July 11, 2019 – Gracie’s pups went home. They were so big and so ready! They were wanting out of that pen for the past week and we walked them on leashes, practiced crate training, snuggled them and gave them romping play time, but it was time to leave their big puppy room. They were ready for life! Courage decided a few days ago that he didn’t want to stay in the pen anymore, so he would jump in and out as he pleased. We were so impressed that he never got into trouble. He just needed space from the pack and would hang around the room, find a toy or bone, come and say “hi” to us and take a nap wherever he felt like it. He spent every night sprawled out on the puppy room floor by himself and greeted us in the morning, while his pack looked on with envy. “How did he learn how to jump like that?”
We loved each of these pups and there were lots of kisses and a few tears as our team said good-bye. One pup, “Hope,” went to be part of Brickhaven Labradoodles breeding program in Washington and she will some day create puppies of her own.
We’re thankful to each of the great families that chose us and their new family member from Valley Vineyard Labradoodles. We know each of these puppies will be loved and cared for with the right mix of hugs, exercise and playtime. We hope car rides, hiking trips and snuggles in bed are all part of the mix too! Because of the wonderful families that choose us and supported us with this litter, we are able to give another $1,800.00 to Amazima Ministries so that a group of kids in Uganda can enjoy another day to eat, learn and simply live.
July 7, 2019 – Going home week is here! As selection day is approaching tomorrow, we want to give a few more final details on the litter as we’ve continued to observe and work with them. There is obvious differences in appearance, coat and weight and with this litter, it seems choices should be mostly made on those facts. We say that because most studies reveal that personalities in a pup are just starting to show at 7 or 8 weeks… and we find this litter to be scoring themselves so similar in almost every way.
This is what we know so far based on energy levels we see, willingness to follow, socialize, and jump into new experiences. And below we’ve noted the most accurate weights based on the vet’s scale. Please note that we are not seeing any pup that shows a higher energy level than another. (Once in a while, we can clearly see a high energy level pup in a litter. Not so with Gracie’s pups. All have their normal puppy energy and need of exercise, stimulation and interaction, but have an easy acceptance of settling down to relax.
All of the pups scored in mostly the 3 level scoring on temperament. This type of scoring is described as follows: Good with people and other animals, does very well at training and learns quickly, rather quiet, good with elderly people, and children, and “will be the star, taking to obedience classes easily without having to do too much work.” In fact, every single pup scored a “3” on the “social attraction,” “social dominance” and “following” exercises. The 3’s are described as: “Pups that are outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which they receive regular training and exercise, and they have a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environments.”
These scores reveal that they are equal in social skills and submissiveness. Based on observation, and a slight scoring difference, Loyal and Justice show to be more leaders than followers and will do better with strong human pack leaders at home that can lead them and not allow them to dominate. Here, they tend to be more of the pack leaders in the group, but their “social” and “following” scoring showed them to be the same as the others. We would recommend them to not be placed with very young children that don’t know how to lead a strong and large puppy that hasn’t received obedience training yet. (For the sake of both the pup and a child, especially any standard size pups with confident personalities, close supervision is a must. Puppies can still be traumatized after leaving our home by a child that doesn’t know how to relate to them and a child can be harmed by a young pup that does the normal, playful nipping until they learn otherwise.)
In the past two days, all of the pups are doing well at accepting a leash and following and are getting more accustomed to the enclosure of a crate and being alone, and away from their pack.
We wish we could tell you more clear personality differences. In this pack, we’re just not seeing anything that stands out like more energetic, less secure, etc.. All are loving, smart, social and confident. From here, their personalities will continue to develop more in the following weeks and months as they adapt and change based on their new environments, lifestyle and the personalities and training styles of their new pack leaders. After leaving us, you at home will have a big impact on how their personality continues to develop. Calm, loving, positive and consistent interaction with them is key!
Loyal, 10 lbs. 1 oz.
Courage, 9 lbs. 4 oz.
Justice, 11 lbs. 5 oz.
Truth, 11 lbs. 1 oz.
Honor, 9 lbs. 6 oz.
Mercy, 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Hope 9 lbs. 1 oz. (Hope has been selected as the breeder choice to be held back and will enter the breeding program of Brickhaven Labradoodles in Washington. This choice was made based on Hope’s gender and size.)
July 4, 2019 – Gracie and Basil’s pups are seven weeks old and we’re busy with all the final preparations to get them ready for their forever families and all the life ahead of them! We’re working on leash training, crate training, and more and more socializing and conditioning. We did temperament testing yesterday and they all did well, showing they are confident, submissive and very sociable. We’ll post their accurate weights from the vet over the weekend as well.
Tomorrow they’ll have their first set of vaccinations, micro-chipping and thorough exams by our vet. Time for nail trimming again too. Their nails and teeth are quite sharp. (The teeth will wear down gradually, the longer they are on kibble and gnawing on bones.) We love each one of these pups. They are mostly quiet, calm and eager to please. They love their play time and rough housing, but when picked up, it’s clear they love their humans most. They are snugglers, each and every one of them. We had fun taking pictures yesterday… as you can see. They’re adorable!
June 26, 2019 – At six weeks old now, Gracie’s puppies are romping and playing with loads of confidence. They love to explore and greet new people. But of course, they still love to be held and settle right down in your arms when you pick them up. Seems there is nothing they love more than us humans coming to pick them up. They love their play times twice a day with Janie’s mini’s that were born the same day.
They are getting more used to the crate, and more used to the kibble – though they still prefer mama for eating. They’re just too big and have lots of sharp teeth, so we have to keep discouraging mama Gracie from jumping in the pen. Gracie needs to wean from them, and them from her, so that everyone can separate naturally within two weeks. The puppies cry a bit in a crate, but not for very long. We seem to see a pattern that when we put on a loud thunderstorm sound, they settle right down and fall asleep. Maybe that will work at home when they’re going through their adjustments with their new forever families.
Well, here are some shots we took of them today. They are wonderful puppies! We are enjoying each and everyone one of them. Once again, Basil, our stud, brought us the most beautiful litter with great statures and full, gorgeous coats. And the temperaments are excellent – like their parents!
June 20, 2019 – Gracie and Basil’s puppies are five weeks old now and they couldn’t be any cuter! Their coats are filling in and they look like beautiful, chubby little puppies. Well fed, socialized, conditioned and confident… they’re doing great. Today was playtime with visitors, baths, and lots of human time. They’re weaning quickly from mama now. With teeth and nails, mama Gracie is feeling very done with these big puppies climbing on her. Here are the pictures we took of them today.
June 17, 2019 – Gracie’s puppies turned four weeks old on Wednesday and they’re doing very well. Now that they are fully hearing, sound desensitization has been in full swing. They are listening to desensitization sounds for at least a couple of hours a day and they are learning to be very calm and non-reactive to “scary” sounds. We want the pups with temperaments that are so confident and non-reactive to all the things that can create anxiety in a dog. (Anxiety in a dog is a tough thing to work through later on!)
They are very playful and spend a lot of time wrestling and gnawing on each other (something their humans will have to teach them not to do. Gnawing on humans is always what every pup, every litter has to learn NOT to do once they live their litter.
They’re doing well at the litter box at this point. Not perfect, but getting there. During human snuggle time, each pup is regularly held on their backs to continue their submissiveness to humans and to continue to trust their people. Slowly, the pups are getting used to a crate. We don’t close the door yet, but that will come later. They’re now starting to eat kibble to give mama a break. Now that they all have teeth, we’ve started the natural weaning process for mama Gracie to start to separate from her pups. (Mama naturally doesn’t want to continue nursing once they have their teeth!)
We took a few pictures of them in their pen. We’ll get individual pictures posted of them at five weeks old, at the end of the week. And soon, there will be a lot more action and once that happens, we’ll post videos of them on Instagram. At this point they haven’t left their pen yet, other than to be held.
June 6, 2019 – We got behind on this blog! We knew we needed to take new pictures of this litter, but there was puppy care that took precedence. Sitting and working on the puppy blog felt as wrong as working on the family scrap book while the kids are waiting for lunch. Anyway, we apologize for the delay because we know their fans were waiting to see them.
Gracie’s pups are fantastic. They are healthy, so well fed by their great mama, and they are becoming active. Today we watched them wrestling and playing and they’re starting the very early stages of learning where to go potty in their pen. They are alert and soon they will hear. (Still didn’t show signs of it today.) They’ve had many baths, many hours of holding and massaging, and they are totally through with their daily Bio-sensor programming steps. Their mama takes good care of them. She is calm and gentle with them and super attentive. This is important and we know that a good mama plays a factor in a pup’s temperament, along with everything else we do. Here they are at three weeks old. This is going to be a super cute litter!
May 26, 2019 – Gracie’s puppies have continued to gain weight (they’re nice and plump!) and they are eating well and thriving. Still not much action; just lots of eating and sleeping all day long. Mama Gracie takes great care of them. We took a few pictures so that you can see how they’ve changed a bit. The pups will stay in the care of our guardian family with Gracie for a couple more weeks before coming here so we can finalize all their stages of care and conditioning. Right now they’re working through the Bio-Sensor program, and being held and massaged regularly.
May 17, 2019 – The pups are doing great. We got some closeup pictures of the pups……
May 15, 2019 – Our mamas love to go into labor just as we’re getting ready to go to bed. Hmmmmm. (What’s up with that?) Well, Gracie was no different. Pups started arriving late into the night, and by this morning she had delivered seven healthy babies with great weights. They are thriving and latching on and all appear healthy. The litter count was less than our vet thought he saw on the ultrasound, but it works out perfectly to match the number of families on the reservation list.
Gracie and pups are with our wonderful friends/guardian family, and the litter and mama Gracie will stay with them for the next few weeks until they come here to work with us on further conditioning steps. Our friends have helped us raise and whelp pups for years: including doing the Bio-sensor steps and all the other care and conditioning we feel is important over the next several weeks.
Gracie is doing well, as are the pups! We are excited to welcome to our world, seven little babies – two girls (black and apricot coloring) and five boys (cream and black coloring). Hello to our new and most noble puppies: Honor, Truth, Courage, Loyal, Justice and the girls . . . Mercy and Hope.