Wednesday 31 July 2019

Ella's pups are 6 weeks old

Ella’s pups are 6 weeks old this Friday and their little characters are now starting to shine through

I am happy to report that mum and pups are all thriving and doing well. They are a very calm, confident, happy, playful litter and other than a little difficulty in getting them to switch from mums milk to puppy food at 3 weeks everything has gone very smoothly so far.

Meet the pups

FREYA - Silver collar

FLO - Yellow collar

FENDI – Bright green collar

FINNI – Pink collar

FLOYD – Blue collar

FREDDY- Red collar

FOZZIE – Purple collar

FLINT – Green collar

FRANKY – Orange collar

There is no doubt the girls are the lead players in everything they encounter. Particularly Flo, Fendi and Freya. Finni did worry me at one point because she was quite reserved and cautious but she has really developed and is now on a par with her 3 sisters.

Floyd, Flint and Franky are all like their dad PD Drake in the way they walk around like 3 little stocky pit bulls. Here are Floyd and Franky doing their impression of a couple of nightclub bouncers.

Freddy and Fozzie have both appeared somewhat vulnerable and quiet in comparison to the others but they have also really kicked on in the last week and are now more than holding their own.

What is very apparent from the visitors that we have had so far is that they all love people and being held and fussed as demonstrated here with Flint

They have been very advanced in terms of their eyes opening, their hearing and their teeth coming through. As I mentioned in my last blog Mum was finding their biting very painful during feeds and switching them from mum's milk to puppy food was not progressing as I wanted it to. 

So to make sure the pups continued to get their nutrition I continued letting mum feed 3 pups at a time on her bed.

I know there will be lots of breeders reading this who will disagree with interfering in this way but I know Ella and she was very relaxed and happy with this.

I like my pups to have their own bowls so that I don’t get a situation where the greedy pups eat too much to quickly and the slower eaters don’t get their fair share.

But for the first time in our 6 litters this didn’t work and so I continued to hand feed them mince beef individually and let them experiment with one large bowl of puppy food with beef mince which seemed to work.

I then introduced a second feeding pan because 9 pups around one pan was too crowded.

They adore their supper meal of Goats milk and so it was easy to introduce them to this individually.

There was one of the pups who tried to switch to someone else’s but that isn’t a problem because they all scoff their milk so quickly nobody misses out.

I’ve now started them back on individual feeds for all of their main meals and although initially they kept trying to swop bowls they are now getting the idea.

What they do is eat the mince beef on top of their own bowls then try to steal everyone else’s mince beef.

I will now continue with each pup having their own bowl, but if there are slower eaters I will put them in a separate feeding area. 

The pups all ventured out into the garden via the patio doors when they were just 4 weeks.   As always the first ones out were Fendi and Flo.

When you consider at 4 weeks their sight is still poor and they struggle to focus close up and the drop down onto a lower level I was really impressed with them.

Within 2 days they were all going in and out without any difficulty. Here is mum leading them out when I let them out first thing in the morning.

They currently have an enclosed area outside the patio doors and a small enclosed grass area to play in.

Ella has continual access to her pups and although she no longer feeds them she has a strong instinctual urge to check on them and so she can come and go as she pleases.

Here she is leading them out when I let them all out first thing in the morning.

As their eye sight becomes clearer they are becoming more and more playful.

Although they love playing in the grass area where their favourite game seems to be rolling down the bank they still like to be able to retreat to their Den area.

They are getting quite focused on biting people’s legs and shoelaces as my wife found out this week and realises now that Wellies are the order of the day.

The pups are now realising trying to grab a sneaky feed off mum is no longer on the agenda and as a result Ella can enjoy being in with her pups much more.

She has numerous places she can get in and out of the pups exercise area if she wants a quiet moment but still has contact with the pups.

There is obviously much more work involved in having a litter at home as opposed to a kennel environment but just seeing mum having such fun and empathy with her pups makes it all worthwhile.

Mum is also invaluable in giving off her calmness and super confidence which in turn transmits itself to the pups and shows them life is nothing to worry about. Here is Ella showing her total indifference to the hoover and the pups treat it just the same way.

The weather has been a real plus and is why having a litter at this time of year has so many benefits. Here they are having a nap out on the grass without having to go back inside.

I will leave you with Ella enjoying some down time with her pups.

In my next blog I will report on how the pups get on with their 7 week assessment to establish which of them will be retained for the puppy program.

Also I will report on TPD Ernie, TPD Nico and TPD Errol who successfully passed their final assessments last week and will now be allocated to their new handlers for the Sept 2019 Initial Police dog course.

From Ella and I see you next time.

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