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SoftMaple Fall 2001 litter

November 11th. Day 34

The pups play hard in spurts throughout the day and night. They will fall asleep just as fast as they wake up! Here Yellow and pink girl nod off while rocking the swing. They are usually the ones who are always in it.

Here they fell asleep before they even got in!

Tunnels and ramps are favorites

Well, I keep showing cute puppy pictures. I don't want anyone to get the idea this is a breeze, or that there is money to be made!

There are lots of hidden costs, and also the more obvious ones. A lot is said about counting the cost of raising and showing the parents into the cost of the litter. I won't even go into that part of it. I see showing, training and running trials with my dogs as a very expensive hobby. A show weekend easily runs over $200 just on entry fees, hotel, gas. Thats a flea bag motel that takes dogs, vendor hot-dogs, parking, entry fees, and no frills! Although I won't count any of the costs of showing, training or putting titles on either parent... think about this.... how many of you would have contacted me for a pup if I had run an add in the newspaper saying I was breeding Rex to Fluffy?

Are we having fun yet?

Think you want to try this at home….

Breeding dogs can be a wonderful event. You've got a great looking animal which is very special to you, and you have found a great looking mate who is also wonderful, and between the two of them, you reckon that you can produce some wonderful pups.

Unfortunately, the reality of life is that while beautiful puppies can result, in a large number of cases events happen during the breeding of a dog that far outweigh the much-wanted puppies.

A lot of people think that breeders make a lot of money And sometimes that thought alone is enough for some people to put their beloved friend at risk. I'm yet to make money out of breeding.

When you breed your dog, you put her at risk. Yes, she can die giving birth, and you don’t have time to greive since you will be raising orphaned pups.

Regardless of how much experience you have, you can still have disasters.

Death of just one pup, even in a large litter, can be heartbreaking. remember liver orange collar girl?

Its almost impossible to get a fading puppy to survive, and you can lose a whole litter to fading puppy syndrome.

These are some of the costs that you will have to budget for:

  • stud fee
  • cost of shipping the bitch to the stud. In my case, shipping Gabby out here and back. $350 each way.
  • brucellosis testing on both the bitch and the dog.
  • Whelping box, heat pads, heat lamps, thermometer, scissors, towels, baby scales, tweezers, hemostats, baby suction bulb
  • milk replacement formula and/or goats milk, baby bottles, tubes for tube feeding, sterilizing solution, nail clippers
  • puppy wormer (2,4,6,& 8 weeks), puppy diarrhea medicine
  • food - a pregnant female may need up to four times what she normally eats, and a nursing female will also need a lot of food. Puppies also eat much more food than what you would think
  • vaccinations
  • dewclaw removal
  • Vet visit for health checks prior to going to new homes

Here are some of the hidden and not so hidden costs that you may not have thought about:

  • vet checks and health tests to make sure that the bitch is ok to be mated and whelp
  • ultrasounds
  • lots of extra washing for bedding in whelping box (water, detergent, paper towels, mops, bleach…)
  • emergency vet trips (invariably late at night)for the emergency c-section
  • emergency vet trips to save a dying pup
  • Increased electric and heat bill to keep pups warm.
  • time off from work that you need to take to help the bitch and to make sure that no puppies get squashed, etc - allow at least 5 days off work for this
  • vet visit and antibiotics for the bitch for such things as mastisis
  • advertising to sell puppies (puppy packets, pedigrees, pictures)
  • lots of phone calls to and from interested and not so interested puppy buyers


Let's look at the costs:

  • stud fee - usually equivalent to the cost of one pup
  • neonatal deaths - average 25% per litter - ok so let's say you lose two pups here (this means that so far after the stud fee, we only really have 5 left that we can sell to make money from)
  • vaccinations, worming, eye certifications - that adds up to another pup (of course, you can save money by ignoring these important steps)
  • food - extra food for bitch, and then food for puppies until the age of 8 weeks - that's half a pup
  • emergency vet visits to try and save the dying pup, or the emergency c-section on the mum - maybe both! - that's at least one pup, and more likely two. Let's say 1 and a half pups.
  • Health checks on the bitch prior to whelping - checks for hd, annual eye certifications, thyroid checks, etc - that's another pup (but if you want to cut corners and ignore these very important checks you can save money here)
  • Advertising the litter and answering numerous phone calls - that's half a pup
  • Time off taken from work to whelp litter - that's at least one pup, more likely two, and in some cases, equivalent to the total selling price of whole litter. Let's say one and a half pups.
  • Breeder support - for the life of the pup a good breeder will be there to take back those pups whose owners can no longer keep them. Also a good breeder will keep in regular contact with her puppy owners. Let's be really conservative here and say, that's the cost of just one pup.
  • And you want to keep one pup for yourself, so you can't sell that one.

Okay, now go back through the list and work out, realistically, how many pups you need to breed from a litter so that you just break even. 12 - maybe. And of course, for those of us that have bred litter with that many pups know exactly how much extra work that is, especially if the bitch is not a great mum, and only has 8 working tits.

If you make any profit at all, set aside some of it. You want to guarantee your litter don’t you? What is someone comes to you 2 years down the road, who purchased a show quality bitch and her hips don’t pass OFA? You will want to refund their money, and give them a pup from your next litter.

It has been well documented that about 75% of 1st time breeders do not attempt to breed again because of the cost, work and time involved.

On to last day of week five! (11/12/2001)

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)

Puppies born 10/8/2001 ~ 10/9/2001
4 black girls, 3 liver girls, 2 black boys, 2 liver boys.

(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.
BARF Diet?
Week Four
What's in a Name?
What goes on behind the scenes
Week 5
Week 6
Weeks 7 and 8

This page created by SoftMaple

Order your copy of The Puppy Diary

Or mail a check to:
$19.95 ($5.50 Shipping and Handling)
Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan NY 13327

About the Book

Follow a litter of puppies from birthday until they go to their new homes. The diary contains lots of pictures, tips on puppy rearing, some breed specific information, and lots of information on the care of any breed of dog.

I started doing an on-line puppy diary since many of the people that would be getting one of my pups would not be able to travel here to see the pups. I did not want to put a bunch of cute puppy pictures online, and encourage anyone to have a litter just because they wanted to see cute puppies! Breeding dogs, if done the right way, is a lot of work. Lost sleep and sometimes heartache. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to raise a litter of puppies. Once I started doing The Puppy Diary, I realized I had a captive audience. These people logged on every day to see the pictures, and read what was happening. I used this opportunity to cram as much education into each day as I could. Health, Coat issues, grooming, feeding, socializing, vet care, puppy evaluations, shipping puppies.... you name it! I tried to put it in The Diary. It was suggested that I make it into a book. Well here it is! There are 560 pictures and over 300 pages of living with and watching one litter grow up.

I am sure may conscientious, caring breeders raise litters similar to the way I do. Its is a good look into the time, money, commitment it takes to bring up a litter of pups. Some of the things that go on behind the scenes, that the eventual puppies owners (family), never realize go into the litter. Enjoy my litter as I see them. Day to day


Chapter One (Week One) ... Page 1

Seger comes into season
Happy Birthday!
Removing the Dewclaws
Start of the Bio Sensor program

Chapter Two (Week Two) ... Page 48
Coat issues.
Tail Gland Hyperplasia
Do Curlies Shed?

Chapter Three (Week Three) ... Page 94
End of Bio Sensor Exercises
Worming The puppies
Eyes are open
First pup escapes from the box

Chapter Four (Week Four) ... Page 130
Weaning. The great food fight!
Introduction to the puppy play room
Shark Cage

Chapter Five (Week Five) ... Page 156
Field dog? Show Dog? CPE?
Happy Mothers Day!
First Stacked pictures

Chapter Six (Week Six) ... Page 195
Toys! Toys! Toys!
What’s In A Name?
Kids and Dogs
Introduction to Wings

Chapter Seven (Week Seven) ... Page 236
About Puppies and Retrieving
Socialize your puppy
First Shots & Vet Visit
Splish Splash, first bath!

Chapter Eight (Week Eight) ... Page 286
Shape up or ship out!
Requirements to ship puppies
See all the pups!

Hunting Page
Agility Page
Tracking Page
CGC page
Dock Jumping
Rally and Obedience page
Breeding: What We're Taught

Our Next Litter