Puppies don’t do much in their first week of life, or do they? I have tried to capture just how ‘busy’ they are in this video. After all, they have an awful lot of growing to do! At birth, these puppies weighed 275-325 grams. Now, just one week later, six of them weigh around 500 grams! And then there is the other one – SHE weighs 575g!
They are all doing so well. You can see from these videos that they are sturdy, lively and contented. Busy is an attentive and nurturing mother, without being neurotic. She’s happy to come out for a while at various points during the day.
Out and About
Usually when the puppies are just a few days old, I let the mum come out with the rest of us for her normal walk. I feel that this helps her stay fit and healthy. It creates a ‘gap’ between feeding the puppies, which helps milk flow and feeding patterns. I vividly remember being persuaded to go for a walk when my son was five days old and how refreshing that was – just to be out in the fresh air felt so good.
Of course I don’t push my luck – I decided not to take Busy to the ‘Big Doggy Do over the weekend. Even though she is vaccinated, I don’t want her mixing with other dogs too much.
How much food?
When my dogs are pregnant, I start to gradually increase their food, especially during the last few weeks. I add goats milk to their meals (which I then also give to the other dogs as it is good for them generally). I usually supplement their kibble with other protein sources. This time however I have started feeding minced raw meat alongside a good quality kibble (dried food). These seems to be working really well, as they like it (some of my dogs are quite fussy) and it is easily digested.
Once the puppies have arrived, I expect to give the mother around FOUR TIMES as much food as normal! She is working flat out to provide for her pups and I don’t want her to end up being skin and bone. I usually maintain this diet for around 6 weeks, until the puppies are more or less weaned. I generally find that my girls’ weights remain pretty constant throughout. They still lose their coats though!
Before this litter arrived, I was able to anticipate the likely colours by looking on a site that has a comprehensive Border Collie database – Anadune. This told me that I was likely to have a mix of colours, including, for the first time, tricolours! A tricolour Border Collie is one with tan or fawn ‘points’ usually cheeks, eyebrows, and the mid sections of legs.
Three of the puppies are tricolour – two red tri boys and one black tri girl. We also have a black and white girl and boy, a chocolate and white boy and a blue and white girl. Lovely! I will be taking (many, many) pictures of them over the coming weeks, so you will gradually get to know them and see their characters developing.
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