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I wanted to keep one thread to journal our experiences with breeding, pregnancy and raising a litter as a first time breeder.

Carma was bred with a few live breedings starting March 29, which would put her at almost 3 weeks pregnant, with puppies due early June. So far I have noticed some subtle physical and possibly hormonal related temperament changes. To me, she appears just a bit thicker around her mid section and seems to be losing her tuck up. She is acting much more aloof and hardly interested in other people or dogs in general. Its hard to determine if her food drive has actually gone up, since she is generally psychotic about food, but if it could get any higher, I would say it may have. She has vomited one morning so far. I started a thread earlier about raw feeding a pregnant female. She hasn't had any issues so far, but I will admit to being super paranoid about proper nutrition as she goes through this. She doesn't appear to be deficient in anything at this moment, but I worry about her calcium intake as we progress.

We'll be using an xlarge durawhelp, and I do plan on using a 'litter' type training for raising the puppies. We'll be working on setting that up within the next few weeks. I've seen a few different materials used for litter and am leaning towards using pellet based material myself, but would love to hear any other experiences that breeders have had with litter training. I personally can't stand the mess that wood chips leave sticking to everything, so I'd LOVE to avoid that if possible. And any ideas for toys and enrichment activities are appreciated :)

I work at a veterinary hospital and was able to run an ultrasound earlier this week, which was able to detect fetal heartbeats. We will be doing another at the end of next week to try and get a better idea of what we're dealing with :)

Carm and Gordon (the sire), taken last night.

4/16/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

4/16/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

4/16/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

Gordon
4/16/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

4/16/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

Week 1

4/1/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

4/6/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

Week 2 (taken tonight)
4/17/15 by Gator_Dog, on Flickr

I'll have to get a new belly shot for this week during daylight hours this weekend. :wub:
 

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Love idea of the journal! Best of luck with everything and what great pictures of the two!
 

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I'm so excited!! I've loved watching Carma grow up and seeing what an amazing dog she's turned into, to me she's perfect and everything I want in a dog so can't even put into words my excitement about getting a puppy from her. I may not be acting like it but that's only because I'm trying to hold it back in case she doesn't have a female for me. But trust me, my mom and husband are super annoyed how much I've been going on and on about it LOL. :)

:wub::wub:
 

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I use newspapers, through the whelping and the first week or so. Then I use newspapers under a whelping pad, sometimes. Sometimes I just use newspapers.

Outside -- usually I carry them outside at about 3 weeks old for a short time every day, and then by 4-5 weeks old they are outside most of the day and in at night. Outside, I use cedar chips. They really aren't sticky like pine shavings and the cedar does naturally deter bugs. The cedar chips also prevents a muddy mess as it soaks up the rain before it has a chance to make huge mud pits.

The outside area usually has a crate half or two that the pups will use like caves, and a cot. Sometimes I use a wood dog house that the dam can get up on, to get away from them. For a while, I will put x-pens within a larger kennel fencing, which allows the dam to jump out and be away from them some of the time. But they learn fast to climb over x-pens.

The inside are has the whelping box, and a doggy door to a secure kennel. At first only the dam can go in and out. You can corral the puppies in their whelping box, until you can't. By then, they can carry themselves in and out on their own. I do cover the outside are with a sun screen to deter hawks. I worry about snakes, though we really do not have hardly any poisonous snakes here, nor, anything large enough to take on a pup, especially if the dam is anywhere near.

Usually, I use wood chips or just bare concrete in the puppy pen outside section, newspapers inside.
 

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I wish you luck and lots of pups! You have worked hard to get here and have gone above and beyond and I hope this all goes smoothly for you. Will definitely be following. :)
 

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I have used the shavings in the past and switched to the pellets this time. They were FAR easier to deal with, BUT, I ended up with sawdust everywhere. I think I am still trying to get it all up out of my carpet. LOL

In the box itself I use newspapers under towels during whelping and then, once my girl is done, I switch to these whelping pads. They let the moisture soak through and give very good footing. Click on the link for the "ultimate Fleece". It is expensive to start, but lasts for years.

Jonart Whelping Box
 

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Gator, what an interesting thread this is going to be! I look forward to more reports, photo's. Your dogs are lovely and well behaved. Enjoy:D
 

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Love Gordon too. I'm not a pedigree expert for sure..but...( ;) ), love the strong females and tracking titles in this breeding. Looks like an awesome start for your kennel Alexis.

:)
 

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Excited! I have loved what I've seen of your girl, and I like the look of the stud. They both have some pretty intense stares when they're focused. :) Eee. Puppies are so much fun!
 

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Can't wait to see that tiny army!! :) Big congrats Alexis!
 
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