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Puppies 4- 6 weeks.

Week 4 to 8 is when change is occurring rapidly for baby puppies.

This blog will deal with the changes in week 4 – 6. In the last blog (click here) I was talking about the puppies being still very much in the xpen. From 5 weeks of age they start to find out ab0ut the big wild world outside of the pen. This has to be done with caution of course as they are susceptible to many diseases and accidents at this age. They have fairly good immunity from disease still from mum but it is not good for them to be in environments where the disease or vaccination status of other animals is not know. As they are tiny they also must be carefully supervised around even the best tempered adult dog. Baby dogs like human babies have no comprehension that a growl is in fact a signal to back off. They just keep coming and can be far to “in the faces” of adult dogs.

Week 4 to 6 milestones are:

  • Now going out and about. They would have been outside more but the weather was too wet and the ground too muddy. However they went into a specially constructed pen in the training center for a few days a week initially then for 5 days in week 6
  • They got to meet new people
  • They carefully started interaction with selected adult dogs.
  • Recall training is started (off lead using pup, pup, pup whenever I wanted them to come to me).
  • Toilet training is started. They are praised for all wees and poos outside. When getting out of the car they are released from their car carrier and placed on the ground where the natural instinct is that most puppies wee. They are told what clever dogs they are and if possible given a treat
  • Car training starts – in a secure car crate
  • Mum helps with all of this training and starts to wean them off her milk
  • Different food sources are introduced
  • Puppies start to explore their environment.
  • Relationship with humans deepens greatly mostly via the provision of food and fun
  • They play more and more with each other and bite inhibition is learnt.
  • A good day/night regimen is formed.
  • Separation anxiety is guarded against by letting them spend time alone away from humans.
  • The start of grooming and handling training by touching feet, noses, ears, mouth etc.
  • They learn that humans are associated with rewards that are delivered for when a behaviour happens that is acceptable. At this age there is only use of +R  and a very light amount of -P (in that if they are whining they don’t get attention) However the owner should be ensuring that no whining occurs as all needs should be predicted before that point.

 

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Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets using Relationship Animal Training. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training  | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Relationship Animal Training TM: Facebook page | Facebook discussion group

About Me 

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Miniature Poodle Puppies 4.5 weeks.

Two weeks since my last post and these two weeks has been seen a large amount of development in the puppies. By 4 weeks they are all up and about and social skills are starting to develop. They are still feeding off mum but I have now implemented supplementary feeding. Not that they eat much, mostly they walk through it, play with and generally just explore it. Today while videoing I did see one of them pick up a piece of dry food in it’s mouth and eat it. What mostly happens is that mum goes in there as the food is taken in and she is gradually teaching them to eat rather than drink. However she did take her piece of chicken in there this afternoon and there was a great deal of interest in it with a couple of the puppies having a taste of it. Mum however will be still allowed to let them drink for as long as she decides is appropriate.

They are now starting to look outside their xpen as I have removed some of the covers so they can start to interact with the other adult dogs and with me as I move around the area.  Mum is now spending less and less time with them and mostly only going in for feeding and if they make a strange sound (which has not happened so far at all). However what this means is that all the clean up is now my duty not hers and this is often the point at which families who have bred a litter for some fun find out the fun is pretty much over and the constant cleaning starts.

They have started to interact with each other in play. This is an essential time for puppies to learn bite inhibition. Bite inhibition is taught by the other pups who provide the feedback when a bite is too hard. A puppy will not continue to play with another pup if bites hurt. At this point I keep a careful watch for any puppy that might be showing bullying tendencies. This is fairly unusual for miniature poodles but does happen from time to time in bigger breeds. The way to deal with that is to quietly distract the bully from the game and institute a short time out session. It is normally is just an indication that a pup is a bit too wound up or a pup is slightly more ahead in development than its litter mates.

About two weeks ago, once mum started to spend less time with them, I added some soft cuddle toys to the pen. Initially this was to give them something soft to cuddle up to but as they are now playing these also become play toys. The benefit of this is that often individual pups will be found sleeping alone not cuddled to one of the others and also once it comes time for them to move off into their new homes they will associate a cuddle toy with positive safe feelings from where they first grew up.

I have also started to introduce novel safe items to them. Yesterday it was some peelings from the potatoes and carrots I was cooking. Not for any food value, although some were eaten, but to give them a chance to explore new tastes and textures and weird things appearing in their environment. Today it was the empty cottage cheese container with a few morsels of cottage cheese still in it. This provides the game of how many puppy heads can fit in here at once that you can see part of on the video.

They have settled into an excellent day and night rhythm now. Once it is dark they all settle for bed and not a sound is heard from them until we get up the next morning.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets using Relationship Animal Training. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training  | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Relationship Animal Training TM: Facebook page | Facebook discussion group

About Me 

MIniature Poodle Puppies at 2.5 weeks.

The miniature poodle puppies are now 2.5 weeks of age and are entering a period where they absorb new things rapidly. Their eyes are open and their hearing is developing. They are no longer content with the confines of the whelping box and one by one they have climbed out to investigate the rest of their enclosure. Mum is now spending less and less time with them. Initially she was with them most of the day and all of the night however now her days are spend mostly outside the pen (but still near enough to keep an eye on things) and jumping back in to clean up bottoms, wipe eyes and open the milk bar. When she finishes feeding she might spend a little while in there with them if she has fallen asleep while they feed and at night she comes into bed with me for a few hours then returns to spend the rest of the night with the puppies.  The pups are drinking more at each feed but feeding less often and they are quiet and content with fat milk bellies. In fact, I rarely hear a sound from them.

At  this stage I start to introduce different surfaces for the pups to feel. The newspaper is still down to cope with poos and wees, but I have also introduced an old outdoor seat cover which is slightly higher and rougher. Mum really likes sitting on this so she often goes in and lies down there to feed. This means the pups have to work out how to get to her and how to navigate the slight height involved. This is building problem solving skills in the  pups.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets using Relationship Animal Training. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training  | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Relationship Animal Training TM: Facebook page | Facebook discussion group

About Me 

Puppies at 2 weeks.

The miniature poodle puppies are now 2 weeks old.  There is hardly a noise out of them as they have all settled in a lovely routine of feed and sleep. It has been hot the last couple of days so they are starting to sleep apart from each other rather than in a tight bundle. Cherry is gradually spending less time with them now that they are more settled. Their bellies are full of lovely milk and they sleep contentedly, even the black puppy that I called a boy on the last post but is a actually a girl. They are starting to get up on their feet and very shortly eyes will open.  This is when I start to work with them as their eyes open and they gain an awareness of their external environment.

puppies 1 puppies 2 puppies 3

Here are some photos taken this morning. I am sorry about the watermarking but there are scammers on the internet that lift photos of puppies and try to scam money from people

Here is video also taken this morning.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets using Relationship Animal Training. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training  | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Relationship Animal Training TM: Facebook page | Facebook discussion group

About Me 

Puppies Day 4

Relationship Animal Training starts from the first day a puppy is born and it is now day 4 for Cherry’s miniature poodle litter. Sadly one pup (brown boy) did not make it past day 1 so there are now 4 puppies. In those circumstances I believe it is best to let the mother decide if the pup should or should not survive. Nature knows a lot more than I do about survival of the fittest and Cherry gave clear indications that she did not want to feed this pup as she repeatedly pushed it away.

At day 4 Cherry has already trained the pups to accept some very short periods where she is not with them. Never far away she has a strong sense of what the individual noises mean. There is a certain noise that means “mum come here now we need you” verses “mum we are babies who just need to make a noise to get us off to sleep”

The little black boy is slightly behind his three sisters when it comes to development, however that is normal for boys. He still whimpers slightly when mum is away but is getting faster at settling down against his sleeping sisters as there is safety in numbers. I have also included one of Cherry’s favourite toys in the whelping box so that her smell remains when she is taking toilet breaks. At this stage she is still spending all but a few minutes of her day with them. As soon as I was awake this morning I opened my eyes to find her standing next to my bed, saying hello,, however she quickly returned to the pups.

There are implications here for later puppy training. The first is that of prevention of separation anxiety which is a reasonably common and serious behavioural issue in dogs. At this early age the puppies are very dependent on their mother for their emotional security and safety. As they are still blind and deaf they rely on her scent and body warmth to feel secure. They are not yet secure in just the presence of their litter mates for more than a few minutes. Cherry is aware of this but has already started the slow process of teaching them that she is not required 24/7. The very interesting observation however is that she is doing this using finely honed skills of positive reward, negative punishment and wonderful innate canine judgement. She returns to them only when they are quiet and ignores them when they are lightly grumbling and about to drift off to sleep on their own. Of course she manages the situation by going immediately to them when she knows they need her for other reasons.

The second implication is for teaching no barking. Rewarding a dog for barking by constantly talking to it or otherwise paying attention to the barking is counterproductive to achieving a quiet dog. Cherry is teaching the puppies how to appropriately ask for her attention. 

I am resisting the urge to cuddle and interfere.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training  | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Relationship Animal Training TM: Facebook page | Facebook discussion group

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

About Me 

The puppies are born

Relationship animal training TM starts before puppies are born. The selection of the right mother and father, ones who complement each other in temperament and structure and then the appropriate health screening of these dogs to determine if any hereditary health defects are present. Then comes the feeding, training and housing to ensure these two dogs will not pass on any environmental health or behavioral issues. 

The care of the mother is paramount during the 61-63 days of pregnancy, keeping her well fed, wormed, free of parasites and as unstressed as possible. Then you sit and wait while her belly gets larger and larger. The final few days are spent ensuring the mother has somewhere warm, dry, comfortable and safe (from her perspective) to have the babies. If all goes well she will do much of what needs doing with no intervention from you however that is not always the case. In either situation be prepared for at least one sleepless night or longer in the case of large litters.

In Relationship Animal  Training TM it is important that the person who bred your pup knows how to bring them into the world correctly, right from the time of conception, as everything that happens from that point on will affect the temperament of your dog. At the time of whelping trust the mother to know what to do and resist the urge to intervene. The role of the human guardian and leader is to trust the mother to know what is best and to support her needs, keep her safe from infections and provide the nutrition and safety she needs to raise the pups in as stress free an environment as possible. If the mother is stressed then Cortisol is released and this has effects on her and the puppies.

From the human perspective we want to get in and fiddle with the pups. We are desperate to know what colors and sexes they are and to intervene every time there is the slightest noise. Good mothers know what to do, what noises to react to and what noises to ignore. They know just the right amount of roughness required to stimulate the puppies’ senses and to clean their bottoms and umbilical cords. They know to eat the afterbirth and to break the sack around the babies’ noses. If they don’t then they should not be used to breed from

Here is Cherry Coco and her pups the day after birth. She appears to be a bit rough at times but is actually stimulating the pups as required and knows when to have some time away from them and when to settle down and sleep while they feed and fall asleep cuddled close. The first week it is time for mum and puppies to be left alone, in a secure place of least interference so that the bonding that is required happens. This forms the start of Relationship Animal Training TM  because a puppy that has not been conceived well from a well bred, health tested mother and father and then allowed to be brought up as a dog by another well adjusted dog is not going to get the best start possible in its life as a human companion.

Follow the blog to watch this litter of pups progress through all the stages of Relationship Animal Training TM  for puppies.

Regards

Louise Kerr

The Pet Care Magician

www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    Like us on Facebook

Facebook groups: Talk to me about Positive Reward Based Dog Training

Australian Pet Professionals | Dogs, Horses, Cats, Pocket Pets +Animal Businesses (Mid Nth Coast NSW) 

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) runs the Pet Care Magic club where devil dogs, horrible horses and crazy cats are turned into perfect pets. The program provides owners and pet professionals assistance with with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas  She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues for owners and also assists pet care professionals in setting up and growing their businesses by the provision of customer handling advice, sales and marketing strategies and up to date product information that allows for the differentiation of their pet care business from their competitors. The Pet Care Magic Club is part of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia but can be found on internet enabled devices worldwide.

About Me 

Getting a new dog or puppy?

If you are a dog lover and spend any time on social media you would probably have noticed the debate that is raging about the RIGHT place to get a new dog from. Today I will attempt to define the pros and cons of each of the options that are available today in Australia.

Option 1:

A  cute  puppy  from  the  next  door  neighbors  or  friends.

These are cross bred dogs, mutts, Heinz. There are a variety of names that have been used to describe these dogs over the years. They were the dogs I grew up with 40 years ago.  Most families had a dog, not all of them were de-sexed and they were often free to roam. Parents often thought it was educational or cute for the kids to see the miracle of birth. There was an idea that that if a bitch had a litter of puppies it would settle her down or prevent some illnesses. When the puppies got to 4 or 5 weeks they were given away to family or friends. Many of these ideas are still prevalent today and there are still many non de-sexed family dogs deliberately or accidently becoming pregnant.

Pros:

  • Cheap if not free
  • You have often seen the puppy since birth
  • You know where they have come from
  • You know the people who have raised the puppy
  • Puppy may have been raised in a family environment.

Cons:

  • You often don’t know who the father is
  • No allowance has been made for any health conditions in the parents that many have been passed onto the puppies.
  • The mother and puppies have often not received appropriate medical care during the pregnancy and whelping.
  • The parents of the puppy were ill suited as parents of puppies on levels of temperament, coat and body construction.
  • Puppies are often removed at too young an age and miss out on essential early socialization with litter mates and mum.
  • Free means that those taking them have not always thought through the long term consequences of the decision.
  • The puppies have not been raised by a professional who understands how essential the first 14 weeks of a puppy’s life is to producing well adjusted adult dogs.
  • Mother may have been too young for pregnancy and/or not suitable as a brood bitch
  • Dog is often not micro-chipped, wormed and vaccinated.
  • Puppies are not much fun after 4 weeks and they can get given away to get rid of them, so they don’t always end up in the most appropriate home.

Option 2:

A purebred or cross bred puppy from a pet shop.

Pros:

  • In NSW you get a 7 day period of refund if dog is not healthy or not the dog for you.
  • IF the shop is accredited with Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) you have the back up of the code of ethics they are bound by. (This includes where the pups are sourced from and at what age and their basic health care while in the shop)
  • Dog is micro-chipped, wormed and vaccinated
  • You often get to chose from a few different options for puppies
  • Shops with caring management try to place the right pup in the right home however these shops are not common.

Cons:

  • Not all shops source dogs at the correct age or from appropriate breeders or have the knowledge to provide a good quality pup.
  • They may not know the history or breeding of the puppy or may have been told misleading information.
  • What you get told you are getting is not necessarily what you are getting
  • They often have no understanding of early socialization needs of puppies.
  • They often have no knowledge of long term grooming and training needs of the puppy and worse you are often told incorrect information e.g. oddles rarely need clipping.
  • Pet shops may sell to anyone who has the money to buy but are not necessarily the best owner for that dog.
  • You may pay a large amount of money for a cross bred dog that is labelled as a designer breed (e.g. Cavoodle, Labradoodle)
  • You have no way of knowing if the dog spent the early part of its life in a family situation
  • Puppies may be inappropriately housed in the pet shop.

Option 3:

A purebred puppy from a Canine Council Registered Breeder (e.g. Dogs NSW)

Pros:

  • Ethical and educated registered breeders should know the genetic history of the mother and father and have decided a mating of two individuals will produce top quality pups.
  • You have the ability to return the pup if it is not right for you or has health issues
  • You have predictability of what your pup will be like due to use of pedigree dogs that consistently produce type and often temperament.
  • You can order before the pup is born and can watch their development from an early age.
  • Registered breeders are guided by a voluntary code of ethics
  • Australian Kennel Council stipulates a breed standard to which dogs should be produced to conform to.
  • Most registered breeders perform stringent health checks to ensure that know genetic diseases are not passed on.
  • You will get asked many questions to determine your suitability to own one of their puppies.
  • Puppies may be raised in a family situation by some breeders

Cons

  • Being a registered breeder is no guarantee of expertise. It is a guarantee that they pay the fee each year.
  • The code they adhere to is voluntary and rarely if ever policed.
  • You have not guarantee that the dog that is stated as the father is in fact the father as you are relying on the honestly of the breeder.
  • The breed standard in use is subject to considerable personal interpretation and there is evidence that it may not always produce dogs of excellent health and function.
  • Registered Breeder does not necessarily ensure they have an understanding of the importance of early training and socialization, many do but not all.
  • Puppies may be raised in a kennel environment, despite where they are when you view them.

Option 4:

Cross bred or purebred from a large commercial organisation

Pros:

  • Depending on the business and the state it is located in it might be under strict council controls to maintain cleanliness.
  • Some have certified trainers attached
  • Purchase of pure and cross bred puppies often available.

Cons:

  • High volume of puppies produced therefore quality may be compromised in order to produce quality
  • Puppies are often not raised in a family environment
  • Can be high stress environments which may affect the development of the puppy
  • If not registered and inspected then they may not be producing quality puppies.
  • Puppies are often expensive
  • Can be owned and run as businesses and not have the interests of pet owners as number one priority.
  • May be limited in terms of allowing for behavioral needs of puppies.
  • Puppies are often cross breeds with less predictability of type and temperament
  • Rely on the honesty of the business that the puppies are what they say they are
  • May receive limited information on long term needs, including grooming, of the puppy.

Option 5:

Puppy from a breeder registered with Master Dog Breeders and Associates (MDBA) or

Australian association of pet dog breeders (AAPDB)

Pro:

  • AAPDB members are independently audited each year
  • MDBA code of ethics allows for possible inspection (unknown if it is policed)
  • Code of ethics of each organisation is at least as good as Canine Councils.
  • Purchase of cross bred dogs developed for pet market may be possible
  • Puppies may be bred in family environments

Cons:

  • Limited facility in the code of ethics to allow for behavioral requirements of puppies
  • Puppies are often cross breeds with less predictability of type and temperament
  • Relying on the honesty of the business that the puppies are what they say they are
  • May receive limited information on long term needs, including grooming, of the puppy.

Option 6:

Rescue a dog from a shelter or rescue organisation.

Pro:

  • Cheaper option as you usually get de-sexing involved in the purchase price
  • Good option if you want to avoid having to get a puppy and deal with puppy issues
  • You may be saving a dog from euthanasia.

Cons:

  • Dogs may come with behavioral issues that have to be fixed at considerable cost as they may not have been adequately assessed or have had behavior modification training.
  • It is hard to go to shelters and not feel obligated to save a dog.
  • Usually limited knowledge of the dogs behavioral and health background
  • Not all rescue organisations are professionally run.
  • Dogs from shelters/rescues may develop behavioral issues due the inherent stress experienced by dogs residing in these types of facilities.

 

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

http://www.elitepetcare.com.au   |    www.petcaremagician.com

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care magic subscription program deals with common pet behavior  training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors.

Puppies – the first 14 weeks are critical to overall life!

Recently I have been working with a new mum, not the normal human type of new mum but a four legged, hairy one. I use the term working with very deliberately  as Cherry is an experienced mum with her third litter and now 9 puppies over the last six years and she knows a lot about how to raise healthy, happy well adjusted puppies. Having a keen interest in Animal Behavior I have used the experience to carefully observe how and what she does to raise her puppies and to refine what I do to ensure these puppies will be successful in their future homes.

It is tough watching a dog give birth as it is a long drawn out process and each pup is born enclosed in a sac of fluid attached to an individual placenta. As humans we naturally think we know best and want to jump in and immediately take over. In fact many dog owners do just that, breaking the sac, removing the placenta and then cleaning up the puppy and eventually putting the puppy back with mum sometimes not until after she has finished birthing all the babies. As Cherry has done this a few times now, always successfully,  I have to respect that she knows exactly what to do and sit back and let her do it, without interference.  This was her third litter, she had no difficulty delivering any of the babies and it was all over and done with in a much shorter time than usual. There are important benefits for both mum and babies if the bitch is allowed to break the sac, eat the placenta and then clean and stimulate the puppies. Puppies that are born first will not suffer is they are ignored for a short while as the next puppies are born, so long as it is not freezing cold and the whelping box is of sufficient size.

Cherry for the first week spends all her time with her puppies. Leaving only briefly to eat, drink and defecate. Rushing back at the first noise from them to jump back in enclose them under her body and encourage them to nurse.  Puppies in the first week or so also make a fair amount of noise day and  night as  they adapt to their new world. Then over the following weeks she gradually spends more and more time further away from them and her reaction to their noises changes. She is never far from them and when not in the same room it is evident she is listening carefully to even the slightest noise. Initially she reacts to every noise but does not automatically go to them, in fact she stops and assesses the reason for the noise and determines if the puppies will self calm first. She assesses the situation and determines if there is a threat, if the puppies need feeding or if one has got lost from the others.  As the weeks go on she gradually spends less and less time with them, until by approximately 4 to 5 weeks she is only checking on them from time to time, gradually removing herself and letting them work out how to find food, water and comfort. She also makes it harder for them to feed, increasing the amount of good stress the pups experience and thereby learning to handle stress. She gradually transfers care for their needs such as food, poo cleaning and socialization over to me.

Dr Ed Bailey writing in Gun Dog Magazine in an article called “Producing Behaviourally Sound Dogs”  talks about the window of secondary socialization and states:

“The window of secondary socialization is open widest from birth through six weeks, before the development of the fear response which starts gradually in the fifth and sixth week and then rapidly escalates during the seventh to the tenth weeks. After six weeks old, the sponge like social learning in pups gradually decreases until the window closes when pups are 12 to 14 weeks of age. The primary and secondary socialization that has not gone on during the time when the window was open is never going to happen.”

PRODUCING BEHAVIORALLY SOUND DOGS

By: Dr. Ed Bailey -Originally published in Gun Dog Magazine

The major reason dogs are surrendered is behavioural issues, many of which can be prevented by puppies experiencing as much as possible in this first 12 or 14 weeks. In the first couple of weeks of life noises made by puppies are not those of fear, they are just the noises you hear from all young animals, including babies. They need to be in a regular environment with televisions on, radios, all sorts of people and other animals coming and going and consequently hearing and experiencing a wide variety of stimuli. They should be exposed to noises such as thunder and lightning, car engines, vacuum cleaners, fridge motors etc as all these are noises that many dogs may find scary.  They need to be handled sometimes slightly roughly, held up in the air, have noises, ears, eyes, feet and legs touched and manipulated. They need to experience brushing, nail trimming and the feel of clippers against their coats. They should walk in different surfaces see different dogs, people and inanimate objects. The more puppies experience in the first 14 weeks the better. Cherry will not run to their aid if they appear frightened as she knows that it will teach them to be afraid of things. A bitch that has a generalized level of anxiety does and therefore raises puppies that also develop or have inherited her generalized anxiety.
Baby puppies need to be allowed to play, sometimes roughly with their litter mates and mother in order to learn good canine communication. To find out what is and is not ok to do to other dogs and in time to humans.  They learn what a lip curl, growl and snap means, they learn how hard to bite another animal and what areas not to bite. They learn how to show another animal that they are “just playing”.  Pups as they move closer towards leaving their litter mates also need to learn how to be a single dog, hopefully with a stuffed toy for company and humans in their lives for many hours but not for every hour of the day. But overall of great importance is that they need time to learn and experience all these things before the critical window of socialization closes. New pet owners need to understand all these requirements and chose a puppy that comes from a breeder that also understands and provides for these needs. If this happened every time for every puppy I would be exceptionally happy to never again have to perform a fearful dog consultations where sadly it is too late to provide what can only have impact in the first 14 weeks of a puppy’s life.

Remember to  “kiss the dog, hug the cat and tell your goldfish you love them” and be thankful that you brought your puppy from a breeder who understood what an awesome responsibility it is to bring puppies into the world.

Tell me your stories about where you got your dog from and how you think that impacted on its behavior.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

http://www.elitepetcare.com.au

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care magic subscription program deals with common pet behaviour, training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors.

Designer Dogs – Are they a true dog breed?

There are over 800 pedigree dog breeds recognized today in the world. Modern dog evolution is obscure. They are believed to have split from wild wolves into a subspecies about 100,000 years ago and then domesticated 17,000 to 14,000 years ago, probably in China or in multiple places from Europe to Asia. .Dogs can still interbreed with wolves in a genetic process know as introgression. Early dog fossils were found in Russia and Germany from the large northern Holartic wolf, 17,000 to 14,000 years ago. Remains of smaller dogs, descendant from a lighter Southwest Asian wolf were found in Middle East cave deposits around 12, 000 years ago.

Humans emigrated from Asia and Europe and domesticated dogs went with them. The agricultural revolution and then the urban revolution led to an increase in dog numbers. Selective breeding, using artificial selection, resulted in the specialization of dogs into working dogs and pets over hundreds of years.

All modern breeds are relatively recent in this long time line of history. The four most common small breeds in Australia are the Shih Tzu, Maltese, Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Shih Tzu’s origination is unclear; they were first seen in the imperial palace in Beijing when French and English troops attacked the summer palace during the second Opium War (1856-1860), forcing the Empress Dowager Tzutsi to flee with her dogs. Developed exclusively as a companion lap dog they remained obscure, not arriving in the United States until the 1930’s and only gaining breed recognition in 1952

The Poodle possibly originated in Eastern Germany with influence from Russia and was standardized as the French national dog. German Poodles (from the German word pudel – “to splash in water”) were sturdy dogs with curly and corded coats. The corded coat, rarely seen in the United States, still exists. The Russian variety was somewhat “greyhound” in body type.

Clipped poodles were seen in fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century manuscripts and paintings. The standard poodle was originally used to retrieve game from water, hence the unusual hind clipping. The smaller dogs were circus trick and stunt dogs, truffle dogs and companions. The first poodle in England (1635) belonging to Prince Rupert of the Palatinate but it died in the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644. The next poodles were not recorded in Great Britain until 1874 and America in 1886.

The Maltese, in existence for at least 3,000 years, originated either from the island of Malta or a town in Sicily named Melita. The Phoenicians (1500 B.C) had a small white Maltese dog in their culture. Publius (100 AD), Rome’s Governor of Malta, owned “Issa”: a Maltese who meant more to him than any other living thing. Ancient Egyptians and Eastern Potentates kept Maltese for the ladies in the Harems. Renaissance ladies carried Maltese in their sleeves and they were eagerly accepted by the British aristocracy from the time of Queen Elizabeth and are immortalized in literature by famous artists. Maltese dogs have been bred and exhibited in Australia for the last 50-70 years

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, direct descendant of small Toy Spaniels, were seen in many 16th, 17th and 18th century pictures. Common as Tudor Court ladies’ pets they were officially renamed Cavalier King Charles under the reign of the Stuarts. King Charles II was seldom seen without two, three or more at his heels. In Queen Victoria’s reign breeders started to hold shows and bred to a desired type. In 1928, the breed standard was drawn up and today is basically unchanged. In 1945 the British Kennel Club granted separate registration, the first dogs were introduced into America in 1952 but did not gain full breed recognition for 40 years.

These popular breeds have hundreds of years of careful selective breeding to specific standards to ensure correct temperament, type and health. Each country using a defined standard that referenced world wide breed standards developed over decades by breeders with considerable training in canine anatomy, health and breeding principles.

Taking a Maltese or Shih Tzu and mating it to a Poodle, without either having a certified pedigree, produces only cross bred dogs of no defined breed. It will always be a cross bred dog, despite how lovely a dog it is. It does not carry the years of selective breeding history for type, temperament and health as seen in pure-bred, pedigree dogs. If the parents were pedigree dogs then the resulting dog is called a hybrid but is still not a pure dog breed.

The American Kennel Club (AKC), recognized as one of the top kennel clubs in the world, states that to recognize a new breed they require at least 300 hybrid dogs within the U.S. and distributed among at least 20 states. The dogs must have a National Breed Club and there must be at least a three generation pedigree—e.g. three generations of oodle-to-oodle mating. They must have predictable characteristics and fulfill a specific purpose. This can only be achieved with a concerted program between hundred of breeders breeding specific health checked and temperament checked animals to each other with excellent record keeping.

A designer dog is designed for what? Hybrid vigor is the normal argument and it is clearly not seen. People who indiscriminately mate a dog of uncertain parentage to another dog of uncertain parentage have no guarantee of predictable offspring. They have no way of producing a dog that is genetically superior and free of the health problems inherent in many dogs, such as incorrect mouths, poor bone construction, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, luxating patella and heart defects. The old saying “You get what you pay for” is only too true in dog breeding. Pay more and chose a purebred with hundreds of years of selective breeding from a reputable breeder to ensure a happy, healthy puppy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs
http://www.tinyshihtzu.com/origins.htm
Poodle clipping and grooming – the International Reference by Shirley Kalstone – Howell Book House 2001.
http://www.barkbytes.com/history/poodle.htm
http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/breed/history.html
http://www.akc.org/breeds/cavalier_king_charles_spaniel/history.cfm

Puppy Purchase – Delight or Nightmare

A puppy purchase can be a wonderful experience or a nightmare. There are many steps that can be taken to ensure that your experience is pleasant. Dog’s can live from 8 years, for a giant breed, to nearly 20 years for smaller dogs. Over the course of these years the costs involved in caring for your dog are substantial.

Like the purchase of other expensive household item some thought should go into your choice. The cute as pie, fluff pup in the local pet shop is so appealing but is it the “right” dog for you?

Before even looking at various dogs consider the answers to the following questions. Do you live in a flat or a house? How big is your yard and how secure is it? Male or female, short or long coated? Is the dog to be allowed inside the house? What time do you have available for grooming, exercise and interacting with your dog? Will the dog have to tolerate children – yours, the neighbors or relations? What type of temperament would you prefer: active or laid-back? What can you afford to pay both initially and on-going?

Research the type of dog best matching these criteria. The internet, pet shops, television programs, dog shows and obedience clubs are excellent sources of information. For cross-bred dogs consider the attributes of each of the breeds involved.

Internet sites include:
Dogs NSW (dogsnsw.org.au),
selectapet (petnet.com.au/selectadog.asp)
Dogs Victoria (vca.org.au)
Queensland Canine Council (cccq.org.au)
Animals and More Links Page (animalsandmore.homestead.com/links.html)
Dogzonline(dogzonline.com.au)

Two or three breeds will be of interest. Use a search engine (http://www.google.com/) to find additional information. Many dog breeders and dog clubs in Australia have excellent web sites. Life style programs on TV also have web sites that can be viewed. It is important to view Australian sites as the information must be applicable to your situation. Follow the links on various sites to obtain alternative points of view. Research in depth the breed/s that interests you. Considering what they were initially bred for will provide keys to their temperament, exercise and grooming needs. What diseases might be present in these breeds that you need to ensure the breeder is screening the parents for. Common diseases seen in Australia include: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, auto-immune disorder, skin and gastric allergies.

Pet shops can be excellent sources, but only if they carefully select the puppies they sell. They must ensure that the parents were suitable for breeding and the puppies and mother were given optimum care in the first critical 7 weeks of life. Shops that are accredited with the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) are preferable to other shops. These shops trade under a higher code of ethics and are more likely to be able to suggest a puppy that will best suit your situation. If the shop is unable to answer all your questions on age, health status and breed of parents then you are advised not to purchase a puppy from them no matter how cute, fluffy and adorable they might be. Any purchase should be based on logic, not emotion. At this stage in your purchase you should be still looking at options available and costs.

Local animal welfare and canine shelters should also be visited. These are excellent sources of many cross-bred dogs. Resist the impulse to purchase a dog from here that doesn’t fit your criteria just because it is on “death row”. Pay particular attention to the temperament of dogs in shelters as unstable dogs are often surrendered. The first visit, as with pet shops, is to assess what is available, at what cost and to view types of dogs.

Dog shows, Obedience Clubs and Pet Expos are good places to view dogs and find out breed information. Take the opportunity to see dogs presented in peak condition. Talk to breeders about the care involved in owning their breed of dog, the temperament to expect, health issues to consider and costs involved.

After months of careful consideration the time has come to purchase. During your search you would have identified excellent breeders, pet shops or shelters. Now is the time to look at specific dogs, within the breed/s you have chosen as suitable. Take your written list of the attributes identified to remind you of the perfect pup for you. When looking at pups within a litter one will often chose you or appeal more. Slightly older dogs may also suit your situation better.

In NSW it is illegal to sell a dog that is not micro-chipped, vaccinated and aged at least 8 weeks. The pups and its mother must be wormed regularly. Pups should have been wormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. Both parents must be free of the health issues identified in the breed. Dogs must to be registered with your local council by the time they are 6 months of age which is an important cost to remember. It is also essential that the cost of de-sexing is factored into your purchase cost.

Congratulations your new puppy is home. The first night wasn’t too traumatic as you chose from a breeder or pet shop that prepared your pup for its new home. Next step is puppy training, feeding and grooming. If it is a kitten you were looking for this procedure also works well and ensures you end up with a healthy, happy cat suited to your needs.

Happy puppy hunting -remember a pet is for life.

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