Yes, I am fully aware I have been derelict in making any type of meaningful blog post is quite some time, no need to point that out. As one might expect, the last month of having a baker's dozen of puppies is a tremendous amount of work and runs from sun up to sun down with a few small breaks interspersed along the way. Just enough to make you think you actually have time... time to do laundry, cook for yourself, mow the lawn and barely keep ahead of a myriad of other domestic chores. Okay, I also realize no one ever comes here to listen to me whinge... So what's up with Hunting Dog Confidential? If you are a serious dog-geek, then you might know of the podcast led by my publisher Craig Koshyk, possibly the most knowledgeable dog historian living on the planet right now! Craig also has a knack for excellence, recognising it, cultivating it, and producing it. Craig has a midas touch for excellence. So it was a bit of a surprise to me when a few months ago, I happened to be driving to Wyoming, while out in the Middle of Nowhere Montana my publisher messaged me to see if I could make some time to take a call from him. Yes, of course! But I needed to get someplace I'd have a stable phone signal... Later that evening when we connected, I was extended an invitation to participate in his new project, the print companion of his popular podcast: the Hunting Dog Confidential. For years I've written. Mostly for my enjoyment; the second edition of my book, the DPCNA, or fodder for my blog, but this time it would be for the Big Time - a national publication, and a dog lovers geekfest at that! The project hits the street here in a few days...the print companion to the podcast: The Hunting Dog Confidential. It's going to be a super cool hunting dog geekfest and yours truly was invited to play! Super excited, super honored! I hope you are too.
Picking a litter theme can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a frustrating adventure...I've flirted with a few Litter Themes over an extended time for this litter. Well to be exact, since this time last year. Coffee was an idea Jenna and I had early on, and I always liked it. She had intended to use the theme for Ember's litter. But with only the one pup, she opted to not use the theme, wanting to 'save it'.
Recently she gifted me the 'rights' to use the theme so I snatched it right up. I've always liked the idea of using coffee for a litter theme. I learned the joys of coffee while living in Europe as a young feller and have been a die-hard drinker of quality black coffee for the past umpteen years... In fact, you could take wine and bourbon away from me, but I'd go to jail over coffee.
So I have 'Two Gun'd' the theme, meshing my fascination with 'the Old West' with a fairly common and somewhat cliché litter theme. I have not just gone coffee, I've gone Cowboy Coffee! Without further adieu, here is the breakdown by birth order, their registered name, and what it means if you were to break out your Cowboy dictionary.
1) Two Gun's Black Medicine Buzz (M)
- Sioux Indian translated word for coffee (Kazuta Sapa/Black Medicine) = Coffee buzz
2) Two Gun's Barefooted Fandango (F)
- Hot black coffee dance
3) Two Gun's Hurricane Deck Triple Shot (M)
- A saddle on a bucking bronco w/ a triple shot of espresso
4) Two Gun's Ace-High Legal Addiction (F)
- First-class coffee
5) Two Gun's Crumb Castle Arbuckle (M)
- Chuck Wagon Coffee = Cowboy coffee
6) Two Gun's Smoke Wagons & Morning Thunder (M)
- Guns & Coffee
7) Two Gun's High Plains Shot in the Dark (M)
- Black coffee with a shot of Whiskey
You can make owning a dog as expensive as you want. Truth be told, to keep a dog, you really don’t need a lot of fancy things and expensive equipment.
Some of the inquiries we get might surprise you. As you might guess in this day and age, many lack basic common courtesy – the worse of which we simply don’t even acknowledge. The better of which will we provide at least a reasonable, if not short, but professional response. However, recently we fielded an inquiry about how to bring a new puppy home. The answer for this question is best provided by the breeder you have acquired your pup from, or even Google vs some random breeder or person. After all it's not a short answer. A rather odd request from someone who you have not had nor plan to have any future interaction with. I provided some basic info, then reviewed our own puppy related materials and realized it wouldn’t hurt to add to what we have started. So, for that, thank you random person for your questions. This also this helped to make good on a client’s request on putting all this stuff in one place – I didn’t really know how to do it, but this is what I came up with.
Part 1: What is the best way to acclimate a new puppy into the home?
A great place to get setup for success is to review each of the articles highlighted by the hyperlinks throughout this article to include reviewing our Recommended Reading for new puppy owners. Getting Set up for Success is where we talk about all sorts of things ranging from general physical concerns and needs for a rapidly growing puppy's joints & bones, as well as puppy proofing your home & yard. Here is a list of puppy essentials for what your puppy will need. Oh and not to forget, how do you plan to manage the messes that will happen, during your potty training adventures? Additionally, have you nailed down a teething management strategy,? Some pups will chew like a beaver, and others hardly any, but knowing what to do in advance can help shape all of their desires. Have you considered coat care, and the tools and time required? For Drents it’s pretty easy, but still it’s something you should have thought about.
Extending this thought process, you will want to be sure you have a veterinarian selected, if you don’t have one already, well in advance to bringing pup home. Also, what do you plan to feed pup? You don’t need to feed the ultra-expensive stuff to have a happy, healthy dog, but if you are considering to feed Old Roy, you should consider putting yourself on a diet of corn and rice hulls seasoned with charcoal, and for a big night out you guessed it – Top Ramen.
Next, you will also want to have a socialization and training plan thought through in advance. The more comprehensive, the better. At the minimum we strongly encourage everyone to update what they know, or think they know about dog training. A lot has changed with the advent of the scientific study of Canine Behavior: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3. The old concept of Alpha/Dominant v. Submissive is quaint. The old techniques of traditional obedience training are at best boring and repetitive. These methods tend to be unkind, bordering on inhumane. Not even thinking about the old ways of bird dog training which if we are to be frank can be quite barbaric. We can and should do better, by looking towards trainers like Brad Higgins, McCann Dog Training, and Stonnie Dennis, for example. You should seriously consider enrolling pup in a certified AKC S.T.A.R. puppy course and shooting for achieving an AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.
Part 2: How do you Introduce pup to your other dogs?
So, if have been caught be the Drent virus, you are likely adding to your clan. Or if you are recently afflicted, you may still have another dog as part of your clan. Either way, you need to integrate. If you don’t already have a dog, my initial reaction is to pass this up…but my better sensibility says take a moment to read, and let it marinate for a later time – after all, you have the Drent virus, and there is no known cure.
Alright, okay, enough shenanigans – I’ll get to it…well, not to be special, but you are here on my blog so endure. You need to introduce pupski to an established adult dog. So, let us consider the established dog for a moment. Is he a model canine citizen? Let’s be honest, you know him far better than anyone so there is no need to tell any stories or make excuses. Does Fido-1 have separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructiveness, house training issues, aggressiveness/shyness towards other animals/people? If so, you should really work on getting those issues remedied – puppy will not help any at all. What you can expect pupper to do is to pick up some, if not all, of these less than desirable traits unless YOU have a clear and decisive plan, which is likely to involve external onsite assistance. Because the only thing worse that one canine terrorist, is two (or more, God forbid).
Okay, so your current dog is more or less well-adjusted and well behaved. Finding balance is likely the path to success. This doesn’t mean if your dog is a total couch potato you should add Hellfire the Tasmanian Spaziod to the equation - what is or will be complimentary? What temperament and personality will compliment, coexist, or coincide with what you currently have? With some deliberate thought you can create some amazing canine partnerships.
Alright, so The Pup is en route - what to do? Each dog should ideally have its’ own handler – this really can make it or break it if things were to slide sideways. Both dogs should be restrained by a leash initially. Allow them to sniff one another. Expect pup to maybe be a little bit timid or restrained. If so, it may be appropriate to allow the pup off leash to make its own introductions on its’ own terms. In this case restraining the adult dog can be important as they can get over excited and without meaning cause harm to the pup, in particular if much larger and stronger. With a little care, some calmness and patience, introducing pup should be fairly quick and painless. However, pup and Fido-1’s interactions will need to be supervised for the next few days. Play sessions will likely need to be supervised for the next several months, remember avoiding serious injury to pup is paramount – when in doubt call a timeout.
With that in mind, here are a few other tips for success: Be aware and don’t leave yours dogs alone and unsupervised. Avoid free feeding and encourage waiting when it is feeding time. When you offer special treats e.g. chews and/or raw hides, ensure there is enough for all, supervise, and pick them up long before they are fully consumed. Please be sure to have an ample supply of toys and beds. If one toy becomes a point of contention, retire it. Monitor play time be aware of body language and if/when needed redirect and give timeouts as appropriate. To the greatest extent possible give each dog a little bit of its own time.
We believe through daily, structured walks; your dogs will respect you as the boss and look towards you for guidance and direction. Daily, structured walking is a great way to establish your leadership.
After a month of careful supervision, correcting misbehavior, structured walking, and supervised feedings, your dogs will know you are the boss and the new/old dog is not a threat. Once your dogs begin to feel safe with one another, their true personalities will come out and you will have two wonderful pack members to entertain you and love you for the rest of their lives.
Part 3: Crate training - what is that all about?
Some people want to think a dog crate is a punishment tool, when in reality a properly sized crate is your dog’s home inside of your home. This, as you might imagine, has a few benefits like helping to potty train pup, keep pup safe when you can’t supervise him adequately, to name just a few. It is important to have the crate properly sized and built to be safe and secure.
A dog’s crate should be a happy place. The training process can go quite rapidly, or it may take a couple of weeks. Always have in mind, the crate is the dog’s house, and it should be a pleasant place for him. Generally, this can be accomplished without too much ado by breaking the process down into a few steps, just be mindful not to rush.
Introduce pup to the crate. Do so calmly and be sure the door can’t slam around or close. Put some of pup’s favorite things into the kennel along with a few treats. Drop a few treats near the kennel, then just inside the door, then toss a few treats in. Let pup take his time to go in. We familiarize our pups with kennels in the whelping box – so this should be super easy. However, at first, this will be new in his new home, so a little bit of patience will serve you well. Once pup is going in the crate well on his own, be sure to feed him at least once a day, or possibly all his meals for a little while in the crate. At first with the door open, then gradually work towards shutting then even latching the door for short periods. Work up to 10 minutes or so after eating. Here is where things can get tricky, and you will need some will power to get through this. If pup whines in the crate, you did too much too fast and here is the catch, you can’t let pup out while he is whining or crying. You can sit by the door, even place a finger in for pup to smell and help calm him. Once the whining has stopped, and this could be a while in some cases, you may then open the door. If you open the door while the pup is crying it very well may make the association and begin doing much more crying and whining – just what we want to avoid. You may need to have pup close by in his crate at first, and just like ‘playing with the door’ you can adjust proximity. Evening TV time, or some other calm time is perfect for working on building familiarity and comfort.
Also McCann has an entire crate training series which you may find helpful.
Crating pup overnight:
Alrighty, now it is really time to start to work with longer crating periods. We have found doing this while you are at home really is best as you as easily start adding some structure to an already familiar event. Here are your marks:
Yes, this can appear to run a bit contrary to to the whole training process, and frankly can be the most difficult part of crate and potty training – the night shift. Leaving pup out all night is surely going to result in a mess, damage to something, pup getting into things which might harm him, or for a real banner night all or a combo. Crating at night is a must until pup has proven himself reliable in all ways.
Generally, it’s a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom if space permits or nearby in a hallway. Young puppies will need to go potty during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy BEFORE they whine to be let outside. Put pup in the crate using your regular command and a treat, know what pup’s potty schedule is (going potty just before bedtime is an absolute must), so that you can set a gentle alarm to take him out just before his normally scheduled time. Expect to get up at least 2 times each night for the first few nights. As his day schedule lengthens his night schedule should as well. One bit of advice here is to pick up the water bowl about 2-2.5 hours before bedtime. Soon your dog will be sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Whining - If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they actually need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.
If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, calmly take the pup out of the crate and carry outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. Give your “go potty” command and give pup a few minutes to get the job done. If he goes potty, give a calm “good boy” and carry back to the crate without a fuss. If he does not potty, then without drama take pup back to his crate. Potty or no potty ends with the same outcome - trips in the middle of the night are for necessity only, and the crate is a requirement until it’s time to start the day. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Separation anxiety - Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help.
So I thought it might be fun to submit my blog to Feedspot, a blog ranking site, to see if the Dutch Dog Blog 'held and water' so to speak. We know by using Google Analytics we get a rather surprising amount of foot traffic. The only way I know how to put something into perspective is to compare it against others. Better yet, get a third party to do the comparing, afterall, they have metrics they use and apply them uniformly across the board.
With that, this humble little blog turned up at #124 of ALL dog-related (sport, health, training, etc.) blogs that they track. In the category they placed me, Dogs and Animal Blogs, I'm in with some pretty big corporate blogs like Dogtra, The Bark, The Whole Dog Journal and many other 'big shots'. It's just little ol' me doing all the writing and occasionally Jenna spot checks my comma use. The photography tends to be mostly hers. So we are a small team trying to make an appeal to what we thought was a very small audience - primarily our clients and to help our prospective clients get a better understanding of who we are.
All in all, darn pretty cool and if you are reading this, you have helped contribute - Thank you.
The ultrasounds were only good enough to detect pregnancy in the girls, the vet only saw 2 in Tule and 3 in Powder...hard to get excited with numbers like that. So today we have a much more positive result with the x-rays! Current clients are busy playing the matching and guessing game: how many pups per litter, and to shake it up a little bit, how many boys and girls in each litter. Price is Right rules, and in the event of a tie, the early bird takes the worm. At stake is one of the few remaining and highly coveted Two Gun coffee mugs!
A couple of weeks ago Gunner Kennels sent us an email asking if we would be interested in becoming an affiliate partner with them. We get similar offers fairly regularly from all kind of places, but the "deals" tend to be dubious at best, so we simply decline. This morning we had a great conversation with Virgina, the Gunner Partner Program Manager, and decided moving forward would be good for our clients and friends, as we would be able to offer discounted prices on Gunner Kennels. Shipping is free, and the further you are from TN, the bigger this savings is! To ship a G1 Intermediate from TN to WA is nearly $200 (they are 48# afterall) and drop shipments to any address in the nation are totally possible all at no charge. Basically the ordering needs to be run though the Two Gun account to qualify for the discount, taxes will apply, but shipping is free! If you are interested, please inquire.
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Fifty some years later this is what you get.