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Countdown to Fall 2001 litter

Countdown to Fall litter 2001. It has been almost 2 years since my last litter. The whelping box has a fresh coat of paint. I picked up new toys and fleece whelping pads at the last show of the season. I have stocked up on things that I may need: Milk replacement, pediolyte, towels, newspaper, bleach, handy wipes, bottles and feeding tubes, film, heat lamp bulbs, etc. My vet has been informed of the anticipated whelping date. I have contacted friends in my local Kennel club to be on hand if needed.

The hardest part is over. The decision of who to breed. Who is worthy of adding their genes to future generations of Curlies? What are the pros and cons of this match? Years of studying pedigrees, talking to other breeders, studying dogs, videos and pictures. I decide to breed CH SoftMaple's O'Dark Thirty SH WCX CD CGC CR-536G27M-T OFA cardiac, CERF (Jet) to CH Charwin Evensong WCX JH CGC CR-CA22/41F/C CR-480F35F CERF (Gabby) Jet is a young dog, this will be his first litter. Gabby has has 2 other litters, is an experienced mom who has produced pups that have done well in the field and showring. Both dogs have great temperaments. Both have passed health clearances (hips, eyes, hearts) Now comes the waiting. Of course the mom to be has to be in top physical shape before the venture is even begun! Now look at poor Gabby's shape!

Gabby has started showing more interest sleeping in the whelping box. She digs at the bedding and newspaper. Many mornings she does not eat her food but instead tries to hide it under her bedding. I take her temperature and chart it twice a day, waiting for the telltale drop that lets me know she is due to whelp.
Temperature at 10:pm on 10/3/2001 is 100.1

The wait continues.

10/5/2001 Gabby is at day 63 if going by the first tie. She is still nesting, but also eating again (everything that's not nailed down!) her temps today have ranged between 100.1 to 100.3

10/6/2001 Gabby is growing uncomfortable. She doesn't just lay down, she spreads out! She has to pee every 2 hours. You can really feel the babies kicking.

10/7/2001 6 am. temp 98.3. Just to make sure its not a fluke, I take her temp again at 9 am its 98.0. Should have pups within 24 hrs. I turn up the heat in the whelping room and get everything on hand. Usually I play music in the whelping room, but Gabby doesn't seem to mind listening to the world news.

10/8/2001 6pm, Gabby becomes restless. Starts to pant and dig in the papers. 8:05 pm after just a few contractions a black female is born. 8:18 pm a liver female is born. Here Gabby takes a break with the two pups. She is still quite large, and the others are kicking hard. I take the pups long enough to make a mark on their bellies and jot down the birth weight.
9:26 pm the count so far is 1 liver girl, 3 black girls.
9:40 pm the first black boy is born.
10:50 pm count so far is 2 liver girls, 4 black girls and a black boy. She still looks pretty big!
11:20 a liver boy
11:42 another black boy

Well, I think she is finished. Its 3:12 am, and there haven't been any more pups in over an hr. Gabby has had a bowl of pedialyte and broth. She is busy nursing and cleaning her new family. Final count 4 black girls, 3 liver girls, 2 liver boys 2 black boys. All appear to be doing well. On one of the potty breaks, I managed to tip over my nice new digital scale and now the screen won't display! So back to the old one that wouldn't balance.

10/9/01 All the pups are nursing fine. The pups now wear the colorful litter collars. The temporary marks on I put on the bellies when they are born don't last long with Gabby's constant attention. Not much to do today except make sure they are all nursing and keep Gabby comfortable.

10/9/2001 10:30 am

Taken later in the day. (5 pm 10/9/2001) Gabby is recovering and more rested. I have to keep the whelping area warm. Newborn puppies can not regulate their own body temperatures. The whelping room is about 90 degrees. Gabby is starting to shed curly hairs everywhere!

Onto the next page (10/10/2001)

Things to think about now... bringing your curly pup home and early socialization

2001 Pedigree

Those First Weeks at SoftMaple & The Bio Sensor method of early puppy stimulation

Next page of Puppy diary

Your Curlies General Health (ears/eyes/teeth,etc)

(10/8 - 10/9) Countdown, and the pups are born
(10/10 - 10/11) dewclaws, loss of liver girl
(10/12 - 10/13) Bio Sensor pictures
(10/14) A picture album
Week Two
Week three
Happy Halloween! See the pups in the pumpkin patch!
11/3/2001: Puppy picture page. Puppies at play, and close up shots.
Week Four
What's in a Name?
Week 5
All the pups 11/7/2001
Week 6
11/14/2001 A puppy outing
The puppies go on a picnic!
11/15/2001 Toys! Toys! Toys!
November 15th Wing pictures
Dinner in jail! Crates for your curlies
11/16/2001 grooming your curly pup
11/17/2001 (collar and leash)
Week 7
What is a temperament test?
All the pups, Stacked photos 11/21/2001
11/21/2001 Water Water Everywhere!
11/22/2001 Happy Thanksgiving!
11/23/2001 First Shots
11/25/2001 Splish Splash! First Bath!
11/28/2001 First Vet Visit!
11/29/2001 Some wing pictures
11/29/2001 See the individual pups, some have names!
11/30/2001 Jax goes home!
12/1/2001 Jazz goes home! (Red girl)
SoftMaple Wind On Water ~ Timmy
SoftMaple Rainwater Greenboy
SoftMaple's Mockingbird ~Scout
SoftMaple ...~ Jax
SoftMaple's Northern Star ~ Fenway
SoftMaple's Pax Americana ~ Pax
SoftMaple Gracefarms... Moxi
SoftMaple ... Mya
SoftMaple Paramount All That ~ Jazz
SoftMaple's Miss Ellie Mae ~ Ellie
To The End

2002 Puppy Diary
Jet and Seger's litter

Breeding: What We're Taught

There are many platitudes in the dog world, such as "A fast maturing puppy will fade" and "Only breed when you'll keep one for yourself." This last maxim is even used to chastise breeders who do not keep a puppy from every litter. The idea is that in every litter there will be a star puppy who should be grown out by the breeder.

The fact is that not all litters produce show puppies. Keeping even the best puppy from a mediocre litter will not achieve the breeder's objectives. It would be best to place these puppies in permanent companion homes and try something different the next time around, but this is not often done in our breed. Instead, the breeder keeps the best in a particular litter, grows out the pick puppy, and takes her to dog shows. Dog shows are unforgiving and soon identify mediocrity. A determined person will put many shows on an average dog in an attempt to "prove" her breeding program. It would be better to make a more critical evaluation of puppies at 8 weeks and come to more realistic conclusions about their future prospects.

Another example of conventional wisdom involves litter frequency. This is carried to extremes when people start judging breeders by numbers: "Did you know she had (three, four) litters last year?" As if this were something shameful. In our breed, which has fallen from 36th in AKC registrations to 100th in a decade, this so-called wisdom is hardly wise. We need dedicated people who are willing to study, spend the time, and do the work necessary to breed dogs. Having one litter every few years does not make one a breeder, nor does it provide a person with the experience required to whelp and raise puppies or to develop a consistent line of dogs.

When you have questions and problems with a litter, who do you call? I call someone who has been breeding dogs for 50 years and, at one time that I remember, had three litters at once. He is in another breed, and has never been criticized for the excellent job he did with his puppies. Spring always found him whelping at least one litter for himself, and perhaps a few more for other people. We need these master breeders desperately: They have a wealth of knowledge to share about breeding dogs and raising puppies. We also need more ways to record their knowledge, share it with others and preserve it for the future.

We need dedicated people in our breed and, in fact, in every breed to continue the lines and to work to breed the best dogs possible. As baby boomers retire from breeding dogs over the next two decades, we will have to recruit new breeders to carry on. Holding people back with worn-out phrases will not work.

There is room for everyone, for those who can breed only occasionally and for those who will become the master breeders of the future. We need to encourage and learn from those who have the time, resources, and dedication to spend shaping the future of our breeds.

Reprinted from the June 2006 AKC Gazette breed Keeshonden breed column. Written by Deborah A. Lynch. Deborah A. Lynch is the Executive Vice-President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. She has been a breeder and exhibitor of Keeshonden since 1971 under the Foxfair prefix. She is a member of the Keeshond Club of America and is past President of the Buckeye Keeshond Club. Deborah has also been a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and has judged her breed both in the USA and England.

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