Cleanliness, Housetraining and the Puppy Litterbox

Posted By on June 26, 2015

Here at ArticCross we believe that teaching young puppies
how to be clean is very important. We believe it aids in having pups learn to keep their area waste-free which later helps us in crate training and house training.

There are two major components to this – the first is
clean bedding and the second is a teaching puppies where
to eliminate – ie a litterbox.

The bedding we use consists of multiple layers, including
fleece that allows urine to wick through down to washable
incontinence pads. Because it is done both in layers and
sections, it allows us to remove portions of the bedding
without having to remove all of it. This cuts down
drastically on the amount of laundry we have.

We add a litterbox at 18 days or so. This is comprised of
a low rabbit cage pan, lined with a disposable
incontinence pad and then sprinkled with equine stall
pellets. The pad offers good footing to young puppies
and contains a scent to draw them to eliminate there.
Introducing the litterbox at this age makes it, to some
extent, a part of the scenery and not terribly
interesting. This helps to eliminate any mouthing,
digging in or intentional scattering of the pellets. The
pellets break down into sawdust as they are dampened. As
the pups get older we stop including the pad and just use
the pellets. The pellets are biodegradable and can

We spend a lot of time between weeks 3 and 4 just sitting
with puppies and helping them to the litterbox if we see
them start to potty elsewhere in the box. Pups, just
after 2 weeks, are getting the hang of pottying on their
own. Often, pups figure out that the litter box is the
place to “go” after a time or two and will sometimes
even line up to potty in the box. We “name” the activity
by saying “Go pee now” when we see they are peeing or “Go
poop now” when we see they are pooping. This later
translates into teaching puppies to go on command.

When pups are sent to their new homes we include a gallon
Ziploc baggie of pellets to scatter in the area new
owners would like their pups to potty. If the owner so
desires they can even make an outdoor “litterbox” area
with small fencing and teach their puppy to go only in
that area. This can be accomplished by simply keeping
the puppy in that area until they eliminate (naming the
activity) and then having a playtime or cookie outside
the area as a reward.

Mira’s Blow Out

Posted By on June 14, 2015

Yesterday Mira decided it was time to drop her undercoat. We decided to record some of how we help her out.

Let there be social media!

Posted By on June 14, 2015

Hello out there on the internet and internet enabled devices.

Our resident computer geek has finally gotten around to updating a lot of our social media options.

We can now be found at:


One week late- week 4 photos….

Posted By on November 9, 2014

Blue Boy RicoxMira week 4

Orange Girl RicoxMira week 4

Pink Girl RicoxMira week 4

Purple Girl RicoxMira week 4

Group 2 RicoxMira week 4

Group Collage RicoxMira week 4

My job in early training

Posted By on November 8, 2014

So, there are many times people wonder what my job is in puppy training. Beyond making sure Julie can do what she needs, that is.

My primary job is socialization. I make sure the puppies don’t have issues with men. As they work primarily with Julie, it can be easy to have a puppy who is unsure of men during the first meeting.

How I do this:

1. I lay on the floor in our puppy pen and play with them.
2. I talk loudly around them, and change the pitch and gravel of my voice to sound like other men.
3. I use different shampoos, shaving supplies, and even hand soaps day to day to change up my scent.
4. I wear costumes. Be it masks, face paints, wigs, hats. Get them used to seeing all kinds of people, and thinking any of them might be dad.

This not only helps them get over the “new”, but it helps them realize that anyone might be dad.

Another job of mine is making sure they don’t startle at sounds and new things. This is where having a home studio setup comes in handy.

How I do this: (From across the room, but at fairly high volume.)

1. Play different styles of music. I am talking everything from all types of classical, to hard core rap and death metal. I primarily play blues though, as that has dissonance in it like some jazz, and yet generally is calming. The rhythm of blues also seems to keep puppies interested.
2. I play different instruments. Right now I bounce through different sample patches on the synth and sample pad, to actually playing bass, guitar, harmonica, badly played flute, and even worse violin.
3. We watch TV. You would be amazed at how getting puppies used to different sounds and conversations just watching TV in another room at a volume they can hear will help them not react to people outside the house.
4. I play videos of weather.

Number 4 is the big one. As example, as I am typing this, I have a video of a thunderstorm that is 12 hours long playing. It is so loud that some of the thunder strikes I can feel in my chest. (Video Example:

This is why we have puppies that will pretty much not react to any sounds in a negative way. As far as they are concerned, it’s just the humans being odd, again.

Of course, this is just a very quick example of what I do with puppies. As they get older, my jobs expand into more of the day to day training, but that is at the direction of Julie.


Happy HOWL-o-ween 2014 from the Rico & Mira puppies!!!

Posted By on October 31, 2014

Blue Boy RicoxMira week 3

Pink Girl RicoxMira week 3

Purple Girl RicoxMira week 3 Orange Girl RicoxMira week 3


Rico x Mira Puppies are two weeks old!

Posted By on October 19, 2014

Here are week two photos of the Rico x Mira puppies. What sweet little piglets they are!


Blue Boy RicoxMira week 2

Orange Girl RicoxMira week 2

Pink Girl RicoxMira week 2

Purple Girl RicoxMira week 2

Week One Photos of Rico x Mira puppies!

Posted By on October 12, 2014

The Rico x Mira kids turned a week old and here are the photos! Click on the photo to see larger images.


Blue Boy RicoxMira week 1

Orange Girl RicoxMira week 1

Pink Girl RicoxMira week 1

Purple Girl RicoxMira week 1

Litter Announcement! Rico x Mira Puppies are here!!!!

Posted By on October 6, 2014

Rico x Mira



2014 Samoyed Club of America National Specialty

Posted By on October 1, 2014

Rico kids and grandkids have made us proud! With multiple puppies from all 5 of Rico’s litters we had an incredible time at the Samoyed Club of America National Specialty 2014!!! Rico hasn’t been bred a ton, but apparently he produces consistent quality in the litters he has produced. There are so many placements that they are hard to keep straight, so hopefully I catch most of them!

Some of these litters we co-bred, some we didn’t, so I have listed breeders so credit is made where credit is due. However, without the stunning bitches brought to Rico (and the ones that mom hunted down for co-breedings), these gorgeous babies wouldn’t exist.

In no particular order:

Rico x Blizzie bred by Lynn and Kevin Foley and Robinette Dunahugh-Ralston

Sweepstakes Second Place, 6-9 puppy dogs- Snowdogs ArticCross Double Helix Zeus- “Zeus

Sweepstakes Third Place, 6-9 puppy dogs- Snowdogs n ArticCross Fault in Our Stars- “Gus”

Sweepstakes Third Place, 6-9 puppy bitches- Snowdogs ArticCross Double Helix Cassiopeia- “Cassi”

Second Place, Am. Bred Bitches- Snowdogs ArticCross Double Helix Leia- “Leia”

Sweepstakes First Place, 6-9 puppy bitches and Best in Sweepstakes- Snowdogs ArticCross Double Helix Bellatrix “Bella”

After losing Blizzie shortly after their birth, these kids really made us proud and incredibly emotional. Sweepstakes will be a day we will never forget. Blizzie as a baby also took second place in Am. Bred at her first national, just like baby Leia. These guys are special and I can’t wait to see what is to come!


Rico x Allele- Bred by Robinette Dunahugh-Ralston, Julie Dunkle, Andrea Dunkle and Jason Rydstrand

Working Sweepstakes Third Place, CH ArticCross N Double Helix’s Mendelian Masterpiece RN CA CGC- “Mendel”

Working Bitch First Place, Qualifying Open Obedience Score, GCH ArticCross N. Double Helix Unzip Your Genes, CDX, BN, GN, RA, CA, CGC- “Heli”

Multiple cuts in BOB was GCh. Dbl Helix ArticCross Nu Blood At SFX, CA- “Sookie”

Absent was GCH ArticCross N Double Helix FISH The Gene Pool, RN – “FISH” who is recovering well from his bloat surgery at the beginning of the month! Go FISH!

I think in the last almost 4 years everyone has heard a ton about this litter. They are incredible and have so many accomplishments! However, we have to give a shout out to Momma Allele on her Award of Merit and Best Veteran!!! There is nothing better than ageing with beauty (and some extra fluffy coat!).


Dora x Rico bred by Donna Cummings and Brandy Burke

Futurity Third Place 9-12, Sweepstakes Third Place 9-12 puppy dogs, Wintersong’s Vash The Stampede- “Vash”

Futurity Fourth Place 9-12, Sweepstakes Second Place 9-12 puppy dogs, Wintersong’s Blue Moon Rising- “Indigo”

Futurity Fourth Place 9-12 Month puppy bitches, Wintersong’s N Doubletake’s Windwalker- “Breeze”

Futurity First Place 9-12 puppy dogs, Best Intersex 9-12 and Best Futurity Puppy- Wintersong’s Magic Flute- “Kato” Owner handled by Nancy Spear!


Also, these kids had fun herding and did an amazing job with multiple legs!  Congratulations to Donna and Brandy on such a beautiful and intelligent litter! And Brandy Congratulations on Ulla’s Select Bitch!


Rico x Astrid- Bred by Julie Dunkle & Jason Rydstrand & Kim Sampson

Award of Merit- CH Articcross N Chatanika’s Ok Easy Does It- “Easy” Owner handled by Paddi Thornburg

Easy and Paddi sure do make winning (and running) look easy! Easy is effortless, beautiful, graceful and has a temperament to die for.  We are thrilled at how she is growing up and that she has captured the Award of Merit before reaching 2 years of age! Congrats Paddi!


Rico x Piper bred by Lynn Scheffner

Sweepstakes First Place 15+ dogs, Third Place 12-18 month dogs, Articcross N Erebor’s Art of Darkness- “Styrian”

Styrian was shown by Drea in Sweepstakes and by his novice owner hander, Shannon, in the regular classes. We are so proud of Shannon for the work she has put into this boy!



Effen and Sookie bred by Lori Chapek Carleton and Julie Dunkle

Futurity Third Place 6-9, Sweepstakes Fourth Place 6-9, Second Place Am. Bred Dog- SFX ArticCross Make it So- “Jean Luc”

Futurity First Place, 6-9 and Best Intersex 6-9 month, Second Place Sweepstakes 6-9 puppy bitch, – SFX Artic Cross French Connection- “Priah” owned by Stephanie and Deborah Hedges!

Second Place, 6-9 month puppy bitches- SFX ArticCross French Kiss “Smooch”

These kids are something else! It is fun to see a blend of their parents, and how beautifully they work with their owners and handlers. We can’t be happier to see such a nice second generation out of Rico!


Also, we owe a HUGE thank you to Lori Garza and Kari McCloskey for their beautiful handling and all of their help throughout this amazing week!  Extra special thank you to all of the support from our friends and family throughout the week, you all know who you are!

Here is a quick collage of just a few of the puppies! (The photos of the dogs were picked at random and no dog, litter, or puppy was omitted purposefully! There is only so much room!) Click photo for larger view.

Quick Nationals 2014