Cury-Coated Retriever Puppies
Curly Coated Retriever

Past  Curly Coated Retriever Litters 


Please check out the Litter Plans tab for informaiton on our next litter

At SoftMaple we take pride in how we raise our puppies.

We start them out with selecting the best parents. Making sure we are doing the health testing recommended by our Parent Club. Providing optimum nutrition. We start the puppies out with the BioSensor method of early neurological stimulation. (see below) After that we continue to provide new experiences, stimulation, small stressors. Socialise the puppies in a safe secure environment.    We have adopted many of the methods from Aviddog and Puppy Culture.

Raising a litter of puppies the right way is a full time job that we take very seriously!


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SoftMaple Curly Coated Retriever Puppies

100_8579 We at SoftMaple have been active in showing and breeding pure bred dogs since 1979. Active in Curly Coated Retrievers since 1993. We do not earn our income from the sale our puppies. For me raising a litter is a very rewarding, time consuming and expensive passion. We are breeding for healthy, sound, highly trainable, versatile dogs without compromising the correct structure and breed type set out in the standard.


SoftMaple bred and or owned Curlies hold titles in conformation, field, upland, obedience, barn hunting, dock diving, lure coursing, rally obdience, therapy, and agility. Most SoftMaple dogs go to loving companion homes, or to personal hunting homes and are never shown. Titles do not make the dog, nor do they make a dog great. We are more interested in producing healthy, cherished companions, than having our primary goal to put letters before a dog's name.

PD6k Early puppy stimulation, as well as continued puppy socialization are key in our breeding program. We stress temperament and health. Our dogs are family companions, first and foremost. We are only interested in finding homes for our puppies in which potential owners are genuinely committed to loving a Curly for its life-time, be it a pet, show, or hunting companion.


Breeding dogs is a labor of love. Their health and well-being is of primary importance. We check Hips (OFA, or foreign country of origin hip score equivalent), Eyes (CERF or OFA Eye certification)Cardiac auscultation or Echo, Glycogen Stroage Disease (GSDIIIa) and have been adding PRA, EIC and listen to the recomendations of the Curly Parent club for testing.

Since a dog is a living creature, we can not guarantee that the dog will not have any problems. We do our best to check the health history of the parents, grandparents and siblings. We study pedigrees and dogs to help make informed breeding decisions. No one has yet bred the perfect dog. We will stand behind our dogs if there is a problem.


PD55g The pups are raised in the home. We use the Bio Sensor method of early puppy stimulation. We temperament test our puppies at 7 weeks of age. As we know the personalities of the puppies better than anyone having lived wiht them since birh, we try to match each puppy with the appropriate family for its needs. Every pup that leaves SoftMaple goes with the condition that if for any reason you cannot keep the dog I will always take it back, for whatever reason.


A curly is not for everyone. They are a strong willed, challenging, intelligent dog. We screen our prospective puppy buyers. Your not just buying a dog from SoftMaple, your joining a family. We ask you questions, and strongly encourage you to ask us questions. Anyone looking to add a Curly to their home shouldn't stop at just contacting one breeder. We encourage you to talk to as many breeders as you can.




Those First Weeks

curlycoatedpup1 Here's the age old question: Is temperament the result of heredity or of environment? You have already done your homework into the backgrounds of the sire and dam; you've checked on temperament, trainability and stability. The job does not stop here. do you want to take a chance that the greatest factor is not environment? In a litter, you are lucky to get one or two good show dogs. You may get a couple of good field prospects, maybe even a future top obedience or agility dog. Every pup should have a super temperament because 90 percent of the litter will end up in pet homes. Their owners will not care about how many titles the parents won, at what age they got their first major, or how many tries it took them to get their SH or CDX titles. These people care that their dogs will be wonderful additions to their family.

When I plan a breeding, I take time off from my full time job to start another full-time job-- the one of raising a litter. It does not matter how wonderful and independent a mom your brood bitch is, you still have a full-time commitment with each litter.

IMG_5424 I start working with the pups when they are 3 days old. I take each one and put it through a series of five exercises known as the Bio-Sensor method. (see the May 1995 AKC Gazette for an article on this) In brief, this is a series of exercises that stimulates pups in a way they would not otherwise experience at this early age.

Once the pups have their eyes open and start to venture out of the whelping box, the fun begins! Over the years, I have developed a "puppy playground." This is designed to introduce the pups to sound, texture, movement, vibration and music. It includes "swings" made from carpeted milk crates that hangs from the ceiling. The pups quickly find these and they are not bothered by the swinging movement when they are in them. Often I will find the swing jam-packed with pups sleeping and gently rocking! I also have low, padded and carpeted seesaws. The pups first reaction to these is usually to be startled when they walk up the low ramp and it moves under their weight. however, the puppy urge for exploration gets the best of them and soon you see 6-week old pups trying out their "sea legs" and balancing on the middle of the sea saw like expert agility dogs.

The playground also includes a variety of tunnels made of tall kitchen trash containers with the bottoms cut out. The pups race through these, roll them around, and then all pile in for a nap. There are also ramps of various materials and textures, milk jugs, hanging fleece toys and short steps made by stacking large wooden blocks. One object that the pups love is a fleece octopus with four squeaky arms. It hangs about five inches from the ground, from a rope that has a long line of sleigh bells attached to the top. The noise it makes! There are also low mirrors on the walls and an assortment of balls, toys and chews in the puppy room.

At about 6 weeks, the pups are introduced to water, under supervision. I take an extra large Vari-Kennel bottom, line it with rubber bath mats, and fill it with three inches of warm water. I place this in the puppy room, with a couple of rubber balls floating in it. The boldest pups are soon in there! There is no pushing or forcing; I just let them go at their own pace.

IMG_5391 Each puppy also gets individual attention every day during which they experience a variety of activities. They may drag around a short leash, be introduced to wings and birds, go for a ride in the car, or have their toenails trimmed.

The playroom setup enables me to sit and watch the puppies for hours to see which are the most adventuresome which have the quickest recovery time, and which are more hesitant. This helps me decide on the homes that will be best for each one.

Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette

Breeding beyond boundaries.

How many times have your gone to the National or a large regional dog show to check out prospective studs and been disappointed in the lack of choices? Sometimes nothing you see complements the bitch you have. With today’s shrinking world, there are more options open to breeders. One of those options is using an over seas stud. With the improvements in storing frozen semen, collecting and shipping fresh chilled semen, and newly lifted quarantines; your breeding choices don’t have to be confined to your geographic area.

When using an overseas stud, you must often rely on pictures, video and word of mouth of people who have met the dogs in person. But this is the case with many US studs where you may not have had the opportunity to meet the dog in person. Or even the case of having only seen the dog as an adolescent and you do not know how he has matured. I was fortunate to deal with breeders and owners who were very helpful in supplying whatever I wanted to do my research on potential overseas studs. This included pictures of the dog, his parents, siblings, and any offspring he may have had on the ground. Videotapes of the dog and relatives. Talking with other breeders overseas who have used the particular dog, or close relatives of his in their breeding programs.

Octoberpup1 (1) I have had experience sending a bitch overseas for a natural breeding. This can’t always be done if the country still has quarantine laws in effect. My latest litter was a result of fresh chilled semen sent from overseas. You can still run into problems with customs and language barriers resulting in delays. Timing is everything when using fresh chilled semen. Even a day’s delay can mean the difference between having a litter and not. It did take a bit more planning to make sure it all came off smoothly. With fresh chilled, you should decide before hand on what kind of extender you will use, and what type of shipping container it will be transported in. A test collection and storage of the stud is a great idea. That way you know how many days his semen will live. Not all dogs are alike, and not all dogs semen react to the extender and chilling the same.

Everything you need to register such a litter is clearly explained on the AKC website. I am currently bringing in frozen semen from overseas to store in the US. This has its pros and cons. With Frozen semen you don’t have to worry about the timing of shipping, as you can have it on hand months or years in advance of the breeding. One of the drawbacks of frozen semen is with the shorter life span, either surgical or transcervical insemination is recommended over vaginal insemination.

With the use of fresh chilled and frozen semen, you do have the potential for higher breeding costs with the addition of progesterone testing, collection, storage and insemination fees. You also have the potential for decreased litter size in some cases. Finding and using the right stud for your bitch isn’t about producing a huge litter. Its about producing a few quality dogs that fulfil the goals you have for the breeding and the resulting offspring.

Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette




SofMaple litters to date:

9/23/1996  Am & Can Ch Pasha N'Charwin's Black Jack Am &Can WC ROM CR-200G26M, CR-314, 90,92,93,99 X CH Avanti's Best Bet CD CGC ROMX CR-CA12/56F/C-ECHO, CR-483 95,96,99,00, CR-408E24F GSDII Clear (12 puppies)

9/28/1997 CH Riverwatch Desert Wind ROM CR-EL30, CR-429E24M, CR-564 97, CR-CA103/77M/C-PI, CHIC#26174 X CH Avanti's Best Bet CGC ROMX CD CR-CA12/56F/C-ECHO, CR-483, 95,96,99,00, CR-408E24F, GSDII Clear (14 puppies)

10/11/1998 CH, HR Elflock-Ranah's Rising Son WC, WCX, WCQ, JH, CD, CR-549 97,00,02, CR-426G37M X CH Charwin Even Song JH, WC, WCX, CD, CGC, HOF CR-CA22/41F/C, CR-480F35F, CR-489 95,98,00 (3 puppies)

12/24/1999 Luxembourg Champion, Dutch,VDH, German Ch. Caballus Inferno JWW'98, W'98, Europasieger '99, Bundessieger'99 Hips A/A(Finland), B1(Holland) X CH Mathel Felicitation ROM CR-CA3/38F/C, CR-453G24F, CR-497 96,97,99,01 (For this litter, I shipped Bumper overseas for the breeding, so the stud has his foreign country of origin hip score equivalent.) (14 live puppies, 17 total puppies)

10/9/2001 Ch SoftMaple's O' Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCX, WCQ, CD, CGC, HOF ,CR-536G27M-T CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-685 01, CHIC #26208 X CH Charwin Evensong WC, WCX, JH, CD, CGC, HOF, CR-CA22/41F/C, CR-480F35F, CR-489 95,98,00 (11 puppies)

4/10/2002 CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC, CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-640G26F-PI, CR-EL97F26-PI, CR-753 03, CHIC #26238 sired by CH SoftMaple's O' Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, CD, WC, WCX, WCQ, CGC, HOF, CR-536G27M-T CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-685 01, CHIC #26208 (10 puppies)

10/10/2002 SJCH SUCH Ringlets Constant Wind eyes clear, hips A/B, Doppler heart cleared, to CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC, CR-CA74/16F/S-PI, CR-EL98F28-PI, CR-642G28F-PI, CERF 01, (This litter is the product of an imported semen breeding using shipped-cooled semen from Sweden, so the male has his foreign country of origin health checks.) (5 puppies)

8/1/2003 CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC, CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-640G26F-PI, CR-EL97F26-PI, CR-753 03, CHIC #26238 sired by CH Aberbran Bar Von Bern JH, WC, WCQ, SH, ROM, CR-608G24M-PI, CR-CA123/37M/P-PI, CR-662 00,02,03,04 (11 puppies)

#0 Our No Litter... the cost of doing a breeding

9/8/2004 CH SoftMaple N HunterBay's NYwkend CGC, TT, CR-EL99F28-PI, CR-645E28F-PI, CR-CA135/34F/C-PI, CHIC #26240 GSDIIIa clear X CH SR Curlygleann Kiwi Dream WC CGC TDI CR-677G24M-PI, CR-EL111M24-PI, SN91060601, GSDIIIa #CCR202 (8 puppies)

11/8/2004 CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty JH, SH, MH, WC, WCQ, WCX, CD, CGC, TT, HOF, CR-536G27M-T, CR-CA177/89M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-685 2001, CHIC #26208 GSDIIIa clear and SoftMaple N HunterBay's Poetic Justice CGC, PennHip, CR-CA158/21F/C-NOPI, CR-786N GSDcarrier (8 puppies)

1/3/2005 Boyerie Dese Maestro Music Please CR-CA148/24M/C-PI-ECHO, CR-696G24M-PI, CR-750, 03,04, CHIC#CR-CA157/39F/C-PI GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC, CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI,CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI, CR-CA157/39F/C-PI, CR-835, 05, CHIC #26258 GSDIIIa clear by parents (10 puppies)

5/9/2005 Ch. Dese's Black As Coal, CD, WC, CGC, TT, RN, JH CR-530G26M-T, CR-CA47/30M/C-T, CR-582, 98,99,00,01,02,03,04, CHIC# 26205 GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple's Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC,JH, RN, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI, CR-EL134F34-NOPI, CR-814N,05, CR-722G34F-NOPI, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI GSDIIIa clear  (11 puppies)

5/6/2006 CH Elflock False Echoes CR-859, CR-769G33M-PI, CR-CA209/34M/C-PI, CHIC GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC CR-CA74/16F/S-PI CR-EL98F28-PI CR-642G28F-PI, CERF CR-678 GSDIIIa clear (3 puppies)
12/28/2006 Knicknack's Ambassador CR-776E28M-PI, CR-EL161M28-PI, CR-TH10/28M-PI,Cardiac clear by a Cardiologist And Eyes Clear by a A.C.V.O, E.C.V.O Diplomate Veterinarian 3/4/2006 X CH SoftMaple's International Fling CGC CR-EL97F26-PI, CR-640G26F-PI, CR-CA134/34F/C-PI, CR-753, CHIC 26238, GSDIIIa clear (2 puppies)
1/11/2007 (co-bred with BackCast) Knicknack's Ambassador CR-776E28M-PI, CR-EL161M28-PI, CR-TH10/28M-PI, Cardiac clear by a Cardiologist And Eyes Clear by a A.C.V.O, E.C.V.O Diplomate Veterinarian 3/4/2006 X Backcast Hunka Burnin Fudge CR-886, CR-CA238/24F/C-PI, CR-793G27F-PI, CHIC# 34724 

6/10/2008 CH Summerwinds Kurly Kreek Vento, CR-CA204/16M/C-PI CR-833 CR-785G24M-PI CHIC#33070 and CH SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CGC CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI, CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI, CR-CA157/39F/C-PI, CR-835, GSDIIIa clear by parents, CHIC #26258 (8 puppies)

7/1/2008 CH Down DaTrail Hunting Thrills CD WC Reg#SR23159201, CR-839G30M-PI, CR-EL181M30-PI, CR-933, CR-CA306/37M/C-PI, GSDIIIa clear and CH SoftMaple's Pheasant Dreams WC, CGC,JH, RN, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI, CR-EL134F34-NOPI, CR-814N,05, CR-722G34F-NOPI, CR-CA178/53F/S-PI GSDIIIa clear (10 puppies)

5/13/2010 CH Softmaple TransAtlantic Affair CGC SR44469301 DOB: Dec 28 2006 CR-878E24M-VPI, CR-EL204M24-VPI, CR-CA345/30M/C-VPI-ECHO, CR-947N and CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CHIC SR23711801, DOB: Jan 3 2005 CR-CA250/20F/C-PI, CR-897, CR-823G26F-PI , CR-EL174F26-PI, CHIC 38871 Torre would be assumed clear of GSD based on the absence of the GSD mutation in both parents. (13 puppies)

6/20/2011 GCH Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver to Flyway CA WCX JH RN NAP NFP CR-CA368/24M/C-NOPI, CR-920G24M-VPI, CR-EL219M24-VPI Clear for EIC and GSD IIIa by parentage and CH SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel CR-CA250/20F/C-PI, CR-897, CR-823G26F-PI, CR-EL174F26-PI, CHIC, Clear for GSD IIIa by parentage (13 puppies)

4/24/2012 GCH Softmaple's Stand and Be Liver to Flyway CA WCX JH RN NAP NFP CR-CA368/24M/C-NOPI, CR-920G24M-VPI, CR-EL219M24-VPI Clear for EIC and GSD IIIa by parentage and FLATCURLS Follow Me Forever To Softmaple CR-942E39F-VPI, CR-347550 11,11, CR-CA396/40F/C-VPI (6 puppies)

11/7/2015 CH Brio’s Jollycurl To Bravo First Over Under MH, WCX SR71728607 CR-1008E28M-VPI, CR-EYE36/32M-VPI EYES has been bred to CH Softmaples Fly By Night WC, BN, RA, CA, CGC, RATI CR-CA443/12F/C-VPI, CR-EYE12/32F-VPI, CR-EIC35/39F-VPI-CAR, CR-G3A107/40F-VPI, CR-PRA20/40F-VPI (8 puppies)

4/14/2016 CH JCh Engadin Star's Juri Snowflake HD A / A, ED 0/0, GDS IIIa free mental test passed with 98 of 99 points and gaining value excellently. to CH SoftMaple N Flyway's Nobody puts Baby in a Corner RN WC CAT CR-991G25F-VPI, CR-EL255F25-VPI, CR-CA433/27F/C-VPI-ECHO, CERF: CR-382440 (8 puppies)

7/3/2016 (Co-bred, litter at Skywatcher) CH Brio’s Jollycurl To Bravo First Over Under MH, WCX to Skywatcher's Dee Liver Me to SoftMaple, CGC, TDI, RATI, RATN (11 puppies)



9/24/2017 CH Brio’s Jollycurl To Bravo First Over Under MH, WCQ SR71728607 CR-1008E28M-VPI, CR-EYE36/32M-VPI EYES and Skywatcher's Dee Liver Me to SoftMaple RATN, RATI, CGC, TDI, DN CR-CA462/23F/C-VPI CARDIAC Normal Cardiologist CR-EIC36/25F-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE Carrier/1 copy CR-G3A109/25F-VPI GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE Clear CR-PRA22/25F-VPI PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY Clear CR-1010G26F-VPI HIPS Good CR-EL269F26-VPI ELBOW Normal CR-EYE30/48F-VPI EYES Normal 2014,2015,2016 (11 puppies- (6)



I wanted to share with you an article that appeared in the AKC Gazette's Curly Breed column, written by Ann Shinkle.

Educating a Curly pup

100_8401 Your Curly-Coated Retriever puppy starts learning as soon as it is born. It's up to you to do the very best job possible in order to have a well adjusted, happy adult.

I have been raising a puppy bitch over the past few months, which has brought many important thoughts concerning puppies to mind. I shall now share some of them with you.

When you decide to acquire a Curly pup, be award that you need to prepare well before its arrival. On the whole, our breed needs quite a bit more socializing than some other retriever breeds. A once a week trip to puppy kindergarten is not enough. In the case of some of the more retiring, less confident pups, you should take the puppy on a daily trip outside the home to different places, once your veterinarian says it's safe to do so.

Good locations for these socialization and education encounters include parks and shopping malls, especially the parking areas where the puppy can experience the clatter of shopping carts, the roar of motorcycles, and the sight of people emerging from stores carrying strange packages. (Of course, you and your puppy should never enter any premises without having first obtained the management's permission.) My most recent Curly puppy has gone into shops, visited friends, attended obedience classes and matches as an observer and fun matches as a participant, and has been to puppy classes of various levels. this particular puppy needs a great deal of socialization because she is slightly less confident than other Curly puppies tend to be at this age.

When a stranger comes up to you and your puppy on one of these outings, ask them them to pet your pup and to offer it one of the treats you should carry in your pocket.

It's especially important that your puppy become used to being around children at this early age. First, ask the parent's permission , then have the children -one at a time with a puppy!-gently pet your puppy.

Remember, all these activities are learning experiences and should leave your puppy with positive memories. If your puppy shows fear of any object, walk up to that object and hold out a treat for the puppy to gently coax it to approach the object. If your puppy continues to show any fear or backs up and pulls away, do not praise it. Just ignore this behavior and try again. If the pup is still very much afraid, calmly walk away and have the puppy perform something it knows, such as sitting in front of you, then give it a treat. If you sympathize with the puppy as it demonstrates nervousness or fear, you will reinforce the behavior. It's better to ignore the fear and frightened behavior, and get on with something else.

crate4 While on the subject of socializing your puppy and taking it places in the care, please be sure that you've first done some crate training with the puppy. I think its extremely important to have a safe spot in your vehicle for the puppy, whether it's a car safety harness or a crate. In case of an accident, animals of people can be seriously injured as a result of a dog being tossed about. (your puppy's breeder should provide Crate-training information Readers who need this information may also contact me.)

Another important fact to keep in mind is that home is very different from that big world outside. Your puppy may seem very happy, outgoing and well adjusted at home, but take it to a strange, noisy place, and most Curly puppies will show some fear at first. This is why I stress a great deal of socialization in those crucial early months.

PD32e The Reverse can also occur. Many years ago I met a Curly who had been kenneled for the first few years of his life. He had never been inside a house. After he was placed in another home, it took three months of coaxing and living with his new family before he would set foot inside their home.

Let both situations be a lesson to all of us: The more varied the experiences a puppy has during its first year, the better off it will be for the rest of its life.

Originally printed in the AKC Gazette, April 1998 written by Ann Shinkle.



We use the Bio-Sensor exercises. Methods of Stimulation



The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called "Bio Sensor" was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.

The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises, which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in nor order of preference the handler starts with one put and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:


1. Tactile stimulation - holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds.

2. Head held erect - using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds

3. Head pointed down - holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds

4. Supine position - hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.

5. Thermal stimulation - use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.

Bs1 Bs2 Bs3 Bs4 Bs5

These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results.


PD37t These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.


Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:


Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
Stronger heart beats,
Stronger adrenal glands,
More tolerance to stress
Greater resistance to disease

In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.


IMG_2820 p2 IMG_1896 IMG_1694

Breeding: What We're Taught

There are many platitudes in the dog world, such as "A fast maturing puppy will fade" and "Only breed when you'll keep one for yourself." This last maxim is even used to chastise breeders who do not keep a puppy from every litter. The idea is that in every litter there will be a star puppy who should be grown out by the breeder.

nov13g The fact is that not all litters produce show puppies. Keeping even the best puppy from a mediocre litter will not achieve the breeder's objectives. It would be best to place these puppies in permanent companion homes and try something different the next time around, but this is not often done in our breed. Instead, the breeder keeps the best in a particular litter, grows out the pick puppy, and takes her to dog shows. Dog shows are unforgiving and soon identify mediocrity. A determined person will put many shows on an average dog in an attempt to "prove" her breeding program. It would be better to make a more critical evaluation of puppies at 8 weeks and come to more realistic conclusions about their future prospects.

Another example of conventional wisdom involves litter frequency. This is carried to extremes when people start judging breeders by numbers: "Did you know she had (three, four) litters last year?" As if this were something shameful. In our breed, which has fallen from 36th in AKC registrations to 100th in a decade, this so-called wisdom is hardly wise. We need dedicated people who are willing to study, spend the time, and do the work necessary to breed dogs. Having one litter every few years does not make one a breeder, nor does it provide a person with the experience required to whelp and raise puppies or to develop a consistent line of dogs.

PD25a When you have questions and problems with a litter, who do you call? I call someone who has been breeding dogs for 50 years and, at one time that I remember, had three litters at once. He is in another breed, and has never been criticized for the excellent job he did with his puppies. Spring always found him whelping at least one litter for himself, and perhaps a few more for other people. We need these master breeders desperately: They have a wealth of knowledge to share about breeding dogs and raising puppies. We also need more ways to record their knowledge, share it with others and preserve it for the future.



We need dedicated people in our breed and, in fact, in every breed to continue the lines and to work to breed the best dogs possible. As baby boomers retire from breeding dogs over the next two decades, we will have to recruit new breeders to carry on. Holding people back with worn-out phrases will not work.



There is room for everyone, for those who can breed only occasionally and for those who will become the master breeders of the future. We need to encourage and learn from those who have the time, resources, and dedication to spend shaping the future of our breeds.


PD32a Reprinted from the June 2006 AKC Gazette breed Keeshonden breed column. Written by Deborah A. Lynch. Deborah A. Lynch is the Executive Vice-President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. She has been a breeder and exhibitor of Keeshonden since 1971 under the Foxfair prefix. She is a member of the Keeshond Club of America and is past President of the Buckeye Keeshond Club. Deborah has also been a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and has judged her breed both in the USA and England.


7 week old puppies first swim at SoftMaple 




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I first started doing a puppy diary with my 2001 litter. Realizing that most of the people who would be getting one of my pups would never have the chance to come to my home and see for themselves how I raise my puppies. They wouldn't get a chance to see how much they change over the days. I wanted to share the photos, but I didn't want to just put up cute puppy pictures and encourage people to want to have a litter. I wanted them to realize how much work, time and commitment it takes. See below for some of the SoftMaple online puppy diaries. Follow the pups from day one!

Individual litter puppy diaries: IMG_1973

2001 Fall Litter

2002 Spring Litter

2002 Winter Litter

2003 Summer Litter

2004 Summer Litter


2005 Gunflint/SoftMaple litter

2006 Aico and Seger

2006 Ripple and Parker

2008 Beauty and Vento

2008 Moxie and Thriller

2010 Torrie and Ranger

2011 Emmett and Torrie

2012 Emmett and Emma

2015 Parker and Avery

2015 Salo and Swayze



SoftMaple Since 1979.... Kinky since 1993!

Information on CCR care, grooming, feeding, coat issues and lots of other Curly info!

Order your copy of The Puppy Diary for $19.95
($5.50 Shipping and Handling)

Or Order The Puppy Diary directly from Trafford