When you choose a breed you are interested in, you contact a breeder to buy a puppy. You really don’t get to see or be part of the development of the puppy from when they are born to 8-10wks old when they are ready to go to their forever homes.
A few years ago my mom got involved with an out of town breeder as a partnership home. Recently her female Rio got pregnant and is due to have a litter of puppies…. Below is an image of Rio, obviously before she got pregnant.
Incase you don’t know what a partnership home is… A partnership home with a breeder is when the breeder has one or more of their puppies go into a home with someone willing to care for the dog. There are many variations of partnership contracts with a breeder. But to give you a basic understanding of how it works I’ll use the example of my moms contract.
My mom got her poodle about 5 years ago, when she went to pick her up, the breeder and my mom worked out the details of the partnership home and breeding contract. Basically the breeder has breeding rights to the dog for up to 3 litters. The first litter my mom can choose to keep one puppy, or receive a cash incentive for caring for the mom and pups through the process, the second litter my mom can have two puppies, she can choose to sell them or keep them, and if there is a third litter, the breeder and my mom split the puppies or the proceeds.
There are other details in the contract as well, but I really just wanted to give you an idea of what a partnership home can look like. In the end, my mom will get to keep her breeding poodle, but she will not be able to breed her herself. Anything of that nature has to go through the breeder. Again there are many variations in a breeding contract and partnership home, if it is something you are interested in, talk about it with your breeder when you are looking at their puppies. Not all breeders do these types of contracts, there are some risks involved that they may not be willing to take.
Puppies are here!!!
Date of birth: April 23, 2018
Delivery day is messy, and lots can happen so you need to be prepared. My mom usually makes sure she has lots and lots of blankets and towels. She sets up a heating pad for the new borms to go on when they come out to keep them warm. She also keeps a bowl of flower near by incase any of the puppys get cut when the Rio is taking them out of the sack, the flower helps stop the bleeding.
Mom has a whelping pen set up for the puppies, this is a place where Rio can jump in to feed the puppies and jump out when she needs a break. The pen is designed so Rio has no issues getting in and out but the puppies can’t till they are weeks older…. When this starts happening, pure chaos.
Rio’s labour took about 6 hours, she gave birth to 8 puppies, 5 girls and 3 boys, all black and white accept one little brown and white female.
For new borns they pretty active. They are rolling around and crawling all over each other, Rio isnt too gently with them either lol, as she likes them clean they get knocked all over, and a few times she has rolled over on a few by accident. Its no small job keeping them safe. My mom sleeps in the room with them for the first few nights to make sure all goes well.
This is the third and last litter for Rio, so my mom and here have a pretty good system set up for delivery and the following weeks.
Week one with the puppies:
During this week the puppies eyes are still closed, they don’t do much put huddle in a pile to keep each other warm and wiggle their way around to get Rio’s milk when she’s in with the puppies. Sometimes they get knocked around by Rio as she comes and goes, and the puppies go crazy looking for her, its something else, thats for sure.The heating pad stays with the puppies for at least a few days after they are born, keeping them warm is very important.
There ears are still closed, they look like a fighters cauliflower ear to be honest. The pups have sharp little nails, and they are just the cutest little things. You are almost afraid to touch them they seem so fragile.
As mentioned the litter we have is 5 girls and 3 boys, they look like little nuggets right now, little babes that just want their mom. Honestly they are the cutest things ever. They sleep a lot and moan a bit, and no they don’t sleep through the night.This week it is important to make sure all puppies get enough food from their mom, so my mom will be spending a lot of time checking in on the pups. Rio only has 7 nipples and of course with 8 puppies one or more will always get left out. My mom tries her best to monitor what pups have had their fill and what ones are a little on the thin side, rotating puppies for feeding time when she can. It’s a lot of work, but my mom loves raising them.
Rio’s health is also very important, my mom makes sure she gets premium food and she eats three times a day instead of two, she also get some raw veggies and fruits to make sure she has all the nutrients she needs to pass on the the puppies. And since this isn’t Rio’s first litter she knows she gets spoiled, if my mom doesn’t have the extras she likes mixed in with her food she won’t eat it… total princess…
Week two, they grow so quickly;
Its been a week now since they were born, and they still continue to grow quickly. This week they are starting to try and walk. They look like little drunks are their legs keep giving out from under them every time they take a couple steps. It’s completely comical. I wish I could post a video of it on here, Its just so cute.
This week you will notice some of their eyes starting to open. Not completely, but just a bit. Will be exciting to see what color their eyes are when they are fully open. Their ears are also starting to further develop. They will start to open more and more as the days go by. Before we know it they will be little monsters running around…
And they are off! Week three;
We are now into the third week with the little ones. They are a lot more independent now with their feeding. My mom is still sleeping in the room with them to make sure they are all getting food as Rio has 8 puppies and 7 nipples to feed them with. The puppies are developing their immune systems so we don’t have to be so concerned of a little draft. The heating pad is still in their if they want the heat, but for the most part they are ok and keep each other warm enough.
Its been a long two weeks but the little babes are well on their way to being happy healthy little puppies. At this time all the dogs have deposits on them except the one my mom wants to keep. Since this is Rios last litter she wanted to keep a puppy of hers for further breeding and as a pet.
We don’t have a name for him yet, but meet the newest member of our family 🙂
He is a precious little babe, with really cute markings. He will make a great stud. This little pup was one of the smallest in the later, mom had to spend a lot of time with him giving him extra feedings so he would put on some weight on. He is coming along nicely 🙂
Rio has been taking very good care of the puppies, keeping them clean is important. She still rather have my mom in the room when she is feeding, but mom doesn’t mind, she loves being with the puppies. As the week progresses mom will start to give the pups a mash of moist kibble and formula, she does this because around the three week mark Rio starts to get really tired of feeding the pups multiple times a day so she starts to leave the pups alone for longer periods of time. Mom doesn’t want to replace Rio’s milk all together at this time. just uses it as an extra feeding to make sure the pups are getting all the food they need.
The first time she gave them the mash was so funny, they were falling in it, slipping through it, liking it off of each others faces, just too cute.
The pups are walking better everyday, a few of the bigger ones are able to climb out of the whelping pen, making for extra work now. We have an extension for the pen that we add for when this starts to happen. The extension has a higher wall on it so the pups cant get out. By the time they are about 5 weeks old it becomes a whole other story, they just get into everything and climb out of everything….
Week Four, they have tripped in size…
The puppies are getting really big, they are at least tripped in size. Their eyes are open, they walk around a lot better now, they are even starting to play with one another. All the pups know my mom well. Every time she goes into the pen she gets attacked lol, they all race over to her to play and get cuddles, they are such babes.
At this time their immune systems are better, I can touch them now without having to make sure I wash my hands every time. They no longer use the heating pad, they are able to keep each other worm without any issues.
Moms already had to cut their nails a few times, they are like little needles, and they are starting to leave scratch marks on Rio’s belly. To clip their nails we don’t use regular dog clippers, the nails are way to small and thin for that. Mom my either uses a small baby nail clipper or a small pair of scissors. My mom likes all the puppies to get used to grooming and handling at a young age, this will make it easier for the new pet parent when they take the pups home to their forever home.
They are getting harder to keep in the pen, constantly trying to escape and explore. Im constantly checking to make sure they are still there.
Rio is starting to get annoyed with feedings and isn’t going into the pen enough, because of this my mom has started to feed them a home made mash of water, high grade cub me and formula. She soaks the kibble in hot water, and when it’s soft puts it in a blender with the formula. The pups love it. They are always covered in it after every feeding, but it’s necessary to make sure they are getting enough food. After their feeding they are all pooped and lay down for a nap…
See… total mess they are. You should see my mom after they are done, they always run over to her and want to play. She is covered in mess. Like I have mentioned many times, its a lot of work, but if you enjoy raising the puppies and spending time with then like my mom does, it’s not so bad.
Heading into week 5, the work increases…
Oh man they are starting to get big, some of them are little piglets and just keep eating… They are starting to play more now and get a lot more vocal. The puppies know my mom well and go nuts when she comes into the room.
They escape all the time to chase their mom down looking for milk, Rio just can’t be bothered…. she does still go in and feed them, but my mom is starting to work more frequently to get them off of moms milk. The mash they eat is getting thicker and thicker, the intent is to eventually get them to softened kibble and then in no time eating raw kibble.
The expecting pet parents are eager to get their little babes so my mom is in communication with them constantly. She is sending weekly pics and a few videos to keep everyone up to date with their progress.
I personally don’t know how she does it. They are so much work and so needy. I mean I get the fun part of course, I just go in to play with them and then leave lol. I find play time super funny with them. They are a lot more steady on their feet but still very clumsy, they are constantly falling in each other and rolling around. When Rio goes in to see the pups they literally clime all over her, nothing is off limits, one time I walked in to see a pup crawling up trying to lay on her head, I wish I had my camera for that one, would have made a great pic. Personality plus they have…
House training is already on the way, the pups have pee pads in the pen with them and mom works with the pups to get them only to go there to go to the washroom. For the most part they have caught onto the process and they are been doing really well. My moms a stickler for keeping them clean and like to have the pups well on the way to being completely house trained by the time they get to their forever homes.
Week 6 is here and they are coming along nicely…
Soon the pups will be getting their shots, once this happens they will start to get some fresh air outside. Because my mom is a stickler for their health they won’t be allowed out in the grass, she will keep them on the deck where she can disinfect and keep the area clean. Puppies get into everything at this stage and she doesn’t want them eating garbage or bugs or anything else that may make them sick. Her pet parents appreciate the extra care she always takes with the dogs.
They are into everything now… We can no longer keep them in the whelping pen. They jump in and out as they please and do whatever they want. Because of this the puppy area was set up in the spare bedroom of the house. We use a gate at the doorway to keep them safe inside the room.
The image below is the puppies out cold after having their supper, eating takes a lot out of them. They sleep for about 2-3 hours after each meal and then they get up and start to play, go to the washroom, and they patiently but not so patiently wait for my mom to bring them some more.
Rio got a nipple infection last week so my mom had to put her on antibiotics. This is really common, sometimes a blockage occurs in one of the nipples, that blockage becomes toxic and turns into an infection. If not caught early the dog can die. Mom took Rio to the vet as soon as she noticed that Rio’s nipples were hard and hot to the touch, and the puppies weren’t getting any milk.
Vet thinks we caught it in time and after a round of antibiotics we will do some blood work to be sure. Was a scare for my mom. If the infection was left untreated and got into her blood stream Rio could have died. Breeding dogs is no joke, anyone considering it should make sure they have as much information about the process as possible, and have a good relationship with their vet to help them along the way.
On a more happy note the puppies are very playful now. They are completely whined off of Rio’s milk for both their safety and hers. They are doing really well on the formula mix my mom has been making for them. They know my moms voice so every time she goes near the room or talks to them they all go crazy for her. They run around like little drunks, trying to pull each other down and push each other out of the way, its so cute and funny to watch. My nephew got in the room with them and they were all over him, they thought he was just the best chew toy…
The puppies loved my nephew, one was grabbing at his shirt while the others would be pawing at him and jumping up at him. At this age we start to expose them to all sorts of things. It starts to build confidence in the puppies. My mom has the radio on during the day so they get used to music, they have outside time so they get to hear traffic and other outdoor noises, and of course they spend time with my nephew to get used to kids. Another thing we like to expose them too is different things to walk on.
To explain better, the puppies first get used to the pen they are born in, it has a soft carpet like base with a padded bottom. The first time they got out and walked on the hardwood floor a few of them refused to move, they weren’t used to the hard floor and the slippery finish. Next they got to explore the deck, the smell and the newness freaked them out at first but then they were fine. Giving the puppies positive exposure to things helps them grow up to be better pets.
Time to say goodbye… week 7
The breeder my mom is a partnership home with is meeting her to get some of the pups. Some of the puppies that have been purchased will be going to homes closer to her so she will meet my mom half way. Since the puppies have been off of Rio’s milk now for well over a week it is safe to remove them from the rest of the litter. She will be taking 4 of them that day, the puppies she takes with remain together until they are 8-10 weeks old when their families will come to get them. The rest of the litter including the one my mom is keeping will stay with her and get their first vet checks and shots.
Week 7 is a big week for this group…
This little babe is on her way to a partnership home soon. She was the only one in the litter that was born brown and white, all the rest were black and white. My mom still wishes she decided to keep her and the male she chose as its Rio’s last litter and she wants a breeding female from her. There is another female available that she is in love with as well, she is still thinking about keeping her. We will see what happens.
As for the male puppy we are keeping, we still don’t have a name for him. My mom is torn. To be honest I am too. All I know for sure is that he is a super cute, very well natured little piglet. He will be a great addition to our family.
A litter of very happy and healthy puppies…
We have started to introduce some toys for the puppies to play with. Toys are ok, just make sure the toys aren’t made up of things they can ingest, like a nylabone or rope toy. Stuffed animals made from a durable material with no removable parts like plastic eyes are pretty safe. We got the puppies a toy with little squirrel stuffies, they love it. Its safe and fun for them.
Click on any of the images below if you are interested in shopping online for them at amazon.ca
Week 8… They arnt puppies anymore they are little monsters…
They grow so quickly, they are little monsters. All they do is eat, sleep, play, repeat… My mommy uses puppy pads in the bedroom to start them with house training. They are doing really well, they always go to the pads when they have to go to the washroom. Sometimes they miss and sometimes they try and run around with the clean pads as if they were toys. But overall its a work in progress thats going very well.
They are much more active now. Previous weeks they weren’t very sure on their feet and ran around like little drunks. Now they are much more steady and way more confident. They are curious about everything, they want to get into everything and know what everything is. Its great that they are getting more confident and curious, you don’t want to raise scared puppies. At this stage you need to be careful with what you give the puppies access too. Things that come to mind are electrical wires, plants, garbage, clothing, anything you don’t want the puppies to chew should not be in the puppies room.
They are very vocal… When the pups see or hear my mom they start to scream and bark because they think they are getting food or cuddles. The pups like I said are monster, when you go into the puppy room they are all over you, some of them biting your feet, others pulling at your pants, and eventually beating up each other cause they love to play. Lots and lots of work.
All the puppies went to the vet this week. They got their first set of shots, deworming and they were also micro chipped. At the end of the appointment four of them went on the breeder to get ready for their new homes and the other four came home with my mom. Meeting the breeder got delayed a week as we couldn’t get a vet appointment to collaborate with both my moms and the breeders schedule. Such is life, things always change…
Out of the four that are left at my moms she has taken a likening to a little female that she is thinking of keeping for breeding. I think she is nuts, it’s so much work, but like I said my mom really enjoys it all.
(Pics of the four remaining puppies )
The male my mom is keeping has had three names a far, non of which that seem to stick, my mom just can’t seem to make up her mind. He is really growing up to be a very gently and quiet puppy.
We still keep them in a bedroom blocked in on a regular bases, but now that they have had their first shots we can introduce them to more things. They get to run around in the kitchen and the back deck with supervision to get some fresh air and get to experience new things. They love it, they race on and out of the house, chasing each other and beating each other up. They they get hungry, have a lunch and pass out somewhere flat across the floor…. until they are ready to do it again.
Week 9, meet the new member of the family… it’s official
It’s official, my mom is keeping both a male and female puppy for breeding. After my mom bathed and shaved their faces she realized the female has a blue face with black rings around the eyes, something that is very rare for colouring making her a perfect breeding female. I have been bugging my mom to name the male Frankie but I don’t think I’m going to win. She isn’t sold on that name.
At this time that means there is just two puppies left. There is a lot of interest in them so I don’t believe they will be available for long. And soon the puppies will be able to have the run of the house with the other dogs as they are pretty much house trainings, and specializing with other dogs and people is a big part of their development. Once they have had their first shots and deworming my mom is ok with the puppies interacting with the dogs at home. All our dogs at home always get their yearly shots and flea and tick treatments so she has limited worries about them getting sick. The puppies won’t have interaction with strange dogs till they have had all their shots and will remain at hm in their own space until then.
So there you have it, the life of a puppy from the time they are born until the time they are ready to be apart of your family….
As mention and as I’m sure you can see raising puppies is not for everyone. I personally would never take on a job like this as my life style is such that wouldn’t give me the time to do it properly. It’s important to keep all this in mind if you have ever considered breeding a dog you have at home or having a partnership agreement with the breeder you get your dog from.
I’m very passionate about knowing what your getting yourself into and making an informed decision in being a partnership home, or a one time breeder. Too often people decide to breed their dogs at home thinking its a quick buck… 8-10 weeks of work for a 15-20k pay day. For those who are prepared this is a business, for those who are not, you are putting the lives of your little puppies and the mom at risk. Shelters are full of dogs that came from homes where the owners didn’t do their homework and had no idea what they were in for and decided half way through, the cost and the work was too great. Things like this breaks my heart…
I really hope you find this post informative and helpful if you are considering raising a litter of puppies. Of course if you have any questions at all, you can leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com