I dont know about you guys, but here we are already starting to get cabin fever and we have some dogs who are getting it too!!
It's not easy to get yourself moving in the dark mornings or to stay motivated in the evening when it's dark all the time.
Add in an energetic dog and it's even more of a struggle!
We usually start our day before the sun is up, so my jackets and caps are all equipped with headlamps or small flashlights. It helps to obviously see around the yard but also, if Im walking one of the dogs it's a good warning to oncoming cars.
You can get these at Fleet Farm, Cabellas, Amazon and probably even Walmart.
I am told that having these on in town or housing development can attract some unwanted attention if you're not careful!!! Just be aware of how close to the neighbor's house you get and use at you're own discretion.
Here in the country, Im pretty safe!
Here are some ideas of ways that you and your dog can pass the time and stay occupied during the winter days and nights:
Dogs tend not only to shed in the winter but to get a lot of matts in their fur. Sit down on the floor and enjoy some quality brushing time with your dog.
Don't gag--- the picture is gross but so is a dog with an ear infection. My poodles seem to always have dirty ears or even ear infections. I dont know if they just have weird ear canals or what but Im always cleaning their ears. We also trim nails a lot. Not that their nails always need it, but they can earn a treat if they sit still and when they need it, it's not a huge battle,
............well unless it's Duke!
As you can see from the action shot here, there is always room for improvement when it comes to training.
In the evenings, we try and keep the dogs engaged in some games like "sit stay" retrieving or just play. I remember one night last winter it had been cold for days and we were all going CRAZY, I just geared up and took the dogs outside and jogged in circles in the driveway with a pocket full of treats to keep them chasing after me.
Of course, Duke did it for about 5 seconds and then stood in the middle of my route and barked at me for not giving him treats too.........but hey, he was also entertained!!
Read books with your dogs!
Here's Molly after she had given a clear sign to her family what she thought of their Goldendoodle training research!!
It is true that after work, we definitely want some chill out time. Make that time more enjoyable by giving your dog some kind of exercise or a short quick training session. 3 minutes can be long enough to get the dog thinking about something other than destruction!
......although at this puppy stage, they are always looking for the next good thing to sink their teeth into.
I find myself more shocked if I catch them NOT getting into trouble!!.
Our favorite teething product is a kong stuffed and frozen or marrow bones from the butcher shop. We keep them frozen and only let the dogs play with them for a little while. I also re-stuff the bones.
My kong/bone stuffing is: Pumpkin, kibble, peanut butter and oatmeal. I stuff a bunch of old bones and toys and keep them in a bag in the freezer.
It works great for times like right now. I just caught Nala counter surfing in the kitchen but she now has a bone and is hanging out beside me instead of chowing on the leftover pizza box!! ......Win Win
Include your dog in your holiday decorating!
Our dogs and puppies are a huge part of our families. Here you can see that Sweet Pete definitely has an opinion of what the family decorations should look like, he even added his own signature look this piece!
Our dog Hank used to LOVE popping Christmas bulbs. He would take them off the tree, pop them in his mouth and walk away like nothing had even happened.
Last night I could hear Duke barking like CRAZY while I was outside with River. I thought he was just mad because he wanted to come out too, so I didnt go see what was happening. He was yelling at Willow who was eating my reading glasses!!! Willow is almost 4, she hasnt chewed up anything forEVER but I guess the glasses were just suddenly too must to resist??????
Is it Spring yet????
Go for a ride!!
Another thing that we are trying to get better at is taking the dogs with us when we are going for a short trip or running into town. We did a couple of things last summer and we were half way ther and said, "We coul have brought one of the dogs with?"
It not only gives them something to do but it helps them get used to riding in the car and not being terrified that they are always going to the groomer or the vet.
Todd had a little road trip to make today so he brought Willow with. She got to go for a ride, do something fun and new. She got to be around different people ........and Im still made about the glasses so it got her out of my way for the day!! Win Win WIN!! ha.
Anything you do will help your dog behave better and your winter evenings will be more enjoyable.
Also, going for a 3 minute jog around the driveway with the dog just might get you out of doing the dishes!!!!
Most of all... the winter will go by faster if you and your dog are keeping busy.
We've been looking for a sire to our puppies for some time. With all of the different combinations of Doodles, it took some research and some genuine guessing to decide what male best suited who we are and what puppies we want to raise.
Because of the great temperament, intelligence, long lifespan and just overall great awesome doggie-ness..........
We found an English Golden Retriever to call our own!
River's dad is a 5 year old gorgeous, stout and quiet mannered dog. He was imported from Serbia and is now living in Michigan.
We can see the intelligence, calm manner and awesome conformation in this young guy already and are excited to see him mature and grow with our family!!
We just hopped in the truck and zipped right over to where he lived and picked him up. I mean who doesn't just go on a 1300 mile road trip to get a dog??
Well, if you had tasted the pasties that we had along the way, you too would seriously consider it!!! Also, Emma--- Nothing like surprising your daughter and asking her for dinner on a Saturday night!!!
River is just 7 months old so he has some growing and maturing to do. We are going to start him off right away in some puppy classes in order to get him caught up on his socialization and instill proper behavior. Todd is waiting for this rain to stop and is excited to get him out in the DNR land to check out his bird nose! Already, he and Leighla have been getting to know each other. They have been out running around the pasture and Leighla seems to think that he is her personal play mate. It is going to be so great to have the parents of our puppies be friends and know them both so well.
Now the work begins:
River was definitely not a Puppy Culture puppy. He seems to have basically spent the first months of his life in a kennel. He has great bloodlines, has been properly vetted and fed nutritious food and supplements but he has not been socialized or humanized at all. Every second that Todd and I have spent with River in the last 36 hours has been a learning experience for all of us and a very very profound realization that the way we raise our puppies is so dam worth every second of our time. River seems to be especially responsive to Todd. I am quite certain that he has never met a man before and it says a lot for his temperament to be attentive to a man. We are basically starting with him as we would our 3 week old puppies by allowing him startle recovery, escape route back to his kennel when he gets scared or needs some time. We hope that by introducing him to Macey and Leighla we will speed up his learning process and increase his confidence.
Today I put him and Leighla out in the pasture and I truly believe with all my heart that I saw that dog run for the first time in his life. What I also witnessed was without a doubt a huge smile come over his face. I was absolutely in tears. He and Leighla took off running, he looked back at me and gave me a look that I will never forget. Now, more than ever, I believe in our process and mission to raise a great family dog.
.........speaking of the little dude, I have to go check on him and get ready for work.
https://www.puppyculture.com --- The training protocol that we follow. (try our best to anyway!)
Macey's puppies are all moving home this weekend.
People ask me if it's hard to let them go or if it makes me sad.
It is true, it is a very emotional time but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and also a little worry.
Did I train them as much as I could have?
Did I give the families enough information, or too much?
Will the puppy learn the new house rules and be trained properly?
Did I miss anything??
I guess you could compare it to leaving an infant with a sitter or new daycare for the first time. Basically, I wish I could just transfer everything in my brain, to the family!!
When Ruby's family picked her up yesterday, they mentioned that they had been reading training books and learning how to raise a puppy. Croix's new mom seems to have an entire village of people to help and support her. Knowing these things made is all the more exciting and easy for me to know that these guys were off to a new awesome loving environment!!
I've been hearing a lot about Goldendoodles that are starting to get a bad reputation for bad behaviours and I believe that it is because they are so darn cute as puppies that we allow them to misbehave and unintentionally reward them for bad behaviour.
It's cute to let them chew on fingers.
She jumps up. She gets picked up.
He cried in in crate so I let him out.
They're too young to potty train.
These actions are SURE to turn your lovely puppy into a terror!!
When a puppy is 8-14 weeks old, they are like little dried out sponges and absorb everything very very quickly.
A 30 second training session with positive rewards at this age, is equivalent to an entire course as an adult.
It is so important to make sure that they are absorbing good, positive ways to act now so that there isn't corrections or modifications to make in them as adults.
There are many many resources for learning how to take care of a puppy and how to teach your puppy the rules of your household and how to mature into a great family pet. I listen to audio books in my car that I get from the library, watch YouTube videos, follow a bunch of facebook groups and do A LOT of googling my questions and talking to other people who have pets to learn as much as I can. None of these resources are flawless, none of them are 100% right for everyone. Learn, read, and listen and then do what's best for you, your family and your dog and you will have the best Walking, TV Watching, Meal prepping, Bed warmer, Car co-pilot and Lifelong friend that you can ever imagine!
Good luck out there!!!! Gotta go hug my dog(s)!!!!
Macey's puppies are just beginning their 6th week.
I cant believe how fast it is going by!!
Meeting all the puppy families over the past few days was such an awesome experience.
I am overwhelmed at the great people that these little guys are going to get to spend their lives with!!! I even had a few of the selections picked correctly!
One of the fun visits was when John totally surprised his wife on her Golden Birthday to pick out a Goldendoodle!.......He set some big expectations for the next milestone!
Kelsie was having a difficult time keeping the puppies from turning her hair into a Maypole on Friday night during her visit!!
Over the next couple of weeks there are some big training and experiences that I want to make sure that the puppies get.
Some of these include:
1- Crate training. They seem to really love the crate, until I put the door on! Tonight I had each puppy in a crate for just about 30 seconds. It went fairly smoothly. We'll continue to work on this daily.
2- Biting. These little dudes are teething. No way around it! I am continually adding new toys and changing their environment so that they stay interested in chewing on things they are SUPPOSED to and not my shoes, ankles and hair.
3- Beginning grooming. Most of the new owners and I discussed grooming during their selection visits last weekend. I have been trimming toenails since about their 3rd day of life and continue to do that. I also brush them and have a little trimmer. Once I get them used to the sound, Ill be trimming up the top of their muzzle.
4- Bravery. Now that the puppies are strong and can get in and out of the pen better, we're gong to start going on longer walks around the farm. This is a great confidence and bravery booster.
Well, speaking of these little guys, they are waiting for their bedtime snack and final playtime of the day!!
As the locals say............ Im on Holiday in Europe!!! I love a lot about this country but the #1 thing that I love here is how they treat their dogs!!
When we were in Amsterdam, our hotel was full of dogs. At first I just thought "man these people really groom their dogs so good" then, I found out that the World Dog Show was going on. Our hotel was full of some amazing looking dogs. There were a couple of Great Danes that you just had to stop and admire. There was a naked dog and one with just the hair on the head and tail. The trio of Husky's that were there were nothing short of majestic. All of these dogs were in our hotel, just hanging out with their owners, walking around and no one even gave them a notice. There were dogs in restaurants, the bus, and at all the attractions.
When we moved on to London, it was exactly the same way. The family dog was just that...........part of the family. Again there were dogs in the hotel, the bus and everywhere on the streets. A lot of shops and restaurants have water bowls out for dogs and no one would ever look sideways a someone for entering a store or shop with their canine companion.
We are now in Scotland at our final holiday stop. The first night we arrived, we walked into a pub and YOU KNOW IT-----there was a little Scottie Terrier laying right inside the door by his owner happy as can be. When it was time to leave, he crawled under to booth and didnt want to leave.
I am so anxious to get home and see my dogs. I am missing them a lot and of course a little worried about Macey getting so close to her delivery date. I know they are in good hands so I know I can make it another 2 days before I get to see them. I just wish that they could be in an environment where they could accompany Todd and I to more places, go to Madison on the weekends to visit Emma and be a larger part of our daily society.
One more thing we need to lighten up about in the good 'ol U.S.A.
.....I have some cool pictures to add to this post but it's too hard to do on this borrowed computer. so come back and read this again later in the week and see the pictures from our trip!!!
You do have to clean up after you dog though They make that really clear too!!
My brother called me about a month ago and said "your neice is looking for a place to stay in July" I immediately started thinking of my Sweet Adorable Innocent 2 1/2 year old niece who I get to see about 3 times a year for a minute at holidays...........YES of course I'll take her!!!!
Sunday morning went absolutely AWESOME!! We played with toys, went swimming and had so much fun! Around lunch time we loaded her in the car and went off to do some errands and grocery shopping. Being the prepared wonderful experienced child caregiver that I am..........I grabbed a sippy cup too!! We went shopping, got her a couple of healthy treat options and headed to lunch. The restaurant we wanted to go to was closed so we headed to Stillwater. About half way to Stillwater she PUKED up the applesauce I gave her all over herself and her carseat! Oh man, it was bad. I had NOTHING along! Not a wipe, extra pullup just that dam sippy cup. So we road like that sad baby, gagging Sherry and helpless Todd driving us slowly through Lumberjack Days (of course) to get to my cousin Amy's house. Amy wasnt home but her hose was so we sprayed off the kid and the car seat went to Kohls where her and I waited outside and Todd went in to buy her a new outfit!!
Im thinking "Holy holy what did I do. This is ONLY Sunday!"
Throughout my week with my little toddler I just kept thinking about all of our puppy owners out in the world and I know that most of you probably feel like I did this week. Overwhelmed and second guessing how great it was to get a puppy!! Most of the puppies are probably still in the major chewing and biting stage. This stage can be one of the most difficult to manage because they can and DO chew on everything. It will pass, just like my niece is going to seem like a teenager by the time I see her again at Christmas.
But in the meantime: Let's face it . IT SUCKS.
There are a million suggestions on the internet and YouTube has some great videos to help with showing some great techniques.
But the bottom line is that you have to spend the time with your puppy NOW in order for you to have the
Great With Kids
Wonderful Family Dog
We Take Him Everywhere With Us
People LOVE our Doodle etc etc
Our Leighla was brought back to the breeder by the family that adopted her because they said that she was not good with kids. Leighla is EXCELLENT with every human and dog that she comes in contact with. When my niece was here last week, she didnt move from her side. She sat while she played, she followed her around the yard and she would have slept with us had I let her. I dont know the family or their circumstances but I do know that maturity, time and training has produced an superior family pet in Leighla and it will in your dog too. Dont give up. Spend time with your puppy. Take them to training classes. Find people with dogs to interact with.
Before you know it, your puppy will be an adult dog and you will barely remember the biting stage other than your favorite shoe that has the chew marks left on it.
Today, my niece is home with her family and I have toys to put away, laundry to do, a mess on my desk at work and a MILLION memories of an incredible week with an awesome little human!!
It goes by too fast. Hug the baby. Hug the puppy.
Somehow over the past few months,
I seemed to have re-gained the weight I lost last year.
Im going to call it the Puppy Pooch because I know exactly what I did..or didnt do to add this weight back on my body.
I didn't prepare meals or food for me and Todd while I was cooking up all those sweet potatoes and chicken feet for Leighla and Willow. We ate things like, frozen pizzas, chips and salsa, granola bars, Jimmy Johns and To Go Chinese food instead of veggies and healthy meals.
.. And wine!! You know, just a glass (or 2) in the evening.
I actually just went in and added Meal Prep to the Getting Ready for Puppy tab on the website. It might seem crazy but these little guys take a lot of time and attention. It's the only way that we can make sure that they will be well adjusted adult dogs.
As we are now, almost, puppy free around here. I decided to do some meal prep for the upcoming busy week. Then...........I got a craving!!
-- What else would one make when they need to lose some weight right???
I thought it would be fun to bake up a batch of caramel rolls and surprise a few friends of ours with some fresh baked treats this weekend. My mom makes that ULTIMATE caramel rolls. They are light, just perfectly sweet and part of all the holiday and family events that I can ever remember. I grew up in a small town, Storden Minnesota, population 147. If we wanted to eat it, we cooked it!!
The Norwegian, Swedish and German women of the Lutheran or Baptist churches in that little town could cook like no other!!
So either Im just really homesick right now or truly needed some good ol baked up goodness. I whipped these babies up!!
Here's a picture of the finished products.
Now I need to go find some salad ideas for the rest of the week!!
Have a great week everyone and
HUG THE PUPPY for me!!!
I know that it is hard to think of your nice new puppy having food aggression but it can easily happen. There are a few tips that you can do right now, from the beginning to prevent this.
Now that your puppy is home, they no longer have to share their food bowl with their 6 or 8 siblings. They might get over comfortable with THEIR food bowl.
We want your puppy to think of someone's hand in or by their bowl while they are eating as a very very positive experience. That way, when they are grown dog and a small child accidentally crawls too close to their bowl, they will not even react.
Not only will creating this atmosphere keep you and others safe, it will keep other animals safe too.
I know of someone who's female dog severely injured one of it's own puppies because they started eating out of her bowl while she was eating. This is an accident that no one could have predicted. But it is an example of setting your dog up for success and not to take any unnecessary risks.
Macey, Leighla and Willow have no food aggression at all yet, I never let them have a bone or play with a toy in the presence of their puppies. It is just a risk I am not willing to take. When the moms and puppies are together I put all toys, bones and food away. It removes any chance for an accident to happen.
Here is a photo of our dog Duke.
Duke is mastiff and lab mix.
Duke weighs about 115-120 pounds.
Duke is very protective and quite stubborn.
If Duke had a mouthful of food and I decided that I didnt want him to have it-- I can reach right into his mouth and take it out.
My 4 dogs eat together side by side out of their own bowls. Although they respect their fellow pack mates bowls, if one of them decided to start eating out of it, I know there wouldnt be any blood shed.
Use the following tips to give yourself that confidence.
Preventing Food Aggression Tips to
form Passive Eating and Food Habits
#1- Give your puppy his food serving divided into 2 bowls. This way when your hand comes in to change bowls, it's a good thing!
#2- Just put your hand in his dish while eating. Maybe scoop up a little kibble and hand feed them some.
#3- When your puppy is having time with their bone or toy, offer a high value treat as an exchange.
A high value treat can be anything from cooked chicken to a piece of hot dog or even a toy that they like better.
#4 - Have your children offer these high value treats and exchanges as well, as long as you know that it is safe and you can supervise them.
Every time we interact in a positive way with our canine friends, we offer them a chance to mature and improve their manners.
The reason we have these animals in our home is for comfort, fun, companionship, protection and overall good quality of life.
As the part of the pack with opposable thumbs, and access to the food source,
it's your job to help them be the best at their jobs as possible!!
With some serious attention right at the beginning, you can quickly potty train your puppy and learn some teething deterrent techniques that will help with a successful transition to your home and into your family.
Awareness is the key to success!
While a new puppy parent was discussing how much they wanted to prevent puppy biting right from the very beginning and what tips did I have, they were animatedly letting the puppy chew on their hand??????
People love coming to see the puppies and the first thing so many people do is to let the puppy chew on their hand. It just seems to be a reflex.
When I say "please dont let the puppy chew on your hand, they will be punished for that as soon as they leave here" I get the dirty look??
I brought a puppy in the house the other day, just to walk around and get used to some more environment changes. I put him down and then decided to start getting some things ready for dinner. About 3-4 minutes went by and when I looked over, he was sniffing around in the corner- presumably for a place to squat. Then I realized, I woke that guy up and immediately brought him in the house. Who was at fault here?
A small 8-12 week old puppy can learn more in a 2 minute training session than in an entire obedience course. This means that they will learn bad habits just as quickly as good ones. Every encounter that you, your children, friends and family have with your new puppy will be teaching and training their behaviors. If you pick them up while they are jumping on your legs-- You just rewarded a TERRIBLE behavior so they will do it again.
I bought this puppy training series and it teaches from breeding to puppy adolescence how to give a young puppy the best start in life from early stimulation while just minutes old to teaching a puppy how to walk on a leash.
I love having the professional advice and hearing some scientific findings to back up what we already knew. One of the first things they say is when you are preparing to have a litter of puppies is to locate a source for what????????
..........Why good ol GOAT MILK of course!! ;p)
There are some step by step tips from the experts on Potty Training on the screenshot images below.
Have you ever had or heard of someone's dog hiding to go to the bathroom in the house? Its because they have been scolded while defecating. They dont get it that they are "in the house" they just learn that they should not go in front of humans....inside or outside, they have no concept of the difference.
We also recommend keeping them on a thin leash in the house at the beginning. That way if they do start to go, you can startled them into stopping and then take them outside. Praise them like crazy and give them high quality treats.
Jumping and Biting:
My dogs Macey and Leighla still jump on people. I want to simply die everytime they do it. We're not resigned to it, we are continuing to learn new tactics and keep on training!
We are the "re-home" for both of them so we did not have the opportunity to train them as a puppy and they are PROOF that it is so much easier to
TRAIN A GOOD BEHAVIOR THAN TO CORRECT A BAD ONE!!
Don't reward your puppy for jumping up.
Simply stand and wait until they step back. At first you may have to reward them just for all feet on the ground but after a few sessions, before long- they will sit and wait for your attention.
Only pet or give them attention when they have all 4 feet on the ground.
Do NOT let little kids wave their hands about their heads. Teach them to bend down and pet below the chin.
It can be relatively easy to teach a puppy not to jump especially when nothing fun or enjoyable happens about their head or when all 4 feet are not firmly on the ground.
This is also why you see trainers had their dog treats from below their chin.
Biting and Nipping:
Puppies bite and growl and wrestle with each other all the time. Their mom's mouth them and play with them this way. Your puppy is socializing with their family by biting, nipping and chewing on them. This is natural for them. As part of their family, they are going to think that this is also how to interact with you and your children. We have to immediately teach them not to chew on us.
Some of the things that we use for teething and boredom chewing here are :
Marrow bones from the local butcher shop-- keep frozen and give to puppy for only a short time.
Knotted rope-- Clean nylon rope. Tied in knots. I also put them in the freezer.
Baby toys-- I got to garage sales and good will and buy toys for the puppies.
Don't just leave all these things in their pen indefinitely. Rotate them in and out so they they are interested in them to prevent boredom and chewing on things you dont want them to.
If you have to physically stop your puppy from biting. Do not yell. Simply firmly grip the puppy muzzle and let them pull away.
I will demonstrate this for you before you leave here with your little one.
In the puppy packs that I send home, I send a small spray bottle and the recipe for Bitter Spray. YOU DO NOT SPRAY YOUR PUPPY WITH THIS You give your puppy a taste of it on a small cotton ball or piece of cloth and then spray the object that you don't want them to chew on. Then supervise, supervise, supervise.
Remember, anytime you can not watch or monitor your puppy's behavior, put them away in their enclosure. He will be safe and you will not get discouraged
There is not one magic answer to any training. Repetition, persistence, patience, time and a positive attitude are the best way to successfully teach your puppy to be a well mannered mature adult dog.
Mr. Waddles is still waiting for his family to find him.
If you are interested in meeting him or have questions about having him join your family. Let me know!!
If you have never tried Goat Milk before, you are missing out!! It is creamy, cold and oh so so yummy.
It goes with coffee better than donuts and could possibly be the single reason why I am raising puppies!
......well- It's good.
Let's just leave it at that.
I first started using goat milk for our puppies when Macey had her first litter 5 years ago. The puppies were getting big and she wasn't keeping up so the vet handed me a can of what I now refer to as "Devils' Nectar" There were so many ingredients in that can of crap and NOT one that I could pronounce. This was not going to work for my babies!!! I knew that a friend of mine had actually gotten a goat instead of buying formula for her baby so I decided if goat milk was good enough for her son, it certainly was good enough for my puppies.
Now--where in the hell do you get enough goat milk for 7 hungry puppies? Todd had given me some goat milk lotion for Christmas. I called the person who made it, found out where she got the goat milk and then called her. Heather had a bunch of milk in the freezer that she didnt know what to do with so off I went. Set the directions on my Garmin, got lost 5 times but I found it and never looked back. Those puppies were so happy and eager to eat that milk.
Their energy was high
They slept soundly
Their coats were as shiny as a brand new car.
I knew I had something here!!
Heather's business has drastically changed and so has mine. I now go to her house, the day before the milk truck comes and she takes milk out of the tank that was in a goat just hours before.
When I say Farm Fresh,
I mean it very literally.
Heather is also becoming a great friend. I admire this women so so much. She home school's her kids, she runs this goat dairy and helps her children show and train goats, go to wrestling and other sports and has them do volunteer work.
She has ###? (lots) of goats, knows every one of their names, who their mom is and even when they were born.
I have a lot of gratitude towards her for providing us with goat milk. Without this high quality, nutritious element, our puppies would never be the great dogs that they become.
Heather and her husband also make Maple Syrup. Not just the old run of the mill Maple Syrup but the Chug out of the Jug kind. Her husband is this genious fabricator their sugar shack has this amazing open fire in it that gives the syrup a soft smokey flavor.
Yeah So ------ I start my day with Goat milk, Maple Syrup and Fresh brewed Coffee. Secret's out!!
Now you know how I get so much done before 9:00am!!
If you want to try some I always have some and will be happy to get you a bottle when I next go for milk.
Here's some more information about goat milk and how it can benefit your puppy.
.......................oh, OK one more goat picture!!