Introducing “Freckles” – 8 Week Photos -Available

On August 4th, 2017, Seamus x Melody had a litter of borzoi puppies. Over the next few days, we’ll be doing something a little different with our “Daily Cute” and introducing the girls that aren’t spoken for.  If you’ve considered adding a companion, performance or show borzoi to your life, have a look at THESE cutie pies! 

Like all the dogs born here at Aria, puppies from this 2017 “Van Morrison” litter begin life with all the advantages we can give them.  Intensive pedigree research, as well as temperament testing and health screenings are all crucial parts of our breeding program, and all our litters receive the “SuperDog” puppy development exercises used by the US Army. You can read about them in an upcoming blog post we have planned soon. We strive to breed borzoi that excel in their lives, whether that be in the show ring, the field, as a beloved family pet, or (as most of our dogs) some combination of all of the above!

This is Freckles.

This is an 8 week old photo of “Freckles.” See how she lives up to her name?  This little girl is one constant smile factory, and we think she’s going to be a versatile bundle of energy that will do well in the show ring, coursing field, and as a loving companion.  She has an agile, athletic way about her already, and she’s always up for a game of “borzoi and wolves” with her littermates!  Freckles is available to a show, performance or companion home. $1000

Here is Freckle’s 8 week photo.
Happy “Birth-Day” Freckles!

The link to our questionnaire is HERE.

   Feel free to contact us on Facebook at Aria Borzoi to inquire about pedigree or any other questions you might have.  

 

 

Introducing “Minnie” – 8 Week Photos – Available!

available borzoi puppy

On August 4th 2017, Seamus x Melody had a litter of borzoi puppies. Over the next few days, we’ll be doing something a little different with our “Daily Cute” and introducing the girls that aren’t spoken for.  If you’ve considered adding a companion, performance or show borzoi to your life, have a look at THESE cutie pies! 

Like all the dogs born here at Aria, puppies from this 2017 “Van Morrison” litter begin life with all the advantages we can give them.  Intensive pedigree research, as well as temperament testing and health screenings are all crucial parts of our breeding program, and all our litters receive the “SuperDog” puppy development exercises used by the US Army. You can read about them in an upcoming blog post we have planned soon. We strive to breed borzoi that excel in their lives, whether that be in the show ring, the field, as a beloved family pet, or (as most of our dogs) some combination of all of the above!

available borzoi puppy
This is Minnie.

This is an 8 week old photo of “Minnie.” This little girl is a bundle of happy, and loves to play with her littermates and charm ALL the people.  She has a scrappy attitude and is good at figuring things out. Minnie is available to a companion home. $1000

Minnie – 8 Weeks Old
Day 1, Girl 4 “Minnie”  Happy “Birth-Day”

The link to our questionnaire is HERE.

   Feel free to contact us on Facebook at Aria Borzoi to inquire about pedigree or any other questions you might have.  

 

 

Bio Sensor and Scent Exercises

Bio Sensor Exercises

Did you know that from day 3 through day 16, there are a set of easy exercises you can do with your newborn puppies that help maximize their potential as performance dogs later in life?  These Bio-Sensor exercises stimulate their neurological and physical development and were developed for the SuperDog program for the US Army.  There’s only a small window of time for this program to be most effective, and keeping track on a developmental schedule will help you be sure you don’t miss this opportunity. If you’d like to see a video on the process, one is available here. 

These little sniffers are ready to be exposed to new scents as early as 3 days!

You can also introduce scents during this time frame.  Each day, introduce a new scent item.  While each puppy takes their turn investigating the offered scent, put them on a level surface, or hold them in your lap – so long as they are safe from falling.  You can choose a variety of scent items for these few days, focusing on things they might need to be familiar with in their adult life.  For example, bird dogs would benefit from exposure to pheasant feathers.  Law enforcement dogs could be exposed to some of the scents they might encounter on the job. Therapy dogs could sample some hospital scents, like antiseptics and cleaning products.  Blankets that smell like other pets in the household, or dirty laundry from family members are good choices, too.

Hold the scent near their nose, a half inch to an inch away, and allow the puppy to interact with the scent at will for at least five seconds. If the puppy moves forward to engage with the scented item, allow them up to 30 seconds to continue smelling. Repeat the process with each pup.  

You can see a video on early scent introduction here

Keeping track and making little notes of each session may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually pretty rewarding. As time goes on, you can learn a little bit about the personality of each pup.  Who is good at self-soothing?  Who is normally quiet, and who is always vocal?  Who is the first one to

Little Denzel is one seriously mellow fellow! He was a great little puppy from the moment he was born. Here he is, falling asleep while being weighed. You can see my notes to the left.

explore a new scent or toy?  All these things can be important later, when deciding which pup is the best fit for which home.  

There can be a very thin line between “good” and “great.”  Going that little extra step early on can help YOUR puppies stand out as superstars later in the ring, on the field and as pets and companions.  

 

Labor and Delivery: Post-Whelp Troubles

The last couple days, we’ve been doing a series on Labor and Whelping. Today features three potential problems that may affect a nursing bitch  post-delivery.  Over the next few weeks, we will  be doing a series of posts about early puppy care and development.

Post-Whelp Troubles

Sometimes everything can go great during delivery, but problems arise afterwards.  Here are a few things to watch out for, as your bitch settles into caring for her brand new litter…

Mastitis: A condition when the bitch’s teats can become red, painful and swollen, making it difficult for her to nurse her puppies without discomfort. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some bitches can develop a fever and become lethargic.  Warm compresses/hot packing can help alleviate the pain. The puppies should still be encouraged to nurse the affected nippes – it helps flush out the infected material and doesn’t harm them in the least.

Verdict: Not an emergency, but watch to see if it worsens.  If it doesn’t clear up after a few days, or your bitch becomes lethargic, feverish, or snappish to her pups DO consult your vet.

Metritus: Usually occuring the first couple days after deliver, metritus is caused by trauma during delivery or a retained placenta.  Metritus is a serious condition and should be seen by your vet sooner rather than later.  Signs to watch out for include:

  • Listlessness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of Interest in Puppies
  • Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge
  • Decreased Milk Production
  • Fever  

Eclampsia: More common in small dogs and usually seen in the first three weeks of lactation, eclampsia is caused by a calcium deficiency, as the dam’s stores are depleted by the demands of nursing her litter. Oddly enough, regular calcium supplementation pre-pregnancy can predispose a bitch for this condition.

Early stages include:

  • Nervousness, restlessness.
  • Stiff gaits.
  • No interest in her puppies.

As the condition progresses and becomes more serious, look for:

  • Inability to stand
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Eclampsia is a serious medical emergency!  Get your bitch to the vet immediately!

Most bitches are great mothers to their pups, and any sudden disinterest or lethargy is worth your attention. Paying attention to the dam and her needs is important to noticing an illness while it’s in it’s early stages, which can save money at the vet, not to mention lives.  

 

 

Labor and Delivery: The Second and Third Stages

Yesterday we featured the first part of Labor and Whelping, covering how to predict when labor will occur based on body temperature, the first stage of labor, a list of things to worry about during delivery that probably require veterinary attention, and another list of things that can seem troubling but are NOT emergencies. To visit that post, click HERE.  Over the next few weeks, we will be doing a series of posts about early puppy care and development.

Zen takes a break as between puppies to catch her breath and ask for some ice cream.

Stage 2 Labor = Hard Labor

When most people think of “labor” this is what they are thinking of.  Heavy contractions, and the regular expulsion of puppies. For those who are new to the process, the expectation is puppy, placenta, puppy, placenta, etc. in regular intervals until the litter is entirely birthed.  But it doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s ok.  

Stage 2 Labor is when a puppy is being birthed, and Stage 3 is when a placenta is being expelled. They don’t always come in that order, or one after another. As we mentioned yesterday, sometimes a couple of puppies can come, then a couple of placentas and that’s fine.  

Her water may have broken at some point before, but if it hasn’t, it will. Sometimes it can pass unnoticed. Start the clock with your bitch’s first hard contraction. Unlike the internal contractions in Stage 1 Labor, you’ll be able to see her abdominal and flank muscles ripple and she may let out a grunt. If hard contractions persist. If she’s having regular hard contractions, less than 5 minutes apart, and she hasn’t produced a puppy in an hour, call your vet. If she’s been having frequent hard contractions and still hasn’t produced a puppy after two hours, she should go in for an exam right away.

Most labor and deliveries go smoothly.  Each puppy will be born one at a time, wrapped in a membrane. Some of these sacs may be intact, some will already be torn and open, but don’t worry too much. A puppy can live for a few minutes in his membrane before his mother has time to open it up and tend to him.

Encourage her to investigate her puppy and placenta. Her licking is rough, and it’s goal is to start the bonding process and distress the puppy enough that it starts protesting. It’s cries put those brand new lungs to good use!  If she doesn’t tear the membrane and clean the puppy herself, you’ll have to.  A rough towel and firm rubbing is a good substitute for her tongue bath and nosing around.  Hold the pup head down to dry them off, listen to be sure their squalling is free of any raspiness and their lungs sound clear.

If the dam eats the placentas, it pushes the umbilical cord blood up into the puppy. – so let her, if she wants to, even though she might vomit them back up or have diarrhea from them later on.  She may chew through the umbilical cord, or you can tear it yourself, clamping it off with a hemostat for a few minutes or tying with clean dental floss about a half inch away from the puppy to prevent bleeding.  

Be watchful… this is a painful and occasionally confusing process, especially for a maiden bitch.  Be sure she doesn’t bite you, or her newborn puppy, as she’s trying to figure out how to be a mother.  

Later Arrivals

 Other pups will come, usually within an hour and after 10-30 minutes of hard contractions for each.  Some can come very close together.  As long as your bitch is calm and not in distress, everything is probably just fine.  Feel free to offer calcium-rich refreshments, like vanilla ice cream (which they usually love, AND it provides glucose for easy energy), Tums, cottage cheese, and yoghurt, as well as keeping water on hand.  Without getting too technical, calcium aids her body with contractions.  She can have up to 1000 mg of calcium between each puppy, and an additional 500-1000mg if she goes more than a half hour between puppies while still having contractions.  Although your bitch might prefer the ice cream, the Tums are a handy way of keeping track of exactly how much she’s getting.  

It’s not uncommon for a bitch to take a pause during the delivery of her litter to rest up and care for the pups she’s already had.  This can be up to 4 hours with no ill effects.

Ideally, puppies should be nursing within 30 minutes of being born.  You can continue to handle and rub weak or limp puppies with a towel, and when you set them down, put them down near a ready nipple.  You can’t force them to nurse, but you can make a tunnel with their hand and kind of guide them along.

Milk Quality and Quantity

You may be surprised at first at how little milk your bitch seems to produce for her newborns, but don’t be.  A brand new litter doesn’t require a lot in quantity, but what they ARE getting is crucial to their survival. Their mother’s first milk contains colostrum, which contains all her antibodies and sets their immune system up for success for the first few weeks of their lives. As more time passes and the puppies begin to grow, their dam’s milk quality will increase in richness, and her diet will need to reflect the extra demands milk production makes on her system.  But, for the moment, the puppies will get what they need.  

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article on the aftercare of your new mother and potential problems for bitches, post-whelp.

 

Photo Flashbacks – Zen, A Lady in Waiting

On July 5, 2016,  Encore x Zen had a litter of  borzoi puppies here at Aria Borzoi, with Rita L.Rice. “Zen,”  the dam of the “Firesongs” litter is pictured below, heavily pregnant and just hours from delivery.  As part of our “Photo Flashback Fridays” we’ll be showing photos of the Firesongs litter at about the same age as the 2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody) we’re featuring, just for fun and the sake of comparison.  Every litter is a little different and there can be a quite a range of “normal” for strong, healthy pups.  Over the next few weeks, we will  be doing a series of posts about early puppy development  here at Aria, using photos and examples from the current  2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody), the 2016 “Fire Songs litter (Encore x Zen) and the 2015 “Irish Airs”  litter (Lancelot x Bridget).   

Poor Zen, full of puppies! Every so often she’d look at me like, “When will this be OVER?”

 

I kept thinking “Catch that nap while you can, Zen.  You’re on the hook for at least 8 more weeks….”

That’s one BIG belly for such a svelte little girl!

 

Van Morrison Litter- Day One

Finally, it’s time!  The puppies have all arrived.  Melody has done a fine job cleaning them and letting them nurse for the first time as a litter while they all catch their breath.  It’s a special moment, a pause before the serious business of life, growth and motherhood begins in earnest.

Individual pup pics and profiles are coming, including other puppy goodness from previous litters, and the inside scoop on how we use the neonatal experiences a puppy has to condition them to be successful in later life.  Stay tuned!

 

Melody-The new mother and her litter, just after whelping.

Pre-Whelping Preparations

The closer you get to the due date, the more important it is to have everything you and your bitch will need already in place and ready to go.  You need to carefully choose her den for her, and set up her whelping box. If you don’t, you run the danger of your bitch making that decision on her own – and it’s pretty much a guarantee you won’t like where she picks!  (hint: your bed, deep in a closet, behind the couch – all popular places!)  Each bitch is an individual, and will have different levels of sociability, but most are at least a little protective of their new puppies, so keep her emotional well-being in mind and try to choose a place a little out of the way where she can feel her puppies will be safe.

When you’re deciding where to put the whelping box, there are a few important things to think about.  Temperature, privacy, ability to control drafts, room to move around, access to enough outlets to keep you entertained and still run a fan/heater/light etc. Most puppies have a sweet spot between 72-76, but different breeds may vary. Drafts can be fatal to a young pup.  Also, you’ll need good curtains, or a foolproof way to darken that room for a few days as the pup’s eyes begin opening.  A spare bedroom or an office is usually a good choice to set up as a puppy nursery, especially if there’s already a bed, or at least room for a cot.

These are a few of our favorite things…

Once the whelping box is set up, it’s a great idea to spend a little bit of time in the room with your bitch every day – her in the whelping box, and you chilling out nearby, busy with her stuff. This will help your girl see this as a safe space, and already be comfortable in there when it’s time for the big event.

Here’s a very basic checklist that might help get you through whelping and the first few days:

Floor Pillows/Step-stools for sitting

Flashlight -handy for head counts in the middle of the night

TV/ Music/Computer. You’ll be glad you have it.

Record-Keeping Notebook/Clipboard. You’ll be weighing/measuring pups daily.  Keep all your notes handy.

Puppy Jail- Either a laundry basket or appropriate sized Rubbermaid tote with a heating pad and towels to stash newborn puppies. You’ll also be using this when you’re cleaning the whelping box later on.

Spare Towels & Rags.  From covering the laundry basket of pups to wiping up all the little messes, you can NEVER have enough of these around.

Collar materials. Some people like to use soft chenille yarn in different colors to help tell their puppies apart.  We like colored velcro strips because they can be taken off of and loosened as the pups grow.

Scissors

Pen

Digital scale with weighing box and towel. You’ll be weighing pups daily, and so you’ll want to have this already calibrated so it sits at 0 with the box and towel on it.  That way, it’s only weighing the pup.

Spare fleece/Sheepskin blankets cut to fit the bottom of the whelping box. Change when things get messy.

Cleaning spray and a couple rolls of paper towels. Some people like a dilution of white vinegar.  I happen to love Myers “Clean Day” products, myself.

Trashcan with LOTS of extra bags.  You are going to generate an amazing amount of really fragrant trash.  You’ll be emptying it regularly.  Trust me on this. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means.  If you’re planning to breed a litter of your own and your bitch is getting ready to deliver, we hope you’ll do scads and scads of your own homework, and tailor your whelping situation to fit your bitch’s specific needs and comfort!