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.

 

The Puppies Eat Solid Food!

Well, their first day of solid food on Monday was a good start… Light Blue, Orange, and Blue were my big champion eaters!  Which is great, since they are some of the smaller pups in the litter.

Zen jumped in the box and started nursing them immediately after I set the food down – what timing, huh?IMG_20160725_104808

So it was a nice low pressure introduction to something new, and every puppy investigated a little.  Some did more than investigate a little. Red, Purple and Orange all ate a surprising amount, considering they’d also just nursed.  Light Blue and Blue REALLY chowed down, by the time it was all said and done. Light Blue immediately dozed off into a carbohydrate coma, sleeping on his back like a little Buddha.  Poor Blue’s over indulgence led to him urping up a little and having an upset tummy.

Then, everybody needed to sleep it off.

On Tuesday, when I offered solid food again, Light Blue was once again at the front of the line.  As I write this now, he’s gaining weight faster than he ever has before.  Almost at twice the rate he was before.  I think this is going to really agree with him!

The collective of pups ate everything I put out for them, and then most everything I refilled their bowls with (I’d made extra to set aside for a second feeding later).

Today is Wednesday, and they’re still nursing a regular schedule, though Zen is less and less interested in spending time with them when she’s not feeding them.

Continue reading

The Fire Litter – Cast of Characters

After the pups three week birthday earlier this week, and all the scads of photos I’ve posted so far without identifying anyone, I thought it was high time I got going and took some individual photos.

To be honest, I’ve been putting this off.  I was looking online to see what other people were doing, and I was getting more than just a little bit intimidated.  I could see, time and time again, the neatly stacked, clean, beautifully presented youngsters on page after page of random searches I checked out.

There was just gonna be no way that could happen here!  For starters, it’s just me running the show.  Can’t do much of anything if you’re behind the camera, besides plop the pup down somewhere safe with a nondistracting background and hope for the best.  So, I beat down my inner perfectionist, and got to work.  Today I’ll have a picture of everyone below, and over the next few days I’ll share some candids and a little bit of what I’ve discovered about the personalities of each pup.

Rita intends to make this a “Fire-Themed” litter.  I can see why.  It’s not just the redheads.  There’s a lot of strength of will here.  These guys are just a trip to be around!

So, with no further ado…

Girl #1 “Red”IMG_20160726_124629IMG_20160726_124733

Boy #2 “Blue”IMG_20160726_124918IMG_20160726_124931

Girl #3 “Pink”IMG_20160726_125126IMG_20160726_125210

Boy #4 “Orange”IMG_20160726_125356IMG_20160726_125536IMG_20160726_125646

Girl #5 “Light Green”IMG_20160726_125718IMG_20160726_125749

Boy #6 “Light Blue”

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There’s always that one guy…

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Girl #7 “Purple”IMG_20160726_130231IMG_20160726_130317

Boy # 8 “Green”IMG_20160726_130517IMG_20160726_130558

and our last minute surprise..

Girl #9 “Brown”IMG_20160726_130931IMG_20160726_131058

I’ll be doing those candids and more details on each pup over the next few days.  Keep your eyes peeled.