Introducing Miles!

May 24, 2022

Red River Retrievers welcomes our newest member and future stud muffin, Red River’s Klondike Miles.

Miles is currently 3 1/2 months old. He was born February 11. He has grown so much!

We have renewed sympathy for our adoptive families and their first few months raising a puppy! Miles was oh-so-sweet but also very busy while he learned the ropes of our home. Now that he comes when called, knows what No means, sits reliably, and isn’t trying to chew up computer cords whenever we turn away, life has settled into a sweet routine.

We never would have made it without Naia’s willing “puppy sitting.” We have an open floor plan that makes it difficult to keep eyes on Miles, so we thought tethering him to an older, wiser friend some of the time would help us. It did! They are now inseparable AND we haven’t lost anymore cords or toilet paper rolls.

Our kids have helped, too. Asher joins Miles for “quiet time” sometimes. Miles is turning into a sweet, retrieving, silly cuddle buddy.

Fall Puppy Plans

March 3, 2022

Well, it looks like we won’t be having a spring litter after all. Savvy has not come into heat within the window that would work for a spring litter, so we are planning for a fall litter. In the meantime, Naia will turn 2 and get her OFA certifications. So this fall we will be able to hopefully have two litters instead of one.

If you had a reservation for a spring litter and would like to keep your reservation for fall, no action is needed. However, if you were hoping for a puppy sooner and had made a deposit, you are welcome to get in touch if you need your deposit refunded.

We know how disappointing it is to be hoping and tentatively planning for new puppy and find out there is a delay! Just when we think we know what to expect, mother nature always throws us for a loop.

A Happy New Year To All

January 3, 2022

Savvy was sitting pretty on New Year’s Eve, hoping for some barbeque lil’ smokies or pizza bites. We have realized after hearing from her puppies’ families that sitting with paws crossed is a genetic trait that she has passed down to many of her puppies. Her mother Tori also used to sit like this, so many of Tori’s offspring do this as well.

In the quiet week between Christmas and New Year, Carol started “writing” a doggie treats cookbook. This kid studies dog breed guide books for fun, can tell you the breed of almost any dog she meets, loves all things dog, and loves her Naia most of all. She made dog friend cookies with peanut butter dough, and decorated them with dog friendly frosting (mostly cornstarch and a bit of honey).

Today, since we are hunkering down, Carol made meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato “frosting.” We all benefitted from her creativity because after Naia got to pretend it was her birthday, we ate the rest for dinner.

Good for dogs AND people!

We at Red River Retrievers hope you and yours have had a good holiday and continue to be safe and healthy in this new year.

…and to all a goodnight!

Dog Days of Summer…

July 31, 2021

…takes on a whole new meaning!

It’s too hot to play outside!


June 6, 2021

A Little Less Blurry

June 2, 2021

Some of Ponca’s puppies again: Meg and Merida. After playing for a while, if we hold them, they will be still!

In addition to playing with, watching, feeding, and cleaning up the puppies, we do come cursory preliminary “training,” such as the whistle they will respond to because they associate it with food, starting to teach “no bite” if they get riled up, and dragging a toy to teach beginning retrieving.

We also got the paper work together and made up the packets for each person/family adopting one of the puppies!

By the way, in case there was any confusion, this the food the puppies are eating.

A Playtime Blur

June 1, 2021

Ponca’s puppies are 7 weeks old today! So grown up! They were having far too much fun playing yesterday to get a single clear photo!

Winnie is the smallest pup in the litter, but holds her own. She is spunky and friendly and playful.

Apparently someone left an empty coffee mug on the floor near their vacant seat on the sofa. The puppies were very excited about the smell of coffee!

The princesses, Merida and Esme, took turns trying to taste the coffee they smelled. It was too cute to take away the mug immediately!

Nonblurry photos coming soon, hopefully!

A Day in the Life

May 26, 2021

Savvy’s puppies are 5 weeks old today!

I usually think of some clever things to tell about the puppies in each post, even though the photos are the main event.

But man, I am worn out, and my brain has nothing clever. So instead, how about a glimpse into a day in the life of a dog breeder?

I can’t tell from the photos and don’t remember for sure, but I think this is Janko, the lone sister of the litter.

The older puppies are fully weaned and being fed 3x a day. The younger puppies are still being nursed by Savvy and receiving 2 feedings of dog food. Our kids follow a schedule I made that grandually increases portion sizes, and take turns feeding the puppies. They got out of school just in time!

We can tell Savvy’s black males apart because they all have different white markings. A white chest mark is common. We also have a chin mark and a toe mark in this litter, which are more unique. It makes them a lot easier to tell apart, but only when you can see the marks…not in photos.

When they are not rotating turns in the house being snuggled and played with, the puppies stay in a pen that has pine shavings for absorbant bedding. Starting around this age, the frequency of cleaning and replacing the pine shavings increases. Today my kids helped scoop the old bedding, sweep, scrub, disinfect, and lay new bedding.

We bathe our adult dogs more often when we have puppies, so that they do not bring in germs and parasites that might be in the soil, so today 3 of our 4 adult dogs had baths. Good thing warm weather is finally here.

The only black puppy I can easily apot in pictures is Beckendorff on the left, because of his little light mark on his bottom lip. He is one of the bigger pups, and such a sweet, chill guy. I think the pup on the right is Black Jack.

Since Ponca’s pups were 6 weeks old yesterday, we had a vet appointment today. Vaccinations and clean bill of health all around. It was also time to trim claws in Savvy’s litter, so 144 tiny puppy claws were clipped (18 per puppy, 10 on the front feet, and 8 on the back.)

We have designated puppy playtime every day, in which a few puppies play in the house while I observe. We are starting to make some mental notes on personalities and behaviors. Grover was very curious about the nooks and crannies to explore.
Chiron loved tug of war. Leo preferred the toy he could shake and run away with, but then he settled down for a break.
Chiron was very patient with the 6 year old snuggles.

We squeezed in some time to let some friends come over and visit the puppies and ran some errands. We received our Purina puppy packets in the mail recently, and our Trupanion pet health insurance offers today. We also got all our appointments scheduled for Go-Home Day a little over 2 weeks away! And now some pictures for you. Good thing I can lay down while I make a blog post!

Of the “Princess Puppies,” Merida is the only chocolate. She is an observer: always taking in the scene, studying new things, smelling the smells. Then she settles in for a cuddle.

I can’t believe Ponca’s puppies are 5 1/2 weeks old. They are starting to play, but are still VERY willing to snuggle.

Meg–named for Megera from the Disney Hercules. We are in love with her, just like Hercules loves Megera in the story.

The puppies are getting old enough to be interested in toys. We have a few, but a trip to the pet store is imminent, so we can get these sweet babies following (the precursor to retrieving), and let them sink their teeth into some rope bones.

Although he could pass for any of them, this is Percy, the namesake of Savvy’s litter theme. He is a love. If I wouldn’t feel so bad turning someone away I would keep him.❤

Though they have not tried their teeth on anyone’s hands yet, they are definitely sinking their teeth into their food. Both litters are eating 2 meals a day of solid food. They think they are starving all the time, but as you can see, they have plenty of “reserves” from all that good mama’s milk.


May 17, 2021

Ponca has four black females, of whom this is one. This is Ariel. So sweet and laid back.

Ponca’s puppies are 5 weeks old tomorrow!