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SoftMaple & Gunflint

Boyerie Dese Maestro Music Please CR-CA148/24M/C-PI-ECHO CR-696G24M-PI CR-750
SoftMaple Gunflint's Beauty CR-715G28F-NOPI, CR-EL131F28-NOPI, CR-CA157/28F/P-NOPI

Week One
(Days 1-7)
+ 90% of time spent sleeping
+ 10% eating
+ Susceptible to heat/cold
+ Instinctive reflexes: crawl, seek warmth, nurse
+ They can right themselves if placed upside down
+ Needs stimulation for urination/defecation
+ Rapid development of central nervous system
+ Need constant care from bitch
+ Rectal temperatures 94-97 degrees Farenheit
+ Pups may lose 10% of weight after birth, but should start gaining again
+ Weight should double by end of week

Day 1

We took some weights this morning. I thought the pups looked smaller than my last litter, but they are all right around one pound each. It must be because Beauty is a lot larger than Bailey was.

Day 2

Mom and pups are doing well this morning.

All the pups

I got an email from the pup's Grandfather's owner in Finland. Sanna Sierilä came the US a few years ago, and brought her dog Max with her from Finland. Fin CH Caballus Mafiosa While Max was in the US, he was bred one time. From that litter Maestro was born.
Beauty's mother was the result of a litter I had where I sent Bumper overseas to breed to Dutch, VDH, German Ch. Caballus Inferno JWW'98, W'98, Europasieger '99, Bundessieger'99 So when searching for a stud for Beauty, I wanted to somehow loosly line breed back into some of the Caballus dogs. There are a few relatives here in the states, as well as some stored semen that could have been used. There was also the option of sending Beauty overseas for the breeding. I decided to use Maestro, since in his pedigree, there were two of the dogs that I really liked that were also behind Caballus Inferno. NL, Lux, D&VDH Ch, BDSg-91, EuSg-92-93,WJSg-91, WSg 96 NLW96 Cornish Marksman and Int&Nord Ch NordW-94 SW-94, WW-98 Caballus Out for a Blaze

You can see more of the dogs behind Maestro and Beauty here

Day 3
January 6th

Big day for the pups. Dewclaws come off.

The dew claw is the rudimentary first toe or first digit on a dog, and, unlike digits 2,3,4 and 5, are not used for walking. They are located a short distance up the leg on the inside surface. At this age, the bones that make up the toes are tiny and soft so that snipping them off is easy. If the dewclaws are not removed at 2-5 days of age one should wait until the pup is old enough to anesthetize safely.

Removing dewclaws from an adult animal is much more difficult than snipping them off of a days old puppy. Recovery time is also longer and many adult animals will bother the incision excessively because it is so easy to reach. This usually necessitates the placement of an Elizabethan collar, a funnel shaped plastic device that surrounds the animal's head, so that it cannot lick or chew its sutures out. Dewclaws serve no purpose to the dog. They are easily snagged on things and often traumatized.

The CCR standard states “dewclaws are generally removed”

The pups in the Rubbermaid tub after the dewclaw is removed.

There were three puppies that had rear dewclaws. Two of the black boys, and the only liver girl. I found this interesting, since the first time I had a litter with rear dewclaws, it was when I bred Bumper to Dutch, VDH, German Ch. Caballus Inferno JWW'98, W'98, Europasieger '99, Bundessieger'99. So in Seger's litter, there were rear dewclaws, but none of Seger's pups had them. Now three of Beauty's pups have them. I am just going to make a note of which pups had them, and see if when they grow up, the resemble their Finnish ancestors more.

Once all the pups are done, they are put back into the whelping box. You have to watch for any additional bleeding.

This is a good time to check the weights of the pups, and check them out for any other problems.

The pile of dewclaws

This is the size of the dewclaw.

The pups are back with Beauty.

Later in the day, we start the Bio Sensor exercises

Day 4

Normal healthy puppies kick and twitch during sleep. You can tell if the temperature in the whelping area is too hot by the way the pups are positioned. If the pups stretch out not touching each other, its too warm. If they huddle in a pile, constantly trying to get to the bottom, its too cool. If they sleep next to each other, or drape over each other, the temperature is good. If its too hot, the pups will pant, loosing moisture. You can check to see if they are getting dehydrated by pinching up the skin. It should be elastic and settle back. If the pup is dehydrated, the skin will stay up, or *tent*.

Day 5

Morning chores are done.

At this stage, all that needs to be done is cleaning the whelping box, changing the liner, checking the pups out, and making sure Beauty has plenty of fresh water, and food available. Later the pups will be put through the Bio Sensor exercises.

Beauty has to be watched carefully at this stage also. I will continue to take her temperature every day this week. Make sure she is not getting a hidden infection. Her teats need to be checked, to make sure she isn't getting Mastitis, or inflammation of the breasts. I have to make sure she is getting enough to eat and more importantly enough to drink. To make milk, she needs a lot of water.

There are many things we need to look out for in the puppies as well. A careless dam may roll on one. The pig rails in the whelping box are designed so she can't trap one against the side of the box. But accidents still happen. Especially with new moms, and big litters where they may loose track of a pup.

Another thing we look for is a pup not getting enough to eat. This can be caused by some sort of birth defect. A clef pallet, hair lip. Something to watch out for is Swimmer Puppies. Here is a little information about Pectus Excavatum.

Swimmers may occur in litters of Corgis or of Newfoundlands. Any breed can be affected. It is not the length of leg that predisposes a puppy or a litter to this problem. The condition is not necessarily hereditary, even though it may occur repeatedly in the litters of one bitch.

All puppy bones are little more than rubber bands in their first weeks of life. If you notice the shape of the chest of your puppies as they are born, you will see a normal oval shape, with the long axis vertical. As puppies crawl around the whelping box and nurse, often they begin to acquire a more flattened shape, with the long axis of the chest becoming more and more horizontal.

Factors which contribute to this are
  • 1. Excessive milk consumption - due to a mother with great deal of milk willing to stay in the whelping box for long stretches. This is what accounts for repeated litters of swimmers from one bitch.
  • 2. Flat whelping box - no way for a puppy to alter pressure on the rib cage by crawling up onto a toy or something similar.
  • 3. Temperature in room too warm - puppies are content to lie in one position and not move around looking for a warm spot.

Delayed walking and aspiration pneumonia are possible consequences of this flattened shape.

Treatment and prevention are pretty much the same thing. Do not allow a bitch with too much milk to spend an unlimited amount of time in the box nursing her puppies. Watch for the first evidence of this problem and take steps to get mother away from the puppies for a couple of hours at a time if you see it starting. Even if this makes more cleanup for you, it will help the puppies. Place sections of orthopedic "egg carton" foam under the blanket in the box, raise one end of the box 2 to 3 inches, or put lots of small soft toys in it so that the puppies can find a place were they can get the weight of the stomach off their lungs, and can orient with their head and chest higher than their abdomen.

Do not have the room too warm. A heating pad under the blanket in the center of the box will give the puppies a reason to move around when the bitch leaves the box, going to the warm spot where they can use each other as ramps to get their head and chest going uphill. If your puppies are spread out all over the box when not nursing, your room and box are too warm. They should want to congregate in one area, and touch one another. If they pile up (literally) and whimper, they are too cool. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature of 68 to 72, so the bitch can be comfortable and not stressed by heat, and so that the puppies will gather in one area of the box. This has the additional benefit of keeping them from being squashed by the bitch or against the sides of the box when she enters the box and lies down.

Traditionally 'hobbling' the puppies legs has been used to help get these puppies up on their feet. In some short legged breeds this may indeed help, but generally speaking, the prevention and treatment guidelines above will be all that are necessary. If puppies have aspiration pneumonia from pressure on their stomach and lungs, cold nebulization and antibiotic treatment may be needed.

Mary C. Wakeman, D.V.M.

1:00pm Beauty takes a moment to enjoy the great NY weather

Day 6
Jan 9, 2005

Red girl, green boy, (L) pink girl, blue boy, (L) yellow boy, (L) blue boy, pink girl, green girl, red boy, yellow girl.
Some of the collars have a squiggle line through them, since they only come in 5 colors. So the black pups that have the same color on, Green boy, Red boy and Blue boy all have a squiggle, and red girl, blue girl and green girl do not. You may not always see it in the pictures.

How the heads look. Eyes and ears still shut

Day 7

Go to the Second week

SoftMaple Curly Coated Retrievers
Mark and Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan New York 13327


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