All posts by Dentbros

Week 8: So long, farewell

Bronte’s family

Auf Wiedersehn, au revoir. Off they go, to their homes, ready for new adventures. I’ve just realised I have no videos for this post – no footage of them trampolining off the raised dog beds in the kitchen, chasing each other round the kitchen island or trotting along with a bone in their mouth. Hilarious. That’s the main job of a puppy after all, to entertain.

Border collie puppies
Dash’s family

You’ll just have to make do with the photos of them all going off to their families. It’s been lovely getting to know the new families over the past 8 weeks, although of course I had already had contact with them before that.

Is it enough?

Border collie puppies
Hector’s family

I was fretting the other day about whether I had done enough – they aren’t fully house trained; they get up at 5.30am; they haven’t spent all day every day indoors. However, with each day that has passed we have covered more ground and I have realised that in the life of a puppy, every day is a new opportunity to learn and experience. I use the Kennel Club’s Puppy Socialisation Plan to help provide ideas for what to cover.

Making a difference

Border collie puppies
Bonnie’s family

In the end though, they will be fine. I was told today by one of the owners that I do ‘go the extra mile’ with my puppies. I’m not sure how true this is, as I do know plenty of dog breeders who breed with love and passion for their dogs. People who breed with care and consideration, paying attention to their dogs’ health and welfare and ensuring that they give their puppies a great start in life. If you want help finding such a breeder, contact me?

Border collie puppies
The Sweetie litter

Perhaps it makes a difference that my puppies have met many different people (around 100), as well as seeing lots of people on several occasions. This definitely helps them to cope with new situations and to being handled and interacted with. As my mum said when she arrived to see them on Thursday “It’s a shame they are so timid, so reluctant to come and see you, unsure around people. NOT!”

Border collie puppies
Mowgli’s family

Having lots of visitors is such a pleasure for me, as I love to spend my time chatting (and eating cake). But it does take planning and management, as well as the ability to be present. I am fortunate that I do not have to go out to work every day, that I am able to set aside enough time to invest in my dogs.

I guess I am also pretty ‘businesslike’ in the way I manage the admin side of things, which also helps. I think I put together a pretty good ‘puppy pack’ though I say so myself.

Border collie puppies
puppy pack

Last words of advice

Some of the pups went on Friday and are already settled into their new homes. Apparently they have not all woken at the crack of dawn and are being quite well-behaved – so far! Long may it last, but in any case the ‘puppy stage’ doesn’t last.

Border collie puppies
Cassie with her mum

My advice to my owners: enjoy them as babies, as toddlers, as teenagers. In a year they will be adult dogs and in two they will be fully mature. In just 13 years (on average), they’ll be gone.

Enjoy the life they give you, because they give it totally, with their whole heart. The more you give them, the more they’ll love you back. Nothing on earth is as rewarding, or as loving, as a healthy, well-bred dog.

One more thing..

Border collie puppies
JB’s family

Just to let you know, JB is staying close by. In fact he belongs to me (and Chris) as well as Stella and Luke. I hope he will be a super stud dog, one day…

Border collie puppies
Dentbros Jelly Bean**

Thanks for reading the pupdates. Won’t be long before we’re doing it all again… So remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 7: Introducing

Mowgli

So much to do, so little time. There can’t be many jobs that are so intense, for such a short period, then finish. Of course I could have another dog and another litter, but I choose to breed with my whole heart, which takes time and commitment.

Bronte

More independent

What have the puppies been up to in the past week? They are becoming more independent, coping with the ever increasing world in which they live. Each puppy is happy to potter about on their own. The other day Hector wouldn’t settle in the crates/bed area, as he had obviously already had a sleep, thank you. I put him back outside for a bit – he was absolutely fine.

Just doing their own thing

Four of these puppies will be living on their own with their families, as the only dog. That’s absolutely great for them, as they will have their owners’ undivided attention! It should mean that they are extremely well-trained, because it is much easier focusing on one dog than seven (or twelve, as I currently have!)

Dash

Kennel Club Registration

We are now all officially registered with the Kennel Club. This matters to me, because I want my dogs to be acknowledged as having been bred deliberately and with care and attention. Dentbros Dogs are bred for better temperament and health and I am an Assured Breeder. I believe that the KC Assured Breeder Scheme will help us all to produce better dogs, which are ‘fit for purpose’. In other words, able to live the lives we give them.

Cassie
Eating separately – or together

Who we are

As you know, this is the Sweetie Litter. The official names of this litter are therefore, in age order, with pet names in brackets:

  • Dentbros Sherbet Pip** (Hector)
  • Dentbros Dolly Mixture** (Bronte)
  • Dentbros Mint Humbug** (Dash)
  • Dentbros Jelly Bean** (JB)
  • Dentbros Liquorice Comfit** (Cassie)
  • Dentbros Barley Sugar** (Mowgli)
  • Dentbros Lemon Bon Bon** (Bonnie)
JB

Yummy! I am completely thrilled with how this litter have been so far and am excited to hear about their adventures in the future. Many of my puppies from other litters have gone on to achieve great things!

Hector

Last week

Friends together

Not much longer now till they go… I won’t be sad, but I think Ounce might be – she has been so sweet with them.

Busy is still feeding them…

Last chance to see

Bonnie

I am having a Norwex in-house event and sale on Thursday 11th July, so if you’d like to come along, get in touch? NB: only one or two spaces left. And remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 6: Out and about

Having Adventures

Border Collie puppies
Hands up or I’ll get you!

During the last week, the puppies have left the house twice! Their first visit was to Heronsgate Junior School, where they met LOTS of people, both children and adults. I am lucky enough to volunteer each week, supported by the lovely charity Canine Concern. I take Busy and Luna into school to work with the children, building confidence and developing good learning skills. I had been into assembly to announce the puppies’ arrival, so of course they had to visit! It was huge success and they were very well behaved.

Border Collie puppies
Remember the ‘twin boys’ from Week 2? Here they are with my twin nephews.

Microchipping

Then today they went to the vet’s for the first time. They were cuddled (again) by ALL the staff and then checked over by one of the vets, before having their microchips inserted. This painless procedure is a legal requirement for all dogs, since the Microchipping Law came into force in 2016. All breeders must have their puppies microchipped before they are 8 weeks of age. The microchips must be registered with the breeder, before being transferred to the new owner.

Border Collie puppies
Meeting the staff

So if you buy a puppy without a microchip, it has been bred illegally and the breeder should be reported. Sadly, the vet I saw today said that she is still seeing lots of puppies that are not yet chipped. Please do not condone this, by buying an unchipped puppy?

Border Collie puppies - 6 weeks old today! Getting ever more playful and cheeky.
Hello Hector

Much more lively

This last week has seen a real ‘step up’ in the level of activities of the puppies. They are much more energetic in their play and the periods of time that they are awake last much longer. They are also starting to be more destructive.

I was talking to the breeder of the stud dog today, who said that like me, she is very happy to wave goodbye to her puppies by the time they are 8 weeks old. They need lots of stimulation and engagement at this age. Of course they play with each other, and they do spend time with the older dogs, but this needs monitoring. A puppy on its own is much more of a challenge, as it cannot be left unsupervised except for short periods.

Normal Family Life

At this age, it is really important that the puppies spend time in the house. They have obviously received plenty of attention and millions of cuddles (100+ visitors and counting), but they also need to be part of ‘normal family life’.

Border Collie puppies
Bonnie and Dash in the kitchen

This means bringing them into the kitchen, with the other 5 dogs, and just ‘hanging out’, while we watch TV. The other dogs (apart from Busy and Ounce) get pretty stressed by being hassled by the puppies. It is essential that the dogs are allowed to tell the puppies off when they are being annoying – this teaches them good dog manners, which will really help them when they are out on walks.

Border Collie puppies
Aura does NOT like puppies!

Toilet Training

Mind you, it is a challenge to have 12 dogs in the kitchen – sooner or later someone will wee! And once one goes, they all go! I’ve found it really interesting this time that given free access to outside, the puppies will always choose to poo on the grass and will very rarely wee in their bed. However, they are not old enough to wait to toilet and when they need to go, they just go!

Border Collie puppies
A pile of puppies, staying cool

Perfect Recall

Six week old puppies come when you call them. I do this with them every time I go into their run with food. But I also call them to me, using their names. I reward them simply with attention, but this engagement means that they will come to their owners, from day one. New puppies should be let off the lead on their FIRST EVER WALK. That way, they will definitely come back.

Not much longer..

Border Collie puppies
Cassie

They’ll be gone in two weeks (hurray)! I am having a Norwex in-house event and sale on Thursday 11th July, so if you’d like to come along, get in touch? NB: places are limited. And remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 5: We Can Run

Mini dogs

The puppies continue to grow and change, but they are now very obviously mini versions of the dogs they will become. You can start to see what their coats will be like, as some are fluffier than others. Border Collies have widely varying coats, from a really long, thick coat to a short one. Some are quite curly, others are completely straight. Luna’s coat is incredibly soft and fine, while the others are slightly more wiry.

Border Collie puppies
Are you taking my picture?

All Border Collies have a ‘double coat’, meaning that they have a soft, thick undercoat to keep them warm in winter, with a silky, longer top coat that lets the air filter through, keeping them cool in summer and allowing dirt to just drop straight off! That’s why adult Border Collies always look so clean and white. (And why Border Collies don’t need much grooming.)

Border Collie puppies
A moment’s peace

Playing with each other

Border Collie puppies
Rushing about

The puppies now spend a great deal of time interacting with each other, sometimes aggressively. There will be lots of tumbling about and some fierce growling and biting. That’s fine, it’s all part of their normal learning process. They need to establish what is acceptable with other dogs and of course in the wild they would be learning to hunt. Mind you, it’s pretty exhausting!

Border Collie puppies
Tired boy
We can play

Playing with toys

At this age, puppies should be interacting with their environment far more. This includes a spot of gardening (handily removing ALL the weeds that dare to grow in their run). They will chew anything chewable, as their teeth get bigger and stronger (they will try chewing the concrete if they can).

Border Collie puppies
I’ll kill it!

It’s useful to try and provide a variety of toys and objects for them to interact with and explore. Going through things, up and down small steps, and trying a bit of tuggy play whenever they can. Playing with toys is a great way of engaging with a puppy, offering something to chew or tug instead of eating your foot, or chewing your nose! Mind you, it’s pretty tiring..

Border Collie puppies
Dashing about, then crashing

And they’re still eating.. and eating..

We can run

Booking a visit

Border Collie puppies
Owners spending time with their puppies

We’re pretty busy this week and next, but if you want to visit (friends and family only, sorry), please get in touch? Only three weeks until they are gone! And remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 4: Halfway there

The time flies by – I cannot believe I have had these darling babies with me for four weeks already and in another four weeks they will be gone! Well more or less… a couple of them are coming straight back for holidays – no rest for the wicked eh?

border collie puppies
Hey Dash, is it still raining?

Hard work?

For the first few weeks, when they are just eating and sleeping, caring for puppies is pretty straightforward. Just feed the mum a bit more food and a bit more often (up to 6 times a day for Busy!) That is true, although I find myself getting up in the night to see to Busy, check the pups and often embark on a round of feeding and clearing up after them.

border collie puppies
Finally outside

By 4 weeks of age, the puppies are starting to get up to all sorts! They are running (well it’s more of a scamper really) and are much more aware of their surroundings. They are able to go outside and immediately prefer to toilet on the grass, both artificial and real. Once they have access to the garden, they rarely poo in the run.

Busy puppies

Feeding ‘routine’

I remember a couple with a young baby telling Chris and I that they had got into a ‘good routine’ with him. We laughed (to ourselves). When babies and puppies are growing, the routine changes almost every day.

I am trying to make sure that the pups have access to solid (mushy) food around 5 or 6 times a day, but equally, I want Busy to continue feeding them for as much as she feels able to do. So I let her in, put food down, clean the run, put them outside, feed her and watch them play. But not necessarily in that order! How much food? As much as they can eat of course!

border collie puppies
Dinner time

‘Hobby’ vs ‘commercial’ breeder

I have been really struck this time by how much care and attention I pay to my puppies. As I’ve said, they are easy, in lots of ways. I can see why people might think it’s a ‘nice little earner’ to have sheds in the garden with litters of puppies, left to their own devices.

That’s not me. In four weeks, I have changed the ‘set-up’ of their bed and run four times, making it bigger and more interesting each time. They have a variety of toys to play with. They are picked up and checked over by me every single day. The puppies know my voice and run over to me when I go into their run.

border collie puppies
The big wide world

If you want to know more about how to identify a commercial breeder, or puppy farmer, read this blog post.

Visitors – dogs and people

Week 4 pupdate: Running and jumping, going outside. The puppies continue to grow and change, doing more every day.
I can do it! H-e-e-e-ave!

Most importantly of all, my puppies get to meet all sorts of people and they learn to interact with other dogs! I managed to capture on video how magical this can be – Ounce and Cassie, playing for the first time. This is really, really important, because it teaches the puppies about the wider dog community. Not all dogs are mum, not all are milk machines and not all are patient and tolerant. Learning this takes time, but will make a huge difference to their ability to go out into the world.

Ounce and Cassie, playing

If you want to visit (friends and family only, sorry), please get in touch? I could do with a few more children… And remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 3: All change

border collie puppies
I see you

It’s been quite a week here in the Puppy Palace. The Sweetie litter have transformed from guinea pigs into tiny dogs. When their eyes open their faces change shape and they start to interact more with their environment. As you can see from the video, they have already started to play!

Real food

Once their eyes are open, I start to gradually introduce them to puppy food, alongside Busy feeding them. It’s a messy process! They tuck in straight away, but it takes a few days to really get the hang of it – this morning they scoffed it double quick.

border collie puppies
Is this how you’re supposed to eat?

Up on their feet

The puppies are much bigger than a week ago and even sturdier. They are up on their feet, walking more purposefully and without quite as many tumbles. Running is not quite on the agenda yet though…

border collie puppies
The adoring masses

I have moved them into a bigger run again, so that they have a clear space for eating and toileting. There is also a crate in the run. This is partly so that Busy can climb in and out once the gate is shut – she needs to be able to get in to feed them, but also to get out and escape! It is also so that they puppies learn that crates are fun places to go and sleep. Busy loves to go in there for a quick nap. Go to Cages and Crates for more information.

Eye colour

There has been much speculation about the eye colours of these puppies. In particular, will any of them have ‘Heterochromia iridum‘? Sunny produced three puppies with this condition and Busy’s son Lenny also has it. It is pretty common in Border Collies and although not desirable for the show ring, it is a popular characteristic, as people love its distinctiveness. However, it appears at this stage that we are unlikely to have any blue eyes. The blue and white girl’s eyes are lighter, but I feel they will be green or amber eventually.

border collie puppies
no blue eyes here, sorry!

Coat colour

Which brings me to an update on the coat colours of this litter. I was told to expect tricolours and I believed that is what I had. Although the tan points are not visible at birth, you are supposed to be able to identify them by lighter hair under their tails. Three of the Sweetie litter have lighter hair here, so I merrily informed everyone that is what they were. Not so! It appears I was misinformed; the experts have said that since no other markings are appearing, these are now more likely to be black and whites and red and whites. That’s fine with me.

border collie puppies
black and white puppies

Meet the families

Luckily, it was fine with all their owners as well. We all had a VERY busy weekend, getting to know everyone. As I’ve said, almost half of these homes have been waiting ages for their puppies and they were not disappointed. Phew!

border collie puppies
I love you mum!

So now we know who is having which puppy. We have names for them all, after a bit of juggling – both proposed pedigree names and their pet names. I will therefore shortly be registering them with the Kennel Club.

border collie puppies
So much love

If you want to visit (friends and family only, sorry), please get in touch? And if you want to know how I keep my home clean quickly and easily with 12 dogs, look at my Norwex page to see the great products that can help you clean with fewer chemicals.

Remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Week 2: Still eating & sleeping

border collie puppies
A pile of puppies

Guinea pigs

Puppies are just like guinea pigs for the first couple of weeks. They are smooth and about the right size. They squeak and snuffle and whistle. It’s quite funny to watch. Not for long! They change while you watch, getting up onto their feet, moving around more, interacting with each other and their mum. And all before they can see and hear!

border collie puppies
It’s exhausting, all this eating

I wanted to get this video last week, but it’s better now. Can you see how Busy pops into the bed, nowhere near them and almost immediately they wake up and rush to her, to start feeding. Their eyes are not open and they can’t hear, but they sure can smell her! I find this magical.

Getting ready to see

Puppies’ eyes open at two weeks, so within the next couple of days I expect to be able to properly ‘meet’ them all. However, they are also getting used to my smell and are perfectly happy for me to pick them up and give them a cuddle. They are not so keen on my cutting their nails! I try to do this regularly so that they don’t scratch Busy too much.

border collie puppies
Twins? Or double trouble!

Used to cuddles

I have already been fortunate enough to have had a series of visitors, who are gradually and politely starting to be allowed to handle the pups. Again, this means they are being exposed to new smells and experiences. I’ve found this really does make a difference to how ‘people orientated’ they are – all my puppies LOVE people.

border collie puppies
Being cuddled is hard work

I don’t normally allow children in to see the pups for the first couple of weeks, but these two girls know my dogs extremely well and have a special relationship with them.

border collie puppies
Dogs & children – what could be better?

Moving to a new bedroom

All my puppies are born in my bedroom and spend the first week at least upstairs, where it is quiet and calm. However, as soon as I know they are sturdy enough to wriggle out of the way if Busy lies on them, I can safely move them downstairs. I’ve got them in a different room from the adult dogs, but the girls are free to come and go as much as they like.

border collie puppies
How many puppies can you fit in a small box?

Today I have put up a pen around their bed to allow them to move off the bed to toilet, which they have (incredibly) already started to do. They are on a non-slip mat and the run keeps them safe – they can travel quite a distance if you don’t keep an eye on them.

border collie puppies
The next stage – a bigger space, with en-suite facility

If you want to visit, please get in touch? And if you want to know how I keep my home clean quickly and easily with 12 dogs, look at my Norwex page to see the great products that can help you clean with fewer chemicals.

Week 1 pupdate: feeding frenzy

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.

border collie puppies
Resting between feeds

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.

border collie puppy
Black tri girl

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.

border collie puppy
Fat tummy

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!

border collie puppy
Blue and white girl

Pretty colours

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.

Border collie puppies
Buzz – my tricolour

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.

Border collie puppies
Black and white girl

Remember, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Exciting announcement

border collie puppies
Busy – the proud mummy
border collie puppies
Just the size of a hand
border collie puppies
Oops! Was on top, but tumbled off.
border collie puppies
Pink nose – how sweet?
border collie puppies
How many colours can you see? Here are three..
border collie puppies
pink toes, tiny tails
border collie puppies
A soft tail makes a great place to take a nap

The Sweetie Litter

I am so delighted to announce the safe arrival of Busy’s second litter. They arrived yesterday, 20th May 2019, between 7.30pm and 11.30pm. This litter have been a long time coming and have been very, VERY eagerly awaited.

It is really great that I do already have homes for these puppies – people who have waited very patiently for their arrival, sometimes for over a year! Most of the owners will be meeting their pups in a few weeks’ time, once eyes are open and I can confirm they are fit and healthy. Meanwhile, they will just have to look at the pictures!

One of the best things about having puppies is all the visitors! I really love having people come in to see them. Busy is a brilliant mum and is very good at coping with people coming to admire. For the first few weeks I only allow specially invited family and friends round. After that I start to encourage more people to come (especially once homes are confirmed). I really like to have a wide range of visitors, especially children. This makes sure that my puppies are sociable, outgoing, confident dogs when they head off to their new homes.

So if you’d like to visit, let me know and I can start to book people in? Meanwhile, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a pupdate, please follow the website? CONTACT ME for more information?

Fundraising: Free calendar with every donation

Fundraising effort – raising money for Canine Concern. I have been trying to raise money for this wonderful charity for some time through the sale of the Dentbros Dogs Calendar 2019. My plan was to recover the printing costs. I would then donate any additional payments to the charity – 100% of the profits.

fundraising

I have raised around £65 so far. But I still have around 40 calendars! As you know, a calendar is no use to anyone after January. I am now keen to give these away, with any donations I receive. Having a calendar is not compulsory!

Just Giving Page

To make the fundraising much easier to manage, I have now set up a Just Giving Page. So you can go there and donate to Canine Concern simply and easily. You can give as much or as little as you would like.

fundraising calendar
Miss May

Supporting dogs in schools

I am very proud of the fact that three of the dogs I have bred have now joined this charity and are working in schools.  This includes Bea (pictured above) who features on the calendar in May. It is my hope that others may be inspired to join the work done, which makes such a difference to a huge number of children and adults.

This week I took Aura and Ounce into school for a visit – they loved it! Ounce was such a show off! She was so excited, jumping on the children and ‘kissing’ everyone. The children were delighted with how clever she was, demonstrating all her tricks, including the ‘rollover’ which she does at dazzling speed! I kept asking her to settle down and she would look at me and answer back “I don’t need to settle down, everyone loves me!” They did – the children thought it was hilarious. Maybe one day she will be quiet enough to engage with the children properly.

fundraising calendar
Miss November – cheeky girl

Request a fundraising calendar

If you would like a fundraising calendar, please CONTACT ME? More details of the calendars can be found on my original post about them here – Fundraising Calendar 2019 – BUY NOW!