Leading the way to Chinook magic!

The Dark Before Dawn Litter


Week 5! It has been a super busy couple of weeks, so apologies for the lack of formal updates. I hope I can remember all of the changes the pups have had in the last couple of weeks.

As of Week 3, the pups transitioned amazing easily to lapping goat's milk. They seemed like pros right from the beginning. Not long after, they moved to a kibble/goat's milk slurry, every day getting a bit of a rougher grind. The past few days they have been eating just kibble soaked in warm water for a while. Their puppy teeth are fully in, and they have NO issue chowing (chewing?) down! Qaralii (and Nashira) continue to nurse, but it is clearly uncomfortable for them, and the sessions get shorter and shorter. Qaralii in particular is smart enough to wait for the puppies to eat and THEN go offer to nurse, so that the edge is taken off of the descending horde.

For such a big litter, I am AMAZED at how quiet, chill, and clean the puppies are. They seek out human interaction with waggy tails…unless they are napping hard at that particular moment. Unlike prior litters, they have never challenged the ex-pen barrier to get out, but they rest or play quietly in the pen while I and the big dogs go about our business. The pups play and are interactive for longer and longer periods of time between naps, but in comparison to my purebred Chinook litters they are much calmer. Several of the pups will "put themselves to bed" when they are done with the play session- wandering off to a distant crate or dog bed.

This week will be a lot of training work- Manding and the Box Game. We've "loaded the clicker" - started to get the puppies to understand the clicking noise means a treat! They like string cheese, although it took some practice for them to reliably eat it from my fingers. They are heavy for their age in comparison to my purebred Chinook litters, but it is hard for me to compare overall size at this point. They are a really lovely group of pups that is fun (and relatively easy!) to raise!

Several of the puppies are having coats come in that are standard, excellent Chinook-plush length. It will be fascinating to watch how their coats develop as they grow.


It took me a while to figure out the right theme for this litter…. but between them being a first generation litter for the Chinook Breed Conservation Program, Qaralii taking her sweet time whelping them meaning plenty of pre-dawn hours spent together worry about Mama and Pups, and the fact that they are all black (which I knew going in thanks to genetic testing!) - the theme Dark before Dawn just seemed to fit.

Note: these names are just temporary while the pups are with me. Owners will provide the pup's registered name.
Puppies will be raised using the Puppy Culture program - check Instagram and Facebook for updates.
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Nefertem
Male
14 oz
7 lbs 12.8 oz


Nefertem is one laid back dude. He is happy to cuddle, happy to be moved around, and happy to go right back to sleep. He greets new things with…a tendency to lay down and nap. He is developing a particularly lovely ideal Chinook-length coat. It will be interesting to see it as he grows!

Nefertem is the Egyptian god of healing and beauty, who also represents the first sunlight. He originated from a Lotus flower at the beginning of the world and is nicknamed "He Who is Beautiful" and "Water-Lily of the Sun".

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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Lugh
Male
11.1 oz
6 lbs 5.8 oz



Lugh is such a sweetheart. He loves dinner time, but only eats for a few minutes before leaving the dish early to come say HI, wagging madly. After some attention, he will wander back over and finish his meal. He is a cheerful soul, that can be a bit independent.

Lugh (aka Lugus) is a pan-Celtic god variously described as The Shining One and Many Skilled. He is considered the god of craftsmanship and light. 4
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Beldeg
Male
13.6 oz
7 lbs 13.8 oz


Beldeg has two speeds- FULL STOP and GO GO GO. He loves people and interaction when he is on the GO tear….but when he conks out the world could crash down around him and he won't care. He is one of the bolder pups interacting with new things.

Beldeg is the Anglo-Saxon incarnation of the Norse/Proto-Germanic god Baldr. His name is associated with light and he is perhaps the personification of Day as a deity. He known as "the Brave God" and Baltic languages associate his name as "the white, the good".
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Brisaya
Female
14.0 oz
7 lbs 2.8 oz


Brisaya is the Party Girl- it is hard to catch her NOT wagging her tail in greeting - to a person, a sibling, or one of the big dogs. She thrives on interaction and is unphased by new things.

Brisaya is a Greek goddess of the dawn and the violet light of morning. She is hard to find references about, as Eos, the Greek Titan Goddess of the dawn has significantly better PR!
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Hyperion
Male
13.5 oz
7 lbs


Hyperion is a super mixture of adventure and homebody. He likes the comfort of things he knows when he is tired, and he enjoys exploring during his up time. He actively seeks out human interaction.

Hyperion is the Greek Titan God of Watchfulness, Wisdom, and the Light, or noted as the God of Heavenly Light. He is often confused with his son Helios the incarnation of the Sun.
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Puppy Name:
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Dellingr
Male
14.0 oz
7 lbs 15.4 oz


Dellingr has had a week of laziness. Or at least, a week of lots (and lots) of napping. He's also had a real growth spurt, so that could have somehting to do with it!

Dellingr is the Norse God of the Dawn. His name means "the dayspring" or possibly "the shining one". Dellingr is the father of Day.
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Ushas
Female
14.6 oz
6 lbs 5.8 oz


Ushas is a painfully sweet snuggler. She is probably the most sensitive of any of the pups, and really loves being around a person or sibling. She is unphased by new objects and is expressing interest in chasing toys- perhaps a Chinook that will fetch?

Ushas is the Hindu Vedic Goddess of the Dawn. She rouses life and drives away the darkness. She sets things in motion and can render strength and fame in her devotees.
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Puppy Name:
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Tohil
Male
13.6 oz
6 lbs 12.6 oz


Tohil is a bit of a clown - waggy and happy. He likes to snuggle but also can't bear to NOT be the first puppy to see /do new things.

Tohil is a Mayan God of the Sun and Rain - associated with thunder, lightning, and sunrise. One of the interpretations of the origin is his name is "obsidian"!
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Puppy Name:
Sex:
Birth Weight:
Current Weight:
Thesan
Female
12.8 oz
6 lbs 7.7 oz
Thesan is a lot like her sister Brisaya- very outgoing and confident. She gives very sweet little kisses, and seems to have no fear of anything.

Thesan is the Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn and Divination. She is associated with the generation of life and childbirth, as she brings new life into the world each day with her light.
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The Dark Before Dawn Litter
Meet the Parents

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Ace is a purebred Labrador Retriever, with a pedigree of companion and field dogs, with a few show dogs sprinkled in. He has been approved as a New Founder to the Chinook Breed via the Chinook Owners Association's (COA) Chinook Breed Conservation Program (CBCP - you can read more about the program here)! This important program is designed to improve the health and longevity of the Chinook breed by reducing inbreeding in the population. Ace meets all of the health criteria for a New Founder (passing Labrador health requirements with ease!) and more importantly, as a Service Dog, Ace has an outstanding, stable temperament and proven work ethic. In addition, he also has demonstrated working ability in harness! Ace loves to pull the sulky!

Qaralii has it all- stunning classic Chinook physical beauty, and the perfect temperament for a working family companion. She has demonstrated working ability, with a Weight Pull title and recreational bikejoring work in harness. She has excellent, functional structure as demonstrated by wins in the show ring. Qaralii has a wonderful Chinook temperament, smart and soft and devoted. She trustworthy with children of all ages and dogs, bombproof in new environments, and completely dedicated to me to the exclusion of anyone else around. The one thing Qaralii does not have is a lot of genetic diversity- she scores well below the Chinook average, and while she herself is incredibly healthy I want to maximize the chances for her puppies to be strong and healthy family companions.

I've matched Ace with Qaralii, who exemplifies the things I want in a Chinook. I hope to leverage the strong Chinook temperament, type, and working drive in Qaralii combined with the similar temperament, stability, and work ethic of Ace to produce diverse, healthy puppies with both the Chinook sensitivity and family focus, and the Labrador stability. My hope is also that puppies will get the flexibility and work ethic for excellent sport and potentially service dogs. Both dogs have a working ability to pass on. Mostly I'm hoping to add some vigor and diversity to the Chinook breed!

While it is hard to believe looking at Ace and Qaralii, I expect all of the puppies to be solid black, based on the color genetics of both parents. It is possible that roughly half the pups would be brindle (tiger striped), but most likely they will all be solid black. Pups that move forward and are bred should produce litters that are roughly half Chinook tawny and half solid black. Puppies should be fairly predictable in phenotype and behavior- on the spectrum between Chinook and Labrador, Ace and Qaralii.

I hope to place promising puppies as breed potential, to provide healthy, well-tempered and genetically diverse inputs to the Chinook gene pool in a few years. Puppies will be registered with the COA, and third generation offspring from Ace will be eligible for UKC registration as purebred Chinooks as long as all of the criteria of the CBCP are met.

Chinooks are a very rare breed with around 100 puppies born every year. As we have been successful in keeping our dogs from being exploited in puppy mills, we rely on Chinook owners that are willing to keep a male intact or raise a litter to support a diverse gene pool. While all Chinooks are first and foremost pets, some owners participate a bit more directly in sustaining the breed. An owner's contribution can range from simply raising a litter for which I take responsibility for finding and supporting puppy homes, all the way to people starting a new kennel on their own. This helps ensure we have healthy Chinooks in the future! If you are open to discussing this, please contact me for more information.
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