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SoftMaple 2004 litter

Week One
(Days 1-7)
+ 90% of time spent sleeping
+ 10% eating
+ Susceptible to heat/cold
+ Instinctive reflexes: crawl, seek warmth, nurse
+ They can right themselves if placed upside down
+ Needs stimulation for urination/defecation
+ Rapid development of central nervous system
+ Need constant care from bitch
+ Rectal temperatures 94-97 degrees Farenheit
+ Pups may lose 10% of weight after birth, but should start gaining again
+ Weight should double by end of week

Day One

9/9/2004 6:00am. You can really see that Kasey is shedding!

9/9/2004 3:00 pm The pups wear colored collars so I can tell them apart when weighing them. I usually have these nifty paper like litter collars, but the box I got back in 1995 has lost its sticky ability. Later I will change them to colored velcro collars.

Day 2

9/10/2004 6:00am. KC doesn't like when I take the pups out, clean the box and replace the liner. She is happy to be back in with her kids and just gives me a look.

9/10/2003 3:30pm pictures... KC is outside on a potty break, so I get a close up of the pups

Pile of puppies

Day 3

9/11/2004 breakfast

7:30 pm pictures

Day 4

9/12/2004 6:00am the pups are moved from the whelping box and put into a little rubbermaid tote while the box is cleaned, and the liner changed.

Today we start the bio sensor exersizes with the pups. Each pup is placed on a cool cloth for 5 seconds, then put in each of the positions for 5 seconds, ticlked with a Q-tip on a foot, then put back in the box.

The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called "Bio Sensor" was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.

The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises, which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in nor order of preference the handler starts with one put and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:

1. Tactile stimulation - holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds.

2. Head held erect - using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds

3. Head pointed down - holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds

4. Supine position - hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.

5. Thermal stimulation - use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.

These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results.

These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.

Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:

    1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
    2. Stronger heart beats,
    3. Stronger adrenal glands,
    4. More tolerance to stress
    5. Greater resistance to disease


In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.

The puppies can not regulate their own body temperature. They can't shiver, or make their hair stand on end to trap an insulating layer of air like adult dogs can. Their body temperatures tend to rise and fall with that of their surroundings. Chilling is one of the major causes of early puppy death.

From day one to day 4, I have to keep the puppy area between 85°F and 90°F. Since the weather outside has been in the high 70's, this means I still have to supply an additional heat source. I have a puppy heating pad (which is a LOT different than a human heating pad, which can burn the pups) I also have heat lamps, which I don't like to leave on if I am not in the house. We use a pellet furnace in the puppy room, that blows all the heat out into the room. Even though it mostly heats the puppy room, the rest of the house gets warm....this makes it pretty uncomfortable for the rest of us in the house! Since they also get heat from KC, I can start lowering the room temperature over the next few days.

Day Five

Yesterday we also removed Dewclaws from the pups. No one had any back Dewclaws, and they all did fine.

The dew claw is the rudimentary first toe or first digit on a dog, and, unlike digits 2,3,4 and 5, are not used for walking. They are located a short distance up the leg on the inside surface. At this age, the bones that make up the toes are tiny and soft so that snipping them off is easy. If the dewclaws are not removed at 2-5 days of age one should wait until the pup is old enough to anesthetize safely.

Removing dewclaws from an adult animal is much more difficult than snipping them off of a days old puppy. Recovery time is also longer and many adult animals will bother the incision excessively because it is so easy to reach. This usually necessitates the placement of an Elizabethan collar, a funnel shaped plastic device that surrounds the animal's head, so that it cannot lick or chew its sutures out. Dewclaws serve no purpose to the dog. They are easily snagged on things and often traumatized.

I have known several people who have had an adult dog tear a dewclaw part way off, and after seeing that, they were definitely in favor of removal at 3-4 days old. If done at the proper age there should be very little if any pain and bleeding. (most pups just give a little squeak) I apply some "Kwik Stop" styptic powder to stop any bleeding.

The CCR standard states “dewclaws are generally removed”

9/13/2004 morning pictures


  • Look and feel vibrant, vigorous and strong
  • Twitch while sleeping (activated sleep)
  • Nurse with great energy
  • Have tongues that are pink and warm
  • Have skin that returns quickly to normal when it is pinched
  • Have tummies that feel full, but not bloated

Puppies are born with eyes and ears closed. Eyes and ears open around day 10. The reason a healthy puppy twitches is to strengthen its muscles.


  • Look and feel unthrifty, limp and flaccid
  • Stop twitching in their sleep
  • Rattle when breathing
  • Cease nursing, show weak attempts at nursing or cry while nursing
  • Have a tongue that is not pink colored and is cool to the touch (sometimes looks ruffled)
  • Cry most of the time
  • Double up in cramps
  • Have skin that stays creased when pinched
  • Have diarrhea and/or vomiting

Day Six

6:00 am pictures

11:00am pictures

Day Seven

Newborn pups can not eliminate on their own.
They need the mom to stimulate (lick) them to help them defecate and urinate. (yea, sort of gross!)

On to Week Two (9/16/2004)

See the dogs behind Moxy's pedigree
See the dogs behind Kasey's pedigree

SoftMaple 2004 Litter

SoftMaple Curly Coated Retrievers
Mark and Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan New York 13327

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