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Mini Aussie Puppies – Alangus Mini Aussies: A Dog Blog
Feb 072014
 

I do a lot of corresponding with folks by phone, email and Facebook that are shopping for “the puppy” that they would like to bring home with them and I am reminded that a puppy is a long term commitment, not one to be taken lightly.  With that in mind, I am drawing from one of my old posts about the parallel importance of shopping for a breeder along with shopping for a puppy.

In our digital age where we can talk online to folks all over the country and world and see what they want us to see, and no more, it is even more important to do due diligence in our searches and to ask the right questions and make the correct observations when buying a dog.  None of us want to feed the fodder to a person that is running a puppy mill operation.  As consumers, we are the best police for those folks.  If they have no customers, it is no longer profitable for them to run their business.

How do you know you are buying a puppy from a reputable breeder?  What questions should you ask? How do you determine if the person you are talking to is giving you straight answers?

  • After making initial contact, try to speak on the phone to the person to get a feel for their personality.  Do they have time to talk to you?  Are they evasive or forthcoming when you ask relevant questions? Go with the gut.
  • Look at the dog’s pedigree. Even if buying a companion puppy, it is a plus to see some titled dogs in the bloodlines which indicates adherence to breed standard.  Pictures of other dogs in the line are helpful to see what the genetics behind the puppies predicts.
  • Ask to see the sire and dam’s registration papers if you wish to register your puppy.  Know the different venues for registration for the particular breed you choose.
  • If the dogs have been health tested, ask for the paperwork. Not every health item is life threatening and some have little to no effect on companion puppies, but the breeder should be open and discuss what they mean to you, as a buyer.
  • Ask the name of the breeder’s veterinarian and call the office for a reference.  Ask how often they see the breeder in their vet office for routine care.  Do not be afraid to inquire about the care the breeder gives their adults dogs.  Do they have their teeth cleaned, do they get regular vaccinations, what is the dog’s condition when they come in for exam, etc?
  • Check out Yahoo Local or Angie’s List for comments from previous buyers of puppies.  You can also ask the breeder for references and make those phone calls.  If you ask the right questions, you can get a feel for what the previous puppies from the breeder are like.
  •  Ask about membership in breed organizations and check it out.
  •  Google the person’s name and state.  Watch for any criminal activity or complaints that might crop up online.
  •  And if you can, make a personal connection with the breeder by visiting their adult dogs and seeing their house.  When visiting someone’s home, it is quite easy to see the environment in which the dogs live.  I have a strong opinion that if a breeder does not want me to see their dogs or where their dogs live, there must be a reason.  That’s not always possible if you are making a purchase out of state, but just be careful and diligent.  With our technology, virtual real time tours are very easy and valuable.

Contrary to the belief of the general public and implications of the media, reputable hobby breeders do not net a large amount of money.   Health testing, feeding quality food, routine health care,  and showing and competition are expensive  and time consuming endeavors.  Reputable breeders typically charge higher prices than those pumping out puppies in the barn to cover those costs and to guarantee a healthy animal.  For most of us, we love our breed and breeding a few litters a year is just fun and we enjoy the extended relationships with the buyers of our puppies and watching the puppies mature to become loved companions.

Puppy mills should be stopped when the health and welfare of the animals are being sacrificed for profit. The Law of Supply and Demand will help to control and eliminate the bad apples if puppy buyers will do their homework. Ask the right questions and consider the answers you find when shopping for a new puppy.

Jan 212014
 

This new litter of Mini Aussie/ Mini American Shepherd puppies has been my trial run for litter box training and I am sold that it works much better than any other method I have tried.  Previously, I have used disposable pee pads and washable pee pads, the latter being the best of those two methods.  However, I learned that the washable pee pads sometimes led the puppies to believe it was okay for them to potty on their owner’s rugs since the fabric texture was what their feet were searching for as a potty area.  The litter is like nothing else found in our home environment so they can’t be confused about what is “okay”.

I have a series of YouTube videos on litter training for anyone interested but thought I would outline the steps I have taken that have worked very well.  As a retired teacher, I always have the desire to learn and also to teach.  As I was researching litter box training for dogs, I found very little worthwhile information with sequential steps from puppy hood.  Mostly folks show a picture of their final setup with a dog walking in to the box to potty.  Well, how did they get to that point??

When my puppies are born, they sleep with their dam in a Perla bed which keeps them contained in a safe and warm environment.  For the first 2-2 1/2 weeks they are unable to move out of that area and their mama dog keeps them clean and neat so potty training is a moot point.  However, once they open their eyes and ears, they start to explore and before long their little legs start to take them out into the big world around them.

At the point that they are able to roll out of their Perla bed, I changed  to the bottom half of a large plastic kennel lined with “vet bed” and left it open for the mama to come in and out.  Across from the kennel bottom, I placed the other half of the kennel lined with bed pads that you find at the drug store or Walmart. I used a large clamp to hold the two together so there were no cracks for them to fall through.  I gave them a ramp (rolled up towel) to toddle over into their bathroom area and gave them practice moving from one side to the other.  I spend a lot of time with my puppies, so I tried to move them over and back many times during the day and before long they were starting to potty on the pad.  Excellent–first step completed!  The good part was that the mama dog could jump in and out gingerly when she needed to and the puppies were contained.

As the puppies have matured, they got some time out on the floor to play and explore, but when I wasn’t watching and during the night, I made sure the halves of the crate were clamped together so they had two options, sleep in their bed, or potty in their bathroom.  Before long, I was waking up in the morning to their knowing the difference in the two areas.  Slowly, I started to add the litter on top of the pee pad.  At first it was very alien to the puppies and they weren’t sure what to do so I kept enough of the pad surface showing for their feet to feel what they were used to.   This step, introduction of litter completed!

Once the first bold puppy learned to topple out of the bed at night, I had to change out the plan once again.  I added a Sterlite under the bed plastic box to the pen area with a pad and just some litter covering the pad and many times during the day moved the puppies into that area saying “go potty” and giving praise.   I continued to keep the other kennel half with a pad and litter available as well so there were now two areas.  As much as possible overnight, I contained the puppies in their bed using my Iris fencing along side so they still had two options, sleep or potty.  During the day, I moved the fence outwards for play and eating areas along with their potty places.  During this step, I continued to make the litter deeper but still having some pad showing in places.  It was amazing for me to see them moving on their own to the litter box, especially for their number twos.

Two of the babies had very short legs, so instead of getting a second Sterlite box, I took away the kennel bottom and added a plastic rabbit hutch tray again lined with a pad and litter.  The short sides were easy to walk over and it was still large enough for the puppies to do their dance.  At this stage the kennel area contained their bed, eating area, Sterlite litter box and rabbit hutch litter box.  Lots more practice and by 4 weeks old, we are at nearly 100% on poops and 80% on peepees, which seem to be a little harder, especially right after napping.  Some just can’t wait!

In another week or so, my plan is to phase out the rabbit tray and add the second Sterlite box because two will fit perfectly across the back of my Iris pen area.  I’m predicting to be in the high 90th percentile on everything by then and little legs will have lengthened to make it easy for everyone.

I have continued to use the bed pads under the litter just because it is so easy to roll everything up and toss in the garbage.  With six puppies, I like to change out the litter daily although I keep it scooped often.  I’m thinking with just one puppy it wouldn’t be necessary to change the litter but occasionally, weekly maybe, and the pads won’t be necessary for the new owners.

Why would you litter box train a puppy/dog?  I am an advocate for teaching a puppy to go outside to do their business, but those first few months or even long term, there may be times when no one is home and rather than have a mess why not have a puppy trained to have a place to go and keep the owners happy.  Overnight, it is also really nice during bad weather to have options if you don’t want to take the dog out.

How will we transition?  Easy!  I am currently using wood stove pellets which are compressed sawdust and biodegradable.  When the weather clears and the puppies are big enough to put on the ground, I will just put some of their litter out on the grass or garden area where I want them to learn to potty.  They know the texture and the smell and will be drawn to the litter.

Wood stove pellets are sold at home stores like Tractor Supply, 40 pounds for $5, which I have stored in a plastic garbage can.   I doubt they are available during the summer, so it may be necessary to stock up.  I have also been told that the pellets that are used for horse bedding are similar and perhaps more compressed so I will also try those and evaluate the difference.  If wood stove pellets are not available, actual dog litter made from compressed newspaper is available at Petco and other big box stores, but for a substantially higher price.  Cat litter should NOT be used because it could be ingested.  In my experience, puppies do not eat the pellets which has also been a pleasant surprise.

I am convinced that training new puppies to use a litter box will help the new owners and it certainly has made my life much easier and kept their area clean and neat.  I’m a believer!

 

Dec 192013
 

full moonI’m an old country girl, so the axiom “the watched pot never boils” is stuck in my head this morning when looking down at my new litter of six toy and miniature Australian Shepherd puppies (aka Miniature American Shepherds) born December 19, 2013.

I bred my black tri, Fancy, to my blue merle male, Swagger, back in October and the excitement has been building for the puppies to be born.  Even though I breed my girls once a year, having a litter of puppies has not become old hat for me.  I get nervous because I love my dogs and would never intend to jeopardize the health of my female for a litter of puppies.  When I’m nervous, I chatter, so I chatted online with friends the last three days as the time I had calculated for the whelping came.  Luckily, I have three really good friends that share my excitement and in some cases, remind me to breathe and relax a bit!!!

Fancy has a very predictable cycle and has had three litters of puppies in mid December from 2011-2013 within three days on the calendar of each other.  After taking her temperature early yesterday morning and it being 98.2, I knew birthing was eminent within 24 hours. However, when she started the normal shaking and quaking about 10 am and then no signs of puppies, I started to stress “a little” and gave my goto whelping vet a call.  She wasn’t concerned and said call her back if no puppies in 24 hours.  Okay.  Well, about 4 pm, Fancy’s water broke, or in dog terms, one water broke which usually indicates a puppy is in the birth canal and you should be seeing a nose or back end within 10 minutes.  Nothing.  She laid down and decided to take a nap while I paced and texted my friends.

So, what did I do, at 4:30 pm I called my vet again and she assured me that things were fine.  Just take a nap and relax.  My husband was making peanut butter balls for some of his friends for Christmas, so I ate a couple, thinking sugar was the perfect medicine.  Six pm passed and 7 was on the clock and no puppy.  Hmmm, the 10 minutes was long gone and I begin to wonder if a little ground hog baby that might have been in that sac of water was laying crossways in the birth canal holding up the train.  Yes, I called the vet again, after hours, and pleaded with her to meet me at the office just to be sure things were okay.  Dr. Ross at PeWee Valley Vet is awesome and I could see her smile on the other end of the line and she told me to meet her there in 15 minutes.

I packed up Fancy into a crate just in case, loaded my warming box for puppies, just in case, and took off.  After an ultrasound on that cool equipment that Dr. Ross has, she told me not to worry, relax, the water I saw was a bag without a puppy that bitches often have.  She said nature has a way of opening the birth canal for the real puppies with that bogus bag of water sometimes.  She also told me to expect puppies within the hour.

8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm…..no puppies.  Fancy was panting and doing the weird stuff that girls do when they are trying to birth a baby, but no babies.   By then, I was like….come on Fancy, push those pups outta there.  Oh, and I gave her ice cream which I always do when she is whelping because it gives her some sugar for energy, some calcium to help her contractions and helps cool her down from all the panting.

Just before midnight, I woke Paul up from his slumber (haha) and told him to get downstairs because I was seeing a puppy bubble.  Wooohoooo!!!  A bubble with a puppy inside!!!!   And, headed out into the real world!!!

From that point on, Fancy delivered quite naturally and without any kind of issues, five little mini or toy Aussie puppies.  Three of them (all boys) were merles and one black tri girl and one black tri boy.  I remembered the 2012 surprise puppy, so I started to straighten up the gear but I didn’t totally put things away.  I gave my good girl a smooch to tell her thanks for her hard work and walked over to my couch which has its back to the whelping pen to send a couple of emails to tell my friends that all was well.

Five minutes at the max, I walked back over to the bed and saw blood on the pad.  Ah oh, I thought Fancy had done a number on somebody’s belly button since she is a licker and can get pretty wild with her cleaning duties.  I picked up a little black tri and saw it’s button was a little red so I pressed a Quik Stop pad on it.  It was kind of wet and I thought, oh Fancy, you lick too much so I rubbed the puppy a bit with a cloth and stuck her on a nipple to get some milk.  Remember, it is 3 am.

Then, I looked down and what??????  I’m counting six puppies and before there were only five!!!  Fancy, you tricked me again and gave us a surprise puppy.  How did you get that little girl birthed and cleaned up in the time it took me to type a short paragraph email?

So…the night ended about 3 am on December 19 with six gorgeous little puppy dogs.  Swagger is a daddy!!!  Izzy is a grandmother!!!  And, I’m happy to have another sweet litter on the ground on this Full Moon in December 2013.

Nov 302013
 

Fancy is getting heavier and moving slower each day. There is now no doubt that puppies are on the way, quite visible from the outside 🙂  It is about now (2-3 weeks out) that I start to be nervous about the whole whelping thing.  Luckily, my husband stands by and the two of us together keep tabs on progress.  Fancy tends to look to us to help although I’m sure her instinct would take over if we weren’t there.

Contrary to what a lot of folks think, it doesn’t always go smoothly for the mama dog without assistance.  We typically help free the puppies of the sac once they are out and make sure they are breathing well and also clamp and cut the umbilical before giving the puppy a good rubdown.  I don’t think it will ever be “old hat” for me and there is always something to go wrong.  In Fancy’s first litter, she nibbled Bentley’s umbilical cord too short and he had a bleed out which could have been life threatening had we not been close by to help.  Last time, she had two come down the chute at the same time…just room for one!!!  And, of course, little Tardy aka Kona that decided to wait an extra 4 hours to be born.  Yes, always something to get the adrenalin flowing.

Fancy is an awesome mom once the babies come.   Won’t be long now……..Swagger will be passing out bully sticks to all his buds!!

 

Nov 142013
 

Ultrasound for DogsFancy had her ultrasound this morning and Dr. Ross at PeWee Veterinary Hospital saw 5 and perhaps 6 little heartbeats…so puppies are in the oven 🙂  Good job, Swagger Man!!

Some breeders don’t take advantage of an ultrasound, but Dr. Ross has high tech equipment and reproductive veterinary medicine is her specialty so she is my go to vet for breeding and whelping help.  She has been right on the money with my other litters, and I really like knowing if my girl has been bred so I can give her extra special care (as if my dogs aren’t always pampered!!!).

I project the due date based on Fancy’s last litters as December 17-20. 2013.  Fancy and Swagger most likely will have puppies in the 13-15″ range, although there can be exceptions to the rule due to genetics in the dogs behind them.  I know that Fancy carries the gene for “red” which is recessive in Aussies and it will be interesting to see if Swagger also carries it.  No doubt, the probability for black tri and blue merle puppies is high.  Only time will tell…….that is part of the fun!!  Check back in for progress reports.

Join us on Facebook as well!

Nov 022013
 
Blue Merle Toy Aussie

Intl Ch Alangus Blue Swagger

Photo Apr 21, 12 07 56 PM

Intl Ch Cattle Call Fancy Don’t Let Me Down

We are on the countdown from 63 days for Fancy x Swagger puppies.  About midway, I will take her in for an ultrasound to determine how many there are.   Fingers are crossed for puppies around December 17.  I am currently accepting deposits on this litter. If I find Fancy was not bred this cycle, deposits will be refunded.

This will be Fancy’s third litter, Swagger’s first.  Both sire and dam have well known foundation Miniature Aussies in their pedigrees and multiple titled dogs. Even more importantly, Fancy has proven to stamp her puppies with her friendly temperament.  Pedigrees are on my webpage at Swagger and Fancy.

Videos of previous litters are on my Alangus Aussies YouTube Channel and puppy pictures from previous litters have been moved to Facebook.

Oct 072013
 
photo(16)

Front to back: Rosie, Swagger, Phoebe

One of the fun parts of having that occasional litter of puppies is to stay in contact with the new owners and watch them grow into adults.  Yesterday, Kelley and Mike stopped by on their way back to Nashville and let their little Phoebe have a visit with her brother Swagger and friend Rosie, as well as her doggy mom, Izzy.  They had a good run in the yard, even though the rain was pelting down, and then sat pretty for a treat!!

Phoebe is measured at 13.75″  and weighs  in about 17 pounds at 18 months old.  She is a gorgeous little Aussie with a sweet disposition and pretty bright colors like her brother.  I was happy to see how she has developed.

 Posted by at 5:31 pm
Sep 202013
 

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed and it will soon be time for Fancy to be bred for her 2013 puppies.  She has had a nice break from motherhood this year and running the yard with Swagger and Rosie has toned up her muscles so she is nice and trim and healthy at about 22 pounds and will have her 4th birthday in November.

If Fancy is on her usual schedule, she will be bred to Swagger in October for December 2013 puppies.  This will be her third litter, but first for Swagger.  I’m excited to see this cross.  Fancy’s strong points are her nice Aussie conformation and bone and steady and friendly personality.  Swagger is a smaller athletic dog with keen intelligence and has very bright merle colors to add to the mix. Both dogs have been in the show ring for their Int’l Championships as adults and have their health tests.  They are registered NSDR as Miniature Australian Shepherds and AKC FSS as Miniature American Shepherds.

Fancy’s last two litters are on my YouTube channel with a few pictures on the photo gallery page of my website and on the Alangus-Mini-Toy-Aussies Facebook Page .

Lots of folks have inquired about this litter, and I will take deposits as soon as Fancy stands.  The order that I receive deposits is the order that folks pick their puppies.  I like to be sure everyone is healthy before I invite folks in to visit to choose their new playmate so typically wait until about 4-5 weeks.  My puppies are weaned at about 6 weeks so they are ready for a vet check and shots at 7 weeks and are ready to move to their new homes around 8 weeks.

As you can see, my dogs are our house pets and travel partners and I do not have a kennel so having puppies in the house occasionally is a bright spot in my year.

 

Black Tri Australian Shepherd

Intl’l Ch Fancy Don’t Let Me Down of Alangus

 

Blue Merle Toy Aussie

Int’l Ch Alangus Blue Swagger

 Posted by at 3:28 am
Jun 112013
 

As you know, I like to breed my girls only once a year and Fancy’s turn doesn’t come about until Fall 2013.  She gave us six healthy and beautiful puppies last Winter and I like to give her “time off” to just relax and play in between litters.

Swagger, our little male, is coming into his own at just over a year old and it was questionable if he might have bred Fancy last month.  We didn’t think so, then we thought so, and it was just a little iffy because there was that sneaky suspicion…..

Fancy has been a little symptomatic by not eating like her usual chow hound self and that has always been a giveaway that she is having some morning sickness.  So, I scheduled her ultrasound on Monday, and…..NO heartbeats to my relief.  Summers are just very busy for me and for some reason I like winter puppies if I can work it out. Plus, the timing is good for them to go to their forever homes just as the weather turns to Spring.

So, back on schedule, and Fancy will be bred again come October for December 2013 puppies if all goes as planned.  I’m still holding my cards on Rosie for this year.  Her little body is developing well, but I haven’t decided if I will breed her this go around.  News on that later!

For archives of my Blog articles, link to www.blog.alangusaussies.com and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alangusaussies  We’ll meet you there!

 Posted by at 5:41 pm
Feb 012013
 

Corky, one of the black tri male puppies from Fancy x Randy litter of December 16, 2012, is still available for a forever home.  At his 7-week old vet check today, he weighed in at 4.6 pounds and is a healthy little boy.  He has a funny and happy personality, not afraid, and ready to play.  Additional info at Alangus Aussies.  Click to enlarge pictures.

Black Tri Miniature American Shepherd MaleBlack Tri Mini Aussie Male PuppyBlack Tri Mini Aussie Male Puppy

 Posted by at 9:15 pm
Jan 172013
 

Today is photo shoot day and luckily, the puppies were fairly cooperative.  I was playing around a bit with my camera with lighting and poses and got some fairly good shots between eating, playtime and naps.  I admit photographing 4-5 week old puppies without someone to assist requires some time and patience.  Let’s just say I had a nice number of “not so good” ones and had to work in short intervals.

The eye color is fairly distinct in these photos with the exception of Shadow and I had him facing the light so his pupils were dilated.  He and Brave both have blue eyes.  It is still possible that Tardy might be partially blue which sometimes happens with merles.  Their eyes carry the same merling pigment as their coats and can be multi-colored.

All but one of these puppies has deposits, and it’s still a mystery who is behind Door #6! I will revise the Blog as folks make their selections.  The excitement is building!!

Fancy x Randy (2012) Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppies 4.5 weeks old

Shadow–Blue Merle Male (Selected)

Blue Merle Miniature Australian Shepherd Male

Corky–Black Tri Male

Black Tri Miniature Australian Shepherd Male

Brave–Blue Merle Female (Selected)

Blue Merle Miniature Australian Shepherd Male

Target–Black Tri Male

Black Tri Miniature Australian Shepherd Male

Tardy–Blue Merle Female

Blue Merle Miniature Australian Shepherd Female

Storm–Black Tri Female

Black Tri Miniature Australian Shepherd Female

 Posted by at 10:52 pm
Dec 312012
 

Fancy x Randy Dec 2012 Litter

Fancy x Randy December 2012 litter of Miniature Australian Shepherds at 2 weeks old.

Left to right: Brave, Target (under), Tardy, Corky (over), Shadow, Storm.

Puppies typically open their eyes and ears at about two weeks old, and these are no exception.  Yesterday, I could see just a glimpse of eyes through the slits and today all but Tardy have them wide open.  By evening or tomorrow, hers will be open as well.  Notice the ears have laid down against the puppy heads since the individual pictures which tells us they are also starting to hear the sounds of their world.

It is amazing the progress puppies make in their first two weeks, from residing in a bubble of embryonic fluid, to testing their legs for wobbly steps, nibbling on their siblings’ ears, and even sometimes a little squeaky bark while dreaming of chasing a future Frisbee.  There’s a world of fun in that POP (pile of puppies) and enough love to make 6 families a lifetime friend!

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Dec 232012
 

Of course, these puppies will most likely get new names when they go to their forever homes, but we need to identify them and we have a good time giving them nicknames while they spend their first eight weeks with us.

Blue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy–Female

I mentioned Tardy (the puppy born 3 hours late) in my earlier post, but misrepresented “her” as a “him”.  Right now she is the biggest puppy and it will be interesting to see if that continues.  The position in the uterus often determines the amount of nutrients the embryo is getting and she may have just been a mainliner right to her mom giving her a head start…or she may be a bigger adult.  Tardy is a blue merle female with a very nice wide white half collar and split lower face, half white and half merle.

The second bluBlue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy–Femalee merle female has been nicknamed Brave, thanks to our 3 year old granddaughter who recently went to see the movie with her Uncle.  Of course, she wanted all the puppies to have prince and princess names, but we are straying a bit. Brave has bright colors and will be striking.

The darkestBlue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy–Male of the blue merle puppies, Shadow, is a male.  He has a white blaze on his face and white socks, but no collar.  I’m thinking he may be the darker color of his sire when he matures with just a bit less white.

Black Tri Mini Aussie Puppy–MaleOne of the black tri males has a unique marking on his underside.  His white belly has a small black circle in the center, so we’re calling him Target.  He’s a cutie pie with a white blaze on his face.  He was a little grumpy after his tail dock, but was back in good form today.  He has nice symetrical white markings on his face which typically enlarge some as they mature.

The black tri female’s white blaze is in the shape of a lightning symbol so she is now called Storm.  It was pouring Black Tri Mini Aussie Puppy–Femalerain, after all, in the North Carolina valley when the puppies were born so her name is quite appropriate.  She also has split color on her muzzle.

And, last, thereBlack Tri Mini Aussie Puppy–Male‘s Corky!  Right now, he’s the smallest of the puppies, but definitely roots his way right to the milk supply without any problems.  He has a white star on the back of his neck.  There was a little glitch with the tail dock glue and he had to have a quick visit back to the vet.  Can you guess why he is called Corky? All is cleared away now, but the nickname stuck (catch the pun) 🙂

At one week old, the puppies seem to be thriving and I can hardly keep my hands off them.  Their little ears and eyes are shut tight for another week or so, so their world is quiet and dark as they snuggle into their mommy’s soft belly and peep occasionally in their sleep to show their contentment.

Merry Christmas to All!!

 Posted by at 4:59 pm
Dec 212012
 

Here is a candid shot of the Fancy x Randy December 16, 2012 babies after their “de-tailing” (tail docks) at five days old.

Color coding:

  • Blue Merle with white half collar–Female
  • Blue Merle with minimal white–Male
  • Blue Merle, black patches on left top–Female
  • Black Tri with white star on neck–Male
  • Black Tri in front–Female
  • Black Tri in middle acting as pillow–Male

Mini Aussie Puppies  

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Dec 182012
 

Mini Aussie and litter of puppies

We decided to load up the motorhome and start the trek home to Kentucky from Hilton Head Island on Sunday, December 16 since Fancy seemed to be holding stable.  She had held off, so we had our fingers crossed that perhaps her body was telling her to wait for her own bed and safety zone.

Of course…not to be and as I originally predicted..day 74 from first show, the exact same time interlude as her litter in 2011.  We stopped for the night in Maggie Valley, NC at the base of the Smokey Mountains in the campground we typically use when traveling on I-40, Creekwood Farm RV Park.  It was pouring rain, so luckily we stopped a little early, around 6 pm.  By 8, Fancy was panting and pacing and crying just a little and there was no doubt, it was happening.  I gathered all the supplies and we got ourselves set to help her and for an all-night stint.  Why is it that it always starts just at bedtime?

At 9:15, the first puppy appeared and struggled a bit to finish its  entry into the world.  We cut the cord and helped it along and found the reason it was hanging back was that two puppies were trying to come down the chute at the same time.  Oops, one at a time please!  Things progressed well, with just a few glitches, but nothing serious.  By 2 am, we had 5 puppies and since the ultra sound had shown 5 heartbeats, our sigh of relief could be heard through the valley.  We straightened up the supplies and Paul went to bed and I stayed on the couch so I could monitor.  At about 4 am, the babies were squeaking a bit and I woke from my coma to check on them and found another baby entering the world.  Oh My!!!  The little blue merle boy was the biggest of the lot and ready for milk right now, or yesterday even!  Paul says this one should be named “Tardy” 🙂  We ended the night with 3 girls and 3 boys, 3 black tris and 3 blue merles.

Because I’m one to try to be as prepared as possible, I had already gathered vet info for the area and set my alarm for 730 am.  I wasn’t sure the last placenta delivered and Fancy hadn’t totally settled as mamas usually do after whelping, so I called a local vet office to ask about an Oxytocin clean out shot for her. My local vet felt like I shouldn’t risk waiting just in case because of the possibility of infection or even another puppy.  Dr. Gibson at Animal Hospital of Waynesville was so helpful and worked us into her schedule for the morning, something a lot of veterinarians just won’t do, especially for a traveler that will probably never be back.  X-rays and an exam didn’t indicate problems, but we opted for the clean out shot and a round of antibiotics.  We then loaded up to continue our ride back toward LaGrange Kentucky.

The shot gave Fancy a little discomfort because just like a similar drug for laboring people, it “induced” contractions to push out any residue that might need to be released.  Within the hour, she was obviously feeling better and laid down quietly to snuggle her new family.  The puppies had already nursed non stop for 12 hours and their little flat bellies had  rounded out and little squeaks of content could be heard on occasion.

I can’t help but interject Paul and my discussion here as we drove down the road with mama and 6 sweet little Mini Aussie puppies.  The production of a new living being is a miraculous event whether it be an animal or our more precious skin children.  There is just no way it could be a random freak of nature coming about with so much precision and in such a complicated way.

Fancy is a wonderful mom to her babies and once settled into her x-pen in our sun room, she is just relaxing and making milk to feed six hungry little mouths. We had a very nice vacation with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren and our “fancy girl” but coming home is always sweet.  We had missed our pooches left behind with the petsitter on this trip.

Stay tuned for updates on these puppies!  Additional info can be found at my website www.alangusaussies.com.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm
Nov 252012
 

 Fancyheart.jpgRandy

It’s almost time for Santa to deliver some puppies to Alangus Aussies!  Fancy had her ultrasound November 14, 2012 and the doctor counted five heartbeats thump thumping on the monitor.  Due date is around December 17.

Fancy is bred once again to RB’s Wee Randy da Rebel who sired her litter in 2011.  They made some happy and healthy puppies who have developed into friendly and beautiful little Aussies, one of which is my Derby Rose aka Rosie.

For additional info, visit us at alangusaussies.com

 Posted by at 6:29 pm
Aug 232012
 

Black Tri Miniature American Shepherd Females

Check out the resemblance of Fancy and two of her daughters, Rosie and Nika. Fancy is the larger of the three with the full white bib.  Rosie is the red tri female, which was my keeper from her 2011 litter. Fancy is registered with National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR) as a Miniature Australian Shepherd and American Kennel Club (AKC) as a Miniature American Shepherd. I wanted to get some candids while Nika is visiting us this week.

Since Fancy is a black tri female, it was not obvious until she whelped Rosie if she carried the “red” gene.  In order to have red puppies, both the dam and the sire must be red factored and black is always dominant in this breed.  If one parent is merle, then that opens up the crayon box!  A blue merle puppy is a black tri dog carrying the merle gene and a red merle puppy is a red tri dog with the merle gene.  Detailed information is available online for the correct genetic terminology.

This means that genetically Fancy, a black tri female that is red factored and Randy, a blue merle male that is red factored can produce any of the colors. We’ll see what we get this Fall in the 2012 litter!!

 Posted by at 11:15 pm
Aug 232012
 

 Mini Aussie Puppy with Swim Vest

Bentley, another of the puppies from the Fancy x Randy litter of 2011 is probably the smallest so far of that group.  He left Kentucky to travel north toward the Great Lakes and his little flotation device keeps him safe in the big water.  What a cutie!!  It would be hard not to snuggle that little man 🙂

Contrary to what folks often think, dogs do not necessarily swim naturally.  They have the instinct but must be comfortable in the water or fear will do the same thing to them as to us, panic and drowning. In addition, they can misjudge their distance if they are playing and get exhausted before they can make it to shore. When introducing dogs to the pool or lake, it is best to be safe by having them wear a vest and to teach them to be comfortable by always showing them where to “exit”, either on the stairs of a pool or the shore. All those laps on the swim team build confidence and style, all those doggy paddles do the same.

 Posted by at 4:17 pm
Aug 222012
 

Nika from Fancy & Randy’s 2011 litter boarded with us this past week.  Like the other siblings that I’ve posted pictures of, she is a model Mini Aussie and could walk right into the show ring and turn heads.

This litter at 9 months has a range of sizes which is typical of the breed.  Remember, these dogs have been bred down from the full-size model so genetics come into play with weight and height, just like it does with humans.  I can predict adult size at 8 weeks old, but absolutely no guarantees.Technically, Mini Aussies (Mini American Shepherds)  are 13-18″ at the withers.  If smaller, they show as a Toy Aussie and if taller, a Standard.

When Nika came in with her family, she was greeted by Rosie and Swagger, the two young ones.  As is always the case when dogs greet, there was lots of sniffing and head turning, but because all three were puppies, it didn’t take long for them to determine there was no threat.  At that age status doesn’t factor as highly and playtime is the preference.

Nika’s owners asked if Fancy would remember her puppy so I brought her downstairs to visit.  It was obvious that even if she remembered, rank was more important to her as an adult dog.  Nika, coming from an only dog home, hadn’t mastered the “don’t stare” rule of dog language so Fancy raised her lip at her to let her know that her forwardness wasn’t appropriate.  Fancy also mounted her as an indication that she was higher status, at least at this point in their “conversation”. Did she remember?  Hard to tell, but definitely if she did, it was not important.  Nature’s way.

As the day passed, I introduced her to the other dogs in the pack one at a time.  Ike saw no challenge to his leadership from a young female, so after some sniffing and asking Nika in his way to show submission,  that was that.  Izzy, the dominant female, is typically welcome to other young dogs as was the case again this time.  Nika got with the program and rolled on her back and offered her belly to Izzy to indicate that she was no threat to the pack order.

Once everyone had been introduced individually, it was time to let her be with the whole pack.  No problems and Nika now better understands how to merge into a group of dogs peacefully.

As the week progressed, the dynamics of the six dogs was interesting to watch and my husband and I observed very clearly the order of ranking.  First of all, sexually immature  puppies like Swagger, typically don’t figure much into the mix because they are not big enough to eat at the big table.  What did happen, however, is that Fancy, my lowest ranking adult, tried to elevate herself by showing dominance over Nika, not with aggression but with her body language of standing over her.  When she took that position, Izzy came in from the fringes (always watching) and would stand on her tiptoes and give Fancy the evil eye.  That’s all it would take to let Fancy know…too bad, you are just who are and rank hasn’t changed.

The most interesting event that made it very clear who was number 1 and 2 occurred when Fancy was playing with Nika and we heard a little squeak from Nika.  Ike dashed over pronto to check on the situation in his quiet benevolent way to show he’s the “man”  in this house and he doesn’t tolerate any rowdiness between his underlings.  Almost at the same time, Izzy came over and did her stance just in case.  You can’t help but smile at how they keep peace.  World order would be less destructive if humans would acquiesce as easily.

It was nice to see how one of my puppies has developed and reminded me once again that the ones coming from my lines are turning into very nice dogs, both in looks and personality.

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Aug 222012
 

Male black tri Miniature American Shepherd

G’day, what a handsome bloke you’ve become!  Ozwald aka Oz was one of two male puppies from Fancy and Randy’s 2011 litter, and Rosie’s “big” brother.

His striking feature to me is his symmetrical coloration on his face, tan points above his eyes and blonde rather than the darker red on his face.  Very nice conformation ears for a Mini Aussie and full coat even at 9 months makes him showy. This boy is put together very nicely.

And congratulations to his skin parents on their engagement!

 Posted by at 9:15 pm
Jul 162012
 

None of us will argue that dogs have different intelligence levels just as people do.  Some are focused and tuned into their owners and some are just “out there” with a mind of their own doing what they please.  In my half century of living, I’ve had dogs in both categories and have settled on a breed and bloodlines that are of the “tuned in” variety.  No dumb dogs in my house!

I’m getting lots of feedback from Izzy’s last litter of puppies and there is no doubt that her intelligence has passed to her prodgeny. Plus, Swagger was a keeper to stay with me so I have some first hand experience.   I have to admit that I’m being shamed by some of the puppies’ new owners with their dedication to training and there have been video and pictorial evidence that these very young dogs can learn lots of tricks with repetition and positive reinforcement.  The more a puppy learns, the more she wants to learn and the more she becomes capable of learning because of those connections being made early in the brain development.

Do I have any preschool teachers out there in the audience?  Isn’t it proven that early  childhood  experiences lead to the development of what we consider intelligence and the lack of stimulation can thwart later learning, even though the capability was inherent in the child.  This concept is the same with our fur children as with our skin babies.  Learning is fun and leads to the inquisitiveness to learn more.

I stand by the notion that early puppy training, particularly in an intelligent breed like Miniature Australian Shepherds ie Miniature American Shepherds leads to increased ability to learn.  The key is starting with small behaviors that please us and marking them  with a clicker or a verbal marker and using a treat to reward.  Then, we must watch closely and continue to reward the actions we like, and ignore or redirect the actions that we are discouraging.

The question, “is it necessary for a dog to have intelligence to be trained”?  Yes. But, it is just as important for the owner to take the lead and teach the puppy “to learn”.   Smart dog? or Smart owner?

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
Jun 262012
 

Puppy in Bicycle Basket

Our favorite vacations are to take the dogs in our motor home and ride our bikes, non-motorized, on a scenic rail to trail. This summer our choice was the Katy Trail spanning Missouri east to west. There’s always beautiful nature since the old rail lines ran through the countryside and often along waterways.  This trail is no exception.

After a slow start and a poor choice of campground for our first night, we landed in Hermann, MO in the middle of Mssouri wine country. The little town with obvious German heritage  was a neat place to relax. The city park had shaded campsites just half mile from one of the wineries with tours, tasting and a nice German themed restaurant menu. Poor planning delayed getting our rental car a couple of days, but once we were mobile to get to a trailhead, helmets to the wind. 

Although the trail is over 100 miles long stretching from St. Charles, MO to the west, we only had time to ride in 10 mile segments because of the heat of midsummer with daytime temperatures approaching 100 degrees F.  We hit the trail very early in the morning for our ride and if possible stoppwd at a local diner in one of the little depot towns for a hearty breakfast. The first morning’s ride took us from McKendrick east to Rhineland, MO with acres of flat cornfields with some hills in the distance.

This trip we traveled with Izzy, Rosie and Swagger our 3 mini Aussies. Ike and Fancy stayed home to be cared for by the lady that works for me in my pet sitting business. I bought a bike basket just for dogs on Amazon and this was our debut. Swagger LOVED IT!!  He has his face to the cool morning breeze and was a happy rider. Rosie and Izzy got in a morning nap back at ground zero.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Jun 032012
 

Blue Merle Mini Aussie Puppy

1  –  2 –  3  strikes, you’re out…out like a light after playing and gathering her toys just in case someone tries to filch them while she’s sleeping.  Little Phoebe is so lucky to be in her new home and I won’t be surprised to see her peeking from a bag of dance slippers or out of a backpack at the ballpark.

You’ll notice this puppy has safe things to keep her entertained, a Wubba, a soft Frisbee, and a Skinneeez toy with no stuffing.

A tired puppy is a good puppy, and this is one good puppy 🙂

 Posted by at 11:54 pm
Jun 032012
 

  Black Tri Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy

Alangus Adda Daddy’s Girl is going to be a hit in her new modeling career since her new skin daddy is an accomplished photographer.  Addie, as we know her, is not just beautiful, but also quite intelligent as I hear reports of her having mastered “sit”, “down”, “shake”, and of course, “get the ball” after only 3 days in her new home!

Although this is written with a smile on my face, you just can’t underestimate the intelligence of a miniature Australian shepherd puppy nor the adult they will become.  They love to work and work needs to be both mental and physical.  Training is so easy and so enjoyable, I can’t imagine skipping that part.  You can almost see Aussies grasp new vocabulary and at our house, we have to spell F R I S B E E or a frenzy ensues.

Way to go Addie, we’ll be watching for your next glossy! Perhaps we can enlist K to give us some hints on pet photography as a blog post!

 Posted by at 11:46 pm
Jun 022012
 

Four little puppies lying in the bed, one rolled over and the little one said…I’m crowded, rooooollllll over, three little puppies lying in the bed……………….

I was reminded today that I’ve been away from my Blog for a couple of weeks and it’s definitely time to return.  This week was moving out time for my litter of mini Aussies and what fun to see them going into such terrific homes.  Little Addie already has her new owner trained to throw a ball and wake up at all hours to go for puppy walks, Paddy is crossing the border into Hoosier land, and when skin Daddy says jump, Phoebe jumps!  What fun lies ahead!!

Puppies at eight weeks are just right to send to their new families.  They are eating well, have had time to learn puppy manners from their litter mates and mommy and are at a stage in their development where their allegiance is easy to transition to someone new.  Plus, I enjoy those last two weeks of really getting to know their personalities and seeing them grow.

After Phoebe, the last to leave,  took off for northern Kentucky, it was time to rearrange the puppy area.  I was reminded of when I rearranged my daughter’s room as a child and she went from a crib to big girl bed.  I opened the play area back into one large pen so Rosie and Swagger can be roommates.  Rosie was as attached to the puppies as they were to her, so both of them may need a little comforting.

I also opened the door and let my big dogs downstairs and I watched Izzy, mama dog.  She is an awesome girl and I sure hate losing her ability to have puppies, but she will be spayed this Fall.  When her puppies were first born, I could watch her count them after she’d gone out to potty.  Her nose would move from one to the other to be sure they were all there and then she’d settle herself to lie down.  Today when she came down the stairs, she went to the puppy pen to count and I saw a little look of confusion in her eyes.  Of course, she will be fine because that is the way animal life works (and ours too actually).  She did her job, she raised them well, she taught them the lessons she had learned and then they move on to live their own lives. Hmmm….I think I’ve been there with my skin children.

Ike, my pack leader, is now lying quietly in the basement with his family all around. We are a happy pack 🙂

 Posted by at 12:42 am
May 112012
 

Those cute little fluffy puppies start to morph into adult dogs just like our sweet skin babies pass through life’s stages. At about 3-4 months old, ears start to look funky and the chewies begin indicating that baby teeth are starting to loosen and adult teeth are making their mouths sore. Toward the end of this period, puppies are fully into their adolescent time and their independent spirit takes hold. Sadly, many puppies find themselves banished from their family or even worse, given up to a shelter or rehomed.

How do we survive the next few months?  First, we must realize that our goal is to have a loyal adult dog and no one wants a puppy forever just like we want to see our own children and grandchildren grow into respectful adults.  

Potty mistakes are only mistakes and can be cleaned up. The best defense is crate training and having the puppy in an area easily mopped and to do potty walks often.  They don’t mean to make a mess, they just haven’t learned the rules yet. Consider it the transition from diaper to potty chair to toilet.

At this adolescent stage, puppies also get a wild hair and will take off to explore the world. Knowing this will happen, the best defense when they aren’t in a fenced area is to let them drag 20 feet of light clothesline from their collar so you can step on the end to reel them in if necessary.  The line can get twisted around them and potentially hurt them so only use it under direct and watchful supervision. I use it also to practice recalls.  Of course, don’t chase, but turn from your puppy and call with a happy voice of they get out of reach. And, when they come to you…only good things happen.  Never snatch them up to take them inside immediately or scold them.

Chewing doesn’t  have to be a problem if you have lots of safe toys and Nylabones handy. My floor looks like the dog toy monster spit up.  And…shoes and other valuables just have to be put away until the puppy is dependable, probably after a year or more old.

Time does fly by and with diligence and watchfulness, your rowdy adolescent will develop into the friend you had hoped for.

 Posted by at 2:08 am
Apr 302012
 

The puppies are into their 3rd week of life and I started them on food today and they took right to it. The first week, I use a mix of the puppy food I like (Diamond Natural Puppy for Small Breeds) mixed with Puppy Gold which is a milk like product for puppies and a little hot water to make a gruel. They were all about it. I could tell from their fussing they weren’t getting satisfied so I’ll offer them food 3 or 4 times a day and let Izzy clean up the leftovers.

The puppies are moving about a lot in the last couple of days. I changed out the big Perla whelping bed for a crate that is big enough for them and Izzy and they’ve learned to come in and out on their own. By the end of the week, I’ll change it out again for a small crate since Izzy won’t be with them for very long at a time. She’s about finished except for letting them nurse 3 or so times a day.

The puppies are starting to come out to potty so I put a pee pad just outside their crate door for them. Their instinct tells them to leave their den for business, which is the first step in potty training. Once they start to be rambunctious, the paper one will be traded for the washable kind.

The progression is interesting for the mama dog with puppies.  It goes from constant watchfulness and fierce protection, to the “let me out to rest” phase, to ” please keep them away” at about 5 weeks. Once weaned at 6-7 weeks, the mama will go back to them to play and train them, a very important time I think which is why I like  keep them until 8 weeks old.

 Posted by at 1:53 am

Eyes Open, Ears Open…Time to Rumble!

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Eyes Open, Ears Open…Time to Rumble!
Apr 232012
 

Blue merle mini Aussie female

Black tri Mini Aussie Male

Black Tri Mini Aussie Female Puppy

Blue merle mini Aussie male

Thank you so much K for these really nice pictures of the puppies at two weeks old (Izzy x Helmie litter).  I’m like a proud grandparent, I must show them off, especially when I get some professional pics.

Yesterday, the puppies started to open their eyes and their ears as well, because as you can see there’s one up and one down. It’s funny how their ears are out like the Flying Nun when they are born, and slowly they start to bend to a normal position.  The first one to see the world was Spooky, the black tri male.  He was wide eyed by yesterday morning, followed by the Rapunzel the blue merle female (named by my 2 year old granddaughter, of course) and then Whiskers, the black tri female.  The blue merle boy, previously known as Myth Buster, has officially been renamed Alangus Kentucky Swagger!

At two weeks, these puppies are weighing in around 1.75 pounds.

Now that eyes are open, it’s time to rumble!!!  By next weekend, they’ll be ready to eat some puppy food and may even be coming in and out of their bed with a little help.  Fun is ready to begin 🙂

 Posted by at 12:53 am
Apr 092012
 

This is the first time I’ve had a bitch have puppies by C-section so I thought I’d share my experience, actually a quite good one.

Izzy was scheduled for a C-section on Thursday morning, April 5 but when I took her to the vet, progesterone levels were still in the normal range so the decision was made to wait to see if her temperature would start to come down.  It was still around 100 degrees, slightly lower than normal, but not low enough to indicate that pre-labor had begun.  I continued to watch her during the day and take temps, but everything remained stable.

Since nesting is a huge indicator of puppies making their move for sunshine, I kept Izzy in her crate in our bedroom and filled it with some cloths for her to move around.  In my twilight sleep, I could hear her digging like crazy off and on all night, a good sign that something was starting.  When I called the vet on Friday morning, temps were still around 100 but I told her about the nesting overnight so in she went again for another progesterone check.  Still normal, so back home she went.  I was crazy busy with holiday/spring break pet visits with my pet sitting business during the rest of the day, so I didn’t take her temperature again until around 7 pm.  It had dropped like a rock, down to just above 98 degrees.  That would mean, puppies within 12 or so hours.  Well, of course, that would happen so I get to pay the surcharge for after hours surgery and everyone has to be called back in from their couch in front of the TV.  However, better at 8 pm than 3 am!

Two vets and a vet tech met me at the clinic just as planned around 8:15 pm.  They said they didn’t need my assistance with the puppies, so I made a couple of pet visit runs and was back in about an hour and a half.  All done.  When I went into the surgery area, Izzy was still a tad groggy, but it didn’t take but a few minutes for her to come around and look almost normal.  The anesthesia they used works very quickly, but also leaves the system just as fast. She was given an oxytocin shot and Metacam for pain.

Four of the prettiest little mini Aussies you’ve ever seen were warming and squeaking in the incubator.  Two females and two males, one black tri of each and one blue merle of each.  I use the phrase “puppies in the oven” all the time, but this time…it was quite true. Izzy continued to come to her senses and the tech and I put the puppies with her to let them nurse.  They all latched on and had a drink before we boxed them up to go home.

I talked at length with the tech on duty.  She is actually an AKC judge and known in our area because she breeds standard Aussies.  Since she is a retired labor and delivery nurse for skin babies, she came to the vet world with a more advanced set of skills.  Natural whelping gives a dam time to naturally manufacture the necessary hormones to give her the mothering instinct so sometimes a C-section is confusing to them.  They go to sleep, no babies.  They wake up…a handful of little wiggly creatures.

Since newborn puppies have no thermostats and cannot regulate their own temperature, it is imperative for their caretakers to keep them artificially warm.  The puppies were handed over for travel in a 10″x10″ box taped shut with the neck of a tall bottle of very warm water sticking out the top to keep them nice and toasty.  Izzy rode home in her crate lined with towels.  She did have some blood residue, but nothing like I expected.  They had cleaned her up very well, and she wasn’t leaking hardly at all.  Much less than after natural whelping.

I had very few after surgery instructions for Izzy other than to make sure she eats and drinks and takes a round of antibiotics.  No stairs or romping for a week or so.  All her stitches are internal, so nothing to remove.  Not even a follow up vet visit necessary unless she is symptomatic of being ill.

Sometimes the mama dog is so confused after a section, they can hurt their own babies so the tech gave me a small bag of placenta left from the delivery to rub on the puppies behinds if Izzy started to be “weird” about them.  That smell would help her realize they belonged to her and it wasn’t a bad dream after all.  We got home, and I put Izzy in her whelping area where she has been sleeping for the last couple of weeks to get her ready and put the puppies one by one in with her.  The tech told me to let her sniff their bottoms first before laying them down and then help them find a nipple to nurse.  No problem!  Izzy is such a good mama, her eyes immediately got that warm soft look and she licked them from head to toe as though checking out their every cell.  In fact, she licked so much, I got a little concerned that she would get their umbilicals bleeding.  Placenta wasn’t necessary so it went in the garbage..yuck!

It was midnight by then, and there’s just something about the whole process that is awe-inspiring and there was no way I was going to go to sleep.  I just sat by her box and told her what a good girl she was.  Now that said, letting your bitch have puppies isn’t for the faint of heart and takes a lot of work and is quite expensive if you do it the right way.   I’m not advocating that everyone go out and breed their dogs because it’s more than puppies, and we want to be sure we are good stewards of our breed of choice.

I continued to sleep a bit and watch for problems, but the night went well.  By the next morning, Izzy was out of her box for potty and to the casual observer, nothing seemed to have happened.  The puppies nursed non-stop for two days and by Sunday were plumped up like the little sponge seahorses  you soak in water.  Izzy continues to do well, is eating well and I’m encouraging her to drink lots, necessary for milk production.

Pictures and videos will be coming soon.  I cannot find my good camera and in the confusion of the evening, I think I left it in the surgery area.  Sure do hope so 🙁

 Posted by at 12:33 am

Mother Nature Knows Best

 Alangus Aussies, Breeding Dogs, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Mother Nature Knows Best
Apr 052012
 

I took Izzy for her scheduled C-section this morning at the appointed time, but……the vet says she’s not ready!  The puppies’ heartbeats are strong and they are happy as little bugs just hanging out for awhile longer in their cozy space.  I have to say I’m disappointed and this prolongs my nervousness about the procedure. Originally, I said they’d come via the Easter Bunny and that may still be true!

Izzy was bred on February 4-5 and 63 days from that first breeding would be tomorrow.  However, the countdown begins at ovulation, not breeding so it can vary either way.  This time the variation is definitely on the front end instead of the back end.

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Mar 222012
 

This is Rose’s first outing in the motorhome and she’s all about it!  Nothing more fun than grandbabies and puppies 🙂  We’re babysitting for a couple of days at Kentucky Horse Park, which by the way is a very nice state campground in our area.

I was thinking yesterday as my almost 3 year old granddaughter  and I were walking Rose to the playground and letting her meet everyone along the way, that this should be on my “to do” list for all the puppies that I sell.  There is no better place for socialization than in a campground environment.  People of all ages, lots of children, noisy playground and other dogs with a safe place to walk and practice our new obedience commands provides lots of wonderful experiences.  Same goes for the ball park!

Izzy, our little pregnant mama, tagged along on this trip too.  Even though she’s been grumpy with Fancy and Ike, she’s quite tolerant of the two girls.  Of course, I always provide a place for her to get away when the baby crawls toward her face to face, but so far she just jumps onto the dash for higher ground!

 Posted by at 7:36 pm
Mar 202012
 

Pregnant Aussie

It only takes 63 days from ovulation for the puppies to be born and I can hardly believe the time has almost rolled around for Izzy.  She should be whelping April 6-10. Last year when Izzy had puppies, she seemed to have morning sickness the entire time so I babied her with yummy canned puppy food. Well, we know the end result of all those calories, little fat ground hog puppies that did NOT want to be born. This time, she hasn’t been noticeably sick and I’ve just kept her on her kibble letting nature help her decide the proper amount.  No hand feeding!

There is another noticeable difference with this pregnancy. Izzy’s hormones must be raging because she is one grumpy bear with her best buddies. Lots of “looks” and “raised lips” to tell them she’s in “no mood”. Haha. Like all houses with multiple dogs, we have multiple Nylabones throughout. While we were watching TV last evening, she went through the house gathering them up and bringing them back to her favorite pillow. Nesting?  Or just being snarky? The other dogs, even little Rose, knew not to cross a pregnant mama’s path!

Around April 1, Izzy will go back to the repro vet for X-rays to give us some idea of placement and sizes.   Hoping for healthy babies and an easy whelp for Izzy. 

 Posted by at 9:15 pm
Mar 052012
 

Izzy went in for her ultrasound this morning, and there are 4 little beating hearts.  That’s a nice size litter for her and I’m very pleased.  I was pretty sure she was bred because she’s been off her eating a bit and especially clingy the last week or so.  Plus, her best fur friends have gotten on her nerves a bit 🙂

I’ve mentioned this before, but having the ultrasound done by a trained vet is very helpful.  It gives me perspective on Izzy’s pregnancy and when whelping time comes, I can be more certain when she is finished so I can give a sigh of relief. I don’t want to jeopardize my girls’ health.

We should have puppies April 8-10, 2012.

 Posted by at 5:32 pm
Feb 222012
 

TMR’s Mayes’ HelmieAlangus Queen Isabella

I bred my Murray’s Queen Isabella of Alangus to TMR Mayes’ Little Helmie of JustaLittle on February 4.  Izzy and Helmie are both toy Aussies but have minis in their bloodlines, so it will be interesting once again to see the hereditary magic.  I chose Helmie as the daddy dog because of his champion lines and the “look” of the dogs behind him.  In addition, he is a small dog at 10.5″ and hopefully his puppies will be a size that are easy for Izzy to whelp.

Izzy is my athletic dog.  She is a one of those unique, “in-tune” dogs that seems to know what you tell her before you say anything.  She just can read faces and body language and loves nothing better than her people.  Hard to describe a dog like that, but if you’ve ever had a “heart” dog, you know what I mean. She lives to frisbee and would be an awesome candidate for flyball, although I haven’t tried her in that sport.  I trained her in agility when she was younger, and must get her back on the field this summer because she has matured and become much more confident.

Izzy will have her ultrasound on February 27 and at that point, I will begin to take deposits on her puppies.  They will be here Easter weekend via the Easter bunny!

I have opted to keep Derby Rose from Fancy’s litter after much deliberation and swaying back and forth.  She is developing so nicely for conformation and her personality is just easy going and fun like her mom.  She’s quiet and goes with the flow, whatever situation I put her in.  At 9 weeks, we’re working really hard on her socialization to meet 100 people, so she’s riding with me on my daily pet sit rounds.  Her potty training is well under way and she’s giving me no puddles which means she’s a smart cookie.

Spring is in the air in Kentucky!

 Posted by at 5:20 pm

Sweet Parting

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies  Comments Off on Sweet Parting
Feb 122012
 

I started 28 school years as a teacher, enjoyed 28 Spring Breaks and watched students leave my classroom at the last bell for each of those years.  During the school year, those subtle changes in looks and personalities weren’t so noticeable in the day to day, but somehow when I was telling the students goodbye and good luck, I’d often be astonished to see how much they had grown over the 9 months and felt really proud of them.

It seems perhaps strange to compare dogs to high school students,  but in my case some of the satisfaction is the same.  I really like Miniature Australian Shepherds and watching some of the puppies leave my care this week, I am comfortable that I am sending them out ready to meet their next phase of life.

Enough mush, this litter of puppies has just been a lot of fun.  They have been easy to love and for a litter of five, quite easy to manage.  Each of them have a very distinct personality and look, but beneath their differences, I know they are all little Aussies ready to play hard and snuggle warmly.

Little Derby Rose will be wondering what’s happening, no doubt.   Her personality has really come out this last week and she’s a looker.   Rose is moderate energy and doesn’t make much ruckus for an 8 week old puppy.  She seems to go with the flow and will be a loyal couch buddy and walking companion.  It is quite possible that Rose will be a Toy Aussie, stopping before she reaches 13″.

 Posted by at 2:27 am
Feb 082012
 

Skyhoundz dog disc

Like everything else, I have very strong opinions about what dog toys I use with my puppies.

Since I have Mini Aussies, which are born to herd and retrieve, my number one toy is a Frisbee and I start teaching that skill from the time they are old enough to romp.  It is absolutely the best way to exercise your dog safely and gives them hours of pleasure.  The old adage, “a tired dog is a happy dog”, can’t be quoted too many times.  Like everything else, there are discs and there are discs that are safe and dog friendly.  The hard “freebies” can wreck havoc on a dog’s teeth, so I purchase my discs from http://www.skyhoundz.com/, the provider of competition discs for all size dogs.  Since my dogs are less than 25 pounds, I use the SofFlite.  They fly long distances but are flexible.  I buy the “seconds” by the dozen and when the disc gets ragged, pitch it and start with a new one.

My second favorite toy is a Kong, especially the hard black super Kongs.  They can provide hours of safe entertainment for a crated dog if they are stuffed and frozen with something yummy.  Sometimes, I stuff with their normal kibble and block the holes with a dab of peanut butter.  Other great stuffings are banana and yogurt, pumpkin, oatmeal and banana or even a little cream cheese.  I keep a supply in a zip-loc in my freeze for when company comes and I want them entertained.  With some testing, you’ll check what works well for your dog and doesn’t cause stomach upset.

Dogs love balls, especially if they have any retriever instinct.  Since tennis balls can be swallowed and their “fuzz” chewed also causing damage to teeth, I like to use a chuck-it, replacing the balls with the ones available that have a hole which is much safer.  http://www.amazon.com/Chuckit-Pocket-Ball-Launcher-Colors/dp/B000PKWKMQ/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_4

My dogs also love a herding ball and it is hilarious to watch my little 13 pound girl nose it all around my back yard.  She is in heaven and can play for hours by herself.  So many dogs love it, it has been turned into a dog sport called Treibball.

My last favorite are Nylabones.  I have seen disasters happen in a short period of time with rawhide chews, so I teach all my dogs to chew a Nylabone as soon as they get teeth.  My dogs prefer the wishbone shape for some reason, perhaps because they can maneuver it with their feet while they chew, but there are a variety of shapes and flavors.  The goal is to purchase one that will not bite off in chunks and is the right size for your dog that they cannot lodge it in their throat.  http://www.amazon.com/Nylabone-Dura-Wishbone-Original-Flavor/dp/B0010P0YSW

Dogs need exercise and dogs need entertainment to keep them from being bored and destructive.  Safe toys are an answer.

 Posted by at 4:22 pm
Feb 042012
 

Mini Aussie Puppy with Veterinarian

We had the vet check this morning and first shots on my litter of mini aussie puppies.  All good!!  I knew it would be, but I always like them to be checked from head to toe just to be sure.  With a litter of puppies, it is nice to use a mobile veterinarian that comes to my house, less stress on the puppies, less stress on me.  After, the exams Dr. Rubsche gave them some cookies so they will associate her with only happy thoughts 🙂

So….weather is mild here in Kentucky and we did our first potty run this afternoon.  Kinda hard with 5 little munchkins, but everyone ran the yard and pooped.  Yay!!! good start.  I have undergound fencing for my adult dogs, so I need to be an octopus to keep all the little ones contained.  Luckily, my male is a really good babysitter and he rounds them up if they head toward the boundary line as did Fancy, their mom.  Sooooo cute, those little balls of fluff running around!!  They had the look of wild abandon on their faces.  Priceless!

Since they are doing so well, I’ve changed them over to 3 meals a day rather than free feeding.  That way I can guesstimate their poop action and now get them out in time.  Sure makes for less cleanup and starting them on their potty training.  It seems I always do some free feeding at first until they are fully weaned, but now ready to start the training phase.

 Posted by at 1:03 am
Jan 292012
 

Okay, I’m crying Uncle on using peepads with this litter. They are absolutely having a blast turning them into giblets even when they are in a holder. And, of course, when I find them sleeping so contentedly and ask “who” all I get are innocent little puppy smiles.

So now I’m trying something different and actually it’s not too bad. I ordered some small pooch pads (otherwise named whelping pads) for other uses, but they fit in the peepad holders quite nicely. I have read reviews from other folks that using them instead of disposable is a viable option and so far I’m liking the outcome.

The washable pads soak up the peepee nicely and it doesn’t soak through. It is also easy to use a baby wipe to pick up the poo and just put it in a ziplock to throw away in the garbage. By the way, using a large ziploc saves smell in the garbage and can be filled up before discarding. At the end of the day or when it’s really messy, I just throw the pad in the washer like a cloth diaper and put in a fresh one.  It does feel good to know I’m not putting more garbage in the landfill and I’m hoping using the holders is teaching the puppies the “acceptable” place since they have to step up onto it. Now all this said, I’m an advocate of training dogs to go outside but at 6 weeks old or overnight during training that just isn’t doable.  

 Posted by at 8:33 pm

Need a Date for Valentine’s?

 Alangus Aussies, Mini Aussie Puppies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Need a Date for Valentine’s?
Jan 182012
 

valentine-image.jpgI have two mini or toy Aussie female puppies available from the Fancy x Randy litter born December 18, 2011.

First is a happy and very sweet little black tri female with lots of fur.  She is mid-weight in the litter right now and eating dry food well, along with still nursing her mama occasionally. Pippy’s temperament seems to be easy going, not much noise from her and she will let me lay her on her back without much fuss. However, sometimes she does have to defend herself against her brothers!  Because her left stocking is above her knee, I have been calling her Pippy Longstocking.  Somehow it has stuck, as nicknames do.

The second available female is Derby Rose, a classy little red tri female.  She is second from smallest in the litter, not skinny, just a smaller puppy at this stage of the game. Rose has a quiet and amiable temperament, plays but tends to find a secluded spot to relax away from her litter after they have finished their wrestling match.  She especially likes to lay around my neck while I’m watching TV.  I like her a lot.

These puppies will be available for their forever homes around Valentine’s Day. www.alangusaussies.com

 Posted by at 10:39 pm

Glamour Shots of Puppy Litter Dec 2011

 Alangus Aussies, Breeding Dogs, Mini Aussie Puppies, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Glamour Shots of Puppy Litter Dec 2011
Dec 272011
 

This litter of mini or toy Aussie puppies is 8 days old on December 26, 2011.  It will only be another day or two until their eyes start to open and their ears lay down indicating they are starting to hear noises around them. As you can see, they are getting lots of good milk and growing like crazy.

Parents: Cattle Call Fancy Don’t Let Me Down of Alangus X RB’s Wee Randy da Rebel

Born: December 18, 2011

Male Mini/Toy Aussie 1 has a white triangle on the back of his neck and a half collar.  He is jet black tri with a white bib and tummy and dark reddish tan highlights.

Male Mini Aussie 1

Male Mini/Toy Aussie 2 has a half white nose and is jet black tri with long white stockings and lighter tan highlights like his mom.

Male Mini Aussie 2

Female Mini/Toy Aussie 1 has dark auburn color to her fur and I can’t tell yet if she’s a very dark red tri or black tri with a red undercoat.  If you compare her picture to the one above, you can see the color distinction.  She has a nice white blaze and white bib and her right stocking is above her elbow.

img_4610.JPG

Female Mini/Toy Aussie 2 is jet black tri with a pretty shaped white blaze and left white long stocking.

img_4606.JPG

Female Mini/Toy Aussie 3 is a lighter red tri.  At this point, she is reserved until we determine her eye color.  She may be staying with us.

img_4602.JPG

 Posted by at 5:17 am