July 16, 2018 – Lizzie’s puppies left over the weekend and now all is quiet here (Emery’s pups are with Emery and Emery’s guardian family until they arrive here for more conditioning and bonding with us next week) and the puppy pen is empty. That’s always a sad sight no matter how many litters we’ve raised over the years. We still fall in love with each pup. That’s just how it works here. We are so appreciative of all of the families that chose us and so thankful each of them found us! Once again, it was a good send-off for each pup and we’re hearing lots of good reports that the pups are great and there’s a happily ever after with each adoption! Aside from that, these families helped us help some kids in Uganda. Because of these pups coming into the world, and good people adopting them, we were able to donate $2,100 to Amazima Ministries today to help feed and educate starving children. On top of that, at least two pups from this litter have gone on for further training to become service dogs. So, we cry for a few minutes when they leave, but realize that all the pups bring HAPPY all around! So here are the happy unions that took place this weekend. And all are adjusting just fine.
July 12, 2018 – We’re in our final days (hours?) of readying these cutie pies to go home to their forever families. Wanted to note some things we worked on, especially these past few days, and give you some tips/pointers for pup’s early days at home.
Leash Training -Today we worked on leash training and getting them more comfortable with a leash. The key is to first get them to follow you with the leash just hanging on them loosely, without us holding it at all. Following happens through bonding, but to start, use treats to get their focus on you. After you’ve accomplished that, take the leash in your hand, you hold it loosely and get them to follow you until you’re basically walking side by side, giving treats along the way to encourage and reward. They took to it quickly today! This is the beginnings of what we call successful “loose leash” walking. This should continue into adulthood. We always walk with treats with our adult dogs, rewarding periodically on the walk. Thsi keeps your pooch in step and focused on you and your stride! Nobody likes a dog dragging you down the street. Especially since these pups will be big and strong, best to get this down at an early age!
Crate training and alone time – everyone got five stars today 9out of five, of course)! Yay! The trick is only giving them their favorite bone in their crate. They fight over it if we try to put one or two of these bones in the pen. (We don’t do that anymore!). But giving them this special bone in the crate, alone, made the crate-time turn into “treat-time.” No whining. Make sure they’ve had some exercise and potty time first, then give them the bone in the crate and quietly lock the crate door and walk away. If they fuss, ignore. We’ll be sending you home with these favorite bones, so you’ve got what you need. Don’t ever reward fussing in a crate. If you suspect they may need something, like potty outside, wait until they’re quiet a moment before opening the door or responding, or else you are rewarding the bad behavior. Better to have an accident in the crate (my thoughts) then set yourself backwards on crate training! Buy a bag of pigs ears (Costco is great for this) and that’s another thing they love that helps their teething, keeps them occupied and gives them something to do in the crate or when alone.
We worked on “Come” and “sit” some more today. They do great with sitting for attention in their pen. But know that it takes more effort getting them to focus when they’re out of the pen and in a room with lots of new things that they want to explore. So getting them first to focus on you is key. Let them explore a bit before you settle down to training time. Do it in a space where there’s not a lot of other people or things distracting them. Keep in mind that training time takes a lot of energy out of a young pup (it’s great for them) so usually just five minutes at a time at this young age is all they can exert. Let them rest or play and then go back to another five minute session later on. We’ve used cut up pieces of cheddar cheese for the past few weeks for training. You can introduce them to other treats, but don’t introduce too many new things to their digestive system at once because it can cause loose stools, making potty training more difficult. After training time today, they were all exhaused and we had a really quiet afternoon. The key to a well bahaved pup is to wait for them to sit before they get anything – even waiting for them to sit before going out the door to potty is a good behavior. You don’t want pups that bolt through open doors; it’s dangerous. They know the word “sit” but mostly we just wait for the sitting to happen now without even giving the command. I just stand and look at them and they know. Just reward when they sit with a pat on the head or a treat – they’ll get it quickly! “Oh, I sit and good things happen.”
You can overstimulate puppies (just like litte kids) and so typically 20-30 minutes of play time is the limit for these young ones. After that, it’s potty time and time to settle down in their den (the crate).
Last, labradoodles typically love water. These pups discovered (as they often do!) that the water dish can become a fun pool party. Earlier this week, we had to switch to one of those elevated water dishes to stop all the fun. We got ours at Walmart, (Chewy.com has some great options too) something similar to this one found at this link:
Now it’s time to feed them dinner and prepare for going home day – tomorrow – for most of them. We’re starting to say our “good-byes” at the Heisler house. Last hugs can be a little hard sometimes. Even after you’ve raised a hundred pups, believe it or not.
July 6, 2018 – It’s hard to believe we only have one week left with this litter. Wow. They are seven weeks old today and doing very well. We had a good week, and the holiday just gave us more fun with the pups. Our family and friends all seem to love the puppies as much as we do, so of course, at our Fourth of July gathering, the pups were not excluded. They were in the mix of it all, being held and passed around for more love and socialization. It was great! This week, we continued to work on sounds and conditioning and their temperaments seem outstanding. Everyone comments on how calm they are! They do have their moments of wrestling and chasing (as healthy pups should!) but they settle down quickly and know how to relax. We’ve been working on basic manners, like learning to sit for any attention. They now respond to “sit” and mostly, even sit before I ask when I come near the pen. It just takes patience to wait a few seconds. They’re so smart at this age that training just takes consistency with all family members. The pups know (mostly) they won’t get a treat or picked up until they are sitting. Lizzie left a couple of days ago – a little sad for all of us, but her guardian mama was so happy to have her back. The puppies are on kibble 100% now, a necessary step, of course. Well, here they are at seven weeks old! A beautiful litter, don’t ya think?
June 30, 2018 – It’s been a fun week with Lizzie’s pups! You can see by their pictures that they are growing, filling in and getting cuter every week! They are still nursing, as mama Lizzie can’t seem to stay away from her babies. Most mamas have to be coaxed into the pen at this stage because of the sharp teeth and nails at this point. Lizzie has been a great mama to her first litter. Her guardian wants her home and is patiently waiting, and we’ll have to say good-bye to her soon which will be a little hard because she is such a great dog to have follow us around the house! Always at my side, for sure. Our other dogs are totally enjoying her too. But when Lizzie leaves next week, we’ll continue having her babies to snuggle with.
The pups have become very confident. Little seems to phase them at this stage. They’ve heard all the loud, starting sounds of thunderstorms, trains, fireworks, recordings of shouting and more – and now they just look at us. They seem to even enjoy their baths at this point. Not crazy about the blowdryer, but getting better each time. When we vacuum their pen, it doesn’t seem to phase them at all anymore. In the beginning of all this stuff, they would run for their crate or cower in the corner as we comforted them and showed them all is well (conditioning). We’re happy with the progress of every one of them and we’ll continue the conditioning over the next two weeks. As expected, they are becoming more playful and rambunctious at this point, wrestling and playing with each other. Naturally, they are not so focused on mama and more independent. They wear out quickly though, as pups really need to rest after about 25 minutes of play. They are super interested in humans and watch us, and always come over as soon as there are people present – always ready to be picked up and held. They settle in our arms quickly and are great snugglers. This is all what we strive for and what we like to see. Each will be a great companion for their forever families. At least a couple of these pups are going on to do service or therapy work and we couldn’t be happier about that. Well, here they are at six weeks old!
June 25, 2018 – Hi everyone, no new pictures to post but wanted to let you know the size of the crate that Lizzie fits comfortably in. Some of you have been asking what size crate to buy for this litter. Lizzie’s guardian says that she still loves her crate and it’s 42″ L, 28″ D and 30″ H. Be sure to get one with dividers so that you can adjust the sizing as they grow. (You don’t want to give the pup too much room while they are potty training.)
June 22, 2018 – We’re at that sweet time with the pups when we get to really bond with them and enjoy watching them interact. I think the best thing is the snuggle time we get to have with them! There’s something so good about a young puppie’s smells and the feel of their soft coat. Ahhhhhhh. Therapy. Well, they’re eating kibble and are about 80% there on their litter box training. We have them on Fromm’s kibble with pumkin powder and a healthy supplement mixed in. We’ll introduce them to some coconut oil in their food soon too. It’s good for them for so many reasons: immune health, coat, breath and overall development. Good fats and calories! This week we worked hard on lots of new experiences. Train noises, fireworks, loud music, thunderstorms and even gun shots. (Neighbors may be wondering what is going on over here.) We use loud sounds where we get a startle response out of them, but we comfort them through it and watch them quickly recover. They experienced more baths this week, along with the vacuum and blowdryer. We’ve watched their confidence grow and timidity become a thing of the past. They recover quickly now with most sounds, and this week, they were totally unaffected by some of the noises, even falling asleep during a loud thunderstorm played on the speakers. Good to see! You can tell the ones that are hitting a growth spurt – the standard size pups can start to grow so fast that they get a little lanky. We took pictures today and here they are at five weeks old!
June 13, 2018 – Well, the puppies are almost four weeks old and we’re finally back online! We lost data and internet coverage for a few days and felt like we were living off the grid. We did manage to get some videos of the pups posted on Instagram. Lizzie is doing well and is still so attentive and nursing them as she should. The pups have doubled their weight, on average. They are seeing, hearing, walking and wrestling! They don’t show much personality differences yet, though some seem more confident and make their way over to us whenever we come near their pen. Other pups are still most comfortable sitting and observing. They are at different levels of development (this happens throughout the first weeks and is consistent with each litter.) Brooklyn has been the runt from the beginning. She’s small, but has all the energy and strength now of her siblings. She gets extra attention as we keep moving the big pups out of the way to make sure she gets fair feeding time! The “runt” typically starts catching up once they are on kibble and will get to the height and weight of the rest as weeks and months follow. Soon, they’ll be ready for toys. But right now they’re just content playing with each other. We finished the Bio-sensor program with them and now we’re doing lots of holding and just enjoying them so much! Here they are at almost four weeks old.
Here are a few more pictures we took this week.
June 5, 2018 – Our eyes opened yesterday! And….we started to walk! We’re a little wobbly and lose energy quickly, but we’re on our way to a great life.
June 1, 2018 – The puppies are two weeks old today and growing stronger and gaining weight. Not much news to report, other than we’ve been doing lots of baths, massages, and working with each pup through the Bio-sensor steps. They have no sight or hearing at this point and touch is our way of connecting. They are becoming more calm and relaxed in our hands. Lizzie is a good mama and continues to be a great care giver! Here they are at two weeks old.
May 26, 2018 – Here’s an aerial view of the pups in their whelping pen so you can see the group as a whole and see their sizes and colors. The whelping pen has a heat lamp (we must keep their temperature at 72-75 degrees at all times) but no blankets or bedding. We learned years ago that the pups need to have a flat, smooth surface to be able to wiggle away from mama in the event that she lays on top of them. This is a common problem with these big, standard mamas. They lay and crush their pups, unknowingly. We stopped losing pups (so incredibly sad!) when we took away all bedding until they are into their second or third week. As you can see, one pup in the litter doesn’t need a collar!
May 25, 2018 – The puppies are one week old today! The pups are doing very well and have almost doubled their weight. Their sizes vary between almost a pound to over a pound and a half. The “runt” (and there always is one) is “Brooklyn.” But it’s always fun in each litter as we watch the smallest ones catch up. We’ve themed this litter, “Famous Cities,” and we’ve had fun picking names. So many great names to choose from! It was hard to select seven. Our little pups have started their work with the Bio-sensor program, where we do specific steps to neurologically stimulate the pups. We massage and hold them to get them accustomed to human touch and this is so important in these early days. This is the start to a good foundation, but there is a lot more work to do in the next seven weeks. Their eyes won’t open until next week some time and they have no hearing yet. But our touch is our connection to them. Here they are at one week old.
May 20, 2018 – Pups are now over 48 hours old and we’re happy to see them eating so well and so strong and active. Lizzie’s been a little strange and this is a first for us. When we leave the room, she likes to carry each pup out of the pen and take them under the bed. We came back into the puppy nursery room this morning to find she had quickly taken all seven pups out of the whelping pen and we found the whole group under the bed nursing. I know Lizzie likes to sleep under the bed (she can barely fit!), and apparently she saw no harm in bringing each pup where she felt most comfortable. We’ve never even seen a mama carry a pup across the room in her mouth before (only in the movies!). Well, we resolved the issue with a gate around the whole whelping pen to secure mama and her pups. Lizzie will need to ask us to be let out of the whelping pen from now on for the safety of her little ones.
Aside from that, another local breeder, Fernridge Labradoodles, posted a picture of one of their labradoodles today that I happened to see that seems pretty close to the markings of our little parti guy. Found it pretty interesting, thought I’d share. Dark ears, white jaw, white tail with the dark spot on the butt, white legs, etc., all seems remarkably similar. This is our first parti pup from this line, so we’re excited to watch him develop and see what he’s going to look like.
The pups are gaining weight and we’ll post a little video of them feeding on Instagram today. Here’s a picture of them on Day Two.
May 19, 2018 – We were busy helping our new mama Lizzie whelp puppies yesterday and we’re happy to announce that we have seven pups that are nursing and thriving. Lizzie started panting at around 4 am., and by 5:30 in the morning, our first little pup arrived. Lizzie did great, with little or no stress and is taking good care of the pups.
Sadly, we had two still borns in this litter. (It does happen once in a while.) The seven pups we have appear healthy and strong.
We had some surprises with the colors of this litter. We do DNA testing on both parents to determine colors of a litter and usually we can exacty determine the colors based on science and genetics and color coding of parents. This time was different and the litter was not all chocolate as expected. We have one incredible full parti pup, a male, in the mix, and a few cream puppies. Here’s what we have: 7 total = one parti boy, two chocolate girls, two light apricot-cream boys, one cream girl, and one chocolate boy. Here is our litter on their first day of life.
Lizzie isn’t comfortable with us handling her pups yet and we don’t want a nervous mama! So only group shots is what we have for now. At one week old, we will start posting individual pictures and we will keep the Blog updated with new