On the evening of April 13, 2019, our girl Mango (CH Smokey Topaz ‘n Barrett’s Santa Margarita Peak) welcome her first litter of puppies. The sire is our very own Blaise (GCH CH Trax Blaise Pascal JH).
The purpose of this litter is to produce the next generation of dogs who are as beautiful and smart as their mother (Mango is insanely intelligent and calculating), and the personality and charm of their father (Blaise has a cheerful, happy-go-lucky attitude about life and is a friend to all people and animals). Those puppies that test out with the most stable and sound temperaments will be considered for therapy and service homes. Those puppies that test out with the most balanced structure and breed type will likely end up in homes that will allow #teambarrett to have them shown on an occasional basis. We also expect that a few of these kiddos will simply become loving companions for their new families.
For the next eight weeks, we’ll be posting updates below in micro-blog fashion. For those of you who are getting a puppy out of this litter, please come here to see updates!
DAY 0 (Saturday, April 13th). The whelping box had been set-up in our bedroom all week long; it was just waiting for its favorite customer to put it to good use. Mango started getting restless on the afternoon of April 12th, but the 12th came and went… and no puppies came. Knowing that Mother Nature is on her own schedule, we patiently waited, and at 6:54 PM Mountain Daylight Time, Mango popped out a beautiful 15.0 ounce boy. !!! We were so freaking excited we broke our own rule of “no announcement until everyone is 24 hours old” and sent a message to Nancy Alex to let her know that we had her boy.
While Barry and I were occupied in the bedroom delivering puppies, our adult dogs were unsupervised in the living room. True to the Weimaraner spirit, our 10-year old Britta let the others in a charge to have a little fun. We had been doing a little bit of Spring Cleaning earlier in the day, and the girls decided it would be fun to go through our trash. Ugh!
Mango’s fifth puppy was a tiny little girl who was so small that Mango didn’t even know she had been delivered. We went through our routine, got her sac open, cleared her airway, and got her to breathe. Although coming in at 4.7 ounces (a third of what she was supposed to weigh), this little darling was feisty, loud, and vigorous. We dried her up, put her under the heat lamp, and let her warm up.
By the end of the evening, we had delivered eight puppies. Five girls and three boys. Mango was exhausted. Barry was exhausted. I was exhausted. So we all went to bed. I spent that night waking up about every 30 minutes to peer over the edge of the bed to count puppies in the whelping box. (We had a situation a few years ago where a mamma accidentally rolled onto one of her puppies, so we’re a little OCD about checking them all in the first week.)
DAY 1 (Sunday, April 14th). To our delight, all eight puppies appeared to be thriving the next morning. Everyone was feisty, hungry, toddling, and eating. Also, did you know that Weimaraner puppies are born with zebra stripes?! Some are more stripey than others, but it’s a pretty cool thing to see. It typically disappears by around the third or fourth day. By evening, Barry reported that everyone had gained weight.
DAY 2 (Monday, April 15th). I left home on Sunday afternoon to check-in on Brent and his litter of Blaise x Elleven puppies in Southern CA. Barry reported that Mango had taken the little girl onto our bed sometime in the middle of the night, and she was cold (but alive) by the time he found her. He crafted an incubator out of a heat lamp and a shoe box, but unfortunately, she passed soon after. (Heat and warmth is VITAL to puppies at this age.) The report from home was that the remaining seven pups were eating well and gaining weight.
A note about puppy loss: It happens. That’s why Mother Nature gives us a whole litter; historically not all of them are meant to make it. As breeders, we make our BEST efforts to keep everyone safe but we can’t control everything. The little white collar girl was born at a mere 4.7 ounces. It was immediately obvious to me that she very undeveloped; perhaps she was fertilized a week after the other puppies? Maybe she didn’t have a good real estate position in the horn and was edged out by some of the others? I honestly didn’t think she’d make it the first night, but she did, so we set our alarm clocks for every two hours to tube feed her (she was too weak to nurse). Even if Mango hadn’t taken her onto the bed, I know from previous experience that it was unlikely she would have made it past a few more days. Sleep well, baby girl.
DAY 4 (Wednesday, April 17th). I drove home late Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning, I discovered that Mango had picked up a new habit: SNEAKING HER ENTIRE LITTER ONTO OUR BED. (And look at that face, she’s so proud of herself!) So for those of you who are getting one of these puppies… one thing you need to know about Mango is that what Mango wants, Mango gets. We love her, but man, she’s one of the most stubborn girls we’ve ever had! (It’s a Weimaraner trait, by the way.)
Barry noticed that Mango didn’t like the morning sunlight that was coming in through the slider. Since everyone seemed safe and happy, we were okay with this little morning routine. And dang, four day old puppies in natural light are a beautiful sight to see. Later this afternoon, tails were docked and dewclaws were removed. It was uneventful and everyone’s fine!
DAY 7 (Saturday, April 20th). I returned home from a couple days’ worth of dog shows in Southern California to a litter of week-old puppies. Wow, they’ve grown!! Everyone has lost their stripes, and they’re doing so well they look like little piggies. Barry covered up the slider with a blanket (because no, a year after moving into this house we still DON’T have curtains up, lol) and Mango was back to being happy in her whelping box.
DAY 11 (Wednesday, April 24th). There’s something incredibly sweet about watching a dog become a mother. Mango is loving, attentive, patient, and giving. As long as someone is nursing, she has no interest in getting up. In exchange, we have little ones who are well fed, happy, clean, and thriving. No peepers just yet, but we’re getting close!!! (Eyes should be opening within the next few days.) Heads up: I am leaving for California tomorrow, so puppy photos will resume when I return at the end of the weekend!
DAY 12 (Thursday, April 25th). BREAKING NEWS. There’s a big-time event happening up in Washington State this week. To be specific, it’s the WCA’s Western Classic and Field Futurity. In short, it’s a regional event held once a year to showcase field trial dogs. In the three juvenile categories that were offered, GCH CH Trax Blaise Pascal JH, “Blaise,” sired two-thirds of the dogs that earned placements. That’s a pretty freaking big deal. And these are siblings to this litter!! In short, should you choose to hunt over your dog, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll do pretty well. Mamma Mango would also like to remind everyone that she also has a placement at a National field trial event. So her abilities are nothing to sneeze at, either.
DAY 14 (Saturday, April 27th). Hello from Lancaster, California!!! I’m here this weekend with “The Towers Group,” which is a collective of friends who get together under the SoCal Edison power lines off of Avenue D to train our dogs up for the local AKC Field Trials. What are field trials? Why are they important? If you have some free time, there’s an article about it here. Note that this litter WASN’T bred for field trialing, so don’t worry, there aren’t any expectations that you come out here at the crack of dawn every weekend to train with us. 🙂
DAY 16 (Monday, April 29th). I volunteer a lot of time for Weimaraner rescue and ended up driving across Southern California all day on Sunday (Lancaster to Irvine to Oceanside to Tustin to Rancho Cucamonga to Corona to Escondido and then back to Ontario). As a result, I didn’t get home until late on Monday evening, but the first thing I did was check on all the puppies. Mango’s kids are HUGE!!! I feel like they’ve blown up in just a few days. Eyes are open, everyone’s fat, and Mango continues to be a wonderful mother. A couple of the pups lost their collars in the blankets, but since everyone has individual/unique markings, it was easy to figure out who was who and get new collars put on.
DAY 17 (Tuesday, April 30th). How is it already the last day of April?!?! I spent about 30 minutes in the box this morning, just looking at the puppies. We also wrapped up our last day of doing Early Neurological Stimulation. While it’s still too soon to see personalities, I’m already seeing snippets of what these guys should look like when they grow up. Heads, faces, noses, and ears, are beginning to differ between puppies, and I “think” I see a few beautiful heads emerging. !!! Puppies are made of the good stuff; they all have nice, dark pigment; dark lips, dark noses, dark pads, and light nails. Heads have broad skulls, muzzles are forming with decent flews (lips), expressions are looking soft and kind… I can’t WAIT to see them develop over the next few weeks.
DAY 18 (Wednesday, May 1st). The puppies are growing like WEEDS. All of a sudden, they’re walking, crawling all over each other, squawking when they’re hungry, squealing when they get stepped on, and audibly chasing bunnies in their sleep. They still spend a lot of time sleeping, but when they’re awake, they’re engaging with one another. Mango is spending more and more time outside the whelping box. Actually, if I’m being honest, she’s back in the living room, snoozing on the sofa and reminiscing of days when she had zero responsibility and could take herself out for a run anytime she wanted to. (Oh, Mango!) In the next few days, we’ll add some mats into the whelping box to give pups some different “texture” to walk over, and we’ll throw in a few toys to play with.
DAY 19 (Thursday, May 2nd). One last photo of sleeping puppies before I go out of town for the weekend. On this weekend’s agenda is a Saturday morning training session, and then a whole day of volunteering for Weimaraner rescue on Sunday to transport dogs. We’ll be back on late Monday and plan to share some more photos on Tuesday!
DAY 23 (Monday, May 6th). I left California as early as I could on Monday morning, and made it back to Southern Utah before it got dark. First item on the agenda, NAIL CLIPPING!!! It’s not a secret that I’m a #nailsnob; I’ve gone as far as telling families that if they’re not willing to keep nails trimmed, I can’t sell them a puppy. LOL. Really though, in all seriousness, it’s not good for your dog to have long nails. There’s a great article, here, about nail trimming.
DAY 25 (Wednesday, May 8th). Mango’s puppies are lookin’ a tad “thin,” so we’re starting the weaning process today. Breakfast with ground kibble and raw goats milk was a big hit!!! The kids ate about half of their dish, Mango ate the other half, and everyone is now back in the corner of the whelping box, snoring up a storm. In the next few days, we’ll also plan to move them into the living room, so they get acclimated to house noise, boisterous dogs, and natural sunlight.
DAY 26 (Thursday, May 9th). The literature says puppies should be wormed at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. We try to stick with 3, 5, and 7, because at 8 weeks we are typically giving vaccinations and don’t want to be worming puppies at the same time. Once you get your puppy home, plan to worm him or her at the age of 12 weeks, and then again every three months. Recommended brand: Safeguard. We order this with our dog food through Chewy. Note: Don’t freak out if you actually SEE worms come out with your dog’s poop. Worms are a fact of down ownership. Dogs pick up worms. This is why we worm them. 🙂
DAY 28 (Saturday, May 11th). Greetings from Reno, Nevada! You may have noticed by now that I’m not home on weekends; this time, we’re at an AKC field trial hosted by the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Reno with Soba (2018 Blaise x Reese) and Tearin (2018 Blaise x Bailey). The photo is of Raul Pineda’s Chula on point in the Open Limited Gun Dog Stake. Shes a finished FC and AFC and a very, very nice field trial dog.
DAY 31 (Tuesday, May 14th). After Reno, we drove over to Northern CA to pickup Steely Dan(ni) (2018 SilverHoney Blaze x Peach), down to Southern CA to drop off Soba and Tearin, and then headed east to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to pick up LadyBug (2014 Torque x Friday) and her daughter Avery (2018 Judd x LadyBug). Bug is here to have a litter at the the of the month, and Steely and Avery are here to get started on their show careers. Shout-out to super awesome husband Barry for upgrading the puppy digs while I was gone!!! The back half of the pen is a raise platform for sleeping and playing, and the front half is the potty area with potty pads put down. The puppies immediately figured out which area was for which purpose; this will help immensely with potty training.
DAY 33 (Thursday, May 16th). And just like that, they go from little gray potatoes to being little gray dogs. At almost five weeks of age, puppies are now enjoying their thrice-daily meals, wrastlin’ with one another, and starting to develop personalities. Shiny new objects hanging over their heads also make for fun distractions. Next up, we introduce THE CRATE so puppies can get acclimated to napping in theirs.
DAY 35 (Saturday, May 18th). Greetings from Sierra Vista, Arizona!!! I’m here at Jim and DebE’s house to meet Mango’s little brothers and sisters. They are seven and a half weeks old and ADORABLE as can be. The litter is consistent in good temperament and balanced structure. Woo!!! A few of them will be traveling to CA with me later in the week for drop off with new families. Then two days of dog shows, then home by Memorial Day weekend.
DAY 42 (Saturday, May 25th). I’m sorry. I said I was going home after the two days of dog shows. And I didn’t. Instead, I found myself in Parks, AZ (outside of Flagstaff) at a Field Trial. Terry Chandler of Rugerheim Kennels was there to run Boulder (Mango’s dad), and asked me to help run a few Weimaraner puppies in the Amateur Puppy stake. “King” had decent morning run and earned himself a nice Second Place ribbon! At only 7 months old, this kid has a bright future ahead of him.
DAY 44 (Monday, May 27th). I made it home in the afternoon, and immediately got to work setting up a big pen in the dining room for both the Mango kids and the Gracie kids. The two litters are five days apart so they’re roughly the same size. All 13 puppies are all co-existing now. For Mango’s kids, it’s their third location (they were born in the master bedroom but then moved down the hall) and they’re loving their new digs.
The deluxe/super-sized pen is right next to the backyard slider, so now it’s really easy to get the puppies outside for potty, playtime, and mealtime. It rained off and on, but no one seemed to mind. (YAY!!!) Most of them got into the grass (which is 12″-15″ high) or otherwise ventured off the patio. At the end of the first outdoor adventure, puppies went back inside and took a nap.
Bath time. Nail trimming. At Day 49, we conduct formal temperament testing. But really, everything we do with the puppies gives us more data on who they are, and what they’re all about. I was insistent on fresh, clean puppies tonight, so we gave everyone a bath. And then everyone got a nail trimming. Some of the kids didn’t mind it at all. Some of them screamed like banshees. Most of them were somewhere in between. All in all, it was a success. And in about 27 minutes, they’ll be covered in poop again. #puppies
DAY 45 (Tuesday, May 28th). The slider is left open during the day now so puppies are free to go in and out as they please. We have some baby toys out there that they love getting into! The grass is also tall so navigating through it is like hiking through a jungle. Here, the kids are learning to explore, use their nose, and be on their own.
Puppy stacking. One of the goals of the Blaise x Mango litter was to preserve breed type and balanced conformation. In the next week or so, we’ll REALLY start looking at their structure on the table, but for now, I’m putting puppies in front of the mirror everyday to teach them to stand still. This here is Yellow Girl. She’s very compliant, happy to stand for me, keeps her tail up, has a beautiful top line, good shoulder angles, and nice tight feet. I haven’t taken a close look at the others yet, but I suspect this one has “show potential” written all over her. !!!
Puppy poops. Breeders like to nerd out on all sorts of different things. Solid poops are one of them. Ask any breeder, and we’ll all tell you the same thing: SOLID POOPS ARE GOLD!!!! Puppies are going through so many changes right now, and putting so many things into their mouths, that solid poops are the equivalent of a gold star in puppy rearing. In summary, it means we’re feeding them right, keeping their space clean, and keeping them happy and comfortable. Note that when you get your puppy home, the poops may get soft. It happens and it’s normal for the Weimaraner breed. As long as your pup is active, eating, and playful, this usually resolves in a couple of days.