Grace Expectations: The puppy Diaries, April6,2011

 
4 week old puppies
we’re out of the box now

 

The puppies have left the whelping box!  Such clever and curious babies…. they climbed out of the box  last Sunday and are scampering around exploring their environment.  I have taken the front panel off so they can  still get into the box where they sleep. 

At 4 weeks they are getting to the really cute stage. They love to bite my boot laces, they are starting to wrestle with their siblings, and  they are starting to master the physical challenges of the  sideways jump, and the “run and leap” puppy manouevres. It such a hoot to watch them play.

 cuddling a 4 week old puppy        puppy sleeping                                                                                              

 

                                                                             

    Of course they really love to be picked up and their sweet  kisses makes us smile. At this stage, we are introducing them to children.  Our friends are invited to bring  children over to play with the puppies and  handle them. This is all part of the socialization process.  Of course,  all the playing means that puppies get  tired and they still need their naps. Grace is, as always, very patient as they  bite her ears and try to attack her tail.  Puppies are still nursing and are starting to enjoy the puppy food too.   

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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Grace Expectations: The puppy diaries

What a difference a week makes!  The puppies are 3 weeks old today. They are  getting  strong on theier feet . Their eyes opened at around day 10 and they can hear now.  They are the cutuest little roly-poly babies.  When I pick them up, they  try to lick my chin and they have  that familiar puppy -breath smell. The 3 tri-colour pups are beginning to get some spots on their feet and lips. The

Sleeping puppies

Sleeping puppies at 2 1/2 weeks

puppies nursing

I am such a patient mother says Grace

3  orange and white babies are starting to  become more clearly marked too. I can hardly believe that they are starting to get teeth and have  begun to eat the dry puppy food we have in a dish in the whelping box.

Grace is an amazing mother. She is very patient when they are nursing and she keeps them very clean. Unlike some of our previous nursing mothers, Grace has maintained her weight pretty well. She eats well and really enjoys her time-out, when we take her for a good run up in the top paddock.

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Grace Expectations: The Puppy Diaries

March 15: The Ides of March! Puppies are 1 week old today!

It is incredible how fast they grow every day!! They love to nurse and it is such a pleasure to see them all lined up with their litttle tails wagging furiously!!

There are 3 males and 3 females and there are 3 tri-colours and 3 orange and white. A good mix. 

Grace is a wonderful mother,  lying patiently in the whelping box with her babies, keeping them clean and warm and letting them nurse whenever thsy want.  There is something to be learned from watching this patience and devotion to the tasks of motherhood.

Puppies eyes will be open  by this weekend. 

More soon!

If you are enjoying this blog, please visit the facebook page ” got English Settters” and click on ” like” on the  posting for this page.

Grace, and 4 day old puppies

Ahhhh Motherhood!!

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Grace Expectations: The Puppy Diaries

Grace and her new-born puppies

Proud mother: Grace and her babies

Puppies have arrivied!!! March 8 2011

Grace with cat Hickory before delivery
Grace before labour with Hickory the cat

   

Grace finally delivered her babies on March 8th in the wee small hours of the morning.  Like her mother Meg, she was very reluctant to produce any babies when  we were in the room. Rather, she preferred to push them out when we left her alone. It  made for  a long night for Tim & me as we checked on her  regularly.

We knew that she would have the puppies  last night as she stopped eating and spent the day lying under Tim’s desk. Remember all our plans for her to delivier in the whelping box?  Well Grace had other ideas and she refused to come out from under the desk. So of course what could we do but make the space as safe and comfortable as possible for her to  do her job?  

Grace was very protective and secretive. Whenever we would come into the office, she would hide her babies close in to her belly. We have 3 males and 3 females. they are a mix of colours: 3 black and white ( maybe  tricolour)  and 3 orange and white. They are all healthy and active and nursing vigorously.Stay tuned as we follow their growth and development

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Grace Expectations: The Puppy Diaries

Due Date Countdown!

Grace lying on the couch

Lying in: Our expectant Mom

We have been trying to get our expectant mother used to her whelping box in the puppy room, but she prefers to do her “lying in” on the couch by the fire.

Puppies are due any minute now – we can feel them moving and she has lots of milk.  We have also seen her dainty figure disappear as the pups grow!

With luck, our next post will feature pictures of our new babies!

Pregnant Grace, standing with a big belly

Grace worries about her figure

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Grace Expectations: The Puppy Diaries

The Whelping Box

Picture of the whelping box with heat lampWe usually set up the whelping box about a week before the puppies are due to arrive.  Typical gestation for dogs is 63 days, but the normal range for whelping is between 59 and 66 days after breeding. 

The first time we used this box was in 1985, when our grand dam setter, Ghost’s Ginger Cahill whelped her first litter.  Since then it has held every litter of English Setters born at Kendal Hills.

The whelping box is assembled and thoroughly disinfected with organic, non-toxic cleansers from Lifetime Solutions.  We hang a heat lamp 36 inches above the box to keep the pups warm.  The box is lined with carpet to provide traction for Grace and her nursing pups.

Grace is spending her days in the puppy room, in the hopes that she will decide to have her babies there.  So far, she is not happy with this arrangement, and will most likely have them in her favourite spot – under Tim’s desk.

We will keep you posted!

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Grace Expectations: The puppy diaries

February 21. Family day.

How appropriate for Grace, given that she is in a family way!

Photo of Grace and Adam pulling Blake on skis

Conditioning is an important part of keeping your pregnant female fit

Grace certainly has fit right in at our house. She loves the cat, much to his dismay as he would prefer to torment her the way he does with Zack!

Grace is getting quite large! We have felt the puppies move and of course now we are wondering how many she will have.

She is at 8 weeks gestation. At this stage, the pups have fur and are  crowded in the uterus. We notice a lot of activity as they are beginning to get into position for the coming birth. Grace has begun to demonstrate some ” nesting behaviour”. She has dug a hole in the carpet under Tim’s desk, much to our chagrin. We think she plans to have her babies  right under the desk….No that is not going to happen.

This week we will build the Whelping box. It is about 4′ X 4′ and has a bar  on the inside of each side to prevent the  mother from  sqaushing her puppies against the side of the box.  Grace will start spending her days down there in the whelping room so she gets used to  the space.

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Grace Expectations…..the Puppy diaries!

Puppy diaries Feb. 9, 2011

 Welcome Grace! 

Grace and Frances February 9, 2011

Grace's arrival at Kendal Hills Kennels

Grace, (BAM’s Amazing Grace) arrived at Kendal Hills Kennels  today. She  has been leased by us  and bred to Ch. Chip’s Uncle Buzzy. We are expecting beautiful English Setter puppies  the first weekend in March.

This is very exciting news. Grace is a 6 year old female bred by us. We are thrilled that her owners, Blake and Irene Mooney  have  leased us this delightful, talented and  beautiful daughter of Meg and Dan  for this up-coming litter.

We plan to  “blog” about Grace’s progress and  about the puppies when they arrive.

Stay tuned for  updates and photos.

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Cold weather!

In this cold dry winter weather,  your dogs need  extra water to make sure they are well hydrated. Here at Kendal Hills Kennels, we find it helpful to add warm water  to  the dogs’ food at meal time.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tim & Frances wish all our English Setter  and dog boarding  customers a wonderful Christmas.

We are so  pleased to be able to have 4 generations of  our home bred English setters  home for the holidays. Here in the photo are  Polly ( Kendal Hills Cosmopolitan). mom  Sally ( Kendal Hills Sally Tap-dance), grandma Bonnie ( Kendal Hills Brazil) and great grandma Speckle (Kendal Hills Spectra).

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2011!

Cheers from Frances & Tim Tufts

 Kendal Hills Kennels

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