T'is nearly time. Dolly will be nine weeks from her first mating tomorrow and as her temperature dips from 37.5 to 36.8 celsius first thing this morning and is now 36.4 we are looking at within the next 24 hours of her giving birth. A dogs normal temperature is around 37.5, they run a little warmer than us and a bitch as she comes into labour her temperature will drop and base out and then rise. the dropping indicates that labour will come within the next 24 hours but once we see the temperature base out and starts to rise again, this can then indicate the bitch will whelp within 12 hours. The temperature guide is a good guide to imminence of the onset of labour. I start taking a bitches temperature three times a day from around five days before estimated time of labour, also a big factor is knowing your dog and this morning Dolly's demeanour has noticeable changed and she has been giving me those looks that you know things are happening and has become my shadow and is sleeping at my feet as I type this. Dolly is not a big digger before going into labour, some bitches will dig vigourously days before whelping (giving birth). She is pretty laid back about the whole process.
Dolly now is being kept very relaxed, sleeping as she pleases and taking a stroll when she pleases. Little meals are offered often, as she now struggles to accommodate more than a few mouthfuls at a time, due to the pressure of her womb on her stomach and diaphragm. We got the labour unit up and running last weekend, which involves rearranging the furniture in our living room. I don't keep the bitch restricted in the labour unit until they are actively in labour. Dolly visits the labour unit and sleeps in it every now and then. Up until two nights ago she was happy to still sleep at night with the pack but the last two nights she has slept in the front room with the labour unit nearby but preferring the comfort of the whole of a sofa to herself. She is looking vey well and very big. She is on round the clock surveillance. I will be on the sofa beside the labour unit tonight and maybe the next night.
Photo's of Dolly in the labour unit taken this morning.
A couple photo's of Lucy entwined with Jessica asleep on the sofa. Lucy went home with Sue and Jim on Monday after coming home from their holiday to Austria. Also a couple photo's of Dolly taken yesterday showing her sleeping on her back and you can see how big she has got.
Ysobel as I predicted in my last blog rejected Reggie's advances, so that makes Ysobel mated from the 1st to the 5th June, so we will look to scan her around the 3rd June, 28 days fropm last mating. All going well with the scan, this will mean a litter from Ysobel arriving around the 7th August. I always do nine weeks from the last mating, as a guide, so as to not have people getting impatient for the arrival, but Ysobel could potentially have these pups if like Dolly taking from an early mating, any time from the 3rd August. Dogs are pretty bang on nine weeks, we have to go a few days either way, due to our dogs being mated more than once. If you blood tested from around five days of coming on heat and then new their exact optimum time for mating, your pups would arrive pretty much nine weeks from that time but what would be the fun in that. Blood testing bitches and knowing optimum time for mating though is a very good tool if you are travelling a long way to use a stud dog or are using artificial insemination (AI).
We have an update and very cute photo from Kathryn for her lovely Ted. Ted is from Cleo's litter born last year in April. Dad is Reggie. Cleo is my Mum's Cavalier who lives with her in the annexe to our home. Thanks Kathryn and your email has given me a good link to talk about crate or your bed when you bring your pup home.
I have in the past been more likely to advocate bringing your pup home and if crating them use the cold turkey method. The cold turkey method is if at night they cry and the crate is down stairs in the kitchen, leave them and they will eventually learn the routine.
In recent times from feed back I'm not so sure of this method. It will if adhered to get the desired result more quickly but your pup will be subjected to very high stress levels to get to the desired effect of them sleeping in the crate happily on their own in the kitchen or utility. So does getting to the desired behaviour quicker out weigh the stress caused by getting there ?
Now when you pick your pup up from me. He/she will be very well handled by humans but you will be new humans and will take your pup in the car and although your pup will of gone in a car before he/she leaves me, this is a new car to them with new people without their mum, litter siblings or humans they know to show them its okay. Then you arrive at their new home, new smells, very often more new people, new toys and a new sleeping arrangement. That is a lot of stress for one day and then the most stressful of all the new things being left on their own. Dogs are pack animals, gregarious and seeking of affection. Watch dogs sleeping together and its hard to know where one dog starts and the other ends, so I have changed or maybe, can I say I have evolved my thinking on what may be best when you bring your pup home.
From feed back I have become very much in favour of the letting the pup sleep with you for the first few nights and transferring to the crate which is beside your bed at first, once the pup is comfortable and settled in his new home and then once sleeping happily in the crate beside your bed moving the crate to the kitchen or where ever you wish them to reside at night eventually.
Some pups though will happily from day one in their new home sleep on their own but often they will cry and find it very stressful being left when in their new home. Having a puppy is a bit like having a baby, its often what works for you and I say, "What makes you all happy. One mans poison can be another man's cure." Sometimes its best to follow your instinct, we do still have that and invariable it is right. So don't feel guilty if when you pick up your pup, you also end up with a new bed buddy.
Some are abhorrent at the thought of a dog in their bed and if so, it might be questionable that maybe a cat might suit you better.
Hi Jane One year on today!!! I can't believe a year ago today we came to collect Ted, and what a horrible journey that was, a 12 hour torrential rain soaked round trip!!It's been an eventful year, from the howling sleepless nights for nearly a week whilst we crate trained him, to nearly losing him when he was attacked. We've lost endless socks and shoes to the garden but we wouldn't have it any other way. Needless to say he has progressed from his crate to our bed but who can resist this gorgeous breed's little face when they don't want to be left downstairs on their own! Hope you and all your family are keeping well, and a big kiss to Cleo and Reggie from Ted. Hope you're enjoying this gorgeous weather, Kathryn x
Some fun now from our human family members. On Monday our daughter in the left of the photo's below turned six years old and she on being asked what flavour cake she would like, requested a chocolate and vanilla cake and as the cake was presented for the ceremonial blowing out of birthday candles, my husband caught these funny photo's of our other daughter nearly stealing her sister's thunder but mum subtly stepped in to save the day or to save probable tears, if little sis had blown out the candles before she could. No one was hurt and I removed my hand in time for Tilly to blow out the last couple candles. Lol
That's me done now. Camera's on charge, vets on speed dial and lets hope that my next blog will be the safe arrival of Dolly's pups.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!