What could be more fantastic than producing a puppy who will give so much joy and pleasure to their family? Producing four of them, of course! (Well 31 of them altogether) The questions I am asked the most as a breeder are “How do you let them go?” and “Aren’t you sad when they leave?” The answers I always give are “Easily!” and “No!” Hopefully these pictures show why. As I said on the last pupdate, eight week-old Border Collie puppies are hard work, so that is one reason I am pleased to say goodbye. But the main reason is that it is just so lovely to see so much happiness on those faces and know that I have done the absolutely best job that I can.
Today I received confirmation that my Assured Breeder Assessment visit was deemed to be ‘Satisfactory’ (it’s the highest you can get – the Kennel Club are demonstrating evidence of all criteria, so it’s not possible for them to add value judgements). I am proud of the quality of my breeding work and I know that my puppies will be the best that they can be.
Two down, two to go! I was due to be away this weekend so I let the girls go at 7 weeks, because both homes have other collies and lots of experience (although I’m not sure they realised exactly what they were letting themselves in for!) They have both settled in really well and are obviously very popular 😀
I have the two boys until next weekend. They are hard work now, as they play for most of the day and can be very destructive, if they are not managed! Because they live in my house, not outside or in kennels, they have plenty of space to run around and of course they do get frequent cuddles and interaction. I am working through the Kennel Club’s Socialisation Plan, which suggests activities for the first 16 weeks (after which, according to the BBC2 programme “6 Puppies and Us” they are no longer able to learn anything! Don’t get me started :-/) so they have met people with beards, hats and high heels for example (and very fetching Jamie looked ;-))
Lovely to have so much sunshine at this time of year, so the pups are able to get into the garden to play – not so nice for my plants perhaps! They love charging about and playing hide and seek, chase and peepbo – all the games that babies love to play. They come tearing over when I call them, “Puppy puppies!” and they are even starting to learn their names.
This morning they went round the corner to the vet’s for their microchips and general check-over. They were as good as gold and extremely popular 🙂 Not much longer now..
These are terrible photos, sorry everyone, but they are much harder to photograph now! Especially since I don’t have an actual camera and have no clue what I’m doing. I’m also much busier now, as they are more demanding and we are having lots and lots of visitors! We had a party on Christmas Eve, just a few local friends and neighbours, but it was another new experience for them. They are now going outside several times a day and spending more and more time playing, with each other and with Luna and Busy, who are teaching them good dog manners.
How big? Looking more like puppies now – they continue to put on 100g per day! They are properly up on their feet, with some scampering about, starting to explore the corners of the kitchen. Busy is very excited to have playmates and is already enjoying their company. Aura is less sure, princesses like to hog all the attention 😉
Their owners have all been to see them and we are more or less sorted with who is going where. It’s very hard to decide and inevitably everyone likes one more than the other (can you guess?) Choosing names is an ongoing discussion as we need a ‘set’ of Kennel names AND their pet names, which may or may not be related. I tried to register them with the Kennel Club yesterday and have had to change one of the names as a result – we’re getting there, but if you have any suggestions, do pass them on.
I posted a video clip on Facebook the other day, but you have to ‘friend’ me in order to see it. One day I’ll get to grips with setting up a YouTube account… I’ve had so much wonderful feedback from the previous puppy owners – it’s great to be in touch with them to hear and see how they are getting on. Toggle from the second litter came to visit on Sunday as he is getting a nephew to play with 😀
This week they have been practising eating real food. It’s more for fun as they still have plenty of milk at this stage. They continue to change enormously, day by day. Having their eyes open means they can start to be aware of their surroundings and their faces change and begin to take on a more dog-like appearance. They are becoming more sturdy on their feet, although they are so fat that running is not yet an option.
Eyes are opening and they are up on their feet, staggering around like drunken puppies. They are so contented they still don’t do much, but we are just starting to see some interaction with each other and with Luna. They are more confident in the way that they move around – they certainly know when Luna is there! Sometimes we hear the odd little ‘woof’, but generally they are quiet – they never cry when they are hungry, because Luna feeds them so often.
We’ve had a few more visitors during the last week, which has been lovely, so they’ve been cuddled by a variety of people and are happy to have that interaction. Aura does not like to be left out, so I have to give her a cuddle as well, which she always loves! Remember to let me know if you would like to come and see us – the more the merrier 🙂
These puppies are record breakers in this house; I now totally understand why having half as many offspring is a biological advantage – they are growing twice as fast! Luna is the most brilliant mother, constantly feeding, cleaning and cuddling her puppies.
Luna gets rather hot in the bed, so despite having lots of comfy bedding for her and the pups to sleep on, she would rather push it to one side and sit on the paper to feed.
This has resulted in the puppies being snuggled up into, or up onto the bedding – ready to go off and explore the world? Not just yet..
We’ve had a few visitors, despite the fact that they are not very interesting at the moment. They really do a good impression of guinea pigs – they are the right size, nice and smooth and silky and they even squeak and grunt (although they do occasionally bark as well!)
I have realised with these puppies in particular, that handling them from such an early age is really important in making them familiar with people of all different shapes and sizes.
Even though they can’t see or hear yet, dogs are so reliant on smell that they do know when they are being held by someone and whether that person is familiar or unfamiliar. They already ‘snuggle in’ and it is so nice when they do 🙂
Finally this week, I wanted to share a montage I’ve made from recent pictures of the last litter, with their parents. This picture shows mum, dad and the five princesses. Aren’t they beautiful? You can see the family likenesses and how much they are all enjoying life. Makes me very proud.
I am thrilled to announce the arrival of Luna’s second litter, once again to the gorgeous Delicious Chocolate Sundae (Oz). They arrived on Thursday 20th November. Two girls and two boys, all big and healthy.
The puppies are weighed at birth and then monitored daily for the first few weeks. This puppy is one of the biggest my girls have produced. They all put on around 60g in the first day – pretty impressive work from Luna!
Luna is such a proud mother. She really loves her babies and is so pleased to show them off. She doesn’t mind visitors (grown-ups only at this stage) but they need to be respectful – she watches carefully to see what is going on.
Luna brought these toys up from downstairs; she likes to make sure that her babies have something to cuddle up to. Since these are Busy’s toys I had to go and buy some new ones today!
Luna looks after her babies so well, making sure they are kept clean, although this can be quite a challenge!
So gorgeous – couldn’t you just eat them up?
PLEASE NOTE: Visitors are needed regularly for the next eight weeks, so I shall expect to see everyone I know at least once! Children are especially welcome once they are a few weeks old (they’re boring until then) and will be required to cuddle and play with them as much as possible. Cake is usually available. Please make sure you get in touch to arrange your visit(s)?
Beautiful, brainy Border Collies, bred for better temperament and health