Dog wash day. Made some more DIY homemade "Rosemary Lavender Delight" shampoo bars. Tons of amazing, organic essential oils -- Vitamin E, chamomile oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Neem oil, Wheat Germ oil, -- help the dogs' coats shine, alleviate itching from allergies, and the neem oil, lavender, rosemary, lemon grass helps repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.
When training our pups and our own canine crew, we use gentle, force-free, humane training and a scientifically sound training protocol as recommended by the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior. We are members of Birmingham Obedience Training Club and participate in the AKC Canine Good Citizenship Program, and follow guidelines established by the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.
As recommended by the latest scientific findings of canine cognition and behavior, we never use force, intimidation, violence, e-collars etc. with any of our dogs to produce results. We use scientifically sound behavior modification protocols and gentle, humane, and force-free training.
We modify the S.T.A.R. Puppy Program for pups who will be participating in conformation and/or canine freestyle events but the basic principles are as follows:
AKC CGC℠ Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge
*I will be responsible for my dog's health needs. These include: routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming.
*I will be responsible for my dog's safety. I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate, not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public. I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification when appropriate (which may include collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID). I will provide adequate supervision when my dog and children are together.
*I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others. I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood. I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard, in a hotel room, etc. I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog's waste in all public areas such as on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc. I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog's waste in wilderness areas, on hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.
*I will be responsible for my dog's quality of life. I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs. I will give my dog attention and playtime. I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.
20 STEPS To Success: The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test
1. Maintains puppy's health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)
2. Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge
3. Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan
4. Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
5. Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy
6. Owner has obtained some form of ID for puppy-collar tag, etc.
7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 weeks of class
8. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class
9. Tolerates collar or body harness of owner's choice
10. Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)
11. Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy
PRE-CANINE GOOD CITIZEN® TEST BEHAVIORS:
12. Allows (in any position) petting by a person other than the owner
13. Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam (ears, feet)
14. Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight line (15 steps)
15. Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other people 5-ft away
16. Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure
17. Down on command-Owner may use a food lure
18. Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called
19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away
20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns
Rally and Canine Freestyle
Our pugs seem to love Rally Obedience. It is "friendlier" for those non-biddable dogs like pugs (which can be quite stubborn!) compared with straight up obedience since you can chat and talk with your dog throughout the event.
At Pickwick Pugs we start handling/socializing the puppies from the day he/she is born and apply bio-sensor principles and ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) exercises from their first day of life until they leave to go to their new home. We want our puppies to have every advantage as they leave our home and go to their “forever homes”. Starting on Day 3, we add the ENS exercises through Day 16. Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:
*Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
*Stronger heart beats
*Stronger adrenal glands
*More tolerance to stress
*Greater resistance to disease.
Additionally, with regard to learning, the exercises help pups to be more active and more exploratory. "In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, wined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress when stressed."
We also include important handling and socialization of the puppies and incorporate many other socialization and imprinting regimes during the puppies first 8-12 weeks of life at our home.
We continue to work with the pups applying important socialization principles and basic training while they are with us. Their training is geared toward their specific future endeavors (conformation, obedience etc.) but all pugs need to be destined for a couch or lap and, whether or not they participate in activities such as dog shows or tricks events they will need to master important basic skills that allow them to function in a human's world and master the human's vocabulary and rules.
To learn more about these principles there is a wonderful book written by Jerry Hope entitled "The Breeder’s Guide to Raising Superstar Dogs - Puppy Development, Imprinting and Training".
Having attended multiple conferences with Ian Dunbar PhD, BVetMed, MRCVS, we are committed to raising puppies to have solid temperaments, dynamite demeanors, and stellar dispositions" .... true SuperStar Dogs! We can not recommend his book and seminars enough.
Macintosh Barely Fits Into Scale!
15 Days Old and Learning to Walk .....
Macintosh Meets Casanova Cat
Macintosh's 1st Tunnel!
At 1 month, Macintosh can barely fit into the scale!
Born July 6, 2017
Puppy angels! I wrote this piece while trying to stay awake one night monitoring Macintosh's feeding etc......
Macintosh's Ballet Class (Practicing his battement tendu):
6 days old, doing his "exercises".......
Eine Kleine Whelpen Muzik (Our "toosh cleaning" song!) ......
Here is Macintosh the day his eyes opened!
Macintosh's Visit to Vet (He did NOT like taking his medicine!)
In 2 days we will be taking KK to see the vet for an x-ray. After her ultra sound on June 5 , Dr. Fuller said "she's full of puppies!" (here she is at the vet wearing her special t-shirt for the ultrasound. It's an inside joke with vet ..... "Well, that's just bullshit" ..... which is what he said at the previous visit when we brought up something we had heard from a bunch of breeders. Guess he hears a bunch of nonsense in his line of work as a repro vet). So, needless to say, we are certainly very curious now as to the total # of pups and the outcome of the x-ray when the doctor counts spines!
KK has been resting and eating well since her last visit to the doctor and getting extra folic acid, fish oil, lots of fresh quality protein, and probiotics. And, of course, lots of loving and "face licks" from our rescue dog, Jerry. Yesterday, she got extra pampering with a "spa day" bath and nail grind. She will be moving into her puppy room this week and enjoying nesting and settling-in.
Closer to time Dr. Fuller will do a blood test to determine the delivery date most precisely. KK will be glad of this most especially as she won't have to fear the thermometer chasing her around the house all day long ... or, at least as much as without the blood test. If we were to guess now, though, based upon her progesterone #'s we would say 1st week of July and perhaps July 5th. But, of course, we'll be updating soon!
In the meantime, off to cook the princess another egg and try to entice her to eat her breakfast. She is indeed getting pickier and pickier. All she would eat this morning was some origen freeze-dried treats. So, guess I'll be going to grocery store to find some chicken and other delicacies above and beyond this very expensive Fromm and N&D dog food. She has not requested pickles and ice-cream yet, though!
Our Champion Peachtree's Kirkcudbright Kayleigh has impeccable timing! She decided to get her progesterone #'s up during a couple of weeks in which I could reschedule my work so that we could take a delightful trip to visit Kristy and Kevin Ratliff of Hill Country Pugs, Texas! We took 2 days to drive the camper from Alabama to Texas, stopping overnight in Shreveport, Louisiana. We even saw a "Danger Alligator" sign at a gas station/rest stop!
We stayed at the coolest Airbnb that was right on the river! The owner (who built the place) was a hunter. (Lexi, my golden retriever mix was vigilant all night guarding us from all the animals mounted on the wall!)
The 2nd day we finally made it to Texas and visited Kristy's vet for another progesterone test. Yep, perfect timing! So, we had to make the final stud decision. Since there are so many amazing Hill Country champion dogs, it was a difficult one. But, I was in pug heaven trying to decide!
Everyone who knows pugs has probably heard of JJ, the #1 pug in the country for the last umpteenth many years now.....2013, 2014, 2015 and, then Hill Country's Rumble becomes the #1 pug (these are the gorgeous boys you've been seeing at the Westminster on TV etc.). Here I am with her current superstar, Biggie, who could easily be the next TV star.
It's an action shot, so you can't appreciate how amazing he is (Biggie is on my left ... in the right on he photo). Here's a better photo of Biggie.
And here are a few more of her amazing boys.....
Some might say I was a fool for not choosing Biggie, but personality and temperament was a very important factor for me when choosing KK's best match. In the end, I fell in absolute love with Champion Hill Country's Lovin' Every Minute Of It (Trouble). Here we are at the vet's for KK's very first AI. What a tense-filled day for this owner. Trouble was like "no trouble .... I do this all the time." and KK was like "I like sitting on your lap mom".
Next Friday, on Day 28 after the 1st (of 3) AI's, KK will visit our wonderful vet here in Alabama, Dr. David Fuller, for an ultrasound. The suspense is killing us to see if the breedings took, We'll post another entry to this blog soon, so stay tuned!