Two & Three Weeks

Hello, all! Today Mia’s puppies turn three weeks old, and Duchess’s puppies turn two weeks old. The past weeks have been full of newborn puppy squeaks, puppy naps, snuggles, and lots of growing.

Since this is the first time I have had to balance caring for two litters at the same time, I decided I need to have a schedule for posting pictures and updates. Here’s what I have decided to do:

I will do a weekly blog post with updates about the puppies on Tuesday or Wednesday. When the update is posted, you can also look for updated pictures! However, since taking individual puppy pictures is surprisingly time consuming, I decided to alternate which litter gets updated pictures each week. This will help balance my workload a little better. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week, Mia’s puppies get new pictures; and next week, Duchess’s puppies will, and so on. So you can look for a blog post and new pictures on Tuesday or Wednesday each week until the puppies head off to their new homes!

You can see the puppy pictures on the Available Puppies page.

So here we go!

Mia’s puppies have had their eyes open for almost a week now, and they are beginning to test out their unsteady little legs. Their lives have so far been very uneventful- mostly sleeping and eating- but they are spending more time awake and are slowly becoming aware of the sights and sounds around them. I have started playing music near their pen for a couple hours each day. This background noise helps get them acquainted with a variety of different sounds. For now, it’s gentle, quiet music. When they are older, we will practice with some more intense sounds like thunder and fireworks. By exposing the puppies to these potentially frightening sounds at a low volume when the puppies are very young, it gets them more comfortable with the sounds. This will help give them more confidence and less fear when they encounter the sounds in real life.

In the next week, we will begin potty training and weaning, so the busy work will be starting soon! Thus far, I have been changing the bedding, weighing the puppies, and taking care of momma. And, momma, of course, has been fantastic. Mia really is the best mom to her babies!

My children were very excited when the puppies’ eyes finally opened, because that meant they could finally hold them! My daughter does very well with holding them gently, but my little guy needs quite a bit of guidance! But his enthusiasm is bursting at the seams!

Duchess’s puppies have been doing excellent! All six Irish Setter puppies are growing well, and they look beautiful! Their eyes have just peeked open in the last couple of days. It’s interesting to compare the two litters. Although Mia’s puppies are older and have had their eyes open longer, Duchess’s puppies are more active. Even though they are a week younger, they are already walking/crawling/moving as much as the Mini Goldendoodle puppies. This is very normal, since larger breed puppies tend to grow and mature faster, but it’s so interesting to observe side by side.

Since Mia’s puppies are in the specially built whelping box in the basement, Duchess and her puppies are living in a temporary set up right outside my kitchen. It’s been working well, and they are already used to hearing the normal clanging and banging that happens in home with two young children!

And that’s a wrap for this week’s update. Check back next week for new pictures of the Irish Setters and an explanation of the weaning and potty training processes!

Mia’s Puppies- 4 Weeks Old

One month! It’s great milestone for puppies, and I view it as leaving the newborn puppy stage and entering the puppyhood stage. (See updated puppy pictures here!)

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This past week has seen more potty training, puppy teeth beginning to pop out, yips and barks from the puppies’ pen, sound training, and, the most exciting part, weaning!

Weaning

The puppies will begin eating a little bit of softened Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed Puppy Food. They start with one small meal a day, and I gradually work them up to three meals a day. I like to wean slowly, over the course of 2.5 weeks, so that it’s gentler on the sensitive puppy tummies. Because of this and the fact that they are on such a great food, I very rarely see any puppy diarrhea or vomiting. The quality ingredients and excellent nutrition works to keep them healthy from the inside out!

A few of the things I love the most about this particular kind of food (and I have tried several brands in my years as a breeder) are:

*It contains only high quality proteins. Protein is essential for all bodily functions (brain, heart, muscles, skin, coat, bones, etc), and not all protein is created equally. Lifeโ€™s Abundance has quality controlled protein sources of chicken meal (which is more nutrient dense than whole chicken) and eggs.

*It is enriched with DHA and contains guarantee probiotics, prebiotic fiber, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and a complete array of essential vitamins and minerals.

*It hasnโ€™t been sitting on a store shelf for months! Lifeโ€™s Abundance makes their food in small, weekly batches. This means when I order food, I know it is as fresh as possible, and fresh food is more nutrient rich.

*It has all of the good stuff and none of the bad! No artificial flavors or colors. No corn or wheat or corn/wheat glutens. None. Ever. Corn and wheat are very difficult for dogs to digest, meaning they can irritate the digestive system and provide very little nutritional benefit.

This isnโ€™t just โ€œpuppy food.โ€ This is a top-of-the-line, nutritious diet. I have seen the positive effects of good nutrition, and I simply cannot overstate the importance.

Socializing & Sound Training

In the next weeks, the puppies will get to hear, see, smell, and experience a wide variety of different things both inside our home and outside. This wide base of experiences provides them with a solid base of socializing. Obviously, new families will have to continue this socializing process, but the earlier it’s started, the better! It helps puppies to develop temperaments that are less reactive or fearful and more calm and confident.

So far, they have heard normal household noises while they hang out in my kitchen, and they have also heard a video soundtrack played very quietly of animals, traffic, and household noises. Playing these sounds quietly for them off my phone or computer gives them non-frightening exposure to some noises that may be loud and startling in real life.

And, of course, they puppies get the wonderful experience of being handled by a child. My daughter is old enough to play very well with the puppies. It is so good for puppies to get used to the unpredictable and sometimes rough movements of children, as well as their shrill voices. My son is also very interested in the puppies, but he only gets to touch them briefly with his mama’s help. He is still in the “grasp and pinch” stage of babyhood. So his puppy interactions are closely monitored!

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I hope you are all doing very well and staying healthy!

Mia’s Puppies- Three Weeks Old

In the past, I have very intentionally kept my blog entirely free of politics, current events, etc. However, I am finding it hard to even sit down and begin writing a blog post about my puppies during the COVID-19 situation. I am struggling to find the motivation to write about my dogs when there are so many people being negatively affected by this global crisis. My blogging seems shallow and weak.

However, here I am. I am here because I believe we will get through this. Life must go on. Life WILL go on. I am here, because maybe seeing this post will be a pleasant break from the news. I am here, because maybe you need to be encouraged to live today in FAITH and not FEAR.

So before I dive into my normal blogging, I want to encourage each of you today to have a spirit of faith and remember that even though things seem wildly out of control, God is still in control. He isn’t surprised by anything, and “though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for You are with us.” (Psalm 23:4) Also, I encourage everyone to be responsible and respectful. Please respond kindly; and think of others, not just yourselves. Protect those who are high-risk by implementing the recommended social distancing. We will get through this!

And with that, I guess I’ll begin. Like I said, I barely have the heart to blog about something as light and carefree as puppies, but I will do my best.

To start off, here is a picture of Caramel. I hope she brightens your day! Also note those beautiful yellow flowers peeking out in the background. Forsythia are my favorite kind of flower, because they are bright yellow in March or April, a sign of hope that spring is really here! I cut some today off my bushes that have started blooming beautifully this week. (You can see the rest of the litter here.)

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Things have been pretty quiet and peaceful here. Mia’s puppies are three weeks old, and they are doing very well. They are growing, and Mia has been doing a fantastic job. Mocha is the smallest puppy weighing almost 2 pounds, and the rest of the puppies are around 2.5 pounds. Hazelnut is the biggest, weighing in at almost 3 pounds.

Here’s a brief summary of a few of the things I have been doing with the Mia and the puppies.

For Mia:

During the first couple of weeks, care for the momma is exceptionally important. Mia has access to food and fresh water at all times. She also receives a daily supplement. Top-notch, dense nutrition is of the utmost importance for a pregnant and nursing mom. Without the proper nutrients, her milk supply will lack in quality and quantity. If I want healthy, growing puppies, I must be giving momma the very best.

Mia receives Life’s Abundance All Stages Food. This mix provides high-quality ingredients and robust nutrition. It’s made in small batches and tightly quality controlled and tested for safety, so I know each scoop I am giving her is fresh, full of nutrition, and free of unhealthy additives and fillers.

Mia also receives one NuVet Plus wafer each day. This supplement is to help support her immune system and provide an extra boost during a time when her body is working hard to care for puppies. Good quality ingredients is something I really care about. NuVet uses human-grade ingredients made in an FDA-registered facility. Quality ingredients provide better quality nutrition. This supplement is not available in stores and can only be purchased through veterinarians and breeders. (You can purchase it here using my order code 47834.)

For the puppies:

Mia has been giving the puppies 100% of the care they need during these first weeks. I have simply been handling them a little bit each day, and I have been providing clean bedding.

The puppies’ eyes have opened, and that means I have begun potty training. I expanded their pen a little bit to provide them with a space to potty away from where they sleep. Obviously, this will take a few weeks for them to master; but even now, they are beginning to seek out and use this area. Dogs have a natural instinct not to soil the area where they sleep. By providing them with a “potty area,” I am utilizing this natural instinct and building a good foundation for crate and house training.

In the coming weeks, the puppies will begin to be more active and alert, and they will begin exploring their small world. I’m very excited for the warmer weather, because the puppies always enjoy spending time outside. This is one of the reasons I enjoy spring, summer, and fall litters!

Come back next week for another puppy update!

In the meantime, please stay safe. Pray for each other. Remember that God’s grace is sufficient and that He is the master of all. As a closing, here is a line from a song I listened to the other day that spoke to my heart. “Bigger than all my problems. Bigger than all my fears. God is bigger than any mountain that I can or can not see. Bigger than all my questions. Bigger than anything. God is bigger than any mountain that I can or can not see.”

We can rest in God’s hands, and we can be assured of His love and care for us.

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Mia’s Puppies- 1 Week Old

It’s been a full last couple of weeks! This is the first time I have had puppies from two litters overlap. Let’s just say, busy busy busy! So here is a very quick update on the little pups around our place.

Mia’s puppies are one week old today, and the last two of Jade’s puppies are eleven weeks old. Beau and Rose are soon heading off, though, and they get to go together to their new home! These two sweet pups are getting so big, and I think they will do very well together. Rose is a bit more mellow and calm. Beau is a social butterfly who thrives on action. They will for sure be a fun pair! Double the trouble, and double the fun!

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And in a quiet corner of the house, Mia’s puppies are eating, sleeping, and growing. Mia, as always, is a spectacular mom, and her puppies are thriving.

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This litter has such a beautiful variety of colors and coat types! I’m looking forward to watching them grow.

Thanks to all of you who offered name suggestions for this litter on social media last week! There were lots of good ideas, and you will likely see them in some of my next litters! I decided to use a coffee theme for these pups- Caramel, Mocha, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Brewer, Maxwell, and Espresso.

 

 

 

Six (Almost Seven) Weeks Old

It’s turning out to be a beautiful spring week! In February… I’m secretly wishing for one big snowstorm, but you certainly won’t find me complaining about this warm weather in the bleak mid-winter.

And there aren’t any complaints from these guys either!

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The cutest stage of puppyhood has arrived! We now have nine bouncing, barking little pups! They aren’t as easy to tire out, and they just LOVE to interact! This stage of puppyhood is when we are building the foundation for the rest of their lives, and there are so many important aspects of a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted puppy. There’s nutrition, which directly affects immediate and life-long health. There’s socialization, which determines how a dog reacts and interacts to the things and people around it. There’s training, which affects how a dog behaves in response to its owner. I do my best to give my puppies a solid foundation upon which their new families must continue to build. With a good foundation and the proper continuation of that nutrition, socialization, and training, puppies can grow into happy, healthy, well-behaved members of the family.

In the last couple of weeks, the puppies have gone from fully dependent on Jade to almost fully weaned. It’s a time of big transitions for the little guys. Because the temperatures have been unseasonably warm, the puppies have been able to transition to the outdoor pen. For them, this means twice as much space, outside pottying, fresh air, and more interaction with our other dogs.

The puppies are now eating three meals a day of Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy Food, and they are doing so well on it! The high quality and multi-sourced proteins are so very good for young puppies. The large breed puppy food contains chicken meal (much higher protein concentration than whole chicken) and eggs as the two main protein sources. Healthy fats and antioxidants are also very important for growing puppies, as well as DHA, probiotics, prebiotics, and everything else that will help these puppies grow and develop properly.

I cannot overstate how important proper nutrition is for young puppies. All of their bodily systems (immune, musculoskeletal, digestive, neurological, etc.) are immature and still growing. Giving on-point nutrition during this developmental stage is so important! If a puppy is not well-nourished, its body cannot develop properly.

One of the most obvious vulnerabilities of puppies is their immune systems. After weaning from the protective immunities found in mom’s milk, puppies become very vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Most times, the immune system is fully developed and honestly quite hardy by 18-24 months old. However, during that in between time, I find it best to supplement puppies’ immune systems.

Now that the puppies are weaning from mom’s milk, they are starting on NuVet Plus Immune System Supplement. They each get one wafer every day to help bolster their young immune systems, especially as they get ready to head to new homes. The stress of a new home can often make puppies much more susceptible to infections, which is why supplementation can be so beneficial during this time.

As for socializing and training, the puppies are soaring through things with flying colors. Now that they are transitioned to an outdoor pen and have outdoor access for the potty business, we have been 100% accident free for the last half week! (Yay for my laundry!) We are still practicing crate training, but the puppies have been doing well so far. They do cry some, but that’s still to be expected at this age.

They have also gotten to experience some new things, such as seeing and hearing traffic, hearing a fire siren, seeing and hearing normal household sounds, etc. They haven’t been phased by anything yet. They are a very confident and happy-natured litter!

In the next week, the puppies will get a vet check, vaccinations, another round of dewormer, and then… it’s already time for them to head to new homes! There are two super sweet gentlemen available yet, so if you or a friend need a little Golden Irish love for Valentine’s Day, give me a call!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of the puppies and my kiddos enjoying the 60 degree afternoons we have had this week!

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This puppy was so proud of finding this big stick!

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Believe it or not, this was completely unstaged! This pup crawled up into the back pocket of my stroller to hide from (and then pounce on) siblings.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Four Weeks Old

Happy Saturday!

This week, Jade’s puppies had their one month birthday! We have left the newborn puppy stage behind, and we are diving into the teething and tail wagging stage of puppyhood. Today, I took updated individual pictures of the puppies. This guy here was being a real gem for his picture! You can see the rest of the puppies on the Available Puppies page. I will note, though, that the pictures are a bit deceiving! The puppies of this litter are all very close in color, but the lighting in the pictures makes some of them (like this guy) look deceptively lighter than they really are.

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Here are a few of the highlights from the puppies’ daily routine.

Potty training

The puppies started with the Misty Method of potty training about a week and half ago. I gave them access to a corner of the pen with newspaper, and I am working on teaching them to ONLY potty on the paper. In the last two or three days, they have really started to get the idea. There are still a lot of accidents, but I am happy with the progress I’ve seen! I’ve tried a variety of different materials for the potty area in the past, but I always come back to using newspaper, especially for the training period. When the puppies potty on the paper, I lay a clean sheet of newspaper on top. This keeps the area clean, so the puppies aren’t stepping in any messes. However, it keeps the smell. Being able to smell it helps establish in the puppies’ minds where the potty area is! The flip side of this is that I have to keep the play and bed areas smelling clean to remind the puppies NOT to potty there. This means I am changing bedding several times a day, and I usually do one or two loads of puppy laundry every day. Potty training is a lot of work, but it’s worth it when they get it!

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Weaning

Four weeks marks the time that I usually begin weaning. This week the puppies got their first taste of solid food, and they didn’t need any encouragement. As soon as their little noses found the food, they all dove right in! The puppies are gettingย Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy Food. As you all know, I LOVE feeding my dogs Life’s Abundance. It contains high-quality proteins, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotic fibers, vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA. Of course, it has all of that, but NONE of the unhealthy things like artificial flavors or colors. You won’t find any corn or wheat. Instead of those hard to digest grains, Life’s Abundance uses other nutritious grains like brown rice and oat groats that are better for a dog’s body. Healthy puppies are happy puppies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Play time

Now that the puppies are fully mobile, play time is one of the most important aspects of their training. A few times a day, I let the puppies out into the large section of their pen. (They will gradually get more and more time out here as they get better with potty training.) They spend time playing with each other and playing with myself and my children. They have been briefly introduced to my other dogs, but I’ll wait until they are a few weeks older yet before they are allowed to play with the other dogs.

Socializing

The puppies get to spend some time every day upstairs in the kitchen. This gives them time to get used to normal household noises, and this is also when I work on their crate training. The puppies did very well in their first time in the crate. There was one accident but very little whining! I also practice noise desensitizing with them by playing music, sounds of fireworks, thunder, traffic, etc. at a low, background level. This helps get them used to some of those potentially frightening noises. Of course, they get plenty of socialization with people (especially the little kind) every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

A New Year, a Family Update, and New Furry Feet!

Reflecting on this past year and thinking of the things to come in 2020 brings me a mix of feelings. The word that comes to mind when I think of 2019 is “change.” Some of the changes were expected and others weren’t. I realized again through the course of this year how much I tend to resist change, especially those unexpected ones. Some changes are good- like the birth of our second child. (Honestly, the transition to two kids went much better than I expected! It wasn’t without its hiccups, but it has been an awesome thing to have two little people around.) But some other significant life changes were much harder for me to accept. But by God’s grace, we are continuing on, and I am repeatedly reminding myself to rest in the fact that God is in control and to release my control over to His sovereign guidance. Change is a part of life, and this stubborn little woman has a lot of learning left to do on how to gracefully manage those curves in the road. ๐Ÿ™‚

But in spite of some difficult changes, life is still so good! I’m praying 2020 will be a year that brings refreshment and at least a few periods of quietness and rest. (I am sure any periods of “quietness” will be short-lived in this household, but one can always hope!)

My daughter will soon be three years old. She’s full of spunk, and she loves to learn. I started doing a simple preschool program with her, and she LOVES it! She loves to read books, paint, play with trains, and dote on her baby brother.

My little boy is growing much too quickly. He’s a little chunk, and he always is ready to snuggle. His two main loves are momma and food, and he’s learning how to let his sister know when she upsets him.

As for my husband and me, we’re just getting older. ๐Ÿ™‚

And our dogs are just as lively as they have always been!

Twenty nineteen was a busy year for us with puppies- the busiest we have ever had, in fact! This coming year looks like it will be a little slower, and I can’t say that I’ll mind the change of pace. Our tentative breeding schedule looks like this:

Golden Irish- ARRIVED! (Introduction below!)

F1b Mini Goldendoodles- March

And then we likely won’t have any litters until the fall or winter.

And that brings me to a fun introduction! Jade gave us another healthy litter of nine Golden Irish puppies!

We have six boys and three girls, and they are all doing very well. Jade is once again being a great momma. I’ll be posting individual pictures soon, as well as pictures of our new whelping/puppy room!

And that’s what our home looks like starting off 2020! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and may you experience God’s grace and blessing in this new year!

Thankfulness Litter- 7 Weeks Old

We are in a very busy season of puppyhood these days! Very busy and very adorable. ๐Ÿ™‚ The puppies are now fully weaned, and they are enjoying their delicious Life’s Abundance Puppy Food. Since coming off momma’s milk, they have also started on NuVet Plus Immune System Supplement. This helps bolster their young immune systems which go through a very vulnerable stage after the effects of momma’s milk and colostrum wear off. As always, they are doing very well on their new diet! Lots of energy and no tummy or digestive upsets, which means all is well on the inside. They have bright eyes and beautiful coats, which means all is well on the outside, too!

They puppies have had their health exams, got their first vaccinations, and got to experience their first baths and ear cleanings! (They were less than enthusiastic about that last one.) It has definitely been an exciting few weeks.

The puppies are reaching the point where they have SO MUCH energy! Running, jumping, sniffing, and chewing are some of the most important things for these little guys. Watching them explore and experience new things is so much fun! I love to introduce my puppies to as many things as possible during the two months that they live here. The more they see, hear, and experience now will help them adjust more easily to new homes. They have gotten to hear normal household sounds- vacuum cleaner, children, doors, banging kettles, and music. They have gotten to see and hear normal outside things, as well- lawn mower, traffic, other dogs, chickens, etc. I’ll continue to broaden their small horizons as much as I can in this last week that they are here.

I briefly mentioned chewing… Puppies love to chew. Just like teething babies love something to gnaw on, chewing feels amazing to little puppies. This litter has been burning through my supply of Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks. They absolutely LOVE them. (It’s either the treats or my toes. I’ve opted for the treats.) Doxa, as the biggest puppy, usually manages to get control of a Porky Puff by shoving her smaller siblings out of the way and then running away with it so she can chew it all by herself. (In these pictures, though, it’s Saba who got her own Porky Puff!)

When you bring home a new puppy or if you have an adult dog who still loves to chew, you will thank yourself for keeping good, healthy chews on hand! It keeps them occupied and busy, it keeps them from chewing or destroying things they shouldn’t, and it’s very good for their dental health. Chewing helps puppies to lose their baby teeth and work in the adult ones, and chewing is an excellent (and easy) way to keep adult teeth clean.

But I always give this suggestion with a word of warning. Not all dog chews are healthy- or safe! If you have an aggressive chewer, plastic or rubber chew toys can be questionable. (My Golden Retriever hasn’t yet found a toy she can’t rip apart and eat.) And not all “edible” chews are healthy. Many of them, especially raw hides, are very hard on the digestive system. Buy with caution. I suggest edible chews with healthy ingredients and no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. My favorite Life’s Abundance products, hand-down, are their chewing treats- Porky Puffs, Buffalo Bully Sticks, and Buffalo Lungs. Safe, healthy, and AMAZING. The Buffalo Lungs are in a big bag (great value for the price!), but they are a slightly softer chew. The Porky Puffs and Bully Sticks are harder treats that will keep a puppy busy for a few days. You can see all the different treats and chews here.

Crate training is also a big deal at this age. I crate the puppies for short periods to help them get used to the idea of a crate and establish the habit of not going potty in the crate. Usually when I first put them in the crate, one of two of them will cry and whine piteously for a while. But a good dose of tough love wins out. Within half an hour or so, all of them give up and snuggle together to sleep. Relaxation and rest is what I like to see for crate time. The crate is supposed to be a place of peace and quiet, where a puppy (and older dog) can go to rest and take a break. In my opinion, crate training is the best way to work at house training a puppy.

Although, this is undoubtedly a very busy stage with puppies, it is probably my favorite. There is so much to teach and practice, and they are simply a lot of fun!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! I’m going to head outside and enjoy some enthusiastic puppy kisses before the afternoon is spent!

Golden Irish Wrap Up Post

I feel like I dropped the ball with my blogging a bit this summer. (I guess having a newborn baby will do that kind of thing to you!) Jade’s first litter was born in May, and our whole family had an amazing time raising those puppies! However, looking back, I realize I did very little blogging about them, especially the latter weeks. So I decided it would be good to share some pictures and give a quick wrap up to our first litter of Golden Irish puppies.

This litter is one of those life experiences I chalk up entirely as a “God thing.” The Golden/Irish mix wasn’t really in our plans. We love our Goldendoodles and our Irish Setters, and we were planning to stick with those two breeds. However, we tried twice to have Jade bred with a Miniature Poodle, and it failed both times. It was very discouraging. For some reason I didn’t understand at the time, God was closing a door for us. After over a year of trying for Mini Goldendoodles, we decided to give Jade one more chance at motherhood by using our own proven male. Breeding her at our home would eliminate the stress of being boarded at an unfamiliar kennel, and it would give me the most flexibility for the timing of the breeding.

And God blessed us with a large and healthy litter! I love all the litters that come through our home, but this was definitely one of my favorites! We loved everything about these puppies. The temperament was a combination of our favorite traits of the Goldens and the Setters, and it also was a beautiful combination of looks. The two breeds blend very well, and we fell in love with the Golden Irish breed. We were so pleased with the outcome of the breeding, that we are planning to add the Golden Irish into our breeding program! It wasn’t something we had originally planned, but our circumstances led us here. If God hadn’t allowed Jade to have two failed breedings, we never would have tried for the Golden Irish cross. Looking back, I am thankful that she didn’t conceive on our prior attempts, because I am so excited to begin working with this breed!

Here are some pictures of the puppies from this summer. Aren’t they just gorgeous?!

This beautiful lady here (picture above) is training to be a service dog for a military veteran. I was so honored that one of my pups gets to have such an important job. When her family first contacted me, my husband and I both agreed that a Golden Irish has incredible service potential. Golden Retrievers are known for their eager to please disposition. Irish Setters are confident and social, not easily frightened or overwhelmed. Irish Setters have a drive to work and are very intelligent. Setters are, however, prone to be hyper and excitable, but the calm and mellow Golden Retriever nature balances that perfectly. I am very excited to hear more from her in the future as she works in a very important role in her family!

And this handsome guy is one of the puppies at 5(ish) months old. These dogs are STUNNING.

Aaaannnd… our next litter is in the works! We’re potentially looking at a litter early in the new year. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay! More details will be posted about the upcoming litter in the next month or so!

I hope you all have a great Monday!

The Thankfulness Litter- Almost 4 Weeks Old

It’s been one month with this litter already! And they are all doing fantastic! Doxa still leads the pack in weight. She’s over five pounds, while her three siblings are about four and a quarter to four and a half pounds.

Now is the time that the fun really begins. In the past week, the puppies have really begun changing and becoming aware of the world around them. They have gone from sleeping nearly all the time, to exploring their whelping box and playing with each other. They still sleep a lot, but they are certainly reaching a new and more active stage of puppyhood.

We have been spending some time working on potty training now that the puppies are able to get around. I gave them access to a small area outside their nest filled with shredded newspaper. This gives them a place to do their business away from the sleeping area, which is a natural instinct puppies have. I try to harness this natural desire to leave the nest to pee and poop and teach them the habit of going in a particular place. By doing this, I give them some foundational crate training skills, and it helps to keep their sleeping area much cleaner. In another week or so, I will give the puppies access to a large play area. I will wait until I feel like they have a good grasp of the potty area, so that they will continue to use the designated potty area and keep the new play area clean, as well. It’s always a work in progress; but the more they learn now, the easier crate training and house training will be for their new families!

Here you can see the puppies exploring the whole pen. I labeled each section of the pen, if you can read my chicken scratch. Also note the wet newspaper in the potty area- that’s a mark of success!

Next week begins a very fun part of raising puppies- weaning! The puppies will be ready to begin eating solid food. As always, my puppies get nothing but the best food. Nutrition plays a HUGE role in puppies’ health! My adults and my puppies very rarely get sick, and I attribute that to excellent nutrition and healthy activity levels.

These cute little guys will be starting on Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed Puppy food.

A few of the things I love the most about this particular kind of food (and I have tried several brands in my years as a breeder) are:

*It contains only high quality proteins. Protein is essential for all bodily functions (brain, heart, muscles, skin, coat, bones, etc), and not all protein is created equally. Life’s Abundance has quality controlled protein sources of chicken meal (which is more nutrient dense than whole chicken) and eggs.

*It is enriched with DHA and contains guarantee probiotics, prebiotic fiber, antioxidants, and a complete array of essential vitamins and minerals.

*It hasn’t been sitting on a store shelf for months! Life’s Abundance makes their food in small, weekly batches. This means when I order food, I know it is as fresh as possible, and fresh food is more nutrient rich.

*It has all of the good stuff and none of the bad! No artificial flavors or colors. No corn or wheat or corn/wheat glutens. None. Ever. Corn and wheat are very difficult for dogs to digest, meaning they can irritate the digestive system and provide very little nutritional benefit.

This isn’t just “puppy food.” This is a top-of-the-line, nutritious diet. I have seen the positive effects of good nutrition, and I simply cannot overstate the importance.

The other fun part of this age is that my daughter finally gets to play with the puppies. She has been able to hold them briefly, but now the puppies are able to interact a little bit. This also means, I hear her pleading, toddler voice ask me about a million times every day, “Mommy, let’s go play with the puppies!” And thus begins the puppies’ socialization with children. ๐Ÿ™‚ The rough little hands, unpredictably loud and shrill voices, and the fast movements of children are excellent experiences for puppies! Not only do they learn to tolerate it, but they grow to love it, too! Eventually, my job changes from protecting the puppies’ from my daughter’s excited play to protecting my daughter from the puppies’ excited play. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have a good weekend, and remember to be thankful for each new day!