Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Mouss x Lexi Puppies are 7 Weeks Old

The Muppets have had a busy week full of new experiences and happy visits. Toronto experienced a "wintermission" with warm weather that melted all the snow and afforded us several trips outside for recess periods with the puppies and further opportunities to eat in a different location.

Playing outside with Lexi on Jan 23
The saucer is always popular!
Running around in the sunshine - Jan 24
The puppies are teething and chewing on appropriate chew toys like kongs and rope toys feels good and helps for them to develop good chew toy habits but we also like to give them some bones to gnaw on and they were very appreciative of them! 

New things to interact with in their indoor pen provide further enrichment for the puppies.  Here they are enjoying the ball pool.

Playing with the other dogs in the home - here Kermit has some positive interaction with Summer.
The adventure box continued to delight the puppies.

And of course lots of visitors have come by to help socialize our puppies and we are always appreciative of them sharing their time with us.  

I hope you enjoy our blog posts about Northrock's "H" litter.  If you would like to see more photos and videos of the pups I invite you to like our Facebook page Northrock Barbets where I try to post photos of the little Muppets on a daily basis.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rest in Peace Animal

Yesterday was a very sad day for us at Northrock.  We had to make the difficult decision to let one of the puppies go.  Animal had needed extra support from very early on and was having issues digesting food.  Although he was a happy and content little puppy, his growth rate was considerably stunted.  There is not very much that can be done for very young puppies but with the excellent guidance from our vets we provided as much supportive care for him as was possible.  

Unfortunately as the weeks unfolded it became more apparent that supportive care would not be enough for this little guy.  Sometimes a puppy does not form properly in utero and is not able to sustain life long-term outside of the womb.  It is the opinion of the veterinarians that Animal probably had a congenital condition that prevented him from thriving.

As a breeder I am committed to only placing puppies that are well and strong and healthy into their new homes.  I have loved Animal from the moment he was born and letting him go has been incredibly heartbreaking for me.  I will however gladly take the pain of loosing a puppy while he is under my care than to watch a family go through any struggle and sadness that could arise after they brought their puppy home.  As long as I know there could be even the slightest possibility that there could be any issues with a pup it will not be available for placement.  

Thankfully the remainder of the litter is doing very well and we are delighted with the progress they are making.  Our energy will be directed to continuing to offer them an optimal start in life by providing wholesome food, careful socialization and an enriching environment.  Lexi continues to be a fabulous mother to her pups and we are grateful for the time spent with her and her young ones.  It has been a blessing to sit quietly with her, a guest to her intimate bond with her puppies.  

Thank you for sharing our journey with us.  Our litters are chronicled on our Facebook Page and on this blog and we invite you to continue visit us there to watch the miracle of life unfold as the Mouss and Lexi puppies continue in their seventh week.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Mouss x Lexi Puppies are 6 Weeks Old

The 5th Week

Time is passing by very quickly with the Mouss and Lexi puppies.  We are now in what is termed the "critical period" of development which lasts from three weeks to sixteen weeks.  What we do with these puppies in the next few weeks can have a big impact on their development and we work hard to offer them positive new experiences and an enriching environment.

Playing in their pen on January 10th
We've had lots of visitors come by to enjoy the puppies and to help socialize them to new people.  Some of our visitors are new puppy homes and they have enjoyed following the growth of the litter.  We also have neighbourhood friends and past puppy homes drop by and it's really nice to catch up with old friends and cuddle and play with puppies.  

One of the things we do with the pups while they are in our care is follow the "Rules of Seven" developed by Pat Schaap, a longtime Sheltie breeder.  By the time the puppies are seven weeks old they should have:

  • Been on 7 different types of surfaces:  carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips
  • Played with 7 different types of objects:  big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper of cardboard items, metal items, sticks or hose pieces
  • Been in 7 different locations:  front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom
  • Met and played with 7 new people:  include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges:  climb on a box, climb off a box, go  through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play  hide and seek, in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around  a fence
  • Eaten from 7 different containers;  metal, plastic, cardboard, paper,  china, pie plate, frying pan
  • Eaten in 7 different locations:  crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry  room, living room, bathroom
The puppies playing in their pen on Jan 14th.  You can see how much they enjoy 

The 6th Week

Miss Piggy chewing on a rope toy
The puppies had a lot of fun this week.  So much growth and development is occurring that you can literally see the changes from one day to the next.  They have lots more teeth that have erupted and as a result they need to chew!  We want to establish good chew toy habits so provide the puppies with many appropriate chews that we rotate in and out of the pen on a daily basis.  
New items are added to the pen regularly and the puppies are introduced to a crate and very much enjoy sleeping in it.  They are busy learning how to use their bodies; climbing on stools, navigating barriers by having to go under, over or around, crawling under furniture when they are out playing in the living room, chasing, pouncing and carrying toys.  It's all so entertaining to watch and so important for their development.

Lexi playing in the puppy pen with her little ones - Jan 18  She is very good with her puppies.

The weather outside has been very cold but it is warming up now and we will be making more trips outside with the Muppets.  Here are some photos from their first trip out to play in the snow.

I hope you enjoy our blog posts about Northrock's "H" litter.  If you would like to see more photos and videos of the pups I invite you to like our Facebook page Northrock Barbets where I try to post photos of the little Muppets on a daily basis.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Mouss x Lexi Puppies are 4 Weeks Old!

The past two weeks have been full of growth and development for the Muppets.  

The Third Week:

This week saw us finishing up with the Bio-sensor and Early Scent Introduction exercises.  The puppies all have their eyes and ears open and were much more steady on their feet.  They have become adept at crawling over and under one another and their dam.  Soft toys were added to their whelping box giving them something new to interact with.

Nine puppies is a larger litter for a Barbet and I weigh the puppies twice a day to carefully monitor who may need a little extra time at the milk bar and to give the smaller puppies some private nursing sessions with their dam.  There was always music playing in the room and we made a point to gently handle the puppies multiple times a day.  It has been a pleasure watching them grow from vulnerable little neonates into the puppy equivalent of toddlers.

The Fourth Week: 

The fourth week for the puppies was a big week for the litter. It began with them moving out of the guest bedroom down to the main floor of the house.  They now occupy the space that would otherwise be our dining room and are exposed to all of the sounds of daily living coming from the living room and kitchen.  

They were introduced to the potty box and housetraining is well underway.  It's amazing how the puppies quickly learn to eliminate in the areas that have been designated for them to do so.  We don't have a 100% success rate just yet but overnight all poops and pees have been made in their potty box and I'm quite pleased with that!

The larger space that the puppies now have to play in allows for more room for environmental enrichment in the form of new toys, hanging objects and different footing.  Their teeth are emerging and they are enjoying mouthing, grabbing and even carrying some of the light weight toys.  They play and interact to an even larger extent with one another and with their dam.   I don't believe I will ever tire of watching little puppies learn to play.  They are still sleeping the grand majority of the time with short play periods of about 15 minutes or so before they begin to tire.

Some of the puppies were ready for solids and have been introduced to soft meals of ground chicken with bone and ground turkey with bone.  They are enjoying their food immensely.  The few puppies that simply were not ready to start solids yet will begin eating solid foods later in the 5th week.  

During this week we have also begun having more visitors over to help socialize the puppies.  We aim to introduce the pups to many different people during the time that they are with us.  Visits will continue in earnest over the coming weeks.

Frequent updates and photos are posted on our Northrock Barbets Facebook Page if you would like to follow the litter's progress please like our page and join us there!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New CKC Champion for Rizzo!

BPISS CH Northrock's For the Joy of It CGN

I’m thrilled to share the good news that on December 27, 2017 Northrock’s For the Joy of It CGN finished the requirements for her CKC Championship at the Southwestern Ontario All Retriever Society Specialty Show in Kitchener, Ontario.  Rizzo is out of URO1 CH Northrock's Eau De Joy by Northrock's All Night Boogie and is the third champion from this litter. 

Our sincere appreciation to Judge Garth Gourlay for awarding Rizzo; Winners Female, Best of Winners and Best Puppy. 

The following day at the Barbet Fanciers Association of Ontario Specialty Show, Rizzo went Best Puppy in Specialty Show.  We are grateful to Judge Kim Hamel for the recognition.  
Congratulations and many thanks to Rizzo's fabulous co-owner, Joy Hettler who has done a beautiful job keeping her in coat and raising her to be such a delightful Barbet. Thank you as well to Peter Scott, Rizzo's friend and handler for piloting her to her wins.