All posts by Dentbros

WHY PUPPIES ARE NOT TOILET PAPER

SOLD OUT! Puppies cannot be made to order

You may or may not have noticed, but the world and his wife have got a new puppy! How lovely for everyone. People have been forced to spend time at home reviewing their lives and have realised that their life will be better with a dog. Correct. It will be. If you have changed your working pattern and will now be spending time working from home, you will be able to play with your new dog – that’s great.

puppies for sale
Life is better with a dog

Of course there will be plenty of people who have been at home and thought it was the ideal time to get a puppy so they could ‘get it sorted’ before going back to work, when it will be left all day, every day. Those people will find their bored, frustrated puppy (it will still be a puppy) will wreck their house and bark all day, annoying their (now working from home) neighbours. Those puppies will then go into rescue centres – more on that later.

Where are all the puppies coming from?

When we first went into Lockdown, everyone decided they MUST have toilet paper. It sold out pretty quickly. But then the manufacturers realised that it was essential for everyone to have a year’s supply immediately, so production of toilet paper went into overdrive. These companies were able to stop making other products and produce more toilet paper. Great, everyone has a clean bum now.

puppies for sale

With puppies, this has also happened. I am sure that LOTS of people who were considering having puppies some time over the next year, have decided to crack on. This might well be because their own plans have changed. That is what has happened to me.

I would normally have two years between each of the three litters I would try to have from my girls. However, Busy was supposed to be spending this year competing in agility shows. We were going to drive across Europe with the dogs in July. All this has been cancelled. So I looked at Busy and thought ‘Well I may as well have another litter from her now.’ She’s 6 years old, young and fit. Her last litter are over a year old. It will just about be summer – a nice time to have puppies.

puppies for sale

What happens next?

That’s all fine so far. More puppies, to meet more demand. Everyone is happy. I have had hundreds (literally) of enquiries for puppies, over the past couple of months. I could have sold many, many puppies. So I have a waiting list of carefully scrutinised, suitable owners. I am sure all responsible breeders, especially those who are Kennel Club Assured Breeders, will have gone through the same process. I have plenty of people on the reserve list. I even have a few possible homes for a litter I might have next year (from Ounce, NOT from Busy!)

puppies for sale

The trouble is, I am still getting enquiries. Usually, when I get an enquiry, I tell people to go the other KC Assured Breeders. Or to look on Champdogs, a reputable website with health tested, pedigree dogs. So what happens now? Where will the future puppies come from?

The breeding cycle

It only takes 9 weeks to make puppies. Wow, that’s not very long, I hear you say. Then it’s standard practice to have the puppies for 8 weeks before they go to their new homes. The Kennel Club recommend that as a minimum.

So then you start again, right? Wrong. Dogs are only able to have a litter when they come into season. This is usually every 6 months, but can be less often. The trouble is, they should NOT have a litter of puppies every 6 months. I’ve talked about all the issues with having puppies already on my recent post 5 reasons not to breed from your dog.

If more puppies are being produced, the chances are therefore high that these are being bred by people who don’t care about the health and wellbeing of their dogs. They just care about the money.

Puppies are not a commercial commodity

Please care about where your puppy comes from? If you get it from a rescue centre, why was it there? It may have been bred without much thought, or care. Usually that won’t matter too much, but there may be health issues that have not been accounted for.

It will probably have been dumped because the pet owners couldn’t be bothered with their new toy any more. They probably won’t have taken the time to train their puppy. It might not even be house trained! It almost certainly won’t come when it is called, or know how to interact appropriately with other dogs, or cope with strange situations.

puppies for sale

Most of these issues can be fixed, given time and patience. Some things can be harder to work through and it may be years before you have the dog you imagined. That can be painful and frustrating, for both you and your dog.

Illegal importing

I know from information given to me by the Kennel Club, that dogs are imported illegally into the UK all the time – it is a huge problem and one that is likely to get FAR WORSE in the coming months. Hopefully, with travel from Europe being more restricted, there might be better controls, but I think it unlikely.

People bring pregnant dogs into the UK, smuggled in tiny spaces in the backs of cars. They then register the puppies here, sell them off for a fortune and then go home to breed again from that bitch at her next season. NB: Registration on the Kennel Club Activity Register does not mean that the dog is a pedigree!

Extortionate prices

Sadly, when it comes to dogs, you don’t ‘get what you pay for’. Responsible breeders will charge a reasonable amount to cover their costs, including health testing of course. Unscrupulous people, breeding for financial gain, will charge whatever people are prepared to pay. So if it is costing thousands, it’s not been well-bred.

In conclusion

Now really is not the time to start looking for a puppy! You will get one from a rescue soon enough, if you are prepared for some extra work. But healthy, carefully bred puppies are sold out. Sorry.

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service. Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

2nd dog: why, when and how

Top tips on getting a second dog

When you have a great dog, whom you love to bits, it’s very natural to think that having a second one will be fantastic. Twice the love, twice the fun, twice the happy times, right? Usually, that’s true. However, I know people who keep their older dog muzzled in the house to make sure it doesn’t kill the younger ones. I know someone with stair gates all over their house to keep their dogs separated. There are people who find their lives ‘ruled’ by their dogs; they can’t go out for too long, or they can’t have visitors, or they don’t go on walks because it is too stressful.

second dog
Mother and daughter – always together

Why bother getting a second dog?

What are the advantages of adding a second dog to your family? As I’ve said above, it should mean, twice the love, fun and happy times. In reality, the number 1 reason is: to make your first dog’s life better. Your first dog should enjoy having another dog to lie around with. They should play together and run about together.

Why have one couch potato when you can have two?

If you regularly leave your dog, especially for long periods, then a second dog should make that much easier. The two dogs can stand and bark at everything together! Seriously, if you have a dog that barks or howls when left, you probably need to tackle that issue first. Having a second dog could easily just mean twice the noise! Yes, they will be happier, but your neighbours might not be..

Ask yourself: What is my dog’s current life like? Do they seem happy with just me (and the family) for company? Do we hang out together, most of the time? Or do they just prefer to go off on their own? Not all dogs are sociable – some prefer their own company. When you are out and about, does your dog desperately want to rush up to other dogs to play? Or are they happy pottering along with you? If other dogs come over, does your dog say hi? If they aren’t really that bothered, they probably won’t be that fussed about another dog in the house.

Playing happily

When is the right time to introduce a second dog?

This is a tricky one. Most people don’t really think about it, or only in relation to what they want. Some people love their first dog so much they can’t wait to get more. Other people struggle with the ‘puppy stage’ and it take them years to consider going through that again. Or they might feel that it’s better to get a rescue, older dog to add to their family.

Don’t forget – twice the dogs means twice the mud!

Consider what your dog wants? When I got my first dog, a re-homing from my mum, she was 8 years old. She’d been fourth in a pack of five and had got ‘lost in the crowd’. Rue adored being my dog and being with my sons who were babies at the time. She kept to herself and enjoyed coming along with us.

Then we got a puppy, Buzz, when Rue was 11. It was a mistake from day one. Rue hated the intrusion. She was old and set in her ways and was a bit stiff. He was a really sociable, outgoing dog, who loved to chat to others when he was out, unlike Rue. When Buzz was 8 years old, after a few years of him being on his own, we got Sunny.

second dog
Buzz (left) gazing adoringly at his Sunny.

Buzz was SO HAPPY! He absolutely loved her! Buzz spent the next seven years following her lead, enjoying being with her and engaging with whatever was going on. It really improved his life to have her. (She completely ignored him.)

Not too young, not too old

One more story: When Aura was just 18 months old, I got Busy. This was not planned, but hey ho, there she was, my fourth dog at the time. Again, Aura hated her! Eventually, they talked to each other, but they’ve never played together. Aura is a jealous, demanding dog – she’d love to be on her own with her owner – it would suit her far better.

second dog
Not really friends, exactly

I won’t home my puppies to someone with a dog aged much more than 8 years old. If you’ve got that far with just one, you should stick with it. Likewise, I would never choose a home with a dog younger than two. You need to have your first dog mature, well trained and established.

Dogs do get jealous in my opinion. They do feel resentment and they do have friends. Don’t expect it will be brilliant. It might not be. Pay attention to what your dog wants, please?

Second dog
A happy family

How to introduce a second dog?

Just a brief guide to bringing that second dog into your home. It’s exactly like when you have a second child. Don’t expect it to be easy, or quick. Take it slowly and pay attention to your older dog.

When the Lovely Litter went off to their homes, three went to families with older dogs. All three puppies were initially ignored by the older dog. The owners made sure that they were never left alone together. Allow for the fact that a new dog, whether a puppy or a bit older, will be annoying. So manage their time together? Watch them playing, or just being around each other.

second dog
These two are NOT friends

Top tip from a dog training friend I heard this week: take turns giving them treats. Say their name, give a treat. Then the other one’s name, give a treat. They understand turn-taking. Give attention to both, starting with the older one. Feed the older one first.

Above all, make sure you spend plenty of time with both dogs individually. This is vital to ensure you bond with the younger dog and train it effectively. You won’t get as much focus or engagement from either dog when they are together. If you can, try to ensure you have some special time with your older dog each week. They will really appreciate it.

Finally..

Should the second dog be related to the first? I don’t think it makes that much difference, to be honest. They will either get on, or they won’t. You can manage that and make it happen.

second dog
Happy days

Sometimes though, the personalities clash and they just don’t get on. If they are not improving each others’ lives after a few months, it’s probably worth re-homing the younger dog. Of course you need to give it time and make the effort to train both dogs, but maybe a different home is a better solution. Good luck!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Working trials

What are Working Trials?

The easiest way to explain working trials is to say that it is the civilian equivalent of police dog work, but it is purely for competition. It has also been described as the canine equivalent of three-day eventing for horses.

heelwork

John says he chose this activity in the late 1980s and early 90s because he was competing in obedience and wanted something more challenging for his dogs. He competed for around ten years, qualifying two of his dogs. His first trials dog was Cindy, Wicklow Triangle Cdex Udex Wdx Td open.

Johns team from 1990 l to r Sue, Tigger, Cindy and Bobbie

John has returned to the sport after a break of twenty years. He currently has four dogs, all Border Collies or collie crosses – Max, Skip, Jay and Whisper.

Who runs the sport?

Working trials are run under Kennel Club regulations and the schedule is constructed so that competitors must qualify for entry from one stake to the next, from open to championship trial. There are two classes of working trials and five working trials stakes which must be worked in progression.

the scale

The working trials stakes consist of three sections:

  • obedience, including heelwork, retrieve, stay etc
  • agility, including the ‘scale’, the high jump and the long jump
  • nose work, which is a track to follow and a search square with articles to find.

There is a fourth section relating to police dog work, which is where the dog has to apprehend and contain a suspected criminal.

the stay

There are 7 stakes in working trials:

  • Special beginners (no jumps) for dogs from 6 months old
  • Introductory, for dogs over 18 months
  • CD – companion dog stake
  • UD – utility dog stake
  • WD – working dog stake
  • TD – tracking dog stake
  • PD – patrol dog stake (police dogs only)

What do you have to do?

John says the reason he likes working trials is that you are working in different disciplines: obedience, agility and nose work. You are competing against a set standard and if you meet these requirements you have a qualification and a certificate, even if you finished last out of 20 competitors. (Sounds like my kind of activity!)

long jump

The drawbacks with working trials is the equipment requirement of a 6ft scale (like a wall or fence), a 3ft hurdle jump and a 9ft long jump. There is also the challenge of being able to use a farmer’s land for tracking training.

Smaller dogs are disadvantaged when it comes to the jumping section. However, in the companion and utility dog stakes the scale is lowered to 4ft. The most successful breeds of dog in working trials are the Border Collie, German Shepherd and the gundogs such as Retrievers.

How often do you train?

John says he trains quite frequently throughout the week as he is retired. However he feels that you can succeed in any dog sport if you are committed. “I had my most success when I was doing a full-time job and running 6 dogs.”

Whisper doing the nose work

Thank you very much to John and his dogs for this valuable insight!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the Dog Doc blog for more help with training issues.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Canicross – running with your dog

Get fit and have fun!

Sam and Pacha

Sam and her 11 year-old collie Pacha, have been doing Canicross for around 4 years. She says the thing she enjoys most about Canicross is the fact you and your dog are both getting exercise out in the fresh air, it’s very sociable and it is not expensive. Most clubs are around £15 a year to join and the organised runs are led by volunteers.

Sam says “We got into Canicross as I booked my wedding and decided I wanted to get fit, so I took up running. Pacha regularly came for a run with me and it worked well as it meant that we were both getting great exercise. I then saw an advert for ‘Ashridge Canicrossers’ and thought it sounded perfect.”

Getting started

Most clubs will lend you equipment to borrow at club runs so you can find a good harness fit and size for both you and your dog before you purchase any. You will need:

  • a running harness for your dog
  • a bungee line to attach you to your dog
  • a belt harness for yourself
  • a good pair of trail running shoes with grip for the mud
  • most people use a running rucksack to carry water and supplies.

Organised runs are twice weekly at Sam’s club, but its completely personal choice how often/little you go. She says she generally tries to get out twice a week, whether that’s club runs or running from home.

Who sets the rules?

The Kennel Club are the governing body and a full list of rules and regulations can be found on their website. As a general rule dogs must be at least 12 months of age to start Canicross and 18 months of age to compete in Canicross races of 5km (3 miles) or more.

canicross
Sam and Pacha

There are many competitions for Canicross run all over the country. These mainly take place during Autumn/Winter months (September to April) as the weather is generally just too warm/humid to run the dogs during the summer months.

Can anyone do it?

Sam says “I have seen every sort of dog do Canicross. Obviously some breeds are better/faster than others! But if you’re looking to both have fun and get fit you really can do it with any dog.

The only reason that someone may not enjoy this activity is if you are not into running. However, there are staggered speed groups so you are urged to give it a try. Oh, and if you don’t like getting dirty it might not be for you, as it is very muddy a lot of the time!

It can be muddy!

If your dog doesn’t pull or you’re worried it may not, then you are advised to go near the back of the group. They soon get the idea to run ahead, especially with the excitement of following the other dogs.

The groups are usually between 4-8 people in size so as you can imagine it gets very loud and exiting! Some dogs do take a couple of attempts to really get the hang of hit, but most get it and love it after a couple of goes!

Top tips?

Sam says “It’s good to teach them basic commands e.g go, stop, left, right so you can navigate your dog around the trails safely without tripping you up.

“There’s always going to be be the odd accident, as I learnt just as we set off on a run. Pacha was in full flight, then in a split second decided to stop for the toilet right in front of me. Before I knew it I was face down in a pile of leaves! A quick dust off of the hands and knees and we were on our way again.” 

Thank you very much to Sam and Pacha for this valuable insight!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the Dog Doc blog for more help with training issues.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

5 Reasons not to breed from your dog

Why dog breeding is not a casual hobby, or a business

“Responsible owners research their breed before choosing a dog that will best fit their lifestyle.”

“Responsible breeders know that purpose-bred dogs are predictable which helps owners make the right choice for their family.”

These are strange times we are living in, indeed. We are all spending our days differently, whether we are furloughed, redundant or just working from home, online and via Zoom. So it is not surprising that we are reflecting on our lives and how we are living. I am not at all surprised that people are realising that NOW is the perfect time to get a dog.

border collie puppies
getting the right dog for you

Everyone should have a dog (or 5!) They simply make life better. Always present whether you need them or not, keeping you company. They demand attention, through affection and play, which is the best way to soothe your soul. Dogs will amuse you every day, through their antics and interactions. And of course walking with a dog is the absolutely best start to your day. Whatever the weather, having a dog by your side is brilliant.

Don’t get a dog NOW?

Sadly, dogs are not toilet roll (it’s a pandemic joke!) We simply CANNOT rush out and buy a dog. We CANNOT demand more dogs are made – it just doesn’t work like that.

Yes, some breeders may be able to bring their plans for the next one or even two litters forward. If you have a number of breeding bitches, you may decide to have the next litter from one of these this year, rather than next year. BUT BEWARE! The more puppies the public demand, the more likely buyers are to get one from an unscrupulous person, who will take your money and lie to you. Heartache will be yours, as your dog becomes ill and dies, or just doesn’t turn out how you thought.

Here are some reasons why it is a BAD idea to ‘just have a litter from your pet dog’.

1. It’s not healthy

dog breeding
before puppies

Having puppies really sucks the health right out of dogs. It is NOT something than can be done on a whim. The Kennel Club require that dogs are only allowed to have litters between the 2 and 8 years of age and they will only accept 4 litters for registration. They do NOT allow more than one litter per year.

Bitches generally have two ‘seasons’ per year, which is the fertile period during which they can be mated. Their first season is at around one year old, so they could potentially then have two litters per year, for 8-10 years. Imagine that? What would that do to a dog? Would you want that for your dog? Think about what that would do to them?

dog breeding
after puppies

I take the utmost care of my dogs. They have top quality food, plenty of exercise, stimulation and training. But it still really takes its toll on them. I only have three litters, if they are able to cope with it. Not four, that’s too many.

2. It’s time-consuming

Having a litter of puppies takes time. A lot of time. I reckon I spend around 5 hours a day, or 35 hours a week, for 8 weeks, on each litter of puppies. Not to mention a great deal of time preparing for the litter before it arrives. Then supporting the new owners once the pups have gone.

border collie puppies
up to no good

This time includes:

  • being there for the labour and birth (usually through the night)
  • getting up several times during the night to check on the puppies, so they are not crushed and are feeding successfully – for a couple of weeks
  • cuddling the puppies (a couple of hours a day should cover it)
  • talking to the new owners and preparing pupdates for them
  • having visitors to the house to show off the puppies (around 150 per litter for me)
  • cleaning up after the puppies (about an hour a day doing this)
  • providing a stimulating and enriching environment
  • taking pictures (obv!)
  • feeding the mum, then the puppies endlessly
  • putting them outside
  • bringing them inside
  • taking them for their microchips and health tests
  • preparing their puppy packs

Sounds terrible doesn’t it? Of course it is brilliant having puppies, but I cannot stress enough what hard work it is! It is exhausting at times.

3. Finding homes

When I started out, over 10 years ago, I was told that finding the homes is the hardest part of the breeding process. I thought ‘well it can’t be that hard, everyone will want one of my pups’. Wrong! It’s a nightmare.

border collie puppies
the perfect home

Yes, everyone thinks your puppies are SO cute. But that doesn’t mean they want one. Or that they are the right home for them. You will be let down by people, who seem really keen, then drop out for no reason. Then there are people who come and look at your gorgeous pups and then say ‘Well I wanted one a bit more…’ God, that’s so annoying!

4. Vetting homes

People lie. All the time, so it’s really hard to believe them when they say they know all about your breed of dog, or that it’s exactly what they’ve been looking for.

I’ve produced over 50 puppies now, over the past decade. I’ve had two go to new homes. One came back to me at 13 months and was successfully rehomed within days. One was re-homed to friends of the owner, as he went travelling. None of my puppies have gone into a rescue.

border collies
best boy in the right home

I know that for certain, because I keep in touch with my owners and they with me. I vet my homes rigorously and then support them as required. It’s hard work!

5. It’s expensive

You won’t get rich having a litter of puppies from your pet dog. If you want to do things even half well, they need health testing first, which is expensive and time-consuming.

border collie puppies
special toys are needed

Then you need special food, bedding, runs, toys, and other equipment. It all adds up! I always spend money on bits to add to the puppy pack, partly because I am Assured Breeder, but also because I want my owners to have everything they need for a great experience with their new puppy. A photo book is a lovely keepsake.

puppy pack
the puppy pack

It’s not just the financial cost though. Having puppies takes its emotional toll on you. Things can go wrong, people can mess you around, or cause you worry. It’s really hard and there have been many occasions when I think this litter will be my last.

So why do it?

I carry on because for me, it is a passion. Producing amazing dogs that enrich people’s lives and bring joy every day; it’s a brilliant thing to have in your life. Under the right circumstances.

border collie breeder
best job ever?

But when I’m receiving 5 enquiries PER DAY for puppies I cannot produce, I get frightened that people will be conned into buying puppies that have been carelessly, thoughtlessly brought into the world, only to be just as carelessly dumped when things don’t turn out to be the cute, fluffy dream you imagined. Please take care?

Remember..

If you want to see more videos and photos, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page.

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

week 10: settling in

Adapting to their new homes

The Lovely Litter have been in their homes for a couple of weeks, so I thought you might like to know how they’ve been getting on. Pretty well, it seems.

border collie puppies
Finn in charge

“It’s like Finn has always been here. He’s generally a super laid back boy; he loves new situations and has been a pleasure to train so far! He’s very enthusiastic and really clever. He also loves a good cuddle”

border collie puppies
A favourite spot for a snooze

“Today Rusty was quite adventurous and wanted to explore what the sound was of my son hoovering the car! Very brave!”

Getting on with the family

I’ve been surprised with how quickly they settled down with the other dogs they are living with. Initially the older girls tended to just ignore them, hoping they would go away! Lol. But they stayed, and quickly won over their older ‘siblings’, which has been so good to see.

border collie puppies
Sisters plotting..

“Miri and Pixie play all the time now. She is so friendly and a right little explorer and quick to learn – sits, down etc. She is confident on different surfaces. Loves cuddles.”

Not all great news

Gardening is the biggest problem at the moment! When I questioned why Rusty was on lead, I was told he was a bit difficult to manage.

border collie puppies
Rusty at play

“Bentley has also taken a fancy to our garden vegetation, especially the hebes! Sadly, they aren’t faring too well..”

We’ve had a bit of a discussion about how to manage this – with difficulty! Puppies are incredibly destructive and will do a lot of damage in seconds. Of course you can put them on the lead in the garden, so that you can stop problem behaviour and make sure they are safe.

However, they do need to be able to explore on their own. And they absolutely, definitely need to be able to come back to you! The more you practise this at this stage, the better results you’ll have when you venture out on walks.

Once they do go on walks, they MUST go off lead straight away. I have written a great deal about recall – make it exciting!

border collie puppies
Checking the shower works

“Our recall is coming on really well with Miri, but I have a good squeaky voice!”

“Finn also likes to try and eat everything, but I just substitute for a toy and make out it’s much more exciting. Eyes in the back of my head definitely needed!”

border collie puppies
Finn with big sister Pacha

Pouncing play

“Do any of them stalk and then pounce on their toys? Watching Bentley is like watching a David Attenborough film on the artic fox pouncing on their prey in the snow”

border collie puppies
Getting ready..

“Hettie definitely pounces like an artic fox when playing – on her toys, a stolen carrot! And once on Nell’s tail (didn’t go down well!)

Still lovely

“Just loving Hettie. She is so much fun and so keen to learn. They do seem to be a truly ‘lovely litter’.

border collie puppies
Hettie with big brother Jumble

All so great to hear! It’s so nice for the owners to be able to talk to each other, ask questions and share problems. The owners of the Sweetie Litter still talk to each other almost daily and their pups are now 11 months old!

Remember..

If you want to see more videos and photos, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page.

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Week 8: Going, going, gone!

Off to their new homes!

The Lovely Litter have been collected by their owners and are settling down into their new homes. Obviously, in these exceptional circumstances, with the coronavirus pandemic, I thought long and hard about the correct course of action. First and foremost, I wanted to meet the needs of the puppies.

border collie puppies
Bye bye Finn

They are now 8 weeks old and this is generally agreed to be the correct age for them to go to their new homes. Some breeds or types of dog take longer to mature than others, but at 8 weeks, Border Collies are developing really well! They are confident and resilient, if they have had a good start. These puppies can tackle new situations and find solutions to problems.

border collie puppies
Bye bye Miri

Socialisation

What is socialisation? This is the process of familiarising puppies to new and varied situations, so that they learn to cope with these and become confident, outgoing dogs. Sadly, many dogs are not exposed to new things until they are a few months old and are therefore fearful and reactive to anything and everything. People often don’t realise the importance of this process and the ongoing impact it has.

border collie puppies
Bye bye Winnie, now called Hettie!

Puppies without this resilience will struggle to cope and this makes them harder to manage. Unfortunately, these are often the dogs that end up in rescue centres, as they need experienced, confident owners to handle them and help them recover. Rescuing a dog is therefore often a real challenge, because there are issues to overcome.

border collie puppies
Bye bye Bentley

A good start

Happily, the Lovely Litter were born before the Lockdown. By the time the last visitor came, these puppies had been introduced to over 100 different people and had seen many of these people several times. They had met their owners and been cuddled many times.

border collie puppies
Rusty on his own for a bit

I am also fortunate enough to have the space to create an interesting and varied set of experiences for them. They are regularly around my other, older dogs. These puppies have had time to play and explore.

border collie puppies
Bye bye Rusty

Therefore, they should be fine. Certainly they all coped fine on their own for the first night and are loving having somewhere new to explore! Of course the handover was a bit challenging, because we had to maintain social distance, keep the owners in a separate, clean area and with minimal touching by them. That was fine. So off they went! Kennel Club provide ongoing advice to dog businesses – an update can be found here. I decided that 5 deliveries was the same as 5 collections and easier to manage.

border collie puppies
A favourite spot to sleep

Keeping in touch

As with the majority of my previous litters, I know that these owners will keep in touch. Most are already known to me and I know that they will come back to me, or talk to each other if they have any concerns or queries.

border collie puppies
puppy pile-up

I am confident that I will see most, if not all these puppies again – we had planned a reunion in May, which I know the Sweetie Litter were excited about. This will probably happen in September now.

border collie puppies
Their final feed

Will you and Ounce miss them?

This is the question I am constantly being asked. See the video for proof that Ounce is not pining away at home! This was filmed yesterday. She’s been completely, absolutely fine. The very last time she fed the pups was on Monday night, but she had hardly been feeding them for a week or so.

Running around and having fun

And me? Well no. These puppies don’t belong to me, after all. I am lucky to have had owners arranged for these pups almost as soon as they were born. So I am merely their guardian. I am responsible for their care, until they are ready to go.

Dentbros Dogs
Happiness is..

I consider it to be the best ‘job’ in the world – raising healthy, happy dogs who will go on to have fantastic lives, bringing (almost!) constant joy to their families. Lucky me! Plus, I already have 5 amazing, wonderful dogs of my own. And Chris of course! Happy Easter everyone, stay safe xx.

Remember..

If you want to see more videos and photos, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page.

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Week 7: Introductions

Time to meet you properly

Border Collie puppies
Dentbros It Must Be Love (Bentley)

I always like to leave it until close to the end of their time in the Puppy Palace to make the formal introductions. Of course I have been referring to the puppies in posts and often captioning photos with their names. But now is the time when I feel their personalities really shine through in the photos. You can see who they are.

Border Collie puppies
Dentbros One Love (Finn)

The Lovely Litter

As you know, I decided that this would be the ‘Lovely Litter’ when they arrived on Valentine’s Day. They actually arrived whilst Chris and I were trying to eat our Valentine’s dinner! So for me it is all about love.

Border Collie puppies
Dentbros Love Me Do (Miri)

I applied for their Kennel Club names almost straight away and was surprised and delighted when these were all accepted without question. Normally there is a bit of jiggery-pokery as names are rejected because they are too similar to someone else’s. These names seemed so obvious to me and had such meaning, that I couldn’t believe my luck when they just came back.

Border Collie puppies
Dentbros Look of Love (Rusty)

Song titles

The ‘Rainbow Litter‘ were all song titles with the colour of the puppy in the name. Hence Ounce became ‘Dentbros Lilac Wine’ as a lilac and white puppy. Not ‘Purple Rain’, which I wanted – it was rejected, shame. Anyway, it seemed good to go with more song titles again. I was even more delighted to discover that Jasper, the dad of this litter, had his first litter named after song titles as well. Even better, they were all Paul McCartney and Wings song titles. So having two Beatles songs in my list seemed perfect.

Border Collie puppies
Dentbros And I Love Her (Hettie)

The Lovely Litter:

  • Dentbros It Must Be Love (Bentley)
  • Dentbros One Love (Finn)
  • Dentbros Love Me Do (Miri)
  • Dentbros Look of Love (Rusty)
  • Dentbros And I Love Her (Hettie)
Border Collie puppies
We’re very good at gardening

Calendar Pictures?

Every year for the last six or seven years I have produced a calendar for family and friends with photos of the dogs. Initially these were from the professional photos I had had taken by Kate Everall or Bridget Davey. Then Chris bought me my first camera and I put on my big girl pants and started doing my own pictures for the calendars.

Border Collie puppies
Calendar puppies?

For the last couple of years, I have been offering these calendars for sale and donating all the profits I make to the charity Canine Concern. This is the charity that supports us when we volunteer in school every week.

Border Collie puppies
Gorgeous boy

Which photo(s) would you choose for the calendar? Please have a look through the photos for this litter and tell me which one(s) are your favourite? You can email me or message me on here or on Facebook?

Border Collie puppies
And the winner of ‘cutest puppy’ award goes to…

Remember..

If you want to see more videos and photos, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page, or my own page. I am trying to post at least one video each day, to keep everyone entertained. Stay safe, stay in. xx

Border Collie puppies almost ready to go! Is this the age when they are the most adorable?  I'll let you judge..
So fluffy

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

week 7: New play skills!

Tuggy and chase!

Roaring round

I had to do an early pupdate, because this video is so much fun! I posted to social media last night, but I wanted to make sure all our audience could see what fun they are all having.

Smile please

border collie puppies
four-way tuggy

I also wanted to share some of the photos I’ve taken over the past couple of days. Trying to photograph puppies at this age is like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands – pretty tricky! Over the years I have had a number of professional photographers come round and want to take pictures. ‘Oh let’s put them in a basket/bath/box’. Hmm. They can’t be posed, or placed, or set up.

border collie puppies
Do you like my new hat?

Of course I have time on my side. I can take pictures all day every day. So you would expect my photos to be amazing, right? Well of course I am NOT a professional photographer. I’ve got better over the years, largely thanks to the tutoring and support I’ve received from my friend Kate Everall.

border collie puppies
This game is called ‘snap-snap’

Still, sometimes it is better to just sit and watch them as they career around the kitchen! Sometimes you just want to enjoy the moment. And naturally, if I move to get my camera, they move and stop whatever sweet thing they were doing.

border collie puppies
Now I will eat you

Constant growth and change

The changes the puppies are making are now slightly more subtle than in the first few weeks. They don’t double in weight, but their growth creeps up. Yesterday on the Live video I was talking about the way they have developed their ability to navigate round their world. The puppies are now much more confidently going from outside to inside and back again.

border collie puppies
A favourite spot in the sun

Eventually, (in a few weeks’ time), they will be able to understand that they need to go to the toilet and have sufficient control to wait until they are outside. Sadly, that is NOT a skill that they have just yet!

Patience pays off

border collie puppies
This is how you play tug

I was reminded of the need for patience this morning when out with my dogs. When I walk my 5 dogs off lead every day, I nearly always receive a compliment on how well behaved they are. This is especially true now, as I move them to the side of the path and make them wait whilst people pass us at a safe distance.

border collie puppies
No 1 puppy cuddler at work

Achieving this with my dogs is not a 5 minute exercise. I work on these activities every day. I always have treats in my pocket (currently imported from Slovenia!)

Anyway, I’m going to start teaching the puppies some basic commands. Watch this space!

Remember..

If you want to see more videos like the one in this post, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page, or my own page. I am trying to post at least one video each day, to keep everyone entertained. Stay safe, stay in. xx

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Week 6: Causing chaos

Running and jumping all day long

Morning playtime

How is everyone? Not as happy, nor as busy as me, I’ll bet. It’s a rather unique situation we’re in, but for the puppies, the dogs and us, not much has changed. I still have to get up early to let out my 10 dogs and feed them all. I have to clean the run and reset it, while the puppies are out eating their breakfast in the sunshine (long may that last!)

border collie puppies
Winnie testing out the toys

Of course we have not had any visitors in the house for a week now. It really doesn’t matter, because they’ve met over 100 different people over the previous five weeks and seen quite a few of these on numerous occasions! They know that people are the best things and they will always welcome human interaction.

Border Collie puppies
tickle tickle

Staying chilled

Despite spending much longer periods awake, running and jumping around in the house and garden, the puppies do still spend long periods asleep. I was ‘talking’ with the owners of the Sweetie Litter on our WhatsApp group yesterday and they were sharing photos of their ten-month-olds all being super chilled.

Border Collie puppies
the best way to relax

When you are stuck in the house for most of every day, you do NOT need a dog that is constantly ‘on the go’. My dogs are completely used to me being around, so they spend most of the day, every day, sleeping at my feet. Of course they get up and play from time to time, but they are not restless, or anxious, or stressed.

Border Collie puppies
that’s OUR ball mummy

If you want to help your dog to settle and relax, the best thing to do is to be around them as much as possible, especially when they are little. Naturally my dogs are used to me going out (normally!) but they don’t worry.

Border Collie puppies
Miri at play

Another thing you could do is spend time training them. I recommend visiting the completely excellent Adam Delderfield’s site Delders Dogs for this. He’s running a series of challenges for people at the moment.

Adapting to the changes

Another impact of these strange times is that I have had my two vet appointments for next week cancelled. It is a legal requirement for breeders to have puppies microchipped BEFORE they go off to their new homes.

Border Collie puppies
eating from different bowls (and sharing)

“All dog breeders are responsible for ensuring puppies are microchipped before selling them. Puppies cannot be sold until they are eight-weeks-old and must be microchipped at the point of sale. If you’re buying a puppy make sure it’s microchipped before taking them home.”

From the Kennel Club information

However, all non-emergency appointments have been cancelled, so on this occasion they puppies will have to be microchipped along with their first vaccination. The Kennel Club have said that it not a requirement for breeders to vaccinate and I don’t do this anyway.

Border Collie puppies
smells good in here

With regards the eye testing, I have told the owners that this will not be done at this time. The parents are of course fully tested. I will pay for a test at a later date, if required.

Puppy training

As you can see in the video, I am already trying to instil some training into the puppies. They know to come when I call! Recall is the most important thing you can teach your dog and the better it is, the more you can relax and have fun with your dogs.

Border Collie puppies
tasting the plants

There are many posts and videos on this website about recall, particularly when I was writing about Ounce’s Adventures, including me talking about being stupidly exciting, like I am in the video above. I’m always conscious of trying to make the puppies as good as I can get them.

Border Collie puppies
I’ll eat your tail

Remember..

If you want to see more videos like the one in this post, please go to the Dentbros Dogs Facebook page, or my own page. I am trying to post at least one video each day, to keep everyone entertained. Stay safe, stay in. xx

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.