When we got our first jack russel terrier we could’t even suspect that since then our life will be changed for ever! We wouldn’t have free time, because every minute belongs to jacks, but on the other hand we wouldn’t have dreary evenings and dull week-ends
And also my husband stated that in our home we wouldn’t have them two, never!
And yes, now there are not even 2, but there are 22 !
Adults, puppies, teenagers, veterans. The number constantly changes as puppies leave our home. But all of them have hot their own personalities, character, all are different! An we don’t have a slightest idea to refuse this life
The nowadays situation has been developping step by step. Having decided to start a kennel we fully realized that the basis of our line should be based on healthy, anatomically correct dogs who in their turn would be descendandts of breed representatives equally high in quality.We were choosy in purchasing our first dogs. They were girls from the well-known kennels as RICORAN (Russia), THIDALIUM (Poland), KJENNEKROKENS (Norway)
And there came the first litter, which brought a lot of emotions. But every further coming litter brought the anxiety as well, we never let things go on its own
We start working on the strategy of every our litter long before the female comes in fertility period. Sometimes we plan a combination of parents through generation, making a plan for the future of our kennel
I think that the importance of great grand parents in making the best couple couldn’t be overlooked. It is well known fact that the puppies mostly take after ther great grand parents. And if we want to get typical offspring all the predesessors should be healthy, checked on sort of deseases, should have likeness of the phenotype and in the end produce the puppies taking after them.
Never should the male be bitchy, should have well filled expressive head
To make a good choice we have to study a lot of pedigrees of JRT of different lines, different countries. We also consider inbreeding in our breeding programme if the result of such inbreeding produced outstanding dogs
Inbreeding – one of the leading methods in our breeding programme. The dogs resulting from such matings produce the offspring highly typical, strongly resemlbing their ancestors
Teeth. We use in our breeding only the dogs with complete dental system, understanding that lack of teeth is linked to other genetical problems
Character and temperament of a true terrier is a factor of high importance especially for a good producer, it is another factor which we take in consideration in our breeding programme, as all these features are genetically hereditary and for us is most important to have dogs with stable psyche under the kennel name ALGRAFS
To be sure in dates of mating we use the test on progesterone. Today that is the most valid technique for determining the ovulation for bitches, especially if we plan the mating outside the kennel or in case of a season without blood
We always prefer natural mating. Good producers should have strong reproductive instinct. Maybe it is questionable but this is closely linked to strong bones and breed temperament
After the mating it is time to wait. This time is very pleasant and altogether brings a lot of anxiety
We prepare ourselves as well as our brood bitch to the delivery well before. This is a period not less responsible then the whelping itself. The female is kept quiet , she got a lot of walking, well balanced nourishment
We are always at the side of the pregnant female, we watch her tightly. It is of great importance to watch the secretions, appetite, stool
Some of the females with multiple pregnancy become very choosy with food, as the number of foetuses make a pression on a stomack. The daily rate needs to be divised into smaller portions given frequently. Even if a female has got toxicosis she must eat, never should she stay hungry through the whole day, it has got highly negative impact on developing foetuses.
That’s why for each female we make the ration most suitable for her, processed food as well as natural supplements
Around 21-25 day from the 1 mating we check the pregnancy at veterinarian fertility specialist and pass the ultrasound scan. At this time it is already possible to check if the female is pregnant and the number of foetuses. The number of puppies is not so important as we make x-ray 1- 2 days before whelpingat these days we also see the size of the puppies’s heads to be sure that natural whelping is possible or we’ll need a С-section
We do not limit the female in her need to walk. Usually the female starts to behave carefully and prudently herself, avoiding running and jumping
Starting from the 30s day we feed the future mom with a special food Starter
Minimum one week before the whelping we move the female in a separate room where she will whelp and stay with puppies till they are 1 month old. This is our maternity room, walls and the floor of which are tiled. This room is disinfected and lighted with quartz lamp before the female is moved in. I sleep there too. During the whelping and a week after I spend nearly all the time in this room
Mating , whelping are very serious things and I ‘d be constantly nearby – to control everything and help in need
The female is watched constantly, therefore I can see when the whelping starts, control the temperature and notice the start of contractions. All the data I put in a note-book
When the water broke we have 2 hours period when the puppy should be delivered. If it doesn’t happen it usually means that the assistance of the surgeon is needed. Of course we preliminary make an agreement with the vet that during this period he would be constantly available .
The contractions become more frequent , very important that nothing distracts and disturbs the female at this moment.
She has to be be completely relaxed to let the puppy pass through the birth canal. Each puppy I take myself, take the cover (bubble) off , dry him in towels and cut the navel-string. I tie the umbilical cord only if the female has snapped it off too close to the body. Check the mouth of the puppy, tail, limbs and check his overall soundness
All these manipulations I do very quickly so that the puppy would make the first breath and cry as soon as possible .I let the female eat placenta and lick the puppy. After that I put the puppy to the mom’s teat. And that is really an exciting moment! The future character is clearly seen quite from the first minutes of his life.I can watch them endlessly – how they suckle, how eagerly change the teats!
Sometimes whelping process goes by smoothly but sometimes the intervals between the delivering of puppies drag on. Then I make female walk, we walk together around a big table in the breaks between contractions.
Puppies are delivered one by one, I draw the puppies (exactly their patches and colours) and note their weight at birth. Then I weigh the puppies daily for a week and put all the notes in a note-book.
Monitoring helps me spot the puppy who eats poorly and doesn’t gain the weight.
In the first 24 hours the new-borns can loose weight but in a day they should gain weight constantly.
First days we help the female feed puppies. It is useful to change puppies and put them to different teats, carefully watch that there is no mastitis .
In the maternity room I keep comfortable temperature for the mom and puppies. We’ve an infra-red lamp, which I switch over the puppies. It profits to puppies as they dry quickly and the umbulical cords fall off on the 2 day under the lamp
If before the whelping I don’t allow to the female to overeat, then after the birth of puppies I feed her abundantly – in fact she eats as much as she wants. This helps producing milk and also the mom can start to recover
New-borns grow quickly, time goes fast. They open eyes, start crawling, then walking and running
Usually we do not feed puppies before the age of 1 month as our moms usually have enough milk.
Earlier we soaked Starter and taught puppies to eat it. It was a fun but on the other hand it was rather time-consuming process.
And once everything changed. This happened when we had a litter where Archie was born.
I put the bowl with soaked Starter for puppies and another – dry food for the mom. And I couldn’t believe my eyes! Puppies came closer to the mom’s bowl and started eating it! Kary went away from the bowl and waited till the babies, fully content, one by one went away
Since then I feed all the puppies that way. I use a bowl “Sombrero” when I feed the mom, I put it next to a nest . When puppies start leaving the nest they crawl towards the bowl attracted by the scent of food , interested in what their mom eats. At first they just lick the kibbles , then take them into mouth, try to chew and in some time start eating them and swallow. The kibbles are smallsized, but I always nearby to watch the process. The mom stays apart from the bowl when her puppies learn to eat on their own.
Gradually puppies eat more and more on their own, and the mom eats less. She produces less milk and starts to recover
Doing such the puppies develop the neuron pathways, latter are involved in the process of getting food. So the programme of developing and socialization of the puppy starts
When the puppies are 1-1,5 months old we move them together with mom into another room where young dogs stay, but in a separate cage. They start learning new smells, sounds and get new impressions. This is a spacious room with an exit outside
At day time we switch on radio and puppies hear different sounds and voices,sometimes rather sharp. And when they go outside they are already acquainted with smells and sounds. The process of socialisation goes smoothly, easily for puppies.
We do not separate mom and puppies till the age of 2-2,5 months. Ususally the mom stops feeding puppies by the age of 2 months. And this way all processes with the bitch pass naturally, we don’t need limit milk producing and so on.
When the puppies are 3 months old their mother is fully recovered.
At the age of 2 months we change Starter for Puppy food. This food we recommend to the future owners of our puppies till the age of 10 months.
I do not pay attention in this article to various vetertinharian treatment of the puppies (deworming, vaccination, antiparasite treatment ), as this treatment is undergone under the supervision of our veterinarian , in accordance with instructions. At the age of 2 months and more puppy leave our home and go to their new owners. We keep in touch with the puppies’ owners and help with advice on every aspect of socialisation, upbringing, feeding and puppies’ development. We are available 24 hours a day to help .
And our pride and joy that the owners of our puppies call us and share their happiness, which our puppy brought to their homes, puppy with the kennel name ALGRAFS.