Our Pelirroja pups are either Red, Black and Tan, Chocolate and Tan and sometimes, Silver Dapple or Chocolate Dapple, depending on which bitch and stud are used.
Red is the dominant coat colour gene within Dachshunds. Black and Tan and Chocolate and Tan are recessive genes, meaning both parents have to carry (or be) this colour to produce that colour puppy. To have Dapple puppies, one parent only must be a Dapple also.
For the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, our expectant Mum will sleep with us in our bedroom - this is where she will then give birth and nurture her puppies until they reach around 3 weeks old.
Prior to our first litter, we anticipated that our girls would find it difficult to be upstairs and away from the rest of the household during this important time, as they are so used to being with us. Taking this into account, we relocated our bedroom to the ground floor to make the whole experience more natural and comfortable for them. This has worked very well as they can be alone in a tranquil setting to care for their litter, without the other dogs or family members in constant view, but can also feel close to us as they can hear the normal daily life going on on the other side of the doorway. During these first weeks I spend the majority of my day in the bedroom with Mum and pups, nipping in and out to tend to the family too. I then 'bed down' next to them throughout the night, setting my alarm to wake hourly and so I am near at hand if needed.
Once the puppies are just over 3 weeks old we then move them and Mum into a large puppy pen within the kitchen. This is an important stage of a puppy's development as it is here, and from this point on, that they begin to learn about life. They start to become more aware of their surroundings and experience all the sights, sounds and smells of home life - the vacuum cleaner (which they never like), washing machine, tumble dryer, kettle, music, singing, laughing, different voices, smells from cooking. It's also important that puppies are picked up, handled and touched every single day from very early on in their life. We all handle the puppies daily from birth, never taking them away from their Mum or the whelping area. Our pups therefore grow up being very affectionate, enjoy being cuddled and adoring people of all ages and sex, having been used to them in their life, right from the start.
We start to wean the puppies onto raw solid food between 3 and 4 weeks old, we also introduce a specific brand of puppy pads to the pen at this point too. At around 5 weeks we allow the pups some short and supervised time with the other dogs. This would usually take place in the evening, when we take the puppies into the living room to run freely up and down, and then let them play with the others for a few minutes at a time. As the days go on, the time spent together increases and by 7 weeks old, the puppies spend most of their day outwith their pen and in the kitchen, mixing with the adult dogs and learning from them - another very important part of their of development.
By the time our puppies are ready to leave us, between 8 and 9 weeks old, they have met and been handled by many new faces, been out for a few journeys in the car, played in the garden, heard traffic passing and had their first visit to the vets. They leave us having a full vet check, their first vaccination, microchipped by myself, and having been wormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks.
Finding the best home for our pups is always our highest priority, and we have a 3 step vetting process that new owners must go through before making our final decision. Equally, we also expect many questions from potential owners too as it should be very important who and where you buy your puppy from.
We are keen for new owners to visit before the pups arriave and 2 -3 times before picking up their puppy, if distance allows, so that we can all get to know each other and form a lifelong relationship. When our puppies do eventually leave for their new forever homes, we offer ongoing support and 24 hour advice for the duration of the dogs life.
Giving ongoing support to my puppy owners is something that I pride myself on, and since I began breeding, I have been paying close attention to the questions that have arisen from my new owners, before and after their new puppy has arrived home with them; what they have struggled with, dilemmas that have cropped up and where reasssurance has been needed. I have compiled an extensive puppy information guide of over 110 pages, written by myself and updated regularly, covering all these areas plus many more. A new puppy is a big responsibility, and I know that my new owners want to make sure they are doing everything correctly.
Although a large part of my job is raising the puppies, giving them and their Mum round the clock care, an equal sized part of my role occurs once the puppies leave me, as I then become a coach and mentor to the new owners. We generally keep in daily contact, via WhatsApp or text, for the first 14 days, and I can answer any questions they may have and guide them through the settling in period, which is mainly surrounding sleeping at night and toilet training. Once we have 'cracked' that part together, I take a back step and leave the owners to take the reigns, safe in the knowledge that I am there, on hand, whenever needed.
Our puppies leave with:
Kennel Club Registration documents and/or UK Teckel Club registration documents
Extensive puppy care information pack (100+ pages) including daily routine and feeding schedule
Contract between ourselves and the new owner
5 weeks free pet insurance
A supply of raw food
Wormed at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks with a worming record for future dates
A signed copy of the pup's Vet health check
Socialisation record and plan moving forward
Toys the pup has been playing with whilst being raised
24/7 contact with myself, for the rest of the dogs life, for any question or query you may have
.....and other goodies to get you started!
"A Breeder (with a capital B) is one who thirsts for knowledge, learns something new every day and never knows it all, one who wrestles with decisions of conscience, convenience, and commitment.
A Breeder is one who sacrifices personal interests, finances, time, friendships, fancy furniture, and deep pile carpeting! She gives up the dreams of a long, luxurious holiday in favour of turning that all important litter into this year’s ‘vacation’.
A Breeder goes without sleep (but never without coffee!) in hours spent planning a breeding, or watching anxiously over the birth process, and afterwards, over every little sneeze, wiggle, or cry.
A Breeder skips dinner parties because that litter is due, or the babies have to be fed at eight. She lives a different life from others. She disregards birth fluids and puts mouth to mouth to save a gasping newborn, literally blowing life into a tiny, helpless creature that may be the culmination of a lifetime of dreams.
A Breeders lap is a marvellous place where generations of proud and noble dogs once snoozed.
A Breeders hands are strong and firm and often soiled, but ever so gentle and sensitive to the thrusts of a puppy’s wet nose.
A Breeders back and knees are usually sore from stooping, bending, and sitting in the birthing box, but are strong enough to enable to Show the next choice pup at Championship level.
A Breeders shoulders are heavy and often heaped with abuse from competitors, but they’re wide enough to support the weight of a thousand defeats and frustrations.
A Breeders arms are always able to wield a mop, support an armful of puppies, or lend a helping hand to a newcomer.
A Breeders ears are wondrous things, sometimes red (from being talked about) or strangely shaped (from being pressed against a phone receiver), often deaf to criticism, yet always fine-tuned to the whimper of a sick puppy.
A Breeders eyes are blurred from pedigree and breed research and sometimes blind to her own dog’s faults, but they are ever so keen to the competitions faults and are always searching for the perfect specimen.
A Breeder copes with upset, worry and/or loss with nearly every litter. She is on call 24 hours a day and tends to every need of her Mum and babies, making sure they are raised properly, and with the best of comfort, nutrients, and care.
A Breeder replies to hundreds of enquiries, turning most away. She seeks that special family who she will entrust with one of her babies. She agonises over whether she has made the right choice and goes with her instinct if it doesn't feel right.
If you are lucky enough to be selected as one of her new owners, be extremely grateful, the privilege is only given to a select few. Understand that she is now welcoming you into a family and will always be there to support you.
A good Breeders heart is often broken, but it beats strongly with hope everlasting... and it’s always in the right place!"