One of the things we are proud about is that our brittany puppies are extremely well socialized. They are handled daily from their first hours of life and this makes a big difference. A well socialized puppy is a puppy that is ready for anything. By the time our puppies go home at 7-8 weeks old they have been introduced to many new things. We take them on walks, they meet horses, cats, other dogs, people, mud, water, birds, noises, bugs, bikes, etc… We take them for rides in the car. We get them used to a collar and a leash, loading into a dog crate. More time with kids and meeting strangers, playing with them and retrieving toys. The results? You get a well-adjusted brittany puppy that is ready for anything. A confident puppy that is ready to learn and grow with you. An Annabella Brittany Puppy.
We were waiting to see if this litter took before announcing it. She was so small I did not believe that the puppies were in there. Last night we were thrilled to find 4 healthy puppies in Sadies dog den. 3 females and 1 male puppy were whelped on September 2nd, 2011. Two of them are liver and white and while the other two are orange white, still waiting to see if any will be roan colored. Two of the puppies were whelped with natural bobbed tails which we have not seen before in our kennels.
This is one of Annie and Buster’s puppies “Bella”. I got to spend some time with her and her owners on Saturday at a training day in Nephi, UT. Travis Proctor and friends were there evaluating some very nice english pointers and setters. It was fun to get to see Bella and how she is growing up so fast. She is a little taller than Annie and seems to have some of Busters long legs. We were able to throw a quail out for her and work with her on her retrieve. She did really well for her first bird introduction and retrieved the quail right back to Mike. This is Mike telling Bella what a good job she did.
The last two brittany puppies are going to their new homes tomorrow. One is headed for Nevada (Freckle face) and the other (Brown face) is headed for California. Alyssa helped me give the puppies a bath and comb out their coats. Just if they could stay clean for more than 24 hours. We were thrilled to find hunting homes for all 5 of these females. Only one stayed here in Utah. The other two went to Wyoming and Arizona families.
In bringing a young hunting dog puppy along, the bird introduction is one of the funnest places to start. You can use a clipped wing pigeon, quail or chukar. I like to use the quail or pigeons on young pups because the size of the bird is not too intimidating. You can trim the flight feathers on one wing, or simply pluck them out. They will grow back with time if the bird doesn’t get chewed up too bad. I start by waving the bird in front of the puppy and let them get a good sniff. Then I toss the bird a few feet and see if the puppy will give chase. Typically they can’t stand the bird running and flapping and their prey-drive will kick in. The main goal of this drill is to get the puppy excited about birds. Being interested in birds is the foundation for building a bird dog.
This training drill can also be turned into a retrieving introduction. For best results you should do this in an enclosed area or with a lead fastened to the puppies collar. It is very natural for a dog to pick up a bird in his mouth, but bringing it back is the trick. Once they pick it up reel them in slowly with the lead and give the “fetch” or “here” command. When they get within reach, don’t take the bird right away. Pat them down good and pile on the praise. Let them hold the bird for a minute or two while you really build them up. Then get the bird and throw it again for another try. Do it a few times and put it away. Training should be fun, as well as short and sweet.
This weekend the pic of the litter went home to her new family in Wyoming. Forrest (Necha’s Father) drove more than 20 hours in a weekend to surprise his daughter Necha with the new puppy. The liver and white puppy was the pic of the litter and Necha decided to name her “Maple”. We are thrilled that she is in a loving home where she will be with a family who enjoys hunting gamebirds. Necha is getting ready to take hunters safety and is excited about hunting next year with her own pointing dog. This puppy seemed to be the most well-balanced of the litter. A real people lover but also quite adventurous and bold.
Between 3 and 4 weeks the puppies will have their teeth coming in enough to start eating solid foods. At first I add a cup of hot water to make a kind of mush with out of their high protein puppy food (I feed Black Gold 30/20). I am always amazed at how they know just what to do. The only problem is they seem to eat with both front paws in the food dish. This can be a very messy part of raising puppies but it is fun to watch. They are getting around pretty good and starting to venture out of the whelping box during the day. Now that the pups are starting to eat they begin to poop and momma quits cleaning up after them. I line the whelping box with newspapers and change them out daily, if not more often.
Part of what makes for great pups is proper socialization when they are young. At 3 weeks old the pups are pretty helpless so I make my kids sit down to hold the puppies. This helps avoid any accidental dropping of the pups and it gets them down on the same level. At three weeks old these american brittany puppies just need a lot of gentle petting and handling by people. They learn early to like the sound of humans and it won’t take long before they hear you coming and meet you at the gate/door. Below my nephew Jake is giving this liver/white female a good loving and squeezing. Kids and puppies are about as cute as it gets.