French Standard Poodles
French Poodles from the Languedoc, South of France
Litter 3rd April 2009
(Exuperantus Una) was paired with Louis (Canen Thanks) on 31 January
2009. They are two exceptionally striking and sweet natured standards,
both free of any known health problems and with clear genetically
related medical histories for themselves and family.
This is their second litter together. Joy delivered
11 puppies, 62 days later on 3 April 2009. None of the puppies
is small, deformed or weak.
The puppies were ready to leave home early to mid-June.
Below is a running account of the puppy’s development
The litter was
whelped on the morning of 3 April. She produced vigorous
similarly sized puppies, all between 6am and 12pm. No still
births. No runts. She is again being the perfect mother
All the puppies eating with healthy appetite.
Some Early Photos
Sophie's Litter Diary
The puppies started to arrive just after 6am,
as ever on the exact date they were expected, that is 62 days
after the romantic moment with Louis and Joy in the vineyard.
It is the second time they have made puppies together.
I had forgotten those exciting moments of anticipation
and anxiety waiting for the labour to start. It is not
uncommon to have a still birth, a weak puppy and sometimes in
the first days a squashed puppy or a runt that fades away rejected
by the mother, or even an incident with another pack member
if the labour springs unexpected so there is a significant element
of apprehension mixed with the excitement.
Once the puppies start arriving there is about
half an hour between deliveries. Just after 6am Joy produced
two puppies very quickly. Joy cuts the bag, clears the
airways, chomps the umbilical cord and gets cleaning.
It is interesting that in the first hours of life it is not
nourishment that is vital but affection, touch and hygiene.
I was immediately reminded of how quickly the puppies find each
other and what an important role they have for each other in
a successful whelping. Whilst Joy attends to number
three arriving siblings one and two seek each other out
and tumble around each other squeaking nuzzling and rubbing
torsos. All the following puppies appeared equally vigorous
and I am relieved for Joy all is going well. Joy continues
her work. Each puppy is straight into the throng while
Joy thoroughly and systematically returns to each puppy drying
off and grooming, nibbling the cord, shifting them about
and getting it all going. By 8.30 am Joy already had 7
puppies. With larger litters I have always found that
there is pause at the midway point. I think I figured
out this time why that must be. The pups at the thorax
end of the womb would be the most restricted and stressed at
the end of the pregnancy. Whilst this pause allows them
to descend towards the birth canal, perhaps having the extra
space for those couple of hours gives them a vital respite in
a more spacious environment to prepare for the birth.
Sure enough there was a long pause and finally there were 11
healthy kicking feeding puppies. Joy has a proud confidence
in handling them. In her first litter she only raised
8 so she will discover tricks over the next few days.
Probably three bays which consists of between the front legs,
the torso and between the crossed hind legs and strangely enough
one in each arm pit. This is for some reason a very recherché
writes about Joy's litter on day 3:
Puppies are now dry and glossy. The thugs
and the thinkers are becoming apparent. Joy is working
hard at keeping a large crowd happy.
First of all Joy’s tender flesh needs
protecting. The claws will start to harden tomorrow
and I will file them at the front. The puppies enjoy this
contact as long as you make sure that you take them when they
are sated. This is the first real extended contact that
they have with me and they come to enjoy the attention.
Until this procedure I have only stroked them tentatively
with the back of my fingers or the side of an index finger and
moved little ones to advantageous positions or remove
gorditos to the sleep box and return again. In these early
days I touch them to get Joy accustomed and trustful of my handling
them and to accustom them to my scent and touch.
I make sure that everything I do is either providing heat or
nourishment and that I handle with the ultimate gentleness,
like the tiny little babies they are in fact, so that they always
have good associations of contact with me.
One of the black males has a magnificent curly
black mane, born to rule and counters no obstacles in getting
his milk. A little brown boy forgets to eat and wonders
off despairing of getting a look in. Joy calls and brings
him back. She disrupts the whole group go after him and
then puts him in the middle of it trying to set off in him,
the instinct of getting into the throng. I regularly notice
he is getting special attentions. Checkings ups, favoured
sleeping spots. But I think he is away up top being
spoilt a lot but not down at the milk bar enough.
His ribs are showing bony so I decide its time for me
to help the less greedy ones a bit. It has been six years
since we had a ‘big’ litter like this and a little
intervention can turn it from misery to heaven.
The method is simple, its the sleep box.
I started on day three, yesterday. The principle is that
if a puppy is asleep it is not hungry. The sleep box has
two advantages. The less greedy puppies have free access
to the milk bar and those sleeping, sleep more deeply.
The big greedy strong ones will sleep at a teat, obstructing.
perhaps even lying horizontally blocking as much as possible.
Gordito doesn't’t sleep as well as he ought to and scrawny
spends as much time struggling as he does guzzling. With
eight puppies I would leave this status quo and let them get
on with it but with 11 puppies and eight teats it is better
to intervene so that everybody can get some rest so in the sleep
box the gorditos sleep blissfully. When leaving
Joy and pups alone all the puppies are returned.
Joy loves greeting and examining the gorditos as they
are returned to her one by one. She receives each one
in a manner that convinces me that she already knows each pup
individually. Yesterday I had to encourage scrawny to the teat
a few times even though he had a choice of teats at the milk
bar but without the crowd there he had the freedom to fumble
and make the mistakes he needed to. When I came down this
morning there he was feeding holding his place while the fatties
writes about Joy's litter on day 4 :
All but two of the pups are obscenely glossy
strong and plump. There is one that is smaller and one
that is frankly scrawny. The sleeping basket is a den of the
fat and contented. It is only the size of the glossy fat
puppies that makes me realise scrawny is scrawny.
He is eating well and Joy makes a fuss of him. It is not
uncommon for the scrawnies to have more than ordinary social
intelligence as they develop and I am not unduly concerned.
As day five approaches I think about the procedure
of removing the dew claws. While I would never dream
again of taking anything from the tail I am still partisan for
taking off the dew claws. There are several reasons for
this. Apart from sheep dogs who use the dew claws to snag
on to the woollen coat of sheep and so be able to climb over
their backs, they serve no purpose. With our very
first litter despite going to great lengths to get the best
local veterinary advise the vet examined the back legs of the
puppies declaring them dew claw free and didn’t think
to look on the front legs and so both Princess and Joy have
their dew claws. As the dew claws are high on the leg
they do not get shortened by life's wear and tear. They
could snag easily. As Charlotte’s puppies
became larger they would jump on her face and scratch under
her eyes with the dew claws to the point that she developed
hard skin for protection. I do not know and have not even
managed a guess as to the origin of this behaviour is but I
always have the front dew claws snipped now.
Most breeders I know do it themselves saying
that it is very easy with a pair of nails scissors. I
consider this each time but finally get the vet up. I
feel she is an expert in sterilising things and I assist her
closely. The one modification I have insisted with our
vet, and she has come to agree with me, is that stitches are
not necessary. It prolongs the pain and far more blood
is lost. The way we do it only a tiny amount of blood
is lost and by the time the pups leave home it is almost impossible
to find the spot where the dew claws were.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 5:
Day five is the perfect day to do the dew claws.
Any earlier and the mother would still be anxious about pups
being handled so. She is nervous but only really for the
first one - after that she is preoccupied with receiving each
pup as it is passed to her as soon as its wounds have been disinfected.
The puppies are beginning to enjoy a little
bit of very gentle handling. I am still the only person
who has held them, and apart from the vet touched them.
They are very relaxed and the first thing they love is having
the pads of their feet stroked. Princess is
still being very careful to not even seem to be approaching
Joy and her little ones.
I have found today that the claws are still
not hardened up enough to justify filing.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 7:
I notice some redness on Joy’s teats.
The time to file the puppies' claws is upon us. When I
take the first pup and hold it for longer than usual Joy looks
a little anxious but when the file comes out and she sees I
am grooming she relaxes. The pups are relaxed too.
I file the claws of the front feet only and use the whole length
of the file so that it is done in an even pull vertically along
the claw. A horizontal action would be to rough and disturbing
for the puppies. I am struck again by how early the boys
have manly paws and the girls are much finer. Noticed
the same for my son. My own personal theory is that it
is exactly for the care of newborns that females have such finer
The puppies have now been categorised into size.
Three are really ludicrously plump strong bruisers. Two
are more fine. All the others are strong and weighty.
The brown female and the one I call Scrawny Boy, who is not
really scrawny, are holding their own very well next to the
Joy pays no attention at all when I handle the
big bruisers. They yawn as I work and barely wake up.
When I work on the smaller pups Joy is watching out of the corner
of her eye. When I return the bruisers Joy already is
barking at them and commandeering and pushing them around as
if she already knows that these guys are going to have to be
kept in their place. The smaller pups do not get this
type of treatment. This very early discipline (and this is the
earliest I have seen it) is very carefully done. Joy barks
loudly in their ear. The pups jump and squeal and Joy
will move them with her muzzle to where she wants them and almost
the instant the stern bark has finished she showers them with
kind attentions and cleaning.
The puppies' ears have stopped looking like
a succulent plant and are flopping down like proper doggie ears.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 9:
Joy is managing them so well that I have not
been using the sleep box for several days. She has them
all off to sleep at the same time, giving herself breaks regularly
throughout the day.
Puppies still have eyes closed but are beginning
to groom each other.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 10:
Joy has kept her puppies in the same spot where
she gave birth to them in our kitchen. There have been
unavoidable visits from people and a stream of village children
keen to have a glimpse of the babies.
Observing a number of minor restrictions life
can carry on and children indulged without upsetting Joy.
There are a few rules though. Joy in this first week is
glowing with pride and is actually quite happy for people to
see the puppies if she gets the impression that admiring her
puppies is the sole purpose of the visit so any passing business
visitors and friends are required to make a huge fuss of Joy
and acknowledge her and the puppies and make admiring noises
before any other business is done. Obviously everyone
is keeping a respectful distance. When people are finally
allowed to hold pups in a week or so, Joy's permission will
be asked. She understands and is reassured by the respect.
Joy is always a sociable and friendly dog but with puppies
in the house she is straight at the side of visitors like a
maitre d' hotel and expectant of appropriate acknowledgement.
She then sits proudly next to the pups very alert but proud
to be able to show them off. With the children we do not
have to pretend that they have only come to visit the pups.
They come one at a time and stand a good distance away telling
Joy how clever she is and how beautiful her puppies are.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 14:
The puppies have all been identified now using
a system of nail varnish and absence of nail varnish marks on
the end of their tails. Using this extremity minimises
unpleasant fumes and is done outdoors.
On the day the puppies became 14 days old they
started opening their eyes and the following morning they were
all wide eyed and this is a great stimulus to their starting
to walk. They are taking themselves on little forays around
their corner of the kitchen but when Joy leaves them for a walk
they go back to being a huddle and sleep.
Prospective owners want personality descriptions
but other than the smaller ones being less interested in eating
there are not yet any outstanding personality traits.
They are all very vigorous and sociable. They have started
to groom each other and afterwards some are starting to tentatively
groom themselves. They react to the smell of meat and
I could probably introduce them onto some solids now but will
continue feeding Joy very good diet and wait another week.
Apart from the fact that the breast milk is obviously doing
them very well, I want to keep them in the kitchen as long as
possible and once they are no longer on a purely breast milk
diet it is no longer possible for Joy to do such a good job
of cleaning them up.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 17:
Today one of the larger black puppies started
wondering assertively away from the group. I wondered
which puppy it was and discovered it was one of the big black
males and that his zizi was wet…then I saw he had left
a puddle that Joy was moving in on to clean up. I was
reminded of how clean Joy’s last litter had been;
from such a tiny age wondering away from the group to do their
They are beginning to more carefully look for
their comfortable positions and flop on each other. I am about
to go away for five days. I have two experienced animal
carers Patricia and Louise, Pat a long time family friend, coming
to stay and take over from me. Pat comes a few days early
so that Joy can get used to her. Before I go I give the
front claws a second filing. This time it is easier as
I can easily find the knuckles and hold them steady with my
thumb while I file. Often the nails shed a great
lump of dry skin as if there has been an actual shedding.
I notice that the trace of the dew claw removal is almost impossible
to see already. Whilst I handle each once
I notice that all the umbilical cord marks look text book.
Some of the larger puppies are already starting
to try to eat Joy’s duck croquettes. I do not want
to wean them too quickly. I am concerned about asking
others to do the necessary cleaning up that will become necessary.
Instead I make sure that I leave plenty of raw lean meat , chicken
and sardines and instructions to pick up liver so that Joy will
be in a good position to provide the milk necessary.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter on day 22:
I have been away for five days and the
pups have changed a lot. They are walking and confidently
It is time to take supplementary feeding of
the pups more seriously. With eleven Joy cannot
possibly be expected to cope on her own. The large pups are
now very large indeed. When I left, if I waved fresh meat
over their basket there was an instantaneous attraction.
Some puppies were also finding their way to Joy’s on-tap
duck croquettes and helping themselves. Taking pity on
Joy, Pat and Louise took the initiative of buying some dried
baby food. It is not what I would have bought but they
do seem to like it so I make a very fluid mix and painstakingly
offer some to each puppy with a spoon. Joy is quite insistent
that I let her have some so I let her take some. As with
the meat the puppies react instantaneously and en mass this
time to the sound of her lapping, and dive towards the bowl.
I let Joy finish it. I soak puppy croquettes and break
them in to small pieces. All the puppies take some from
me, the large puppies true to form being a bit more forward.
After about 15 minutes they are all sated and collapse on top
of each other jaws hanging open, legs up in the air for another
two hour snooze. It is already OK to supplement the puppies'
fluid needs with water. I will see if they are interested
later on although without hot weather I will not be surprised
if they are not. They act very much as a pack even at this age
sleeping, feeding, developing and playing at very much the same
Play sessions have become incredibly more advanced
in my five days away. The sheet that was their home
patch has now had to be replaced by a rigid high-edged dog basket.
Five days ago if Joy sloped away the puppies would huddle
together and sleep. Now they follow her making her crabby
and ill tempered. With the basket they are contained and
Joy can continue to get rest When the hour of play comes
around the basket becomes reminiscent of a gladiators' amphitheatre
with puppies wrestling and biting as they spar in pairs and
small groups. Joy will eventually return to them when
she has had a good rest. When the puppies want to get out and
I am giving them some time I do carry them onto the matting
outside the basket they do wee, however there is an inevitable
weeing in the basket and the sheet has to be changed twice a
day. I also put down sheets around the basket to
break the fall for the occasional escapist, and this is also
used as a pee area.
When I change the sheet Joy will chose to step
into the basket and I return each puppy individually.
This gives me an opportunity to inspect them. They are
now conscious of my attention and make social gestures
with their tongue and have started to make the little grunts
of pleasure typical of a happy dog. As predicted the one
I call Runty was thick on the eye contact and interaction with
me. This is the age where the puppies really start to
thrive on individual attention and to become a great pleasure.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter: three weeks and two
are now demanding food and being fed three times a day with
soaked croquettes. I am surprised by how quickly they
learn not to tip over the bowl.
escapists climb over the 20 cm edge of the basket so I make
sure there is padding around the sides. Cleaning up and
washing of their bedding is now perpetual. Princess is
still keeping a polite distance from pups.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter: three weeks and four
have learnt to get out of the low part of the basket that faces
into the wall and walk around in to the room to go explore and
look for mummy. They have also learnt to find their way back
the same way and that spot is firmly established as their return
point. Only one or two wonder out at a time.
puppy wonders over to under the stairs where princess is parked.
Princess licks its face and puppy does a business. Princess
cleans it up in a very maternal way! Joy comes possessively
to finish the cleaning up but does not growl at Joy or see her
off in any way.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter: Three weeks and 4 days
like raw meat in tiny pieces I will soon have to worm them.
Eating four times a day now.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter: Three weeks and 5 days
is still standing off from the puppies but I feel a bit sorry
for her. She exaggerates how far she is required to be
away skulking off to far corners and I imagine she in manifesting
the exclusion she feels. I begin to think she may be getting
depressed. She does sleep in my room which is a totally
exceptional and out of the ordinary treat and she seems happy
and snuggly then.
down in the morning the puppies scatter around the room now
associating me with a meal time coming. I have a mental
flashback of the special puppy stroll. One can no longer
take proper steps around the kitchen, you actually have to slide
and kick, slide and kick.
the next few weeks a few puppies will find themselves being
propelled through mid air but with this walking technique I
have not hurt a puppy yet. The pups are acting more independently
now exploring the room, helping themselves to the water and
alas finding places to do their business. There is no
point trying to train the puppies at this age but I do put newspaper
out and some of them do use it although I wonder if it isn’t
a law of chance. He I call scrawney is often in Joy’s
cleaning bay working on the head end of the mother rather than
the feeding end. The two large black boys are very much
the first to do this and the first to do that, they are also
litter has noisy active spells then return to sleep. I
realise that I will not be able to have them all in the kitchen
at once for much longer and remind myself to appreciate it while
it lasts. They are growing up so much everyday now.
I took pity on Princess who was visibly craving to get near
to the pups. I took Joy with me on my errands and left
Princess in the house. She made to steal away. Marie,
who helps look after my little boy, was there and I just asked
her to keep and eye and left them. When I got back Princess
was surrounded by a bunch of adoring pups and looking blissfully
happy. She has been inseparable from them except by duress
ever since. A couple are particularly fond of her and
the relationship seems to have given them confidence.
The brown girl is clearly smitten and has rapidly become more
bold and adventurous. With this extra social contact I
can see our trademark happy, friendly inquisitive personality
settling in. They seem to have a sense all ready of me
being the big boss. They sit for Joy and Princess when
they want an audience. They lap up attention from me when
I take some time to spend individually with them. Some
lie with Joy but the bulk flock around Princess. That
night I leave princess downstairs for the first time and puppies
are quieter than they have been.
Sophie writes about Joy's litter: Three weeks and 6 days
I come down in the morning all is blissfully quiet. The
puppies are asleep in the puppy spot, and princess and Joy are
sleeping next to each other, puppyless, under the stairs.
As a mother recently I know that at a certain age separation
is the secret of a good night's rest.
with puppies all day. Sure enough scrawny appears several
times in the cleaning bay. The little brown girl has Joy’s
a lovely dark brown coat as do two of the boys.
The puppies wonder happily between Joy and princess and love
attention when I sit down with them. They seem to be making
decisions about what the want to do. Princess starts eyeballing
Joy which I decide is not on and is very much discouraged.
She is hogging the puppies so much that I decide to take Princess
on my errands with me and give a chance for Joy to be with all
her pups. When we walk back into the kitchen three pups
run up to princess back sides swinging with the force of their
wagging tails. She has a veritable fan club. I begin
to wonder whether Joy minds. One of those if only they
could speak moments. I look into her eyes. She looks
back with complete equanimity. I decide anyway to take
princess up to bed with me as previously, to give Joy time with
pups so that she does not have a sense of severance. Five
minutes after Princess and I are settled in to the bedroom Joy’s
head pops around the door. I am reassured that she really
doesn't mind and sent princess down. She trots off happily
and Joy settles down on the rug next to my bed.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter - Fourth and fifth week
are being fed duck croquettes soaked in warm bone and meat stock
five times a day. In a week I will reduce it to four times a
day. They like it served with lots of fluid so I have a stock
pot on the go.
I Indulgently smile at a puppy gumming
my boots thinking how cute it is that they pretending to have
teeth but alas I've just been on the floor mucking about with
them and horror of horrors the teeth have arrived. They are
beginning to be quite assertive and growly in their mock fights
with each other.
noises they make are less like new-borns and I stop, having
to listen carefully to check sometimes if its a pup whimpering
at Joy or if my son is waking up upstairs. The similarity is
Joy is not the only one producing milk now.
Princess often has two and as many as four puppies breast feeding
from her. Princess had not yet had puppies when Joy had her
first litter so this did not happen then. I have been told that
this hormonal reaction can occur in many mammalian species,
Joy’s nipples are tired looking and need
wheat germ and almond oil rubbed on them daily.
four weeks and three days the puppies are leaving too much wee
and pooh for it to be feasible to keep them in the kitchen any
longer and we move them to the ‘great hall’ of the
château. A grand word for what is actually a large semi-ruined
room that we have great hopes for. Here they can play and run
around without getting under anyone’s feet and big wide
windows keep it airy. The puppies are taken out to play once
or twice a day and it is stunning how quickly they learn to
follow. The necessary handling that this requires I think is
one of the reasons I get such a glowing reference from Brandon
McMillan. They learn to follow immediately and for the system
to work it is essential that each puppy is fearless and always
treated gently, like the babies they are.
are now playing with any object that strays their way. Chasing
the mop, old loo rolls, cleaned up empty cans and wooden and
plastic toys. Cleaning up after them has become a two person
Joy is weaning the pups but will feel
pressing need to feed them about three times day. I feed her
some boiled eggs that went wrong for my taste and she guzzles
them shells and all although I am giving her top of the range
science plan croquettes she wolfs the liver and raw chicken
that I supplement her diet with. I know that the extra nutrition
helps her teeth, bones. More of that another time.
is the age when one begins to feel a huge tenderness in the
hands when handling the pups. They trust us absolutely and we
have to make each one feel that we protect them and love them
so we can successfully lead them and keep them in the ungated
courtyard to play. There is a complicity that develops borne
of the necessity to move the pups out around and about and the
adult females are in cahoots. They have a large sand pit but
despite cavorting invitations to play by Princess the puppies
have not yet copped on to the delights of the sand heap. I’m
sure they will. Such attractions help us keep the puppies from
straying into the village but we constantly check numbers, five
black, six brown; five black, six brown; five black, six brown
and notice and call back the most adventurous, cunningly manipulating
them with the help of Joy and Princess. It is still true to
say that the two big black boys are the most severely and regularly
told off by their mother and aunt or perhaps they are the best
at what the french call being comediens.
I appreciate how good for the social development of the puppies
it is to herd them around I am always turning over in my mind
where will ultimately be a great location for a permanent park
in the courtyard or one of the terraces. One day.
big adventuresome puppies are still true to their character.
As we start to wonder out of the house some need coaxing and
the same few need no coaxing at all. The big strong boys are
still getting more telling off than the other puppies from mum
and aunt. Scrawny has completely different strategy. When he
wants something from Joy he will sit down facing her and look
admiringly at her before making his approach. He also does not
approach when he senses that Joy is already harassed. He picks
his moments more than the big ones.
is still a certain amount of lifting and carrying which means
we still have an advantage in the herding games. By six weeks
puppies will follow me happily without even a dog adult to follow.
I Realise how messed up my system would be if even one pup was
scared of me. I think of the flip side of the tenderness feeling
; how receptive and adored the pups feel when they are smothered
with cuddles and praise and correspondingly how terrifying it
must be for a tiny pup to be treated roughly and thoughtlessly
or even cruelly by such great things that we are next to them.
the beginning of week four puppies are still feeding happily
from one bowl but this is changing rapidly and by the end of
the week their feed is divided into four smaller bowls. Every
week they will need a new bowl added to their collection to
avoid fights and exclusion. Neither Princess nor Joy can be
left with them at feeding time as they would overeat and take
out the best tit bits meant for puppies (one of my outstanding
mysteries of Dogdom)
puppies love to be held underneath their forearms and rocked
gently from side to side. My baby also loves this and I’m
sure I would love it if there was a giant big and strong enough
to do it for me. Its the sort of thing that you have to have
as a baby as its your only chance.
Keeping the puppies stimulated
and fed is now a team experience and there is a high degree
of complicity going on. I think it is unkind to expect a bitch
to raise a litter without support. Joy appreciates her time
off so much and so appreciates her time with them too and thanks
to Princess even when Joy is bunking off the pups are not alone
although they are left without the adults for periods each day.
occasionally making a big fuss about nothing if a breeze hits
them if they think it will win them some attention. Every moment
of individual attention means the world to them and Joy and
Princess groom systematically. None of the puppies is neglected
but some seem to be more attention grabbers. When the non-attention
grabbers are picked up they are blissed out. Fara climbed into
the gully and got wet and needed drying off. These sorts of
experiences where the pups are singled out for special attention
and comforting build up the puppies trust and sense of belonging
and identity. They are now being wormed and for this I lead
each pup individually to the house, I get a measure of their
confidence, how human orientated they are give them a groom
and generally use it as an opportunity to make them feel special.
I buy worming syrup that is a sweet syrup so that there is no
struggling and I can dose each puppy accurately. They also like
to a prospective client about the one I call Scrawny they ask
if I am worried about him and I remember a recent event. Attilla
(big black male) was jumping on top of Scrawny biting his ears.
Scrawney was overpowered and making a tremendous racket. Marie
and I instantly jumped to attention saying oh poor scrawny and
the fight breaks up. Later in the same play session Scrawny
(I must start calling him Joseph) makes a commando dive for
Attilla's ears, Attilla squeals and Scrawney reels away for
a proud victory loop. I'm not worried about scrawny.
of the puppies has a little umbilical hernia that became apparent
early in week five. I regularly pop it back in and it is already
starting to appear less. So far I have not had a pup with an
umbilical hernia which has not been corrected with this simple
treatment. Next it will be watching for the boy’s testicles
to fall. With Joy and Louis' last litter this happened for every
male pup without any help.
Only three puppies now still available for
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter - Sixth and Seventh
is the week serious chewing starts. The puppies have a
park in the garden now where they spend most afternoons. They
have been through a rough needing to be told to stop it phase
and are now mostly very good and gentle. They only had a couple
of days of being insufferable. It seemed that they had
figured out that when they bit each other they got bitten back
but that our tender limbs were soft targets and we don’t
bite back. . For the first time Joy and Princess refused
to spend the night with them. We now use raw bones to
get the energy drained and keep them busy and interacting with
each other over something meaningful. When I appeared
with them Joy gave me a look that seemed to say finally !
They now always do their business at the very
far end of their hall.
They all follow excellently on trips to the
garden. Their personalities have emerged and as
usual any amount of attention has a transforming effect on the
puppies' confidence. We are beginning to play with walking
on the lead and puppies are been taken for walks in groups of
twos and threes. Princess is now producing more
milk than Joy. Life is a puppy, baby feeding and
entertaining treadmill and I have mislaid my notes so more of
these weeks another time.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter - Eighth
doubt about it - as the puppies grow they are more and more
work. They still play in the garden every afternoon
and since 7 weeks get taken on little walks on the lead as well.
At this stage they do not actually know they are on the lead.
The lead is slipped on and as they are all very good at following
they think they are just getting some special time out and follow
you along. It gets them used to the weight around the
neck. There is a lightness of touch required so that the
puppies are comfortable and happy with the experience.
They are also being brought to play in the house
for a few hours at a time. Joseph and Remy had what appeared
to be conjunctivitis last Saturday. We jetted physiological
fluid into them and they cleared up quickly but on Sunday I
noticed that Joseph's glands and face had swollen. I called
our vet who was rather unworried about it which surprised me
since on the internet there were a plethora of possibilities.
She seems quite satisfied that he had been bitten or had some
sort of allergy and nothing to be alarmed about.
It was true that he had no temperature and was in good spirits.
On the Monday he really did seem tired so we brought him in
and have given him some anti-biotics and anti-inflammatory just
in case. The vet looked for a wound found none so decided
it was an insect sting and sent us off. He is in excellent
spirits wolfing his food etc. however we feel he needs
some special nursing as he has been swollen so he is in the
house more than the others. I remember Remy first went
off his food for a day and ended up being fed scallops and cream
but this is obviously different. He can’t fake swollen
glands but is delighting in his new lifestyle being given
a couple of other puppies to play with at a time and being included
in all the other activities.
is very happy about being alone with us but we could not
take him back to the château every time we went upstairs
or out on an errand so we needed to crate train him. His
future owners have left his crate for him to become accustomed
to. We leave that in the house with the door open
and a treat in it. Some of the puppies wonder in of their
own volition. One of the female blacks has been picking
on Esther. In the kennel of my dreams I would separate
them for a while so I bring Esther in to the house too to keep
Remy company and help with his crate training. On the
first night Esther cried for 45 minutes but Remy was fine.
On the second neither cried at all except at 7 in the morning
when they rushed out to do their pees. Esther is now sticking
up well for herself with the fiend but she is very good in the
box with Remy so I wont insist on completely crate training
any of the others for the moment.
When the puppies come into the house they go
through a process of settling so although they are not house
trained with poohs they do already tend to wait if they can
and they learn to settle and be calm when they are in human
space; that there are things they are not allowed to do
or to play with. Esther and Remy in the house helps set a standard.
I was very impressed when one climbed up the stairs and then
seeing me complaining and grumbling scurried back down the stairs
again. That was extraordinary. Most need gentle
prompting down the stairs. Always easier to go up than
go down. Sometimes the puppies will bark a little when
they are first in the house but by being ignored or hissed at
a little when they do they soon cop on that it isn’t the
I am really proud of all the puppies now.
They practice restraint, they recognise and respond to different
tones of voice, they stay with me when being walked alone or
in a group, they do sometimes get excited and go teeth and claws
in play but are improving every day. They do not run off
or forget to stay together (yet) and they can run up and down
the big long plank we use for getting down to the garden. They
are also quite solidaire. When Fara persecutes Esther
she gets biffed up by the others as a direct response to her
uncalled for displays of dominance.
is good for all the puppies to have an opportunity to play in
small groups. The ones that are not pushy have an opportunity
to express themselves.
Princess and Joy also follow these operations
keenly indicating when they would like to pass some time with
the puppies. Princess now has milk and Joy no longer does.
They are wormed again and I check them for burrs which are now
appearing in parts of the garden. Must chop them down.
The skin on their ears is now strong enough
to be de-haired. That will happen this week.
I now keep a chart of every puppy and a tally of how many times
they have had certain experiences and treatments including time
inside, worming, walks, time in the crate, on the lead and so
on. I keep a tally. It helps a lot.
The pups have all been soft mouthed since tiny
as they were initially hand fed to see if they were ready to
eat. The only time I have been nipped was recently when
they were having a feeding frenzy over raw sardines. From
about six weeks puppies love raw sardines. I have been
a little late in starting sardine feedings with this lot.
It is curious that this taste for raw fish seems to be specific
to a particular age group. I have a theory that it is
so there is always often a plentiful supply of something that
only growing pups really like and a crucial development age.
At about three months they are no longer interested in raw sardine.
Sardines can also be dried very slowly in the oven. They
last for ages and dogs of all ages love them. Same for
liver…of course. For rewards they are given peanuts
in their husks or brewers yeast tablets.
A lot of enquiries last week from the UK.
In fact puppies have to be ten months old to legally travel
to the UK. This is because there are certain instances
when the rabies vaccination does not work and this can only
be verified a certain period after the vaccination course is
completed. People have sometimes looked into boarding
the dog in France but of course this is costly and most people
would not want to miss the puppy months of their new dog.
It is fun at this age to take all the puppies
on an outing. We throw them in the back of the car and
set off into the woods. Joy and Princess especially enjoy
these times. In the evenings the puppies are walked in
groups of threes and fours to a nearby field where Joy and Princess
put on a show for them chasing each other around like mad things.
The puppies are so like happy young people when you watch them
on these walks.
From this age the puppies start to become as
good as you are in terms of being clean. The more times you
give them an opportunity to do the right thing the more they
will do it. They do not like to soil their space, for example
only one puppy has ever soiled a crate on the plane trip from
Paris or Munich to LA.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter
- Ninth week
By now have finally mastered distinguishing
the last two puppies we kept confusing. For a week there were
two puppies both called "Luigi or Peter". Now at 13
weeks when I am finally coming out of the fog of keeping increasingly
inquisitive puppies exercised and entertained it seems ridiculous
that we could have once confused the two.
Around this time I have to keep a tally of which
puppies have done what. It is not longer possible to rely on
them being collectively taken care of. I have a checklist that
includes spending time in the crate with another puppy and alone,
being taken for walks on the lead and in a smaller group, being
wormed, coming into the kitchen and spending time goofing around
as a house pup, having their ears cleaned, and other columns
I try to fill like whether they are subject to car sickness.
When they come in to the house it means they also get quality
time with Joy or Princess, or both. Right up until they leave
these two will pull puppies aside and give them a thorough going
over, subjecting them to inspections that usually finished with
the pup, blissfully, being pinned to the ground and given a
Two of the largest and easiest tempered pups
were the last two still available. There is often truth in the
expression gentle giants. Clients are attracted to the fact
that we breed the larger standard poodle but wish, nevertheless
for one which will not be on the bigger end of the scale.
This week our usual vet is out a lot taking
care of the inoculations against the latest livestock virus
inevitably working itself up to Europe and is being replaced
a lot by locums. I am not at all amused. Her young receptionist
made a pig's ear of filling in the electric chip forms and between
her and the locum vet failed to do the usual necessary forms
for sending a puppy to Spain. I have switched to a vet service
that is run by several different vets rather than one person
using locums…and a secretary that smiles. Much more satisfied.
I have found the previous vet not as good as she was when less
busy, concerning giving explanations…and a very mainstream
thing here in France, suggesting homeopathic and traditional
remedies. While the puppies were still quite small the one we
call Scrawny developed swollen glands and puffy eyes. After
a couple of days the swelling had not gone down so we took him
to be looked at. She prescribed anti-biotics and cortisone without
any explanation of what she thought it was. Very frustrating.
The second practice seemed convinced it was an insect bite.
Both dismissed puppy choke. I suppose because Scrawny was otherwise
in good spirits and form. I am pleased as I has been reading
on the net about puppy choke an apparently quite mysterious
acute condition which puppies get where the glands swell to
large that the puppies cannot breath. I am very interested if
anyone has a diagnosis of this in a standard poodle. Both the
vets here seemed to dismiss it as an option without a second
The last two boys kept not finding homes for
weeks. Suddenly everyone wanted a brown female, of which there
was only one (that we have decided to keep) or they were enquiring
from the UK and of course we can’t send puppies to the
UK until they are at least 10 months which is out of the question
at the moment. The same applies to Scandinavia, Hawaii, Ireland
Poodle grooming is their only drawback as a
breed. This is amply made up for by the fact that they do not
shed hair, but it does involve consistent vigilance in several
respects. Until about 8 weeks the skin in the ears is still
too tender to pull but by week nine they begin to need to have
their ears cleaned. When we started I regretted not having started
a week earlier. They were already jolly hairy. The first ear
pulling is quite an operation. Attila kicked like a kangaroo.
When Niki had his check up the vet extracted a wild wheat grass
seed from his ear. Something that could well have not happened
had his ears been squeaky clean. This time of year it is a nightmare
and our garden still has areas ‘under improvement’
where wheat grass needed to be continually removed. Ears need
to be inspected regularly.
I learnt an interesting thing with this litter
that hugely sped up ear inspection. After a walk at night they
all got back into the hall before I had a chance to systematically
check ears. Two had already had grass seed irritating the ear
that week and so I was obliged not to wait until the morning.
As the hall in the château was too dark to have a really
good look I simply put my fingers into their ears and felt carefully
for foreign bodies. While generally the ear checking ritual
remains non-consensual until the pups reach quite a considerable
age of maturity, to my astonishment instead of the almost inevitable
struggle when you try to look and probe at the same time they
actually seemed to enjoy this and did not struggle at all which
meant I could examine the ears far more thoroughly. Not extremely
hygienic of course on that occasion. One should really have
washed hands between each ear.
Poodles have webbed feet and this skin is tender.
Paw hair should be kept short and between the toes needs to
be checked for sharp grass seed regularly when it is about.
For puppies the main point of ear cleaning is
to remove the hairs and get them accustomed to the procedure.
With adults it needs to be a more thorough hygiene thing. I
have now got it to a fine art that I will put on the grooming
page soon. Briefly they always prefer if you use fingers rather
than the special scissor-like clamps that are only sometimes
necessary. Either way the fine powder sold for this purpose
is the best aid I have found. It helps to give a grip on the
hairs. Joy has very hairy ears and if I do not stay on top of
it she can get ear mites. Ear mites live on ear wax and epidermal
debris so clean ears means there is nothing for them to eat,
and no hair means no stockpile of epidermal debris and ear wax.
Ear mites can easily be transferred which is why I am usually
careful to wash hands and change materiel between ears.
As the puppies get to this age I begin to regret
that I have not done more to ensure a puppy sale to a breeder
or someone in a good position to produce a litter. As the puppies
leave I have a tendency to hold back one that I think would
be suitable for breeding our type of dog. All the females we
have ever sold have been neutered and so have most of the males.
I feel as if I should ensure that a male goes to somebody who
will breed but the question involves much preparation and study.
Professional breeders are rightly very weary, there are many
pitfalls and the tests available for poodle problems are not
always straight forward or reliable and then there is size.
The chances are that most of the male pups in this litter will
be outsize for the breed standard in all the countries I know
of. Then there is colour. Many countries are very strict about
colour. Princess’ nose colour is an anathema in France,
and Charlotte had freckles. I loved them but for Kennel Club
breeders that could spell shame and financial ruin. Bacchus
who visited with his owners has a very slight cream go faster
ridge along his back. That simply wouldn’t do for many
I do have one of Princess’ boys in San
Francisco whom I part-own with a view to breeding. He is just
coming of age now so I need to catch up with his owner and take
the next steps. One of the puppies in this litter is sold to
a family who are thinking of breeding.
This week puppies taken to the vet for vaccinations,
electronic chipping and examination. I did it in two separate
trips as the vet is very busy and could not come to the château.
Each puppy is weighed and examined. Ears stomach, temperature,
glands, heart rate (with mouth closed) and genitals are examined.
All the boys testicles have already dropped. Their weights varied
from the lightest 5.8 Kilos to 9.400 kilograms. They are all
therefore already overweight to travel in the cabin of an aircraft.
I have stopped over indulging Joy and she has
stopped gaining weight. Phew. Princess is now actually producing
more milk than Joy.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter
- Tenth week
Three puppies have now left home and Marie permanently
has two lodging with her. It is good for them to get the extra
attention and they will be travelling to Paris together so an
opportunity for them to be extra accustomed to each other. What
a doddle to have only six puppies to take out. Although the
puppies still play in the garden regularly they do lots of walks
too. One of the puppies is going to an experienced trainer who
asked me to not always call the puppies but to clap. Its funny
but that's what I do, and what everybody else seems to do instinctively.
They are now biddable and expected to sit, not
jump, I have finally convinced Marie that chewing and biting
humans is not good ever.
Nicki had a swelling over his left shoulder.
It seemed familiar to me but since I was going to the vet with
a client whose pup was being examined for travel I brought him
in, just in case. It is a reaction to the vaccination even though
the vaccination had been a week ago, and was gone after a few
Their eye colour until last week was still a
beautiful green. It has now suddenly started darkening. The
blacks are now already a proper dark brown and the browns are
turning. Interesting to know how long they will take to stabilise.
I am taking many notes for the post ownership questionnaire
I have been intending and promising to send for years to monitor
adult sizes, weights and other details and tendencies about
the pups as adults.
They are all now spoken for except for Niki
the gentle brown giant. Marie and I both adore him and imagine
he has a special destiny. He seems to have had a great growth
spurt and had a sore ear caused by grass seed which is why I
have had the feeling to hold him back a little. He needs some
beefing up and pampering before he sets off. Even when tiny
he had legs like tree trunks so we take him aside for special
extra protein feeding. Not only is he not a pushy dominant dog
but he is quite particular about eating the good bits of food.
He will not eat cooked sardines but will eat raw sardines. He
loves hard boiled egg and of course raw meat but can’t
be fussed to scrap over anything less. Luigi, Attila and Eugene
are great muscly bruisers next to him and yet Niki is still
the heaviest. It is a borderline age now as to whether dogs
get more from being with siblings and parents or the new life
of having more one-to-one attention. There are pros and cons.
are some things that I get with our puppies that I am always
ridiculously proud of. They have always had lovely wide chests
and very well shaped griffon feet. They are all lovely and square
with smooth circular hip movement. I am not of the school of
restricting completely stair climbing etc. Mine struggle up
and over sand heaps, jump up and down steps and take good walks.
I believe that a gentle amount of scrambling and climbing, walking
and running can only do the bones good in developing. It seems
a no-brainer to me although I always do recommend no exercise
that requires stamina or impact or endurance style sports until
the puppies have reached a year.
I took Eugene and Ella to the beach this week.
They came straight in to the sea after me. It was a completely
waveless day but I was pretty impressed anyway. They were great.
Princess sat on the beach looking. She has never been one for
the sea though she loves fresh water.
Now there is much chatting and organising for
travel arrangements. Crate sizes seem to be more obfuscated
than they need to be.
I have decided to summarise essential useful
trips for plane travel that will join my version of essential
grooming information before long or at least before the next
litter next spring.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter
- Eleventh week
The real business of who to place each pup with
is full blown now. Decision time. I have a knack for placing
puppies which always seems to work in terms of matching temperament
colour, gender to the wishes of the client and keeping our pack
at home going through the transitions happily. Usually I have
figured out which puppy will go to whom by the time people arrive
but with this litter it has seemed appropriate to give a certain
choice to some of our customers. Some people are extremely precise
about what sort of puppy they are looking for and if there is
no good reason for not sticking with it those puppies are obviously
We had a puppy from this litter going to join
the family of Princess’ litter of two years ago. The family
came to collect him and it was wonderful to see how beautifully
cared for, and handsome Princess’ two year old was. He
was veritably amphibious and the puppies were fascinated by
him. The owner has taken some classes from her groomer and had
his legs beautifully scissor cut. A lovely style. He is brushed
thoroughly every day, his hair misted with conditioner and he
looked absolutely beautiful. I am a disaster with clippers and
book mine in for a number two when they really need it. I made
good resolutions to myself and took a note of the products she
used and packed them both off to the beauty salon without delay.
Joy is in really impressive condition. Maybe a couple of pounds
overweight. Puppies have been completely weaned now for weeks
but Joy still needs oil rubbed on her belly and princess too
but more for the sake of fairness. I did offer this family a
choice of two different puppy types and I think they found it
really difficult to make up their minds. I think they wished
I had not given them the choice at all. To help them make up
their minds we all went down to the river to play. Their dog
Bacchus was a great hit with the male puppies. He plays tirelessly
in water. There are more photographs of him lower down this
a breeder of brown poodles I am often asked about how well the
brown coat colour keeps. I have heard of some browns ending
up really not very brown at all a colour that has been described
to me as a muddy grey. Although a good coat colour is something
I take into account in selecting matches I think that it can
be taken to an extreme, a sort of poodle Barbie legend. A breeder
of white poodles once told me that that is why she stayed with
white - the issue of changing hair colour did not come up. They
stayed white. When I bought our first brown poodle it seemed
an obsession with fellow poodle owners as to how fast the colour
was going to hold. In fact I have been very fortunate and Joy
still has a very good coat colour. Her father had an exceptional
brown coat at 7 years. However I think that going to great length
and sacrificing other virtues in order to try to have a natural
Dylon brown or black poodle can be taken too far. In French
kennel Club regulations breeders are not allowed to breed one
colour with another. This is yet another breed restriction they
cannot afford with the scant number of standard poodles in France
although it does mean that as far as coat colour goes they are
very dependable. There are also health issues to do with pigmentation
and skin cancer although I have never come across cases.
Still eating three times a day. They are wolfing
down whole raw sardines now and the duck croquette and occasionally
raw meat and large knuckle bones. I also sprinkle yeast flakes
on the food and use peanuts and dried liver for treats.
Joy and Princess give them a really good telling
off less and less. They are really very good, but do need space
to play - and things they are allowed to chew. Right up until
now with little Esther remaining, Joy and Princess will still
regularly take a puppy aside pin it to the round and give it
a good going over with grooming and nibbling. Puppies are transported
to bliss when they are picked out for this and completely surrender.
Still lots of travel plans being sorted out.
People in Spain need to know height of Attila when sitting.
Already 65 cms !
Beginning to get news of how well puppies are
adapting to their new lives. Quite a few have gone to join older
dogs and it is so far always a great thing rejuvenating the
older dog. I am a big believer in having two dogs if you can
afford to. It is simply not good for animals to be left alone
and although that intense closeness possible with one dog is
very special there will always be times when you cannot take
the dog. We have never had an unsuccessful story of pup joining
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter
- Thirteenth week
In every litter there is a puppy that
continues to suffer from car sickness longer than the others.
Generally the puppies immediately take to going out in the car
and quickly cop on that there is something fun at the end. People
worry that it will never improve and I know some neatniks who
do not crate who choose never to get their puppies over it but
it does improve.
Half way through week thirteen the last three
but one pups are leaving. Their owners are meeting me in Paris
to fly them home to the US. This way they are escorted and do
not have any sensation of abandonment. The puppies did not turn
a hair in the noise and bustle of Montparnasse train station.
I was astonished and proud. The three of them trotted forward
on their leads as if they did it every day. On the TGV I was
misled by the train actually being two trains and had to make
a dash to the other train via the platform where workmen were
working with noisy machinery. To my amazement they hurried past
with me and with a persuasive yank even jumped up on to the
train. I brought them chews (life saver) and things to lie on
(also essential when training puppy not to wonder around when
you are out and about) and water before the journey. They sat
quietly under my table in the first class being no trouble to
anyone huddling into a closer and closer heap as the train filled
up approaching Paris.
Sophie writes about Joy's Litter
- Fifteenth week
Although pups all gone, I am still following
up with paperwork. Three of the names need to be changed because
they are already taken by professional breeders as kennel names.
Getting great feedback from the families. Miss them but seem
to have so much time. Esther now is being properly crate trained
and house trained. Joy still shows off to her and both still
play with her a lot. Joy was a bit sulky for a few days but
with lots of walks and extra grooming she is back to her usual
happy self. So many more things I wanted to add. Tips and observations
but this diary will never finish if I do not stop here. Esther
will no doubt inspire some more accounts so for now good bye.
Joy is in such good shape and such a good mother that we have
decided, as an exception, to breed her again next year. She
will be seven and it will be her third litter. I must here thank
all my clients for taking such good care of what, I must admit,
I always think of as our pups. Also Marie Ansart, who with her
keen understanding and observance, hands on affection and interest
turned moments that could have been a desperate slog into fun.
You can read more about this litter on our Testimonials
page and see pictures of them below
Some Photos (end May 2009)
is an exceptionally sweet natured bitch with a thick consistently
dark chocolate coat. As well as being leggy, elegant and swift.
Joy is the sort of dog that falls in love with everybody and everybody
falls in love with her. Her sire was a Champion of France.
Photos of Joy on day 8 (11 April)
is also magnificent with a faultless black coat and an outstandingly
good natured temperament.
Photographs of Joy's litter in 2006.
Litter - 10th March 2007
Princess, at three and a half years old, had her first litter on 10th March 2007. All of the puppies were champaigne or apricot in colour. (In France a distinction is made between apricot colour and champagne colour, which is lighter than apricot)
Princess proved an ideal mother. All puppies are large and healthy, and all had opened their eyes by 24th March. All have their Sire's black nose.
Below are some photographs of Princess and her litter.
see Princess's pedigree.
Princess was three and a half years old at the time of her first litter. The sire we chose was a very French Kennel Club dog. The advantages of these show dogs is that they are very rigorously tested on the usual European checks that is to say hips and eyes, they also have something resembling a back knee cap that is verified. The standard size however in France is relatively small by our normal standards.
Victorien des Pres de L'Eden is as large as standards are allowed to be in France at 61 cms. He is a well built and muscular dog with good feet, chest, tail set, and a very sweet temperament. He is also an intelligent and sensitive dog. He is a snow white colour with very black skin colouring.
see Victorien's pedigree.
Princess is Joy's full sister. She has an exceptionally pretty face. She is very bright and affectionate. While a little more reserved than princess she is perfectly behaved with strangers (unlike Joy who will try to climb on their knees).
She has a slightly more wiry rather than silky coat than Joy which is easier to look after. Like her sister Joy she is elegant and swift. Princess was an exceptionally good aunt to her sister Joy's litter last year.
Photographs are given here, and more can also be seen below among the photographs of Joy's litter.
Puppies will be ready to go to their new homes as follows :
- European mainland: 10 to 12 weeks arrangement)
- USA and Canada: 10 to 12 weeks
- UK and Ireland: 10 months (due to legal restrictions)
We will not be able to keep any puppies until ten months on this occassion but we are usually able to offer the possibility of boarding one puppy until the age of 5 months.
All puppies are 100% guaranteed to be clear of eye and hip problems. Parental eye and hip certificates will be supplied along with BKC pedigree papers. Our bitches have no known cases in their ancestry of sebaceous adentitus or addisons disease. They do not have weepy eyes or dry coats.
Our puppies are raised on superb nutrition, play, fresh air and love. They enjoy regular contact from birth with adults and children, their own mother and her siblings.
We have one litter per year. First reservations will take precedence.
We will match puppies to orders to our best ability according to preferences. We hope that some of our pups will be trained for dog jobs..
If you require a special service regarding delivery or age of adoption, or would like to know about our good practice incentives drop a line or call:
From France: 04 68 20 11 42.
From USA: 011 33 468 20 11 42
From UK and most other countries: 00 33 4 68 20 11 42.
If you are interested in reserving a puppy please telephone or send a message to arrange a good time to talk. Please e-mail Sophie at RealStandards.
Litter 7th August 2006
Joy (Exuperantus Una) was paired with Louis (Canen
Thanks) in June 2006. They are two exceptionally beautiful
and sweet natured standards, both with completely clear health
Of the eight puppies, all were sold to order:
||CAFÉ AU LAIT
Some Photographs of Joy's litter in 2006.
is an exceptionally sweet natured bitch with a thick consistently
dark chocolate coat. As well as being leggy, elegant and swift.
Joy is the sort of dog that falls in love with everybody and everybody
falls in love with her. Her sire was a Champion of France.
is also magnificent with a faultless black coat and an outstandingly
good natured temperament.
Sophie writes about Charlotte's first litter:
(Canen Sioux) and Real Standards had their first litter together.
The result was twelve boisterous, affectionate and healthy
puppies. Below are some valuable tips and observations about
Charlotte was a month short
of three years old and very large. We were expecting quite
a large litter but had no idea what we were in for. When I
went upstairs on 30 June 2003 I knew that Charlotte would
be giving birth very shortly. At 6.30am I was awoken by tiny
squeaking noises and immediately ran downstairs. At the bottom
of the stairs were two squeaking newborns pups. Charlotte
was not in her bed, but unusually under the table. I knew
that the pups must not get cold but instinctively knew that
I had to make sure Charlotte was happy and knew I was there
for her before I attended to the pups. She had another pup
squeaking by her under the table. She seemed mildly confused
but not distressed and willingly was lead to her bed where
she obediently waited whilst I gathered what I reckoned to
be the first born in a towel. Bringing it over to Charlotte
I rubbed it gently and presented it to her. She immediately
started licking it and by the time I had fetched her other
two she was paying no attention to me, already engrossed in
the cleaning and nuzzling of these mysterious creatures that
were apparently hers. She spent the entire day producing more
and more puppies. At ten pm the count was ten and then by
midnight twelve surviving puppies and all seemed quiet. Charlotte
was by this time enormously proud of her self and could only
be persuaded to leave her clutch once they had all been piled
into a comfortably bedded low cardboard box she could peer
in and from which they could not wander. She could then be
persuaded to take a reluctant walk around the village. It
had been decided before whelping that we would not attempt
to resuscitate stillborn or weak pups. Two were born poorly
and quickly expired. There were no weak pups remaining in
the litter. With twelve healthy boisterous puppies to care
for and keep things fair for as it was I had no doubt that
we had made the right choice.
This non-interference was
only to insure the best care for the completely healthy pups.
I had read that dogs have a throw back from the wild days
of expecting to lose weaker pups in the early days. We are
not against human intervention on principle. Dogs are such
sociable animals and I believe are hard wired to need some
mid-wifery in respect to what to do with a newly born pup
and emotional encouragement that all is well.
Charlotte was shockingly
over fed following her whelping with a diet of sardines and
eggs as well as her regular croquettes. Although it paid off
in terms of well-being to teeth and bones to pups and mother,
Charlotte gained too much weight. Next time I will buy super
quality croquettes but again give the puppies on the rich
fish and vegetable and dairy supplements that they have all
done so well on.
One of the most valuable
tips I can offer is something I cottoned onto on the first
day alarmed by the unexpectedly large litter we had to care
for. In order to reduce the relentless demands of twelve puppies
I would remove sleeping and obviously satiated pups and place
them in the cardboard box. This turned out to be a fantastic
ploy. It was inspired by Charlotte's own bay system. She would
lie with two or three snuggled under her tail, against thighs
and between her back legs: The Sleepers, then several on the
nipple bay, The Feeders, from where the more lively would
be shifted into the space between her forearms that was the
cleaning bay where they were nuzzled, licked and smelt. There
would also be the lucky one or two tucked into the armpit,
which seemed very recherché. The supplementary cardboard
box bay worked really well for three reasons. Charlotte did
not have a potential 48 sets of claws and 12 gums mauling
at her all day, it gave charlotte a manageable number of pups
with which to hone her mothering skills, and the puppies that
were sleeping could sleep undisturbed by the blind and greedy
struggling of the not yet full. The feeding puppies could
have a non-stressful uninterrupted feed. At night I left them
altogether and quite a lot of sleeping seemed to go on. I
have since read of another tip that I will definitely employ
next time which is to file so as to blunt the tiny needle
sized claws capable of damaging the mother's soft belly.
In order to reduce the risk
of dehydration for Charlotte I decided that I would encourage
the puppies to drink water as soon and as possible and was
surprised by how soon this happened. Whilst the puppies were
still only blindly crawling around I disturbed fresh water
in a bowl to make a splashing noise and the puppies made a
bee-line to drink. At this point Tokai was always the first
to do everything. The sound of water is obviously deeply hardwired
into the wee things.
all learnt a lot and are happily proud of the resulting robustly
healthy, happy and playful puppies resulting from our inexperienced
but enthusiastic diligence.
We would love to hear other
puppy rearing tips from you and will talk about older pups
in the next instalment.