Past Curly Coated Retriever Litters
Please check out the Litter Plans tab for informaiton
on our next litter
At SoftMaple we take pride in how we raise our puppies.
We start them out with selecting the best parents. Making sure we are doing the health testing recommended by our
Parent Club. Providing optimum nutrition. We start the puppies out with the BioSensor method of early neurological stimulation.
(see below) After that we continue to provide new experiences, stimulation, small stressors. Socialise the puppies
in a safe secure environment. We have
adopted many of the methods from Aviddog and Puppy Culture.
a litter of puppies the right way is a full time job that we take very seriously!
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SoftMaple Curly Coated Retriever Puppies
We at SoftMaple have been active in showing and breeding pure bred dogs since 1979.
Active in Curly Coated Retrievers since 1993. We do not earn our income from the sale our puppies. For me raising a litter
is a very rewarding, time consuming and expensive passion. We are breeding for healthy, sound, highly trainable, versatile
dogs without compromising the correct structure and breed type set out in the standard.
SoftMaple bred and or owned Curlies hold titles in conformation, field, upland, obedience, barn hunting,
dock diving, lure coursing, rally obdience, therapy, and agility. Most SoftMaple dogs go to loving companion homes, or to
personal hunting homes and are never shown. Titles do not make the dog, nor do they make a dog great. We are more interested
in producing healthy, cherished companions, than having our primary goal to put letters before a dog's name.
Early puppy stimulation, as well as continued puppy socialization are key in our breeding program. We stress temperament
and health. Our dogs are family companions, first and foremost. We are only interested in finding homes for our puppies in
which potential owners are genuinely committed to loving a Curly for its life-time, be it a pet, show, or hunting companion.
Breeding dogs is a labor of love. Their health and well-being is of primary importance.
We check Hips (OFA, or foreign country of origin hip score equivalent), Eyes (CERF or OFA Eye certification)Cardiac auscultation
or Echo, Glycogen Stroage Disease (GSDIIIa) and have been adding PRA, EIC and listen to the recomendations of the Curly Parent
club for testing.
Since a dog is a living creature, we can not guarantee
that the dog will not have any problems. We do our best to check the health history of the parents, grandparents and siblings.
We study pedigrees and dogs to help make informed breeding decisions. No one has yet bred the perfect dog. We will stand behind
our dogs if there is a problem.
The pups are raised in the home. We use the Bio Sensor method of early puppy stimulation. We temperament test our puppies
at 7 weeks of age. As we know the personalities of the puppies better than anyone having lived wiht them since birh, we try
to match each puppy with the appropriate family for its needs. Every pup that leaves SoftMaple goes with the condition that
if for any reason you cannot keep the dog I will always take it back, for whatever reason.
A curly is not for everyone. They are a strong willed, challenging, intelligent dog. We
screen our prospective puppy buyers. Your not just buying a dog from SoftMaple, your joining a family. We ask you questions,
and strongly encourage you to ask us questions. Anyone looking to add a Curly to their home shouldn't stop at just contacting
one breeder. We encourage you to talk to as many breeders as you can.
Those First Weeks
Here's the age old question: Is temperament the result of heredity or of environment? You have already done
your homework into the backgrounds of the sire and dam; you've checked on temperament, trainability and stability. The job
does not stop here. do you want to take a chance that the greatest factor is not environment? In a litter, you are lucky to
get one or two good show dogs. You may get a couple of good field prospects, maybe even a future top obedience or agility
dog. Every pup should have a super temperament because 90 percent of the litter will end up in pet homes. Their owners will
not care about how many titles the parents won, at what age they got their first major, or how many tries it took them to
get their SH or CDX titles. These people care that their dogs will be wonderful additions to their family.
When I plan a breeding, I take time off from my full time job to start another full-time
job-- the one of raising a litter. It does not matter how wonderful and independent a mom your brood bitch is, you still have
a full-time commitment with each litter.
I start working with the pups when they are 3 days old. I take each one and put it through a series of five exercises known
as the Bio-Sensor method. (see the May 1995 AKC Gazette for an article on this) In brief, this is a series of exercises that
stimulates pups in a way they would not otherwise experience at this early age.
Once the pups have their eyes open and start to venture out of the whelping box, the fun begins! Over the years,
I have developed a "puppy playground." This is designed to introduce the pups to sound, texture, movement, vibration
and music. It includes "swings" made from carpeted milk crates that hangs from the ceiling. The pups quickly find
these and they are not bothered by the swinging movement when they are in them. Often I will find the swing jam-packed with
pups sleeping and gently rocking! I also have low, padded and carpeted seesaws. The pups first reaction to these is usually
to be startled when they walk up the low ramp and it moves under their weight. however, the puppy urge for exploration gets
the best of them and soon you see 6-week old pups trying out their "sea legs" and balancing on the middle of the
sea saw like expert agility dogs.
The playground also includes a variety
of tunnels made of tall kitchen trash containers with the bottoms cut out. The pups race through these, roll them around,
and then all pile in for a nap. There are also ramps of various materials and textures, milk jugs, hanging fleece toys and
short steps made by stacking large wooden blocks. One object that the pups love is a fleece octopus with four squeaky arms.
It hangs about five inches from the ground, from a rope that has a long line of sleigh bells attached to the top. The noise
it makes! There are also low mirrors on the walls and an assortment of balls, toys and chews in the puppy room.
At about 6 weeks, the pups are introduced to water, under supervision. I take an extra
large Vari-Kennel bottom, line it with rubber bath mats, and fill it with three inches of warm water. I place this in the
puppy room, with a couple of rubber balls floating in it. The boldest pups are soon in there! There is no pushing or forcing;
I just let them go at their own pace.
Each puppy also gets individual attention every day during which they experience a variety of activities. They may drag
around a short leash, be introduced to wings and birds, go for a ride in the car, or have their toenails trimmed.
The playroom setup enables me to sit and watch the puppies for hours to see which are the
most adventuresome which have the quickest recovery time, and which are more hesitant. This helps me decide on the homes that
will be best for each one.
Article written by Cathy Lewandowski
for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette
Breeding beyond boundaries.
How many times have your gone to the National or a large regional dog show to check out prospective
studs and been disappointed in the lack of choices? Sometimes nothing you see complements the bitch you have. With today’s
shrinking world, there are more options open to breeders. One of those options is using an over seas stud. With the improvements
in storing frozen semen, collecting and shipping fresh chilled semen, and newly lifted quarantines; your breeding choices
don’t have to be confined to your geographic area.
using an overseas stud, you must often rely on pictures, video and word of mouth of people who have met the dogs in person.
But this is the case with many US studs where you may not have had the opportunity to meet the dog in person. Or even the
case of having only seen the dog as an adolescent and you do not know how he has matured. I was fortunate to deal with breeders
and owners who were very helpful in supplying whatever I wanted to do my research on potential overseas studs. This included
pictures of the dog, his parents, siblings, and any offspring he may have had on the ground. Videotapes of the dog and relatives.
Talking with other breeders overseas who have used the particular dog, or close relatives of his in their breeding programs.
I have had experience sending a bitch overseas for a natural breeding. This can’t always be done if the country still
has quarantine laws in effect. My latest litter was a result of fresh chilled semen sent from overseas. You can still run
into problems with customs and language barriers resulting in delays. Timing is everything when using fresh chilled semen.
Even a day’s delay can mean the difference between having a litter and not. It did take a bit more planning to make
sure it all came off smoothly. With fresh chilled, you should decide before hand on what kind of extender you will use, and
what type of shipping container it will be transported in. A test collection and storage of the stud is a great idea. That
way you know how many days his semen will live. Not all dogs are alike, and not all dogs semen react to the extender and chilling
Everything you need to register such a litter is clearly
explained on the AKC website. I am currently bringing in frozen semen from overseas to store in the US. This has its pros
and cons. With Frozen semen you don’t have to worry about the timing of shipping, as you can have it on hand months
or years in advance of the breeding. One of the drawbacks of frozen semen is with the shorter life span, either surgical or
transcervical insemination is recommended over vaginal insemination.
With the use of fresh chilled and frozen semen, you do have the potential for higher breeding costs with the addition of
progesterone testing, collection, storage and insemination fees. You also have the potential for decreased litter size in
some cases. Finding and using the right stud for your bitch isn’t about producing a huge litter. Its about producing
a few quality dogs that fulfil the goals you have for the breeding and the resulting offspring.
Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette
SofMaple litters to date:
9/23/1996 Am & Can Ch Pasha N'Charwin's Black Jack Am &Can WC ROM
CR-200G26M, CR-314, 90,92,93,99 X CH Avanti's Best Bet CD CGC ROMX CR-CA12/56F/C-ECHO, CR-483 95,96,99,00, CR-408E24F GSDII
Clear (12 puppies)
9/28/1997 CH Riverwatch Desert Wind ROM CR-EL30, CR-429E24M, CR-564 97, CR-CA103/77M/C-PI,
CHIC#26174 X CH Avanti's Best Bet CGC ROMX CD CR-CA12/56F/C-ECHO, CR-483, 95,96,99,00, CR-408E24F, GSDII Clear (14 puppies)
10/11/1998 CH, HR Elflock-Ranah's Rising Son WC, WCX, WCQ, JH, CD, CR-549 97,00,02, CR-426G37M X CH Charwin Even Song
JH, WC, WCX, CD, CGC, HOF CR-CA22/41F/C, CR-480F35F, CR-489 95,98,00 (3 puppies)
12/24/1999 Luxembourg Champion,
Dutch,VDH, German Ch. Caballus Inferno JWW'98, W'98, Europasieger '99, Bundessieger'99 Hips A/A(Finland), B1(Holland) X CH
Mathel Felicitation ROM CR-CA3/38F/C, CR-453G24F, CR-497 96,97,99,01 (For this litter, I shipped Bumper overseas for the
breeding, so the stud has his foreign country of origin hip score equivalent.) (14 live puppies, 17 total puppies)
10/9/2001 Ch SoftMaple's O' Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCX, WCQ, CD, CGC, HOF ,CR-536G27M-T CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-685
01, CHIC #26208 X CH Charwin Evensong WC, WCX, JH, CD, CGC, HOF, CR-CA22/41F/C, CR-480F35F, CR-489 95,98,00 (11 puppies)
4/10/2002 CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC, CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-640G26F-PI, CR-EL97F26-PI, CR-753 03, CHIC
#26238 sired by CH SoftMaple's O' Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, CD, WC, WCX, WCQ, CGC, HOF, CR-536G27M-T CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO,
CR-685 01, CHIC #26208 (10 puppies)
10/10/2002 SJCH SUCH Ringlets Constant Wind eyes clear, hips A/B, Doppler heart cleared,
to CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC, CR-CA74/16F/S-PI, CR-EL98F28-PI, CR-642G28F-PI, CERF 01, (This litter is the product
of an imported semen breeding using shipped-cooled semen from Sweden, so the male has his foreign country of origin health
checks.) (5 puppies)
8/1/2003 CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC, CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-640G26F-PI, CR-EL97F26-PI,
CR-753 03, CHIC #26238 sired by CH Aberbran Bar Von Bern JH, WC, WCQ, SH, ROM, CR-608G24M-PI, CR-CA123/37M/P-PI, CR-662 00,02,03,04
6/10/2008 CH Summerwinds Kurly Kreek Vento, CR-CA204/16M/C-PI CR-833 CR-785G24M-PI
CHIC#33070 and CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI, CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI, CR-CA157/39F/C-PI,
CR-835, GSDIIIa clear by parents, CHIC #26258 (8 puppies)
#0 Our No Litter... the cost of doing a breeding
9/8/2004 CH SoftMaple N HunterBay's NYwkend CGC, TT, CR-EL99F28-PI, CR-645E28F-PI, CR-CA135/34F/C-PI, CHIC #26240
GSDIIIa clear X CH SR Curlygleann Kiwi Dream WC CGC TDI CR-677G24M-PI, CR-EL111M24-PI, SN91060601, GSDIIIa #CCR202 (8 puppies)
11/8/2004 CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCQ, WCX, CD, CGC, TT, HOF, CR-536G27M-T, CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO,
CR-685 2001, CHIC #26208 GSDIIIa clear and SoftMaple N HunterBay's Poetic Justice CGC, PennHip, CR-CA158/21F/C-NOPI, CR-786N
GSDcarrier (8 puppies)
1/3/2005 Boyerie Dese Maestro Music Please CR-CA148/24M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-696G24M-PI, CR-750,
03,04, CHIC#CR-CA157/39F/C-PI GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC, CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI,CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI,
CR-CA157/39F/C-PI, CR-835, 05, CHIC #26258 GSDIIIa clear by parents (10 puppies)
5/9/2005 Ch. Dese's Black As Coal,
CD, WC, CGC, TT, RN, JH CR-530G26M-T, CR-CA47/30M/C-T, CR-582, 98,99,00,01,02,03,04, CHIC# 26205 GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple's
Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC,JH, RN, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI, CR-EL134F34-NOPI, CR-814N,05, CR-722G34F-NOPI, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI GSDIIIa
clear (11 puppies)
5/6/2006 CH Elflock False Echoes CR-859, CR-769G33M-PI, CR-CA209/34M/C-PI, CHIC GSDIIIa
clear and CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC CR-CA74/16F/S-PI CR-EL98F28-PI CR-642G28F-PI, CERF CR-678 GSDIIIa clear (3 puppies)
12/28/2006 Knicknack's Ambassador CR-776E28M-PI, CR-EL161M28-PI, CR-TH10/28M-PI,Cardiac clear by a Cardiologist And Eyes
Clear by a A.C.V.O, E.C.V.O Diplomate Veterinarian 3/4/2006 X CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC CR-EL97F26-PI, CR-640G26F-PI,
CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-753, CHIC 26238, GSDIIIa clear (2 puppies)
1/11/2007 (co-bred with BackCast) Knicknack's Ambassador
CR-776E28M-PI, CR-EL161M28-PI, CR-TH10/28M-PI, Cardiac clear by a Cardiologist And Eyes Clear by a A.C.V.O, E.C.V.O Diplomate
Veterinarian 3/4/2006 X Backcast Hunka Burnin Fudge CR-886, CR-CA238/24F/C-PI, CR-793G27F-PI, CHIC# 34724
7/1/2008 CH Down DaTrail Hunting Thrills CD WC Reg#SR23159201, CR-839G30M-PI, CR-EL181M30-PI, CR-933,
CR-CA306/37M/C-PI, GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple's Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC,JH, RN, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI, CR-EL134F34-NOPI,
CR-814N,05, CR-722G34F-NOPI, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI GSDIIIa clear (10 puppies)
5/13/2010 CH Softmaple TransAtlantic Affair CGC SR44469301 DOB: Dec 28 2006
CR-878E24M-VPI, CR-EL204M24-VPI, CR-CA345/30M/C-VPI-ECHO, CR-947N and CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CHIC SR23711801, DOB: Jan
3 2005 CR-CA250/20F/C-PI, CR-897, CR-823G26F-PI , CR-EL174F26-PI, CHIC 38871 Torre would be assumed clear of GSD based on
the absence of the GSD mutation in both parents. (13 puppies)
6/20/2011 GCH Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver
to Flyway CA WCX JH RN NAP NFP CR-CA368/24M/C-NOPI, CR-920G24M-VPI, CR-EL219M24-VPI Clear for EIC and GSD IIIa by parentage
and CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CR-CA250/20F/C-PI, CR-897, CR-823G26F-PI, CR-EL174F26-PI, CHIC, Clear for GSD IIIa by parentage
4/24/2012 GCH Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver to Flyway CA WCX JH RN NAP NFP CR-CA368/24M/C-NOPI,
CR-920G24M-VPI, CR-EL219M24-VPI Clear for EIC and GSD IIIa by parentage and FLATCURLS Follow Me Forever To Softmaple CR-942E39F-VPI,
CR-347550 11,11, CR-CA396/40F/C-VPI (6 puppies)
11/7/2015 CH Brio’s Jollycurl To Bravo First Over Under MH, WCX SR71728607 CR-1008E28M-VPI,
CR-EYE36/32M-VPI EYES has been bred to CH Softmaples Fly By Night WC, BN, RA, CA, CGC, RATI CR-CA443/12F/C-VPI, CR-EYE12/32F-VPI,
CR-EIC35/39F-VPI-CAR, CR-G3A107/40F-VPI, CR-PRA20/40F-VPI (8 puppies)
4/14/2016 CH JCh Engadin Star's Juri Snowflake HD A / A, ED 0/0, GDS IIIa
free mental test passed with 98 of 99 points and gaining value excellently. to CH SoftMaple N Flyway's Nobody puts Baby in
a Corner RN WC CAT CR-991G25F-VPI, CR-EL255F25-VPI, CR-CA433/27F/C-VPI-ECHO, CERF: CR-382440 (8 puppies)
7/3/2016 (Co-bred, litter at Skywatcher) CH Brio’s
Jollycurl To Bravo First Over Under MH, WCX to Skywatcher's Dee Liver Me to SoftMaple, CGC, TDI, RATI, RATN (11 puppies)
2/21/2017 SHR GRCH Softmaple Green River JH,
DJA, AJ, RATO, CGCA, UJJ, WC, TDI, ATD, PD CA CR-CA442/27M/C-VPI-ECHO CARDIAC CARDIOLOGIST, ECHO at 27 months CR-CA442/56M/C-VPI-ECHO CARDIAC
NORMAL - CARDIOLOGIST, ECHO again at 56 months CR-EIC32/28M-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE Carrier/1 Copy CR-G3A96/32M-VPI GLYCOGEN
STORAGE DISEASE Clear CR-PRA8/40M-VPI PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY Clear CR-TH21/45M-VPI THYROID Normal CR-1040G58M-VPI HIPS
Good CR-EL288M58-VPI ELBOW normal Skywatcher's Dee Liver Me to SoftMaple RATN, RATI, CGC, TDI, DN CR-CA462/23F/C-VPI CARDIAC
Normal Cardiologist CR-EIC36/25F-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE Carrier/1 copy CR-G3A109/25F-VPI GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE
Clear CR-PRA22/25F-VPI PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY Clear CR-1010G26F-VPI HIPS Good CR-EL269F26-VPI ELBOW Normal CR-EYE30/48F-VPI EYES
Normal 2014,2015,2016 (9 puppies)
9/24/2017 CH Brio’s Jollycurl To Bravo First Over
Under MH, WCQ SR71728607 CR-1008E28M-VPI, CR-EYE36/32M-VPI EYES and Skywatcher's Dee Liver Me to SoftMaple RATN, RATI, CGC,
TDI, DN CR-CA462/23F/C-VPI CARDIAC Normal Cardiologist CR-EIC36/25F-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE Carrier/1 copy CR-G3A109/25F-VPI GLYCOGEN
STORAGE DISEASE Clear CR-PRA22/25F-VPI PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY Clear CR-1010G26F-VPI HIPS Good CR-EL269F26-VPI ELBOW Normal
CR-EYE30/48F-VPI EYES Normal 2014,2015,2016 (11 puppies- (6)
12/21/2017 CH Riverwatch Rhythm Of
The Rain CR-ACA5/25M-PI ADVANCED CARDIAC NORMAL AO/CONG, AUSC/ECHO, CR-EYE83/25M-VPI NORMAL: 2016, CR-CRD50/27M-VPI CONE
ROD DYSTROPHY CLEAR/NORMAL, CR-EIC61/27M-VPI EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE CLEAR, CR-G3A139/27M-VPI GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE
NORMAL/CLEAR, CR-1074G36M-VPI HIPS Good to CH Softmaples Fly By Night WC, BN, RE, CAA, CGC, RATI, TKN CR-CA443/12F/C-VPI CARDIAC NORMAL
- CARDIOLOGIST, CR-EYE12/32F-VPI EYES NORMAL, CR-EIC35/39F-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE CARRIER, CR-G3A107/40F-VPI
GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE NORMAL/CLEAR, CR-PRA20/40F-VPI PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY NORMAL/CLEAR, CR-1022G46F-VPI HIPS GOOD,
CR-EL277F46-VPI ELBOW NORMAL (9 puppies)
I wanted to share with you an article that appeared in the AKC Gazette's Curly
Breed column, written by Ann Shinkle.
Educating a Curly pup
Your Curly-Coated Retriever puppy starts learning as soon as it is born. It's up
to you to do the very best job possible in order to have a well adjusted, happy adult.
I have been raising a puppy bitch over the past few months, which has brought many important thoughts concerning
puppies to mind. I shall now share some of them with you.
When you decide
to acquire a Curly pup, be award that you need to prepare well before its arrival. On the whole, our breed needs quite a bit
more socializing than some other retriever breeds. A once a week trip to puppy kindergarten is not enough. In the case of
some of the more retiring, less confident pups, you should take the puppy on a daily trip outside the home to different places,
once your veterinarian says it's safe to do so.
Good locations for
these socialization and education encounters include parks and shopping malls, especially the parking areas where the puppy
can experience the clatter of shopping carts, the roar of motorcycles, and the sight of people emerging from stores carrying
strange packages. (Of course, you and your puppy should never enter any premises without having first obtained the management's
permission.) My most recent Curly puppy has gone into shops, visited friends, attended obedience classes and matches as an
observer and fun matches as a participant, and has been to puppy classes of various levels. this particular puppy needs a
great deal of socialization because she is slightly less confident than other Curly puppies tend to be at this age.
When a stranger comes up to you and your puppy on one of these outings, ask them them
to pet your pup and to offer it one of the treats you should carry in your pocket.
It's especially important that your puppy become used to being around children at this early age. First, ask the
parent's permission , then have the children -one at a time with a puppy!-gently pet your puppy.
Remember, all these activities are learning experiences and should leave your puppy with positive memories.
If your puppy shows fear of any object, walk up to that object and hold out a treat for the puppy to gently coax it to approach
the object. If your puppy continues to show any fear or backs up and pulls away, do not praise it. Just ignore this behavior
and try again. If the pup is still very much afraid, calmly walk away and have the puppy perform something it knows, such
as sitting in front of you, then give it a treat. If you sympathize with the puppy as it demonstrates nervousness or fear,
you will reinforce the behavior. It's better to ignore the fear and frightened behavior, and get on with something else.
While on the subject of socializing your puppy and taking it places in the care, please be sure that you've first done some
crate training with the puppy. I think its extremely important to have a safe spot in your vehicle for the puppy, whether
it's a car safety harness or a crate. In case of an accident, animals of people can be seriously injured as a result of a
dog being tossed about. (your puppy's breeder should provide Crate-training information Readers who need this information
may also contact me.)
Another important fact to keep in mind is that
home is very different from that big world outside. Your puppy may seem very happy, outgoing and well adjusted at home, but
take it to a strange, noisy place, and most Curly puppies will show some fear at first. This is why I stress a great deal
of socialization in those crucial early months.
The Reverse can also occur. Many years ago I met a Curly who had been kenneled for the first few years of his life. He had
never been inside a house. After he was placed in another home, it took three months of coaxing and living with his new family
before he would set foot inside their home.
Let both situations be
a lesson to all of us: The more varied the experiences a puppy has during its first year, the better off it will be for the
rest of its life.
Originally printed in the AKC Gazette, April
1998 written by Ann Shinkle.
We use the Bio-Sensor exercises. Methods of Stimulation
The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to
what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called "Bio Sensor"
was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the
military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed
that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves
a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this
interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.
The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation
in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises, which were designed to stimulate the
neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time
while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in nor order of preference the handler starts with one put and stimulates
it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next
pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
1. Tactile stimulation - holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the
pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of
stimulation 3 - 5 seconds.
2. Head held erect - using both hands,
the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards
position. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds
3. Head pointed down
- holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground.
Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds
4. Supine position - hold the
pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is
allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
Thermal stimulation - use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on
the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations,
none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises,
others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more
than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological
system can have adverse and detrimental results.
These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result
being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups
and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling,
play socialization or bonding.
Five benefits have
been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:
Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
Stronger heart beats,
More tolerance to stress
Greater resistance to disease
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non-
stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.
Breeding: What We're Taught
There are many platitudes in the dog world, such as "A fast maturing puppy will fade"
and "Only breed when you'll keep one for yourself." This last maxim is even used to chastise breeders who do not
keep a puppy from every litter. The idea is that in every litter there will be a star puppy who should be grown out by the
The fact is that not all litters produce show puppies. Keeping even the best puppy from a mediocre litter will not achieve
the breeder's objectives. It would be best to place these puppies in permanent companion homes and try something different
the next time around, but this is not often done in our breed. Instead, the breeder keeps the best in a particular litter,
grows out the pick puppy, and takes her to dog shows. Dog shows are unforgiving and soon identify mediocrity. A determined
person will put many shows on an average dog in an attempt to "prove" her breeding program. It would be better to
make a more critical evaluation of puppies at 8 weeks and come to more realistic conclusions about their future prospects.
Another example of conventional wisdom involves litter frequency. This is carried to extremes
when people start judging breeders by numbers: "Did you know she had (three, four) litters last year?" As if this
were something shameful. In our breed, which has fallen from 36th in AKC registrations to 100th in a decade, this so-called
wisdom is hardly wise. We need dedicated people who are willing to study, spend the time, and do the work necessary to breed
dogs. Having one litter every few years does not make one a breeder, nor does it provide a person with the experience required
to whelp and raise puppies or to develop a consistent line of dogs.
When you have questions and problems with a litter, who do you call? I call someone who has been breeding dogs for 50 years
and, at one time that I remember, had three litters at once. He is in another breed, and has never been criticized for the
excellent job he did with his puppies. Spring always found him whelping at least one litter for himself, and perhaps a few
more for other people. We need these master breeders desperately: They have a wealth of knowledge to share about breeding
dogs and raising puppies. We also need more ways to record their knowledge, share it with others and preserve it for the future.
We need dedicated people in our breed and, in fact, in every breed to continue the lines
and to work to breed the best dogs possible. As baby boomers retire from breeding dogs over the next two decades, we will
have to recruit new breeders to carry on. Holding people back with worn-out phrases will not work.
There is room for everyone, for those who can breed only occasionally
and for those who will become the master breeders of the future. We need to encourage and learn from those who have the time,
resources, and dedication to spend shaping the future of our breeds.
Reprinted from the June 2006 AKC Gazette breed Keeshonden breed
column. Written by Deborah A. Lynch. Deborah A. Lynch is the Executive Vice-President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
She has been a breeder and exhibitor of Keeshonden since 1971 under the Foxfair prefix. She is a member of the Keeshond Club
of America and is past President of the Buckeye Keeshond Club. Deborah has also been a member of the Dog Writers Association
of America and has judged her breed both in the USA and England.
7 week old puppies first
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