Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day Fifteen

GRAND CHAMPION STOCKLORE TOP SPOT Since you have seen lots of pictures of Gambit I thought you may like to see some pictures of Topper. These pictures were taken by my friend Holly while Topper was here on vacation courting Gambit. He is nearly 11 years old in these pictures and still a very handsome dog.
Today I began the sound/food conditioning. I will explain what this is and why I do it. As everyone knows deafness is one of the health issues we have in the Dalmatian breed. So in order to tell the hearing status of each puppy as early as possible I condition then to a sound which means food is coming. What I use for the sound is psst. Just like I was trying to get their attention. As I say psst I pop a tiny ball of raw ground beef in the puppy's mouth. They absolutely love the taste of it from the first time. I will do this once a day for the first day. Then twice a day. I increase it to three times a day. I also make the sound every time Gambit goes in to feed them. With consistency it doesn't take them long to jump up from a sound sleep when they hear the psst sound. If there is a puppy that never jumps up he is most likely deaf. If a puppy only jumps up some of the time he may be a unilateral hearing puppy. I will be able to tell at a very early age the hearing status of each puppy.
Pictured above is Viola, one of the liver girls, having a nap.
It looks like puppy kisses but actually they were licking the ground beef from each other.

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