Here in the UK with state schools we occasionally have what they call, "Non Pupil Days." These days are taken by the school in school time and as the title suggest, your children don't go to school but the teachers do, as often these days are for teacher training. So today mid-week Chulmleigh Secondary School had one of these days, so I had our three oldest children home with me. So we got everything done around the home by 11 am and we all then jumped in the car with Henry, Smudge and Smudge's mum, Millie , heading off to Heywood Forest and then popped into Eggesford Gardens restaurant for lunch on the way home, as the dogs snoozed in the car creating a lovely aroma of damp muddy dog, for when we came back.
The two photos above show Henry, Smudge and Millie back at the car after running around Heywood Forest. We hope next year to kick off 2015 litters with the pairing of Smudge and Henry. Now looking at the photos of them together, some might be concerned in the seemingly big difference in size. The size difference though is only in the length of leg, with Henry's front leg from the elbow to the ground being around 10 inches and Smudge from the elbow to the ground measuring around 6.5 inches. When an animal gives birth, the length of leg should not cause a problem for it travelling through the birth canal. The parts of the anatomy that can cause problems in the process of birthing are the head, the shoulders, rib cage and hips. When we start to compare these sizes together for Henry and Smudge a different picture can be seen. Henry's cranium width is 4.2 inches, Smudge's cranium is around 4.1 inches. Henry's chest width (to point of each shoulder joint) is 6 inches and Smudge is also 6 inches. Henry's rib cage (measuring around from just behind the elbow) is around 24 inches and Smudge measures around 23.5 inches. Henry's hips (measuring with calipers to each hip joint) is around 4 inches and Smudge is around 5 inches across her hips, we do call her big bum.
If you start looking at these measurments, you can see that these two dogs are more compatiable than a first glance might make you think. Henry also brings a more streamline head into the mix and having a longer nose on a pup helps in the birthing process, as the nose pushes against the cervic and can push through as the bitch dilates this helps in stimulating the cervic to release more oxytocin which helps in giving the bitch good strong contractions to expel the pup. Breeds with very flat noses, this effect is limited, as the face cannot move through the cervix until it is fully dilated and dilation is slowed due to this and is often why intervention happens with flat nosed breeds, because the dilation is slowed down to such an extent that a risk of stillbirth is higher. Once a pup presents at the cervix to be born, the clock is ticking for the placenta to detach, once the placenta is detached, the pup is receiving no oxygen and will be born still (dead).
Humans suffer with this to an extent due to our youngs head shape, it is the price we pay for evolving such a big brain (contrary to believe, it's not because we like eating apples) and I found that it is wise if you want birth to proceed at a reasoable pace, to keep on the move as much as possible. Watching animals birth over the years, when I came to have my own, I understood why they pace and generally keep on the move whilst birthing, it helps with pain and it helps for us also to keep the gravity of the babies head against the cervix, so progresses dilation of the cervix quicker.
I have great hopes for this pairing and just hope that all health tests go well for them, so as this pairing can go ahead. All going well we should hope to see Smudge coming on heat around February time, so from now until then, I'm probably going to bore everyone to death with how wonderful Henry and Smudge are. Lol
“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 with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.