Breeding is something we take very seriously. We feel very responsible for the lives we create. To us, breeding our dogs is a privilege and not a means of making money.
Breeding dogs is a combination of art and science, common sense, educated decisions, a certain amount of luck, and a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.
We are very selective with who we breed our bitches to, with the idea of having puppies that are better than their parents, as it relates to the breed standard. We also breed for temperament and health.
Before we breed, we screen both dogs for any health related issues.
We do not breed our girls before the age of 2 and never more than 3 times.
Once the stud dog is selected, and the bitch is ready to accept him (normally 9 to 14 days after she comes in season), we breed them at least 3 times, every 36 hours. About 63 days later, we hope to have puppies.
Four weeks after breeding, we have our vet perform a ultrasound to determine if she is pregnant. Once we know that our girl is pregnant, then we change her diet to one that is higher in protein. Her hunger increases as she progresses through her pregnancy.
At eight weeks, she is x-rayed to determine the number of puppies. If there are 3 puppies are less, we plan for a C-section. A normal delivery takes about three to four hours for an average litter of 7 puppies.
For 2 weeks after the puppies are born, we're with our puppies 24 hours a day. That's where the sleepless nights come into play.
At 3 days we have the puppies checked out by our vet and their dewclaws removed.
Over the next several weeks, they are wormed multiple times and given a series of puppy shots.
The puppies begin eating mush when they are 3 weeks. At 5 weeks or so, the puppies are weaned.
We do not allow visitors in with the puppies until they are 5 weeks old. That gives them time for their immune systems to kick into gear.
While most of the concern is directed to the puppies, special attention to the mom continues. She is pampered daily and is on a special diet to promote milk production and the necessary nutrients for both her and the puppies. We weigh our puppies every day for the first two weeks, then weekly, to insure that they are all gaining weight.
Richard & Sharon Nance - Abiquiu, NM - (505) 685-9422
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