Although the puppies will not start training until the next Spring, they can watch the Adults get excited to run and see them going out for their training runs.
So, you decided to breed, picked out the the male & female you want to produce your litter.
Before breeding the female, ensure she is updated on her vaccinations and is wormed.
Supervise the breeding to ensure there is no problems. After they have bred stay with them until the tie is completed to prevent any possible injury to the male or female.
The number of times you breed is up to you. I would suggest at least three times and the last breeding here was every day the female would accept the male.
Once the breeding is done, the normal gestation period is 63 days from the time of inception.
During this period ensure the female has plenty to eat and is well hydrated everyday to ensure she can nurture the puppies before and after they are born.
The pen/whelping house I have here is close to my chalet next to a window, so I can hear when the puppies are born and to be able to go out and check the puppies and the mother are fine.
I like to handle the puppies as soon as the mother cleans them, petting them, blowing in their face and then placing them to their mothers breast.
That way the puppies are bonding with me right from birth.
Daily handling, petting and interaction I feel is very important not only for monitoring their health but also for socializing with humans.
I wear clean cotton gloves when working with the puppies to prevent spreading any possible contamination.
You should check with your veterinarian for a worming product and schedule for the mother and the puppies. It is normal for the puppies to have Roundworms, so don't be shocked when you see the puppies dispel them after the worming.
Here the mother is fed with the puppies so they learn from her to eat solid food. This greatly helps with the weening.
My whelping pen has an enclosure, house, connected to an outside wired area (bottom, sides and roof). The entire area is elevated about 3 feet off the ground. The House has a large door for access at the front for me and a small door opening leading to the wired pen. This enables the mother to go out there to relieve herself and eventually teaches the puppies to do the same.
With the puppies going outside to the pen to do their business, it makes for a nice clean area for the puppies. You should have a side entrance on the wired portion to allow you to any necessary cleaning of the poop that doesn't fall through. Daily hosing is suggested to ensure cleanliness.
Also in the house, you should have an elevated molding to ensure the puppies won't accidently be smothered if a puppy gets between the mother and the wall of the box.
Normally here the puppies are weaned between 6 and 8 weeks and now the mother can be taken away as her job is done.
Prior to her removal, she is taken away for a few hours every day a week prior to her final removal.
The puppies here are fed two times a day and when they stop eating any left over food is removed. This way they learn to eat in a hurry. This way they learn to have good eating habits when they grow up.
My dogs are ever enthusiastic eaters and never have a problem with food freezing in their bowels in the Winter. I never leave food for them after eating time.
When the pups are old enough, I place a collar on them and attach them to drop chains on my truck. This way they get used to a collar, drop chains and fun interaction with their littermates and me. This is only for a short period of time to get exposure to the outside world.
I never leave the collars on when the puppies placed back in the puppy pen.
When they are old enough ( had their initial vaccines), they are taken out to a safe place were they can run and explore.
When the puppies are old enough ( around 4 months of age) they are now placed in the adult yard with their own individual houses. I like to place them close to each other for familiarity of neighbours and so they can play.
I like to start the puppies running here in the early Spring so they can start on snow. Small teams consisting of two adult leaders and two puppies.
Don't worry about them jumping all over each other before the run starts. They will quickly figure things out. The first runs are very important to be fun and stress free. I start the puppies running very slowly teaching them to pull in harness and on a short run getting a treat after the run. I don't worry about speed as when they are old enough and know what to do speed will naturally come.
If you have done a good job breeding the proper pair that are athletic, fast runners, their offsprings should have the same qualities.
Puppy time is a fun time! But it is also a very important time to ensure the puppies develop into great canine athletes.
It is hoped the last 7 weeks articles will be helpful for you.
Remember this isn't the only way; it is however, the way we do it here at Miortuk.
Life here with my canine family is more than a passion!
It is a lifestyle!
I enjoy every morning outside having my coffee sitting on my porch watching my dogs in the kennel and they love seeing me.
I am blessed to live here the Nature and enjoy the simple things of life.
Until next week.......