Wednesday, March 29, 2006

When We Take A Tumble

Foxfair Diamond Girl (aka) "Sidney"
with proud new owners Ron and Dan

What Is In A Name: Well this name fit perfectly because not only is it a baseball themed litter but one of Sidney's new owners is a jeweler! We hear Sidney is adjusting well to her new home and has Ron and Dan wrapped around her little paws.

We got a call last week that one of the puppies, Rudy, took a tumble when chasing a ball across the rug. Everyone's best guess is that he caught a nail on the rug, which can happen even with short nails. So, Rudy came up touched his foot to the ground then picked it up and stood on three legs! EEEK. The concientious new owners called me and the emergency clinic. The plan was for crate rest for 1 hour. After the hour was up, Rudy, was walking. He was returned to crate for the rest of the night and was his bouncy self in the morning.

Even the best trained athletes can fall down and hurt themselves. This is also true with puppies. Keeshond puppies love to play and jump, and run, and spin, did I mention run and jump? These airs above the ground and just playing in general can result in a puppy falling when getting caught on a rug or just taking a bad turn.

If you puppy comes up limping or comes up three legged instead of four here is what you can do.
Check the leg that is hurting, does it appear broken or twisted. Broken legs are rare in Keeshond puppies but not impossible. If the puppy has stopped crying and is just holding the leg up, place the puppy in his or her crate, give it a chew toy but no food or water for an hour. After the hour is up let the puppy out of the crate and observe it's walk. If it still limping make an appointment with your veterinarian.

If your puppy keeps crying and seems uncomfortable seek veterinary attention immediatley.

To minimize spills keep your puppy's nails trimmed. Play on good surfaces with traction, not slippery surfaces like tile and hardwood. If you have slippery surfaces in your home you can minimize sliding by placing rubber backed throw rugs in strategic places. Your puppy is tough and can take a lot of physical activity - but try and make it controlled activity. Do not allow your puppy to jump off sofas or steps or from any high places. It is good to know that agility dogs do not start any training on jumps or weaves until they are 1 year old and thier bodies are mature.

Kindergarten pupppy class is a good place to learn activities that are fun and safe for your 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.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Foxfair Short Stop with his new owners Cindy and Tom will be called "Keppe"

The very best possible home for Short Stop arrived on Saturday morning to take him home. Cindy and Tom had a wonderful Keeshond that gave them many happy memories.

After two years of family losses and losing their Keeshond, Cindy saw her brother's new puppy and knew that she was now ready for a dog.
Cindy is at home with Keepe and meeting the demands of a new puppy in the house - what a job that is!

People that lose an older Keeshond understandably remember them most clearly as they were as adults. Puppy memories fade after ten or more years. So an energetic new puppy is not there to thwart you - they are just being puppies. Puppies have lots of energy but fortunately it doesn't usually last that long. After an hour or so of running and playing - puppies are played out - and they will lie down and go to sleep. If you see this happening to your puppy, pick them up and put them in their crate with a small biscuit and favorite chewie or toy. Before you know it peace will reign and the puppy will take a nap. A good time for you to take one too!!

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, March 24, 2006

A Little Bark - Meeting New People At The Door

Mary Telleen and her daughter Julia Allison with
Fofair Spring Season, (AKA) Luna

Mary arrived from Boston, Massachusetts with her daughter Allison. She sat quietly on the sofa and observed that all of the puppies were lovely and whichever one I put in her arms was the one she was taking home. A breeders dream come true.

Since we are with the puppies from birth we get to know their personalities. Who is outgoing, who is quiet and who is the most active. One of Mary's observations was that her new puppy was the color of the moon, silver, and thus her call name "Luna", also named after Luna Leopold the famous geologist that discovered the ways in which rivers develop over time.

Puppies are very impressionable. They are subject to reward and discouragement. Things that you praise will be repeated, things that you discourage will diminish. So, what happens when they bark? Mary discovered that Luna had a voice when she walked her out in the yard and she gave out a little bark at something that suprised her. No reaction to a suprised bark is probably the right one. Luna is a little explorer, packed with personality she was the one who started the games with her sisters.

But, if someone comes to the door and there is bark? In training guard dogs a bark at the door is encouraged until there are multiple barks, then the dog is jumping at the door, agression is encouraged in this type of dog. Most peopel would prefer it if their dog barked to let them know someone is at the door. After one bark you can say, "Okay", let the person in and introduce them to the puppy. The puppy being a Keeshond will gladly greet the newcomer, and might even give them a kiss.

Do not let the puppy jump up on a person coming into the house. The best way to handle this from the beginning is to have puppy sit and then let the new person pet the puppy. Puppies quickly learn that they are the center of attention and may get over excited when someone new comes into the house. To avoid this, sit down and talk quietly with the new person while puppy plays with a bone or toy. You can admire the puppy but make it sound like you talking about the weather!

One little note about greeting people if your dog does not like them, especially a Keeshond who pretty much likes everyone, think about it for a moment.

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, March 22, 2006

Pictures of the Puppy Party and 10 Baseball Players

We Have A Puppy Party!

A good time was had by all, especially the puppies
who enjoyed the gaiting part best. Running up and down the kitchen, playing with toys and watching everyone make silly faces and noises.

It takes four people to hold on to this gang and even then we are fighting a losing battle!

Five puppies went to their new homes on Sunday,
and three more will go to new homes this Saturday. That will leave Pi and Red here, we will follow thier adventures and other Foxfair dogs as they explore the world of companions, showing, breeding and performance. The blog continues!

Top - Debbie Hodges - Bottom - Left - Debbie Loesser - Jeannie Buente - Co-Breeder - Debbie Lynch - Co-Breeder - Ryan Lynch - Photographer

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.

We Start To Say Goodbye - Puppy Party and More

At eight weeks the puppies change dramatically in thier behavior. They go from being happy to be with you in a group to wanting individual attention. It can be appreciated that providing this to ten puppies is a full-time job that is not always successful.

The first step toward a weekend when five of them will go their new homes they make a trip to their veterinarian for vaccinations and health check-ups. Dr. McKinney goes over each one checking hearts, stifles, hips, eyes, ears, teeth, and for the males - do they have all of their
equipment - they do. That we come home and get ready for the weekend.

Why I thought I could bathe ten puppies and make chicken a'la king for eight people, plus get the house ready, buy flowers, and groom the adult dogs - is beyond me - I must have had an attack of ambition and grandiosity that would make Donald Trump blush. Well, anyway it all got done.
Six of the puppies were bathed on Friday and Jeannie arrived Friday night. She had her dogs with her, which is usually not a problem, but said dogs and my dogs disagreed about something and decided to stage a barkathon. This did not do anything for her sleep. The situation was not helped by Ryan arriving from a St. Patricks Day Party at 4AM.

Next morning we got up and and Jeannie bathed the last four puppies, while I cooked up the lunch in the kitchen. Even though we were tired it was nice to use the new bath hookup that Ryan put together and spend some time with Jeannie. At noon people started to arrive.

Our puppy parties follow a farily set routine. We watch the puppies together, and then go over them one by one. We check their shoulder angulation, upper arm, point of shoulder, prosternum, body, length of loin, tailset, rear angulation, length of hock, pasterns, shape of feet, on the head we note expression, ear size and set, eye shape and color, muzzle and back skull. We also note overall balance and profile, temperament and reactions to new people and the setting. Then each puppy is photographed from the side and the front with a digital camera.

Puppies are moved individually. This is the fun part with people whooping, squeaking, dragging toys, rolling food and generally making fools of themselves to get the puppies to trot back and forth. Pretty soon the puppies get into the spirit of things and start to play and run, enjoying the toys and the attention.

This time we evaluated the males first and then had lunch. The menu was chicken a'la king with biscuits, fresh asparagus, tossed salad, and for dessert neopolitan sponge cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. After lunch we took on the four females. Of course people have different opinions about which puppy they would choose. In this litter all were spoken for so
everyone could be objective - in our own way!

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, March 14, 2006

Keeshond - Are Companionable With Other Dogs

Puppies Playing Tug or Sharing A Toy?

Many years ago all dog shows were benched. Meaning that the dogs sat on wooden benches raised up a few feet off the ground. They were arranged in groups and alphabetically by breed. In this way, the public could easily find the breed they were looking for and speak to breeders.

The tale goes that Keeshonds were the only breed that could be benched without wooden paritions between them - they got along so well with each other and other dogs.

I remember the Harrisburg Kennel Club Show a few years ago, when Andy was a puppy in the 6-9 month puppy class. We were walking through the show area and a Komondor the size of a small pick-up truck, thought he might like to have Andy for lunch. He lunged and grabbed at him and Andy quickly stepped aside and gave him a look - as if to say - "What is wrong with you big fella?"

The Keeshond's first impulse is always to friendliness, to dogs, people and especially to children.
This is why Keeshonden make very good therapy dogs. We have place three puppies with psychologists and professional counselors. For these individuals the dogs serve as companions and therapy dogs when they go to work. When I have asked them how they train their dogs their reply is always the same. "We didn't have to train them, they just seem to know what to do."

After September 11th, when the rescue workers were so stressed out, being on the job for long hours in terrible conditions, therapy dogs were brought in just to sit with the rescue workers. Many of these dogs were Keeshonden and the workers were grateful just to sit and pet the dogs and the dogs would respond by licking their hands and their faces.

Something I often hear from Keeshond owners and people that have purchased puppies is that thier dogs bring them such joy every day - because they are so happy. Joy is something we all need in our lives, and it doesn't hurt to have you own furry example.

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, March 12, 2006

Grass Wouldn't Melt in My Mouth or What About Treats?

Pi Sampling The Grass In The Front Yard

Pi is the largest female in the litter. She is called Pi because she has the mathematical pi mark on her chest.

Here she is caught with grass that she has freshly ripped up. Digging the grass is another favorite passtime when in the pen. This is followed by running and playing with toys and each other.

We get many questions about treats for the dogs and puppies. The first thing to know about treats is that they should never comprise more than 10 per cent of your dogs diet. Treats include anything that is not puppy food or adult food. Treats mean food from the table, biscuits, food from your plate, left overs, etc.

Good treats are hard biscuits, puppy or adult, because they help clean teeth. These are made by Iams, Eukanuba, Mother Hubbard, and Purina. Look for all natural biscuits with no artificial dyes or sugar. Some good ingredients in biscuits are kelp, brewers yeast, garlic, liver, herbs, eggs, and yogurt.

Another treat that dogs like is a marrow bone or knuckle bone which can be purchased from the grocer and fed raw. We also supply pressed rawhide but always take it away when it gets too far gone.

Treats that we do not recommend for Keeshonden puppies or adults are GREENIES, pig ears, cow hoofs or colored rawhide that is not from the USA. These have all been known to cause problems in dogs.

To teach your puppy to take the treat nicely, hold the biscuit in your hand and make him wait, then say Nice! and let him take it slowly. Teaching this at a young age will prevent him from being grabby with treats later on.

Keeshonds also like a few pieces of sliced apples, carrots, or green beans. Yumm!

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, March 11, 2006

Our First Adventure Outside At Seven Weeks

Looking for the Neighbor

It was a warm 60 degrees today and just a little overcast so - the puppies had a big adventure today - they went outside for the first time! We have five acres of property here and their pen was set up so they could look down the meadow.

They were outfitted with toys, food dish and water bowls. Soon they had an admiring public in the form of our neigbors Russ and Jean, and their two grandchildren, and our friend Dave from next door.

We set up chairs around the puppies and then Ryan decided to take them for a stroll down the meadow. He usually takes all of the puppies in a litter for this walk, but he decided ten was too many to keep track of and so took them four at a time.

Even though it was fairly warm you still needed a jacket because of the breeze, and I was little concerned that they could get chilled. But the arctic angels stayed nice and toasty in their double coats. The Keeshond coat is called a double coat because it has a soft downy underlayer, think insulation, and long coarser guard coat. The guard coat sheds rain and snow, keeping the dogs warm even in inclement weather. The best way to judge the texture of an adult Keeshond coat is outdoor during rainy weather. The dogs with correct coat will look great, with one shake they are dry and marvelous. Those with soft textured coat will look wet and soggy - rather than drip dry!

As the afternoon came on we added a tarp to their pen in case they wanted to take a nap but they saved that for coming in the house. At this time of the evening they are usually running and chasing each other. Not this evening. They are quiet as mouse - tired puppies - in the house.

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, March 08, 2006

Keeshonden Are Sensible

Windy - A vigilant mom

With dogs it is difficult to strike the right balance between watchfulness and overly agressive behavior. Most females are appropriately watchful of their babies, this is true of Keeshond mothers also. Dogs are pack animals being 99.9 percent genetically similar to wolves. In a wolf pack only the dominant female is allowed to reproduce. So, even when domesticated mothers have their babies they make sure that no other dogs, even their doggy friends are allowed around the puppies.

Windy, especially when her puppies were younger just chased any dog that even thought they might like to walk down the hall or come in the house. She would speed past them to the doorway where the puppies were and when well positioned would chase them out of the room. She did this quietly and efficiently without even a nip, but she got her point across.
We minimize any distubance by keeping other dogs out of house when puppies are small. Nova, our Pomeranian suffers the most, because she is always in the house and in my room. I finally had to put a quilt over her crate, because Windy didn't even like to look at her when she went to past to get to the whelping box.

In this photo, Windy is standing on the deck telling all the dogs that she has a litter and they will have to wait to see them until she is ready, until then don't even think about coming over here!

Most Kees are so friendly that they would hand over the family silver to anyone who came along. However, their appearance and a bark or two is usually enough to seve as deterrent to anyone who does not belong on the premises.

With puppies you can determine the amount of both barking and guarding behavior you want. If you want only one bark when someone comes to the door, then just use phase,, "Quiet!" or "Enough" and your puppy will learn to bark once and then welcome the person when you say, "Okay."

I will never forget when we visited a famous breeder in England, Margot Emerson, all her dogs came running down the hallway barking up a storm. She opened the door and quietly said, "That will do," the barking instantly stopped and they all just started smiling at her. We have star boarder that comes here who belongs to my friend Mary. She had a habit of barking at the person who let her back inside after she had gone out. When she tried it here, she was puppy and I simply picked her up, looked in face and said, "We don't do that!." A few of these and she dropped the habit very quickly. Keeshonden are very smart!

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, March 07, 2006

Puppies Do Silly Things - That Are Educational

Puppies Swapping Spit

Puppies do lots of crazy things. They kiss each other, or as in this case get in a tounge lock!
They nip, bite, run, skid, jump, bounce, climb, and generally with ten of them create havoc!

Everyone once in while you hear will hear someone yipe or yell. This interaction teaches them how to get along with other dogs and with
humans as well. It is in the litter that puppies learn bite inhibition. If they bite a littermate the littermate YIPES, or bites back. Puppies learn not to bite hard. They also learn from their mom that biting hard is not a tolerated behavior. They learn what is accepted from their littermates and how to interact socially. This is why singleton puppies need to be raised carefully and why puppies need mothers that are well socialized themselves.

One puppy might grab a toy and run with it, getting everyone to chase him. He learns that playing is fun and he can initiate play. They also learn to share. With ten puppies crowded around a food dish sharing is mandatory.

I once attended a seminar on puppy nutrition and when the Dr. Hill, a PhD in canine nutrition from the University of Florida, Gainesville, told a room full of breeders that the ideal weaning age 6 to 7 weeks, you heard a loud gasp! Many breeders wean early at 3-4 weeks. But, he maintained that both for nutritional and behavioral purposes later was better. We agree with him. Windy still sees her puppies at least three times a day. More for socialization than nutrition but the interaction is good for everyone.

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, March 06, 2006

Puppies At Six Weeks Are Very Curious

At Six Weeks Our Ears Are Up And Down

The desired shape of the Keeshond ear is the shape of ivy. This is wider at the base, though not too wide, and tapering to the tip. Laurel ears, which are long and thin are not desired. Ears should also be set high on the head, but not touching, and should not be too large. One way to measure this is to fold the ear forward, it should come to the corner of the eye. As puppies mature there will be times when the ear will cover the eye, before the head and back skull mature.

The written standards for all northern breeds of dogs calls for smaller, high set, upright ears. Why? Well, if you think about it, if a dog had ears like a hound and tried to sleep outside in the freezing weather, the ears would freeze. Upright ears are also mobile to catch many sounds and because they have good air circulation are not generally subject to the number of ear infections that drop eared dogs have.

At five weeks all Keeshond puppies have ears that are folded over. As they grow and mature the ears begin to come up. Sometimes for a short period they may have one ear up and ear down!
Generally, larger males or puppies with heavy coat and bone and will be the last puppies to have their ears come up. It was written in the Keeshond standard that to have an ear down as an adult is a major fault. As the breed has progressed over the years this is something that is rarely seen.

By watching your puppies ears you will be able to tell his mood. Ears pricked and forward he is at attention, ears sideways he is trying to figure out what is going on, ears down he may be worried, submissive or aftraid. Always encourage your puppy when he encounters something new and just him time to work it out. His self confidence will win through in the end.

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, March 04, 2006

Keesond Puppies Love People

Keeshond Puppies Playing With Ryan

My son has been playing with Keeshond puppies since he was three months old. He is now 23 and a college student, but he is still playing with Keeshond puppies, something I hope he will always do.

The puppies are naturally drawn to people. For safety's sake we ask children and adults to sit on the floor, as Ryan is doing in the picture, when they want to play with the puppies. Young puppies do not have a sense height and distance. They can easily jump from a sofa, chair, or someone's arms and injure themselves. To prevent accidents it is best to play with puppies on the floor.

Let Puppies Come to You

We also let puppies come to us as Ryan is doing. Their
natural curiosity will win over and they will explore people, climbing into their laps and nibbling on their fingers and toes. One favorite game that Ryan has with the puppies, is laying on the floor on his face. The puppies just rush at him jumping on his back and trying to lick his face and fingers. We will try and get a picture of this!

One game we do not encourage is tug of war. This is an agressive game that teaches puppies to pull and bite. This is the reason we don't buy or recommend tug toys. Soft toys are very good and puppies can easily play ball and retreive with soft toys. While Keeshonds are not usually natural retreivers they do like soft toys enjoy watching you throw them.

Play With Puppies Every Day

The ages of 4 weeks to 12 weeks are the primary socialization age for puppies. At this time they need at least 15 minutes of human interaction each day. We recommend at least one hour and who wouldn't want to give it to them? Playing with them is a lot of fun. And, of course, watching them play with each other is pretty entertaining also. Don't you think we should have a Puppy Channel on cable TV, just hours and hours of watching puppies play - I think it might be a hit!

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, March 01, 2006

Keeshond - The Dutch Barge Dog and Water

Drinking from the Trusty Waterhole

This story may not seem like it is going anywhere but just stick with me. As you may or may not know, Keeshonden originated in Holland. Holland is a land of waterways and canals. In the winter these waterways freeze which is why there were so many successful speed skaters from the Netherlands at the Winter Olympics. But, I digress.

Keeshond dogs moved easily from the farm where they were an all purpose dog to the barges of Holland. They kept watch, played with the children and learned to LOVE water! They adapt very easily still to boats and being around water. Trinka, my first Keeshond used to ride on my little Sunfish board sailboat, unbelieveably she would stand in front of the mast as the water sloshed over her paws. When I turned the boat she shifted her weight and never fell off.

Now, what does this have to do with Keeshond puppies? Well, Keeshond puppies love water too.
It does not have to be big water, just any water will do. Say, water in a bucket or a dish.

One summer not too long ago, I happened to be visiting a friend in New York State, Sandy Draper. He is a Collie breeder. Not just any old Collie breeder, the legitimate living personage of in the modern era of Albert Payson Terhune, (Lad A Dog, etc.). I had two Keeshond puppies with me and he said, "Here lets just put them in my puppy paddock." This was a lovely green pasture about 1/2 acre fenced and sitting in the middle of it was a five gallon bucket of water.

I told Sandy, that would be wonderful, we would just have to fasten the bucket to the fence. He looked at me and said, "Why would we have to do that?" Well, because, I said, the puppies will knock over the bucket trying to put their feet in the water. "Why would they do that?" he said.
"Trust me they just will and I don't know why, expect that they are Dutch Barge Dogs," I replied. Well he never heard of such nonsense and being 25 years my senior he told me I should just put the puppies in the pen. I did. They promptly went straight to the bucket jumped into it and knocked it over. "Well, I'll be darn I've never seen anything like that!", Sandy said. Collie puppies would never do such a thing he explained. These are not Collies, they are Keeshonds, I explained. "Yes, indeed, I see," I will never foget the complete perplexed look on his face.

This leads me to the purpose of the story and the picture. Waterholes are plastic dishes with snap tops. They are made for traveling. But, they are also ideal for Keeshond puppies who like to dig the water out of their dishes. You can purchase one by calling 1-800-petsedge. Or you can hope that maybe you will get a Keeshond puppy that doesn't like water - but I wouldn't bet on it.

Another way to keep water in front your puppy is simply to snap a 2 quart bucket inside his crate with the door open.

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.