encounter in life. Not to mention how much fun we had and what a great bonding experience.

As I had potential puppy buyers, family and friends visit the pups the one thing they all commented on was how confident they were. I think my biggest compliment came from my vet when they went for their first check up and vaccine. I took all nine but we only took three in at a time. My vet, Dr. McAllister, just could not get over how calm and relaxed they were. She commented “what great temperament, so well behaved”. While temperament is genetic it is also in how a pup is raised. I told her about the Puppy Culture program, she made a note of it in my chart as well as noting the temperament. The techs were pretty pleased as well, they told me of other breeders who would bring their pups in and just let them loose and they were all over the clinic, barking and carrying on.

We used different stuffed toys, baby items, a trash can lid (this served as my unstable floor), an agility tunnel, crates, noise makers, a kiddie pool with balls and many other things to provide daily stimulation. I didn’t do all the things I had planned but as I did this program I learned as well as the pups. So the next litter we will try some of the things I didn’t get to this time.

Did we do everything perfect, no, but we learn as we go. I am just so pleased with the outcome from using this program, I highly recommend it to any breeder.

Now for some fun photos.

Their first home.

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (7)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (9)

The girls!

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (10)

The boys!

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups   ..

Our outdoor pen, I added more toys as we continued to get things set up.

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (2)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (4)All of the pups loved this big stuffed tiger!

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups

This was great fun! One of the cheapest large activities I had for them. Two huge net bags full of these balls from a yard sale, $5 and the pool was $6. They would stand on the side and dive right in, chase each other around the pool and then jump in. Entertained them for hours!

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (3)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (13)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (1)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (18)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (20)

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (5)Introducing them to water.

Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (22)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (23)Misty Shores Buddy X Maia Pups (24)Being a retriever breed we bring out ducks and wings to check for birdiness and see how pups react. I thought this still fell in line with Puppy Culture for introducing new things to the pups.

Click to watch 3 short videos

Puppies at Play

Puppies, Pool, Balls = FUN

We Love Water

Tina & the Brown Dogs

Little Treasures

So I thought I would introduce you to the two newest members of the pack. These Little Treasures came about from breeding Maia last May to a very nice boy!

Maia had nine live little beauties, sadly we had one stillborn very small girl, but the nine were very healthy. Five girls and four boys. Misty-Shores-Maia-20_thumb.jpgMisty-Shores-Maia-17_thumb.jpgMisty-Shores-Maia-18_thumb.jpg

My niece, Hailee,  stayed the whole summer with me to help with the whelping and rearing of the pups. Maia’s pregnancy was very normal with no real problems. On July 12 Maia went into hard labor about 1:30pm and had the first pups, a little girl at 2:00pm. She continued to have pups between 20 minutes – 1 hour through the first five, then she took a break until 8:50pm delivering four more pups by 12:30am. We watched her for a few more hours just to make sure, by 3:30am we figured she was done since my vet had seen 9 on the x-ray and she wasn’t in active labor any more. We were all exhausted, Maia had settled in with her new family, all were doing great. So my niece and I decided we would get some sleep…Maia had other plans! At 4:06am number 10 was born, a big beautiful girl. Hailee’s girl!

The next several months were very busy caring for Maia and her babies. The whole time I could see that Hailee had a very special bond with the last little girl, who was called Orange (collar color) and she with Hailee. So she was going to be our keeper.

The plan was we were keeping a girl, and my friend was keeping a girl. However, what you plan at the beginning is not always how it ends.

As the pups grew and developed their own little personalities I saw something in one of the other little girls that grabbed my heart, Green girl. My friend, Robin, came pretty regularly to watch the pups and try to narrow down which girl she wanted. But as the weeks went on she started thinking she liked some of the boys as well. She has an older dog, Reveler, Riva’s brother., and wanted a pup that would fit in with a very senior dog.  So in the end she went with the pup that worked best with Reveler, little Dark Blue boy.

Please meet our Little Treasures

Misty Shores Dancin In The Moonlight

“Zelena”

Misty Shores Dancin In The MoonlightMistyShores-Zelena_thumb.jpg

Misty Shores Lil Blossom

“Thalia”

Misty Shores Lil Blossom..MistyShores-Thalia_thumb.jpg

We are looking forward to having a lot of fun and adventures with these two!

Tina & the Brown Dogs

Big Plans For 2017

As 2017 begins I find myself planning for a breeding that will hopefully bring me a new litter of Chesapeake puppies.

One would not think so much goes into breeding dogs but carefully planning a breeding takes a great deal of time and research.

First, I did my health testing on Maia and from that information it allows me to choose a stud dog that would be a genetically good match while complimenting her with physical traits. These are living breathing beings so nothing is 100% but testing makes the chances of producing sound dogs that much better. I have been looking at stud dogs for over two years, I wanted to make sure I left no dog uncovered so to speak. But due to the results of some of Maia’s tests some of these stud dogs would not be compatible genetically. Meaning, I can’t use a dog that is a carrier of the same thing Maia is. They will however remain in my “toolbox” for the future with possibly a different female. You can read about genetic testing and what is in my “toolbox” here.

I have narrowed my search down but I am not ready to divulge the stud dog just yet. I will probably not announce that until after the breeding takes place. Maia will not be in season for a few more months and I don’t want to put the cart before the horse as they say. Anything can happen in those months.

So, while I wait for her biological clock, there are some things I can prepare ahead of time. Something I am very excited to do with this litter is Jane Killion’s Puppy Culture. You may remember reading this on Sand Spring Chessies blog here, and my other friend Deb, did it with her last litter. They both had great things to say about the program. The following is from the Puppy Culture website.

For the breeder…

Puppy Culture represents a gold standard in puppy rearing and early socialization.

We’ve done the research for you and distilled down a hundred years of combined experience into easy to follow protocols. You’ll receive week-by-week and step-by-step instructions, proven by science and experience to ensure the best outcomes for your puppies.

You have more power than you think.

Breeders have more opportunity to make a dramatic impact on a puppy’s ultimate personality than anyone else ever will. By the time the puppy goes to his new home, much of that opportunity has already been lost. Puppy Culture shows you what you need to do, when, in order to take advantage of your power as a breeder.

Preparing your puppy buyers is as important as breeding good puppies.

Nothing’s more frustrating than sending a perfect puppy to new home only to get a phone call months later that the puppy is acting out or having problems. We give you check lists and key points to share with your puppy buyers which will prepare them to follow through with the Puppy Culture program after you send their puppy home with them.

Something you can share with your puppy people.

We answer a lot of the questions puppy buyers commonly have and help them set reasonable expectations for their new puppies. From basic training to finding the right puppy class, your puppy owners are in good hands with Puppy Culture!

We put your passion on film.

Whether its your first litter or your fiftieth, when you look in that whelping box, you see a history of all the dogs you’ve loved, and your hope for the generations to come. You’re not putting puppies on the ground, your putting new relationships into the world. Puppy Culture tells your story in an emotional narrative that will allow anyone who sees it to understand who we are and why we breed dogs.

And for the puppy owner…

Puppy Culture is a guiding hand for you and your puppy

Our team of experts have bred, raised, and trained thousands of dogs, and we’ve know from first hand experience what works best. We make that vast experience available to you, broken down into clear instructions, in short chapters that are easy and fun to watch.

How you teach your puppy is as important as what you teach your puppy

Studies have shown that many common training techniques can actually increase aggression and problem behaviors, which can damage the human-animal bond. The Puppy Culture program will show you how to train your dog while enriching your bond with him, every step of the way.

Real life proof that it works

Most puppy training videos appear to have been shot in one weekend, using a few easy to train puppies.  How do you know those training techniques really work in the long run? Unlike other films, Puppy Culture tracks one litter over three years, so you can see the true results of our program.  You’ll see the puppies overcome real and varied behavior challenges and ultimately grow to gentle, well-behaved adult dogs.

The truth about socialization

During this sensitive time, the puppy is as vulnerable to imprinting negative experiences as he is to imprinting good experiences.  This means you need a good plan for socializing your puppy.  Your Puppy Culture team gives you a plan and guides you through the process.

Learn how to be your puppy’s advocate

it can be difficult to stand up to a person in a position of authority, such as a veterinarian or a dog trainer, but you need to learn what’s right and wrong for your puppy, and stand up against bad advice.  Puppy Culture’s veterinarians, behaviorists, and breeders give you the facts to know when you’re right, and the conviction to walk way from anything that might harm your puppy.

*This information was taken directly from the Puppy Culture website.

I have been reading through the website familiarizing myself with all the information provided. I also follow the posts on their Facebook group. This group is a great resource because people share their experiences using Puppy Culture, you can ask questions and updates and offers are provided by the admin. They offer several different DVD’s and I will be watching those over the months to come. I also like that this is not just for the breeder and they have something for the puppy owner as well.

In preparation I have been collecting things to use for this program, such as jungle gym items, a tunnel, different textures and noise makers and constantly pinning ideas to my Pinterest board “The Whelping Box”.

Another thing I am excited about is building a whelping box. My nephew is taking courses in carpentry so my hope is to have him help me with this. I have some thoughts in mind and have saved a ton of ideas and directions. I want one that can be easily set up and taken down so it lays flat for storage when not in use. Another priority is seating at each corner, let’s face it getting down in the whelping box is not as easy as one might think when it is full of momma and pups. This way friends, family and myself can sit around the box to admire those little brown babies without crowding everyone. The box also needs to be easy to sanitize and clean. So far, the one I have my eye on is something like this

98d95fa594e913770b234af3df7ef190 *Photo courtesy of Google

The thing I like about this box is the seating and the way the heat lamps are suspended so they are out of reach of puppies and not in the mother’s way. I have a different thought on the opening, I would like it a bit wider and made so I can slide the insert in place once puppies are older and moving around. I am still a fan of the pvc pipe pig rails so they can be removed when no longer needed. I think they can be sanitized much easier than wood. The purpose of the pig rail is to keep mom from smashing a puppy against the side of the box and herself, they slide under the rail and moms back pushes against the rail. Still debating on if I want a floor or not. There are pros and cons to either. And of course, I want to decorate it all cutsie once we have it done.

I have been waiting for this breeding for a long time so to say I am very excited about it would really be an understatement. I look forward to sharing this adventure with all of you.

Tina and the Brown Dogs

Biting/Mouthing in Puppies

I have been reading a lot of posts on Facebook over the past several months about puppies nipping/biting.

Puppies explore their world with their mouths so it is natural for them to bite/mouth not only objects but you, your family members and even other animals in the home as well. This is how they have played with their littermates from the time they were up on their feet. They put things in their mouths.

Misty Shores Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Misty Shores Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (2)

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppies ~ Misty Shores Chesapeakes (2)

Some do this more than others and some can be quite intense with this behavior. This does not mean you have an aggressive puppy so don’t despair!

However, it is important that you correct this behavior immediately, consistently and teach them what is appropriate to chew on. It is also important that the WHOLE family follow through with the same training.

While I have tried many different techniques, the most effective way I have found to correct the behavior is by gripping their lower jaw with my thumb in their mouth under the tongue and hold it firmly while telling the pup ‘NO BITE’! The pup will not be able to move because you have control over their head and this is quite uncomfortable for them. You are only trying to cause it to be uncomfortable not hurt them. Once you have corrected them offer an appropriate toy or treat to chew on. They will learn quickly if you and your family are consistent with this and all training.

Around four months old puppies will also begin to lose their deciduous teeth (baby teeth) and their adult teeth will begin to come in. So you may see an increase in chewing because this can be painful and uncomfortable for them.

To help them through this period here are a few ideas:

    • Freezing some of their toys such as a Kong filled with peanut butter/yogurt mixture will help relieve the discomfort.
    • Freeze a pumpkin yogurt mixture (half/half) in ice cube trays to give them to chew on. You can also put this mixture in a Kong.
    • Freeze a fresh femur bone, the marrow is good for them and the bone will keep them busy. Make sure you don’t use small bones as they can get lodged in their throats and wedged in their mouths. I use at least a 6-inch bone for my puppies. This will depend on the size of your breed.

I try to teach my dogs as puppies everything I want from an adult dog. For example, if you don’t want your dogs on the furniture, never let them on the furniture. I do not give old shoes or socks to chew on, they don’t know the difference between those old things verses your new Kate Spade boots. For the most part anything you let a puppy get away with they will continue that behavior as an adult. It is far harder to break bad habits than teach good ones when they are young pups.

While I am not a professional trainer/behaviorist, I have raised many puppies/dogs over the past 30+ years. I have changed the way I train my dogs many times as I learn better more effective techniques. The key to all training is fairness and consistency!

If you are unsure about the behaviors your puppy is displaying I always recommend contacting your breeder first. They are a wealth of information and can help you with any issues you may have. If you don’t have a breeder, contact a reputable dog trainer to discuss your training needs.

Tina and the Brown Dogs