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Puppy Development and Socialization

Installment 1 Installment 2 Installment 3 Installment 4 Installment 5 Installment 6

Installment 1

The Public Education Committee of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) is proud to announce a new educational series that will appear weekly. The first will be on puppy development and socialization.

Before we start, it is important to note that the DPCA believes that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized purebred puppies. The most important factors to consider in all breeding decisions should be health, temperament and conformation. The importance of an apprenticeship with a respected mentor cannot be understated.

Susan James has graciously allowed the DPCA to use the pictures and videos taken of her last litter. The dam of the featured litter is Ch. Raindance Genesis of Marquis “Genesis” bred by Susan and Chelsea James and Linda and Kelly Marquis. The sire is Ch. Marquis Retribution “Dante” bred by Linda and Kelly Marquis.

In the below video, Genesis is 53 days into her pregnancy. In this final phase, the puppies continue their development safely in her womb and begin moving around as Genesis’ body prepares for their delivery.

Installment 2

Ann Seranne, one of America’s most respected authorities on breeding, wrote: “The challenge before us is to capture all the qualities in one gorgeous, animated package and lock those genes into our genetic lines so that our dogs will eventually breed true. We may not be able to accomplish this in the remaining span of our lives, but we hope that we will be able to leave the foundation for such a dream to an equally interested person who will be able to accomplish in his lifetime what we will attempt to strive for in ours.”

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America is blessed to have many reputable breeders, some of which apprenticed with the pioneers that brought our great breed to this country. These dedicated breeders have an intimate knowledge of our bloodlines and every litter they produce represents the years they have invested in breeding quality Dobermans. They will pass their knowledge onto others with the same spirit of preserving and protecting our breed’s heritage and traditions for generations to come.

Whelping Day

For the past 63 days, each puppy has been living and developing in its own amniotic sac which is attached to its own placenta by the umbilical cord. During that time, they have grown from the size of a pea into a fully formed puppy.



Now in Stage 3 of their development, they move around so much that their kicks can be seen through the mother’s abdomen. We found a wonderful description on the three stages of puppy development which we will include here. We liked it because it wasn’t too scientific to understand yet covered the developmental stages nicely. It can also be found at .

Stage 1: Without the assistance of a trained professional who knows how to palpate the stomach to confirm the presence of puppies, diagnosing the pregnancy of a dog can be challenging within the first few weeks. Changes in the appearance of the mother’s nipples, as well as her appetite and behavior, are often so subtle that the initial stages of pregnancy escape notice.

Around the third week, the cells of the embryo multiply and implant within the dog’s uterus to begin the development process. At this stage – around 26 to 32 days into creation – a veterinarian will most likely be able to palpate and confirm the presence of the puppies.

Stage 2: Around the fourth week, the occupants of the mother’s uterus begin to make themselves at home. The eyes and faces of the puppies begin to form, and their spinal cords take shape. During this time, the fetus is most susceptible to issues, which can, in extreme cases, cause fetal death. While some of the congenital hindrances can be quite obvious immediately upon birth, many, such as defects to functioning organs, will remain hidden until well into the formative stages of the puppy’s life.

Around the fifth and sixth week, the puppies can double in size to around 20 to 30 mm. Now they’re starting to look like puppies with toes and claws forming as well as tiny whisker stumps under the nose. Their eyes are still closed and their skin pigment has formed. At this stage, their bodies have developed to the point that the sex can be determined and a stethoscope can easily pick up a heartbeat.


In this X-ray of Genesis’ abdomen, you can see the skeletal structures of the puppies


Stage 3: In the final phase of the pregnancy, the puppies continue their development safely within the womb. They continue to grow, and will begin to move around inside while mama’s body prepares for the delivery.

The puppies will take one of two positions inside the uterus in preparation for their big entrance into the world: anterior (nose and front paws pointed toward the birth canal) and posterior (tail and back paws appear first).

Before birth, they will be enclosed in two separate sacs. The outer one will split open during the birth process.

We can now take a look at the Breeder’s Birthing Log which was prepared by Susan and Chelsea James of Raindance Dobermans. (Raindance Dobermans are probably best known as the co-breeders of Troy (GCH Raindance Led Zeppelin of Marquis), the Doberman who found cancer in his owner’s breast, saving her life (

Genesis and Dante Birthing Log

Sept 29, 2014 AM

Genesis temperature was fluctuating between 101 and 99. Genesis is fine. She ate, drank and went out to potty normally.

Set 29, 2014 PM

Gen is not interested in dinner, but acting normal. She is so uncomfortable. I put her in the whelping box but did not want to stay in there without me by her side. We are both in the box together.

Set 30, 2014 1AM

Genesis is now nesting and becoming very active. I am in the box with her and let her do all the re-arranging she wanted.

3:45 AM

Gen has started heavy panting and started to have some contractions. Chelsea is in the whelping box with Genesis. All supplies are outside the box. We are ready.

4:30 AM

Gen gave a few strong contractions and out comes the first puppy. Chelsea removed the sac, cleaned out the mouth for fluids, cut the cord and wiped her with a towel while rubbing her body to stimulate. Genesis ate the placenta. The first puppy is a girl, weighing 9.5 oz. She is strong and active. I put a white ribbon around her neck. The puppy was given to Genesis. Gen immediately inspected her and moved her around with her nose. She was placed on a teat to suckle. I stated a color coded log to track weight and progress.

5:05 AM

Gen started contracting. I placed white collar in a basket lined with towels and a warmed snuggle disk outside the whelping box as I will do with each new puppy to be delivered.

5:10 AM

Gen gave birth to her second puppy. All is going fine. It is a male weighing 1.2 lb., wearing a yellow ribbon. We cleaned him and gave yellow collar and white collar back to suckle.

5:20 AM

I offered Genesis warmed Mothers Pudding which she lapped up and started getting ready for her 3rd puppy. The first two puppies were placed in the basket.

5:30 AM

A male weighing 1.1 lb wearing a red ribbon

6:00 AM

A bitch weighing 1 lb wearing a hot pink ribbon

6:15 AM

A male weighing 1.1 lb wearing a blue collar

6:25 AM

A male weighing 1 lb wearing a lime collar

6:45 AM

A bitch weighing 1.1 lb wearing a teal collar

7:00 AM

All towels are replaced with warmed clean dry bedding. Gen was given Mothers Pudding.

Genesis has 7 healthy puppies. 3 bitches and 4 males, all red and all perfect.

All puppies are nursing and Genesis is exhausted. As I lay beside her, I made sure the puppies are nursing and Genesis is OK. I put 3 warmed snuggle disks under the bedding. The temperature in the room is 80 degrees. It is very warm in the room and I am so HOT.

9:00 AM

I let Genesis out to potty. She needed to be leashed to get her out of the box. She relieved herself quickly and ran back to the babies. I made sure she did not step on one as she eagerly returned to the box. I offered Gen Mothers Pudding which she ate.

9:30 AM

Gen is sleeping and all puppies are suckling. I am watching white collar to make sure she was on a nipple and also closed my eyes.

The entire day was relaxed and quiet. Gen has plenty of milk and puppies content.

genesis_2-1 genesis_2-2 genesis_2-3 genesis_2-4 genesis_2-5

Day One Video:

Day Two Video:

Installment 3

“Experience is the teacher of all things” – Julius Caesar


Puppies 1 week old

Puppies 1 week old

This group of puppies already has big advantages as they come into the world. Every aspect of their existence has been well thought out and planned. When selecting a sire, the breeders’ knowledge of bloodlines was a crucial component in making the decision. They wanted a sire that would complement the desirable traits they already had while giving them traits they either wanted to strengthen or did not have. While Mother Nature can sometimes throw in a wicked curve ball, knowledge of bloodlines does help reduce the odds of genetic disorders in the litter. Breeders view each breeding as another opportunity to move a step closer to the ideal that is the breed standard. Consistently producing healthy, structurally and mentally sound puppies is a labor of love that requires intense devotion and responsibility. This is where knowledge and experience define the difference between breeding a litter and breeding for the benefit of the breed.

Puppies are born without sight or sound. Eyes and ears continue development for the first several weeks after birth. In this most vulnerable of stages, the puppies are completely reliant on their mother and the breeders for their survival. The breeders will closely monitor their weight and growth and will supplement the puppies for extra nutrition.

The puppies also cannot regulate their bodily functions like temperature and elimination. Temperature regulation comes once their shivering reflex starts to work. Shivering is an involuntary muscular response from the body which is triggered by being too cold. This is why puppies huddle together for warmth – puppies separated from the “nest” can quickly die of hypothermia or become sick which is a threat to the entire litter. Monitoring the puppies’ temperatures to ensure that they are neither too cold nor too hot is very important for their survival.

Elimination is another reflex which is stimulated when the mother cleans her puppies. The puppies will not be able to eliminate on their own until they are approximately 3 weeks of age.

Now that the puppies are born, the breeders are in charge of seven precious lives and the work now done during these puppies’ many developmental stages will chart the course on how well the puppies will handle the variety of things they will encounter in life.

Weeks 1 and 2 – Neonatal Period

The first milk produced by the mother is called colostrum. It is rich in nutrition and antibodies that help protect the puppies from disease during these first weeks of life. The puppies do little but nurse and sleep because all of their energy is channeled into growth. Their birth weight will double in this first week. Since the puppies cannot yet walk, they crawl by pulling themselves around using their front legs and kicking with their back. Crawling helps to develop both muscles and coordination and once they get the hang of it, they start to crawl and wiggle with abandon!

Let’s take a look at Susan and Chelsea James’ breeders’ log for weeks 1 and 2:

Genesis and Dante Birthing Log

Oct 3, 2014

Off to the Vet about 40 minutes away for tails and Dew Claws. The van is nice and warm. All the puppies are cozy in a towel lined basket with a warmed snuggle sack under the towels.

The Puppies tails and dew claws were done. All is fine and tails all look good.

Genesis came for the ride.

Oct 3-7 – Week 1

Puppies are all doing great and gaining weight steadily. They are active and very hungry. Genesis is being an absolute perfect Mother with lots of milk and nurturing.

I am supplementing the puppies 3-4 times a day with an excellent formula from Whelp Wise. The preemie bottles and nipples are from Whelp Wise. After years of searching for the perfect nipple, I found these nipples to be the best.

The puppies know when I get into the whelping box with their bottles. They all start to climb on me at the same time wanting to be the first to get fed. They are so darn cute and smart.

The tails have healed nicely.

Oct 8-14 – Week 2

All puppies are doing great. Little White Collar is extremely active and strong. She is doing fantastic and I know she will be fine. Yellow Collar now named “big piggy” is the biggest and always on a nipple.

They are all very close in size with White Collar slowing catching up. Their eyes started opening at about 10 days.


Week 1 video:

Week 2 videos:


Installment 4

“Of all the things I miss from veterinary practice, puppy breath is one of the most fond memories!” – Dr. Tom Cat

Transitional Period – Weeks 2 to 4

In this time frame, the puppies will go through more rapid physical and sensory development and will start to become a bit more independent from their mother.

As we have learned from the previous installments, puppies are born with limited senses. They can feel, smell and taste but their eyes and ears are sealed shut. Usually between 10 to 14 days, their eyes open for the first time. The puppies will be able to see light, fuzzy shapes and movement but their visual acuity will not be completely developed until they are around 7 weeks of age.

Just as with human ears, a puppy’s ears not only provide the ability to hear sound but they also provide equilibrium for balance. Unlike human ears, however, a dog’s ears are remarkably acute and they are able to hear sounds at high frequencies or low, soft volumes that humans cannot detect. The breeders know when a puppy hears its first sound because it will react as if startled.

Vocally, the puppies can now whine, bark and yelp – a whole new vocabulary is now open to them.

The puppies’ baby (or deciduous) teeth also start to emerge at around 10 days. They will eventually have a total of 28 baby teeth which, as most people know, are incredibly sharp!

The puppies are now very active as their motor skills kick into hyper-drive! Their leg muscles have enough strength to now support their bodies so they can stand usually by day 15 and begin to walk by day 21. Walking will be full of wobbles and falls as they learn the art of movement and balance.

The puppies are now able to eliminate on their own and will leave the nest to do so. The puppies also begin to moderate their own body temperature but continued monitoring still needs to be done to ensure puppies do not get too cold.

They now begin to show more of an interest in their littermates and the play process begins!

Let’s take another look at Susan and Chelsea James’ breeders’ log, videos and pictures. You can tell how much the puppies have changed from the neonatal state. You can also get a sense of how much work is being put into their care. The breeders are now introducing different stimuli to the puppies’ environment. This is the optimal time for the breeders to increase their individual attention to each puppy. Introducing them to a variety of sounds and environments and even placing them on different surfaces is important to the socialization process.

Blue Collar Lime Collar Pink Collar
Purple Collar Red Collar Teal Collar
Yellow Collar

Genesis and Dante Birthing Log

Puppies are getting more and more active now. Genesis is still nursing. Their teeth are starting to cut through the gums. Genesis is in and out of the whelping box as she wants.

3 weeks

All puppies’ eyes are opened and they are starting to walk around and interact with each other.

Mother Genesis is still nursing and I am still supplementing. They are all just too cute.

3.5 weeks

I separated the whelping box with ½ bedding and ½ newspapers over a washable wee wee pad. This is working out great and they are getting the idea to potty on the paper.

I started dremeling their nails.

I started introducing them to a mix of warmed rice cereal, Gerber chicken and beef jarred baby food with fresh goat’s milk.

I am feeding them outside the whelping box. The first feeding was very messy. More food was on them then in their tummies. The second feeding was fantastic. They love the food and are getting better about eating it then stepping in it.

Week 4

The puppies are moved out of the nursery to a much larger space in the living room.

I have three sleeping sections for them. One is an open crate lined with fluffy bedding; an extra large Kuranda cot with legs removed piled high with bedding and another with a big plush doggy bed. I am still putting snuggle warming disks under the bedding. The balance of the play area is lined with newspapers.

They love to suck the fuzzy type bedding and always drift off to sleep while sucking.

The puppies have sharp teeth and have started hurting Gen at nursing time.

Genesis has decided she is finished with her Motherly duties and wanted to return to the pack. I would not force her to stay and subject her to the pain.

The Puppies love their new space and are having a ball running and playing with all their new toys.

I put a small little tykes slide in the area and immediately they had to check it out and climb it. They are just too cute for words.

I started feeding the puppies 4 times a day. I always have a sombrero feeding bowl filled with water diluted goats milk. They quickly learned how to lap up the milk. The bowl needed to be filled very often.

I have gradually added some water soaked kibble (overnight soaking) to their food of rice cereal, Gerber baby food (2 jars per feeding) and goat milk.

They are doing great and gaining weight nicely.

They are smart, very social and have great appetites and I am so in love with these adorable puppies.


Installment 5

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.” Gene Hill

Socialization Period Part 1 (Weeks 5 to 16)

Awareness and Imprinting

Now that the puppies are out of their transition period and have full use of all of their senses, they become more aware and want to explore everything around them. They should be exposed to a wide variety of sounds (telephone ringing, television, radio, music, vacuum, dropping a metal pan on the floor etc.). They will startle when they hear new things and then return to normal. This “startle and return to normal “response needs to be heavily encouraged so the dog retains that behavior for the remainder of his life.

Introduction to different visual stimuli is also needed such as objects that move or have moving parts. Having the puppies move through a tunnel where the light changes from light to dark to light is also beneficial. Dogs have a built-in fear instinct that is part of their natural instinct to survive so it is important for them to experience as many things as they can before that instinct kicks in.

Imprinting is a critical phase-sensitive learning that occurs at a particular age and teaches behavioral characteristics. When learned properly, it also teaches the puppies that they are dogs. They first imprint on their mother which happens within the first 24 hours after birth when the puppy recognizes their mother by smell. Fraternal imprinting happens between 3 to 8 weeks – this is where puppies identify with their siblings and other dogs they encounter. What we see as a bunch of cute puppies playing is actually needed for their social development. This is where they learn play behavior, bite inhibition and even accepting discipline. Puppies also display the beginnings of sexual imprinting where they learn about appropriate behavior for their own and the opposite sex. It is extremely important that the puppies are left in the litter as long as possible so the puppies learn as much as they can before going to their new homes.

Longtime DPCA member, AKC Judge and Author, Pat Hastings, wrote The Rule of Sevens years ago which provides examples of what seven things a puppy should have experienced by seven weeks of age.


By the time a puppy is 7 weeks old it should:

  • Been on 7 different surfaces, such as: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, newspaper, etc.
  • Played with 7 different types of objects, such as: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy balls, squeaky toys, metal items, wooden items, paper/cardboard items, milk/soda jugs, etc.
  • Been in 7 different locations, including: front yard, backyard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, kennel, etc.
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges, such as: climbed a box, climbed off a box, gone through a tunnel, climbed up steps, climbed down steps, climbed over obstacles, played hide and seek, gone in and out of a doorway with a step, etc.
  • Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc.
  • Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bedroom, x-pen, etc.
  • Met and played with 7 new people, including children and the elderly.

Socialization Builds Confidence

Dog behaviorists theorize that 35% of a dog’s temperament is hereditary (nature) and 65% is left to experience, nutrition and physical condition (nurture). With that in mind, a puppy that has been able to experience a wide range of stimuli, including people, animals and environments, will most likely become a well-mannered and trusted member of the family. Conversely, dogs that do not have the important foundation that early socialization provides may react with fear or aggression whenever they are exposed to new things and are way more likely to be abandoned by their owners.

Most feel that socialization starts in utero by keeping the mother calm, happy and well nourished during her pregnancy. Stress can have very negative consequences for both the mother and her developing puppies. Proper prenatal care is very important for both. While socialization is most important during the optimal stages we are discussing, it should be carried on throughout the dog’s life. Joining an obedience class, going to a dog park, meeting new people, going for walks, and even taking your dog to the vet helps ensure that our dog remains happy and stable throughout its life.


Dante and Genesis Birthing Log

5-7 weeks

The Puppies settled into their new space which is divided with a variety of sleeping areas and a huge play area.

CrateThe are getting acquainted with the crate and love the cozy and warm feeling when in there. This is the first step in crate training. Baby Steps.




SlideThe slide is giving them hour of fun while strengthening their balance and coordination.

White Collar now sporting a purple/pink collar, and also named Ariane, was the first one on the slide and soon after the litter mates wanted to give it a try. From that moment on the slide was their main source of entertainment.



SombreroThey all have been eating well, 4 times a day, and keeping their bedding nice and dry. I replaced the sombrero feeding bowl filled with goats milk and water to a large bucket filled with water. I have deleted rice cereal from their diet and have increased kibble. I am adding boneless, skinless boiled chicken breast, put through the food processor, in their food. I am continuing to include goat milk. I have gradually introduced powdered Vitamin C, Ultimate Doggyzimes and Holistic Pet Organics Canine Complete.

It is non-stop play, pass out, non-stop play and pass out. This age is so important for development and socialization.

I am now allowing visitors to come and meet the kids which they love.

They all greet the visitors with confidence and abundant affection. They are such a joy to watch interact with everyone.


Installment 6

“A puppy is but a dog, plus high spirits, and minus common sense.” – Agnes Repplier

“There are all sorts of cute puppy dogs, but it doesn’t stop people from going out and buying Dobermans.” – Angus Young


Awareness and Imprinting

In the last installment, we talked about imprinting and how it teaches behavioral characteristics. It is in this critical phase, that puppies imprint on their mother, learn that they are dogs, exhibit early sexual behavior, and learn to identify with their siblings and other animals in the household.

As the puppies’ depth perception improves, playtime becomes more sophisticated and includes chasing, wrestling, growling and play fighting, all of which builds strength, agility and coordination. They also learn the language of dominance and submission using prey killing behavior like pouncing on or shaking an object and by normal play activity wherein they take turns chasing and pinning each other as they all practice being the top dog and the bottom dog. Inappropriate play can happen when the puppies get too wound up and one or more of the siblings turn into playground bullies! It is very important to supervise their playtime and step in when a “time out” is needed.

When you see puppies interacting with adult dogs, you will often see that the adult dogs will pretend to be subordinate to a puppy in order to build their confidence. The adults will even exhibit play-eliciting gestures like the “play bow” to encourage the puppies to play. When the adult dog resumes its role as leader, the puppy is given a lesson in respecting the pack’s hierarchy.

Play time is not only great fun but it teaches them important skills such as bite inhibition, canine communication and important lessons such as what is acceptable and what isn’t as they interact with each other and other animals. This is where puppies develop problem solving abilities and the physical and mental skills needed for a happy and successful life.


The Fear Periods

Since dogs can and do become fearful of specific things at any time during their life, we want to emphasize that we are taking about specific fear periods that dogs go through during their developmental stages.

First Fear Period (Weeks 8 to 10)

The first fear period is believed to be genetically tied to survival in the wild when puppies starting to explore their world. Under the guidance of their mother, they would learn what was threatening and what was not and any lack of caution could be life threatening. This fear and caution has carried over to domestic dogs.

Since puppies are sensitive to anything they perceive as threatening, anything that frightens a puppy at this stage can have a lasting impact on their lives. It is, therefore, particularly important that puppies are not overly-stimulated by too many challenges during this period.

Responsible breeders have learned that the longer the puppies are allowed interaction with their mother and littermates, the easier it is for them to adjust to changes they encounter. When you consider that the first fear period for most puppies occurs at 8 weeks of age, which is also traditionally the age most puppies are released to their new families, it makes sense that breeders are now keeping their puppies a week or two longer.

Some puppies may never show any differences during the first fear period while others may become fearful of sounds, people, things and/or situations they once accepted. These puppies may show their fear by being overly cautious or overly defensive.

The key to overcoming the puppy’s fear is through counter conditioning and positive reinforcement. As an example, if your puppy is walking by a chair just as a newspaper falls from the chair to the floor, the puppy will make the association that newspapers are scary things. If you place a treat on top of the newspaper and coax the puppy to get the treat, the scary newspaper now becomes something good.

Positive reinforcement rewards good behavior and ignores bad or unwanted behavior. It can be done through the use of food or praise and affection. The idea is to make every experience fun and/or positive for the puppy whether it is a trip to the vet, a ride in a car or a walk in the park where the puppy will encounter various new stimuli.


Second Fear Period (6 to 14 months)

The second fear period is believed to be tied to the dog’s sexual maturity and growth spurts. Owners will notice their dog has suddenly become a complete uncooperative mess! Fear may pop out of nowhere with the dog reacting defensively by barking, lunging and pulling on their leash.

Once again, making a comparison to dogs in the wild, the dogs from this age group were allowed to hunt with the mature dogs in the pack. Fear was a necessary component for survival purposes and staying with the pack was an absolute necessity.

Now that you have a much bigger dog to contend with, what do you do to keep him or her under control? The same thing that you would for the puppy: counter conditioning and positive reinforcement. Pretend it is not a big deal – ignoring the huge scene your dog just made can be hard but you must let your dog understand that whatever it is he’s afraid of is not a big deal. Never become critical, tense or punish your dog’s fearful reaction – stay calm and reassuring.

It is also crucial to avoid any traumatic experiences during this period. Continued socialization and building confidence through training, performance sports and exercises all keep your dog in good physical and mental condition.


Raindance Dobermans

We will now take a look at the last entry at Susan and Chelsea James’ Birthing Log. It has been an extreme pleasure working with them on this project. As I read through this last entry, tears started to form in my eyes. I felt the bittersweet emotion that Susan must have felt when she let each puppy go to their new home.

I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more about these puppies in the future as they enter the conformation ring or participate in performance sports. If any of you are interested in contacting Susan James of Raindance Dobermans, please email her at Raindance also has a website at


Genesis and Dante Birthing Log

8 to 10 weeks

All the puppies are doing great. We’re gaining weight nicely and their individual personalities are very obvious. They were all outgoing and very loving.

The crew first well visit to my Veterinarian at 7 weeks is a positive experience for them. They had a full exam and fecal test. They were all just so adorable and calm upon examination. All received a clean bill of health.

The Puppies ears were cropped at 8 weeks and all went well. I separated them each with their own pen for about a week.

Each had their own water bucket and fluffy bed. They were a bit sad to be separated, but adjusted fine.

At feeding time I did have them all together. Their ears were healing beautifully and their little Shriner hats did not bother them one bit.

At about 9.5 weeks the cups were off and I started posting their ears. They all got a beautiful long show crop.

I did put them back together again, rotating alone time in a crate for each and every one. I made sure when they were placed in a crate, they were very tired from playing and had a full belly. I also gave them a big marrow bone to chew on.

We had many visitors for play time with the puppies. It was such a joy to watch them interact with strangers. All confident, friendly and so happy.

At 8 weeks we brought the puppies for Kelly Marquis to see. Kelly is a co-breeder on this litter and she was very excited to see how they were turning out. It was their first long road trip and they were so fantastic. They were little troopers.

After the 8-9 week evaluation, I started making decisions about which puppy was going to which new owner.

It was a very bitter sweet time for me…They were getting older and did need their own Mommy and Daddy to give them all the extra attention on a one-on-one basis.

5 puppies were placed some to people that already had one of my babies or had been waiting for a Raindance Puppy for awhile. Two remained with me for a while longer.

I held onto Ariane and Sorin. I wanted to let them grow out a bit and secretly wanted to keep them.

I felt Ariane and Sorin had to go to fantastic show homes and if I could not find one, they would stay with me with Chelsea, my daughter and partner in Raindance, would show them to their Championship.

I was falling in love with these two little monsters but knew the right homes would come along and it finally happened. Sigh.

Empty Nest after 5 months of nurturing and love – my puppies certainly left a hole in my heart.

I love my babies and keep in touch with all the owners. They are all fantastic families which send me updates and photos on a regular basis.

I am so looking forward to seeing my babies in the ring so keep an eye out for my beautiful Raindance kids. This entire line bred litter is lovely and all deserve a title. Looking back on choosing the sire to compliment my Genesis, I feel I made the right choice and very proud of what this breeding gave me.

Sorin-8 weeks

Sorin-8 weeks

Luna-8 weeks

Luna-8 weeks

Olaf-8 weeks

Olaf-8 weeks

Airane-8 weeks

Airane-8 weeks

Scarlett-8 weeks

Scarlett-8 weeks

Kato-8 weeks

Kato-8 weeks

Lochlan-8 weeks

Lochlan-8 weeks

Here are their names:


Raindance In His Image—Sorin (yellow collar)

Raindance Fulfilling the Prophecy—Lochlan (blue collar)

Raindance Delivered From Evil—Kato (lime collar)

Raindance East Of Eden—Olaf (red collar)


Raindance Forbidden Fruit of Marquis—Airane (purple collar)

Raindance Fire & Brimstone—Scarlett (hot pink collar)

Raindance Light of Darkness—Luna (teal collar)

I hope you all enjoyed getting a glimpse of how I breed and raise a litter. For me it is one of the most rewarding parts of my life.

Susan and Chelsea James

Raindance Dobermans


Sorin-10 weeks

Sorin-10 weeks

Luna-10 weeks

Luna-10 weeks

Airane-10 weeks

Airane-10 weeks

Lochlan-10 weeks

Lochlan-10 weeks



Sorin-12 weeks

Sorin-12 weeks

Ariane-12 weeks

Ariane-12 weeks