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MinasView Labrador Retrievers

Puppy Diary

Puppy Diary

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part two tips

Posted by minasviewkennels on April 12, 2016 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

So, if you read the previous entry, i thought i might share some tips.....I blogged for an hour straight and then pressed DELETE instead of publish.....

my tips on feeding:When puppies leave minasview they are receiving three meals per day of moistened puppy kibble (eukanuba large breed puppy), they share four bowls at this stage which helps them be competitive at the food source while not being overly protective of food. We suggest you continue three meals per day if possible until your puppys tummy is big enough to digest the daily ration in two meals. As your puppy grows refer to the back of food bag to adjust the daily requirements. We also encourage you to maintain a schedule as to when and where puppies are fed, only allow your pup a set time to eat (this will vary according to individual pups but 10 mins is reasonable), this will let them know that food is only available Now, when your late for work in the morning you dont want to have to wait for puppy to leisurely finish his breakfast, and never leave food out for puppy to graze....this will slow down housebreaking (puppy will be running on a full tank) and at the beginning its the owner who needs to be aware of the times puppy will need to go out (usually right after eating) leaving food out at all times will also encourage obesity which is so bad for a lab, they have a bottomless pit and will eat everything provided....which leads me into my next tip, as you begin training basic commands such as sit and wait, have your pup sit before giving him the food, make eye contact and only on your command should he be allowed to chow down, this will be a safety measure for you, as not all things that land on the kitchen floor should be consumed by dogs- some human foods are very toxic, teach your pup to wait...

my tip on crate training; Just do it! 25 years ago when Bruce and I purchased our first puppy (eeekkk from a pet store) we didnt have anyone to encourage us to DO IT, that dog chewed through our brand new house, jumped on anyone who dared ring the doorbell, and was constantly being scolded....i now realize we were the ones who needed scolding, we failed to provide a puppy with boundries, limits and the security of a den. Crate training is not easy, but it is rewarding, at first the puppy will cry, whine, howl and bark to be let out (its because they love your companionship so much) but like all toddlers they need safety- we suggest a small crate to begin with, it should be where the hub of activity is in the household (you want them to be accustomed to noise), when they begin to show signs of restlessness and have had sufficient play/exercise (which isnt very long for a new pup) put them in the crate, a favorite chew toy reserved for crate time is consistant and dont give up, one night at about 12 weeks old that same pup that fussed about going in will decide its bedtime and just go in on his own and fall asleep (this of course will make you feel like the proudest new puppy owner in the world and you share this huge accomplishment)

my tip on being a pack member: Socializing your pup is one of the most important aspects of raising a good dog! Many communities offer puppy socialization classes, and if there is one near you take advantage of the oppurtunity to meet new puppy families, the classes give your pup a time to not only meet other dogs, but people too! To a puppy we are a strange breed- millions of different smells, some people are short, others tall, hairless humans and humans in hats, some walk while others appear to move via wheels- expose your pup to all new expeiriences and people, so that taking them out in public is something to look forward to. At home set boundries, its important that puppy knows that they are not the leader, if you do not set boundries they may want to take over the pack and become dominant...snuggling a puppy on your lap is wonderful, an 85lb lab sitting on your lap, while your having a coffee....not so wonderful, but if that 85 lb lab is sitting on your feet while you have a coffee...right back to wonderful! In our home we "invite" the dogs to share a spot on the couch, they are scolded if they jump up uninvited, usually Raven stares me down until i say "okay!" 

My tip regarding "outside": When your puppy goes home," going outside "should mean- time to pee (or poop), so as soon as your pup does his buisness, scoop him up and come back inside, after a week and housebreaking is going splended going outside can be to play as well. Puppies are very curious and will want to explore the big world outside, but dont confuse them at first, pee outside, explore inside (vise versa is no fun at all). Be aware of everything pup gets into outside, dirt, plants and rocks are all seen as edible to a pup. Actually going out the door should also be a training lesson for your pup, never let pup go out the door ahead of you...puppy should sit, and be trained to remain sitting until you cross the threshold and give the okay command, this tip saves lives, most puppies who go missing or are hit by cars have bolted out an open door without a leash on, again this lesson can be taught with basic commands sit and wait.

Preparing for new homes

Posted by minasviewkennels on April 12, 2016 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the stage that I begin to reflect why I chose to become a breeder of Labrador desire to produce healthy, well behaved best friends for other families was sparked by Hershey, when we adopted her it was because we wanted a puppy and a companion for our aging German Sheppard Chelsey. As Hershey passed the puppy stage and grew into a beautiful adult Labrador we knew she was special and could improve her breed by passing it on to her offspring, she was a wonderful mom right from the start, she taught us so much about how to care for puppies and be the best breeders we possibly could be. Hershey will be turning 15 this year, she retired from whelping at 6 years old and produced over 40 puppies before that time ( large litters- 15,13, 12, and 4 ) and without Hershey we would not have Raven ( who is my best friend, but don't tell lulu, Lucy or Bo!)

people often ask " how can you give the puppies away?" It's an easy answer for me, "they were never mine to begin with", each puppy is loved while they are with me, but I accept that this part of my heart is just "borrowed" and as I see each puppy leave to their new homes the part they borrowed becomes larger- I've begun to realize that they take my love and caring with them, and in return they give it to their new families, which means I've touched other peoples lives and hopefully enriched it. Of course I get empty nest syndrome when they have all left, but this is only short lived, my time and energy goes back into my forever canine family, and because our minasview families stay in touch, I don't grieve these pups, I look forward to watching them grow and bring joy to others.

i thought I might begin to write some tips for our new owners, but first I'd like to point out that all puppies are individuals, what worked for your other pup may not work for your newest addition, and that I am not an expert, however through expierience and sourcing plenty of information over the years have found some useful stuff to share.

my tip on feeding:

happy 5 week birthday puppies!

Posted by minasviewkennels on April 7, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I have no idea how the last five weeks have flown by so seems like just yesterday we were watching for signs of their arrival! The pups are growing quickly, the biggest pup is Rocky at 8 lbs 1 oz ! the smallest of course is Josie, who has passed the 4 lb mark at 4lbs 2 oz, what Josie lacks in size whe makes up in spirit...she loves the puppy kibble and devours it, this is where her small stature becomes a blessing because she is able to squeeze her way into every nook and cranny at the food bowls! All the other pups are between 6-7 lbs. Last night the puppies had baths and were microchipped for permanent Identification and a means of registering them all with CKC individually. Meals are three times a day now, and mom will nurse them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, the rest of the time Lulu is free to come and go from the litter, Bo and Lucy are enjoying the puppies now as well, Bo spends most of his time bathing them whereas Lucy tries to engage them to play with her,,,,this morning she kept bringing toys to them, she would drop the toy in front of them and as soon as they went for it she would snatch it back up and run away (watching to see it they took the bait). The big chocolate boys are laid back lazy pups, they play for a bit and then wander off to sleep in a corner, Josie expends most of her energy running away from the 3 black female puppies who love to attack her tail...(i try to not intervene because this is how puppies learn to defend themselves as well as learn "biting hurts") The black female with light pink collar (Heidi) remains very curious and independant, when i start scanning the room for each pup, she is usually off investigating her surroundings. The other two black females are always together, and work as a tag team, attacking the other pups and chasing tails. Molly has found the back door and seems to run quickly to it relieving herself.....tomorrow i hope she will do it on the other side of the door. Drake watches everything, he seems to sit and contemplate his next move, he is usually found in front of Bo's crate curiously watching how Bo disappears thru the doggie door and then returns. The pups have not expierienced the outside yet, we like to wait until the five week mark, they can handle the change to outdoor temperatures and fight off any germs they may pick up outside in the dirt...i have started conditioning the pups for their big trip outside by "ringing a dinner bell" every meal i rattle it when they are given food in hopes that they will associate the noise with good things to come...this way when i do start taking them outside for house breaking they will respond to the ringing and follow me back inside (chasing eight curious puppies to herd them in on a rainy day is not much fun). All the puppies are going to wonderful new homes, most have been able to come meet their puppies, allthough for a few the distance is too much, Molly and Rocky will be introduced to their new mom and dad this weekend, and i think its great how the new parents have gotten to watch them develop over the last 5 weeks through the internet!

Exploring the world

Posted by minasviewkennels on April 1, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

It's just after eight o'clock I the morning and I'm about to begin my kennel chores, the older dogs have been fed, out to do thier buisness and puppy food has been soaked for an hour. The pups now line up at the window of pen when they hear the food dishes clink, each one starts to whimper and whine " pick me, pick me!" They love meal times! The puppy mush is placed into four bowls and the eagerly gobble it up, they actually consume it now rather than roll in it as they first did. When the bowls are empty momma is required to clean their faces and eat any leftovers ( which there isn't much of) puppies then spend the next 20 minutes exploring the kennel room. Sophie seems to be our brave explorer, always going further away from the rest of the litter, smelling everything and barks at her reflection in the stainless steel wet vac. Josie also likes to roam and has been the first to wander into the big dogs crates, she is fearless! When the pups are tired out they go to a blanket on the floor to sleep (except for Drake and Rocky) they have staked claim to the little spot under the stair of whelping box, these two will probably like being crated/ having their own den. Hershey and Raven join Lulu and her puppies once the food has been takin away, Raven seems to love cuddling with the pups, and they attempt to nurse on her which she allows ( she actually has produced milk in the past- a wonderful foster mom, ready for hire) Lulu is quite happy to share the pups with Raven and Hershey, although she still has reservations about Bo and Lucy, I think she knows that they are in- experienced with pups and that their behavior is still unpredictable and puppyish. While the pups explore I get busy changing the shavings and sanitizing the pen. The puppies have began to play fight and bite each other's tails ( they have sharp little piranha teeth now) and an occasional yelp is heard, they will chew on some toys and roll a ball with their nose, they still have clumsy movements but by next weekend it will be a game of chase to get them back into the pen. Once the pups are fed and put back down in a clean bed it's time to vacuum up the shavings and dog hair followed by mopping ( I could mop all day right now with all the muddy paws coming in the kennel).Lulu looks good, sometimes the mom starts to look a bit haggard at this point and loses weight, as well as muscle tone....she has a balanced diet so I'm happy that she has not gotten thin, she is however "blowing her coat" because the milk production is so demanding of her momma dogs usually lose their coat ( the good news is when it grows back in it's even more beautiful then before) because of all this extra shedding the five older dogs need daily grooming ( I love my furminator) and they love it too, being combed is almost as good as a belly rub. By the time the morning chores are completed it's just about time to start soaking the dinner meal for pups.....the day seems to fly by right now and each hour of my day is accounted for, I do try to squeeze a bit of me time into it however. Evenings are my favorite time in the kennel room, there are less chores to do,therefore I get to sit on the floor and have puppies climb over me, I use this "quiet" puppy time to observe how they are interacting with each other and see the personalities that are emerging, it's also very calming for me, it's meditative because I am in the moment....not thinking about the next chore on the list, just being present in the life and development of a puppy.

Forth week in the life of a puppy

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 29, 2016 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Good morning friends of minasview, the puppies sure have been busy! The week between three and four seem to present new expieriences almost daily, the pups are now on two meals of puppy chow mixed with milk replacer (they love it) as soon as they hear the metal dishes clank the start howling! The baby blankets have been replaced with pine shavings ( pee puddles have expanded and I could not keep up with the laundry.... Shavings keep puppies clean and dry) the Easter bunny brought new toys and real collars ( ribbon colours are the same except for Molly, she now wears red) last evening the pups had their first big adventure exploring the kennel room, timid at first but once they got comfortable they explored every inch.... The chocolate pups were very interested in going over to paw and lick at the grown doggies ( who we had kennelled for this first expierience) it's very important to go slowly introducing all these "firsts" on pups, they are starting to imprint and we don't want timid scared puppies. The puppies have had a few outside visitors and mom seems to be very calm about it now ( of course she gives the obligatory bark, to say I'm the mama!). The next few weeks will fly by, this time next week pups should be eating four meals of puppy food, and beginning to house train ( let's hope weather is favourable so that I can have them going outside without bringing back eight mud pies). This week pups will be dewormed once again, expierience their first domesticated bath ( does not involve mothers tongue) nail clipping again, as well as microchipping. Lulu will continue to sleep with the pups until they are on four feedings, then we slowly reduce her food ration while increasing theirs to facilitate drying up the milk production and preventing mastitis. However we are very careful to still allow mom to teach them how to be good doggies, she will mold them into the dog they will become as much as we do with our human socialization, canines are pack animals that must have order, and lulu is a good leader.

Face book "We love minasview labs" group

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 24, 2016 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey, I've been struggling with uploading videos to this website.... Since puppies are becoming more active and I will be most likely taking videos, since still photos of moving objects are difficult, I've re activated an old Facebook page - group "we love minasview labs" it was originally intended for our puppy owners to be able to share pics of their minasview labs with other minasview families, by using social media. Today I posted a couple short videos- hope you enjoy!

Three weeks old

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, it's starting to get very busy here at minasview, puppies are heard barking and growling in the nursery, it's teething time so they have started to chew each other's tails and ears, walking is still an uncoordinated effort but momma is doing her part by standing to nurse them, this forces the puppies to strengthen their legs and stand to feed. Chores will double from this point on, now that puppies can eliminate without their mothers stimulation, she is not as quick to keep all eight babies bathed and the nest spotless- this is where I step in, I go through approximately eight newspapers and six blankets daily right now, sanitizing and changing the pen three times a day. Once the pups are more coordinated in their travels I will switch from blankets to shavings, the pine shavings not only absorbs the wetness keeping puppies dry, it helps to prevent them from stepping in someone else's little messes, also helping to keep them clean. Momma doesn't like to sleep or nurse in the shavings so this all happens simultaneously with the weaning process, she usually chooses to feed them right after her own meals, which is now five times per day. Today I will introduce the first meal of puppy gruel, most will roll in it and then allow the other pups to lick it from their fur ( first feeding is a very messy ordeal!) Socialization has begun, a couple close family and friends have now visited and this is a great way to test that Lulu is ready to share her puppies with the world, she did fine and liked the attention :) Over the next week we will begin to see personalities emerging, I've allready noticed a few characteristics, for instance Hunter, the large chocolate male always seems to be sleeping closer to the door than the others ( actually right in front of it) and even though mom has stepped on him a few times coming and going he continues to "wait", Hunter is either being a protector at the gate or smart enough to know that if mom sneaks back in he will be first at the milk bar! Josie continues to prove herself as a little fighter, she doesn't give up when the others push her away from the nipple! Drake and Rocky are both huge boys that eat and sleep, appearing to be laid back ( this can change!) I have noticed that Rocky does not like his ribbon and most mornings it's magically untied and lying in the corner...The three amigos, Heidi, Sophie, and Jasmine are very much alike, and without their ribbons I would not know who is who ( microchipping at five weeks will be helpful) Our big chocolate girl Molly seems to be an instigator! She is the last to settle down for a sleep and usually trying to be playful and wake up the others.... When I pick up Molly she holds on tight to my arm crossing her paws so that I don't put her back down. 208 nails clipped again yesterday, this helps to condition puppies that handling is ok, and not to fear having their nails clipped, it will also make the quick recede so that if nails are cut too short there is less risk of cutting into the quick ( the nerve supply) it's time to update the photo gallery and as soon as I have a willing "hand model" to hold them for a shot I'll post them, everyday they get cuter, more like labs and less like squirrels....

Puppy love

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 21, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello from the whelping box! Actually I should re-phrase that, Hello from the puppy play pen! Our little fur babies are growing so quickly that they have been moved to a bigger space. The larger puppy pen is divided into two sections so that Lulu can stretch as well as sleep without being attacked by the milk monsters. All the puppies have opened their eyes, beginning to walk and becoming more vocal. The ears are unsealed now and they react to the squeaky toys, a few have began socializing with each other and attempt to bite each other's ears. This weekend our oldest daughter and her fiancé got to meet the puppies for the first time, they fell in love instantly and have asked to be on the waiting list for 2018 litter lol! 

Two weeks old

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 16, 2016 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Tomorrow the puppies will be two weeks old, they're all doing great! Tonight we weighed the pups for the last daily weigh in, from this point on we weight just once a week ( they no longer stay still on the scales so I'm happy to just battle with them once a week now) biosensor exercises are complete as most of the pups have now opened their eyes (squinting) and are getting up on all four legs ( actually taking a step hasn't happened) I dewormed the puppies this evening, and momma as well just in case. The largest pup is Hunter ( chocolate male) he weighed 3lbs 3oz, the others are between 2 lbs 14oz and 3lbs, so I guess the puppies are sharing the milk! Josie is also doing well, and gained 13oz this week, which doubled her birth weight! I have weaned myself from bottle feeding, she is now only given one supplement a day, which I have allowed the rest of the family to take part in. Lulu is having more time away from the nest, even though her food ration has tripled from pre whelping, she is starting to get thin, making milk instead of nourishing herself.... One more week Lulu and we will begin the slow weaning of puppies to mushed kibble! 

Growing! Growing! Growing!

Posted by minasviewkennels on March 13, 2016 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Puppies are now ten days old, they are getting so big! Most weight over 2 1/2 lbs, except for Josie, however with a late start she is catching up, she is packed and plump just smaller than the others! The puppies still have their eyes closed and ears are sealed but they are becoming more vocal and moving around quicker in the whelping box, a few are attempting to get up on their wobbly legs to walk now. All puppies have new homes secured and waiting for them. 95% on their life is spent sleeping and the other 5% eating, it's hard to believe that we will see them playing in just a week or so, once they open their eyes they become very animated and watching them is our nightly entertainment for the next several weeks.