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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen this done before - so thought I would give it a try.

My female is due May 20, so I am going to keep a journal here of everything that I experience as a first time breeder. Hopefully it will come in handy for someone else. Here are some specifics:

Female - 4 1/2 years old

No morning sickness, no body changes before day 28 ultrasound. I did not think the was pregnant, that is how little change there was. Ultrasound showed at least 6, xray is booked for this Thursday to confirm numbers and check sizes.

The only thing I did notice, was that my once super social gal did not want ANY dogs near her back end except my male, who she was bred to.

As of today, she is starting to slow down her food intake (I have never seen her not finish/refuse a meal).

Her temp is hanging tight between 101.3 and 101.6.

Here are some pictures of her pregnancy:


DAY 30


DAY 34


DAY 40


DAY 45


DAY 45


DAY 50


DAY 53

Hope it's ok that I do this, and thank you for the opportunity to share!
 

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She looks like a happy pregnant momma!

Tell us more about the breeding, what you think you'll produce, who the sire and dam are, etc!

You should start a "Guess how many puppies" game here, too. I guess 6. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The breeding was a lot of work - it was cold here so breeding outside was not working. We did indoor breedings every other day and a couple AI's just to make sure.

We did progesterone testing, which is very hard here. It costs $100 each time you do it, and has to be sent to a lab down south, so you don't get the results until the following day. We did 4 or 5 progesterone tests, can't remember how many for sure.

Here is the sire:
Wales vom Lytle
OFA Hips: Good, Elbows OFA: Normal, Heart: OFA Normal, Thyroid OFA: Normal.

Here is the Dam:
Lynx vom Lytle
OFA Hips: Good, Elbows OFA: Normal, Heart OFA: Normal, Thyroid OFA: Normal

We could totally do a "guess how many puppies". I will get photos of the xrays and everyone can guess, maybe on due date too!
 

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Ironhide is very high energy as well, so we were still exercising, playing chuck it and running up until about day 45, then she told me she had enough.

For a dog to go from 3-4 hours of activity(training) a day to sleeping most the day (yesterday) is HUGE! It is so weird not to have to keep her working throughout the day - I kind of don't like it LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yesterday I felt the puppies move for the first time! It was so amazing and I can now see them moving about pretty regularly - one for sure is going to be crazy strong judging by the strength of the kick LOL ;)
 

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She looks like a happy pregnant momma!

Tell us more about the breeding, what you think you'll produce, who the sire and dam are, etc!

You should start a "Guess how many puppies" game here, too. I guess 6. :p
I think you meant less about the mechanics and more about the mindset of the choice of dogs, their traits, the goals of the breeding???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is Ironhide's xray from this morning! Feel free to post a guess. I just saw your post Jean and will definitely post breeding goals and what I expect from this breeding once a get a few minutes to sit down. (I work full time, am a trainer, have an 8 year old, husband, a pregnant Pom and 4 other dogs - I am trying to fit a months work of stuff into this week so I can be off to be with the moms and babies! So much work!!)

 

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I love guess the number games :D

I'm counting 8, I think I see one more spine but it's a little fuzzy so I'm going to guess 8 for sure.

I hope she has a quick and easy delivery, can't wait for puppy photos!!
 

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I see at least six, probably 7, and possibly an eighth.

Evenso, some may be hiding. And she looked pretty big for as far along as she was. I am going to guess 9.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I will get to my breeding goals - then a separate post about the delivery (yep! They are here!)

I am sure breeding goals evolve (mine have anyways in the time competing and learning about Shepherds) - so my main goal is to maintain very versatile Shepherds, more balanced than a lot of Sport trainers have told me what they like. My dogs have to be able to live in a home, compete on the field, protect me in the bush, and help with educational projects for the public - they have to be super solid and able to do many things without skipping a beat!

I am hoping with this breeding to produce some very solid working dogs, who can also excel as sport dogs and companion dogs in the right home.

Both dogs have some very solid lines behind them - my males litter produced 3 active service dogs, 1 police K9 - he is definitely a VERY balanced dog, but all of his drives are on the extreme side. My female has more moderate/high drives, also balanced. Both have great nerve and have done everything from SAR exercises, to IPO, Herding, Agility, Rally, walking in the Canada Day Parade, public demos and bite prevention education classes for children as young as 4 months old.

My male is exceptional and I hope to bring in more of his aloofness to this litter (very friendly, but not social), as my female is way more social than I think a Shepherd should be. However, her intuitiveness, problem solving capabilities and genetic obedience always blow me away. I also want to try and maintain both of their wonderful work ethics and willingness to please the handler.

I want to be able to produce healthy, versatile, active dogs who can do any job thrown at them and then some. As this is my first breeding, I don't expect to have it all on the first go, but I think this pairing is a very good start!
 

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So about halfway through Saturday Ironhide started with the pacing, panting, digging (outside) and then falling asleep for 4-5 hours. Repeat.

No puppies Sunday morning - no drop in temp that I could see, well not below 99. So I must have missed it Saturday during the night.

Sunday we relaxed all day, I even got her a blanket and let her up on the couch (I do not allow my Shepherds on the furniture, so this was a big deal to her LOL). She laid with her butt under my armpit and her face buried in the pillows, she was incredibly uncomfortable all Sunday night.

Sunday morning, we were still doing the pacing, panting, go to sleep routine - but still no puppies. So around 9 am, as I was laying there listening to her pant beside me, all of a sudden she goes quiet, and I was like "huh, that's wierd", I look over and she has started pushing!! So I quickly led her off the couch to the whelping box and got on the phone to call my labour and delivery buddy.

She answered the phone half asleep, I told her the babies were coming (one was starting to show as I was talking). She asked "would you like me to grab coffee on the way"...ummmm no, I don't think you understand, the babies are coming right now! She made it 20kms in 10 minutes, don't ask me how! LOL

Pup#1. black female, 1 lb 1 oz arrived at 9:25am!

After my friend arrived we got everyone situated and had a pretty textbook delivery. Ironhide accepted her puppies right away, we couldn't even take them away for the subsequent deliveries, we had to keep them by her face. If we tried to move them into a warming box, she would stop pushing and try to get into the box too!

Pup #2. Sable male, 1 lb 4.5 oz's!
Pup #3. Black Male, 1lb, 4 oz's
Pup #4. Sable Male, 1lb 1 oz
Pup#5. Black male, 1lb 3 oz
Pup #6. Sable Female, 1lb 1 oz
Pup#7. Black Female, 1 lb 2 oz

First pup came at 9:25am, last pup came at 3:54pm.

Let me just say, as a first timer - delivering puppies is so MESSY!! Thankfully I have an amazing girl who did a lot of the work, but dear lord, it is not for the queasy or faint of heart.

The puppies are now 3 days old and Ironhide has been an exceptional mama. I just make sure she has plenty to eat/drink, let her out for bathroom breaks and change the bedding each morning - other than that she does it all. I am so proud of her.

Here are the pics of the babies, 24 hours old!



 

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This is such a cool thread!! Thank you for making it. I look forward to following along. :)
 

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Congrats. Yeah, lots of fluid. Very messy.
 

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Awww they look healthy and happy and doesn't mama look proud! :D
 

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So the pups are now a week old and doing very well! Ironhide is an amazing mama and takes very good care of her babies.

The puppies are all now over 2lbs with a few approaching the 3lb mark - they are only 7 days old! LOL

Mom has been doing a good job cleaning them, so the whelping box has been easy to up-keep, I expect that to change in the coming weeks ;) I am still sleeping in the whelping area, but only have to get up once a night or so to let Ironhide out to go to the bathroom. On occasion a rogue puppy starts to cry because it has "lost" mom, so I will observe and see if it finds it's way back - after giving it a fair chance, I will help the pup get back to mom if needed. The pups have come a long way since the beginning of the week and are getting around the box well enough that 9 times out of 10 I don't have to intervene and they will get back to mom.

My Pomeranian had her puppies Saturday night - the puppies are all around 3-4 ounces, so there is quite a difference in the puppies size, I think it is hilarious!!

Here are some puppy pictures of the Shepherds:













 
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