Week 8 update

Week 8...how time has flown! The puppies have learned to be a pack! They make up games, roughhouse, and chase the cats. The adults have spent a considerable amount of time telling them that the word isn't all about them. They have begun leash training and have taken to it quickly. They have had their first two trips in the car in a crate and found it only a little unsettling.

We have been working very hard on getting them to understand that we go outside to use the bathroom and they have us trained really well! As soon as they wake up they go out, as soon as they have eaten they go out. Consequently we no longer have any messes in the house! Unfortunately we haven't had a full night of sleep in 5 weeks...

They have seen more weather in the last week: snow, frost, clouds, wind, rain, rain and more rain...they have discovered just how tasty mud can be!

Andri and Baula were picked up by their humans yesterday. Kirkjufell and Skjaldbreiður will be with us for another week before their humans come get them. Litlakista, however, will be staying with us as our next generation of sheepdog. Please check out her page where we will post all of her new pictures, videos and events.


Week 7 update

Big news! Litlakista has cheek patches in a lovely shade of tan which makes her a true Tri! What a remarkable litter, we feel so lucky to get three Tri color's and to have all five with such even markings.

New this week: balance beam practice on the curb and on a teeter totter, climbing up and down stairs, hanging out in the car, and chewing bones. They also respond to their names and the collar wearing is going well.

They've happily played with a number of new people this week as well and we've been able to introduce them to more men. They will follow a dish of food literally ANYWHERE, a rapidly moving pair of human legs, and of course Emma. Emma will run from them when they attack her for nursing. Although sometimes she will play with them to distract them (we think she's having fun, but don't tell her that!). Grandpa Markus and Auntie Molly are disciplining them for cheeky behavior.

Week 7 weigh in: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður: 8 pounds; Blue Mountain Baula: 7 pounds 3.2 ounces; Blue Mountain Kirkjufell: 7 pounds 3.2 ounces; Blue Mountain Litlakista: 7 pounds 3.2 ounces; and Blue Mountain Andri: 8 pounds 6.4 ounces.   

The Puppy's Rule of Twelve

Have a new puppy and don't know where to start? Try this!

The Puppy’s Rule of Twelve

Blue Mountain Icelandics * www.bluemountainicelandics.squarespace.com

Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy. Each encounter should include lots of treats and praise. Slow down and add distance if your puppy is scared or unsure.

By the time your puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have: (If your puppy is 12 weeks or older already, just start right away from the top with this socialization guide)

  1. Experienced 12 different surfaces: i.e. wood, woodchips, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates, uneven surfaces, on a table, on a chair, etc…
  2. Played with 12 different objects: i.e. fuzzy toys, big and small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cardboard items, milk jugs, metal items, etc…
  3. Experienced 12 different locations: i.e. front yard (daily), other people’s homes, school yard, lake, pond, river, boat, basement, elevator, car, moving car, garage, laundry room, kennel, veterinarian hospital (just to say hi and visit, lots of cookies, no vaccinations), grooming salon (just to say hi), etc…
  4. Met and played with 12 new people: i.e. children, adults (mostly men), elderly adults, people in wheelchairs, walkers, people with canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, etc…
  5. Exposed to 12 different noises (ALWAYS keep positive and watch puppy’s comfort level): i.e. garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies crying, big trucks, motorcycles, washing machine, shopping carts rolling, power boat, clapping, loud singing, pan dropping, horses neighing, vacuums, lawnmowers, birthday party, etc…
  6. Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don’t allow to chase): skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, squirrels, cats, horses running, cows running, etc…
  7. Experienced 12 different challenges: i.e. climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a cardboard tunnel, climb up and down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down, automatic sliding door, walk on a wobbly table, jump over a broom, climb over a log, bathtub and bath, etc…
  8. Handled by owner (and family) 12 times a week including at least: hold under arm (like a football), hold to chest, hold on floor near owner, hold in-between owner’s legs, hold head, look in ears, mouth, in-between toes, hold and take temperature (ask a vet if you’re unsure), hold like a baby, trim toe nails, hold in lap, etc…
  9. Eaten from 12 different containers: i.e. wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, coffee cup, ceramic bowl, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, treat balls, spoon fed, paper bag, etc…
  10. Eaten in 12 different locations: i.e. back yard, front yard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, friend’s house, car, school yard, bathtub, up high (on table), etc…
  11. Played with 12 different puppies or safe adult dogs as much as possible
  12. Left alone safely, away from family and other animals (5-45 min. per time) 12 times a week
  13. Experienced a leash and collar 12 different times in 12 different locations.
Created by Positive Paws Dog Training-Margaret Hughes.Adopted with permission from Pat Schaap’s Rule of 7’s

Week 6 update

It's collar time! Introducing collars is always a fun part of the puppy parenting process. There are many amusing moments watching them try to run and scratch at the same time! However, they did great. Just a tiny bit of wiggling and the collars were forgotten about in nearly no time flat.

They are starting to come to a whistle and they follow along well. Their play drive is high, as you might expect, and they are getting stronger. They are getting to spend an hour plus outside each time and have made it all the way around the house. They love to play in the lilac bushes. They lie in wait for each other and pounce!

They have been getting kibble 3 times a day now...as you can see by their weights below! They're still nursing a bit to supplement but they all gained about 2 pounds this week!

Week 6 weigh in: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður: 6 pounds 10.3 ounces; Blue Mountain Baula: 6 pounds 0.5 ounces; Blue Mountain Kirkjufell: 6 pounds 3.1 ounces; Blue Mountain Litlakista: 6 pounds 1.8 ounces; and Blue Mountain Andri: 6 pounds 14.5 ounces.   


Personality! not just a pretty face...

The following are our initial personality impressions for the puppies:

Skjaldbreiður: He is calm, and takes things easily. He is a bit cautious and watches the others before he jumps into a situation. His mask will stay black and his body will be a mix of colors, predominately gray, we believe. He can walk, trot, and scamper. He loves to climb on people, lick a chin and bite fingers and toes whenever possible. He likes brushing and cuddling.

Baula: She is quiet. She watches the others and is never the first to a new thing. She prefers to let the others blaze the trail. On the other hand, she has a sly sense of humor and will pounce on the others when they least expect it. She is very sweet and loves to be held. She is a true Tricolor like Andri.

Kirkjufell: He has a black mask and predominantly gray longish hair. He is adventurous, and will strike out on his own. He is one of the first to explore a new toy or obstacle. He is calm, taking new experiences, either pleasant or unpleasant, in stride, recovering quickly from any stressing situation, he is not a complainer. He likes to climb on people, lick their chins (or nibble on them). He cuddles and settles in a warm lap when he is tired.

Litlakista: She is almost always the first in any adventure. She is quick, eager and doesn't wait for the others to show her anything. She is the one to pounce headlong into trouble whenever possible. Yet she is sweet and cuddly and somehow no-one minds that she bites. We are not sure if she will be a Tricolor, only time will tell. Markus (her grandfather) didn't show his tricolor until he was close to a year old.

Andri: He is outgoing, yet careful. He is a true Tricolor. His black will stay black and the tan and gray markings will become a bit more prominent. He likes cuddling, brushing, biting, and licking, all that you would expect a puppy to like. He is not worried about new sounds or vibrations, people, terrain or smells. Seems to be a thinker.

Week 5 update

New this week is solid food. We are of course soaking it in water as they get used to it. Who knew we were raising vultures...and how do they know that that's food?! We wouldn't think it was food. They are eating three times a day, giving truthful demonstration to the saying that all babies do is eat and poop!

We do get them outside at least twice a day (saves on cleaning poop) and they love exploring their wild America. They're discovering leaves, eating grass, getting muddy, puddles, other dogs and smells of all sorts. They are also starting to follow us around the yard...maybe we'll be able to do little walks this week as that gets better.

They've had lots of visitors, ladies from the yoga class, friends and neighbors, and as many kids as we can find. We want to make sure that they will be as kid proof as we can manage.

We tied a knot in an old dish towel yesterday and a huge game of tug of war happened quickly! Litlakista and Skjaldbreiður on one side and Andri, Kirk and Baula on the other...hard to say if anybody won though. They tired themselves out so much they fell asleep in the middle of the game!

Week 5 weigh in: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður, 4 pounds 5.2 ounces; Blue Mountain Baula, 4 pounds 1.3 ounces; Blue Mountain Kirkjufell, 4 pounds 0.9 ounces; Blue Mountain Litlakista, 4 pounds 1.6 ounces; Blue Mountain Andri, 4 pounds 7.6 ounces.

Week 4 update

Week 4 has arrived and as promised, the puppies have started rough housing, running and jumping. It is as though a switch was flipped from guinea pig to dog!

[ But seriously...whomever it was that put the quarters in the puppies, could you give it a rest around 10pm?... Thanks! ] 

Everyone is growing well, although there was a slight setback with nursing this week...TEETH! Emma is so not pleased with getting attacked by 5 piranhas. We found an ointment that is helping and nursing has been a bit better for the last day or two.

We did manage to get the puppies outside three times this week. What a huge world of new smells and textures! They especially loved watching Markus and Emma chase a ball and kept trying to run after them.

Week 4 weigh in: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður, 55.1 ounces; Blue Mountain Baula, 53.5 ounces; Blue Mountain Kirkjufell, 52.8 ounces; Blue Mountain Litlakista, 51.9 ounces; Blue Mountain Andri, 58.1 ounces.

Week 3 update

Gosh they are growing up quickly!!! Everyone can toddle around on 4 legs now and both Litlakista and Kirkjufell have learned to howl! All of them can scramble in and out of the whelping box (if we leave the door down of course) and we have expanded their play area with an x-pen to give them room explore. Litlakista and Skjaldbreiður seem to be special friends as they usually play and sleep together.

Personalities are starting to develop so we are hoping to be able to select which puppy will go with which applicant soon. No promises as to when though! Maybe this week, maybe next week...

The weekly weigh in: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður: 2 pounds 15.2 ounces; Blue Mountain Baula: 2 pounds 12.6 ounces; Blue Mountain Kirkjufell: 2 pounds 9.9 ounces; Blue Mountain Litlakista: 2 pounds 10.8 ounces; Blue Mountain Andri: 2 pounds 14.6 ounces.

The weather has turned cold this weekend but maybe if it clears up later this week we might get them outside for a little bit.

Webmaster note: adjustment of week counts

Hi all, just a quick adjustment to the week counts. It was mentioned that my counting style was confusing as I was using a more European system of counting from the beginning of the new week instead of the end of the old one. So, I have adjusted it to reflect what most of you may be more used to seeing. All of the week tags and updates have been changed to the weeks accumulated. I hope this helps, and thank you for your feedback!

Week 2 update

All is still well!

My it's hard to remember to keep the half door on the whelping box closed! We rescue puppies regularly from the alien environment of the carpet. They always seem a bit confused to be out of their bed. 

Baula of course opened her eyes on Friday, Skjaldbreiður and Kirkjufell on Saturday, Litlakista and Andri's eyes were sort of open Saturday evening but definitely open this morning. Everyone's ears are starting to relax as well.

The weekly weigh in: Skjaldbreiður: 34.2 oz; Baula: 32 oz; Kirkjufell: 30.3 oz; Litlakista: 30.3 oz; Andri: 34.3 oz.

We are busy making toys and learning tools, the adventure box is the most fun to put together so far. It's basically a pvc cube on which we will hang toys and sparkles for them to explore. We will expand it as they get bigger to make baby agility toys and maybe even a maze!

Name Day!!!!!

So we finally decided on names for our first litter! As a nod to Blue Mountain in Missoula, from which we derived our name, we have chosen names of mountain peaks in Iceland. The first link will be about the mountain peak, the second will be pronunciation.

Puppy #1: Blue Mountain Skjaldbreiður    About the mountain   How to pronounce it

Puppy #2: Blue Mountain Baula    About the mountain    How to pronounce it

Puppy #3: Blue Mountain Kirkjufell     About the mountain   How to pronounce it 

Puppy #4:  Blue Mountain Litlakista     About the mountain   How to pronounce Litla and Kista 

Puppy #5: Blue Mountain Andri     About the mountain   How to pronounce it   

Week 1 update

All is well!

Puppies are gaining weight easily and are energetic little wigglers! We have had to close the half door in the whelping box to keep them from climbing over the edge already... They are a bit young to go adventuring under the bed alone yet.

Emma's milk came in full force about day 3 and has been able to gradually spend a bit more time away from the puppies as they are able to eat more in each sitting. She even got to go for her first walk today! A whole 20 min of puppy free bliss :) of course she was more than ready to get home and count toes!

The weekly weigh in: Puppy #1: 21.6 oz; Puppy #2: 21 oz; Puppy #3: 19 oz; Puppy #4: 19.3 oz; Puppy #5: 20.7 oz.

And as an addendum to the last post about dewclaws...Puppy #3 has a double dewclaw on his right front too.


So, we just thought to look for dewclaws...funny how things slip by in the excitement and then it feels like a real derp moment when you remember...

Anyway all 5 puppies have dewclaws, all but one have the double dewclaw on both rear feet. Just little boy #5 has a single dewclaw on the left rear and the double on the right.

Everyone is still eating well and gaining weight paw over tail :) all are on track to double their weight this week. Emma is a very attentive mother and is spending her whole day with them, except for the occasional bathroom break. She even got lunch in bed today because they were nursing and she didn't want to get up!


Emma was safely delivered of 5 puppies on August 14, 2016! Labor started about 8:30pm MST with the first puppy appearing at 9:10pm. Although she loved the whelping box we made her, she needed to move around a lot and we ended up using the whole room! Silver lining: we didn't have to remake her bed once all 5 puppies were out :). She did an awesome job, all 5 are healthy and eating well. We have 3 boys and 2 girls. We will post names as we decide on them and new pictures at least once a week.

Puppy Watch resumed!

We tried again with KK on the 12th and 13th of June in Vancouver Island. Pregnancy was confirmed on day 30, July 12. Puppies are due on the 14th of August. Right now she is looking larger by the day and has slowed down considerably. She spends her day sleeping, eating, peeing and pooping. Emma is even more affectionate than usual if possible and loves belly rubs.

Conformation Show WIN!

The Memorial Day weekend show in Spokane and Coeur D'Alene was wonderful. There were seven dogs competing and Emma did very well. She earned TWO majors and three Best of Opposite Sex, earning a total of 8 points! That brings her total to 13 points and 3 majors... only 2 points left for her Championship. 


I was first introduced to Icelandics when I was searching for a new trail dog. I loved riding my horse in the mountains with my elkhound Smokey. But Smokey was getting old and I needed a new dog to train. 

At a "meet the breed" booth at a conformation show I met Icelandics. The person manning the booth told me that they would be great trail dogs and great with my family. Thankfully, I believed her. And they have proved her right!