Wordless Wednesday ~ Barky Wednesday

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Friends Helping Friends

One of the things I love about having friends in my Chessie community is for the most part we try to help each other out.

One of my friends needed a hand with temporarily fostering some of her pups while she recuperates. So I have the pleasure of having this little girl stay with us for a while.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever (3)

Meet Scruffy…she is 16 weeks old and such a little love. Her first night Maia and Riva weren’t to sure but Titan was curious about her. It only took a couple of days for them to warm up to her.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever (8)Riva finally letting her sleep on her.Chesapeake Bay Retriever (12)Maia finally caved and let her sleep next to her.Chesapeake Bay Retriever (16)Titan doesn’t mind her at all.

Of course leaving her littermates and the only home she has known was a bit over whelming for her but she was willing to go to my brother and nephew and be held.

My job over the weeks to come are to socialize her, house train, crate train, and leash train. Of course the potty training started immediately and she is a smart cookie so I don’t think it will take long for her to catch on. We also began the crate training, she had been introduced to the crate by my friend all ready but I need to get her to willingly go in, not have accidents and when riding in the car hopefully get her past car sickness.

Car sickness can happen especially when they first start riding. She has only been for two rides so far but has done pretty good as far as not whining but she did get sick. One thing I do to help with this is no food at least two hours before going in the car and sometimes ginger snaps will help an upset tummy. This was her second trip in the car.Chesapeake Bay Retriever (9)

We were stopped when I took this but as you can see she is pretty relaxed.

She has accepted the crate pretty well. She does do a tiny bit of whining when first going in, especially if someone is still in the room, but she quickly settles down. Each day is better than the day before so I think I will have her walking in on her own soon. I leave the door open when she does not have to be in there to see if it will encourage her to go in. But what did I find…yep that’s Maia on the left one night and Riva on the right the next night.

IMG_20170112_191356832IMG_20170112_200746770

This is going to be a great adventure for all of us!!

Tina and the Brown Dogs & a Lil Scruffy Girl

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

Wordless Wednesday~Hear Me Roooo

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy

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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