Surfari
Portuguese Water Dogs and Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Clicker training

If you have been watching the Puppy Culture videos, you know all about clicker training, charging the clicker, and manding. We have been working with the puppies for less than a week on manding, and they are doing great! Here is a video of some of the puppies working on their clicker training. Every puppy gets this workout once or twice a day.

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Outside!

The puppies are spending a lot of time outside these days. Four or more times a day. Here is a link to a video of Abbie leading her puppies around.

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We are beginning to encourage them to walk back and forth to and from their pen, but they aren’t convinced yet.

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Balls

The puppies had their first experience with the ball pit on Monday. Fun! Here is a link to the video. We hope you enjoy it.

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Video

We have been taking some video, and we will be posting a lot of content soon. To get you started, here are links to a couple:

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Puppy timelapse

Puppy visit wrap, plus...

On Saturday we had the second puppy visit, and it was a blast! Thanks to everyone who came, and special thanks to Julie Rust for dropping by.
The puppies have spent a lot of time outside this weekend, and they tried out the wading pool filled with balls!

Miss Orange says portraits are ready! Enjoy!

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Week 6

Whew! The puppies are really expressing themselves this week! Lots of outside time, with full-out running, leaping, wrestling and playing. We’ve posted some new pictures.

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Some updates:
  • Some families have asked about crates and x-pens. Here are some guidelines (also refer to this page so you don’t have to keep referring to the blog). A good size is a 30/36” length (these correspond to a “300” or “350” size crate). We suggest a crate by your bed for when puppy is learning how to sleep at night. Sometimes families try to make do with one crate, moving it back and forth, but we find that it is worth it to have at least two, and possibly three crates: sleep, living area/family room, and car. It is usually worth the $65 or so to not have to schlepp a crate up and down stairs! The gold standard of wire crates are Midwest or Precision Pet, but many other types are available — a quality crate will cost $50-100. Make sure you throw away any crate divider that may come with the crate!! Here are some representative links: Link1 Link2
  • X-Pens: It is best to wait to use an x-pen until puppy is potty trained (at least mostly), as the extra space allows him or her to use one side for potty. An x-pen should not be a substitute for keeping your eyes on the puppy at all times. Be prepared to clean up poop and pee if you use one early. An adult PWD needs 48” of height, but a puppy can get by with 36”. Here are some links: Link1 Link2
  • Food: We have been giving the puppies Fromm Lamb and Lentil (grain-free). Here is a picture of the bag. We will send your puppy home with enough of this to get you started, and/or enable you to switch to another quality food (remember, NO PUPPY KIBBLE! It has too much protein and can cause growth and stomach issues in your puppy!).
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Puppy Visit wrap up

We had such a nice day visiting with families on Saturday! The puppies were wiped out from all the playing. They have spent today playing and sleeping (and eating), and seem to be totally recovered. Tonight we sent a number of videos to YouTube. We hope you enjoy them!

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Crazy puppies

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5 Week Portraits...

…Are up! Enjoy!

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Outside outside!

Today the puppies went outside for the first time. We set up an area on the back porch, where they have a lot of room to run around. The first time the puppies go outside is usually pretty underwhelming. They know it is something totally new and need time to take it all in. Before too long they will be running around like maniacs outside. They have already begun the puppy crazies in their pen indoors (see the video!).

A lot of new photos today, taken both inside and out. Enjoy. Tomorrow the puppies will have their first kibble, soaked overnight to make it nice and soft. Oh, and they are getting their teeth now, too. Sharp little things, as Abbie and our ankles can attest.

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Another day, another nap.

Right now the puppies are spending about equal times playing hard, eating a lot, sleeping hard, and, well, pottying. Tonight we opened up the potty area to the side of the pen, and the puppies should take the hint and start using that more and more.

Puppy party Saturday (and next Saturday!) at 11:00 AM. Can’t wait to meet everyone!


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Weekend update

Somehow it always turns out that the weekends are busier than the week! There is a lot of news. The puppies are now on a very robust feeding schedule: 6 AM, noon, 6 PM and a snack at 10:00 PM. Abbie is 100% in charge at night now, so Mike and Lynn can sleep in their own bed.

The puppies had a lot of visitors this weekend, especially on Sunday. A friend brought her granddaughters, and two pre-veterinary students from Pacific came to spend some time and learn about raising puppies. They were exhausted after it was all over!

We decided to move weekly portraits to mid-week; this is partly because it seems like we have more time then, and partly to give a full week after last week’s delay. Look for new portraits on Wednesday evening.

If you have been watching Puppy Culture videos, you have learned about clicker training. The puppies have begun this too. The puppies will work to charge up the clicker, and begin to be trained to mand. We are excited to do this, and it will also let us have some one-on-one time with each puppy. If you haven’t purchased puppy culture yet, do so through this link, as it helps our friend Julie Rust (she is an affiliate).

Finally, we once again seem to be having some issues with direct video links to the blog. Remember to check the YouTube library to see what has been uploaded. Today we have a video of Abbie stand-up nursing. We have also posted a few more pictures in Week 4. Enjoy!

Here Mike is playing with the puppies. The hat is to give the puppies a new thing to experience. You don’t want your puppy to be started by someone just because they are wearing a hat!

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Real food for real puppies

The puppies are getting a lot of new food now: hamburger balls twice a day, and goat milk + cereal for breakfast and dinner. Each puppy gets 15 grams of hamburger at a time, and all together they get three cups of goat milk plus rice cereal. The milk and cereal is messy, but they love it, and Abbie cleans up the leftovers.

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The big house

Today we moved the puppies into the large pen. It gives them about 40 square feet to move around in, with a separate potty area. They are already running around and using the whole space. We have also started them on goat milk and rice cereal twice a day, and hamburger balls too. Although it can be messy, it helps them get more food, and takes a lot of pressure off of Abbie.

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Yay! Three Week Portraits!

We have finally finished the official 3 Week portraits. Find them here.

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A little behind...

We are going to be a day late with weekly portraits. You would think the weekend gives us enough time to do this, but that didn’t work out this weekend! We will get the portraits up late Monday or overnight.

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Nail Grinding

Puppy nails are sharp and they grow quickly! Grinding the puppy nails regularly helps protect Abbie from getting scratched, and it also acclimates them to the process. If you keep up with grinding when they get home, by the age of six months they will be used to it forever. It is one little thing that helps make a bomb-proof puppy and adult dog. There are some caveats: puppies get a different grinder and a slower speed, and only a few seconds at a time. Willie’s nails are much stronger, so they require a more robust grinder and a higher speed.
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Weekly Video

Every week from now on we will make a short video presenting each puppy in turn. This way you can see how they grow, and a little bit of their personalities. Here is the first one. The puppies are 21 days old.
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Midnight

don’t know what it is, but the puppies always get riled up about midnight. At this point, the puppies are becoming aware of each other and are becoming interested in playing. They are also testing their drive and suspension systems, and really notice the people in the house. It is a fun time.

The puppies also had their first real baths today. The baths will become more frequent as they start eating food from bowls.
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Real Food

Today the puppies had goats milk out of the puppy dish, and soon they will get some hamburger and rice cereal to fill up their tummies.
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Another milestone

This morning the puppies had their first snack of goat’s milk out of the puppy feeding dish. They all went right at it and ended up with milk baths. They are all sleeping it off now. There is video here.

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Moving up, moving out

Today was a big day, as the puppies moved out of the whelping room into the family room! To begin with, we moved their whelping box, so they can get used to the new environment and still have familiar surroundings. This gets Abbie used to having the puppies out of the more secure confines too. After the weekend, we will set up the large pen for the puppies, and they will get successively more space to move around in.

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Wavies and curlies: Adults

Adding to the earlier post, we wanted to show what wavies and curlies look like as adults.

This is Frankie, a curly female.
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This is Avery (Frankie’s mother), a wavy female.
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Here is the sire of the litter, Pompey. He is a wavy.
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Finally, here is momma Abbie. She is of course a curly.
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Wavies and curlies

Families have asked us how we know whether a puppy is wavy or curly? While we cannot be 100% sure until the puppy is more mature — at least it’s first grooming at around 5 weeks — it is often pretty clear. Wavies are easier to see than curlies, as what appears to be curly can present later as a wavy with a lot of body. Usually the best place to look is the head.

Here we have Miss Hot Pink. Definitely a wavy.
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Next, Red. He is a definite curly. You can see the wave or nap in his head.
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Here is Yellow. What do you think? Wavy.
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Teal. He is a curly.
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Here is Baby Blue. What do you think? We are not 100% sure, but we believe she is a curly.
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Catching up

We have been away a couple days. Things are going well. The puppies’ eyes are all open, and we believe the ears are starting to show some signs of life too. Abbie is eating 6-8 meals a day just to keep up production. This is the hardest time on her, as the puppies are eating a lot. They nurse about every 4-5 hours now, although Abbie might give them a snack in between.

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Weekly Portraits

Portraits are here! Enjoy.

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Diving

We are getting ready for Sunday portraits. While you wait, watch this video, featuring Ms. Orange
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Peepers

Eyes are opening! This is a big step in the puppy’s lives as their sensory input will really increase. After their eyes open, it still takes a week or so before they can see somewhat clearly. This gives them a chance to get used to the new sensations.

Abbie was able to play some fetch today. After her morning breakfast and exercise, she also had a bath. She was beginning to smell a little too much like a bunch of puppies!

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Blog issues

We are currently having issues publishing the blog. It feels like the links to the YouTube videos may be the problem. You can always visit the videos directly through this link.

Mobility

The puppies are already starting to cruise around the whelping box. Some of the larger puppies are able to pull themselves out of the holding box we use to separate groups of puppies. What we are beginning to see is the stronger puppies stand up on all fours and test their strength by rocking back and forth a few times before they collapse. It won’t be too long now until they are actually walking like drunken sailors!

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Abbie catches some rest while nursing her puppies.

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Portraits are here!

Week 1 portraits are posted! Find them here.

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Portraits

We take nice portraits of the puppies at the end of each week. With this litter, that conveniently falls on the weekend (Sunday). Look for these portraits each Sunday.

ENS

We love Puppy Culture and use their guidelines to help with our puppy development. Early neurological stimulation (ENS) is something that we do, starting day 3 of the puppy’s lives. Here is a video of Mike performing the early ENS exercises on a puppy.


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Video of the puppies nursing.

Bath

Abbie likes to keep her puppies clean! The puppies cannot pee or poop on their own — they must be stimulated. We help as much as possible, but Abbie is always busy making sure the puppies do their business!

We're pooped!

It’s been a busy first few days, and things have gone fairly smoothly. Abbie’s milk has started to come in, and one of the things we have to do is supplement her with calcium. Thankfully, Abbie has been chewing up the liver-flavored calcium supplements that we have. She gets two or three of these up to every hour or so the first few days.

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Mothering

Abbie is a great mom. She is very careful with her puppies, already quite aware of where they are. Often at this stage, puppies can get laid on because mom is exhausted and the puppies are so small and may not be vocal yet. Abbie always knows just where they are, and carefully slides herself around the whelping box when she wants to nurse. She uses her muzzle and front paws to gently move the puppies out of her way.

Routine

During this first couple days, the puppies are getting colostrum from Abbie, which both nourishes them and supplies them with vital antibodies that will protect them. There is a very short window of time that their bodies will be able to absorb the colostrum, so it is critical that they latch on early and get as much of it as they can. After the first few days, Abbie will begin producing regular breast milk, which will supply the puppies until we start them on some solid food at 3 to 4 weeks old.

Welcome to the puppies!

Abbie whelped 13 puppies over the course of 22 hours starting 4:00 PM on Sunday. That’s a lot! This was not 22 hours straight labor. After the first four, the remaining puppies had to reposition themselves lower in the birth canal, and that took about three hours. Then Abbie delivered these, and so on down the line. The final count: 8 girls, 5 boys, with a nice mix of wavies and curlies, and a lot of “color” (white). Here is the breakdown, in order of whelp:
  • Miss Hot Pink (black with white, wavy)
  • Miss Orange (black wavy)
  • Mr. Teal Blue (black with white, curly)
  • Miss Pink (black and white Irish marked curly)
  • Miss Baby Blue (Irish marked curly)
  • Miss Yellow (black wavy)
  • Miss Purple (black wavy)
  • Mr. Green (black wavy)
  • Miss Gold (Irish marked curly)
  • Mr. Dark Blue (black wavy(?)) – sometimes it can be hard to tell!
  • Mr. Red (black curly)
  • Mr. Brown (Irish marked wavy)
  • Miss White (Black wavy)

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Puppies!

We are currently in the midst of whelping puppies! Everyone is doing fine, and we will post an update as soon as we can.

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Here is how Abbie looks today. Only a few more days before we can see the puppies!


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Day 56

It was a beautiful day today, so Abbie decided to sit in the sun with her beloved orange ball.


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Day 55

Abbie is getting bigger and bigger! Today she went for a quick swim in the sunshine. Meanwhile, we finished preparing the whelping room. Normally, all the dogs sleep in this room in their crates. Until the puppies are moved out into the large pen, the dogs will sleep in their crates in the guest house.

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Day 50

Abbie still insists on making sure the yard is squirrel-free.

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Abbie today

Day 46. Less than 20 days to go!

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Welcome!