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Friday, 26 January 2018

Eyes are open!

Here are the six puppies at 2 weeks old!  Their eyes are open which means their ears are now open as well.  They are enjoying calm classical music at various times throughout the day. They are all getting handled as per the service dog puppy program requires but also just some good old family love!  They are being handled by men, women, and children which is extremely important.  All are members of my family.  They are not allowed to be touched by anyone outside the premises to protect them from disease.  

Their order is: Mr. Red, Mr.Blue, Mr. Green, Miss Pink, Miss Yellow and Miss Purple.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Thought You Might Find This Funny

These are before and after photos.  One is shortly after Cruz jumped into the box with the pups.  They are all eagerly chowing down!  

The second photo is what they looked like a few minutes later!  Definitely full and obviously time for a siesta!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

My Next Litter - Nova/Merlin

Nova went into heat about a week ago and I am just waiting for the correct time to breed her. Neither of the boys seem all that interested yet and they are the experts! I am accepting deposits for that litter now. I have 3 deposits of the 6 I will take. If you have sent a questionnaire but not heard back from me, it does not mean that you were not approved. If you were not approved, I would let you know and I would explain why. The main reason you might not have heard back from me is I have been even busier than I usually am! And still sleep deprived. Still getting up 4-6 times per night to check on the puppies. And they are still being puppy-sat 24/7. They have not been left alone yet. They are doing well so I expect I will be able to leave the ranch for a short period of time soon.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

I was talking to Kelly...

Kelly is the brand new owner of one of our 5 day old Cruz/Rommel puppies. She was asking about what books I recommend for training. First of all, it's more important to understand your dog before you start to train him/her. You have to realize that our dogs are not furry children and they do not think like what we think furry children should think like. (That was a mouthful!) Our dogs, think like dogs. Always have, always will. Dog's live for NOW. Living for NOW is something that you should be trying to attain, according to Oprah and a myriad of other self help gurus. But even though it is something we have difficulty with, dogs have always done it. You have to think about what is happening right now for your dog. Not 1 minute ago, not 30 seconds ago, and certainly not hours ago when he chewed up your favourite pair of shoes! This is something I hear quite often:

"Rover was so mad at me for coming home late from work, he chewed up my favourite shoes and pooped on the floor! He never does that! He was paying me back for being late! I can tell because when I ask him if he made a mess, he looks ashamed. He knows better. He was getting back at me!"

It's amazing how many times I have heard that story or something very similar. And it's as far from the truth as it could be! Do you want to know the real reason Rover pooped on the floor and ate your shoes? I'll tell you. Come back tomorrow to find out! (Sorry. Just kidding. That's what my marketing teacher says I should do to get more people to read my blog. How about instead of such ridiculous measures, you do me a favour and tell someone else what a great blog it is full of education and cute puppy pictures. The more people who come by and read posts like this, the more people are educated and will stop treated their dogs like furry children!)

Anyways, the real reason why Rover did those things is because you were late from work. But not how this owner is explaining it. Here's what really is happening. You arrived home at 7:00PM instead of 6:00PM. It just so happens that everyday at 6:15PM, he is out on a walk with you and he has a chance to eliminate his bowels. When 6:20PM arrives he's feeling like he should go but you still aren't home. By 6:30 he REALLY has to go and is feeling so anxious about not pooping on the floor, so he tries to distract himself by chewing on something. He's thinking of you so it only seems reasonable that he's going to find something to chew that belongs to YOU. And what smells the most like you? Your favourite shoes! You wear your favourite shoes more often than all of the others, so therefore, they smell the most like you! By now, it's 6:50 and he can't hold it anymore! We've all been there, right? So he goes. At 7:00PM you walk in the door. That's a whole 10 minutes after pooping and almost a half hour since he chewed the shoes. Forever ago. And as far as him looking "guilty"? Think about the tone you used to ask him. Wasn't it exactly the same tone you used the last time you got mad at him for something? Did you get into this garbage! Shame on you! etc. Hey! Give me back my sock! I'm late for work! GIVE IT BACK! Same tone, correct? He is reacting the same way as he did the last time you used "the tone" on him. Shying away, looking down, maybe even running away because the last time it was followed by a) a smack, b) locked in his crate, c) thrust out the door etc. If you don't believe me? Try it right now. Go point at some obscure place on the floor and ask him "Did you do this?! Did you make this mess?! I bet you dollars to doughnuts he will act the same way.

So, today's lesson was "How to Think Like a Dog". That's the very first step in training. There's a really good book by The Monks of New Skete. It's called "The Art of Raising a Puppy" It starts right from the very beginning… a very good place to start… You will see what I mean when you read the book. (another marketing tactic). After that one, read a book by the same authors called "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend". Both of these books not only have training information but also behavioural lessons that help you make sense of why your dog is doing what he's doing. On my web site, there are dog tags down the left hand side. If you scroll down to "Book Store" and click on that link, you can purchase any of the books listed there. It will link you thru to for your purchase. All money I receive from the sale of these books is donated to a local humane society. I see there is a glitch on the page so I'll get on that right away so you can use the links. If you can't wait, just write down the names of the books and purchase it through another outlet. But I will try and get it rectified by tomorrow ..

So, thank you Kelly for reminding me that it's not just training that I would like you to learn, but dog behaviour as well. You really can't succeed until you have both. Sure you can muddle along, but wouldn't you rather be an expert!

Take care everyone and happy trails!

Mary Ann


5 days old

Mary Ann

Off the usual topic but important

Mary Ann

Monday, 15 January 2018


Mary Ann

More photos

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

German Shepherds less than 24 hours old

Mary Ann


For those of you who have been here, you know we live in a  1950s farmhouse.  The insulation is wood shavings and over the years they have settled halfway down the wall.  The puppies' room is deliberately on the South side to take advantage of the nurturing affects (or is that effects) of the sun.  However, today I wish it was on the North!  The drafts in here are almost enough to blow out a match!  Of course I exaggerate but not by much!  The bitter cold wind is coming from the South today and Environment Canada says it's -23C with windchill.  It has been colder than that this winter for sure, but the wind was coming from the North and I didn't have new born puppies!  A dog's normal temperature is around 100-101F.  So the pups need that to cuddle up to and stay warm.  It is recommend that the whelping box have a temperature around 85F.  I pulled out all the blankets and made a 3 sided wall all around the box to stop the drafts.  And I pulled out my handy-dandy dog warmer that heats up to 101F.  It's an awesome heating pad as it is pressure sensitive and will only turn on when the pups are on it.  You can see from the pictures how they have cuddled up on it.  I plugged in an extra room heater as well (you can just see it on the left).  So between all that I think I'm winning the battle!

And the new whelping box is working out great!  It is 48"X51" and Cruz has lots of room to stretch out even when the puppies are spread out.  My last box was 7" shorter and it did me well for over 20 years.  But as generations progress, the dogs are slowly getting bigger and bigger.  I am actually trying to keep them to a reasonable size and picking the smaller pups to keep for my breeding stock.  But it doesn't seem to matter.  Just like our kids are bigger than we are, it seems it's the same with the dogs.  I'm on my 5th generation now!  Hard to believe!  

Well, I must go.  laundry to wash, dogs to feed, puppies to weigh, dogs to walk etc, etc etc.  Stay warm!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Six! And the realities of being a dog breeder!

Well Cruz surprised me with only 6 after being so huge!  But although it was the longest, most gruelling whelping I've ever done (53 HOURS!) I have 6 healthy puppies and I am extraordinarily happy!  Still can't see straight but I'm getting a little better. After being awake for 53 hours,  I was up 5 times through the night to check on them and I also have a live camera screen beside my pillow to be sure everything is going well.  I can also pull that same screen up on my phone at any time so they are being monitored 24/7.  So far, so good!

And here they are!  Introducing:







Friday, 12 January 2018

Six after Eight

After over 8 hours, the 6th puppy has arrived. That makes 3 girls and 3 boys. I would find it amazing if that is all the pups we have after seeing how big she was. I usually guess pretty close. Either right on or off by one. My guess this time was 8-9. 6 is a long way from 9! We will continue to monitor her 24/7 until we are sure she has finished. I'm still hoping for 2 more as I have several people wanting these puppies who didn't make it on to the deposit list. If not this litter, ladies and gentlemen, then the next.

Still asking for prayers and good thoughts.

Mary Ann

The Five

Mary Ann

Waiting for a call back from the vet. Has been 6.5 hours since the last puppy and I know there is more. Things can get very dangerous, very quickly.

Been up for 48 hours and there’s more to come

So far we have 5 puppies. As of 9:00AM on January 12. And it appears there are more to come. I can't see straight anymore!  3 males 2 females. Please keep sending good thoughts ands prayers.  

Mary Ann

Thursday, 11 January 2018

First born

Mary Ann

And it begins...

First puppy was born at 20:30. Black & tan male weighing 584 grams!

Mary Ann

Cruz about to have puppies

Mary Ann

Still waiting with Cruz

Cruz started stage 1 labour yesterday around 10-11AM. She hasn't yet transitioned to stage 2 which is the birth of the pups. I was up most of the night with her with the odd short nap but overall not much sleep. And the sleep I did get I had nightmares! Can't catch a break!

I'll keep you updated as I can.

Mary Ann

Monday, 8 January 2018

My New Whelping Box!

I am so happy to be showing off my new whelping box!  Dad got it made just in time!  It's a full 7 inches wider than my last one.  I will have lots of room to stretch out and much more room for all my little ones to come.  It used to be so hard to find a spot where there wasn't a puppy.  I would turn around in circles and try and make myself fit into the tiny spot in the corner where there was no puppy sleeping.  But boy was that hard!!  Now I know things will be a lot easier.  But Mom has to go get bigger blankets now.  She better hurry!

Thanks Dad!


Nova enjoying the winter sun

Mary Ann

Nova enjoying the winter sun on her private deck.

Days Away!

For those excited people waiting to hear how Cruz is doing, she is just days away from whelping.  Something that is so exciting for you is incredibly stressful for me.  I don't mean to rain on your parade.  I still want you to be excited and jumping for joy!  But I would appreciate all your prayers and good thoughts.  There are so many dangers that non-breeders do not know about.  Dead puppies, stuck puppies, deformed puppies, sick puppies, all these things can cause death to the Mom.  It is not a job for the weak of heart.  When I get phone calls asking for breeding dogs I know that 90% or more have absolutely no idea what they are getting into.  And that's one of the reasons why I won't sell breeding dogs. 


So why do I put my dogs and myself through the stress and dangers?  Because I want people to have partners.  Because without a K9 partner their lives are missing something extraordinary.  Whether the K9 partner is a PTSD dog (there are 2 going for that job) or a service dog (1 from this litter) or a family protector, they are all extremely important jobs.  These dogs will fill a void in someone's life that they may not even know they had!  If their dog can bring them 1/10th the joy my dog's have given me, I'd be happy!  I live for my dogs, and they live for me.  It's a perfect partnership!


Cruz is due on the 15th but she has delivered her 2 previous litters 4-5 days early.  Of course she could surprise me and be late too!  I'm trying to go to bed early in anticipation of a possible 48 hour stint but I'm not always successful.  And even if I do I'm sleeping with one eye open watching and listening for signs of Cruz starting labour. 


So please send prayers and well wishes our way.  I will keep you informed as I can.


Mary Ann


PS  I know I'm way, way behind on my emails!  I took 10 days off from the computer as my one and only vacation this year.  I was here, taking care of the critters, but I needed a break from the computer.  I'm heading into my 6th decade in a few weeks and I'm just not savvy enough to keep all forms of communication going.  I don't know how they do it without getting burnt out.  And maybe they are!  But I'm slowly catching up on the emails so I thank you for your patience.  Again!


Mary Ann


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Saturday, 6 January 2018

Study reveals dog shows could be deadly for Alsatians | Daily Mail Online

This article was sent to me.  It is absolutely abhorrent!  My beautiful German Shepherds have been DESTROYED by men and women seeking fame in the show ring!  DISGUSTING!  

Know that I do my absolute best to bring you the original GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG as given to us by Max von Stephanitz.  My dogs are not perfect but I keep working toward it. 

Mary Ann

Why dog shows could be deadly for Alsatians: Animals are dying from muscular and skeletal problems because of selective breeding

German shepherd dogs are dying from musculoskeletal problems following selective breeding for shows, it has been warned.

The Royal Veterinary College says breeding to make the dogs 'desirable in the show ring' may be affecting their health.

Its study of nearly half a million German shepherds in Britain found around one in six died from musculoskeletal disorders, with almost 15 per cent dying from an 'inability to stand'.

Experts warn the dogs, also known as Alsatians, are potentially being harmed by breeding for cosmetic traits including lower hindquarters and a sloping back.

Pictured: An Alsatian dog, which the Royal Veterinary College warned may be at risk of damage after years of selective breeding for shows

The findings follow an outcry last year over a 'deformed' Crufts winner, German shepherd Cruaghaire Catoria, which won Best in Breed despite having a curved back and struggling to walk properly.

The Kennel Club has subsequently changed its standards to require dogs of this breed to be able to stand comfortably while unsupported.

But the Royal Veterinary College has raised fresh concerns over selective breeding, after its study also found German shepherds are suffering from osteoarthritis and joint disease.

The study's lead author, Dr Dan O'Neill, of the Royal Veterinary College, said: 'German Shepherd Dogs have previously been reported to have the second highest number of health disorders exacerbated by breeding traits, with Great Danes occupying first place.'

He added: 'Our results highlight the power of primary care veterinary clinical records to help understand breed health in dogs and to support evidence-based approaches towards improved health and welfare in dogs.

'Interestingly, we found osteoarthritis to be one of the most common conditions reported, which may be caused, in part, by breeding for cosmetic traits such as lower hindquarters or a sloping back.'

The most common causes of death in German shepherds, used as police and guide dogs as well as pets, are joint disorders and inability to stand.

A graphic showing the developmental changes of the German Shepherd breed in the 120 years since it was created

They are more vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders because of their larger bodies and fast rate of growth, but experts say selective breeding may be making problems worse.

Last year hundreds of animal lovers shared their concerns about Crufts winner Cruaghaire Catoria, known as Tori.

German shepherds similar in appearance to the three-year-old bitch, said to be bred with banana-shaped backs and sagging back ends, have been described as 'half-dog, half-frog'.

The latest research, published in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, studied data from dogs seen across 430 veterinary clinics in the UK in 2013.

A total of 263 specific disorders were recorded in the dogs, the most common of which were inflammation of the ear canal, osteoarthritis, diarrhoea, weight problems and obesity, and aggression.

The findings follow an outcry last year over a 'deformed' Crufts winner, German shepherd Cruaghaire Catoria (pictured), which won Best in Breed despite having a curved back and struggling to walk properly 

The study warns dogs which are not dying from musculoskeletal problems may be living in extreme pain.

Dr O'Neill said: 'It has been reported that German shepherds are predisposed to conditions such as abnormal formation of the hip joint, cancer and degenerative spinal disorders, but the extent to which these conditions are prevalent in the population are unclear.

'However, by looking at primary care data from veterinary clinics, we are able to get a much better picture of the real priority conditions affecting this breed and this will help inform clinical practice in the future.'

The Kennel Club Breed Watch system lists the German Shepherd as 'requiring particular monitoring and additional support'.

Points of concern raised by the Breed Watch system include health complications that may arise from excessive angulation of the back knee and leg joints, a nervous temperament and weak hindquarters.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: 'The Kennel Club welcomes research which provides valuable information about the health of dogs of any breed.

'The German Shepherd Dog is one of the 17 breeds in the first round of the Kennel Club's Breed Health and Conservation Plan project and therefore this new piece of research will form a valuable part of the evidence base for this breed.' 

German Shepherd Tori named Best of Breed winner at Crufts