Angel, our other Dog (a.k.a. the drama queen) she's part German Shephard and part Labrador Retreiver
Finding a Suitable Mate
The first thing about breeding is you have to find a suitable mate.
Angel was already a mixed breed, being part german shephard and part lab. And believe it or not, some of the muts truely have the best personality.
We knew of a sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback that didn't live too far from us - that Angel kind of liked. His name is Harry (Yeah another Harry!). He was about the same size and weight as our Angel, and decided he was a good choice.
Anyway, Angel and Harry already knew each other, but they needed time to be alone. I left her overnight for a few days. The first time we tried it we took her over in the first few days of her heat. A bitch's heat will come twice a year and last about 14 days.
This actually didn't work. Six months later, we tried it again. This time, we waited until about day 11. We left her there again and we thought it worked. The next thing we knew,
Angel was getting morning sickness. We could tell when she didn't feel good because she'd lay on her back. We thought she was pregnant. I was going to go out and get her an early pregnancy test (works on humans why not dogs?) but I couldn't figure out how to get her to go on the strip. Anyway, we decided to wait. Angel started drinking a lot of water and began to fill out and her nipples (is there a technical term for that?) got larger.
She was also warm to the touch. The standard gestation period of a canine is 63 days. Please click on the link below for a really cool canine pregnancy calculator:
I had plugged Angel's date of whelping into the canine pregnancy calcular above
and knew approximately when she was due.
Ethan and I decided to make her a whelping box as the date grew close.
We just took a big open box,
cut place for Angel to step into, and put newspapers on the bottom. Not that the newspaper lasted very long, but that's what the internet
said to do. She couldn't have timed the birth any better. She waited for the weekend when Ethan was off school and we weren't so busy
at the farm. It was a Saturday and Angel laid on her back on the couch all day. She was also cool to the touch. She
is an inside dog so we decided the whole family was going to sleep in the kitchen with her just in case
she had her puppies. About a stroke after midnight, she woke is all up. She was going around in her box
in circles. The next thing you know a puppy popped out. She instinctively knew what to do. This is kind of gross but there was actually no mess at all for us.
She cleaned up after the whole birth.
We moved the just birthed puppy out of the big box and into the little warm
box (we had a clean towel in the bottom of that one) to make room for Angel to have another puppy. She ended up with nine puppies all together.
Six were black, 2 were brown, and one actually looked like a Rottie as in a Rottweiler. Four had ridges after Harry the Rhodesian Ridgeback = dad , 5 did not. We named them
leftie, my puppy, buddy, shaggy, rottie, dark brownie, light brownie, puppa bear, and nobody. Some were born as few as 5 minutes apart and the most was
50 minutes. Did you know that the first puppy looks most like the mom and the last puppy looks most like the dad?? That theory held true.
Please keep in mind that inbetween puppy births, you do need to let them feed with the mom. When they are first born they need to eat at least every 2 hours.
After everyone was born, we just left all the puppies in with the mom. You'd think she'd lay on them or something, but they all survived.