We’ve been getting texts, pictures and emails since the pups went home, all with good reports. We miss those sweet pups a bit, but feels so good to know they are all in loving homes and adjusting well! Here are a handful of the pictures and messages that we’ve received.
March 20, 2020 – All of the pups have left us and we are enjoying quieter times here, having successfully raised another litter to go on to a great life! Ahhhhh. The families have been sending great reports and we’re hearing good news of the pups doing very well at adjusting. We’ll post pictures soon as they come in! Due to social distancing, we did not bring families in for pictures with the pups this time. We’re thankful for each family that trusted us and chose us for their adoption. Because of all of them, we are happy to say this large litter allows us to give $3,600.00 to Amazima Ministries to support the kids in greatest need. Food, shelter, health services and education will be available to more kids because of these pups. Thank you to all of our great families that now have pups at home to love and snuggle during this difficult season we’re in! xo from all of us here in the Valley Vineyard Family!
March 13, 2020 – We did temperament testing and just finished the scoring. All of the pups did great! Temperament testing really just confirms what we already think and ensures, in our minds, that we haven’t missed anything in building confidence and human connection in these pups.
In addition to human socialization and confidence, we also test for intelligence, tracking, affection and submissiveness. All the work we do is to build so much confidence in each pup that they hopefully, will never have anxiety issues. Anxiety issues are what causes bad temperaments, excessive barking, destructive adult behaviors and even biting and aggression. The pups will go through additional fear stages during the upcoming months, but they are ready. As long as their humans continue to provide lots of love and positive reinforcement, protecting them from trauma (supervise them with young children!), they will be wonderful companions for life.
In socialization, every single pup scored a “3” which says, “The pup is outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environments.
Husky, Harmonious and Hazy aren’t as interested in retrieving at this point. All of the other pups did. They may grow into that. (Some of our labradoodles just don’t retrieve, they’d rather stay nearby and just look at us when we throw the ball or stick.)
In following and tracking, all the pups scored great.
In dominance, only Hippy scored slightly more dominant than the others. Hippy was the largest in the litter until recently, that tends to build extra confidence in a pup, and she is a pack leader. Perhaps alpha. It appears that Hammy is least dominant. Husky and Honey appear the least dominant at this age. They will continue to change and develop differently with their new environments.
In intelligence, all pups seem equal. Sizing makes a difference in some of the scoring on this. The bigger ones tend to lead and teach the others. But overall, they all picked up on sitting, litter box training, investigating, etc. the same. As they separate from the pack, each pup will grow in this as they learn to be independent of each other. Their new pack leaders will be their humans. As you’ve probably heard, this is an intelligent breed!
March 12, 2020 – Today the pups had their final vet appointment for exams, vaccinations and to have their nails trimmed. They all did great through the whole thing. They were super quiet in their crates for hours through the drive and the waiting time. Nobody got car sick. Nobody fussed getting nails trimmed or cried at the vet. And the vet gave a good report on every pup! We know everyone is interested in their weights this week, so here they are:
Handy 6.8 lbs., Hazy 6.7 lbs., Harmonious 6.2 lbs., Husky 8.2 lbs., Humble 6.6 lbs., Hippy 7.5 lbs., Hairy 6.8 lbs., Hardy 5.9 lbs., Hunky 5.6 lbs., Hefty 8.0 lbs., Honey 5.9 lbs., Hammy 8.3 lbs..
As you can see, the biggest in the litter are Husky, Hippy, Hefty and Hammy. We believe those four will take after mama Hazel and grow to be 45-50 lbs., while the smallest pups (Hardy, Hunky, Honey) will probably be close to Gunner’s size (30 lbs.) and we are guessing that those pups in the middle (Harmonious, Hazy, Handy, Humble and Hairy will grow to be around 40 lbs..
March 11, 2020 – Hard to believe it’s been seven weeks since we helped bring these pups into the world. They’ve come so far! We love each of them and it seems family, staff, and visitors all have different favorites. We don’t know how people are going to choose! They are all wonderful and all have perfect coats and great temperaments.
We’ll post current weights after their final vet appointments tomorrow and we’ll do temperament testing on Friday morning and post the results as soon as they’re complete, before puppy selections. Typically, we find that the pups almost always score very similarly in every litter. We think this is due to all of the conditioning that we do with each puppy starting at four days old. They will be tested on intelligence, submissiveness, confidence and playfulness. We are not seeing any pups that have a different energy level then the rest. All are the same: they have their playful bursts of energy and they chase and play, but all settle down in our arms immediately when picked up. This is what we expected and exactly as we like. We’ve been working on daily crate time for the past week or two. They still cry in the crate, but typically, they are settling down within a few minutes. We don’t give them any attention or even look at them until they have quieted. We don’t want to reward whining. That only delays the process of crate training. And crate training is so important for their development.
The pups all track us, watching us closely – another sign of their connections to humans and what makes them great service and therapy dogs. As they develop, their loyalty will only strengthen and they will stay close and follow their humans around the house. I have three furry companions that are always trailing behind me as I transition from one activity to the next here. I love that! Today they had lots of play time, baths and then it was time for photos. They will sleep well this afternoon after their lunch. Here they are!
March 4, 2020 – Today the puppies are six weeks old! We are working hard now on crate training and giving each of them alone time away from the pack. Mama is separating from them more and more and our hard work now is building confidence away from their litter, bringing them alone out of the puppy room to the rest of the house, and challenging them in being able to be independent of their siblings. They cry in a crate alone, but we are seeing a little progress each day.
The pups seem unfazed by any loud noises, and sleep right through the scariest of sounds. We took some quick group photos and we’ll post a video of them playing today. And just for the record, Hardy is a girl. Not a boy. At birth, an umbilical cord can look very much like something else. 🙂 So she was labeled a boy at birth, in my fatigue, and none of us ever looked to verify. Geez. So there you go. We have five girls and seven boys. Below are the weights from last week, and we’ll post more current weights from their vet appointment next week. But you can see basic size differences and that won’t change much at this point.
Handy 3.0 lbs., Hazy 3.6 lbs., Harmonious 3.6 lbs., Husky 4.0 lbs, Humble 2.4 lbs, Hippy 4.4 lbs., Hairy 3.4 lbs, Hardy 2.6 lbs., Hunky 3.8 lbs., Hefty 2.6 lbs., Honey 2.6 lbs., Hammy 4.0 lbs.
March 3, 2020 – Today we received a note and a picture from one of the families that bought a pup from Hazel’s and Gunner’s 2019 litter. Just thought you might like to see. All of their pups, as far as we know, have coats like this – just gorgeous color and texture. Tomorrow we hope to get some video and new pictures posted of our cutie pies that are turning six weeks old tomorrow!
February 26, 2020 – At five weeks old, all of the pups seem to be extremely conditioned to noise, new people, and they really love humans. They have playtime once or twice a day outside of the pen now where we introduce them to new experiences and stimuli. They are growing in confidence daily and nothing seems to startle them anymore. Fireworks, sirens, thunder, vacuums, blow dryers, motorcycle sounds, etc. don’t seem to effect them. The fear stage will set in during the next week or two and we feel we’ve introduced them to so many “scary” things already that we know they will do fine.
They are eating mushy kibble now three times a day, as we are seeing teeth and mama is starting to back off. She doesn’t like getting bit, so the natural process of weaning the pups is happening here. Over the next couple of weeks, the pup’s coats will start filling in more and we’ll start to see more curl. We are pleased in every way with this litter! They are all wonderful pups, each and every one of them. Size differences are really apparent now, and maybe you can see that by the pictures. We can see for example that Hippy will be close to mama’s size, while Honey and will probably grow to more like 30 lbs. like dad. At seven weeks of age, we’ll post individual pictures along with weights so sizes can be known for making selection choices.
Here they are at five weeks. They were so calm and sat nicely for their pictures!
February 19, 2020 – Time is going so fast at our house! Pups are four weeks old today and doing great. They are slurping (loudly) puppy formula with supplements twice a day to give mama a break and to keep them well nourished. Twelve pups is a lot and often with a litter this size, pups aren’t as plump (they always catch up!) They’ll start on mushy kibble this weekend. Today we had fun taking group pictures. So excited to post them! Don’t ask us who’s who…. they all still look alike, especially when they’re in a big group or moving around the pen. We track them by collar colors. Surely, we’ll memorize who is who (we hope) by the time they leave us. They are all adorable. They come over to us now and make eye contact. They are loving and engaging with all the humans that care for them and they’re well on their way to being so socialized. They’re gaining confidence more and more as we work with them. Here they are!
Here’s just the girls:
And here are the boys:
That’s a wrap!
February 11, 2020 – Hazel’s puppies are almost three weeks old so it time to post some individual pictures so you can finally see who’s who. They are getting cuter every day! They have amazing puppy breath, they love being held and their temperaments are already forming through the conditioning we are doing. We completed the bio-sensor program, and amazingly, they are already so non-reactive. If we hold them upside down (one of the bio-sensor steps), they don’t even seem to care. This week they are more engaging with us and with each other. Today they started to wrestle. It won’t be long before they can hear, start eating mushy kibble and learn to use a litter box in their pen. It’s been a few months and it’s fun for all of us to have puppies in the house again! Here they are…..
February 7, 2020 – Here are some more pictures to show the puppies at two weeks old. They are getting around a lot more today and they are becoming more alert. The real fun is about to begin! We are excited. We’ll post individual pictures of each puppy next week at three weeks old.
February 4, 2020 – The pups are doing very well! They’ve gained a lot of weight and they continue get stronger each day. Mama is so patient to make sure they all get their share of food and she stays nearby at all times. The room is really quiet all day; they still mostly just eat and sleep. They are well into their Bio-sensor conditioning that we do with them daily. They’ve had a couple of baths already and they are massaged and snuggled by human hands daily. We see their progress as we can tell that they love being held now. They’re very different than how they were when we started holding them at day three.
The exciting news today is that several of them opened their eyes and we’ve seen a few of them getting up and walking (wobbling!) around the pen. It’s been almost four months since we’ve had puppies here and we’re so ready to see them up and about and playing in the play area. It won’t be long now! (We’ve posted a video of them on Instagram so be sure to check it out.)
Here they are at almost two weeks old. (I think we’re going to have a really hard time telling these pups apart. Good thing they all have colored collars!)
January 29, 2020 – Hazel is doing very well and she has been a wonderful mama. She’s super attentive to them round the clock and it even takes effort to get her to leave them so she can go potty outside. She’s made our job easier as we watch her care for her babies.
We weigh the pups regularly to make sure all of them are gaining weight as they should. As expected with a litter this size, we have been supplementing their food supply by tube feeding them once or twice a day to make sure all of them are getting all the nutrition they need. There’s been no worries at all, since we’ve continued to see them thrive. Some are smaller than others of course, because mama and sire are different sizes. We suspect the smaller pups will continue smaller, making it clear as weeks go by, that they carry dad’s DNA (he is only 30 lbs.)
Here are some pictures we took today to show the litter at one week old. Their eyes won’t open for another week and they won’t hear until about three weeks old. But we can reach them through touch, and that is our focus. We started the bio-sensor program at day four, and do five steps on each pup daily to stimulate them neurologically. We are also massaging them daily to help them become very comfortable with human touch. Each day we see the progress. Each week is critical in the steps we do, and week one has been a success.
We limit anyone going into Hazel’s room, because mama has to learn to trust us with her babies. We did have one student volunteer come to the house today to hold puppies and we watched Hazel learn to trust her. If mama gets nervous, the risk is that she will lay on her babies thinking she is protecting them. As you can see in the pictures, we haven’t put down bedding yet. This is necessary with larger mamas, the floor of the pen must be bare to allow pups the ease of scooting away so less chance of mama laying on them or them getting tangled in blankets. In a week or so, we’ll add bedding to the pen. We will post on this blog about once a week to keep everyone updated. Individual puppy pictures will be posted starting at three weeks old.
January 22, 2020 – Hazel still wasn’t in labor as of this morning so we took her to the vet, and it was agreed that it was time for the pups to come out! Pups were clearly ready, and so Hazel had a c-section and twelve puppies (eight boys, four girls) were delivered! We are very excited. They are all beautiful shades of red/caramel and are all nursing and thriving. All of the puppies have good weights ranging between 10-13 ounces.
Mama is very tired and is sleeping as they nurse. We are monitoring pups closely (as we always do the first few days) to make sure pups are rotated and all getting fed. All of the pups latched on quickly to mama today and look healthy!