This past weekend, I launched a very exciting new venture, Avidog International LLC (www.Avidog.com). With two of my friends, I have started a business focused on inspiring and empowering dog breeders and puppy owners to raise fabulous dogs.
Avidog’s first project was a two-day seminar that I presented for the Ottawa Valley Golden Retriever Club last weekend. The first day was on “Transformational Puppy Rearing” and covered the period from before a bitch is bred until her pups go to their new homes. We discussed using nutrition, care of the dam, and physical, social and mental puppy development programs to rear terrific puppies. On Sunday, we focused on “Transformational Puppy Evaluations” to match the right pup to the right home so that dog and owners will thrive. During this discussion we had fun watching videos of the Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (PET), which we have developed to evaluate temperament.
The breeders and owners in Ottawa were a fabulous group, asking great questions and sharing fascinating stories. They were the perfect gathering with which to launch Avidog! Despite travel challenges and severe sleep deprivation, they made my weekend wonderful and very interesting.
Why was I so sleep deprived? Well, it wasn’t due to too much partying! I will blame it on Peach who held off giving birth to the Max litter until the wee hours of Friday morning, hours before I was flying to Ottawa. For three days, we had been watching and encouraging her, thus not getting a lot of sleep. In the end, she gave us eight beautiful pups, six girls and two boys. Sadly, we lost one tiny little girl on Saturday but the rest of the litter are doing wonderfully at a week. You can see them at gaylansgoldens.blogspot.com.
I am very excited about Avidog since it combines my love of teaching with my passion for breeding and raising puppies that can enrich people’s lives. My next adventure is presenting more of our puppy-rearing systems at the Penn Vet Working Dog Conference in St Louis, MO in April. There I’ll be talking about the Early Scent Stimulation (ESS) work we have been doing for eight years with our pups. I’ll let you know how it goes!