Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Training related questions are the most common questions that I get asked by my puppy buyers.

One mistake that I find many pet owners make is to ignore good behavior and correct for bad behavior. While this may seem to be the obvious route to take, doing this will inhibit your dog's ability to learn quickly and happily.

Dogs do not learn without being reinforced for their good behaviors. How else are they to know what we want from them? We can teach what we do not want with a negative voice and response, but it takes a huge amount of time to shape a correct behavior using negative responses to incorrect behavior. Dogs work for praise/games or food. Most people do not use praise correctly as it requires much more than a monotone "good girl" to be a high level positive reinforcement. This is why cookies are generally more effective, but both work if used correctly. If you want your English Cocker to work for praise, "have a party" with her when she has done something great and have a short play session with a toy. Alternate food and praise as rewards. A dog who already knows something well can receive very low level rewards (such as verbal praise) and be happy. A much higher level of reward is required with a young dog. When I am doing obedience training with a novice dog, I use tons and tons of treat. With a higher level dog, like my six year old Sophie, a stick of cheese can go a very, very long way.
Another thing to remember is that if a puppy or novice dog does something wrong twice, go back to an easier step where she can be successful. It is important for your dog to be successful more often than she is wrong. This will build her desire to please. It may not seem like it, but she is learning more when she does something correctly and is praised than she learns if she is corrected for the wrong behavior. So, if I am working downs, I put the puppy in a down wait, wait one second, say good down wait, and feed (happy voice). I try again, waiting five seconds. If the puppy waits, it is good down wait and feed, if not, I lure the puppy in to a down or gently push her down (depending on the puppy as some resist being pushed) and say, no, gotta down, gotta wait (still a happy voice.) You can pull gently down on the collar while saying this. Give the command again, if she is wrong again, go back to one second so that you can praise and feed for the correct behavior.

The other mistake that pet owners often make is to faze out food too quickly. Question: When do I stop using treats?? Answer: Never!

Once your dog understands a behavior and reliably offers it to you when asked, you can switch to intermittently offered treats. However, if you completely stop rewarding the behavior, your dog will eventually stop giving you that behavior (-: When I visit the dog park with my dogs, I always have my pockets full of cookies. I call my dogs and feed cookies for their recalls. I often get asked how my dogs have such nice recalls even around so much distraction. My answer is that my dogs are continually rewarded for coming to me. They are just waiting until the moment I say their names to start running to me as fast as they can.

My dog doesn't know how to (?)

I suggest that you take a class with your dog. The majority of dog owners (myself included) learn much better when receiving feedback from an experienced trainer who is watching you work with your dog. You may not have the correct timing for your rewards or commands and may need help before your dog will completely understand the behaviors you are asking for. I know quite a bit about training my own dogs and I still take classes. Every time I take a class I learn something new or remember something that I have forgotten. Also, classes provide an environment full of distractions to train around and a structured training schedule.

When you are taking classes DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It is not enough to take a class and not work your dog in between classes. In order to get the most from your class, train your dog at least 2-3 times in between classes. Your training sessions can be short and sweet. Set a kitchen timer for the length of time you want to train for (I recommend under a half hour) and work until the timer goes off. Keep it positive and make sure you end on a successful note. If you get stuck on something, make a mental note to ask your instructor to work with you on that in class, and move on to something else. Never work the same command unsuccessfully. If you are unsuccessful, you need outside help before you and your dog become frustrated.

One other comment I commonly get is: My dog is too wild when I train with food!

This means that your dog is highly motivated by food. Please do not stop using food, which may be your initial response. If your dog or puppy becomes a little crazed when you bring out the cookies, you need to take the time to work through this. Continue using food and continue training. Eventually, your puppy will concentrate more on learning and working to get the cookie. It may take a bit of time for your puppy to understand that the point of training is not to leap for food, but to work for it. If your puppy is highly motivated by food, it is a blessing and not a curse. Continue working through it and continue building the association between food and training. A highly food motivated dog who understands that certain behaviors will be rewarded with food will eventually be very reliable about offering those behaviors (-: I love to work with an energetic, food motivated puppy myself (-:

I can't seem to get motivated to train (or) I don't have time to train my dog.

Neither of these are a very good excuse for not training your dog. Training time provides mental and physical exercise for your dog as well as time for the two of you to bond. An obedience class is just 1 hour a week. If you are lacking motivation, sign up for a class as the structure will be good for you. If you are lacking time, try to train for just ten minutes every night. Short training sessions are great for your dog, and ten minutes a night becomes 70 minutes of training a week.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bed Dogs

I'm snuggling in bed with Lexi Lou and Sophie while downloading new apps to my iPhone. A nice way to end the day! While not all dogs have the appropriate manners to be allowed to sleep on the bed, I have no personal problem with dogs sleeping on the bed with their owners. Sleeping on the bed and other furniture is, however, the first priveledge I will recommend dog owners take away from a dog who is acting dominant or possesive in *any* way or at *any* time, so sometimes people think I do not believe that dogs should ever be allowed on the bed. As a side note, if your dog is continually getting on and off the bed during the night, I recommend a crate or dog bed on the floor. Interestingly enough, in my experience, many dogs are actually happier sleeping in a dog bed on the floor. Also, I do not recommend allowing puppies to sleep on the bed until after a year of age. Puppies are safest crated at night and need to become accustomed to sleeping in a crate in case they need to travel or be boarded with a friend. Puppies also should not be given such a high value priveledge, in my humble opinion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 26, 2009

Puppy Play Dates

I am sure most of my puppy buyers have heard me lecture about the importance of socializing a puppy in order to end up with a friendly, well adjusted adult dog who is good with everyone, both human and canine. If you expect your new puppy to be friendly with other dogs, he or she needs to be socialized with a variety of dogs. If you expect your new puppy to be good with kids, he or she must be socialized with children from an early age.

Puppy play dates are an excellent way to socialize your puppy and also to provide the exercise and mental stimulation that your puppy needs. I recently received these photos from the owners of Bella and Maggie from the M Litter. These two girls had a play date together and obviously had a fabulous time. I am so happy their owners took the time to get them together!! Socializing and training puppies can be very time consuming, but the effort will be rewarded with a well behaved and social adult dog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

English Cockers - The worst thing about this breed!

Why did I have to fall in love with a breed that requires so much grooming???

Those of you who know me know that I am completely and totally in love with this breed. They are almost a perfect match for me. Energetic, smart, funny, athletic, friendly, cheerful, and biddable. They are a great breed for someone interested in performance events. They love to work and their love for cookies makes this a fabulous breed to train for someone (me) who prefers to have a lighter hand when training. In fact, heavy handed training methods do not usually work with this breed. There is no need for a battle of wills with my dogs... they work for food and a few extra snuggles.

I also love the size of this breed. A 200 vari-kennel is just about perfect for traveling with to shows, yet they are large enough and hardy enough to play at the dog park with goldens and labs. I cringe sometimes when I see smaller breeds of dogs at the dog park running with much larger breeds of dogs. No need to worry about my cockers. They run, jump and play with the big dogs and yet make nice playmates for smaller dogs as well.

I love the snuggling capabilities of this breed. They are never happier than when they are in your lap, shoving a toy in to the crook of your neck and then dropping it in favor of wet kisses all over your face. They are so charming and happy. All people are their friends, all dogs are their playmates. All tennis balls are for fetch and birds are for chasing.

Overall, this breed is a wonderful match for an active home that does not mind a dog who can't keep four on the floor (-:

However, this breed needs regular grooming!!! They need to be combed out every other day and need to be groomed about every 6 weeks. When an ECS is spayed or neutered, or clippered, they tend to grow even more coat and will need even more grooming. They need their nails trimmed, ears cleaned out, clippering, stripping, feet scissored, the list goes on. If you like grooming yourself, that is great, but if not, you should expect to have a *very* good relationship with your groomer. You should shop around for a groomer just as you would look for a veterinarian. Try to find someone that you like and trust as you will have an ongoing, long term relationship. It is in the best interest of your dog if you can find a groomer who will listen to you and who you can completely trust. All groomers are NOT created equal. Find one that you and your dog like and feel you can work with.

Get your English Cocker on scheduled grooming visits and stick with the schedule. Puppies should be taken to the groomer for face and feet trims and baths in order to get accustomed to the environment. It is not fair for you to expect your puppy to have a full haircut for the first time at 6 months of age. Your puppy need to be trained to accept and behave for grooming just as you will train a sit and a down. If you will use a professional groomer, your puppy needs to learn to be groomed and handled by strangers at a young age. I recommend the first grooming appointment be made for age 16 weeks, as soon as your puppy has had all of his or her puppy vaccinations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Off Lead Play For Puppies

Risa, our liver puppy, formally known as Calypso's Barista, is now 12 weeks old. She is such a good puppy, but a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. Meg, from our M Litter, who is now 13 weeks old, came over today for a play date with Risa. They had a TON of fun playing together. They sounded quite wild and crazy as they raced around barking, growling, wrestling, and leaping at each other. Meg's mom works as a veterinary technician, so she had the patience to stay here for several hours and watch puppies play with me, knowing, as I know, that off lead play time with other dogs is an essential part of socializing a baby puppy. Dogs learn so much from each other. They learn appropriate play styles, greetings, when to be submissive, etc. They learn how to interact appropriately with dogs only by playing with other dogs. Puppies also learn proper bite inhibition by playing with other puppies their age.

Many pet owners neglect this part of socializing their new puppies. This can lead to an adult dog who is fearful of other dogs or who gives the wrong cues while playing with other dogs which can lead to inappropriate behavior, either from your own dog or from the other dogs interacting with your dog. Dogs are not miniature humans and one of the best ways to allow them to develop proper canine language is to allow puppies plenty of off lead play time with other dogs and puppies while they are growing up.

If you have a puppy growing up at home, schedule a play date with another puppy your puppy's age. If you do not know another puppy, consider taking a puppy class where off lead play time is part of the curriculum. Once your puppy has had all of his or her vaccinations, you can look for a doggy daycare that will allow your puppy to visit for a few hours or a dog park with a "small dog" section where your puppy can make friends with dogs his or her size.

Properly socializing your puppy will take work on your part!! Remember, though, that in order to end up with a well socialized, well behaved adult dog, you must first put the appropriate amount of effort in to raising your puppy correctly.

One added benefit to puppy play sessions... a very tired and happy puppy! Risa is currently quietly sleeping in her crate. Too tired to even chew on the bone I gave her!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dunkin x Sophie Puppies Age 3 Weeks

Peter x Jasmine Puppies age 4 weeks

They are growing up too fast!! I think these pictures are self explanatory. Just a glimpse of the puppies in their little puppy world. They think life is way too much fun!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I was at Costco yesterday and saw that they had two great doggie items:

1. 32 ounce bottles of excellent quality Wild Alaskan Salmon oil for around $14.00. I bought one and my dogs think it is very yummy and it is great for their coats.

2. Frontline Plus 3 pack for about $38.00 - a very reasonable price.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Dog's Bedtime Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,

The queen-size bed is soft and deep.

I sleep right in the centre groove

My Human being can hardly move!

I've trapped her legs,

she's tucked in tight,

And here is where

I pass the night.

No one disturbs me or dares intrude

Till morning comes and I want food!

I sneak up slowly, it begins

My nibbles on my human's chin.

She wakes up slowly, smiles and shouts,

"You darling beast! Just cut it out!"

But morning's here,

it's time to play

I always seem to get my way.

So thank you, Lord, for giving me

This human person that I see.

The one who hugs and holds me tight

And shares her bed with me at night.

Author Unknown

Friday, May 15, 2009

Do Not Donate To Peta or HSUS

Please donate to your local animal shelter directly. Do not donate to Peta or the HSUS!

Click on the link below to watch the video.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

ECS Embroidery

I wanted to share a link to a website I have been working on for Bonnie Kost (Jack's owner.) The site is www.mydogmyshirt.com. It is a work in progress, but is fully functional and you can place an order if you would like. She has some lovely embroidery designs for English Cockers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dusty's Tail

At our recent ECSCA national specialty show, I was asked quite a few times why I chose not to dock Dusty's tail. Here is my reasoning:


1. He would win more at dog shows.
2. No questions about why we chose not to dock (-:


1. At six months of age, tail docking requires surgery including anesthesia and stitches.
2. He would no longer have his happy, wagging tail, which he was accustomed to.

I made the decision that I felt was in the best interest of Dusty, not the decision that was in myown best interest. I also have every confidence that he is of nice enough quality to succeed at shows, regardless of the tail. Some judges may not appreciate the tail, but others will see past the politics of docking to appreciate Dusty's excellent breed type and flawless movement.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2009 ECSCA National

I just returned from the ECSCA National Specialty in Huron, OH. What a fabulous National Specialty!! Congratulations to all of the winners. It is an accomplishment just to place in your class at a National Specialty, where not only are there more than 400 entries, but the entries brought to the show are of the highest quality. I had an absolutely wonderful time. Nationals are such a wonderful opportunity to visit with friends who you may not see again for months or even years. It is also a great opportunity to see dogs in person who you have read or heard about. I saw many lovely cockers and had the opportunity to go over a few stunningly beautiful dogs. Overall, it was a worthwhile trip and I can't wait until next May for the 2010 ECSCA National in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

The photos below are all of Dusty, Northworth Vail Of Honour, in his 6-9 month class. He was handled by Hillary Wambaugh who co-owns Confetti, Calypso's Just A Parti Girl. I had fun visiting with Hillary at this National and getting to know her. She is very much a "student of the breed" and we had some fun conversations about dogs. Her sister has Beagles and Hillary also has Springers, so it was fun to talk about the differences between those breed and the ECS. Of course, the ECS sounds like the best of the three (-: I might be a little bias, though (-:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jack x Sienna Puppies

These puppies are bred and owned by Deb St Myers, Agate English Cocker Spaniels. The sire of the litter is CH Calypso's Fortunate Series Of Events, Jack, and the dam is Quinlan's Burnt Sienna RN OA OAJ OF, Sienna. The black boy, Jasper, is available to a home that will show him in conformation. He is located in Northern California. You can visit the Puppies page on my website for more information.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog Legislation

I don't know how many of you realize this, but there has been an important piece of legislation in WA recently, SB5651. There have been similar pieces of legislation introduced all over the US, including a Bill in New York which will ban tail docking and legislation in certain states which will REQUIRE spaying and neutering.

Our personal rights in the US are under attack. Normal, ordinary people read about these bills and feel that the laws make sense and prevent puppy mills. In reality, current animal cruelty laws prevent the puppy mill cases such as those that were recently featured on the Oprah show and the recent puppy mill case that was uncovered in WA State. New legislation is introduced under the guise of preventing puppy mills, but the legislation is actually a move to license ALL dog breeders.

Many dog owners do not realize that these bills are pushed forward and sometimes introduced by special interest groups such as PETA and the Humane Society Of The United States. (DO NOT give these special interest groups donations. If you would like to donate to a rescue, please choose a local rescue in your area. You can find many of these by searching the web.) These two groups are special interest groups that do very little to help animals. Their donations go towards paying salaries and funding lobbyists. These special interest groups intend to make dog ownership in the US very expensive and, at some point, nonexistent. For those of you who have owned a dog, you realize that dogs truly are an integral part of everyday life. Dogs were not bred to be our companions, they chose to be our companions. They adore us and we adore them. It is entirely natural and mutually beneficial. Dogs are a part of our families, they help raise our children, they are a shoulder to cry on, and they love us wholeheartedly. Dog ownership should not be something that is meant only for the wealthy.

Much of the legislation that is introduced is touted as being put into place only to prevent puppy mills. This is not true, but is the language used to keep ordinary dog owners from realizing that they are being affected negatively by these laws.

One bill that has been introduced in many cities and states requires mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs and cats and requires a large fee to keep an intact dog. These have a HUGE impact on hobby breeders as many of us not only have our own intact dogs, but some older puppies we grow up and others that may not live with us but we co-own on the hope that they may turn out to be shown or be a part of our breeding program. Large fees to license all of these dogs with the "intact" license can be thousands of dollars. If these bills pass in multiple states, purebred dogs will soon be outrageously expensive to purchase due to the price to keep a dog intact. Also, many people purchase a well bred dog with the intention of possibly showing. These puppies are sometimes kept intact until they are a year of age or older while their owner visits a few shows to see if it is a hobby they would like to participate in. These people, who start with just a little bit of interest in trying out a dog show or two, often go on to become the future of their breed and of the sport of showing purebred dogs. Laws requiring spaying and neutering take away people's rights and the ability for people to make their own decisions and choices about what they want to do in life.

Also, spaying and neutering can have a negative effect on the health of dogs, especially large breed dogs. For those of you, like me, who have never owned a large breed dog, you may not be aware that altering a dog too early in life can change the way growth plates close and can seriously affect the bone growth and development in large breed dogs. Many breeders of large breed dogs are now recommending that dogs not be neutered until after two years of age. Here is an article which discusses the health effects of spaying and neutering: http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

Some of these bills put a limit on the number of dogs that a breeder can own. One popular limit is ten dogs. This does not take in to consideration the variables such as the number of people caring for the dogs, the number of hours spent caring for the dogs, the home that the dogs live in, etc. I always tell people that it is entirely possible for someone to have two dogs and one litter of puppies and be more neglectful of that one litter and those two dogs than a breeder who owns 10 dogs and has multiple litters of puppies each year. The NUMBER is not what is important, what is important is the conditions that the dogs are kept in and the way they are taken care of. Animal neglect and cruelty laws are what is needed to take care of situations of neglect, not laws regulating breeders.

There is also a bill recently introduced in New York State which will make it illegal to dock tails on puppies. This is so absolutely ridiculous it is not even funny. For those of you who have not seen a puppy have it's tail docked, you should know that it is done at between 2 and 4 days of age and is very quick and while not painless, is not something that bothers the puppy for more than a few minutes. The puppy's tail is not fully developed at that age. I have docked a tail on an adult dog once and it is something I have sworn to never do again. My dog came home from the veterinarian with about 30 stitches in his tail and I considered it a major surgery. Tail docking on a baby puppy is much, much simpler and is not surgery. Tail docking in many breeds, such as sporting spaniels, is done to prevent injury while working in the field.

Personally, I do not like docking tails and would prefer not to. Currently the English Cocker Spaniel breed standard requires tail docking, so I do dock tails on my puppies. I hope that some day the ECSCA changes the breed standard for the English Cocker so that I can be allowed to leave tails on my puppies and still show them in conformation. I do think, however, that tail docking should remain legal and those who prefer to dock, should be allowed to do so. For the many that still hunt with their ECS, docking tails is a necessity.

I am writing this with the hopes that those of you who may not understand or realize that breeders are fighting an ongoing battle against special interest groups will learn something from this post. I hope you will write to your senators and state representatives to tell them your position against anti-breeder legislation when this legislation pops up in your state. This is a battle that breeders cannot fight alone. We need the support of those who own and love their purebred dogs.

Yes, rescuing dogs is a wonderful thing. I send people to rescue groups all the time. However, a rescue dog is not for everyone. A family with young children, a person who knows exactly what they want in a dog, a person who needs a certain size of dog or a dog bred for a certain activity or energy level, a person who wants to hunt with their dog, someone with allergies... these are all people who may need a well bred, well socialized, purebred dog who will develop the look, type, and personality that is written down in that breed's standard.

Please do not make the mistake of believing that these anti breeder bills will not affect you, whether you are a hobby breeder, a pet owner, someone who participates in obedience or agility or just a dog lover. These bills will eventually affect you. Please do not believe that these bills are *only* anti puppy mill. This is simply not true. These bills are genuinely meant to regulate and license ALL dog breeders and to make it incredibly difficult and expensive to own an intact dog.

These bills usually allow for entering a person's home who meets (or is suspected of meeting) a minimum number of dogs (this can be quite a low number) WITHOUT A WARRANT. I find this incredibly scary. Those of you who have visited my home realize that my dogs are very, very well cared for, my house is extremely clean, my dogs are in excellent condition, always groomed and my dogs have tons of toys, exercise, bones to chew on, are fed excellent food, get regular veterinary care, etc. However, if you came to my house on a day when perhaps I am getting home from a 4 day dog show, with dirty dog bedding carted in from my van in bags waiting by the washing machine, dirty dogs because we stopped at the park on the way home for them to play, all my dog show stuff carted inside but not yet put away, and puppies who need their bedding changed, my home is not going to look immaculate. It is rare for all of this to happen at once, but I *have* had those days. Would this be a reason that my dogs should be taken away from me? If I lived in an area with mandatory spaying and neutering, my dogs could then be spayed or neutered immediately without my permission? These are real life situations that are in danger of happening in several states and cities in this country.

If you are willing to help, breeders all over the US will be grateful. For those hobby breeders who feel that this legislation will not affect them, please wake up and smell the coffee. These extremist groups are well organized, well funded, and have lobbyists working for them. We need to become our own advocates.









Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life is Short

It seems like so many people I know have problems with their health right now. It is a big reminder that life is short and it is important to make each day count. It is so easy to just go through the motions. Snuggle up with your cocker, call your relatives, have lunch with your friends. Life is too short to be too busy to enjoy it. On the same note, don't forget to have compassion for those around you.

This is one of my favorite songs:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Life With Multiple Dogs

Common Myths about owning multiple dogs:

1.) Getting a second dog to keep the first one company- If you do not have time for one dog, trust me, you will have even LESS time for him or her with a second dog in the picture. Dogs prefer their human's attention to the attention of other dogs.

2.) When you have more than one already, adding another dog is "no big deal." This is sooo not true. Each dog is a full dog's worth of work, no matter how many you have.

Benefits to owning multiple dogs:

1.) The dogs DO help each other to get more exercise. My crew, at least, all play and wrestle with each other and they do wear each other out. When dogs visit here to play, they always go home tired (-:

2.) The dogs learn social skills from each other. My dogs all "speak dog" very well. This can also be learned by providing regular off-lead play time with other dogs when your single dog is a puppy.

3.) Multiple dogs means there are many more moments of cuteness and laughter. It is a lot of fun watching them play together and seeing their different personalities.

The downside to multiple dogs:

Multiply the cost and energy requirements by the number of dogs you own.

1. ) Work x (insert number of dogs here.)

2.) Training x (insert number of dogs here.)

3.) Cost x (insert number of dogs here.)

4.) Toys Required x (insert number of dogs here.)

5.) Attention Required x (insert dogs here.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dog Park Trip

We went to the dog park last Thursday. Lots of fun (-: I took my crew and met Jennifer with Halo and Chloe and Cathy with Ginger and Ryder there. We had a great time and a nice visit while watching the dogs play.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Dog Place

Here is an absolutely fabulous website that someone shared with me recently. Lots of great articles on different pet training issues, how to choose a dog breed and find a breeder, and articles on dog shows and information for those interested in training for and competing in the different canine sports. The Dog Place

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Simon and Huey Treats - Now Paws Gourmet

Well, this might not seem blog worthy to some of you, but it sure is to my dogs!!!

Simon and Huey dog treats recently went out of business. This is certainly a cause for sadness, however, their treat recipes were purchased by Paws Gourmet, who is now manufacturing them. I was concerned that the treats would change for the worse, but I just visited the Paws Gourmet website at http://www.pawsgourmet.com and I was very impressed. In fact, now I want to try some of their other gourmet dogs treats. Maybe one of my dogs needs a special birthday treat from me, lol. I also purchased a 1 lb tub of the Paws Gourmet training treats at the Portland Dog show in January and thought they seemed exactly the same as the Simon and Huey treats that we have used for so long.

If you have not tried these treats, you should give them a try. They come in 6 ounce and 1 lb resealable tubs and each treat is about the size of a pea. They are excellent for training puppies, but I use them for training dogs of all ages.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I got this poem as a forward, but thought some of you might enjoy reading it...

Injustice To Our Ladies
Author Unknown

You've bred a bitch, a winning thing,
And make her a Champion of the ring.
She's sound, she's lovely, a joy to see.
You want to breed her carefully.

Taking lots of time, you look around.
The stud must be both typey and sound.
You study pedigrees till you're blind,
Faithfully building the litter in your mind.

Several possibilities appear,
You write to all, and wait to hear.
Some write back, "My dog's the best".
You never hear from all the rest.

You choose the one you hope is right,
Although the stud fee's out of sight.
You breed your bitch...the die is cast,
The next nine weeks don't go by fast.

Of course, the lady whelps in the middle of the night
With luck and care, all comes out alright.
The next eight weeks you fret and strain,
Feed and scoop and try to train.

You take such care with home they get,
This one a show dog...that one a pet.
The new owners call with problems dear,
You're on the phone for half a year.

At last, the grand moment you've longed to know,
Your lady's pups have come to their first show.
They all look fine, not one a dud,
Then from behind you comes, WOW...nice pups...who's the STUD!"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pregnant Sienna On The Beach

Here is Sienna (owned by Deb St Myers) snoozing on the beach when she was 7 weeks pregnant. She is due any day. She was bred to Jack, Ch Calypso's Fortunate Series Of Events.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puppy Socialization / I Miss Baby Puppies

While browsing the Puppy Prodigies site, I found this great page about puppy socialization: http://www.puppyprodigies.org/Socialization.htm

I absolutely, wholeheartedly, agree with everything written on this page about socializing puppies. The point of socialization is for puppies to be introduced to new things in a POSITIVE way. It is not socialization if your puppy is not willingly participating. Use a lot of praise and treats while socializing your puppy.

On another note... you may have noticed my recent preoccupation with puppies (or may have heard about it if you talked to me recently!!) I miss puppies!!! Deb, if you are reading this, I might have to drive all the way to CA for a dose of puppy breath once Sienna's puppies arrive (-:

I miss having tiny baby puppies in my house. I miss playing in the yard with little four week old puppies who are walking all over their ears and bunny hopping across the yard. I don't miss the puppy clean-up, LOL, but I really miss the puppy breath and all of the "puppy's first" experiences that are so fun with each litter.

Puppy Prodigies Video Clips


Take a look at these video clips. I found them fascinating. I will have to see what types of tricks I can teach my next litter of puppies. Sit, down, and roll could be taught to an eight week old puppy pretty easily, but I am interested to try targeting, speak, give five, and turn/twist with a puppy that young.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pet Puppy Grooming

Jennifer and I had two pet puppies visit us for grooming when we were at the Portland Kennel Club shows last weekend. Willa (No Collar girl, Clover, from the K Litter) came with her family, the Kerns, and Scout (Red Collar girl, Lucky, from the K Litter) came with her family, the Englerts. Thank you to both families for bringing them to the show for a visit. It was so lovely to see both girls. It is important to see what we are producing in our breeding program and it was a great weekend to visit as Jennifer was the co-breeder of the K Litter (she is Chloe's co-owner and primary caregiver lol) and it was nice for her to see the puppies at an older age.

The K Litter and J Litter turned six months old that weekend, so Happy Birthday to all of you.

Here are a few photos of me with Willa right after she was groomed.

Both Willa and Scout looked fabulous after they were groomed. They are obviously loved by their families and very well cared for.

I always do a free first groom on my puppies, both pet and show, so if you have a puppy from us or adopt one in the future and live close enough to visit or meet up at a show, be sure to contact me to plan a time to groom your puppy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sienna's Ultrasound Photo

I wanted to share this photo that Deb St Myers sent me of Sienna's ultrasound. Sienna is Quinlan's Burnt Sienna RN OA OAJ OF. She was bred to Jack, Ch Calypso's Fortunate Series Of Events.


Well, I am very sorry to say that Taffy is not pregnant. I have guessed that was the case for a while, but as today is Day 57 and there is no tummy growth, I am sure we are not expecting puppies. This is so sad as I was very much anticipating this litter. We did a surgical insemination with fresh chilled semen which was shipped here from Indianapolis. The prospective sire, BISS CH Jerabee Hoosier Sunset "Sunny", is an older dog who has made some lovely puppies in the past. I am sure the litter would have been lovely, healthy and sweet tempered. Anyway, breeding has it's ups and downs and this has certainly been a down.

If you have inquired about a puppy recently and did not receive a reply, I am sorry that I have not responded. I was not sure whether we were having puppies or not, so I have put off responding to inquiries until I could be sure one way or the other. You might try visiting www.englishcockerspanielbreeders.net to see if you can find a breeder near you who is expecting puppies. We will not have a litter arrive until perhaps late summer.