Wednesday, 29 August 2012

11 Days old

The past couple of days I have noticed the puppies attempting to walk.  They will try and lift their body weight up onto their front legs and drag themselves a few steps forward.  Or they will attempt to get their back legs underneath themselves and propel forward that way. It never lasts more than a few steps and then they loose their balance and fall over.  A few times today the puppies have even managed to prop themselves up on all four paws! 

It is neat to watch them learn to use their bodies.  I'm sure it will still be a while before they are actually walking, but it's fascinating watching the progression take place.

Here is a short video of the boy trying to walk.

Another video of the litter

Monday, 27 August 2012

Day 9

Wow puppies are already more than a week old!  Here are pictures and videos from Day 9.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Day 6

When Susan Garrett opened her Puppy Peaks program a year or so ago, I joined thinking there would be some great puppy raising tips in there.  Susan's plan was to video her training sessions with her new Border Collie puppy Swagger, from 3 weeks of age until he was ready for competition.

Well I wasn't disappointed! There are so many great tips in there not included in the Jerry Hope book that I can apply to raising this litter.  Things like placing the puppy crate on balance discs so the puppies get used to a moving crate from an early age.  This should make events like car rides and plane rides easy for the dogs.

She starts jump training by using her legs as mini jump bumps.  Getting the puppy to go from one side to the other after a toy.

Proprioception is also started at a young age by having the puppies stand on balance discs and then progress to walking across several discs at a time.

And there are many other ideas that I have not mentioned.  I am excited to include all of these great early training ideas to my puppy raising program.  I think this might end up being my full time job ;)

6 days old  L-R: sable male, bi black large female, sable female, small bi black female

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Day 5

Here are some pictures and videos from Day 5:

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Bio-Sensor program

Puppies are now 4 days old. Yesterday I started the Bio-Sensor routine on each puppy as described in the book "The Breeders Guide to Raising Superstar Dogs" by Jerry Hope.  As stated in the book the purpose of the bio-sensory routine is to "expose the pup to controlled stress. Stress is introduced in small increments; the pup is allowed to recover, and then another stressor is applied.  The positive results of the utilisation of this program in the adult dog includes a faster recover from stress, an improved immune system, improved heart function and greatly improved social skills."

At this stage the puppies are exposed to 5 very simple stimuli for 3 seconds at a time, once a day.  This is slowly increased to a maximum of 5 seconds at a time when the program finishes at 17 days of age. At which time we move to the second stage, the active introduction stage.

The 5 stressors include holding the puppy in a vertical position with the head up, then holding vertical with the head down, then holding it on it's back, then touching the toes with a q-tip and then placing the dog on a cold, damp towel. 

The puppies squirm a bit and make the occasional squeaking noise, but other than that they don't seem to mind at all.  But that is the whole purpose of the superdog program, to teach the puppies from a very early age what the "norm" is.  In this case by the time we are done the "norm" for these puppies will be weird noises, surfaces, positions, movement, etc until we have a confident puppy that reacts to anything novel in a positive manner.  As Jerry states in his book, 35% of workability and temperament are inherited, the remaining 65% is a result of the environment.  So I want to make sure these puppies have the best start possible before going to their new homes.

Here is a picture at day 4:

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

3 days old

Puppies are now three days old and doing well. All are healthy and Spryte is back to eating normal portions of food, and she even got to play a few games of fetch!

I am getting nothing done around the house. I should be doing laundry or dishes or something productive but instead I find myself sitting in the whelping box just watching the puppies.  I love watching them nurse, or huddle together to sleep or wiggle into Spryte for warmth.  It is incredible to see the natural instincts take over in Spryte. She knows when to lick them to help them eliminate, she knows when they are hungry or too cold or too hot. She really is a fantastic mom. 

Here are more pics and videos:

puppies 3 days old 

puppies 2 days old

puppies 3 days old

Sunday, 19 August 2012

a few pics and videos

small bi black female

 large sable female

large bi black female and sable male

sable male

they're here!

I guess my last entry was heard by the puppy gods! Spryte was normal that morning, checked her temperature that night and it had dropped to 99.3 degrees. I was getting excited, it was a pretty sure sign that puppies where arriving the next day. 

Spryte's temperature Saturday morning had dropped even more to 98.7, puppies where coming soon!  She didn't eat her breakfast and started to nest around the house.  I put her in the whelping box, and grabbed a book, thinking we could still be many hours away.

 How wrong I was.  From start to finish the whole delivery only took about three hours (10am-1pm).  That included all the pre labour shaking and contractions and stuff. It felt like a whirlwind experience! 
Spryte's water broke and then minutes later I could see a puppy hanging out of her by the umbilical cord. My heart was pounding hard as I grabbed the puppy and helped Spryte remove the sac.  The first puppy was the sable female. Next came the sable male and he dropped out of Spryte maybe 5 minutes after the first one arrived. I wasn't expecting the next one so quickly and Spryte didn't even seem to notice that he had arrived. She was too busy with the first one, so I broke the sac and spent a long time rubbing him and trying to get him moving and breathing. He was gasping and slow to come around.  But once I had him warm and dry he started to breath normally and began to eat happily beside his sister.

 Next came the small bi black female.  She wasn't too far behind the male, maybe 15 minutes.  She just popped right out, no issues and Spryte started tending to her right away. I was shocked at how small she was compared to the others, she is at least half as small as her siblings!  We have been working hard to get her eating every hour and helping her gain her strength. After many feedings where I had to place the nipple in her mouth and hold her in place, she is now coming along nicely and starting to feed on her own.  She is vigorously feeding and acting just like the rest of the bunch.
The last one born was the larger bi black female (I'm saying bi black for the two right now because they are so dark and it's hard to tell. but there is a chance both bi blacks are actually dark sables. time will tell).  She was probably 45 minutes behind the last one.  She is big! The biggest of the group.  But she also had no problems entering this world and Spryte got right down to business with this one too.

 So I am thrilled and relieved to say that my first puppy delivery has gone well.  No complications and easy births.  Spryte is loving her newborns and never stops her mother duties.  She is a great mom, just like her mother was. Huge thanks to my husband Paul for helping out with the puppies, looking after Spryte and giving me moral support!
 I'll post most of my updates on here, so keep watching for more pics and puppy news!

Photos of puppies at nearly 24 hours old

large bi black female & sable male

Sable male & small bi black female

mommy and the crew

look at how proud she is!

Friday, 17 August 2012

still waiting

Yup still waiting. No puppies yet.  No sign of puppies yet either.  Spryte is still eating normally, still active, still has a normal temperature.  Nothing to suggest that puppies will be coming any time soon.  Yesterday was her first due date, so 63 days from the first breeding.  So really it still could be a few days yet before the puppies arrive. I am getting excited and anxious. I'm tired of waiting.  I am on holidays, not working and I want to raise puppies!  Here's hoping they come soon before I go stir crazy!
 I will update as soon as puppies arrive.

Whelping room all set up and ready to go.  Huge thanks to Ann Mcmillian for supplying the whelping box.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Spryte's Pregnancy Xray

Here it is, Spryte's pregnancy Xray. Count the skulls and spines. (4 puppies)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

CKC agility trial at Spruce Meadows

The AAC agility Nationals was this past weekend, but I was here in Calgary instead.   I decided not to go this year because Spryte's litter is due soon and we have too much other stuff on the go to be gone for a week doing agility. I thought I would be sad and disappointed that I couldn't go, especially knowing everyone would be posting Nationals updates.  So I entered the CKC agility trial at Spruce Meadows this past weekend, so that I too could play agility while everyone else was on the island.

It worked! I had a blast at the show and didn't miss Nationals at all. I realised that I love doing agility and it doesn't matter if it's a small event or a National event. Or if it's AAC or CKC agility. It is all fun and a great time spent with my dog.  It was also a wonderful time spent with friends and students.  There were several Hyper Hounds students there competing and for two of them it was the first agility trial for their dogs.  I was thrilled to be there to witness many great runs by my students and see the joy both human and canine had on their faces when leaving the ring.  Everyone had a great time.  The students all agreed that the show was very welcoming for them, everyone very friendly and the atmosphere relaxed and low key.  The perfect place for newbie agility competitors and a great way to boost their confidence and experience at trials.

Strider and I had a fantastic weekend Q'ing 6/8 runs, bringing us closer to our CKC agility championship.  Strider ran like a dream all weekend, giving me his all every run despite the crazy heat.  And we both enjoyed the flowing courses.  Lots of room for front crosses and smooth handling.  I really love CKC agility and I am already checking out dates for our next trial in the fall!

(Thanks Tasha for the great pictures!)