Saturday, July 14, 2012

Questions & Answers

I received this interesting question last night, so thought I would post it, along with my answer -

We took Winston to his first puppy class at TCOTC last night and he did pretty well. Jessica has been working with him anyway since we got him, so first class was easy.

The instructor made a comment that we thought was a bit strange. She said that puppies at 10-14 weeks old shouldn't be walked more than a block. Anything more can lead to hip displasia, bone growth problems, etc.
Really?! Do you agree with this?

My answer -

I do not walk my own pups on leash on concrete for any great distances, not more that perhaps half a mile at a time. There is some thought that regimented exercise can contribute to joint issues. The feeling is that it's more natural for pups to play hard in short bursts - to walk, run, turn, sit, lay down, rest in normal puppy play fashion, and that "military marches" can be a problem. While I don't preach that, I don't discount it either and don't take my pups on long walks on leash. I use leash walks for socialization more than for exercise with young pups.
 That being said, many of the dogs in your class are probably breeds with a high incidence of hip dysplasia - Labs, Goldens, Rotts, etc. It is quite low in Dals, and your pup has many generations of clear hips in his background. It probably won't make a difference, but don't discount the idea. I bike my dogs too, but I never do it regularly until after 18 months. OTOH, some of our dogs run from a relatively early age. It's going to have to be what you are comfortable with doing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just Like Grandpa

Looks as if Fabulous Fern will be the puppy who stays in Paisleyland.   She's already made that decision, so I might as well go along with it.  Fern always greets me with a wildly wagging tail, seems very relaxed and non-stressed about new situations, and never whines.  All personality pluses as far as I am concerned.  The fact that she has lovely spots and moves nicely is also a plus! Wish she had a few more face and ear spots, but that's just a personal preference, and her markings are fine. She's got a nice amount of bone, good feet, two good ends, a level back, and nice dark eyes.

Last night convinced me, when Fern picked up a plastic packing bubble, carried it all over the yard, and finally stashed it under the deck steps - after first making a feeble attempt to dig a hole and bury it.  The instincts are there, just not perfected.  Love the fact that she inherited that funny little quirk from her Grandpa Argus.  None of the other pups carry toys yet, and I have never seen a pup this age try to hide a toy.  That does it!

Letty and her littermates celebrated their first birthday on Tuesday - am so pleased that all are in excellent homes.  Letty was spayed yesterday - hopefully she makes a quick recovery and can soon get back to the Dog Park.  I know she and her dad Skip will really miss their outings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hot Again?

Tasty foot!

Hot weather is making a return visit.  Bummer, as it will be less pleasant for the puppies who love going outdoors after dinner.  They are at an age where I would like to put them out when I get home from work, but not if it's in the 90s.  They are starting to have fun in the yard, and are much less whiny about wide open spaces.  The first couple trips outdoors several of the pups wanted to be held rather than to explore - now they are getting more adventurous.  I'll be putting up the puppy fencing soon to keep them out of the flower beds.  Works well, but makes mowing tough.

Weaning is coming along nicely, with the pups eating two meals a day, supplemented by Pauli who is still "on call".  They are eating goats milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ground turkey, and egg yolks, plus have had some softened puppy food - Pro Plan Selects Turkey & Barley Puppy Food.  When they go to their new homes they will be able to eat either a raw diet, or kibble, depending on how their new owners want to feed them.  Tonight they will have some beef, and this weekend they will try some real raw, probably drummies to test their teeth on.  I'll pick up some baby food veggies too, and they can have a bit of sweet potato.  It's important that raw diets, especially for puppies, include a variety of foods.

Pauli spends most of her time upstairs now, checking in to feed them, and still sleeps with them at night.  She's been running with the bike in the evening, so will go home in good condition.

Fabulous Fern continues to be my pick puppy.  She's pretty, sound, and confident and has a mellow, contented personality.  She's got a hair's width of trim left to fill on her right eye.  She also has bilateral hearing.  I suspect that several of the pups are unis, meaning they only hear in one ear.  Very common in Dals, and does not affect their quality of life.  Quite a few very successful show dogs, as well as some top winning performance dogs are unis, but we always hope for all bilaterally hearing litters.  The gene for "extreme white piebald", the one that gives Dalmatians their white coat color  (the spotting is a different gene)  comes with patches, blue eyes, deafness, unilateral hearing, and missing trim.  Creating unpatched, brown eyed, bilaterally hearing, completely pigmented pups can be a real balancing act!   No one ever said it was easy to breed a really good Dalmatian!  Fortunately cosmetic issues and unilateral hearing do not make a Dal any less attractive, or any less functional.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No Time For Blogging

Somehow I ran out of time this morning.  Had to do a few emails, and respond to some Facebook messages, and suddenly it's time to feed dogs and get ready for work.

Mickey is looking for dinner here, and wonders if Ron's nose is a nipple.  He worked on it for a bit, decided there was no milk left, and gave up in disgust.

I really need to start blogging before I go to bed.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Break In The Weather.

What a great weekend, but far too short.  (Aren't they all?)  Although still in the upper 80s, the temps were far more seasonal that 102, and the nights were a lot cooler.  When the cool front came through on Friday evening, we got 3/4 inches of much needed rain, and were even able to give the air conditioners a break.  We caught up on much needed yardwork, and got the lawn mowed before it turned into a hayfield.  The weather is supposed to be seasonal this week, in the mid 80s, and cool off at night.  I can do this kind of summer weather.

The puppies had many adventures over the weekend, including their first trip outdoors on Saturday evening once there was some shade in the back yard.  On Sunday they got to explore the family room too, had lots of company and did well with all the handling.   Personality differences are starting to show up now, so we know which things to work with on each puppy. Little patched Mickey is the most demanding, expecting to be picked up and held, which he IS because he is so cute.  Fabulous Fern is the first puppy to respond as bilaterally hearing, locating the direction a sound comes from.  She's the most tuned in puppy, and is looking really nice so far.  Dixie needs the most handling right now, so will be picked up and held the most for a few days.  It's something the pups often go through in turn, so any pup who is showing resistance to handling or restraint gets handed or restrained the most for a few days!

Am very pleased with how Mancini is coming along.  He's the smallest pup, but brave and adventurous.  Very nice spotting, and just the tiniest bit of eye trim left to fill.   Murray still looks like a furry polar bear cub, with the cutest face!  Luci looks very like Fabulous Fern, and her eye trim is moving, but still has a long way to go.  Don't think it will fill completely before it's time to place her, so am guessing she will go as a pet which is a shame as she is beautifully spotted, very sound and has a lovely personality.  Still crossing fingers on her.

Sunday was my birthday, and Argus and I started the day with a trip to the dog park, so he could do some running and splashing.  He's so much fun, endlessly entertaining, and such a great companion.
Breakfast at White Castle of course, a favorite for both of us - and shared with Argus, of course.  Jess & Don picked up my mother and came over to visit pups and go out for dinner with us, Tavern on Grand where we all enjoyed excellent walleye.  Friends came to visit the pups on both Saturday and Sunday, and we were able to play catch up.  Thoroughly pleasant weekend!

Now, back to work!