September 25, 2018 – It took me longer than usual to post the final blog note after saying good-bye to this special litter. We all felt a little bit of the sting when these puppies left. They were awesome! Well, out of this hard work and the loving families that adopted them to become a new family member, we were able to donate $1,800.00 to Amazima Ministries so that children in Uganda can eat, be educated, and simply live! Thank you to all of the wonderful families of this litter. We hope they stay in touch! So far, good reports and families are doing well with their new puppy.
. . . . . . AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
- * * * * * * * * * *
September 16, 2019 – All of Bella and Gunner’s pups have gone home. The pen is empty. We’ll post final pictures for this wonderful litter soon!
September 10, 2018 – I want to start by saying that I’m so proud of this litter!
It’s another good day. It started out rough, when I came down to discover someone had had an accident (I think I put too much coconut oil on their kibble yesterday) and then everyone had walked or laid in it. (Too much info? Sorry, all days are not glamorous here!) I wanted to go right back to bed. Lots of cleaning and baths to do even before I had coffee. But then, their sweetness kicked in again. Calm, loving pups (that were now fully bathed and blowed dry) to snuggle with! They cried a lot at crate training time, but then we tried again a few hours later and everyone was a superstar in the crate! They each have been having time in both types of crates, alone and away from everyone. It’s not the crate they don’t like, it’s being away from their buddies that is hard. We don’t give in, we ignore the crying and once they’ve been quiet for a while, we take them out, snuggle them, and tell them they did a good job.
Today we took pictures and a few videos that we’ll post to Instagram. They’re so calm most days and we are seeing the results of all of the hard work and conditioning we have done with them since they were only days old. They obviously have rambunctious times (they are puppies!) when they are wrestling and playing, but their temperaments are golden, they aren’t showing any anxiety, and they know how to settle down quickly. They watch us closely and we can tell that they want to obey and earn our attention. They are pretty good at sitting and quieting themselves down even when we have a tin of kibble in our hands and they are hungry. (That’s hard for them!)
This past week, we worked on leash training, crate training, sitting on command, and learning that soft biting is okay, but we say “Ouch!” when their bite hurts, so that they learn the difference. (Watch the Ian Dunbar video on this topic that was emailed or can be found on YouTube.) They had LOTS of socialization this past week with many visitors to see them, and also they were very much one of the highlights of a huge birthday party we had here over the weekend. They were passed around and even participated in some dancing. 🙂
Just a tip: we often have music playing here and that’s what they’re used to. When they’re wrestling and playing too rough or too loudly, we put on music to settle them down. (They seem to fall right to sleep to classical music. Who wouldn’t?) This might be helpful as they are adjusting in their new homes and new crates.
Since tomorrow is puppy selection day, we added a few notes about each pup. Personalities are just starting to show and will continue to develop in the upcoming weeks. They’ll start to pick up on the energy level and environment in their new homes, but I noted what we noticed so far.
We hope they will make us proud and be really good for their new families. Lots of adjustments are coming their way. We know they are ready! Are you ready for this? Their cuteness kills me! Here they are at seven weeks old.
September 3, 2018 – Bella’s puppies are six weeks old today. In two weeks, they’ll each be settling in with their forever families.
This is a great litter. It’s interesting that we do the same steps with every single pup, every single litter, yet, we see differences as a pack. Differences in parents personalities and genetics coming into play. Some litters are more energetic, more rambunctious and some are whining from an early age (we work to curb that!). This litter has been perfect! So smart: fastest to litter box train. So quiet: no whining for us to pick them up when we walk past the pen. A pack with beautiful coats and calm temperaments (that doesn’t come naturally, we worked hard with them!) And they come from a line of teddy bears. (Their Grandma Ella is on the one that looks like a big brown teddy bear on the top front of our website.)
This week, they’re wrestling a little bit more. They still love being held but they also love running through the play tubes that we set up when they have time outside their pen. They’re very confident, with good temperaments! We don’t see them reacting to any sounds or new people in any way. We’ve acheived the “So whattt?” attitude that Puppy Culture teaches us to strive for.
Today, we worked more with each one-on-one on sitting on command and they did a little better than earlier in the week. They’re learning to sit without us asking to get attention from us. They’re learning not to bite on our hands for attention or to show affection (this training will have to continue at home.) They’re sleeping in crates every night (with doors open so they can access litter box.)
On weights: Carla and Norm are the smallest in the pack. They are almost two pounds lighter than Woody, Sam and Diane. Taking after dad’s DNA, they will probably be around 30 lbs., full grown. Cliff is right in the middle of the pack regarding weight. He’ll probably grow to be around 35 lbs. The three biggest pups (Woody, Sam and Diane) will proably be around 40 lbs full grown. Personalities are barely starting to show at this early age, so we have little to tell you about that. We love them all; don’t ask us who’s best! Ha ha. (It’s like having to choose between your kids.) However, we can say that they all seem equally calm at this point. I don’t see a high energy one in the bunch.
Today was a day for pictures. We’re pretty proud. Look at these cutie pies!
August 27, 2018 – Bella’s puppies arrived five weeks ago and honestly, the time is just flying by! This past week, we’ve had lots of visitors, which meant lots of socialization during a super important week for that! Along with the open house on Saturday, we also had various visitors come by during the week. Along with socialization, we are fully into the desensitization conditioning and daily we introduce them to scary things like sounds of thunderstorms, fireworks, grooming clippers, shop vacs, loud shouting (we have recordings to play of all of this, ha ha. We’re not standing around screaming at each other.) and even gun shots. (One of our pups recently went to live near a gun range, so that too has been added to our desensitizing list.) At this point, they don’t seem to react to almost any new sound or experience, so that means they’re progressing. They’re pretty calm for baths and blow drying and when new visitors come, they go right to them to be held or pet. All good! Next phase we’re working on is sitting for attention. This takes patience. But we got this! We’re fine as long as our visitors follow our rules. Consistency is everything with dog training! They sat very nicely for their photo shoot. We love these guys. Here they are at five weeks old!
August 20, 2018 – Bella’s puppies are four weeks old today! They’re coats are starting to fill in and they’re getting more wavy and looking so cute. Today, they all had a bath and blowdry, lots of holding time during a loud thunderstorm (recorded and played loudly) and then it was time for photos. They all sat so calmly and we can tell they’re becoming more emotionally conditioned and relaxed. Here they are at four weeks old.
August 19, 2019 – The pup’s teeth are starting to come in and so we started them on some soft kibble today. They loved it! They’re enjoying their new pen with lots to climb on, places to hide and lots of toys to play with. Tomorrow will be time for a photo shoot, but here’s a snapshot of a worn out pup after lots of wrestling and play. We’ll post their four-week old pictures soon!
August 16, 2018 – Today we moved the puppies out of the whelping pen into the puppy play pen that gives them more space. Now we begin the next phase of litter box training, crate training and desensitizing to new experiences and sounds. Today we listened to an epic thunderstorm on Youtube as they were comforted and feeling safe. Not sure they all hear yet, but definitely some of them are reacting to noise. They’re becoming really snuggly and they come right over whenever we approach the pen. You can see how big they’ve gotten in comparison to mama, and it won’t be long to start them on kibble. So far though, no teeth to do that. Here are several pictures we took today as we watched them explore and adjust to their new pen. They loved the enclosed feel of the crate and that is where we’ll often find them sleeping from now on.
August 13, 2018 – Bella’s puppies are three weeks old today. Time is flying by! They’re fun to watch as they wobble around the pen and become more active, with eyes wide open. At three weeks old, we usually start to see the pups start to get their hearing. Today, we noticed that Sam and Cliff both responded when we made certain sounds. Within a couple of days, the pups should all hear pretty clearly and we can start working on sound desensitizing. Emotional conditioning moves from the Bio-sensor program soon, into emotional conditioning that involves sight and sound. More and more socialization with visitors and family members will be important over the next few weeks.
Today was a day for baths, massages (done daily to condition them to touch), blowdrying and then a photo shoot. Puppy spa day at our house! They enjoy the warm bath and mama watches over closely to make sure we don’t hurt her pups. All good!
Woody, Diane and Norm have continued to be the biggest in the pack. We rotate them during the feeding times to make sure the smaller ones get their fair share. Norm, especially, seems to be hungry all the time. He roams around the pen squawking for food, asking mama to come back and feed him. She’s a little tired. 🙂 We’ve offered the pups supplemental puppy formula, but they just want mom. We can already see at this age, which ones will be the biggest and love to eat.
Here they are at three weeks old. Are they cute or what? We love their coats and the beauful color. Some of them still have some pink on their noses, but we’ve always seen that fill in as they continue to develop. Cutie pies, for sure, each one of them!
August 6, 2018 – We’ve seen some significant changes in the litter this week, especially over the past two days, with eyes opening and even starting to walk. They’re pretty wobbly and unsteady, but walking for sure. They still mostly sleep, but we know that will change soon as they become more alert and engaging with each other and humans. We’re still doing the Bio-sensor program daily and we see them becoming more comfortable with each step and more and more relaxed in our hands. They had baths again today (a pretty regular thing here) and of course, it was time for a photo shoot! They are two weeks old today! They’re gaining weight and become stronger every day. Here they are.
July 30, 2018 – One week ago Bella and Gunner’s puppies arrived. It’s been a quiet week here with them, and uneventful, just like we like. They’ve nearly doubled their weights since birth and continue to eat well. Their pigmentation is starting to change and you can see in the pictures that their noses are darkening. We’ve started the Bio-sensor program with each pup: five steps done daily that begin their neurological stimulation and conditioning. They all had baths today and we spent time holding and massaging them. Baths will be a regular thing so it’s good they get used to it at an early age, and the more we hold them, the more they become comfortable with human touch. Hopefully, by the time we post pictures next week, their eyes will be open. At this point, all they really do is eat and sleep, and mama Bella stays by their side all day long.
Here they are at one week old!
July 24, 2018 – Bella’s puppies are doing great! Seven pups arrived yesterday: five boys and two girls. The pups have now been moved out of their whelping pool and into their pen that has a guard rail to keep them from being accidentally crushed by mama. This is Bella’s first litter and she has taken to motherhood quite well! She is gentle, protective and never wanting to leave their side.
We’ve named this litter the “Cheers” litter, and some of you will recognize these names. Welcome to our world Norm, Sam, Cliff, Woody, Frasier, Diane and Carla! The pups all latched on immediately and are nursing well. All are active and thriving. Always so thankful when we have healthy pups arrive. Though there’s rarely been a problem, we’re always extra cautious the first week as we keep a careful watch of cleanliness of the pen, temperature of the room, and making sure all are eating and gaining weight. Other issue is making sure mama doesn’t step or lay on her pups. All is going well here! Here are some pictures of mama and the babies in their first 24 hours of life.
July 23, 2018, 6 p.m. – Bella has brought us six puppies so far: four boys and two girls in caramel/red. All are nursing and look healthy! She is still in labor and we’ll post an update tomorrow (if not sooner) along with a picture. Mama Bella is doing a great job!