Day 45

You know how the days are getting shorter right now? And every day has just a little less light? That is how the plumpies are -- every day is just a little less sleep and a little longer (and louder) playtimes. But the differences each day are subtle and you have to really pay attention to notice them -- but that is what makes raising a litter so fascinating -- observing the emerging "inner dog" one small change at a time.

Temperament in people and animals is both inherited and learned. Puppies are not blank slates -- they come with a temperament just like you and I did, and then the inherited traits and tendencies of a puppy meet up with our own, and the result is the adult dog.

In other words, I believe the adult dog we raise results from complex interactions between inherent temperament traits in both the human and the dog, and the environment in which the relationship develops and plays out. Excellence -- or lack thereof -- is never just the fault of the dog or the fault of the human -- it is the result of interactions and transactions that happens from Day One between a puppy and her/his human.

As a breeder, it is my job to assess puppies and humans, and make a match. Surprisingly (since my professional expertise is people), I think I have had better success with the puppies than the humans, and this is probably because I live with the puppies but not the humans. This is not to say that we have any "bad" homes - we don't -- just that a few have been surprising and not exactly what I expected. Assessment is not an easy skill, by any means...

I have all the H litter homes picked out, and I am very excited about them. Six puppies are going to new homes - one stays here. Of those six, three are families who have had or still have Kaibab dogs -- they are known to me and have proven to be the kind of owners that I love -- relaxed, adaptable, smart, committed, trustworthy, and willing to maintain a dialog with me and the rest of the Kaibab family. The three new Kaibab families have all had berners before (or still do), and I know them; I believe that they will be the kind of owners that allow me to sleep at night.

Two puppies will be in northern California, two in Oregon, one in Colorado, and one in Pennsylvania -- and one in Montana. I am a fan of building community, and so will start a yahoo group for the H Litter so we can maintain easy contact with each other and be resources for one another. I will be asking each new owner to submit a paragraph/picture for the Blog so that all of you can get to know the new owners.

I hesitate to offer observations on temperament because it seems fluid at this age, but with that caveat, I will say that I suspect London is the next Chief of the Fun Police. If there is any action happening, she is the one to race over and get involved, and she looks for opportunity to fence fight. She LOVES people, is super friendly with good confidence, playful and very attentive, and not over the top in anything she does -- she had run over to the fight to investigate, and then just continued on her way...

Of the four girls I would say that the more mellow ones are Heidi and Barcelona. When Dear Daughter was here, she observed that she expected me to keep Pippi or London as they were the "naughty ones" so clearly my kind of dog -- and that is true, I am drawn to those playful, spirited puppies! But that is not to say that Heidi and Barcelona are not playful -- they are! But they are just a little dialed back from London and Pippi -- for now -- that could change by this afternoon! This was an interesting exchange between the two -- fighting all around them and this is what they did instead...

And while these two were having their genial conversation, Pippi was using this chair as a barricade in a fence fight...

This is Squeaker also engaged in a fence fight -- he is barking and I still think puppy barking is the cutest!!!! They about come off the ground when they get going with their barking wars...

Earlier Squeaker had been practicing obedience with a utility article...

Barcelona was the first to discover that I had placed a new water bottle out for morning playtime #1 -- off she went with it...

The reason the bottles are so fun is that they make a great crinkling noise -- this noise is like a plumpie magnet -- so Barcelona soon attracted a crowd...

She managed to keep it until it was flattened and no longer made quite as good of a sound, and then she gave it up to Austin...

Another popular item this morning was the metal utility articles -- it is good for puppies to get used to all kinds of material in their mouths...

And of course the outlet continues to fascinate -- this is Heidi and you can tell by the dark two toes on her left front foot...

Barcelona -- I think she has big ears! Where did those come from, I wonder?!

And she is starting to learn bad manners -- and we do not have to wonder where that came from, do we Auntie Heidi?!

People frequently wonder if Syd spends all her time with the puppies -- the answer is no. Here she is on our bed after feeding them this morning...

The plumpies are now awake again and ready to rumble so I have to sign off and supervised plumpie playtime #2 -- more later!

9:30 a.m.

I was just reviewing the videos of Syd and Zed as puppies at about seven weeks, and thought you might find it interesting to watch them -- if you haven't already.



Syd's Temperament Test:

12:30 p.m.

A storm rolled in this morning and left us with snow -- it was not too much or too cold so I fed the plumpies a little meal of cooked ground turkey/sweet potatoes and took them outside.

Here is Barcelona...


The random pictures that I do help me to see things about the various puppies that I might miss by just watching - here is a shot of Pippi while she is starting to trot -- what do you see?

And here is her cute face...

The plumpies had another gardening lesson...

And look at these two boys -- geez -- they are beautiful handsome... First Z...

...and Squeaker...

And now they are all sleeping off the fun :)

4:00 p.m.

Carol asked  about the other dogs -- no, they are not in a closet! Those of you who followed the F and G Litters will recognize this girl...

Are you impressed?! I both threw the ball and took the pictures!!

And if haven't already guessed, this will be a dead giveaway...

Yes indeed -- that is Air Zoey, the Bernese Mountain Retriever (aka Grand Champion Kaibab'z Forever Bright TD, OA, DD). The H Litter are Zoey's nieces and nephews since she is a littermate to their father, Zed. And this is Zed and Zoey's full sister, Asia (CH Kaibab's Enter from the East TDX, CD, DD, BNDD) -- she is a year older than Zoey and Zed but has the same parents.

We will be back to our plumpie pictures later tonight but just wanted Carol to know that the other girls still get to have some fun smiley

7:00 p.m.

This afternoon I took the plumpies outside two at a time with the intention of reinforcing them for following me. I put them down and backed up a few steps and said nothing -- when they ran to me, I gave a tiny piece of string cheese. I backed up more -- same thing. I remained silent because even at this age, it is the puppy's job to pay attention/engage, if only for a split second. I was very happy with all of them -- they quickly learned the game.

And speaking of games, we had a new one during one of the evening play sessions. I put this thing on the floor for them so that they would get experience with something that moves under them -- no problem at all -- they had a blast with it...

Here is Barcelona - she loved it!

Squeaker was the first one on -- he simply climbed on and held on as it rocked...

Of course they fell off a lot but that is the most important part -- what they did when they fell off -- and they all just got up and tried again -- perfect!

Syd was in with us for a long time, grooming her puppies and even playing with them -- here she is having a chat with Squeaker...

And what would play time be without a few fights?!

Z is happy to know that a fan club is forming -- he says to call it Z Club...

And here is Barcelona -- at one point she managed to balance on the blue thing -- and bite it -- at the same time!

And that concludes a very exciting and never to be repeated Day 45 in the life of the H Litter! I hope you had a wonderful day, and have an even better tomorrow planned -- see you then...



by Carmen K. on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 09:04

My husband and I often discuss how our berner got the personality she has. In fact we were just discussing it this morning as our girl lounged upside down on hubby's lap after both her breakfast and his (their weekend morning routine, or at least their routine when he is not off to work). So it is definitely interesting to read what you have to say about it, Mary-Ann. Hubby and I both agree that dogs are born with a certain temperament and that environment plays an important part. We also ask ourselves what specific things we have done to contribute to the development of Maddie's adult personality---the what, how, when, etc. It is always an interesting and very thought-provoking topic...As for the plastic water bottles, those are so much fun for puppies! Empty water bottles sans caps were one of Maddie's favorite playthings. Enjoy your post-Thanksgiving break, and again I am thankful for being able to receive generous glimpses into these plumpies' young lives!

by cindy Heintzberger on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 09:55

Thanks for the observations - I forgot how interesting the temperment testing was, thanks for sharing and I think I know where Barcelona's large ears came from... :)

by Lisa K on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 10:06

Ok, I remember all these videos! And as I have been a Syd fan from day one, I remembered thinking to myself, as I did just now, that I cannot wait to see what Syd can and will do. She IS clever and smart. And she is a thinker too, yes? I can't wait until you can find the time (!!!) to get Syd out and about. And if you can't, she can always come and stay with me! (only sorta kidding)
One thing that struck me about both puppies is how happy and full of joy they are! So cute! Great insights in todays blog as well.

by Toby E. on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 12:59

Thanks for sharing Syd's test-such enthusiasm and confidence showed with each task! Loved seeing videos of both her and Zed.
As the person taking a plumpie the furthest away from plumpie central....I PROMISE to blog, type, skype, yahoo, text, use semiphore, send smoke signals and even pick up the phone to stay in touch with everyone related to us:)

by Lisa K on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 16:42

Toby, I should hope so! Since that plumpie will be going the farthest way!!! The odds of me seeing that plumpie may be slim, so we'll take whatever we can get! ;-)

by Terri Zimmerman on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 14:21

Adorable. Do we have a temperament test on Zed? I don't remember seeing one. Thanks for posting these and the photos today....I am so bummed not to be there.

by Mary-Ann Bowman on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 14:35

We did not have anyone available to do the formal temperament testing on the F Litter -- besides, Zed is perfect so what's to test?! We did do a conformation eval on the F Litter, which included temperament stuff. Zed was pick male and I remember Susan talking about how incredible solid and easy he was -- that he could easily be a junior's dog... You are kind of like a tall junior, Terri -- perfect!!! :)

by Erin on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 15:03

Really interesting to watch andnlisten to the temperament testing. Will you be doing that this this litter? I'd love to see more!

by Toby E. on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 15:12

I would like to apply for the job of President of Squeaker and Z's fan club, please :)

by Terri Zimmerman on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 19:00

I hate to say this as you know that I think Syd is the bomb (Is that a compliment....I think it is...go ask Gaylen for me plz. In fact have him send me a list of slang words......good and bad if you will) however I think Zed paid more attention to you when you were doing the up and back on their puppy videos. He really is a good boy. In fact that video impressed me so much when he was little that it made me ask if you would let me try him out. He is working out pretty well so I may keep him....:)

Today we went to go run in the field and he was so happy. No rain today...hurray. I do feel bad as Zed's sisters are all over achievers and he feels like they are flaunting their new titles at him. We don't like to beat down his self esteem you know so we are working on everything but heeling. He's pretty clever and may catch up to those girls yet.

by Elizabethanne on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 19:50

All those electric outlets made me think of:

Kaibab's High Voltage Honeymoon

Call name: Benjamin, Franklin, Edison (yeah, I know, the lightbulb, but you can't have a lightbulb without electricity)

by Mary-Ann Bowman on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 19:55

Newlywed Heidi -- did you catch that one?!

by cindy Heintzberger on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 20:42

these plumpies just get cuter and cuter every day!!! They change with every picture - I just loved the snow shots thinking they were the cutest and then came the balance ball - to die for!!!!!
Choosing a favorite puppy would be almost impossible - sooo glad someone else has that task:)

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