On 12 October, Levi joined the NanaDogs Family when his sister Caitlin gave him Tink as a birthday present. Tink’s new name is Riley and we’re excited for her new home in Illinois … including two sister-dogs! THANK YOU Levi (and Caitlin, too!).
I’ve been asked about the size Amber’s puppies will be at Christmastime. This “family” picture was taken a week or two before Christmas last year. Besides Bill and me, you can see Abbi (who was 5 years old then), Aris (who was 22 months), and Amber and Stori Anne (who were four months – they were born three days apart … yes, they’re from different litters – smile). Amber and Aris’ puppies will be right at four months at Christmas, so you can get an idea of how big they may be.
Today the puppies are six weeks old and we decided to see what would happen if we open their playpen to give them free-range of the office and access to the crate so they can start the journey into crate training. What ensued was about thirty minutes of playing before they crashed.
What do you do when you’ve a massive mess of puppies on your hands???? BATHS!!!!!!!!
We took these pictures yesterday. As you can see, it was a beautiful Indian Summer October day in Missouri – 82 degrees – and perfect for bathing. Also perfect for bathing puppies between 5 and 7 pounds? Ice chests: one with puppy bath and the other with nice, clear water for rinsing. They didn’t mind the baths too much … and they LOV ED the hour of cuddle time afterward.
We’re really enjoying this litter of NanaDogs puppies…. They’re so much fun (except when they bite your toes! – smile). After our last litter we found the Misty Method of Potty Training for breeders. And – WOW!!!! – it really DOES work. That means that all our puppies will have the basics of potty training in place when they leave here, ready for their new parent to successful crate training!
The latest progeny of Ambrosia Aberlin and Aristotle Abernathy were born on August 20th and will be ready to move to their adopted homes around October 8th. As usual for all our NanaDogs, they’ll be up to date with their shots, tails are docked, dewclaws removed, and identification microchips implanted.
We gave them Peter Pan character temporary names. It just seemed fitting.
Old English Sheepdogs are an intelligent breed and are pleasers by nature – though they also have a bit of the class clown in them. However, because they are a large breed dog – and they become big pretty quickly – good behavior training is important from the moment you pick up your puppy. Here are some of the training tips we learned across the years and recommend to you.
You Must be the Alpha Dog in the House.
Okay, we don’t mean that literally, but you’re the owner, the master, and the boss. On the other hand, your puppy believes otherwise. Until it’s clear “Who’s the mama” or “Who’s the papa” you can expect some pushback over the question of who’s boss. Here are a couple ways to assert your dominance in loving and effective ways.
A. Just in case you missed it in your biology class, your puppy doesn’t speak or understand English. Sure, ultimately they will learn some commands (sit, stay, down, off, leave-it, etc.), but they won’t understand what the word means … they simply associate the word with a behavior that you’re expecting. We know this may seem obvious to you, but we can’t count the number of times we see owners trying to convince their dogs to behave by talking to them using their best baby voice. “Oh Sparky, you know you shouldn’t jump up on Mr. Smyth. Get back on the floor where you belong, you naughty little dog.” And then the owner is somehow surprised that the puppy keeps licking Mr. Smyth’s gravy spattered tie while sitting on his lap at the dinner table. Until your puppy has learned what the basic commands are, your tone and volume of voice will need to do the communicating for you. If the command you’re going to use to keep your puppy from jumping up on people is “Off” (as opposed to down, which may be an invitation to lie down), then when Sparky jumps up on Mr. Smyth, your response should be LOUD, SWIFT, TERSE, and UNHAPPY – “OFF!” As you say the word, pull the puppy from your guest and make it sit or lay or go to its crate. Do NOT suddenly break into “Oh that’s a good boy, papa loves you,” in your most gentle and kind and encouraging voice. You are NOT happy with the puppy, and though the puppy will soon forget what you’re angry about, for the moments during and immediately after the incident maintain your sternness. After a few moments, release your puppy with whatever release command you’re going to use. We use “Okay!” spoken in an “all is forgiven” matter of fact tone of voice.
B. Brush your puppy at least every other day whether it needs it or not. The puppy should sit for most of this, but you’ll need it to stand to get the back legs. When the pup lies down, roll it over onto its back with its head in your lap – they’ll probably hate this at first – and make them stay that way until you’ve brushed their underside. Be sure to roll the puppy over every single time you brush – eventually it will learn to like it, but you will need to be consistent.
C. Make your puppy “give you a kiss.” In other words, lick you on the chin or thereabouts. Some puppies do this naturally, others you’ll need to teach. Blowing gently into the nose from a couple inches away sometimes elicits a kiss.
D. You give the food, you take it away. This one just sounds mean, but not only is it effective, it’s necessary. Dogs are territorial by nature and when they have their food (or their chew-toy) they are unlikely to give it up willingly. At first. We believe it’s unacceptable for a dog to growl, snarl, or nip at a human who approaches their food dish, crate, or toys. To ensure your child never gets snapped at when they wander too close to the food bowl, start the following practice immediately. When you feed your puppy, let them start eating and after a minute or so, take the food away. If they snarl or growl at you, see #1 for how to handle the “NO!” Wait for a few moments … around 10 seconds or so … and return the food bowl. Let them eat a bit and then repeat. Do the same with their favorite toys, bones, your ex-best shoes, and whatever, and in short order the puppy will understand that you can giveth and you can taketh away.
We’ll talk Crate Training in another post
Stripe has a new home in Florida where he’s become the alpha dog and has run of the ranch.
I never thought about it happening…. I always thought the risk of puppy scamming came from the sellers – those who were selling a dog they didn’t actually have but taking your money – or at least your deposit – instead.
Then we encountered “Sin Espinoza”. I think we learned something after our encounter with “Sin” who twice sent us bogus cashier checks for more than we were asking for the puppy … more so we could pay his “vet” when the vet came to pick the puppy up. We were able to have our bank check on the first check only because it was written by the same bank as ours; there were insufficient funds. Then there came the second cashier check, from a different bank, that we had to deposit with a hold … which then thoroughly thrust our personal bank account into a tizzy both before and after the check was found to be insufficient.
Then there was “Albert” who approached us with an interesting story … that contradicted itself in the second email we received from him. Again, he wanted to send us more than what we were asking, this time it was because he’s in the military and would need someone to retrieve the puppy for him.
Sigh. One thing we’ve learned for sure is that we cannot accept cashier checks for puppy deposits – or even full payment (nor will we ever receive more than full payment). From here on out we’ll have to accept only PayPal deposits and either a second PayPal payment or cash to complete the sale of a puppy.
So far, none of our puppies’ new mommy or daddies has complained. If you are reading this and anticipating adding a NanaDog to your family, please let us know if you need help with making a PayPal deposit. This is not only for our safety and that of our puppies, it’s for yours too. After all, we want you to know that we aren’t scammers and we stand behind our Agreement and Guarantee.