What an exciting week for the puppies. We took a ride to town and several puppies got car sick. The next day we drove an hour away for the puppies’ aptitude tests. The tests were performed by someone the puppies didn’t know, in an unfamiliar environment. It included three components. A social ability component, a restraint and dominance component and an obedience component. These tests are designed to help guide the placement process. Between these tests and the records kept during the entire development program we have a good idea which puppy is best suited for which new family. If you have been putting off making a decision about your puppy, now is the time to move forward and get your deposit in. They are ready for their new homes and we can help you decide which puppy is best for you with our placement information. We are placing them in the order that deposits are received. We have taken quite a few videos since the last post. If nine is not enough and you’re interested in seeing more, you can go to our Shadow Dance Ranch youtube page.
This week we are continuing to work on social development with the puppies and they will be meeting many new people, dogs and puppies in an exceptionally safe and clean environment.
Next week they enter their fear and avoidance stage (week 8-10).
And now for the slide show and videos:
Neshamah Plays Keep Away with the Frisbee:
All Puppies Moon Dance and the Big Stick:
Flash Dance tries to take the Tennis Ball from Nesh:
Fire Dance and the soccer ball:
Happy Dance and Rainie playing:
Rainie eats the camera and the tennis ball:
Happy Dance talking to Fire Dance:
Happy Dance and Fire Dance Swap the Tennis Ball:
Happy Dance and Fire Dance Practice Dominance:
In the last two weeks the puppies have grown so much. They are eating puppy food moistened with water and are almost completely weaned from their mother’s milk. They have been experiencing a smorgasbord of sounds, from many types of music to vacuums, blenders, whistles, and clapping. We have been taking hikes around the ranch and the puppies are chewing on sticks and leaves, chasing moths and hunting for frogs.
Last Friday was their first car ride and visit to the veterinarian. All the puppies passed their exams, got wormed and had their first round of vaccinations. Dr. Lance commented that their health is exceptional.
We have begun the puppy picking process, so if you are wanting a specific puppy, get your deposit in to reserve your puppy. Local availability begins September 19th and Shipping is available beginning October 10th.
And now for the slide show and videos:
Neshamah and Puppies play with sticks:
More Sticks and Anti-Suckling Techniques:
Teaching Puppies about the Frisbee:
Wow, how time flies. This week has been so full I am late with my posts, so I’ll merge them into one for the whole week. New this week – we have added a small kiddie pool for the puppies to learn to eliminate away from where they play, eat and sleep. Some have caught on quickly and others are still trying to figure it out. There is a little cutout on one side so they can get in and out easily. Next, there are a few toys that roll and make noises. They are learning so much with these new additions, but the biggest change this week is food. We are weaning the puppies away from their mothers milk, to rice cereal, goats milk and crushed puppy food. Neshamah is very excited about this because the puppies’ teeth are getting sharp and they are biting her when they nurse. Also she gets to cleanup after the puppies and eat all of the yummy leftovers. It’s all good for everybody.
(Even though my videos are a bit dark and noisy, I am still including them for those that can’t see the puppies in person. I have no idea what that frog type noise is that my camera seems to create when recording. If any of you savvy photographers know what I can do to eliminate it, please let me know.)
Mike Lynch, my photographer friend, has taken some lovely pictures of the puppies – Are they cute, or what?
If you want to see a larger version of Mikes pictures, hover over the picture and click on the box on the right.
Here are today’s pictures and videos – Eat and Play, Eat and Play, What a Life…:
Puppies First Food:
Flash Dance and the Blanket:
Le Roi and Flash Dance in Play:
Wow, what a difference a single week makes. In this last week the puppies have opened their eyes and started standing, walking, and prancing. They have begun cutting teeth, play biting, pawing each other and barking. Everyone has gone through the Elevation, Dominance, and Grooming exercises with flying colors. Their new homes are getting lined up and they are exciting to watch in play. Each one’s unique personality is developing with clarity. I will try to catch this on video over the next few weeks.
Today ends the 2nd week of our development program and it went more smoothly than expected. These puppies are very accepting and well adjusted already.
Please enjoy today’s video – Playtime at 3 Weeks:
And a Special Surprise in Honor of Grooming Week:
Today is toenail trimming day. Only one puppy wiggled and squealed, not wanting to participate in this procedure. The Elevation, Dominance, and Grooming exercises went smooth again – Yeah!
The puppies are getting so big now, it’s like a mob at dinnertime. Neshamah is getting fed up with their lack of manners, so she stands up mid meal and they all fall off. When they try to reach her teats while standing, they are about one inch too short. This is humorous to watch – Here’s a couple videos…
Stand Up Feeding:
Feeding Time Day 18:
Playtime is the name of the game today. Our precious puppies are biting each others ears and paws, grabbing a hold and then fall over, yipping in excitement. This is the first true social interaction they have displayed.
The two smallest boys Shadow Dance and Barn Dance (Barney) are getting shoved aside during dinnertime, so we talked Neshamah into giving them an extra private meal to even the score a bit. Today, Barney gained three ounces. That’s more than the big guys usually gain.
And for your viewing enjoyment – Moon Dance Mauls Fire Dance:
Happy Dance Walks Backwards:
They are walking on all fours now, picking their front paws up prancing around the nest. We have added socks and shirts to their environment, so they have human scent around them all the time. All of their eyes are open now, but they won’t be able to see perfectly clear until around day 28.
Yesterday was the last day of the thermal stress sessions and today they begin sessions for their transitional period. This weeks sessions include Elevation, Dominance, and Grooming Exercises. All of the puppies did excellent with the Elevation Exercise, where I hold them in midair until they start to squirm and protest. They are all so mellow they did not even protest. They calmly hung there in midair until my arms got tired. Only two squirmed at all and this was after 15 seconds. Next was the Dominance Exercise which also went well. Half of the puppies allowed me to roll them over on their backs and hold them there for 15 seconds and the other half wiggled and squealed to get upright again as expected. I rolled them back over, comforted and stroked them and they were relaxed and happy once again. Then we began the Grooming Exercise with brushing, ear cleaning, paw and mouth touching. Only one puppy resisted the brushing and the rest enjoyed these grooming exercises. We will add extra brushing and touching to help this one puppy become less sensitive. We are so impressed with the puppies’ development. They seem so well adjusted and trusting of human touch already.
Today you get three videos the first is Happy Dance Eating Upsidedown:
Next is some More Dinner Gymnastics:
And last but not least, Moon Dance Prancing with his Prize:
Today the puppies are eleven days old and they are a joy to behold. Squirming, cooing, whimpering, squealing, and wiggling their way to dinner. Moon Dance and Lord of the Dance are taking turns, vying for the heavy weight championship. Now, we are calling Lord of the Dance – Little Lord Fauntleroy with a nickname of Le Roi. All of the puppies are healthy, strong and their personalities are showing more each day. They love attention and human touch and are becoming perfect little companions. I love all of the Grand Puppies!
Thanks to the Andyman and Youtube for helping me go from camera to video publishing – below is the first video.
Today – the pippies are still sleeping most of the time. When they’re awake they’re eating. Flash Dance seems to be repeatedly late for supper (like my friend Josh). No worries though, he just dives into the middle of the pile, goes deep for one of the lower teats and with his bum straight up in the air, he kicks his little back feet like he was on a treadmill. Where is the camera when you need it! All the pippies are developing as expected. Today is the first day of the thermal stress sessions. We take each pippy and place them in a box, alone on the cold floor, for 3 minutes. After a minute or so they make some noise and squirm around… at the end of the 3 minutes we hold them close, warm them and place them back into the nest so they can huddle with their litter mates. This process causes their adrenal system to respond with a brief output of corticosteroid hormones, which helps them resist disease later on. These sessions will go on once a day, for one week.
In case you thought I have spelling issues, you’re right. I spelled puppies as pippies once and I liked the sound so well that it became their collective nickname. Here’s to the pippies
Even at this young age these puppies are clearly showing individual personalities. Happy Dance is living up to his name. Being the most vocal, he whimpers happily, talking with excited squeals and is the loudest at the dinner table. Lord of the Dance likes to nap by the heat lamp, relaxing after dinner, all stretched out by himself dreaming of a deserted island. At this age they have instincts to huddle in order to stay warm and a little sense of smell to find their mother for nursing. They do not huddle for social interaction. That comes later.
Neshamah is still the perfect mother. From day one, she barely takes time go potty and when she does, she talks and barks excitedly into the air and runs back to the door to be let in, certain those puppies missed her terribly during her 1.5 minute break, They didn’t, of course, they are happily napping.