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“H” Litter 7.5 weeks

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Well the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  I was going to blog this weekend before the puppies started going home.  I managed to get their pictures and video on Sunday, but here I am blogging in between puppies going to their new homes.  Oh well, better late than never.  Saturday morning Charles and Conrad took our 3 1/2 month old pup, Fire, out with a few quail; just to plant them and let her point and flush them.  Then the whole family went and picked up some more quail for training this spring on Saturday from one of our game bird breeders down by Lincoln, so that was a road trip.  Then Sunday we took our weekly dog exercise hike.

So here are the last shots of the “H” Litter 2014 from Sam and Mae before going home.  Everyone goes home today except for one going over the weekend.  Mae will be spayed at the end of the week, then head up to her retirement home with my brother in Valentine, Nebraska mid-June.

Herbert is staying in Omaha

Herbert is staying in Omaha (not with us!)

Harold goes to North Dakota

Harold goes to North Dakota

Harriet goes to South Dakota

Harriet goes to South Dakota

Hez will live in Maine

Hez will live in Maine

Hope is headed to Wyoming

Hope is headed to Wyoming

The video this week is a little random and slightly controversial in dog training circles.  Playing with the dead quail in such an uncontrolled environment should be very limited.  Here I am doing it in the litter setting just to activate prey drive.  Notice how they want to fight over it and hard-mouth it.  That is why it is limited and I don’t recommend doing this at home with your new pup.  Once you have your pup home, you want to work on retrieving with toys and dummies.  Once they have that down, then you can graduate to retrieving a carcass.  But don’t let them get rough with it like they do here.  The second portion of the video has Charles playing with the pups with a wing.  Once again, something that should be very limited if you do it at all.  Ideally you’re looking for the pup to point the wing, but these guys are in their play yard and not in a training environment, so they just want to chase it.  These pups are great pointers, but not the best on-call actors.  If you look at the pics of Herbert and Harold, they are pointing the clicking of my camera. .

If you want a step-by-step “gun dog puppy training for dummies”, you can’t beat Richard Wolter’s Gun Dog.  Here is a review I wrote of the book a few years back, you can pick up a copy on Amazon: https://bluestemkennels.com/2010/07/22/book-review-gun-dog-by-richard-a-wolters/

Here is the aforementioned YouTube puppy video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsQRVSpAsCA&feature=youtu.be

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids, so I’m looking forward to a puppy-free (with the exception of our Fire, of course) summer.  Really working on getting into shape with September 1st on the brain and already excited to get back out in the hunting fields and swamps.  I’ll post the homegoing pictures after the last pup goes home over the weekend.  I hope that everyone enjoys their Memorial Day holiday and remembers those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the awesomeness that is America.

Playing with Fire and “H” Litter 6.5 weeks

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The puppy that we kept out of the “G” litter, “Fire” from Sam and BB is doing well.  She is 3 months old right now and weighs about 17 pounds.  We took her out with 3 of our captive quail on Friday, unfortunately 2 of them got away from us before she could get on to them, but we did have one good point and flush.  My video camera was out of battery, so I only took a couple of stills from the day.

Three month old Fire getting used to working out in front.

Three-month old Fire getting used to working out in front.

Fire pointing the planted quail.

Fire pointing the planted quail.

Fire is doing okay on housebreaking, we still have an accident every few days.  Instead of putting her in the ex-pen in the front yard for bathroom breaks, we’re working her on the puppy-gauge checkcord which is good practice for when we start to train with the adult-sized checkcord.  Probably the biggest difficulty we’ve had with her the past week is with her stomach.  She is obsessed with my hair ties and has stolen from the night stand and eaten about 5 of them.  They’ve either passed back up or through, but I don’t want her getting a blockage from them, so they are hanging high from here on out.  Also, she must have gotten into some wormy deer or rabbit poop out back, as we had to fight off a bad case of roundworm.  Luckily, two days of dosing her with the over-the-counter liquid puppy de-wormer seemed to do the trick.  So hopefully the stomach concerns are over for now.

The big dogs are all fine, just ready for their spring grooming.  And of course my last litter of puppies for 2014, they start going home a week from tomorrow.  They are all just wonderful pups and their owners should be very excited;  they’re pretty feisty and are ready for some more individual time.  In addition to our own de-sensitizing with the cap gun, one of our neighbors has been getting a new roof, so there has been plenty of popping going on.  We had a 100 degree day on Wednesday, so I was outside with the dogs most of the day keeping them cool in the pool.  They love to pick up random objects and carry them around.  Plus they are super friendly!  I have one of my frozen dead quail thawing out and we’ll play with that this week, then Friday is their vet appointment for microchips and shots.  Here are their individual pictures:

 

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

This week’s YouTube is pretty funny, as it features my five-year old son, Caleb, absconding into the woods with two of the puppies and me trying to get them all to come back.  You can see how active they are now.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rnFdgULxIU&feature=youtu.be

Charles and our ten-year old son, Conrad, went out on Saturday to give a hand at the Heartland Chapter NAVHDA Spring test.  They got to meet one of the Switchgrass griffons out of Oklahoma and were pleased with the dog’s performance.  Plus it was just good for them both to get out with the dog people.

We weathered last night’s storm just fine, it was really no more than an average thunderstorm here, but I know that there are folks west of us who lost homes, barns, and animals, so our prayers go out to them and we’re thankful to all be safe here.  I hope that both dog and human mothers had a blessed Mother’s Day yesterday.  I’ll be sure to catch up with you again this weekend before the pups start going home.

“H” Litter at 5 1/2 weeks

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The puppies are doing very well, they are now excited to get out of the kennel a few times a day instead of being scared to go out of it.  It is hard to believe that they will start going home two weeks from tomorrow.  After the week of rain we’ve had some nice sunny days, so it gives them the opportunity to experience all of the sights, sounds, and smells of spring.

We’ve been running the big dogs out in the country every weekend now, it really helps with control when we’re back at the house.  Although we have an acre that is attached to the neighbors’ 4 acres, they need to get out into a hunting field that often to blow off steam.  Plus it is good exercise for us and kids.

Here are the pictures of the pups:

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

Here is the weekly video update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAKwT7lR9ak&feature=youtu.be

Susan and Tom shot some video of practicing with a live duck retrieve with TracHer up in North Dakota.  TracHer really gets out there and swims just like her dad, Sam.  She is from our 2012 “C” litter of Mae and Sam.  Thanks to Susan and Tom for letting me share their video: https://vimeo.com/93433615

Happy 4th birthday to my “A” Litter of 2010 from Sue and Sam, the litter that started all of this craziness!  It is funny how all of this versatile hunting dog stuff has totally taken over our lives and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people we have met through pup and clubs such as NAVHDA and AWPGA.  Time to get outside and let everyone out, so I’ll catch up with you next week.

“H” litter 4.5 weeks and Big Wins

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We have had lots of rain, which you are never allowed to complain about in Nebraska, but it has made getting photos and video a bit challenging over the last week.  The puppies are really getting up and around.  They are taking their first few steps outside of the kennel when the door is open, but would rather just play around in the safety of the fence at this point.  I have weaned them from soft canned food and they are totally on hard puppy kibble now.

Charles took Fire, our 11 week old female from the “H” litter, out for her first introduction to flying game birds (no gun).  I had too much to do at home, but the oldest boy went and I should have enlisted him to take some pictures.  Oh well, you can’t catch it all.

BB and Sam are ready for training season too and are really needing extra exercise these days to burn off their energy.  BB was a bonebag when the pups were here, but she filled back out nicely.  Charles is talking about working on AKC Master Hunter training with BB and going through that process over the next few years.  He’d like to do more walking field trials with her too.  We’ll see, he stays pretty busy at work.

We are 4 months away from sharptailed grouse opener in the Sandhills, so I’ve got the health kick going on so that I don’t die out there.  I should probably get out to the skeet range one of these days too.

But back to the puppies!  Here are their individual photos updated:

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold (front)

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

And this week’s YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWnqToBOngc&feature=youtu.be

Pupdates

We’ve had some great showings out of Sam and Mae’s pups from the past couple of years recently.  Bluestem Big Sky Rendezvous CGC “Midge” from our 2013 “F” Litter won Winners Bitch both days against some big name competition at the Peninsula Dog Fanciers Club show in Bremerton, WA in March. She also just completed her AKC Canine Good Citizen title a couple of weeks ago.  Memorial Day weekend will be her NAVHDA Natural Ability Test and we wish them the best of luck!  Great job owner-handler Lindsay Volpe at the show!  Go Lou and Midge at the test!

Lindsay and Midge striking a pose with Gabe and Frannie in the background

Lindsay and Midge striking a pose with Gabe and Frannie in the background

We also just received word that Bluestem Winchester NA II “Chester” from our 2012 “C” Litter passed the first two legs of his AKC Senior Hunter title over the weekend at the Long Island, NY German Shorthaired Pointer Club.  He will continue working towards the rest of his SH title this spring and begin working on NAVHDA UT as well.  The East Coast might have a new stud dog in the making here!  Congratulations Sal and Chester!

Chester showing off his bling with owner Sal

Chester showing off his bling with owner Sal

Well, that’s the update for the week, thank you as always to my owners for giving me such great brags!  We wouldn’t be able to do this without you!

Hard to believe that the puppies will be 5 weeks old tomorrow, so the final countdown begins with 3 weeks to go for homegoing.  This is the most fun of having the litter when we get to do more outside with them, but the paperwork and vetting all starts to kick in too, so it keeps it busy.  So stay springy until next week.

“G” Litter All at Home and “H” Litter at 3.5 Weeks

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Our last puppy went home on Good Friday, Gallixe went across town in Omaha with Gil, while Ginny stays here with us.

Gil and his daughter taking Gallixe home

Gil and his daughter taking Gallixe home

Saturday we took Ginny, now know as “Fire”, out with her mom and dad to the local dog training wildlife management area.  Right now we are primarily working with her on housebreaking, coming when she is called and getting accustomed to cap gun fire when she is playing in the yard.

Caleb runs ahead of Fire

Caleb runs ahead of Fire

 

Sam and BB in the field

Sam and BB in the field

Conrad, Caleb, Charles and Cordelia with Fire in the lead

Conrad, Caleb, Charles and Cordelia with Fire in the lead

The “H” litter was big enough to move out into Mae’s new dog kennel on Saturday.  We converted her from a 6 ft by 8 ft chain link to a 8 ft by 12 ft welded wire to give the litter more space.  The pups are able to get themselves in and out of the dog house, so it is good for their little legs to get them some more space outside and the stimulation of all of the noise and smells.  They also got their first sample of puppy mush, but weren’t very interested since Mae is feeding them well.

"H" Litter at 3.5 weeks old

“H” Litter at 3.5 weeks old lounging around

And of course the weekly YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQqGAOHo2Uk&feature=youtu.be

I hope that you all had a blessed Easter and all of the “G” litter owners are enjoying their new pups!  I’ll be sure to get updated individual photos of the “H” litter out next week.  Talk at you then!

“G” Litter Homegoing and “H” Litter 2 weeks old

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A week ago today most of the puppies of our “G” Litter 2014 from Sam and BB went to their new homes.  It was a big day for everyone.  So big that I forgot to photograph both of the puppies and owners who went home to Minnesota.  Gascon went home with Will and Gabriella went home with Brad, but I have no pictures!  Hopefully, I can catch up with them later.

Here are the parting shots:

 

Gus flew home to Tennessee with John

Gus flew home to Tennessee with John

 

George is in North Dakota with Jeff

George is in North Dakota with Jeff

Gayle headed to York, Nebraska with Curt and family

Gayle headed to York, Nebraska with Curt and family

Gertrude went to Missouri with Kaylee

Gertrude went to Missouri with Kaylee

Gemma went to Broken Bow, Nebraska with Jeff and Mac.

Gemma went to Broken Bow, Nebraska with Jeff and Mac.

Gilbert went to Roca, Nebraska with Karl and his wife

Gilbert went to Roca, Nebraska with Karl and his wife

Garnet stays in Omaha with Charlie and family

Garnet stays in Omaha with Charlie and family

Gisele flew to Mexico City, Mexico with Charbel

Gisele flew to Mexico City, Mexico with Charbel

We enjoyed meeting everyone and sending these fabulous puppies home with them, but spending the afternoon with Charbel was quite a treat.  He is the real “Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials and has had many adventures all over the world.  Bluestem Freyja will be the first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon/Korthals Griffon registered with the Federacion Canofila Mexicana, the AKC of Mexico.

Tuesday, Gene flew to Texas to be with Colby and I hope to get a picture out of them as well.  Charles and I are keeping Gallixe and Ginny will stay in Omaha with Gil and his family starting on Friday.  So I have two puppies in my living room that I’m trying to keep from peeing and pooping on my carpet (that I am swearing I will tear out myself this summer, luckily, there is old oak flooring underneath).

Although it was almost 90 degrees here yesterday, today we are back down in the 40s and rain, so it isn’t quite time to put the “H” litter puppies outside yet.  They are getting quite fat and their eyes are open.  I took them outside yesterday to get some video and pictures of them.  Today they got their silly names.  Here we are, “H” Litter 2014:

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Hope

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Girl: Harriet

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Hez

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Harold

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

Boy: Herbert

And of course, the weekly YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prwTEPhu3Y8&feature=youtu.be

For those of you who are future “H” litter owners, I would like all of the puppies to go home between their 8 week birthday on Tuesday, May 20th and the end of Memorial Day weekend on Monday, May 26th.  I sent an e-mail to that effect.  If you have any problems with this timeframe, please let me know immediately.  I love being with the puppies and look forward to puppy season every year, but I am already starting to dream about post-puppy adventures with my kids this summer.

This week we’ll be working on getting the pups up and moving around some more, as well as trying them on food mush.  As there are only 5 of them, it isn’t as pressing to get them on to solid food as it was with 13.  But either way, it will be time to stuff some puppies into an Easter basket or something next weekend, so keep your eyes out for that and check in with you then.

“G” Litter 6 weeks old and still waiting for “H” litter

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Puppy shoppers please note: My 2014 reservation list is currently closed and all puppies born or unborn this year are spoken for.  Next breedings are scheduled for Spring 2015.

Poor Mae is just completely miserable and has been for the last 5 days or so.  She either lays around and moans, sleeps and snores really loudly, is at the door wanting to go out for every tiny tinkle or turd, or outside walking around (tinkling and micro-turding).  According to my calculations, as of today she is 3 days overdue from first mating.  But she was with Sam for another 5 days after that, so there is no cause for alarm just yet.  Just as a precaution, I took her to the vet today.  She weighs 81 pounds and is “full of puppies’ as the vet said.  The vet tech asked me whether or not she has “had a large litter before”.  Well, not yet, but I think that this will be the first.  We didn’t bother to do an X-ray since we’ll know how many puppies are in there soon.  She is dilated and should start labor at any time.  If she doesn’t start by Wednesday, the vet will induce with the oxytocin shot.

 

Giant pregnant Mae in the woods

Giant pregnant Mae in the woods

Giant pregnant Mae flopped out on the kitchen floor

Giant pregnant Mae flopped out on the kitchen floor

BB’s 13 puppies are doing very well and growing like weeds!  At 6 weeks old, they only have 2 weeks to go before they head to their new homes.  Here are some snapshots from their running around the yard yesterday.

IMG_3621

Laying in the leaves

IMG_3623

“Whassup?”

IMG_3624

On the run

 

 

IMG_3627

Charles generates a mob scene with the quail

Sniffing the quail

Sniffing the quail

More sniffing the quail

More sniffing the quail

 

First retrieve

First retrieve

And of course, the weekly YouTube video:

I have some pupdates and brags from previous year’s litters that I need to be sure to get up next time I blog, which should be soon to welcome the “H” litter!  It’s for real this time, next time your hear from me there will be more puppies!!  Send us good vibes!

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