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SoftMaple & Gunflint

Boyerie Dese Maestro Music Please CR-CA148/24M/C-PI-ECHO CR-696G24M-PI CR-750
SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI, CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI


Week Six (Days 36-42)

+ Growth and development continue

Puppy Toddlers (3 - 6 Weeks) During the Toddler period, puppies emerge on their own from the litter. They venture into the surrounding environment. This emergence from the litter is a gradual and continual learning experience. During this stage of development puppies learn basic behavioral patterns specific to dogs. While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and litter mates. They learn what it is like to bite and be bitten, what barking and other vocalizations mean and how to make and use them to establish social relationships with other dogs. Such learning and activity tempers their own biting and vocalizing. From the age of five weeks, the mother teaches her puppies basic manners. They learn to be submissive to her leadership and what behaviors are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, snarls, or snaps at them as a form of discipline. When weaning the litter, for instance, the mother will discipline her puppies so that they will leave her alone. Because the mother disciplines them in a way that they clearly understand, after a few repetitions, the puppies will respond to a mere glare from her. If a pup has not learned to accept leadership (and discipline) in its early interactions with dogs, its training will be more difficult. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early tend to be nervous, more prone to barking and biting, and less responsive to discipline. Often they are aggressive with other dogs. Generally speaking, a puppy taken away from it's mother and litter mates before seven weeks of age, may not realize its full potential as a dog and companion. To maximize the mental and psychological development of puppies, they must remain in the nest with their mother and litter mates until seven weeks of age.

Day 36

Wake up!

over the wall!

The pups were wormed a 4th time yesterday.

They are really getting rowdy when they play. The routine is feeding early in the am, moving them to the Shark cage while the puppy room is cleaned. The fleece liner and about half the toys need to be sent through the laundry each day. They get another feeding about 1pm, one about 6, and usually a late night one. The food is soaked puppy food, mixed with some canned milk, digestive enzymes, a Vitamin C tablet, and some ground meat and veggies.

Depending on the day, the liner may have to be washed later in the day. Once the floor is dried with fans, papers are put down, and the pups can go back in. Since Beauty is still nursing them I don't like to keep them in the Shark cage for more than an hour or so. Some breeders basically raise a litter in a raised puppy pen, since the pups stay clean, and its easy to keep a real small space clean, as opposed to a room. But at this age, pups need interaction with the mom. She has so much to teach them. Taking them away from the mom at this age can have lasting effects on the pups.

Day 37

While the pups are eating breakfast in the Shark Cage, Beauty swipes all their toys

Something the puppies do a lot!

Day 38

Day 39

Day 40

This morning while I clean up the puppy room, I let the pups explore the larger dog room.

Yellow girl finds Beauty and the food!

Aysa is very interested in the pups, and they have to check her out. I like to have the pups interact with other dogs besides Beauty. This will help me decide which pup goes to which home. Some pups are bold and don't show a lot of respect for an older dog. I would not want to place a pup like this in a home with a grumpy senior dog.

More pups find Beauty

Day 41

The Playroom gets bigger, and new toys and obstacles are added

The pups love the tunnel

Day 42

This is a swing made out of a rubbermaid storage bin. It hangs from 3 ropes from the ceiling, and when the pups get it it, it rocks back and forth.

There are toys hanging from the ceiling with bells and squeakies in them. Tunnels, small stairs, uneven surfaces, a crate, boxes, soda bottles, balls, bones, stuffed animals, rope toys.

Even the water dish becomes a toy to the pups!

More about how we pick your pup for you:

In every litter, there can be vast differences in how a pup acts. Even if the pups are raised all the same, different personality and temperament traits come out. We do puppy evaluations to see if there are any surprises in the litter. To see if a pup acts differently when away from his *Safe place* and littermates. Sometimes a pup that seems the outgoing bully of the bunch will shut down when taken from his siblings and put in a new environment. Some puppies have a very low pain tolerance, or are sound sensitive. These are things we look at when we place a pup with you. A puppy that scores middle of the road in all of the temperament puppy evaluations categories is the type of puppy that should be a joy to own and train with the most common methods used today in dog training. A puppy who has next to no pain tolerance, is very sound sensitive, not forgiving.... this may be a puppy that would do better with a clicker trainer, or all positive training. A dog with a very high pain threshold, who is bold, very forgiving, dominant, high prey drive.....this may be the type of pup that a rugged field trainer, who is used to using an E- collar would want.

People fall in love with certain puppies they see in the pictures. Some of the pups are more photogenic than others. Some are constantly attacking my shoes while I am taking pictures, so they themselves don't get into a lot of pictures! The best feeling as a breeder, is when people come here to get their pup.. I tell them which pup I have chosen for them, and after several hours with the whole litter, they tell me that is the pup they would have chosen themselves. I have even gone so far as to take the collars off the pups before the person comes, and mark a number on the pups belly, so only I know who is whom. And see if that person would choose the pup I chose for them. If two pups turn out so close in the evaluations, that either would make a good match, then I do let someone choose. And they always tell me that makes it even harder!

The goal is to find forever homes for these puppies. (It doesn't always happen, because people's situations do change.) I know divorce happens, job loss happens, people have to move, etc... If for any reason you can not keep the puppy, please contact me!

I look at what your family dynamics is. Do you have children? Do you have other pets? What are your goals for the puppy? How will you be training the puppy? People asking for a companion dog often think they will get a dog that is not as good quality as a show dog. This is not the case. A dog going to a show home can not have any glaring faults. It has to have a *pick me!* attitude. But often times I place a better dog (In my opinion) into a therapy home, or an agility home, because it has the temperament I think it needs for those areas. The showdog part of a Curlies life is a very small part of his life. The dog also has to be a dog you can live with. Some people who get a so called *Pet Quality* (I hate that term!) dog from me, later try their hand in the show ring, and get hooked! That is great, but I don't push it on the new owners. I got into showing by accident myself. Started with obedience classes, someone said the dog was good, why don't I enter a show.... we did good... then some breed person said the dog was nice, why don't I show her in breed... and so on. It is a wonderful hobby, as long as you don't let the only goal become winning. The dog should always be having fun! You should always be having fun!

Showing Your Curly Coated Retriever

The 129th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is on tonight and tomorrow night. Established in 1877, The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. In 2005, the 129th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will add to its legacy as the greatest dog show in the world. It persists as the second longest continuously held sporting event in this country, just one year behind the Kentucky Derby.

The sporting dogs will be shown Feb 15th. The Curlies are being shown at 12:15, there will be some coverage at the AKC web site, but the group judging will be aired on TV on USA at 8m.

There are 10 curlies entered. One female, and 9 males. If a male wins Best of Breed, the female is automatically Best of Opposite sex. They also award a few Judges awards of Merit, determined by the number of dogs that actually compete at the event.

There are a few of your puppies relatives competing tomorrow for this prestigious award. You can see the Catalog here and all the Curlies that entered this year. Of those entered, BIS BISS Ch Riverwatch Southern Cross, who won BOB at the Curly Coated Retriever Club of America National Specialty and BOB at the 2005 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show, and more recently was the first Breeder/Owner/Hanlded BIS curly Coated Retriever. Curlew is a half brother of Jet, who is Beauty's dad. Jet and Curlew are both sired by Ch.Riverwatch DesertWind ROM. (Loki)
One of Curlew's brothers is entered. Ch Riverwatch Quitly Makn Noiz
Surge is entered. He is out of Ch Riverwatch Windsong SH, who is Litter brother to Loki. (Ch.Riverwatch DesertWind ROM)
Buster is entered. He is out of Andre (Am & Can Ch. Boyerie's Andouille O'Wits' End), who is Libby's dad. (Libby is Maestro's mom)
Rebel is entered. He is out of Bumper, (Ch Mathel Felicitation ROM) who is Beauty's mom's mom. (Seger's mom)Bumper is the mother of my International litter.
If you look back at the pedigrees of some of the other dogs entered, you will find dogs common to your pups pedigree.

Whomever wins Best Of Breed, it is an honor, and we will be cheering for them in the group!

Go to week Seven

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

Information on our next litter:

SoftMaple 2005 Spring/Summer litter plans

Ch. Dese's Black As Coal, CD, WC, CGC, TT, JH CR-530G26M-T, CR-CA47/30M/C-T, CR-582
and CH SoftMaple's Pheasant Dreams WC CGC CR-722G34F, CR-El134F34

SoftMaple Puppy Application

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