Jun 262012

Puppy in Bicycle Basket

Our favorite vacations are to take the dogs in our motor home and ride our bikes, non-motorized, on a scenic rail to trail. This summer our choice was the Katy Trail spanning Missouri east to west. There’s always beautiful nature since the old rail lines ran through the countryside and often along waterways.  This trail is no exception.

After a slow start and a poor choice of campground for our first night, we landed in Hermann, MO in the middle of Mssouri wine country. The little town with obvious German heritage  was a neat place to relax. The city park had shaded campsites just half mile from one of the wineries with tours, tasting and a nice German themed restaurant menu. Poor planning delayed getting our rental car a couple of days, but once we were mobile to get to a trailhead, helmets to the wind. 

Although the trail is over 100 miles long stretching from St. Charles, MO to the west, we only had time to ride in 10 mile segments because of the heat of midsummer with daytime temperatures approaching 100 degrees F.  We hit the trail very early in the morning for our ride and if possible stoppwd at a local diner in one of the little depot towns for a hearty breakfast. The first morning’s ride took us from McKendrick east to Rhineland, MO with acres of flat cornfields with some hills in the distance.

This trip we traveled with Izzy, Rosie and Swagger our 3 mini Aussies. Ike and Fancy stayed home to be cared for by the lady that works for me in my pet sitting business. I bought a bike basket just for dogs on Amazon and this was our debut. Swagger LOVED IT!!  He has his face to the cool morning breeze and was a happy rider. Rosie and Izzy got in a morning nap back at ground zero.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Jun 082012

Since the puppies are with their new owners, except Swagger, it’s time for us to get my other dogs back into their exercise routine.  Exercise is so important for a happy and healthy dog and for a healthy and happy human.

It’s easy to do passive exercise with Izzy and Fancy, because they are disc dogs and will play until they can run no more.  However, there’s more to exercise than running after a disc in the back yard.

We have a 4 mile walking/running/biking trail just down the street from us and as of this week, I promised myself and especially Ike, Fancy and Rosie that we would be there once a day.  Besides burning calories for myself, the benefits to walking on a trail are numerous.

First, dogs need to walk on a loose leash beside you and that takes practice.  In my younger life, I thought an extend leash was the way to go and wondered why my dogs pulled until they choked themselves on a walk.  Now I know they had not learned that we were partners in the walk rather than them being the head honcho and me the underling. Some dogs learn this much more easily than others, but I’ve found that a pocket full of super yummy treats to pop in their mouth when they’re doing it right soon teaches them the reward of staying with me.  Loose leash is not “heeling” as we do in obedience competition, but does mean they walk at our side in a relaxed fashion.

Second, our dogs have to learn to make way for the other walkers with wheels: bicycles, little children on their trikes, and skaters.  Herding dogs like to herd, of course, so they have to practice ignoring those folks that buzz by us at top speed.  You remembered…a pocket full of treats, and add a clicker on your wrist if you think to bring it along.  Bike passing, say pup’s name, they look at you instead of the bike, click and pop a treat.  It won’t take long, until they are begging for bikes to come by.

And, of course, walkers with other dogs.  That one is not so easy because some of those “other” dogs aren’t as well behaved as ours.  If I’m out with more than one dog, I don’t typically do any greeting on the trail, it just turns into a mishmash of dog tails and is too risky.  It doesn’t always work, but I keep my dogs by my side as much as I can, do lots of singsong talking, pop treats and keep walking.  If you hear me singing Happy Birthday to my dogs, it doesn’t mean they have a cake with candles waiting at home.  It is a happy song after all, and gets their attention and gives me a more relaxed feeling so I don’t panic when I see a 120 pound Mastiff walking my way on the trail straining against the owner’s leash, and of course, the owner has on earphones and is not noticing their dog’s body language.  Happy birthday to you….pop a treat…happy birthday to you…pop a treat.  You get the idea.

Izzy got her dose of Frisbee tonight with Swagger running along behind her (so darn cute) and the other dogs got their walk on the trail.  They are relaxed and I’m relaxed.  What a good way to spend a cool Spring evening!

 Posted by at 3:30 am
Jun 032012

Blue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy

1  –  2 –  3  strikes, you’re out…out like a light after playing and gathering her toys just in case someone tries to filch them while she’s sleeping.  Little Phoebe is so lucky to be in her new home and I won’t be surprised to see her peeking from a bag of dance slippers or out of a backpack at the ballpark.

You’ll notice this puppy has safe things to keep her entertained, a Wubba, a soft Frisbee, and a Skinneeez toy with no stuffing.

A tired puppy is a good puppy, and this is one good puppy 🙂

 Posted by at 11:54 pm
Jun 032012

  Black Tri Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy

Alangus Adda Daddy’s Girl is going to be a hit in her new modeling career since her new skin daddy is an accomplished photographer.  Addie, as we know her, is not just beautiful, but also quite intelligent as I hear reports of her having mastered “sit”, “down”, “shake”, and of course, “get the ball” after only 3 days in her new home!

Although this is written with a smile on my face, you just can’t underestimate the intelligence of a miniature Australian shepherd puppy nor the adult they will become.  They love to work and work needs to be both mental and physical.  Training is so easy and so enjoyable, I can’t imagine skipping that part.  You can almost see Aussies grasp new vocabulary and at our house, we have to spell F R I S B E E or a frenzy ensues.

Way to go Addie, we’ll be watching for your next glossy! Perhaps we can enlist K to give us some hints on pet photography as a blog post!

 Posted by at 11:46 pm
Jun 032012

 Blue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy

Ian Dunbar, a noted author on puppy and dog behavior, indicates that our puppies should meet 100 people in the first weeks of their lives along with being exposed to different sounds and environments and light scenarios.  This is especially true with mini Aussie puppies because unlike some breeds, they are not genetically wired to open their hearts to strangers unless they learn very early that people=fun or in dog terms, TREATS!

Swagger, our keeper from our last litter spent the day at some of the places we frequent for his first big dose of socialization.  If you want attention, ride an 8-week old puppy around in your shopping cart at Lowes!  If you happen to be a little shy yourself, this will definitely bring you out of your shell and you can meet all kinds of interesting people.  My favorite phrase, “would you like to pet my puppy?” always brings the children around followed by their smiling parents.  Perfect…inexpensive, and I would be there anyway with my husband browsing in the electrical aisle.

We want only happy and healthy experiences, so I didn’t sit Swagger on the ground yet since he has only had his first round of shots.  Being at eye level was the perfect scenario for some coos and ahhhhhs and isn’t he the sweetest thing evers!! It was fun and gave others an opportunity to share with me the stories and even pictures of the dogs that they love.

 Posted by at 11:34 pm
Jun 022012

Four little puppies lying in the bed, one rolled over and the little one said…I’m crowded, rooooollllll over, three little puppies lying in the bed……………….

I was reminded today that I’ve been away from my Blog for a couple of weeks and it’s definitely time to return.  This week was moving out time for my litter of mini Aussies and what fun to see them going into such terrific homes.  Little Addie already has her new owner trained to throw a ball and wake up at all hours to go for puppy walks, Paddy is crossing the border into Hoosier land, and when skin Daddy says jump, Phoebe jumps!  What fun lies ahead!!

Puppies at eight weeks are just right to send to their new families.  They are eating well, have had time to learn puppy manners from their litter mates and mommy and are at a stage in their development where their allegiance is easy to transition to someone new.  Plus, I enjoy those last two weeks of really getting to know their personalities and seeing them grow.

After Phoebe, the last to leave,  took off for northern Kentucky, it was time to rearrange the puppy area.  I was reminded of when I rearranged my daughter’s room as a child and she went from a crib to big girl bed.  I opened the play area back into one large pen so Rosie and Swagger can be roommates.  Rosie was as attached to the puppies as they were to her, so both of them may need a little comforting.

I also opened the door and let my big dogs downstairs and I watched Izzy, mama dog.  She is an awesome girl and I sure hate losing her ability to have puppies, but she will be spayed this Fall.  When her puppies were first born, I could watch her count them after she’d gone out to potty.  Her nose would move from one to the other to be sure they were all there and then she’d settle herself to lie down.  Today when she came down the stairs, she went to the puppy pen to count and I saw a little look of confusion in her eyes.  Of course, she will be fine because that is the way animal life works (and ours too actually).  She did her job, she raised them well, she taught them the lessons she had learned and then they move on to live their own lives. Hmmm….I think I’ve been there with my skin children.

Ike, my pack leader, is now lying quietly in the basement with his family all around. We are a happy pack 🙂

 Posted by at 12:42 am
May 112012

Those cute little fluffy puppies start to morph into adult dogs just like our sweet skin babies pass through life’s stages. At about 3-4 months old, ears start to look funky and the chewies begin indicating that baby teeth are starting to loosen and adult teeth are making their mouths sore. Toward the end of this period, puppies are fully into their adolescent time and their independent spirit takes hold. Sadly, many puppies find themselves banished from their family or even worse, given up to a shelter or rehomed.

How do we survive the next few months?  First, we must realize that our goal is to have a loyal adult dog and no one wants a puppy forever just like we want to see our own children and grandchildren grow into respectful adults.  

Potty mistakes are only mistakes and can be cleaned up. The best defense is crate training and having the puppy in an area easily mopped and to do potty walks often.  They don’t mean to make a mess, they just haven’t learned the rules yet. Consider it the transition from diaper to potty chair to toilet.

At this adolescent stage, puppies also get a wild hair and will take off to explore the world. Knowing this will happen, the best defense when they aren’t in a fenced area is to let them drag 20 feet of light clothesline from their collar so you can step on the end to reel them in if necessary.  The line can get twisted around them and potentially hurt them so only use it under direct and watchful supervision. I use it also to practice recalls.  Of course, don’t chase, but turn from your puppy and call with a happy voice of they get out of reach. And, when they come to you…only good things happen.  Never snatch them up to take them inside immediately or scold them.

Chewing doesn’t  have to be a problem if you have lots of safe toys and Nylabones handy. My floor looks like the dog toy monster spit up.  And…shoes and other valuables just have to be put away until the puppy is dependable, probably after a year or more old.

Time does fly by and with diligence and watchfulness, your rowdy adolescent will develop into the friend you had hoped for.

 Posted by at 2:08 am
Apr 302012

The puppies are into their 3rd week of life and I started them on food today and they took right to it. The first week, I use a mix of the puppy food I like (Diamond Natural Puppy for Small Breeds) mixed with Puppy Gold which is a milk like product for puppies and a little hot water to make a gruel. They were all about it. I could tell from their fussing they weren’t getting satisfied so I’ll offer them food 3 or 4 times a day and let Izzy clean up the leftovers.

The puppies are moving about a lot in the last couple of days. I changed out the big Perla whelping bed for a crate that is big enough for them and Izzy and they’ve learned to come in and out on their own. By the end of the week, I’ll change it out again for a small crate since Izzy won’t be with them for very long at a time. She’s about finished except for letting them nurse 3 or so times a day.

The puppies are starting to come out to potty so I put a pee pad just outside their crate door for them. Their instinct tells them to leave their den for business, which is the first step in potty training. Once they start to be rambunctious, the paper one will be traded for the washable kind.

The progression is interesting for the mama dog with puppies.  It goes from constant watchfulness and fierce protection, to the “let me out to rest” phase, to ” please keep them away” at about 5 weeks. Once weaned at 6-7 weeks, the mama will go back to them to play and train them, a very important time I think which is why I like  keep them until 8 weeks old.

 Posted by at 1:53 am

Eyes Open, Ears Open…Time to Rumble!

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Eyes Open, Ears Open…Time to Rumble!
Apr 232012

Blue merle mini Aussie female

Black tri Mini Aussie Male

Black Tri Mini Aussie Female Puppy

Blue merle mini Aussie male

Thank you so much K for these really nice pictures of the puppies at two weeks old (Izzy x Helmie litter).  I’m like a proud grandparent, I must show them off, especially when I get some professional pics.

Yesterday, the puppies started to open their eyes and their ears as well, because as you can see there’s one up and one down. It’s funny how their ears are out like the Flying Nun when they are born, and slowly they start to bend to a normal position.  The first one to see the world was Spooky, the black tri male.  He was wide eyed by yesterday morning, followed by the Rapunzel the blue merle female (named by my 2 year old granddaughter, of course) and then Whiskers, the black tri female.  The blue merle boy, previously known as Myth Buster, has officially been renamed Alangus Kentucky Swagger!

At two weeks, these puppies are weighing in around 1.75 pounds.

Now that eyes are open, it’s time to rumble!!!  By next weekend, they’ll be ready to eat some puppy food and may even be coming in and out of their bed with a little help.  Fun is ready to begin 🙂

 Posted by at 12:53 am
Apr 072012

It’s been a long couple of days but Izzy’s  temp finally took a major drop about 7 pm today, April 6, of course after vet office hours. After consulting with the vet, we decided it was time to unzip the zipper and get the babies out.

All seems well. Two girls and two boys. 


 Posted by at 7:09 am

Mother Nature Knows Best

 Alangus Aussies, Breeding Dogs, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Mother Nature Knows Best
Apr 052012

I took Izzy for her scheduled C-section this morning at the appointed time, but……the vet says she’s not ready!  The puppies’ heartbeats are strong and they are happy as little bugs just hanging out for awhile longer in their cozy space.  I have to say I’m disappointed and this prolongs my nervousness about the procedure. Originally, I said they’d come via the Easter Bunny and that may still be true!

Izzy was bred on February 4-5 and 63 days from that first breeding would be tomorrow.  However, the countdown begins at ovulation, not breeding so it can vary either way.  This time the variation is definitely on the front end instead of the back end.

 Posted by at 4:06 pm

What’s in a Kennel Name?

 Alangus Aussies  Comments Off on What’s in a Kennel Name?
Mar 312012

Even though my dogs are personal house pets and I do not have a kennel per se, I found it advantageous to brand myself for purposes of my web page and for registrations and showing of my dogs.

The name of my “kennel”, Al (pronounces like Alabama) angus (as in the breed of cattle) came from the name of our family farm in southern Kentucky.  When I was a little girl, my dad started his foundation herd of quality Angus cattle and asked me to come up with a name for the farm for the same reason that I needed a name for my dogs.  My 8 year old brain wasn’t very distinguished (still just a farm girl) and I looked out over dad’s alfalfa crop and pastures dotted with his black cattle and hence “Alangus” was coined. The funny part is, I didn’t make the connection that my Dad’s initials are also AL so that made it more appropriate than I realized.

Once my husband retires late this year, we’ll migrate South taking these Aussies back to the farm where they have lots of room to romp!

 Posted by at 7:38 pm
Mar 222012

This is Rose’s first outing in the motorhome and she’s all about it!  Nothing more fun than grandbabies and puppies 🙂  We’re babysitting for a couple of days at Kentucky Horse Park, which by the way is a very nice state campground in our area.

I was thinking yesterday as my almost 3 year old granddaughter  and I were walking Rose to the playground and letting her meet everyone along the way, that this should be on my “to do” list for all the puppies that I sell.  There is no better place for socialization than in a campground environment.  People of all ages, lots of children, noisy playground and other dogs with a safe place to walk and practice our new obedience commands provides lots of wonderful experiences.  Same goes for the ball park!

Izzy, our little pregnant mama, tagged along on this trip too.  Even though she’s been grumpy with Fancy and Ike, she’s quite tolerant of the two girls.  Of course, I always provide a place for her to get away when the baby crawls toward her face to face, but so far she just jumps onto the dash for higher ground!

 Posted by at 7:36 pm

Little Aussie Mama

 Alangus Aussies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Little Aussie Mama
Mar 202012

Miniature Australian Shepherd

Murray’s Queen Isabella of Alangus  March 19, 2012

Note–I’m not sure the setting on my camera, and I must figure it out, but this picture almost looks painted.  Kind of neat.

 Posted by at 11:03 pm
Mar 202012

Pregnant Aussie

It only takes 63 days from ovulation for the puppies to be born and I can hardly believe the time has almost rolled around for Izzy.  She should be whelping April 6-10. Last year when Izzy had puppies, she seemed to have morning sickness the entire time so I babied her with yummy canned puppy food. Well, we know the end result of all those calories, little fat ground hog puppies that did NOT want to be born. This time, she hasn’t been noticeably sick and I’ve just kept her on her kibble letting nature help her decide the proper amount.  No hand feeding!

There is another noticeable difference with this pregnancy. Izzy’s hormones must be raging because she is one grumpy bear with her best buddies. Lots of “looks” and “raised lips” to tell them she’s in “no mood”. Haha. Like all houses with multiple dogs, we have multiple Nylabones throughout. While we were watching TV last evening, she went through the house gathering them up and bringing them back to her favorite pillow. Nesting?  Or just being snarky? The other dogs, even little Rose, knew not to cross a pregnant mama’s path!

Around April 1, Izzy will go back to the repro vet for X-rays to give us some idea of placement and sizes.   Hoping for healthy babies and an easy whelp for Izzy. 

 Posted by at 9:15 pm
Mar 052012

Izzy went in for her ultrasound this morning, and there are 4 little beating hearts.  That’s a nice size litter for her and I’m very pleased.  I was pretty sure she was bred because she’s been off her eating a bit and especially clingy the last week or so.  Plus, her best fur friends have gotten on her nerves a bit 🙂

I’ve mentioned this before, but having the ultrasound done by a trained vet is very helpful.  It gives me perspective on Izzy’s pregnancy and when whelping time comes, I can be more certain when she is finished so I can give a sigh of relief. I don’t want to jeopardize my girls’ health.

We should have puppies April 8-10, 2012.

 Posted by at 5:32 pm

Dog Pack Dynamics

 Alangus Aussies, Dog pack, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Dog Pack Dynamics
Feb 262012

I own a pet sitting business and now have 4 dogs of my own and it is very interesting to watch dog pack dynamics play out where they are multiple animals.

My four dogs have very different personalities, either by inheritance or upbringing I’m not totally sure. Well, I should say three because Rose is only 9 weeks old so she’s just blending into the pack.  Contrary to what some people think, the loudest or bossiest is often not the highest ranking dog.

My neutered male mini Aussie will be 7 this summer and was raised in a kennel environment until I adopted him at 2 years old. My Izzy has just turned 3 and was raised from a puppy at my house, as was Fancy who is 2. All three are house dogs. Rose, from Fancy’s litter, is the baby. 

Even though Ike is neutered, he definitely has his harem. He is the benevolent leader of my pack. To an outsider observing, I’d predict you would guess that Izzy is high rank since no one questions her when she goes for a toy or raises her lip when one of the other dogs goes near her treat or food bowl.

How do I know Ike is top gun?  The tell tale signs are in our every day routine. Each morning, my dogs are let out to potty as soon as I get up. Ike quickly comes back to the door to come in, knowing the next thing on the agenda is breakfast. However, he’s not settled until the girls are back inside as well.  Anytime, his pack is separated he spins and barks, his signal to me that I need to gather everyone together.  He is never relaxed until all are safe and accounted for.

When we have playtime outside, and the dogs do their chase and run, Fancy and Rose roll over telling Ike he’s the man. Again, Izzy has her frisbee in her mouth almost always as she runs around and no one challenges her for it. However, were I to toss the frisbee, it would belong to Ike..no questions asked.  Izzy would not roll over but she would lower her body in a submissive pose telling me she does understand. 

Ike is also always the one to alert first when there’s someone uninvited nearby and expects his girls to follow suit. If they don’t, he circles once again to get everyone involved in the foray. When I quiet him, the girls know the party’s over. 

Ike can quietly rule the roost…until I come home! 

 Posted by at 7:58 pm
Feb 222012

TMR’s Mayes’ HelmieAlangus Queen Isabella

I bred my Murray’s Queen Isabella of Alangus to TMR Mayes’ Little Helmie of JustaLittle on February 4.  Izzy and Helmie are both toy Aussies but have minis in their bloodlines, so it will be interesting once again to see the hereditary magic.  I chose Helmie as the daddy dog because of his champion lines and the “look” of the dogs behind him.  In addition, he is a small dog at 10.5″ and hopefully his puppies will be a size that are easy for Izzy to whelp.

Izzy is my athletic dog.  She is a one of those unique, “in-tune” dogs that seems to know what you tell her before you say anything.  She just can read faces and body language and loves nothing better than her people.  Hard to describe a dog like that, but if you’ve ever had a “heart” dog, you know what I mean. She lives to frisbee and would be an awesome candidate for flyball, although I haven’t tried her in that sport.  I trained her in agility when she was younger, and must get her back on the field this summer because she has matured and become much more confident.

Izzy will have her ultrasound on February 27 and at that point, I will begin to take deposits on her puppies.  They will be here Easter weekend via the Easter bunny!

I have opted to keep Derby Rose from Fancy’s litter after much deliberation and swaying back and forth.  She is developing so nicely for conformation and her personality is just easy going and fun like her mom.  She’s quiet and goes with the flow, whatever situation I put her in.  At 9 weeks, we’re working really hard on her socialization to meet 100 people, so she’s riding with me on my daily pet sit rounds.  Her potty training is well under way and she’s giving me no puddles which means she’s a smart cookie.

Spring is in the air in Kentucky!

 Posted by at 5:20 pm

Sweet Parting

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Sweet Parting
Feb 122012

I started 28 school years as a teacher, enjoyed 28 Spring Breaks and watched students leave my classroom at the last bell for each of those years.  During the school year, those subtle changes in looks and personalities weren’t so noticeable in the day to day, but somehow when I was telling the students goodbye and good luck, I’d often be astonished to see how much they had grown over the 9 months and felt really proud of them.

It seems perhaps strange to compare dogs to high school students,  but in my case some of the satisfaction is the same.  I really like Miniature Australian Shepherds and watching some of the puppies leave my care this week, I am comfortable that I am sending them out ready to meet their next phase of life.

Enough mush, this litter of puppies has just been a lot of fun.  They have been easy to love and for a litter of five, quite easy to manage.  Each of them have a very distinct personality and look, but beneath their differences, I know they are all little Aussies ready to play hard and snuggle warmly.

Little Derby Rose will be wondering what’s happening, no doubt.   Her personality has really come out this last week and she’s a looker.   Rose is moderate energy and doesn’t make much ruckus for an 8 week old puppy.  She seems to go with the flow and will be a loyal couch buddy and walking companion.  It is quite possible that Rose will be a Toy Aussie, stopping before she reaches 13″.

 Posted by at 2:27 am
Feb 042012

Mini Aussie Puppy with Veterinarian

We had the vet check this morning and first shots on my litter of mini aussie puppies.  All good!!  I knew it would be, but I always like them to be checked from head to toe just to be sure.  With a litter of puppies, it is nice to use a mobile veterinarian that comes to my house, less stress on the puppies, less stress on me.  After, the exams Dr. Rubsche gave them some cookies so they will associate her with only happy thoughts 🙂

So….weather is mild here in Kentucky and we did our first potty run this afternoon.  Kinda hard with 5 little munchkins, but everyone ran the yard and pooped.  Yay!!! good start.  I have undergound fencing for my adult dogs, so I need to be an octopus to keep all the little ones contained.  Luckily, my male is a really good babysitter and he rounds them up if they head toward the boundary line as did Fancy, their mom.  Sooooo cute, those little balls of fluff running around!!  They had the look of wild abandon on their faces.  Priceless!

Since they are doing so well, I’ve changed them over to 3 meals a day rather than free feeding.  That way I can guesstimate their poop action and now get them out in time.  Sure makes for less cleanup and starting them on their potty training.  It seems I always do some free feeding at first until they are fully weaned, but now ready to start the training phase.

 Posted by at 1:03 am
Jan 212012

Diamond Puppy FoodWellness Puppy Food

My litter of miniature and toy Australian Shepherds are in the process of being weaned.  At about 3-4 weeks old, I started offering small breed puppy food to the puppies. Initially, I mixed the kibble with hot water and K9 Puppy Gold powder available online. I’ve found that the PG gives the food a smell that is irresistible to the babies and makes the transition much easier with no stomach upset.

After a few days of “soup”, I slowly decrease the water, continuing with the addition of PG. By 4-5 weeks old, my litter is eating heartily and my dam is visiting them less often. With five chunky monkey puppies, that’s a good thing. She’s done her job well and deserves to gradually move to the sidelines.  

There are many excellent puppy foods on the market, but I have chosen to use Diamond Puppy Food for Small Breeds and Wellness Puppy Food  for Small Breeds. I initially start with the Diamond because it is grain free and the kibble is tiny so there’s no danger of choking.  About five weeks when the pups have their teeth, I start adding the Wellness to the mix. The Wellness kibble is still small but larger than the Diamond.

You may be asking why I use two foods instead of only one. I have a couple of reasons, first it gives the new owners a choice of two different foods in case one of them is not available in their area. The biggest cause of sick puppies at a new home is a change in food. Secondly, I think slow change up on dog food occasionally with different protein sources helps the gut flora of an adult dog to be adaptable, much like they would be if they were scavengers. 

I’m very picky about dog food and have a link from my vet on my website about choosing a food for your dog.  However, I am not brand loyal as long as the food is rated at least 4* on dogfoodanalysis.com and does not contain corn and wheat, high causes of allergies in our pets.  I do buy smaller bags of food for my adult dogs and rotate among brands like Timberwolf, Wellness, Merrick, Orijen, California Natural etc.  It has worked well for me and my dogs do not typically have issues with stomach upset.

 Posted by at 3:19 am

Need a Date for Valentine’s?

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Need a Date for Valentine’s?
Jan 182012

valentine-image.jpgI have two mini or toy Aussie female puppies available from the Fancy x Randy litter born December 18, 2011.

First is a happy and very sweet little black tri female with lots of fur.  She is mid-weight in the litter right now and eating dry food well, along with still nursing her mama occasionally. Pippy’s temperament seems to be easy going, not much noise from her and she will let me lay her on her back without much fuss. However, sometimes she does have to defend herself against her brothers!  Because her left stocking is above her knee, I have been calling her Pippy Longstocking.  Somehow it has stuck, as nicknames do.

The second available female is Derby Rose, a classy little red tri female.  She is second from smallest in the litter, not skinny, just a smaller puppy at this stage of the game. Rose has a quiet and amiable temperament, plays but tends to find a secluded spot to relax away from her litter after they have finished their wrestling match.  She especially likes to lay around my neck while I’m watching TV.  I like her a lot.

These puppies will be available for their forever homes around Valentine’s Day. www.alangusaussies.com

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Jan 102012

Rub A Dub Dub, five puppies in a tub.

The puppies just turned three weeks old and are starting to munch down on puppy food along with still nursing.  I’m currently feeding Diamond Puppy Food for Small Breeds because I’ve had good luck with it before as a starter.  It seems to digest well and not cause upset.  I add a heaping T of Puppy Gold to each serving along with a little hot water.  After another week or so, I’ll phase out the hot water.

One of the black tri females and the red tri female are still available (bottom right with eyes open), but the others now have families watching and waiting for them.

Rub A Dub Dub, Five Aussies in a Tab

 Posted by at 5:51 pm
Jan 012012

A mama dog requires at least double the calories she would eat normally and if she has a large hungry litter will often eat 3x as many calories. I have taken that into account with my bitches by feeding them high quality food and also by adding a product called K9 Puppy Gold to her food for the extra calcium needed for a good supply of milk.

This product is a powder and can be mixed with hot water and poured over the food to make a stew or just mixed in dry.  My females love the flavor and gobble it up. I have found it keeps their coat shiny and helps them maintain their weight during the stress of nursing.

Once the puppies are changing over to puppy food, I also to mix Puppy Gold with their kibble and keep them on it as a supplement until they leave for their new homes. Fat and fluffy puppies are the result!! 

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Dec 302011

Children and puppies are a match made in heaven, but sometimes the devil can sneak in when the adults aren’t looking.

When I was raising my now adult children, we lived on a farm and we always had a dog as a beloved pet and in our case, to work the cattle when needed.  That was the beginning of our love for the herding breeds.  At the time, we chose a Border Collie because of its ability to “eye” those Angus cattle that can be a little cantankerous and move them where we wanted them.  Through the years, we had 3 very loving and talented BC’s that lived a full life with us.

My dad also had a Border Collie, but came upon a litter of Aussies in the area and one morning appeared at my house with a gorgeous little red merle female.  As had happened in the past, he asked that I keep her and get her through her puppy stage until he could teach her to work the cattle. Patch never left us and became a pampered house dog living 16.5 years and starting our love for Aussies.  She was registered as a Standard, but I now know she was a Mini Aussie standing about 17″ and weighing 30 pounds.  As they say, the rest is history.

I said that to say, having a dog for the children to train and play with is very important for both and teaches them to respect animals and learn their nuances.  My adult children both have pampered dogs in their homes now that they are starting their own families.

When you bring a puppy into your home that is a baby, it should be treated much like you would treat a skin baby and the children in the house should be supervised at all times lest the “devil” appear.  Even though the puppies appear rambunctious sometimes, they are actually still pretty fragile in that first month that you have them.

Guide your children (and neighbor’s children)  in how to keep the puppy safe and happy:

  • Play times should be short stretches with naps in between.
  • Children should be taught to sit or lay in the floor and let the puppy come to them rather chasing the puppy around the house lest they trip and fall on the puppy or give it a big scare from the chase.
  • Children, even young adolescents, should not pick up or carry a young puppy.  Wiggly puppies can be dropped very easily (even by adults) and legs broken or even worse they can be killed.  Even if not injured seriously, the drama of a fall makes a negative impression that can last a lifetime.  Mini Aussies, being very intelligent dogs, are also very sensitive and once they have  a fearful experience, it is very difficult to get them past that event.
  • Puppies should have a safe area that they can snuggle into away from the ruckus of children playing and being their normal selves.  This is where a cozy crate in an out of the way corner works perfectly.
  • Children should be taught never to “drag” a puppy from its safe place, but rather to encourage them to come out by laying in the floor and using a sing song voice to call them out.
  • Children should be taught to rub or scratch a puppy on its neck or belly and not to pat its head.  Patting a dogs head is never a good idea because the dog construes it as being punished and sometimes in adult dogs can result in a bite.

Seeing your children develop a friendship and bond with a dog is worth a million and makes memories that no one forgets.  I can see my young children playing in my yard with their doggy friends and know they were precious moments.  Herding dogs love children they have been raised with and will do their best to keep them safe, often rounding them up from perceived danger.  Our BC’s knew the boundary where the children were allowed to play, and if they tried to venture further, you’d see a tail wagging and a dog circling to get them going back in the right direction.

Puppies and children are a special combination. As adults, we must just be alert with that new puppy and be sure the devil stays away.

 Posted by at 4:35 pm

Glamour Shots of Puppy Litter Dec 2011

 Alangus Aussies, Breeding Dogs, Mini Aussie Puppies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Glamour Shots of Puppy Litter Dec 2011
Dec 272011

This litter of mini or toy Aussie puppies is 8 days old on December 26, 2011.  It will only be another day or two until their eyes start to open and their ears lay down indicating they are starting to hear noises around them. As you can see, they are getting lots of good milk and growing like crazy.

Parents: Cattle Call Fancy Don’t Let Me Down of Alangus X RB’s Wee Randy da Rebel

Born: December 18, 2011

Male Mini/Toy Aussie 1 has a white triangle on the back of his neck and a half collar.  He is jet black tri with a white bib and tummy and dark reddish tan highlights.

Male Mini Aussie 1

Male Mini/Toy Aussie 2 has a half white nose and is jet black tri with long white stockings and lighter tan highlights like his mom.

Male Mini Aussie 2

Female Mini/Toy Aussie 1 has dark auburn color to her fur and I can’t tell yet if she’s a very dark red tri or black tri with a red undercoat.  If you compare her picture to the one above, you can see the color distinction.  She has a nice white blaze and white bib and her right stocking is above her elbow.


Female Mini/Toy Aussie 2 is jet black tri with a pretty shaped white blaze and left white long stocking.


Female Mini/Toy Aussie 3 is a lighter red tri.  At this point, she is reserved until we determine her eye color.  She may be staying with us.


 Posted by at 5:17 am
Dec 222011

I know you new puppy parents are perusing my Blog to not miss a moment of your new friend’s life so I took another video this morning.  It’s with my Iphone and not high quality, but has a good view of the little ones.  They are eating really well, as is Momma Dog, and their little bellies are starting to pooch out.  I love the time when they start to turn from newborns into puppies.

At this point it is very very important for me to keep Fancy healthy with as many calories as I can get down here.  She’s currently eating Orijen Fish dog food because it is very high calcium and  very high calorie (600+ kcal per cup), a six star food, the very best rating.  That is much higher calorie count than I would like to feed my dogs normally because when not whelping I like to keep them just a tad lean.  Fancy loves that particular food and I’m adding some hot water to make a stew because her intake of fluids needs to be maximized as well.  This morning early, she ate about 1 1/2 cups of dog food covered with hot water.  At lunch she got another bowl of  1 1/2 cups mixture of cottage cheese, rice and chicken that I had cooked earlier and frozen for her and a little puppy food.  The extra calcium in the cottage cheese and the protein again will help her milk supply.  With five nursing puppies, a female dog can lose a lot of her body fat and sacrifice her own health just as nursing skin mothers do.  Tonight she’ll get another meal and perhaps a chunk of cheese if she’s still hungry.  To compare, when not with puppies, Fancy eats 1 cup of food per day and maintains a healthy weight.

I’m not seeing a way to link to my video on my version of WordPress, so if necessary, you may need to copy and paste the url into your browser:


 Posted by at 6:09 pm
Dec 222011

Today marked the third day for the Mini Aussie Puppies to be here and we took our trip to my veterinarian to be checked over, dew claws removed and tails to be docked.  Aussies are born with tails of different lengths, from a natural bob to a full length tail.  At three days old, the vet clips their tails and glues and puts a little stitch in the end.  I’ve seen dogs with good tail docks and ones with not so good docks.  My vet does an excellent job and is very particular to not get them so short that pottying is an issue but not so long they stand up like a Cocker Spaniel. She does it just right!

The breed standard calls for a docked tail and I wouldn’t have an Aussie any other way.  That distinctive pantaloon look with back feathers makes the Aussie look like an Aussie.  Love those wiggle butts 🙂

Contrary to what some people construe, tail docking is not particularly traumatic to the puppies at 3 days old.  Their body systems are still very immature and any pain they have at this point is not the same as pain in just a few more days.  My vet and I likened it to getting an ear pierced.  It’s a quick little jab, but then it’s over with minimal soreness for a few hours.  Actually, as soon as they were back with their Mommy and nursing, they seemed to have forgotten that anything had happened at all.

 Posted by at 5:46 pm

Mini Australian Puppies in the House!!

 Alangus Aussies, Breeding Dogs, Mini Aussie Puppies, Ultrasound Dogs  Comments Off on Mini Australian Puppies in the House!!
Dec 192011

And……..we have puppies in the house!  Fancy and Randy are proud parents of 5 little squiggly wiggly puppies with the last one born Sunday afternoon, December 18 about 5 pm.  The litter of five is one red tri girl, two black tri girls and two black tri boys.  So far their little bellies have pooched out overnight from mama’s milk and all seems well.  They’ll go in for a vet check mid-week.

And, the ultrasound was correct on the “beating heart” count at about mid-pregnancy.  That’s my first experience but it was definitely worth it.

It is so hard to stay away from them.  Nature makes us just want to sit and watch babies of all kinds, doesn’t it?

A Long Day at the Office and I Need A Hot Shower

A Long Day At the Office

 Posted by at 4:24 pm

On the Countdown for Mini or Toy Aussie Puppies

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies, Perla Dog Bed  Comments Off on On the Countdown for Mini or Toy Aussie Puppies
Dec 072011

I’m on the countdown for Miniature or Toy Australian Shepherd puppies at our house.  Woohooooo!  Fancy is doing well, eating well, sleeping well and still happy even though her tum is almost dragging the ground.  She’s a little trooper!

Since the 63 days actually starts counting on the day the bitch ovulates and the eggs live for 4-5 days, it is possible that she can whelp as early as December 12.  On the other hand, the sperm lives 3-4 days as well and if she ovulated after breeding, she can whelp as late as December 21.  I didn’t do any vet testing for ovulation, so we’ll just have to be ready!  I’ll start taking her temperature on the weekend. When her temperature is down around 98-99, I’ll know it’ll be within 24 hours til there are puppies.

My basement is undergoing a renovation from 1980’s carpet and paneling to nice drywall and laminate flooring and I so want it to be done before she whelps so she’ll have a quiet place away from my other dogs and I’ll have more space to move around to watch and help.  I told the carpenters to “get with it”!

I’m getting the items gathered for the whelping area.  The Perla bed is sanitized and filled with her nesting material.  I have my whelping kit ready (I hope).  Now just waiting.

 Posted by at 12:44 am

Watching & Waiting

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Watching & Waiting
Nov 092011

We are on day 21 since Fancy’s first breeding and she has some early signs that the breeding took. She’s been especially quiet the last few days and not as exuberant about her food bowl as normal. I’ve been finding her curled up on a pillow in another room and yesterday being put off when Ike wanted to romp in the yard.

Her ultrasound is scheduled for next Tuesday so waiting and watching.  Fancy is now eating a mix of California Natural and Timberwolf, both 5* foods. I hear from other breeders that they feed less expensive brands with more corn but I just can’t bring myself to lower my standards.  I said after Izzy’s fat puppies, I might do it, but just can’t. 

I stopped by our local butcher shop and put my name on the list for raw bones when they get a side of beef or some deer in.  I’ll have them cut to safe lengths and give to my dogs for a nice treat and to keep their teeth clean. This is the first time I’ve gotten the bones locally so I’ll report how it goes. In the past, I’ve bought them frozen at a local pet store.  I’m not a raw feeder but I do like to use bones about once a week. 

Ive also started inventorying my whelping supplies to be sure I have them organized. I bought a small plastic case yesterday at the dollar store to keep everything handy. I do not have hemostats yet for cords, but put some on order. Last time Izzy took care of that, but I have been watching videos and may help this time if there is a larger litter. I did have one umbilical hernia and friends tell me that if I cut the cords that won’t happen.  

Live and learn and thanks to breeder friends, I’ve picked up some  helpful hints.  The last thing I want to do is jeopardize my bitches!

 Posted by at 3:11 pm

Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherd Puppies

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Miniature and Toy Australian Shepherd Puppies
Oct 142011

I know from phone calls and emails that you are interested in Fancy’s upcoming litter.  Cattle Call Fancy Don’t Let Me Down of Alangus is currently with her beau, RB’s Wee Randy da Rebel making puppies 🙂

Fancy is a black tri mini Aussie, standing just over 14″ and Randy is a blue merle toy Aussie standing about 13″. With the parent’s sizes and colors, we should have a nice mix of puppies.  Both adults have the traits I look for in a small Aussie.  Temperament is at the top of my list with conformation and intelligence coming in second.

I am very excited about this litter and would love to keep a puppy myself from this matchup.  That shows how much I like both dogs. Puppies will be eligible for NSDR, ASDR, MASCA and also AKC registration as a Miniature North American Shepherd so can compete in a variety of venues or just be your best buddy!

RB’s Wee Randy da Rebel

 Posted by at 2:49 pm
Oct 072011

New River Trail ShoalsRailroad TrestleHiking with the DogsNew River TrailFries New River RV Park

There is just nothing more fun than camping in the mountains and hiking the trail with our three little Aussies.  One of our favorite times away is to take our motorhome and camp at Fries New River RV Park at the trailhead of New River State Park in Virginia.  The trail is just gorgeous the first week of October, so tranquil running along the New River for over 50 miles.

Fries is a small historical mill town and when the cotton mill closed, the railroad spur was turned into a linear state park by the state of Virginia.  It meanders alongside the New River through the little mountain towns with a number of entry points.  This is our fifth time to come here, but the first time we have rented a car so we could ride our bikes on different portions of the trail.  So far, our favorite rides are from Fries to Gambetta and from Ivanhoe to the Shot Tower.  Both trips are about 15 miles there and back, which is my limit to ride in an afternoon.

Fries RV Park is owned and operated by a retired couple originally from Winston Salem and it is impeccably maintained and “just right”.  Private, but not lonely, with full hookups.  The sites are fairly large and easy to access.  Just across the street and down the hill to the river is a flat public grassy area the size of two football fields that is perfect for Frisbee time with the dogs.

It is so nice to have mini and toy Aussies because they are so easy to travel with.  They aren’t finicky and love to hike, but will also hang out well when we leave them behind.  I have bought a Walkie Dog to let them run alongside our bike, but ordered it too late for this trip.  The reviews are really good on Amazon, but I’ll do my own once we try it out.  I’m predicting my girls will absolutely love it.  Ike, our male, might prefer to relax in the camper.

This is the good life, beautiful fall weather, a comfy campsite, and hiking with our furry friends.

 Posted by at 7:02 pm

Puppy from Point A to Point B

 Airlines, Alangus Aussies, Shipping Dogs  Comments Off on Puppy from Point A to Point B
Aug 062011

I have been on the receiving end, but this is the first time I have shipped a puppy by Delta Dash air and it was a stressful day because nothing went right, well almost, because Babybell Blue did arrive finally unscathed and ready to snuggle!

First off, because of the heat, I planned to send her out at 7 am local time while the temperatures were still moderate.   Soon after I arrived home from the airport, the cargo clerk called to say she wasn’t picked up to be put on the plane and was still sitting in their office.  Hmmmm, first mistake of the day.  I was angry, but still civil when I traipsed 45 minutes back to the airport to take her out of her crate to let her potty and try to arrange her on another flight which was to be 4 hours later, still connecting in Minneapolis.

The airline rule is if the puppy/pet is going through a city that does not have a Delta Pet Program with air conditioned transport to the plane, they will not ship if the temp is over 85 degrees. That being the case, the local folks were not going to let her ship.  However, Delta overrode their decision with the understanding that she would not be outside to comply with her pet acclimation statement from my vet.  Hot in Louisville, Hot in Minneapolis.  Both cities over 85 degrees, but both had the Pet Program.

This time I was not walking off and leaving her in the event the flight was cancelled so there I sat for the morning until I saw her picked up and headed in the right direction.  Little baby was still resting and not too stressed, thank goodness. Also, her being trained to a pee pad at this point was a lifesaver.  I set her on the pad in my van and tanks emptied without a hitch.  Good thing, no grass in sight.

Now I was getting nervous, so I started watching Cargo tracking to see how she made it through Minneapolis.  Interesting..the tracking was all in error (Mistake number 2) because it showed her getting on that original Louisville flight and arriving in Minneapolis and also again getting on the 2nd flight that had been rescheduled.  At the point I saw she arrived in Minneapolis but was not scanned for the next leg, I called Delta again.  They called back and assured me she was on the flight to Grand Forks, that someone just didn’t scan her tag. At that point, it was also entered into the system that she was on the flight.  Mistake number 3. When the plane arrived, no Babybell Blue!!

Another call to Delta and they hummed and hawed and said they’d see what happened.  Okay.  A call back said there was some “miscommunication” and she would be on the next flight.  Did we believe them?  NOT!  Keeping fingers crossed and hoping she wasn’t sitting in poo, thirsty or somewhere hot..waiting and watching.

Finally, she did arrive on the late afternoon flight.  Whew!!  Safe and sound and not messy.  Not quite a Delta DASH.  More like 10 hours in a doggy crate, and supposing someone somewhere let her out to potty. A 2 1/2 hour flight turned into a full day.

Needless to say, I will again be watching very closely if I have to ship Delta and I will always buy insurance.  However, the money is not the issue, it’s a puppy getting stressed from a long long day and arriving safely.  Luckily, my two puppies had a couple of excursions this summer which may have helped her remain calm.  Unfortunately, Continental nor United ships from my area so I’m very limited.  I’d suggest using another airline if at all possible to others.

Little Bella goes out Sunday..hoping the employees working that day are more competent!

 Posted by at 4:41 pm

Puppies Leaving Soon

 Alangus Aussies, Shipping Dogs  Comments Off on Puppies Leaving Soon
Aug 012011

Well, it’s our last weekend with our two “babybell puppies” and we gave them our best shot of socialization.  Our 22 month old granddaughter spent two nights and days with us running the backyard, rolling and romping and squealing with the babies.  What fun to watch!

The puppies will be flying Delta Dash this coming weekend to opposite ends of the US, one to Baton Rouge and one to North Dakota for a trip across the border into Canada.  The best part of this experience is making that connection with a nice person/family that will love their little toy/mini Aussie like we love ours.  Even over the telephone or in an email, you can just tell the ones that are a right fit.

Congratulations to the new owners, fur babies will be at your house soon!! Get ready for some kisses!!!

 Posted by at 12:36 am