Echo/Gates December 2007 litter

All of these beautiful puppies have now been sold!

The last four will fly to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Nashville on February 11th. We (Echo, Lyndon & I) will be happy to get back to training, but will miss these wonderful little dogs. We will await news of their happy and wonderful accomplishments! ~ Leslie Vieau ~

"Hum, it's pretty nice in the sun."

"Well, I'm sort of enjoying the shadow, thanks."

6 Weeks and Ready to Play

The puppies are 6 weeks old, have had their shots, and are now sleeping outside. They have been introduced to duck wings and water. There is one very nice black male available. It is “Blue” in these pictures. He is very smart and very birdy. He was one of the first to run up and down the stairs on his own, and to go down the bank into the creek. He is also the friendliest of all of the pups.

We're having fun!

We just love getting in the water and climbing out!

Ah, let me think about this! It's sort of cozy here.
4 Weeks and Growing

The puppies are four weeks old!
They will be ready for their new homes in about 3-4 more weeks for them to join your household (depending on whether they are flying). They have begun to eat food, and they were so ready; they gobbled it up from the first offering. I am feeding a dehydrated raw food from “Honest Kitchen” as a transition, but within a week I will introduce softened kibble, and by the time they go to you they will be eating dry kibble. They are still nursing about 6 times/day. Echo stands up as this is the only way they will all fit. It is fascinating to me that she would figure this out. They do fine and drink every drop within 5 minutes. After eating they poop almost immediately. They play for increasing periods, and then take a long nap. As soon as they wake up they pee. I know you want to know all of this, right? J

They are sleeping in their 4’x4’ whelping box in my kitchen, surrounded by baby gates as it is only 12” tall and they can climb right out. After their morning nursing and nap, they go outside to eat their food. They have a 4’x8’ “Ex-pen” with a Vari-kennel (no door) with a rug inside and a tarp over the top. This is under my carport on a cement pad, sheltered on the north by the garage.

Then there is a 6’x6’ chain link “play yard” connected to the ex-pen, which is on the “grass” (not too lush at this time of year). Both pens get sun and shade, and I can leave the gates to each pen open or closed. They have water in each pen, in heavy ceramic bowls which they cannot tip.

I feed them outside of the pens in the grass, and we have playtime outside the pens too. They are beginning to explore the whole back yard. They tire quickly, and pile up in the grassy pen and/or inside the Vari-kennel to nap. They have toys and rawhide bones to take some of the brunt of the very sharp teeth! They love being outside!

When the pups leave me, they will be eating a really nice food called “Prairie” by Natures Variety. It is chicken meal & brown rice medley, and is balanced for all life stages. I highly recommend it. I feed my adult dogs grain-free kibble (1 year on) and rotate between Natures Variety “Instinct”, Evo Red Meat, and Evo Poultry. I do this because I have a wonderful friend who sells these high-quality foods @ 40% less than the pet stores, and I know that they may not be practical for everyone. Any high quality dog food will be fine, and if you are or have been feeding another food and happy with it, just continue. I think the only grocery store variety of quality is Purina Pro Plan.

You will want to get some “toys”, like small stuffed animals and “ropes”, for the puppy to chew on. I would offer these any time the puppy starts to bite on you (which will be all of the time!), and tell them “No”. Hands are for petting, not for biting. You can “wiggle” the toy for the pup, but don’t do much “tug-o-war” with these retrievers! They need to chew but you don’t want them in the habit of fighting to hold on to birds, etc.

I highly recommend that you crate train your puppy, for your sake and his. You can go ahead and get a large plastic crate, or a collapsible metal one if you prefer. There are many good articles online about crate training your puppy, but just ask me if you have questions. There may be 2-4 “bad” nights, but the pup will quickly get through it and you will always be able to crate your dog for travel, illness, human mealtimes, etc. You will have to get up at least once in the night to take the pup outside, so he doesn’t pee in the crate. They can “hold it” for one hour longer than they are months old, i.e. at 2 months they can hold it 3 hours. I found I could stretch this a bit, and by 4-6 months they could go all night, especially if someone stays up late and gets up early J.

I look forward to meeting some of you! Let me know if you have questions.
Leslie Vieau

On December 15th Echo had 8 Beautiful Pups: 3 Chocolate Males/1 Black Female & 4 Black Males.

Echo and the puppies.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace . . .
December 24, 2007

(As of 12/24/07 there is 1 chocolate male and 3 black males still available.)

1/1/08 "Happy New Year!"
All the pups and Echo are very healthy and shiny. Their dew claws have been removed. Their eyes are open, their ears are opening and they are toddling around. Getting cuter by the day!

I highly recommend these three books to everyone who buys my pups, or loves labs.
1) "Just Labs" by Steve Smith & Dale C. Spartas
2) "101 uses for a lab" by Dale C.Spartas
3)"Retriever Puppy Training : The Right Start for Hunting"
by Clarice Rutherford and Cherylon Loveland

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