Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Nature or Nurture?

Having two litters born so close together, it’s always interesting to see how they grow and develop differently but what I hadn’t thought about when I gave Lexie one of Dazzle’s pups to rear, was the way this could demonstrate the influence of the bitch on these things, even during these early stages. Both litters have just turned 2 weeks so eyes are opening and they have been photographed, wormed and nail trimmed; the difference between the two litters is already very noticeable. (New pics on the website - Dazzles’ pups and Lexies’ pups)

Dazzles pups are great big chunky things, their eyes are mostly open but not quite fully yet but they are incredibly noisy and very very active! I found them almost impossible to photograph because they were just zooming off here, there and everywhere and couldn’t keep still! They are also very inquisitive already, when taking each pup out the rest were crowding at the front of the pen wanting to see what was going on despite probably being able to see very little just yet. Dazzle is a very fidgety bitch, she’s up and down and digs all the vet bed up and moves around the pen a lot, she’s always very restless even when with her pups; she’s also very nosey and likes to keep popping out to see what else is going on and I think this has made her pups the same already. It has to be said that none of them batted an eyelid at the wormer and nail trimming.

Lexie’s pups are not quite as well grown as Dazzle’s but their eyes are fully open, including the Dazzle pup she is fostering. I wonder if her constant attention and cleaning is a factor in aiding this? These pups, including the Dazzle baby, are quiet and contented, nowhere near as active as the pups Dazzle is rearing, they’re only just starting to push up on their feet and don’t have the strength and motor function of Dazzle’s just yet but then they haven’t needed to. Lexie is a very quiet and attentive mum (not the fidget bum she is normally!) and she lays with her pups constantly and keeps pulling them in close so they don’t need to keep moving around to find her like Dazzles do. Lexie’s were not so happy about the wormer and nail trim, it was a bit of a shock to their quiet and sheltered lives so far and as soon as they went back in the crate Lex was in there cleaning the traces of wormer off their faces quick as you like!

must remove all trace of the pink liquid!!

everyone ok?
spot the odd one out!

the adopted baby has made herself at home :)

All that said they are also in very different environments; Lexie is up in my room so the pups have not encountered any other dogs yet. Daz’s are in the dining room where other dogs will wander in and out and there’s a lot more noise and household bustle down there so maybe that is a factor too? I am going to bring Lexies’ downstairs this week so they can start experiencing more, Lexie never likes this move, she’s always very protective and likes to keep all the other dogs away so I tend to leave her separated a little longer than the other girls.

Another week of growth and development to watch with interest!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wilmslow Agility

On Saturday we went to Wilmslow Agility show at Myerscough college which is just down the road from here and I had decided that, despite having done no training over the summer, I would just enter Faith and Teal and see how we got on. Neither of them are weaving yet and the last show I went to at Myerscough there weren’t any weaves in the G1-2 classes (they’re hard to peg down on the surface there) so I was hoping for the same…alas no…weaves in every ring! So I decided I would run them both anyway and use it as a training exercise and a way of seeing how each of them would react to a competition environment. We didn’t complete a single course and it was all very messy, Teal was at least focused and driven but Faith was off her head and had absolutely no concentration at all. That said, I found a couple of positives to take away for them both.

The most Faith managed was in the Combined 1-2 agility which started jump – dogwalk; I knew before we even started that she would go under the first jump, this is something she tends to do at the moment when there is an exciting piece of contact equipment on the other side, she gets her head down, focuses on the up plank and complete fails to notice the pole above her head! Some shows will double pole these sorts of jumps in G1 but sadly not here so she went under as I expected, we just carried on, I can’t blame her, she’s not had nearly enough training. She then completed the next jump and a ‘star’ of three…onto the A-frame and then down over a jump out to a curved tunnel…they had to jump back and then complete the two jumps again but this time not do the tunnel….this proved too much thinking for Faith so she ran up the A-frame again…we left the ring. In the next class which also started jump – dogwalk (argh!) I set her off and she ran straight up the A frame which was set up to the right of the dogwalk…I’m seeing a theme developing here! Grasping any positive I can from her performance…her contacts were lovely, some of the best in the class…fast and accurate with just a single command to ‘go walk’ onto the dogwalk/A-frame and she ran straight down into her 2on-2off and waited for the release; I think this is probably the one benefit from having not trained, she’s not had chance to ‘un-learn’ this! It’s just everything else we need to work on!

I was most pleased with Teal, I was a little concerned about how she might react to the noise and bustle of an agility show, this was quite a big one for her first ‘go’ at agility competition but she wasn’t fazed at all and in fact she was a little OTT hyper in her first class; she managed to bounce of someone’s chest in the queue!! I was so embarrassed…she does it to me all the time when she’s excited but I didn’t expect her to do it to the woman stood next to me! Her excitement showed, she broke her wait so that I had to replace her and then when I released her she set off like a bullet, did most of the course (except the weaves of course) but missed every single contact including a very dramatic flying seesaw to finish…eek! Back to the drawing board. We had an hour or so to wait for the next agility class and thankfully she had calmed down a bit by then, she missed a couple of jumps which I realised was my fault for running on too far ahead (wait for me mum!!!) BUT she nailed all 3 contacts…nice fast running ones too…result! The small 1-2 jumping was the last class of the day and by this point all the other rings had finished and they were packing up; I don’t know if it was this or whether it was me but she just didn’t feel like she was that up for it in this class, in hindsight I should have had her out for a good while before she ran and played with her and warmed her up. I think she’d got cold sitting in the van (probably should have put her coat on) and she gets a bit ‘mard’ when she gets cold; she was really clingy and missed a few jumps trying to stay with me. All in all I was pleased with her, especially considering how little training she’s had; not just recently but ever….she’s probably had less than 10 training sessions since she started her agility at the beginning of this year!

They’re both entered at Wyre in 2 weeks time but I probably won’t run either of them until we’ve got some training in. Although both are due in season fairly soon and Teal will hopefully be mated so she might not get much training in before then.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A 'quiet' weekend at home...

Well, we had a pretty quiet weekend, the weather continues to be awful…constant rain!! Saturday we had lots of people come to visit Dotties’ pups so 4 of them have now been chosen, they will start leaving for their new homes in 3 weeks time so I need to pull my finger out and decide on registered names! They are a really lovely litter, I started weaning them last week and they are eating like gannets!! Dottie is being a great mum again, very relaxed and easy going around them but attentive at the same time; they’re all lovely clean and well fed babies. New pics of them due today now they are 4 weeks old, ready for their next dose of wormer and well ready for another nail trim!

Sunday wasn’t ‘too’ bad a day weather-wise, it stayed mostly dry so I took the opportunity to take some updated pics of the youngsters in the garden. The lighting still wasn’t great so they’re mixed quality… some better than others it has to be said!

Jovi aka ‘JoJo’ – Bryning Amistoso Love Always

Tarka – Bryning Riverine

The ‘boys’…
Wesley– Glendream Stargazer at Bryning and Travis – Raezhaven Bryce at Bryning

Maisie– Randoms Maisie

I also did a little bit of agility training with Teal and Faith before it got dark and started pee’ing down again! I don’t have a lot of equipment at home so it was very basic stuff but since neither girl has trained for months it’s just as well! We did a very simple loop…jump – channel weaves – jump – seesaw. I was actually very pleased with them both since they were both really ‘up for it’ and had remembered their contact position/run off well. I kinda have this theory that less training is better for this sort of thing, once they have an understanding of what you want, leave it alone so you don’t risk inadvertently ‘de-training’ it when your focus moves elsewhere! lol

Biggest problem with Teal was her popping out of the weaves if I’m running too close…everything is a race with her so I have to hang back and let her finish them or she thinks I’m getting away from her and comes out to catch me up! Faith’s biggest issue was ducking under the jump before the weaves, Faith LOVES the channel weaves so was getting her head down in anticipation of the entry and completely failing to see the jump! I dropped the pole on one side and asked her to just complete the jump a few times before then asking her to find the weaves afterwards, this seemed to cure it! Not much use in the ring though! lol

Both girls are entered for their first show this weekend, just down the road at Myerscough College…I may well chicken out and not run them though, it is rather mean to expect them to compete when they’ve had no training all summer, we’ll see what the courses bring and then decide I think (cluck, cluck lol)

Dazzles’ pups were also a week old on Sunday, new pics on the website, and I have to say they are really fat puppies…bordering on obese! Lol

Six big fat chunky slugs and then the little pale merle girl who looks like a midget but is actually just a normal sized puppy! She was the smallest at birth and while she is doing fine I am a little concerned that she may be struggling to compete against her monster littermates so I’ve made the decision to take her away from Dazzle and let Lexie rear her instead. This isn’t something I’ve ever done before but then I’ve never had a bitch with such a small litter before, the little girl is much closer in size to Lexies’ blue boys (not the monster black fella!), although only a day between them in birth dates Lexies’ were of course 5 days early. I wasn’t sure whether this was going to work but Daz doesn’t seem too concerned about being a pup short and Lexie has accepted the new pup so all good so far. I moved her while the mum’s were out toileting so Lex came back to her bed to find the new addition and she did give her a good sniff all over and obviously knew this was not one of hers but she is a very maternal bitch and just let her feed and cleaned her along with the boys and happily settled down with her increased brood of four; her pups were a week old yesterday so new pics to come later.

Last night Jovi and I travelled down to Tom and Kate’s near Wrexham, meeting Gemma and Fynn on the way to get blood samples taken for rabies titre testing. Fingers crossed both will pass and be joining us at the Euros next year…wherever that may be!! As yet we are all still waiting to find out whether the Austrians and/or Germans are going to host the 2010 event.

Think that’s it for now :)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Blue Monday...

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks really with one thing and another but our winter puppy season is now well underway!

Squirrel has been mated so we should hopefully be expecting our first litter of parsons around Christmas time! Here's a pic of daddy 'Chello'…

CH Giftrapped of Lovealoch to Pacolito
Dazzle whelped Sunday night, bang on the date I expected. We got a nice litter of 7, 4 girls and 3 boys (the reverse of Dottie) and all dilute of course…2 blue girls, 2 slate merle girls and 3 blue boys. I’ll get some individual pics on the website later but I am very pleased with them. The merle girls don’t have a lot of white on them, much like Dazzle and granny Spangle, one is very pale and powdery like big brother Spark and the other quite patchy, very like Spangle actually. The two blue girls are very classic, full white collars, white faces and white front legs, there’s one classic blue boy with a half white collar (like daddy Viggo!), one dark faced blue boy with a tiny narrow blaze that may well disappear and one very dark blue boy…blue face with a tiny white snip and two blue front legs with white feet. I think he’ll be very striking!
Not wanting to be left out Lexie decided to whelp last night too! she wasn’t due ‘til the weekend so was quite early and only produced 3 pups which is unusual for an early delivery but it really is as well she didn’t wait because the black boy is a monster and she struggled getting him out…I think a c-section may have been necessary if he had been left much longer! He’s going to be very much the ‘odd one out’ amongst all these blue babies though! lol

The two blue boys are marked very like daddy (Tally), white faces and dark bodies, 4 blue legs with just white on the feet. The black boy is more classically marked like Lexie, it’ll be interesting to see how they all grow.

'Tally' - Sh CH Littlethorn Continental

That’s the last of our expected litters arrived so now the anticipation ends and the hard work starts! Dottie’s pups are 3 weeks old today so I’ll update their page with new pics later too; they are lovely little things, bright and active and noisy and nosey…just like mum! Lol

I am, as always, fascinated to see how these 3 litters turn out, although Daz and Dot are half sisters the 3 litters are all very different bloodline combinations and it’s always interesting to see the differences in growth and development between different litters. I also have the enviable task of deciding who stays and who goes…some tough decisions me thinks!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Surf's Up! :)

Here are a few pics from Erin and Surf (Bryning Time to Fly) taken at the YKC weekend at Newark showground where they also managed to qualify for Crufts in the YKC Heelwork to Music! :)

Well done girls!! :)