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!

The Circle Of Life – From Puppyhood to Fatherhood

On July 15, 2015, Lancelot x Bridget had a litter of  borzoi puppies. “Seamus,”  from The “Irish Airs” litter is pictured as a puppy, below – AND he’s also the sire of the most recent litter here at Aria!  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).   

Seamus dreaming of the future…

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

From “Little Dude” to “Big Show Attitude,” Seamus was born knowing who and what he is and what he’s meant to be doing.  Brains, athleticism and beauty, all wrapped up in the same package.  We look forward to watching his first litter grow and develop into the bold, confident hounds of the future.

 

Watch This Space!

Watch This Space!

Hi folks- This is Chelle Griffith, guest blogger and official Aria Borzoi Hound Hugger dropping in to share some exciting news!

There has been a new litter of gorgeous borzoi puppies born at Aria, and while I wasn’t there house sitting (darn it!) I get to be the one to chronicle their journey from itty-bitty speed jelly beans into a small horde of gleeful galloping goofhunds, ready to begin their lives with their new families.  We will be not only sharing photos, and updates, but also talking about the strategies and timetable of raising a vibrantly healthy, well-adjusted litter of puppies.  There will be fun flashbacks to other Aria litters, stories from the whelping box, discussion topics, candid photos, and a double helping of all things borzoi.  So, stay tuned!  Thanks for reading!

goofhund– (noun) Any of a breed of juvenile sight-hound puppies, gleefully bent on cheerful mischief and/or destruction.  See also galloping goofball, terror teeth, puppy Destructo.

This post brought to you by Author C.T. (Chel) Griffith, guest blogger, borzoi enthusiast and hound hugger.