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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

SASHA’S LITTER ARE NOW 6 WEEKS OLD AND BROTHERS SYDNEY AND STAR ARRIVE FROM HOLLAND


Sasha’s pups are now 6 weeks old and will be undergoing their assessments this Friday 13th April. The last 6 weeks seem to have flown by and regardless of how many pups pass their assessments I am absolutely delighted with this group of pups.

They are all very active forward pups with a strong attraction to people and they are very playful. Let me introduce them to you.

Echo

Echo is an exact clone of her mum Sasha. She is a sweet natured gentle puppy who is happiest when she has a toy to carry around and has tremendous focus.

Eddie


Eddie from the word go has been the explorer who is the first to everything. He was the smallest pup in the litter but is catching up fast.

Elsie

Elsie has been of consuming interest to me because she was always the pup lying in between Sasha’s front legs in the early weeks. I wondered whether she may have been a bit clingy.

Far from being clingy she is without doubt the toughest little character in the litter. She is a feisty forward driven pup who always has the last word in every exchange.

Ernie

Ernie is a puppy who just goes about his business without too much fuss and just gets on with life. He loves his cuddles and can be a bit vocal if he feels he is being ignored.

Errol

Errol is the largest pup in the litter and is basically an eating machine. I give him more food than the rest and I watch him closely at feed times to stop him robbing the other pups of their food.

Eyke

Eyke is the escape artist. In 5 litters the only pup to climb over the side of the sleeping box was Donna from the D litter when she was 7 weeks old. Eyke was over the side at 5 and a half weeks.

Here he is on the right looking over.
He is now also coming over the top of the front drop down board which I have never had before.

He is ferocious on his tugging and when he grabs my wellie boot it is impossible to get him to let go.

The pups are now all on solid food 3 times a day and a small feed in the evening.
With the exception of Echo they all practically inhale their food. Echo is just like her mother she likes to take her time eating her food. Because the others have finished their meals before she has hardly started I feed her in a separate area.
As the pups became more active around 4 weeks I made their exercise area larger for them.


and made sure that Sasha had a viewing area where she can relax and monitor the pups.
She loves to spend time with her pups but because they have such sharp teeth she must be able to retreat when they become too rough. She alternates between going in with her pups, spending time on her viewing spot and when she wants to sleep, on her sofa.
I have also added wood wool to the puppies run because this gives them somewhere to toilet and keeps the run much cleaner.

The only problem is they like to lie in the wood wool and play in it. Here they are the day I introduced it.


Sasha also enjoys romping in the wood wool with her pups.

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Unfortunately the weather has been atrocious and it has been a struggle getting them out. To get them used to changing to a new surface ie grass I started by carrying them and placing them in an outside pen with their mum to give them confidence.

They were only just over 4 weeks old and mum surprised me by deciding she was going to give them a feed. With the birds singing in the back ground watching them was a wonderful experience.




They then played chase with mum around the garden. By the time they had finished chasing mum they were very confident on the grass.



This would prove to be very useful to me when I opened a larger secure grassed area for them to explore.

The next job was to get them to come out from the conservatory themselves. The first day I opened the patio doors to allow them to make their own way out was very interesting. Eddie and Elsie were the first out. The rest were more cautious.

I could have helped them out but I wanted to see who were the most adventurous and bold puppies in working out the problem for themselves.


By the next day they were all out running around happily in the enclosed area outside the patio doors.



This area was perfect for Sasha who could keep an eye on them from a raised wall.

They were in this area for around 4 days before I opened it up to the rest of the garden. We have been extremely keen to make sure that Sasha always has access to her pups.

Once the pups are on solid food and mum is no longer feeding a lot of breeders remove mum because it makes life easier.

But as you will see from these videos in my opinion by doing this you are depriving mum of the opportunity to teach her pups valuable lessons and more importantly to enjoy the magical experience of bonding and enjoying her litter.



At the end of the day mum has worked extremely hard to produce this litter for you and so it cannot be right to deny her such pleasure just for convenience.

Once I opened up the rest of the garden this allowed them to explore and really burn off their excess energy. It is so much easier raising a litter with the longer daylight hours. Here they are venturing into their new area.
Here they are after breakfast with mum in their favourite area by the garden shed.


As always we have been inundated with requests to visit the pups and although it is hard work for my wife and I it is very much a case of the more the merrier. This is because it will go such a long way to developing their character and hopefully develop a positive experience of meeting people in the future.



Being raised in the house definitely has its advantages with all of the various noises such as the TV, washing machine, hoover etc. I introduce the hoover initially while the pups are searching for food pellets.

They eventually associate the noise of the hoover with food and completely ignore it thereby preventing attacks on hoovers or running and hiding.



As we approach the assessments I keep being asked ‘who do I think will do well.  It is difficult to say because on the assessments it will be the first time that they will have been assessed on their own as an individual.

Up until now they have always been together in the group and on an assessment they will be on their own in a room they have never been before with someone they have never met before. Assessments are always surprising.

The quietist in the group has been little Echo.
She is the delicate eater and usually enjoys her own company and is very happy as long as she can carry a toy around.
Everyone describes her as a pet but I think she is just like her mother Sasha. She is sensitive and happy to be cuddled but she will stick up for herself particularly if it involves someone trying to take her toy off her.

I think she is the dark horse. Here she is with her mum.
They do seem a very advanced litter and because they are so energetic I took them to the dog training school at the tender age of 5 and a half weeks.

They travelled well and enjoyed meeting people in the school. Here I am arriving back home to take some very tired puppies for a well earned sleep.



The pups were introduced to the ball pool this week and now we are having problems keeping them out.
The worst offender is Elsie who keeps dive bombing in and out every opportunity she gets.



Here are the girls Echo and Elsie asking where have the balls gone.
Fortunately Sasha gets on very well with my female Ella and we go for a walk every morning and evening in Killerton park.
When I first started taking them out Ella would charge off and Sasha would walk with me. Now they charge around trying to outpace each other which has resulted in Sasha getting back into excellent condition.



Next time I will update you on the assessments and which pups will be going to puppy walkers and which pups will be joining their new owners.

From Sasha and her pups bye for now.


SYDNEY AND STAR ARRIVE FROM HOLLAND

Finally in amongst all the bedlam this week we also welcomed new pups Sydney and Star from Holland. Sydney and Star will be joining Bill, Ben and Lola on the January 2019 Initial Police dog course.

Sydney is pictured here with new puppy walker Phil Ash from Cornwall.
Star is pictured here with puppy walker Margaret in Plymouth.

Sydney and Star are brothers aged 15 weeks. They were bred by the world renowned breeder Koos Hassing of Tiekerhook kennels. We already have 2 dogs Rudy and Peppe from this breeder who are both doing well.

Both pups Sydney and Star have settled in well and hopefully I will let you know how they get on with their first training session in 3 weeks’ time

From Sasha and her pups, Ella and me bye for now.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Sasha’s pups are now 24 days old and doing really well



Since my last blog the pups can now see and hear and are able to get around on their own four feet. I have removed the pig rails to create more room in the whelping box. In these early days they spend the majority of their time sleeping.









Here they are having a little burst of energy in between sleeps.



One of the pups Elsie in the black collar always ends up lying between mum’s front paws.


Eyke in the Silver collar did make an attempt to acquire that position but Elsie soon saw that attempt off.

Sasha spends lots of time in with her pups but her favourite spot is looking down from her sofa where she can relax and doesn’t get too overheated. This will become very important as their teeth and nails grow making feeding unpleasant allowing her to withdraw but still watch over them.

What I find remarkable that even at only 2 weeks old they already do their toileting on the paper and not on their bedding. This has been the case with all of our litters and clearly showing they have an inbuilt desire to be clean.

Sasha has been the most amazing mother to her pups providing round the clock care and a constant supply of rich nutritious milk. We feed her a top quality puppy dry food with raw minced beef and chicken wings 3 times a day.

Plus she insists on her Weetabix and goats milk at 9pm each night.

At around 21 days she started to reduce the number and length of her feeds preparing them for weaning. Weaning is the gradual reduction of a puppy’s dependency on his/her mother’s milk.

I start the process of getting the pups ready for solid food by feeding each pup a walnut sized piece of mince beef.

From here I give them small amounts of blended puppy food mixed with raw minced beef.
I insist on each pup having his/her own bowl to make sure they each get what they need and also it gets them used to handling and to realise that human hands around their food bowl is a good thing.
Elsie definitely enjoyed it.

They had been threatening to climb over the front boards since day 14 and here are Eyke (Silver ) and Eddie (Blue) attempting to join mum on her sofa.

Sasha wasn’t having any of that, Knocking them both back inside and then giving them all a feed.


Whilst I appreciate not all pups can be born and raised in a home environment there is no doubt it gives mum and pups the perfect start in life.

Here is a video of mum and pups in complete solitude away from prying eyes and noise. They are getting good quality rest which aids their wellbeing and development.



I weigh the pups every other day just to keep an eye on their development. There is no doubt having just 6 pups means there is plenty to go around for everyone and this has been shown by how even their weight gains have been.

Here is Eddie happily sat in the weighing box.

This weekend I opened up a bigger area for the pups and as their eyesight improves I will open it up further.



You can see from the video their eyesight is still very hazy and they are still very reliant on their nose to locate mum.

This weekend Sasha’s full time Carers Julie and Les who live near Bath came down to see her and her pups. You will see from the video she was very pleased to see them along with Julie’s sister Karon.



Before going to live with Julie and Les, Sasha lived with my family for over 2 years and had her D litter with us. Now that Julie and Les are her carers Sasha will live with Julie and Les for the rest of her life.

Sasha very proudly showed off her pups to Julie and Les.

Julie couldn’t resist lots of cuddles and helping out feeding them. Here she is feeding Eyke.


With snow on the way they had to leave to get back to their home in Bath. They will be popping back to see Sasha and her pups again. When the pups leave for their new homes at 8 weeks Sasha will return to Bath with Julie and Les.

We had a worrying day yesterday when Sasha was overloaded with milk and one udder was huge and obviously uncomfortable. Sasha wouldn’t feed the pups and was whining constantly which I interpreted that she wanted to feed but something was preventing her from doing so.

I checked all of her teats repeatedly but could find no signs of a problem and I decided a veterinary visit was in order. I heard her whining through the night but when I went to see her this morning she had obviously fed her pups and now seems back to normal.

As we now move into the weaning stage the real work starts as I start to take over feeding and cleaning from mum.

I have received my copy of the Fabulous Finn which I am really looking forward to reading.

However with 6am to 10pm days ahead for the next 4 to 5 weeks it is something to look forward to on our Hols in May.

Here are the pups last night having some playful banter before retiring for the night.



Today the pups are 3 weeks and 4 days old. I will be compiling another blog when they are 5 weeks old.

You can see daily updates on twitter. DC_POLICE DOGS @DC_POLICEDOGS

UPDATE ON THE REST OF THE PUPS

The Initial Police dog course is now in week 7 and all the dogs are doing really well. From left to right are Ollie, Tag  Eric and Oscar ( Now Roscoe)

Because of the recent weather I have had to cancel a number of training sessions. I managed to get some training in with Henry, Lola, Lulu and Ben.

Here is Henry practising his hold and leave with puppy walker Jill.


Like most Dutch herders and Malinois getting them to bite is never a problem and so ensuring that they always understand that they must leave on command is vitally important.

Control is therefore very important as demonstrated here by Jill working on Henry’s down stay.

His tracking is also progressing really nicely.



Henry would be a handful for anyone and Jill and Terry’s experience having puppy walked 11 pups is paying dividends.

Here is 3 month old Lola with Karol getting in some practise on the ramps in preparation for the forthcoming Devon county show.

Here she is again being assessed on different floor surfaces and various noises in the pavilion. She was very confident and not at all sensitive to sounds.

Here is Lola’s sister Lulu with puppy walker Margaret on the Agility ramps and also practising her down.


Here she is pictured in the pavilion doing a sit.

I collected Lulu and her sister Lola from the breeders in January. From the moment I arrived home I had my doubts about Lulu in terms of her lack of confidence. This was very apparent on her puppy assessment and has been consistent on the occasions I have seen her with her puppy walkers.

Because of this I have had conversations with Margaret about not getting too attached but Margaret fully understood and was happy to see how she got on.

Reluctantly I have decided to return Lola back to Ian the breeder at Lorokmor working dogs. She has many endearing qualities and it is rare that I would release a puppy quite so soon but I do not think she has the necessary confidence and strength of character to become a Police dog.

To date we have had 6 puppies from Lorokmor working dogs ie Merlin, Henry, Bill, Ben, Lola and Lulu. With the exception of Lulu I am very happy with the progress and development of the remaining pups.

Here is Ben taking everything in his stride on our last training day and showing a natural aptitude for tracking with his puppy walker Lyn.


Pictured here are Lola, Lulu and Ben on our last training day.

We have 2 15 week old puppies Star and Sidney arriving from Tiekerhook kennels in Holland in 2 weeks’ time to join our existing three January 2019 pups Bill, Ben and Lola.

I hope to do some training with Peppe, Merlin, Henry, Quest, Quini and Gunnar on Sunday and possibly out with the Initial course next week. None of this would be possible without my long suffering wife Diane who will be looking after the pups and Sasha while I'm out.

I will leave you with a picture of my young girl Ella out enjoying the snow.

See you next time