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I hopped on just as mama was rejoining the crew. It’s so fun to watch all of the puppies squirm as fast as they can to get to her.
 

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10:30 e.s.t. - I see you've provided a well-balanced "meal" of toys for the babies - beef, shrimp and a croissant! Yummy ;):D So cute! Also, I'm curious, what's the optimal room temperature for the puppies?
 

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How cute! I think they are related to my boy, Pilot, but I don't remember how. :) He's a great grandson of Mariner.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
The puppies are growing like little weeds!

The puppies that were born a little over 1 lb. are now over 3 lbs. In just 10 days! No bottle feeding, no tube feeding, no supplementing. They are just fat-ass puppies. :D

And they are starting to try to walk! A couple of them have gotten up on all four feet and taken a couple steps before they fall over like drunken sailors. They are building strength. Go puppies!
 

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Feeding time! Eeeeee, what a good Mommy.
 
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Discussion Starter #56
Hi @DanaRuns , curious how and when do you decide a puppy's prospective home?
We have a pretty involved process. We consider this the most important aspect of breeding. Unlike others, we don't have a numbered list. We choose individually, matching pups and their characteristics with the very best matched home we can find for them. There's a lot of science in the process, but in the end it's more art than science.

For this litter we received about 200 inquiries. That's highly unusual. Of those, we gave questionnaires to 165 of them. 150 returned the questionnaires. We then did triage, filtering the ones we would reject based on the face of the questionnaire. The remaining ones (about 70) we investigate. We do internet searches, we Google earth their homes, we contact references and veterinarians, we look at neighborhoods and available resources, etc. We narrow those down to the best potential homes. After the litter is on the ground and we know what we have, we go through the top questionnaires again and match based on preferred gender. We have telephone interviews. Sometimes we go over to their homes to inspect. I've been known to bring my most unruly dog to their homes, and let the dog loose inside, then watch to see how they deal with it. When the puppies are old enough, we assign puppies to show and performance homes first, and decide which puppy we are keeping. The remaining pups go to the very best of the homes that we can find. Final decisions aren't made until the pups are 8 weeks old, and after we have done temperament testing, structure evaluation, and had prospective buyers over to interact with the puppies and our other dogs. We will also have at least one "puppy party" where all the prospective buyers are invited over, and while everyone is mingling and playing with puppies and adult dogs, we surreptitiously watch all their interactions, and do a final interview in the form of seemingly casual conversation. It is in this last step that we have occasionally disqualified someone who we thought we'd be giving a puppy to. Then, after the puppy party, we make our final decisions and make our final calls.

Sometimes we make decisions very early. For instance, with this litter we have one repeat buyer who is about the best dog owner there can be, so we committed to her the day the puppies were born. We also have another who is a friend and who is active in the Golden world, Golden clubs, and has had Goldens for decades, and we also committed to them the day the pups were born and we knew we'd have their preferred sex.

That's actually kind of the short version of our process. And it's fluid. We might decide one one person very early on, but not on another until very late. It just depends.
 

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This might be a dumb question. I know mama takes care of their elimination needs until they are several weeks old (4-5 I think/). Do they have the urge to go before that? I mean I know they cry when they are hungry, cold or scared/anxious. Since they depend on stimulation to potty, do they cry when they need to potty? (This question came from my very inquisitive 8 year old). My kids love to see the puppies. My 3-year calls them "foof-foofs" because she can't say "woof-woof". She says, "Watch foof-foofs mama?" Thank you for letting us watch the puppies!
 

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Discussion Starter #59
This might be a dumb question. I know mama takes care of their elimination needs until they are several weeks old (4-5 I think/). Do they have the urge to go before that? I mean I know they cry when they are hungry, cold or scared/anxious. Since they depend on stimulation to potty, do they cry when they need to potty? (This question came from my very inquisitive 8 year old). My kids love to see the puppies. My 3-year calls them "foof-foofs" because she can't say "woof-woof". She says, "Watch foof-foofs mama?" Thank you for letting us watch the puppies!
Yes! They do. And that is a great question.

They cry if they are hungry, hot, cold, "lost" in the box (could be inches away from mom or siblings and be lost at this point), gassy, or need to eliminate. They do have some ability to pee and poop on their own now, but it's still mostly mom's doing (or mine).
 
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