How We Care for our Girls

Our program puts the health and welfare of the mother dog as our first priority.  We love our dogs unconditionally and every decision we make puts them at the forefront.  We will not have a litter unless we are sure that mother dog is fit and healthy both emotionally and physically. Our ladies have had to have had at least two seasons before entering our program which usually makes them around two years of age.  We test them genetically for diseases common to the breed and they have another season before having another litter.

We use progesterone testing to ensure that we introduce them to the stud at the optimum time.  Because progesterone testing allows us to pinpoint the exact day of ovulation we are then able to more accurately determine the puppies due dates.  Canine pregnancy lasts for 63 days.  Because we know the expected birth date we can then monitor the bitch carefully and plan her health care and birth accordingly.

We gradually increase her food intake until she is getting approximately 25% extra so that she is able to build her reserves for the mammoth task of feeding her puppies.  

Once the puppies arrive we then free-feed her – giving her as much as she likes of a quality RAW food diet plus nutritious extras such as raw local goats milk, dried sprats and other yummy snacks.

We also create a nutritious bone broth for her using stock bones from the local butchers.   

When the pups are here she will spend a huge amount of time with them so our first job is making sure that she is well in herself.  A day or two after the birth we will gently bathe her to clean her up.  We carry out a daily check of her teats and monitor her temperature to make sure that mastitis does not have a chance to develop. 

We massage coconut oil into her teats and surrounding areas every day which they love! Cold-pressed Coconut oil is wonderful as it not only soothes sore nipples but it is has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  

We don’t walk our nursing mothers in public areas outside the home for at least the first 3 weeks after birth as there is a real danger that she could bring back infectious disease to her puppies.  Luckily we have 10 acres of private fields literally right across the road from our home.  It is choc full of rabbits and other yummy smells which provides endless entertainment for all of our Doodles! 

 As soon as mother dog is ready to leave her pups for short periods (she lets us know when!) then over we go, it is a lovely, safe place for her to stretch her legs and exercise her body and mind.  

As the pups get older they need their mum less and less.  Once they reach three weeks of age then we start the weaning process and from around 5 weeks of age she usually starts to gently tell the pups off if they try and feed from her.  

We provide Mother Dog the ability to come and go from her pups as and when she chooses.  An easy escape route for her is especially important once the pups are strong on their feet as they won’t let her get a minutes peace!    

At around the age of 6 weeks the pups are usually completely weaned.  Mother dog will often choose to spend short periods of time with them either cleaning or playing with them but she won’t allow them to feed

At this stage her dietary requirements will have returned to normal and she will have returned to her usual routine, either with us in our home or back with her Guardian family.