Friday 31 March 2017

Puppy love

Indi has been clipped and she needs to be washed, if she will come back in the house...

Tuesday 28 March 2017


This is little Saffi pup, formerly Lilac. For the first few weeks, Lilac was a puppy who did not really stand out to me in any way, although I probably did not pay that much attention to the girl puppies as I was intending that from this litter a boy should go on a co-ownership arrangement and I was busy studying them. Her sister Cherry who is precocious and naughty was the girl pup who was most noticeable. Then when the pups grew out of the Gila Monster stage and started bimbling about, I noticed that she carried herself and moved rather nicely, for a small bimbling ball of fluff at least, and that she had a nice short loin. I decided that I would think upon this matter more, and in the meantime decided to send Saffi's DNA to a lab to test if she carried the gene for brown, and to see how I felt later with this knowledge.

The test says Saffi does carry brown, so that settles the matter and she's staying here. The best laid plans and so on.

Saturday 25 March 2017

There is nothing much on the telly these days...

... so I spend the evenings watching puppies.

Otto got washed

The weather is nice enough for the puppies to go outside today, so Otto got to be groomed. It's also an opportunity to clean the pup room really well for when the puppies go back in it, without pups climbing up my legs and pouncing on the mop.


The puppies all have teeth now and have had chicken wings to practice chewing.

Thursday 23 March 2017


EDIT: Fuchsia is now reserved.

Little Fuchsia has become reavailable due to a cancellation. Fuchsia is a calm and cuddly puppy who is starting to take an interest in toys. In the videos I posted yesterday, she is one of the puppies playing with the toy basket, and she's also the puppy chewing the plant at the end of the video of the pups playing outside. She is suitable as a pet for a loving owner or family with careful children. Her registered name is Wywylwynd Star Anise.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Yesterday we had some reasonable weather, so the pups were able to go outside for the morning.

Loki likes puppies -- at least until they get the idea of trying to find out if he has any milk for them!

Today the weather is not very good, so the puppies got some new toys to play with in the house.

Monday 20 March 2017

Indi pups

The pups have more room to run around in and some more things to interact with.

Some people are just not so easily impressed.

Sunday 19 March 2017

What to train your puppy

I don't talk a lot about training on my blog, mainly because everyone has different ideas on it, and when talking to someone who has already formed opinions, it's a good way to have a disagreement. From time to time, people tend to ask me if I recommend any books about training, and I don't, because I have always just used what works for me and my own dogs.

I'm going to write something here about what I've found works best when training your new puppy. First of all, I recommend that you concentrate on what's most important for your dog first, rather than teaching lots of different tricks and confusing the dog. The most important thing for your dog's safety is recall. Every time you take your dog outside and you call your dog and it comes back to you, it should get a high-value treat. The things your puppy learns first are what it will tend to use as 'default' behaviour when it progresses to learning more complex things. A lot of people will see 'sit' as the obvious first command to teach the dog. However, it is sometimes inappropriate for dogs to sit, and dogs who have learnt sit early on and had it reinforced more than any other command, particularly if they are encouraged to sit without even being given the command, will tend to sit when they don't understand a new command or when they're supposed to be doing something else, because they tend to pick up the idea that sitting is always better regardless. It can create problems later on, for example, if you want to teach the dog obedience and it needs to do a standing stay, or if you want to do ringcraft and the dog keeps breaking a stack by sitting. This invariably leads to frustration and the dog being told off for doing something it's been told from the start is always right.

I've had to retrain a few dogs that have received pet training of a number of 'tricks' in a particular sequence. A lot of people seem to do a regime that involves making the dog sit, lie down, and put its front foot in the trainer's hand. It is hard to break this behaviour without the dog becoming frustrated or discouraged, as when told to do something the dog will automatically do the first part of the sequence, and then when corrected will proceed to the next step and so on. Never teach tricks as a sequence, and from a personal standpoint I would also say never teach your dog to put its feet on a person -- it's an obnoxious behaviour that shouldn't be encouraged.

Therefore, the first command I like to teach the dog is to stand still and look at me. This teaches the dog a lot of different skills that will be transferable to further training later. Firstly, it 'clicker calibrates' the dog. Secondly, it teaches self-control and will correct jumping and climbing behaviour. Thirdly, it teaches the dog to focus on you. Fourthly, you are actually teaching a rudimentary stack which will help if you want to show your dog. And importantly, this is a neutral behaviour that it is unlikely you will ever have to 'unteach' for it being inappropriate. A dog that stands calmly and watches is unlikely to be offensive to anyone. When you are trying to teach any other command, if your dog offers this behaviour, you won't have to correct it and pull it out of a sit as you would if you taught this command first. This is a safe behaviour that will help to build your dog's motivation and focus, rather than something your dog can get wrong and be discouraged by. You don't need to use a command to teach this, but you can use your dog's name to encourage it to look at you.

To summarise:

Do use a clicker and treats
Never smack or otherwise physically punish your puppy
Do teach vital 'survival' commands first and prioritise them
Don't overload your puppy or confuse it by trying to teach too many different commands at once
Don't prioritise teaching tricks, and particularly don't teach tricks in a sequence
Don't teach things like sendaway or waits until you have developed a good recall
Don't encourage jumping or any behaviour that involves putting feet on any part of a person, either deliberately or inadvertently

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Saturday 11 March 2017

Indi's puppies 4 weeks old

Indi loves her puppies. At this stage, because they are being weaned, and also because it's important that the pups do not get overfed, her time with them is rationed. She gets to have them for lunch and supper (they get food for their breakfast and dinner) and she likes to spend an hour or so lying down for a cuddle and a lick before she gets tired of being crawled on and sucked and asks to come out.

Adhara on the other hand thinks the little puppies are interesting, but bigger ones are more entertaining...

Friday 10 March 2017

Thursday 9 March 2017

More space

The puppies have moved into the 'puppy room' which is used for grooming dogs when we don't have puppies. The pen will get larger as the puppies need more space, but at the moment is restricted to a larger area to use as a toilet and a smaller nesting area, which uses the pups' natural cleanliness instinct to help teach them to use a toilet with newspaper in it.

Pictures of Otto settling in. Unfortunately his coat is a bit of a mess as his brothers and sisters decided to give his fluff a jolly good chew! I've clipped his body short so he can have a fresh start at growing it.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Guten Tag!

This is Otto, and I am grateful to a lot of people that he has come to join us! Most of all his breeder for the lovely character he is and for keeping him for me until he was old enough to come to the UK and arranging the necessary steps with her vet for the pet passport. Also to an old friend who speaks the relevant languages far better than I do and his father for letting us stay with him, a nice poodle lady who let us meet at her house and gave me some grooming tool recommendations, and of course my husband for holding the fort at home while I went to get him! I will be adding a page to the website about Otto once his KC registration is sorted out and I have caught up with everything else I have to.

Indi's pups are huge and since they are past 3 weeks of age, now it is time to start weaning them to reduce the burden of feeding them on Indi. This began this afternoon with their first taste of goats' milk. I should be getting round to everyone on the waiting list to arrange times to visit in a few days. Apologies to those people who have missed the pictures and videos while I have been away. :-)