30 June 2008

So You Think You Can Dance?

This is as close to unrehearsed 'hip hop' as we're going to get in dogs. A video, taken June 30, shows pups learning to walk - if you can call it that!

June 30 - pups are 2 weeks old

The whelps have survived their critical first two weeks, and have now tripled their weights! As of June 29, they ranged from 30 to 41 oz. Miss Lilac, currently the lightest in weight, was the first to open her eyes on June 28, day 12 and now on June 30, all eyes are open, to varying degrees. With sight also comes their hearing. They have been introduced to music and are now listening to some softly playing classical music. Their first exposure was to Cecilia Bartoli and Bryn Terfel singing operatic duets from one of my favourite CD's. (I had to resist cranking up the music really loud! Cecilia is just unbelievable and I hope to get a chance to hear her in concert in Toronto.) Now they are being played Handel's Messiah. I have a sound desentization CD that I will also start to play at a low volume and each day will increase the sound level slightly.

And yesterday, the pups had their first visitors, a nice couple with 3 well-behaved boys (the two-legged variety). Miska was very accepting of them as well as the other 3 dogs in the room at the same time.

The pups continue to be so quiet and content because they are being well fed and cared for by mom. Sleeping (and physical and neural development) is still their main activity but wheen they aren't slumbering or eating, they do attempt to get up on their legs to walk a few steps.

Once hubby is home later today, we'll take some 2-week shots and post them on the blog.

29 June 2008

Photo of the week

Vizslas strike some very funny poses and I couldn't resist photographing our 2-yr old Tyro as he stretched out to sleep, taking up almost the full length of the sofa even though he's not a large Vizsla. But, when he stretches out, it's amazing how much space he can take up! He was very tired that evening. The photo was taken from above.

26 June 2008

Attentive mother

Here are 2 videos showing how attentive & good a mother Miska is to her 10-day old pups.

On the video below, Tyro & Nova sneak into the whelping room while Miska's busy with the pups but Miska doesn't feel threatened.

Happy 5th Birthday to Miska & her brothers & sisters!

Our 7th litter, including our Miska who is now a new mom, born June 26, 2003 turned 5 years old today - June 26. Proud parents are Nova and our recently departed and dearly loved, Sasha. They had 10 puppies in that litter: Amber, Miska, Rachel, Shandy, Karya, Ruby, Vadasz, Hudson, Zsofi, and Noble. Amazingly, Sasha sired that litter at the age of 11!

This is one of, possibly, the nicest and best litter we have produced in terms of their wonderful temperament, beautiful heads, versatility, and the number of accomplishments. Many thanks to the wonderful owners who have provided such loving homes and given these dogs great care and in many cases, done so much with their Vizslas. Happy 5th Birthday and much love to this litter.

Click to play '03 Litter turns 5!
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23 June 2008

Litter is 1-week old!

Our litter is 1-week old today. Puppies are getting bigger and stronger, gaining one to 2 ounces per day. They are attempting to get up on their legs to move around. The stitches in their dewclaws have fallen out and in a few more days, stitches in their tails will dissolve. Today they had their first 'pedicure' when their tiny nails were gently trimmed.

22 June 2008

Early neurological stimulation

On Day 4, I started applying early neurological stimulation of Miska's neonates using the Bio Sensor (aka Super Dogs) program started by the US military for their canine program. No, the pups aren't being raised for the military but the program is designed to have important and lasting positive effects on their development. This is the first time I have done this with a litter - always learning new things! - and I'm grateful to the book, Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development, Pat Hasings and Erin Ann Rouse (Eds.).

Studies conducted by the US military confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual. The stimulation isn't a substitute for regular handling of the whelps but is in addition. Daily for about 3 to 5 seconds (longer isn't better in this case), each whelp is gently held upside down, held perpendicular to the floor as well as in a supine position, placed on a cold wet towel and has its toes gently tickled with a Q-tip. We also very gently squeeze the toes, ears, and tickle the chest and have started some Tellington Touch handling around their muzzles. We will continue this particular daily routine until day 16. After day 16, we'll begin other exercises.

Benefits of Stimulation
Numerous benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits include:

1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. More exploratory behaviour
3. Faster learning
4. More stable temperaments, less distracted when working
5. More tolerance to stress, including cold weather
6. Greater resistance to disease.

In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations. Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, whined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates, on the other hand, were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress when stressed.

21 June 2008

Contented nursing pups

Love the 'mewing' sounds that whelps make when they are nursing. Miska looks tired but very contented; it's those wonderful hormones at work.

Head shots, Day 2

These head shots of the puppies were taken on June 17, their 2nd day of life. Faces only a mother could love! Ugly but cute at the same time. Yellow & lilac (hard to see that lilac colour but hers is the 2nd photo below) are the girls; the rest are males.

20 June 2008

Puppy pix, Day 3

Photos taken on June 19, the puppies' 3rd full day of life.

Mila, BC AAC 2008 Agility Regionals

We're thrilled that Mila - an extremely talented daughter of our beloved Sasha - did very well at the BC Agility Assoc of Canada's regional agility competition June 14-15, 2008. On Sat., she got a 1st for a Standard run amongst all the 16” Vets & Susan & Mila were in 3rd place at end of day Sat in that group!!! By end of day, Sunday, they ended up in 9th place in their division. (Look for them listed under Veterans 16 inch.) At the age of 9, Mila is an incredible dog in agility and we are so thrilled. Congratulations to Susan and Mila. Sasha would be so very proud of you!

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18 June 2008

Tale of puppy tails

Today, June 18 2008, the puppies went to the vet's office to have their tails docked and their dewclaws removed. What, might you ask, happens to the tail tips? Well, in the past, I've just had my vet dispose of them in whatever manner they arrange for the disposal of other animal matter. But this time, each tail has been bagged, labeled with their collar colour and gender and frozen in my freezer. The purpose? After each puppy is registered with the Cdn Kennel Club, the tail tips along with copies of their registration papers and pedigree will be sent to the Vizsla Epilespy study in the US. I'll be sending bloodwork from mom (Miska), grandmom (Nova) and several of the relatives to aid in this important research for our breed. One day, it's hoped, we will find a DNA marker for this disease that exists – at a low level - in our breed.

17 June 2008

First-hour photos of Miska's pups

First 2 photos are of Blue, the first-born (male) puppy. He arrived at 2:30 PM, weighing 13.8 oz.

They're all here! 6 puppies. The girls are Yellow and Lilac.

Shell-shocked Mom?

Miska thinks, "I can handle this. I had training when my mom, Nova, gave birth two years ago and I helped her clean and play with the puppies. I even tried to suckle those puppies but my fountains weren't working then."

Miska is proving to be an excellent and devoted mom. She has to be lifted and dragged outside to do her business and won't leave the whelping box even to drink or eat. She's being served her meals 'in-bed' so she can care for her whelps.

Miska-Ozzie puppies are born!

On June 16, 2008, our Miska delivered 6 healthy puppies, 4 boys and 2 girls. Here are their vital stats:

  1. 2:30 pm Male 13.8 oz/390 grams Blue collar

  2. 3:20 pm Male 10.6 oz/300 grams Black collar

  3. 3:50 pm Female 13.6 oz/385 grams Yellow (in honor of her mom Miska who wears a yellow collar)

  4. 4:35 pm Male 12.6 oz/365 grams Green (in honor of Miska's dad, Sasha, who wore green)

  5. 5:05 pm Male 12.2 oz/350 grams Red

  6. 5:50 pm Female 10.2 oz/285 grams Lilac/Purple (in honor of Miska's mom, Nova, who wears a purple collar)

Proud father is Ozzie (CH Hubertus Quality Control FDJ), an import from Australia, owned by Lynn Simpson of Toronto, Ontario. This is Ozzie's second breeding. He has a penchant for producing boys, it seems, as his first breeding produced all males (3 puppies).