Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Now We Are Five - Weeks That Is

At Five Weeks We Can Do Lots Of Things

The change between four and five weeks in a Keeshond puppy is quite dramatic. For one thing we have teeth. Their mom is not crazy about the teeth but teeth mean they can crunch solid food and pick up and carry toys. They can also bite and beat up on each other! I was treated the other day to the sight of Mark McGuire (the biggest puppy) dragging one of his hapless brothers across the pen. When I told him to stop, he looked up very innocently as if to say, "Who? Me?".

Yesterday at noon I put out four cups of puppy food, after their feeding of baby cereal, two hours later it was ALL GONE! Every bit, not a crumb left. They eat very well!

Other things we can do at five weeks are run and chase and turn on a dime. We also like to climb in Ryan's lap and give him kisses and then fall asleep. Sleeping is still a big pass time. We are also learning to pose for pictures as in the one above. This will be very usefull when we go to our new homes where everyone will want to take pictures of us. Because we are soooooo cute!


All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Everything Is Times Two

We Do Things In A Big Way

It seems like with a litter this size eveything they do is doubled. At the age of 5 weeks they require two water bowls, two feeding dishes, double the amount of newspapers, double the amount of clean up time, double the amount of grooming, double the amount of toys and double the amount of attention.

Windy has accomodated herself easily to this situation. She spends double the amount of time with them that an average mother would
with a litter of five weeks. She has cut back on her food as they are now eating more on their own. But she is still concerned about their welfare and cleanliness. After they eat and are very messy, she cleans their little faces and then finishes off whatever is left in their bowl. That is her bonus for the day!

Which brings us to how much Gerbers Rice Baby Cereal we are consuming. One box lasts them for two feedings. The national supply of this stuff is in jeopardy. It is amazing, and dare I say irritating how many stores only carry the small boxes. While the puppies love this stuff, which is mixed with Karo Syrup, canned puppy food and evaporated milk, once they are done with it what is left hardens to a substance with the consisency of concrete. In fact, we have some cement cracks that need attention and I thought if we had any left over it might be useful for that.

Puppies are now playing with toys and each other, it is another stage in their development, more about this later.






All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Friday, February 24, 2006

We Love Our Toys


Puppies Love Playing With Toys and They Help Them Learn

The first toys that puppies get are soft berber fleece toys. These toys are light weight and they can get their teeth into them and carry them around. A little later they can also play with latex toys. Most of these toys also have squeekies in them and it is a lot of fun to see them discover the squeekies. Some of the puppies will repeatedly make them squeek, until it drives you a little nuts. Others could care less about the squeekies.

Another favorite toy is the cardboard box. This makes a little mess but the puppies enjoy dragging it around and hiding in it. Then of course the last thing is pulling it apart, they carry the pieces around proudly and fight over them.

Over the years I have discovered the absolute favorite toy of 8 week old puppies, and it is free.
You simply take an big old man's athletic sock, stuff it full of plastic bags from the grocery or crumpled newspaper and sew the end shut. It becomes rustling giant snake that the puppies can carry and every time they move it, it wiggles. Wow!! They just love it.

Next time we will talk about toys to avoid.




All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Puppies Spend Most Of Their Time Sleeping

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Puppies are sleeping
Ssssh, be quiet as a mouse
Puppies are sleeping
Ssssh, they are dreaming
Puppies are sleeping
Ssssh, there are puppies in the house


The importance of sleep for puppies cannot be overemphasized. Many puppies have not grown into the fully beautiful adults that they should have because they were over stressed from lack of sleep. This is not something that we can prove empirically but it is an observation from many years of raising puppies. Puppies from the age of 8 weeks to 6 months need naps. They should have their mid day dinner and then be put in their crate or pen for about a two hour rest. They should also go to bed fairly early or take a late afternoon nap. This is an important step in managing the care of growing puppies. They will most often want to sleep after eating, after playing hard and when riding in the car!

Constant stimulation of running with other dogs, playing and jumping is not good for puppies, especially puppies under six months of age. You should play with your puppy, of course, but sessions should be short lasting no more than 20 minutes. Then give your puppy a signal that play time is over, "All done", or "Okay thats it" are good signals. Then get the puppy used to quiet time, read a book or sit in quiet conversation. This trains the puppy to know that there is time for play and time for rest and relaxation. Remember that you are setting up the neruology of your puppy for the rest of its life, help it to learn about it's environment and develop good habits.

We often wonder what our dogs are thinking when they sleep and they make paddling motions with their feet like they are dreaming. I think I know what our Australian Shepherd, Bounce, is thinking. She is herding dogs or sheep or birds. Her little woofs mean get over there or come back this way. But when a puppy paddles its little legs and gives out tiny barks in it's sleep, what could it possibly be dreaming about? In its short little life not that much has happened! Perhaps it is thinking, "Hey, that is the toy I wanted," or "Let me be first to the feeding dish." Whatever it is nothing is more peaceful and beautiful than a sleeping puppy.



All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Music, Mozart and Puppies

Do We Hear Music?

Getting Used To Sounds

Creating a stimulating environment for puppies is one of the jobs of the breeder. With a litter of ten and a devoted mother the task of socialization with other dogs is fairly well on its way. But puppies need to be exposed to a number of things that they will experience in their new households. Being bound to their litter box and pen at their young age, we need to bring these experiences to them as best we can. Being handled daily is one way we can accomplish this.

Another way is to include music and radio in their environment. The puppies have a boom box nearby and we play a variety of music for them. Studies with students have shown that listening to Mozart before an exam can increase test scores. Well, these must be smart puppies because they already like Mozart! As puppies get older we will increase the variety of sounds until by the time they are 8 weeks old they will also appreciate country western music and hearing a variety of voices reporting the news and weather.





All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Andy Wants Equal Time

Andy Winning BOB and Group Placement At
Mahoning Shenango Kennel Club - One of the largest shows in the USA


Andy Taking A Summer Break

By popular demand of those who sign onto the blog and Andy, who thinks he might be playing second fiddle to the "ten little Indians" (as in Cleveland Indians of course), here are some more pics of the puppies dad, Am.Can. Ch. Foxfair Excalibur, BISS.


All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Puppies Weigh In

Short Stop Takes A Nap On The Scale

From Whelping Box to Scale and Back Again


All puppies are weighed twice a day from birth until they weigh 1 pound. From that time on they are weighed daily. Short Stop being the smallest has the most experience with the scale because he was weighed three times a day. He is still weighed twice a day even though he has been over 1lb for some time. We just want to keep track of him since he has so many litter mates that could beat him out for lunch and dinner!

Weighing puppies helps monitor their growth but also gives them each the experience of being handled regularly from birth. Keeshond puppies generally gain 1lb a week. So at two weeks they weigh 1lb, three weeks 3lbs, five weeks 5lbs and so on until at eight weeks we look for them to weigh approximately 8lbs. Some may weigh a little more and others a little less. If the litter is large, as in the litter of ten, we will not expect all puppies to reach 8lbs by 8 weeks. However, they will make up for their slightly lower birth weights as time goes on.

We have known very small birth weight puppies who have grown up to be normal or even large adults.

Keeshonden are not judged by weight but there is a recommended height which is 17" for females and 18" for dogs. Since the standard says size should not outweigh type there is room on either side to accomodate a range of sizes. This helps the breed in general since breeders have options for meeting size requirements when planning their breeding program. In other words good Kees come in all sizes!



All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our World Gets Bigger - And We Take A Nap


Cuddled In A Corner


The Puppies Need More Space

Well, there are ten of them after all! As they have started walking and eating a little on their own, the puppies now need a place to sleep and to play and to go potty. It is their first day and they have only used their newspapers so far. Smart puppies!

Added to their whelping box is now an exercise pen with a special jump board for mom to come and go as she pleases. The puppies though can now see her all the time which means on this first day they have been a bit demanding. When it gets to be too much Windy just closes her eyes and goes to sleep or asks to be let out in the snow. I think I saw her smiling as she ran down the hallway to go out.

This has been a big first day - and puppies get tired very easily. In fact usually right after a meal the first thing they do is fall asleep. Now with all that space to play in, well in it is just down right exhausting - time for night, night.




All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ch. Trumpet's Ticket to Ride, - Windy's Dad - Heads for the Big Apple

Bentley On The Move

Watch Westminster - You Might See A Relative

We all like to know that our relatives are successful. Well, the puppies already know that their Dad has a pretty sharp show record. But, their mom's dad is no slouch either. With a specialty already under his belt at a young age, he is ready for the big time this year with his first national campaign. His name is, Ch. Trumpet's Ticket to Ride, or Bentley, around the house. He will be shown at Westminster by his handler Wade Koistinen and is also accompanied by his breeder Beth Blankenship. Bentley can actually trace his heritage back twice to Ch. Foxfair Persuasive Friend, HOF, ROMX, BIS, BISS through his great, great grandmother the beautiful Ch. Windrifts High Society, HOF, ROMX, BIS, one of the top winning and producing Keeshond females of all time.

If you want to watch the Kees at Westminster, log onto www.westminsterkennelclub.org. There are 14 Keshonden entered, they will show on Monday at 9:30AM in ring 6. And of course, should Bentley win, or even if he doesn't, watch the show on USA Network on Monday night and cheer the Keeshond on in the Non-Sporting group. You might be rooting for a relative!


All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Now We Are Three - First Meal

Puppies Have Their First Meal

Keeshond puppies usually have their first meal at three weeks of age. So, on Thursday, three weeks to the day, the ten little puppies had their first meal. What was it? Well, it really is pretty yummy and if you wanted to you could actually eat it yourself! It is a mixture of rice instant baby cereal, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Karo Syrup and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk mixed with warm water. Mmmmmm, Mmmmm Good! Well, actually it is probably better if you are puppy.

Interestingly not everyone in the litter is into food and not mom on the first try. But some of the puppies, like little Miss Angel and her sister, Dreamer, just put their heads into the dish and didn't pick it up until everything was gone. Perhaps, Angel, should have been named Miss something else!

Puppies get one meal the first day or two, then two meals, and we work up to four meals by age four weeks. At the end of the week three, they are still on three meals, morning, noon and evening. Their mom is still feeding them but the demand on her is not as great as the puppies continue to increase their feeding schedule. When they are eating four times a day we will begin to add a little meat and/or canned puppy food to their meals. At this time they will also have access to fresh water and dry food. And, most importantly by four weeks they will begin to start using a separate area for potty breaks. In this way they are completely paper trained by eight weeks and will stay nice and clean! Of course this requires a lot of room and the right set up. We will post pictures of the puppies in their new quarters when they are a little older.






All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Daddy - American & Canadian Champion Foxfair Excalibur, BISS



All About Andy - Am. Can. Ch. Foxfair Excalibur, BISS

What is in a name? Well a lot when it comes to dogs. Andy is the call name or, what we call him around the house, of Am. Can. Ch. Foxfair Excalibur, BISS. The Am. of course stands for American, the Can. for Canadian, and the Ch. for Champion. Andy earned his championship in both the United States and Canada. He earned his American Championship first. One big step in this process was winning a 5 pt. major - meaning a lot of dogs were competing - at the Keeshond Club of American National Specialty by going Winners Dog and Best of Winners and then First Select. He did this when he was three years old. This is a very big honor since only one of the over 50 male dogs from all over the country could earn this honor on that day. BISS, means Best in Specialty Show. A specialty show is for one breed only, in this case Keeshonds. Best means the dog that wins the whole show and earns Best of Breed. Andy did this at the very prestigous Keeshond Club of Delaware Valley Kennel Club Show when he was five years old.

If you have seen the Eukanuba Cup Dog Show on television, dogs have to be in the top twenty for their breed to be invited to the show. Andy was invited the year he was campaigned as a special and earned a top twenty award.

Enough about dogs shows. What is he like to live with? Andy has always been a special dog from early puppyhood. We took him to his first show when he was about 11 weeks old. He had been on lead only once or twice, but Jeannie took him in the ring and he gaited, trotted around and stood for examination like a pro. His first official dog show was the Buckeye Keeshond Club winter specialty held in conjunction with the Western Reserve Kennel Club Show in Cleveland, Ohio in December. It is huge, with 3,000 dogs of all breeds entered. We usually don't take puppies there but the timing was good and we thought he could handle it. Well he did. He walked in the ring showed great, and after the judging I looked around and he was asleep in his crate! The message for the weekend was, "The young prince goes to the dog show and finds it much to his liking."

Andy is an easy going dog, that does not bark much, loves other dogs - especially girls and likes to play in his yard. He likes marrow bones from the market, is not a big eater and likes going for rides in the car. He is the alpha dog here and basically the other all dogs all listen to him.

He has sired puppies in Ohio, California, and Washington State. Many of his boy puppies look like him and we have a girl puppy here named "Jill" who looks a lot like her dad. She also has his endearing easy going temperament and wonderful movement. Andy has had all of his health clearances including OFA hips Good, Stifles tight, CERF Eyes normal, Thyroid Normal, and HPT negative at 6 years. His next adventure will be when we begin training for his rally title this spring.

All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Walking, Talking and Tails Up in the Whelping Box


Two Weeks - And Puppies Begin to Explore the World Outside the Whelping Box

At just over two weeks the puppies can now see the outside world and guess what? They want to go exploring! Two little explorers are peeking over the edge of the whelping box. At this age the Keeshond babies can also walk - well, it is wobbly we will admit but they manage to teeter along on their little legs.

Nail Trimming and The Noises We Make

Their noises also change. Instead of the eeek, eeek, of newborn puppies they now have a much wider vocabulary. This ranges from outraged squeal when being held for nail trimming. Yes, you do have to trim their nails at least once a week. Lets see, 10 puppies times 4 nails for each foot, times 4 feet for each puppy, comes to 16 times 10 = 160 nails, per trim time. Well, no one said that breeding dogs is easy!

Back to noises, puppies also add an occasional bark at almost three weeks if they hear something that is not customary. It is their way of alerting everyone to something unusual. Of course, they still sleep a lot something all babies do.

Tails Begin to Curl

To this we can add the unique feature of the Keeshond tail. Dog people love to ask questions and one of the many questions people ask about Keeshonden is, "When do their tails being to curl."
I would always answer vaguely, "As young puppies". However, as the picture illustrates clearly their tails begin to curl at 2 weeks when they begin to walk. Eventually if all goes as planned these tails will close and flat to the back as required in the Keeshond standard. Since these of course are very good Keeshond babies we know they will follow the program!






All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Riley - A Keeshond Teenager


Riley at Five Months - A Picture of Things to Come

We all go through it, the growing stage. For Keeshonden, however, the changes that occur between baby puppy at 8 weeks and adult at one year can be dramatic. A Keeshond puppy at 8 weeks old is a miniature of the what the adult will be. The coat and coloring are usually very similar to how the puppy will appear as an adult.

But from eight weeks on the puppy grows undercoat and darker guard hair is hidden underneath. The puppy becomes lighter and lighter as the undercoat is cream or silver. Finally between three and four months old the legs, feet, body, neck and tail are all cream or silver. The only dark part on this age of puppy is the face and the tip of his or her tail!

I remember my mom and I once took part in a Grand River Kennel Club float for the 4th of July Mardi Gras, we decided to take a very nice 4 month old Keeshond puppy with us. As we were riding down the street one little girl pointed to the puppy and said, "Mommy, look, look, look at the baboon." Some breeders call this stage "the uglies", or the "baboon stage". I like this stage of puppy development and think that you can tell a lot about the future growth of the puppy when they are in this growth period. In fact, the change is so dramatic that we once had a puppy buyer call and ask if we were sure thier puppy was purebred as he didn't look anything like an adult Keeshond.

Riley in the picture above is five months old and he is just coming out of the totally cream color of the 4 month old puppy. You can see a faint saddle beginning to emerge on his back, and a shoulder stripe is just beginning to show. This is because the guard hair is starting to grow out through the undercoat.

Riley is sired by "Andy", Am. Can. Ch. Foxfair Excalibur, BISS, also the sire of our current litter of ten puppies. He is now 6 months old and starting on his show career with his breeder Robin Skinner, who lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Ken and rest of the Wyndjamr Keeshonden. We think he looks pretty cute!



All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Daisy and Her Darling Girls




Daisy Finds Love and Adventure in Newfoundland

Some of you may remember out earlier post about Daisy, the show girl who did not come into season for over a year. Thinking that motherhood was out of the picture for her we placed her with Allan and Ann Marie MacKenzie in Newfoundland. Allan drove down to pick her up, no small feat in itself. It is a three day trip from Newfoundland to Ohio.

No sooner did Allan get in the door at home than he looked down and Daisy was in season! Honest as he is Allan got on the phone and told me about it right away. He said he sure didn't want to bring her back as he had really bonded to her - and besides who wanted to make that drive again! Anyway, Allan said he wouldn't mind breeding her if we could find a suitable male on Newfoundland.

This could be a challenge. After a few phone calls I talked to my friend Maureen Clemmons and she told me, "Yes, in fact, one of the nicest Keeshonds in Canada lives in St. Johns, Newfoundland, he had a BIS but had only been used once by frozen since he was so isolated."
After checking out the pedigree of Can. Ch. Geluk Is Sir Mulligan, a royally bred fellow if there ever was one, we decided to get them together. We were in luck and the arrangements were made. After all the back and forth the breeding was a little late and AI but it did result in two beautiful puppy girls.

Daisy is being a great mom to the two little girls, Allan and Ann Marie are planning on keeping one and one may come back to Ohio to carry on Daisy's bloodline. It seems there may be more Keeshonds in the future on Newfoundland, it appears there is a significant waiting list. Not surprising when you think of it, what breed could be more perfect for Newfoundland than a gorgeous, nicely coated Keeshond?

All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Short Stop and Slider - Determination Comes In A Small Package












Short Stop and Slider - Little Guys - Big Hearts


Slider is on the upper left and Short Stop is on the right curled around one of his "full size" litter mates.

While most of our litters, particularly in recent years have been very uniform, that is really too much to ask in a litter of ten. For many reasons, where they are attached in utero, crowding, etc., puppies particularly from large litters can be born at various sizes. This was the case with Short Stop and Slider.

While their littermates were all born at 9 to 10 ounces, Short Stop and Slider weighed in at just 5 and 6 ounces respectively. They looked very small. And, while a differences of 4 or 5 ounces does not seem like a lot, it is when you competition is nearly double your size. Make no mistake nursing is a competitive sport when there are only 10 place settings and there are 10 puppies.

The first few days are critical for all puppies but especially those with low birth weight. We weighed them two to three times a day. Their progress was painfully slow. An average Keeshond puppy born at 9 to 10 ounces can be expected to gain 1 ounce per day. But, a 5 ounce puppy can't do that, as 1 ounce would be 25% of his total weight. They would gain 1/4 to 1/2 ounce per day.

We had to say one thing though for Short Stop and Slider, they were feisty and they were determined. They always had a strong sucking reflex. So much so that it almost caused Shorty's demise when he insisted on holding on so strong that when Windy stood up he was still there and fell off outside the whelping box at least 4 times. His fall was cushioned by the quilt on the floor but he was very indignant about the whole thing and screamed very loudly for someone to come and rescue him. This, of course, saved him from getting chilled.

He would also let out an outraged cry at 3AM if one of his littermates pushed him away and he could not get a good place at the table. I would stagger out bed and place two or three of his obese littermates in a willow basket for 20 minutes so that Short Stop could have his dinner uninterrupted. As the smallest puppies you always find Shorty and Slider smack in the middle of their littermates in the very warmest spot. Sitting watching them you will see that they work to get to that spot where they will be the warmest. Concerned that they were not gaining as fast as they could I had them checked by our veterinarian hearts, and lungs were okay, reflexes excellent, well hydrated - just small.

Supplementation did not work for them, they disliked the bottles and never cried except when they were frustrated in their attempts to nurse.

Slider is 1 pound now and Short Stop is just 2 ounces behind him. The 1 pound mark is the critical point where you can not worry so much and also see much faster progress. We could all probably learn something from Shorty and Slider - be determined no matter what disadvantages you have - it is the only way to survive and always stay in the middle of your friends.





All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.