Some gorgeous Huck puppies arrived Saturday morning, five boys and one girl. They are all doing well and Punch is taking good care of them. I had entered Winona in Starkville. I had planned to go over to Mississippi Saturday morning, show and turn around and come home with puppies due Monday. But when Punch’s temp dropped on Friday I knew we weren’t going to make it. It was a good thing I had prepared for puppies last weekend with only a few things to do Friday evening.
Just five more days and these babies should be here. When Punch is done with this litter she will retire from motherhood. She can get on with her obedience and agiltiy career without any interruptions. She is such a great little performance dog with lots of drive, intelligence and personality.
I think we have everything ready to go. She has been sleeping in her whelping box that we set up last weekend. The girl is eating three meals a day and asking for more. She was such a great mom with her last litter. My husband is now working from home so I have an extra set of ears and eyes on the pups. Always exciting to have puppies but an amazing amount of work.
My first show back in months and I entered Chattanooga. Winona was in the 9-12 month puppy class on Saturday. This worked out great considering there was a 3 point major for her first show. She won her class so she got to go back in for Winners Bitch. Since we were the youngest class entry we went back in the ring last. What a great first experince with no pressure.
Chattanooga is an easy drive and a friend joined me for a nice weekend back. I am looking forward to showing my girl in the next few months. I do regret not having all the fun puppy classes to show her in as covid caused the cancelation of many shows.
The following weekend I drove to Griffin, Georgia for a match. Punch was entered in the obedience match as we had a trial in October. She did a nice job outside on the grass. She qualified and I felt she was ready to show. The Griffin Georgia Kennel Club did a nice job with the match and I am so glad I got to go and spend time with such nice people while enjoying the perfect fall weather.
I had Winona entered in conformation where she was the only labrador puppy. She was of course best of breed and went back in for the sporting group where she took first place! Back in the ring for the third time for best in match, it was well worth the $5 entry for all the ring time.
Another beautiful fall weekend. Perfect for an obedience trial as we had to wait outside until our ring time. This was my first indoor activity since covid. The Decatur club did a great job as I felt very safe. Punch was ready and I was very pleased with her heeling. Heeling is not something I enjoy training or practicing. I would much rather teach scent articles. On Sat. Punch decided to follow the judge after her stand for exam so she got an non-qualifying score.
Sunday morning before I left home I had my husband help us practice the stand for exam. It must have worked as Punch managed to qualify with a score of 192 1/2 and a second place.
I fell in love with this puppy within days of meeting her. She was the black girl with the big fat tail. I had my heart set on a black boy but there was only one boy and he was yellow. So I had three black girls to choose from and the girl with the lime collar was it.
She grew fast and soon it was obvious she was the bigger of the three. I was always trying to stay detached. What if she didn’t turn out to be the show performance puppy I was hoping for out of my Eddy and Punch litter. I remember at one point telling her that she had better step it up. I did not want a puppy lacking in energy or drive. And she did step it up. The first time I introduced the puppies to a duck, she was the first to pick it up. I loved her structure and temperament. She had the rear drive I was looking for in this litter.
Once we evaluated the litter and I knew she was mine I started puppy training. Nothing serious, all positive with lots of treats. She started catching on fast. Once she learned sit, there was no looking back. I brought out some of the puppy equipment for agility, a low table, the buja board and my clicker.
We were going to Georgia in March for a puppy match and Punch was going along for an obedience match. I had Winona entered in the Beginner Puppy Class at the Birmingham Kennel Club show in April. She had even gone to a few of the puppy classes at the BKC. Then on March 13 things changed. Soon all the matches and shows were being canceled.
But I kept training like I always have. I don’t know what I would have done these last few months without the dogs to train. Events are just icing on the cake. But AKC decided they would do a pilot program for their trick dog titles. Simple, video your dog performing ten tricks, then send the video to an AKC evaluator.
With all that I had been teaching Winona we had what qualified as ten tricks. So I set up the video camera and figured out where to place it in order to video all of her tricks. Then we went outside, performed our ten tricks and Win got her Trick Dog Novice title at six months.
(This post was written on or about Feb 22. I did not get it edited or posted, when I reread it I thought it should be posted so here it is June 8)
Last Monday the puppies were 15 weeks old. They went for their last set of shots which included rabies. They are now free to go out into the world and explore; hopefully safe from most diseases that we know are a threat. Puppies weighed in at about 28 pounds.
We now have a set routine with the big dogs in rotation. It makes it easier to get everyone fed, out to potty and play. The puppies are doing great with crate training. Winona now sleeps at night in a soft-sided crate. Hopefully that will carry on over to the shows and trials. The housebreaking has gone better than expected with all of the rain we have had in the last few weeks and more expected tomorrow. Winona seemed to catch on first. We have a doggy door and they have all learned to use it. Last week was great as we only had an accident or two.
Labs and rain. With labs wet conditions don’t seem to matter. It is great coming home to the pups warm and dry in their crates and then letting them out, watching them scatter to find just the right spot. The only problem is when they stay out to play and came back soaking wet. I have become the queen of the mop.
I remember once at a hunt test with Ezra, a storm was moving in fast as you could watch the black clouds pushing east. We ended up being the last dog to run before the judges called it and the rain came down in torrents. As we walked to the line the thunder and lighting was alarming. Ezra was oblivious as he was focused on his birds. We ended up qualifying that day. Labs are like that; just don’t expect that same love for a bath.
Since all pups were good to go we loaded them all up and headed to the park. Each one got their turn to get out and about, meet new dogs and people,hear new noises and enjoy the sunshine. They all did great on leash. Winona even got to practice her down and back for her upcoming match.
I still have two black girls available. They are 13 weeks old, have had their third set of shots and are now on heartworm prevention. They are great little travelers having been to Texas and back. They took everything in stride including stopping for the night due to thunderstorm and tornado warning. They are continuing with their crate, leash and basic obedience training. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 512-743-8456 or 205-685-1130 if interested.
The girl on the left I call Bonus, she was the white collar girl and on the right was the yellow collar girl hence the name Daffodil. Both girls are active and playful.
I kept the bigger black girl with the lime collar. Her name is now Wintercamp Gaiety Black Canvas aka Winona or Win for short. She has been such a good girl. So easy to crate train. We have been working on obedience and agility, still trying to get her to follow her mom through the big, scary dark tunnel. I plan to show her in the 4-6 month puppy class at the Birmingham Kennel Club dog show in April.
I have been thinking lately how much energy I have and time to do housework and or puppywork. I have not traveled out of town since Punch was bred except for my short trip to Texas to drop off puppies. I think all the packing during the week, unpacking on Sunday and then washing and repacking for the next weekend was more work that I had thought. Though I do love to travel and compete with my dogs, this break has been nice. It was filled with lots of puppy time. I have entered Punch in several agility trials this spring and plan to go to Deep South Agility trial over spring break.
I have gotten back to rally and obedience training with Punch. I am hoping she will be ready for the obedience ring this spring or summer. Between Christmas, puppies and a trip to Texas I haven’t had time to post. I am hoping to get pack on track with posting on a regular schedule.
What could be more cheerful than watching puppies playing and listening to Christmas music? I keep the puppies in my Rover Enclosure which I have configured in a four by eight foot area. They stay safe in there when I can’t watch them. After they eat I turn them out into the room to play. They learned where I opened the enclosure to let them out. So now as soon as they finish eating the will gather at the gate, excited to get out to play. As you can see they play hard. Then as they fall off to sleep I return them to the Rover Enclosure. After a nice nap they are ready to do it all over again.
The little black girl, I call Bonus, was escaping from the whelping box quite frequently. I thought maybe she had used one of her littermates as a step stool. Then she started getting back in. Then the black collar girl was escaping so I figured it was time to move them. I set up the puppy pen in the dog room ready for the big move.
What a surprise when a dear friend of mine from Atlanta showed up and helped me. We got all of the pups settled in to their new digs. I think they really enjoy having more room. When I can watch them I turn them out to play. What fun it is watching them.
The first few weeks the yellow girls turned on their personalities and really had me entertained with barking, running and playing. Then the black girls stepped up and became the stars with shining personalities. Today they were all on a roll. The little boy has been the same sweet little guy fighting off his sisters that constantly want to play. It has been fun watching all the changes. This video is the first time they got to play outside the puppy pen on Sat.
Last week was the Montgomery Alabama Dog Obedience Club agility trial. It has been many years since I have missed it. One of the last trials of the year. But I am happy to be at home with Punch and all the puppies. So what do you do when you can’t go to an agility trial. Take puppy pictures. The little boy was so sweet and sat for his photos. The black girl not so much. It is hard to get photos of a pup in motion but my husband was a pretty good puppy wrangler.
Happy Thanksgiving. Puppies are doing well. On Monday I decided I would try the puppies on real food. I mixed soaked puppy food and a little goats milk to make a fine gruel. They all took to it right away. Yesterday I switched them over to the big saucer as they are eating more. In the first video they are busy eating. In the second video they spy mom patiently waiting to clean up the mess.
I am off work this week so I have enjoyed spending all this time with the puppies as they are growing fast. Yesterday I made an appointment for shots/microchip and another appointment to get their eyes checked. Hard to believe they will be heading to new homes after Christmas. As each week passes they are more fun. When I sit with them they will crawl up on me. And they are so sweet to hold.
After dinner today the grandkids are coming to socialize puppies. Maybe next week I will start setting up a play area if they seem ready. They are starting to play with each other. They are upstairs to hear the TV, pots banging, vacuuming humming. If we are lucky enough to have warm weather before Christmas they may take their first adventure outside.
Eyes have opened. The pups are now barking and growling as they try to play with each other. They will come to the side of the whelping box when they see me or mom approach. Still not steady on their feet, they are more active. Their personalities are starting to emerge. I took the heating pad out since they seem to be warm enough. They sleep all spread out instead of all piled on top of each other trying to get warm. They are growing fast and I don’t know how long mom can keep all those little bellies full.