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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.

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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.

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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

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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 

Puppy Grooming tips guest article on about.com

I have had the pleasure of being invited to write and article for About.com Puppies site this week. The article is titled Puppy Grooming Tips -How to Prepare Puppies for Grooming and can be viewed here. It out lines a protocol that teaches pet owners the steps they can take to ensure they will have a puppy that will accept grooming techniques or handling at vet visits. This protocol is however also useful for all puppies, especially those living with children. Puppies and dogs do not always accept hugs from humans and this can be the reason why children and adults get bitten. If a puppy is trained using this protocol they can become accepting of the way humans approach them and need to hug and hold them.

My thanks to Amy Shojai who hosts the site for the opportunity and to Karen Deeds from Canine Direction for the inspiration for the article.

Regards

Louise Kerr
The Pet Care Magician

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

Facebook groups: Promoting Positive Reward Based Dog Training

Groomers who chose to use positive methods to groom dogs and cats

Australian Pet Professionals

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. About Me 

Children and Pets – keeping them safe

Are you worried about keeping your children and pets safe around each other?

Here are some helpful posters for downloading that you can use to discuss with your child how to approach a dog.

There is also a poster that shows the warning signs that dogs give long before they resort to a bite or snap. These ares signs that parents can learn to read to avoid an incident between a dog and child.

https://elitepetcareeducation.wordpress.com/keep-your-child-safe/free-posters/

Miniature Poodle Puppy Training and Socialization

           As a dog trainer I spend so much of my time working with older dogs that have developed problems. Nothing too major, these problems are usually things like jumping up, barking, running away, but this week I have been luck to be able to work with two wonderful litters of  miniature poodles. Cherry and Napoleon’s litter are currently 9 weeks old. The other litter is from Annabell and Jed and they are only a week younger.
         Baby puppies are sponges who are happy to soak up good and bad experiences and current animal behavior research states that what experiences a puppy gets between 6 weeks and 16 weeks of age are fundamental in forming their character and behavior as they age. It is at this time that the foundation for behaviors such as running away, barking incessantly or jumping up are created or avoided. As they are still babies it is also critical that any training done at this age is gentle and caring and based on positive reward methods.
       These puppies are  not fully vaccinated yet as it does take some time for vaccines to provide effective coverage, however they have the benefit of mum’s antibodies and the places they are taken to are carefully managed with regard to the animals and humans they are exposed to.
        The basis of work that is important with puppies of this age is to get them used to new experiences, new surfaces, different animals, cars and car travel, and humans of all shapes and sizes. We work hard to make all these experiences positive and do not push a puppy faster  than they are prepared to go.
        A good example of this is when Helen arrived at our education and training center yesterday. Her two puppies are a boy and girl and they are 6 days younger than Cherry and Napoleon’s babies. All of these puppies and their respective parents have met a couple of times already but always at Helen and Shirley’s place. This is a familiar and comfortable environment for these pups, not so the outing to a new place. Both puppies were initially unsure about where they were so we opened the car carrier up, kept the other dogs back and settled down with a cup of coffee to wait for when both puppies felt comfortable enough to venture out. It didn’t take the girl long as she is the more outgoing of the two puppies however the boy was less certain and he had to stick his head out a few times and have a look before he ventured out. When he did come out to join us we greeted him with lots of cuddles and nice treats for being such a brave boy. Had he not ventured out at all that would have been OK as it was his way of saying this is just too much for me to handle right at the moment. If we had forced him out we may inadvertently had made him fearful of venturing into a new environment and set the foundation for long term issues.
The boy taking time out away from the others

This little boy can be seen in the video below doing zoomies around the room as once he did come out and settle in with the others he had a ball. I swear he had a perpetual grin on his face from ear to ear all the time. He did however take a couple of time out breaks safely back in his car carrier as he remembered that this was all new and unfamiliar. But sure enough the fun and games enticed him out again and he once more joined in.

      I started introductory clicker work with them getting them used to the sound of the clicker and that the click meant that a nice reward was coming, either a cuddle, a play with a toy or a food treat. They got used to following me around which is the introduction to both loose lead walking and coming when called. All of this of course was done off lead and with no coercion. If they chose to wander away and do something else they were allowed to.
    We also had the small green dog agility tunnel out and seeded it with dog treats to see if they would venture inside this big strange scary place. Cherry and Napoleon’s puppies had no problem with this as they have got used to the idea that nice to eat “stuff” can be found in there. It’s how I know if they are peckish as they go to the tunnel and check it out. This is of course only when they are not relocating the tunnel to the other side of the room just for fun. I must get that on video it is such fun to watch. Annabell’s puppies did venture inside but not as far as the others but that was ok for today’s session.
      We did shoot some fun video and took lots of new pictures all of which can be seen on our Youtube site . After a couple of hours of play with a few sleep sessions all the pups were taken home for their dinner and sleep and we were confident that we had achieved another very positive step in the ongoing puppy pre-school training of these delightful puppies. But the fact that I got to sit on the floor with 5 fluffy puppies and Cherry and Napoleon giving me hugs and kisses was a total bonus.
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Poodle Puppies start their initial training

The weather has finally given us a few days of less than heavy rain and some scattered periods of funny yellow and blue stuff in the sky so the mud is starting to dry somewhat. Meanwhile Cherry and Napoleon’s puppies have commenced their initial training. They have been exploring the big world outside of the puppy pen and learning about clickers and nice things that come when they give me behaviors that I like. They had a great time exploring new surfaces and new things with a banana skin being a particularly big hit. Cherry had to check it out first of course, as all good mothers do, but once she gave it her approval it was on for young and old with puppies on each side of it in a great game of tug of war. Then there was licking to see what it tasted like and after all this of course we needed a big sleep, on my feet of course.

They were also introduced to scatter feeds and having to investigate their area to see where I had hidden interesting items that were good to eat. This work is all essential for producing puppies that are well socialized and know how to think for themselves and to offer good behaviors that can be rewarded.

Poor monkey, normally their favorite toy was all but forgotten in the excitement of fun new things to explore and play with. He did get an occasional bit of attention when a piece of food fell on him in the scatter feed. He had also had a good wash as he was getting to be a stinky monkey as baby puppies do not really understand the nice concept of only weeing or pooing in acceptable places. It is at about this age that so many puppies are offered for sale as it is pretty tiring constantly using the mop, bucket and disinfectant to clean up after then. However it is also at this time that so many of the important socialization and training skills that only a mother can teach her puppies are put into place so that these puppies grown into healthy well adjusted adults. One of these skills is the learning that occurs during puppy play where they learn the nuances of doggy body language and how to read the very subtle signals such as a raised lip and sideways look of the eye and minor changes in ear stance all of which are the clues that dogs give each other in their version of language. Puppies that miss out on this vital learning in this period are often those that have difficultly interacting with other dogs when they are older and show up so often in training classes with poor dog to dog communication.

Now that the puppies are growing up they are interacting more and more with their dad however he is not so keen on the toe biting that they particularly like at the moment. For that matter I am also not so keen on having my toes attacked and have to quickly find distractions to substitute when three puppies with their sharp puppy teeth attack my toes. They are responding well to my “ouch” but tend to just look at me with a look that is so mischievous and a comment something like “Oh did that hurt? Sorry but we needed to see if your toes were nice to eat”.

We also had a great session last weekend where Napoleon, Cherry, Annabell, Jed and all 5 of their collective puppies were introduced to each other. More on that next week and hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to edit the video we took and load it to YouTube.

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