Our Pelirroja pups are either Red, Black and Tan, Chocolate and Tan, Silver Dapple, Chocolate Dapple and Red Dapple.
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.
For the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, our expectant 'Mum to be' 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. Kevin and I handle the puppies daily from birth, and the rest of the family are allowed into the bedroom to see them if Mum allows, but only when they come into the kitchen are the they allowed into the pen, supervised, to hold them on their laps and it's due to this that our pups grow up adoring all ages of children, having been used to them in their life, right from the beginning.
We start to wean the puppies onto solids at 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 for their health check. They leave us having had their first vaccinations, 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 so we vet new owners thoroughly before making our final decision, we also expect many questions from potential owners too! We are keen for new owners to visit as often as they can before picking up their puppy, so that we can all get to know each other and form a lifelong relationship. When our puppies do eventually leave us for their new forever homes, we offer ongoing support and 24 hour advice for the duration of the dogs life.
Supporting our puppy owners is something that we pride ourselves on and since we began breeding, we have been paying close attention to the questions that have arisen from our 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. We have compiled an extensive puppy information folder covering all theses area plus many more. A new puppy is a big responsibility, and we know that our new owners want to make sure they are doing everything correctly.
I generally keep in touch with new owners on a daily basis, via text/messenger, for the first 14 days, to answer any questions they may have and guide them through the settling in period (mainly the sleeping at night). Once we have 'cracked' that part together, I take a back step but am always on hand whenever needed.
All our puppies leave with:
Kennel Club Registration documents
Extensive puppy care information
Contract between ourselves and the new owner
5 weeks free pet insurance with the Kennel Club
Wormed and treated against fleas & ticks
A copy of the Vet health check
And LOTS of other goodies!!