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Summer's first litter -- NOW WITH PUPPY CAM!

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EDIT: THE PUPPY CAM IS UP. HERE'S THE LINK: Puppy Cam

We are on puppy watch. We expect to have a litter within about 24 hours. As some here will remember, when we have a litter we put up a 24/7 webcam, so people can watch the puppies. I will put the link to it in this thread.

And I have to say right up front, PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME ASKING FOR PUPPIES FROM THIS LITTER. They have all been sold for quite some time, and we have stopped accepting applications. Sorry.

Summer was bred for the first time in August, and as I write this at 7:00 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, she has just begun Stage I labor. Her temperature dropped this morning to 98°F, she has stopped eating, and as she lies here on the sofa next to me she is panting and occasionally starts digging in the sofa. That means we can expect puppies within about 24 hours. We think she has 9 puppies on board. Here is her x-ray, and below are copies with helpful drawings on it.

Automotive tire Font Tints and shades Radiography X-ray



Handwriting Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design Font


Font Asphalt Urban design Pattern Automotive tire


The first time with a maiden bitch is kind of fraught, but she and the puppies look good, and they seem to be ready to go. You can see in the x-ray that two of them have already positioned themselves for the exit ramp.

Since we just moved I will have to find the puppy camera, so we may not have it up the moment the puppies are born, but as we always do we'll have it up within 24 hours.

I am backing off of the whelping and rearing this time, as Theresa is going to be the Head Honchette going forward, as I transition into retirement. But I will be providing support and will be her Litter Lackey. LOL! Theresa has been doing more and more with each litter lately, and it's time her to run with it, and I will just support her.

These pups will be with us until about the middle of December, and you will be able to follow them via puppy cam the whole time. We just moved and are still figuring things out. But Summer will whelp in our "puppy room," and the litter will be raised there. It is a big room apart from the rest of the house. Theresa will sleep with the puppies for the first 3 weeks (I don't mind not doing that this time!). But by the time they're about five weeks old we'll have the whole room dedicated to the puppies in various ways. Please forgive us if it takes us a few adjustments from time to time.

I think I've posted puppy cam links here for 4 or 5 litters, from Ziva and Khaleesi I think, but no others. For those who remember Ziva's and Khaleesi's litters here, Ziva is Khaleesi's mother, and Khaleesi is Summer's mother, and Summer is having puppies. Ziva is lying at my feet right now. She's going to become a great-grandmother within the next day or so.

Okay, we're on the clock now...
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I am really looking forward to the puppy cam! Best wishes for an easy delivery for your beautiful girl.
 
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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations, Summer!! Can’t wait to see all your puppies😍
Will Splash be bred, too?
Splash (Summer's littermate) was bred a couple weeks after Summer was, but for some reason it did not take. So we'll try Splash again next time, and we'll do all the scientific stuff (like counting sperm and measuring motility) that we didn't do this time.

To be honest, I'm kinda glad it didn't take. One litter is plenty of work. Two at the same time is more than we need to deal with. :D
 

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So excited to watch the puppy cam!! We (my daughter and I) checked it daily in 2020 (I think that was Splash's litter? Maybe Summer too?) Summer is a lovely girl; can't wait to see her babies! Good luck to Theresa!
 

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Thank you! This will be very informative for me, as I have a 6 month old female I may potentially breed in the future. My teen daughter is NOT on board with her having puppies so perhaps this will make her more open-minded (or maybe make me change my mind as well ;) ) Best of luck to Summer and you all!
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thank you! This will be very informative for me, as I have a 6 month old female I may potentially breed in the future. My teen daughter is NOT on board with her having puppies so perhaps this will make her more open-minded (or maybe make me change my mind as well ;) ) Best of luck to Summer and you all!
Miracle of life and all, right? But breeding is not for the faint of heart. If you do it, I suggest you get a mentor, first.

So many things can (and do) go wrong. It is heartbreaking to watch a puppy fade, and even though you're up 24 hours with the puppy, doing everything you can for it and making frantic trips to the emergency vet, you watch it slowly die before your eyes. Or to have a puppy born with its intestines on the outside. Or to have your whole litter get sick with something like Parvo and it costs $50,000 to care for them at the vet and they still die. Or to have your dam have complications during whelp and you have to rush her to the emergency vet in the middle of the night for an emergency c-section, and be in danger of losing not only the litter but your dam, too.

And even if everything goes right, as a breeder you have to spend 24/7 within arm's reach of the puppies, day and night, getting very little sleep, for their first three weeks. If you're lucky there are two of you who can split duties, but even then you can forget about having a life for a while. What happens if your dam rolls over and smothers one in the middle of the night? What happens if they get too cold, or too hot? They are extremely fragile the first three weeks. What if your dam gets mastitis and can't nurse her puppies? What if your dam freaks out from calcium deficit, or turns on her own puppies, or gets pyometra or another infection from failing to eject afterbirth?

Even when everything goes right it's time consuming. We take temperatures twice a day, and take the dam's temperature daily. We weigh them and track them every day. We have to make sure that the smallest one is getting enough to eat. We are constantly washing and changing bedding, multiple times a day, as puppies simply poop and pee everywhere. You hope the dam keeps the whelping box clean, but they don't always. You have to repeatedly clean and bathe your dam in the beginning, too, as well as take her out multiple times a day, feed her multiple times a day as much as she will eat because she needs as many calories as you can force into her. Sometimes you have to tube feed neonatal puppies, meaning sticking a tube down their throats into their stomachs and put food in through the tube. Sometimes you have to supplement puppies, and make a complicated formula with all sorts of hard to find ingredients. We have to trim their nails every other day starting on Day 3. Then you have to start potty training them. If mom isn't good at cleaning them you have to clean and potty all the puppies (neonatal puppies can't eliminate on their own; they need their mother's stimulation to be able to go).

Proper development is important, so starting as young as three days old we start working with them, beginning with early scent introduction and early neurological stimulation. We do this daily with each puppy. As they grow, open their eyes, and become more mobile, we have to change their environment every couple days to continually stimulate the puppies with new challenges. We have to expand their living area several times. We have to constantly change the toys and challenges in their environment, like every couple days so that they keep developing and become confident, capable dogs. Eventually, you have to start weaning them and making gruel for them, and make sure they all get enough to eat. Plus, at first they practically bathe in it, so you are constantly cleaning up to a dozen puppies each time they eat. LOL! You have to give them obstacle courses and things to explore. Then you have to start potty training them, which involves lots of cleaning of poop from everywhere, hopefully mostly the litter box you have to buy/make and keep fresh litter in it. And by that time they are making a mess of their entire area, so you are constantly cleaning it and sanitizing it.

Eventually, you have to get all those puppies outside to start experiencing the world. You have to watch them every second. And then we take them on "adventure walks," where we lead them through the "world," and force them to solve problems, get over and around obstacles, learn to follow human beings, and gain confidence in the world. Also, we do things like temperament testing, which takes two entire long days with each litter, and requires setting up a sanitary environment somewhere where they have never been, with various controlled situations for temperament testing. We crate train them. We start to housebreak them. We teach them a basic recall. I mean, imagine doing that with one puppy, then imagine doing it with 8-10 puppies. It's chaos! LOL! We also start to socialize them by taking them for car rides (and an expensive trip to the vet), having them meet safe animals, try to get their little feet on every conceivable surface, and have them meet as many different people as possible, all while trying to keep them healthy and safe from Parvo and other disease.

And then, if everything has gone right, you'll get to the day when you say goodbye to them. It takes ALL DAY. We educate every buyer. We have lots of paperwork to do. We microchip every puppy. We vaccinate them all. We register them with the AKC. We prepare "puppy packets" for every buyer, with everything about their own puppy, a wealth of information for rearing their puppy, all the records they need, photos, pedigrees, nomographs, vaccine records, food, toys, a blanket that smells like mom and their siblings, and a million other details. You have to answer questions, and buyers have a million questions.

And then they're gone, and it's time to put everything away, clean everything up, and get back to normal life. But at first you're getting almost daily calls from multiple puppy buyers. Is this normal? How much should I feed? Is my puppy too fat/thin? My puppy wants to eat poop! Or sticks. Or pebbles. Or socks. She screams in the crate. He won't come when I call. He's going to the bathroom everywhere in the house. She's biting my daughter. She doesn't want to cuddle with me. We're not getting any sleep. I'm overwhelmed and want to return the puppy (I can't tell you how often we get people frantic because they thought they were getting a plug and play cute toy rather than an infant of a predator species that doesn't speak English or know what it is supposed to do in a human environment).

Meanwhile, your dam is blowing her coat and there is dog hair everywhere. Her body has gone through a lot of trauma, and you have to nurture her back to normal health, and watch for complications even after the puppies are gone.

Finally, about a month after you send the puppies home, you start to get some peaceful days. And if you're lucky, you'll get pictures of some of those puppies from proud and beaming owners. More often, you think about the puppies often and wonder how they're doing, and you just have to trust that you've chosen homes well, and that they are all in happy, healthy, productive environments, and that you didn't make any mistakes in placing them. Because when you breed and create these precious little lives, your most solemn responsibility is to make sure they go to homes where they can have the biggest little lives they can possibly have. And if you place them in a home that beats them, or neglects them, or otherwise mistreats or maltreats them, you know that you've sentenced that innocent little soul to a decade or more of torture and abuse, and there is nothing in the world you can do about it. You just have to live with that knowledge.

Gosh, I didn't even get into all the stuff that goes on pre-whelp, before the puppies are even born or conceived. The literal hundreds of inquiries you have to manage and research. Choosing a stud. Getting health clearances. Doing the deed I don't think we have ever just put two dogs in the back yard and let nature take its course. We have medical tests. Often our stud is somewhere else in the country and we have to ship semen and get the timing just right. There is progesterone testing every other day. Figuring out when they ovulate. Making vet appointments for insemination. The insemination (usually two; usually transcervical, occasionally surgical). Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. Pre-whelp vet appointments. Pre-whelp x-rays (in our case) to count puppies. There are a ton of supplies to buy. You have to prepare the whelping environment. There are planned c-sections and emergency c-sections. And if everything goes right, you are up literally all night long whelping puppies, which is after spending a restless night with your bitch in Stage I labor.

Well, I think I've said enough. LOL! I'll be surprised if anyone has read this far.

Breeding is not for the faint of heart, as so many things can go wrong, and do. And even if everything goes right, it is a long, exhausting process that begins well before birth and lasts until well after the puppies go to their homes.

Any smart person would be with your daughter on this. Clearly, Theresa and I are not smart! :)
 

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Wow, just wow.. Thank you Dana for taking the time to write that all out for us. I read every word too and digested it all. I still have a hard time comprehending just how much time you spend to have a litter. It is just mind boggling when you think about all the time and stress involved to be a breeder.
 

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Well, I think I've said enough. LOL! I'll be surprised if anyone has read this far.

Breeding is not for the faint of heart, as so many things can go wrong, and do. And even if everything goes right, it is a long, exhausting process that begins well before birth and lasts until well after the puppies go to their homes.

Any smart person would be with your daughter on this. Clearly, Theresa and I are not smart! :)
I'd be surprised if anyone DIDN'T read that. It's fantastic to hear about it all, so many people are like "Hey, I have a girl dog, you have boy dog. I like puppies, you like puppies...lets make puppies!" With no thought to anything else. People need to hear it.
 
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