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Pilot x Larkin Litter - Week 1

Meet Pilot and Larkin's puppies! They were whelped between 4:30 am and noon on Tuesday May 2nd. Despite being a first-time Mom, Larkin stepped up to the plate and handled everything very well - she cut cords and did most of the work herself, under our close supervision.

Larkin's eight puppies ranged from almost 11oz to 14.5 oz at birth - there are 4 males and 4 females. They seem very vigorous and healthy, with all of them suckling within moments of being whelped.

Puppy Number Sex Marked (hair clip) Collar Colour Birth Weight (oz)
1 - Liver Female Right Shoulder Beige 13.3
2 - Black Male Right Ribcage Red 14.5
3 - Black Female Right Rump Pink 10.8
4 - Black Male Top Neck Royal Blue 11.5
5 - Black Female Top Back Green 13.0
6 - Black Male Top Tail Powder Blue 13.9
7 - Black Male Left Shoulder Yellow 14.4
8 - Liver Female Left Ribcage Orange 11.8

Larkin is taking to motherhood very well, spending most of her time in the whelping box with the puppies, only leaving to go on short bathroom breaks in the first couple of days. She went off her food in the last week of pregnancy, but thankfully is back to eating again now that she has whelped. Although all meals have to be served in the whelping box!

Day 2

On Day 2, we had to give the puppies their first manicure, as their nails were already sharp and long! At this age we use human nail clippers and try to do it when the puppies are fast asleep so that they barely notice.

All of the puppies gained a small amount of weight in their first 24 hours, which is very good. Although they were "naked" for their first day (identified only by their haircuts), we put soft velcro collars on them on day 2, to make it easier to tell everyone apart.

The biggest challenge so far has been Puffin - she is beside herself with excitement over the fact there are puppies in the house, but we need to give Larkin some privacy for the first few days, so she has not gotten to meet them yet. So instead she cries and howls and generally sounds very pathetic. Cava and Tinder are also very excited, but not to quite the degree that Puffin is.

 

 

 

 

Day 3

Everyone had a good night - Larkin slept and quietly attended to her puppies all night and was less restless than the first night (meaning more sleep for us!). She woke up ready to rush out and greet the dawn with our other dogs and they all seemed pleased to be reunited. At weigh-in time, everyone had gained more weight and both Puppy 1 and Puppy 7 hit the one pound mark. Everyone's umbilical cord fell off today too.

We are having some extremely hot weather (it is 28 C this afternoon). As puppies can't regulate their body temperatures at this age, we are usually concerned with trying to keep the whelping box warm enough. When Larkin leaves the box, we usually put the puppies on a heating pad. But this afternoon is so warm we do not have to do that and we are wondering whether we might actually have to start cooling them off!

The whole gang on Day 3 (Number 5 is hiding her head under the rail). They are not usually spread out like this, but it's hot in the box today!

 

Days 4 & 5

Larkin is now back to going on a walk in the morning with the rest of the gang. She ran and chased squirrel squeaks across the prairie but was very happy to get back to her pups on our return.

The puppies are doing very well and steadily gaining weight. By Day 5 everyone was over a pound. We would still prefer Larkin to be eating a bit more, but at least she is eating and no doubt her appetite will increase as the puppies make more demands on her. She still insists on eating all of her meals in the whelping box!

Larkin is doing a good job of cleaning the puppies and keeping the whelping box clean. We change the bedding regulary, but it doesn't really seem to need it (yet...that will change quickly!).

Day 4 saw yet another nail trim and on Day 5 we let their collars out a bit more for the second time. Their tails are now wagging while they nurse, which is very cute!

 

Meanwhile, outside, spring has sprung! Many songbirds have returned, wildflowers and garden flowers are blooming and the trees are leafing out.

By the end of Week 1, everyone is very close to having doubled their birth weights, which is a good indicator of healthy pups. Nails were clipped, yet again and their "haircuts" were refreshed.

Larkin looks like she's re-charging, but the cord is actually from the heating pad. The pad is turned on when Larkin is not in the box to keep the puppies warm.

 

Puppy 2, with Larkin's paw for scale

   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   
One Week Old Portraits  
Puppy 1 Puppy 2
   
Puppy 3 Puppy 4
   
Puppy 5 Puppy 6
   
Puppy 7 Puppy 8
   

Puppy 9