Sunday, 27 March 2011

"The Mating"

Will she, won't she???
So its finally arrived, the magical time in a bitches life when she is happy to except an intimate interlude with a male. To me, a novice, it’s been a mystical performance sometimes plagued by difficulty and some unusual mating rituals. The only thing I could say about Unikko coming into season was I had no idea when!! At aged 3 1/2 she had had two seasons, one at 15 months and her 2nd 18 months later! So when her 3rd eagerly awaited season a, the big one we have prepared and planned for over TWO year, arrived on Wed  16th of March I was, surprise, surprise, somewhat thrilled :-)   But this did mean that she would actually be willing to mate with the male I had chosen for her, the handsome Musse, who have lived with us for 5 months waiting for this moment.

I had observed Unikkos behaviour at her previous season and thought she would start to stand for her man around day 9ish. As we live in a small terraced house I didn't dare to leave them in the house, even separately, when we were out, so unikko had the dubious privilege of coming to work with me. She was rather pleased with this special treatment, coming in for tea breaks and being generally admired, she behaved nearly perfectly, only licked one plate!
Thursday 24th of March was the 9th day of her season and when we came home from work, Musse greeted us at the door by sticking his nose right by Unikkos bottom and followed her into the garden like a train!  They immediately stared dancing around, Unikko flirting wildly, Musse mounting her several time and the suddenly Unikko did an almighty yell, started to whimper. I held her head and talked quietly to her as Musse was "thrusting" away, then he went still and slowly dismounted and turned, they had now tied. They stayed perfectly tied for 10min; I was so relieved and couldn't believe how well it had gone! I had prepared friends and experienced neighbours to come round to help out but in fact they didn't need anyone really!
Once it was over Unikko went hysterical, ran in barking, or screeching really, jumping about, throwing herself around the sofa, totally overexcited! Eventually we all settled, I had massive glass of wine and just felt total relief:)

We repeated the "performance" on Friday, Musse was harder to convince but eventually succumbed to Unikkos endless flirting.
Having a quick flirt

On Saturday I thought let’s do it first thing, get some photo's and then we can relax for the day, but on no, not so easy! Musse was not interested, Unikko was flirting wildly, she couldn't have tried harder if she had a pole danced in the garden, tassels on her nipples, singing "come and get me boys" but to no avail. I thought he probably felt a bit sore! By the afternoon Unikko must have had a progesterone power surge, she was panting, whining, weeing all over the place when I took her out, completely unsettled. I had decided to allow Musse a day of rest as felt so pleased having had two really good matings, everything else would be a bonus! So I let him be and he did ignore Unikko until 9pm when suddenly they both decided now is the time! I let them out in the garden and in no time they had mated again, I sat out there with them holding Unikko during a 15min tie, getting a cold bum on the stone paving!
By Sunday morning, they both appeared knackered so I expected a sedate walk, but couldn’t have been more wrong! Only got to the beach, 3 min walk, and Musse was trying to mount her as we were walking, I couldn't stop him so turned around, dragged them home, got in and he pounced, and  Unikko was more than willing. I managed to get them out in the garden and by now Unikko knew what to expect and stood very still, I held her mostly just incase but did manage to let go so that I could get a picture, the first one as the other matings had been in darkness!

Musse and Unikko tied
 All in all it has been quite a weekend:-) I’m so pleased with my dogs, Musse is a complete professional:-) He knew exactly what to do and when, Unikko have been lovely, teasing to get him going and standing still at the appropriate moment!. I have learned lots, and feel it’s a privilege to have been part of a puppy making experience, now let’s see what the outcome will be at the end of May!!
Musse sadly won’t be here, he will now return to his home on the 1st of May. But crossing all that he has left some delightful mini musses behind:-)

Musse is available at stud for the last few weeks he is in the country.

This is just my simplistic ditty of my experience and to learn more about the preparation to mating, whelping and puppy rearing please read at least one of the following publications:

J.M Evans & Kay White 2007 Book of the Bitch, a complete guide to understanding and caring for bitches. Interpet publishing, Ringpress. (Its the b of b bible!)

J.M Evans with Caroline Ackroyd-Gibson. 2005. Breeding a litter. Ringpress books

D Rice 1996. The complete book of dog breeding. Barron's. (A bit old but still full of great advise and easy to read)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Crufts and working trial weekend

What a weekend! It started early as Crufts was on a Friday. A very early start for me and Mary who thankfully was coming as travelling company, alarm went at 04.30, quick coffee, quick walk around the block with dogs and then off we go, leaving Blizz and Unikko with very long faces. They don't like to be left and even worse, miss out on a proper walk!
The journey was fine and we reached NEC at about 09.30.
Got Musse settled onto bench and then wait!
Unlike my previous experience the wait was not too bad, and as Musse is just into veteran class (in UK) we where first in the ring. Once in the ring, Musse does like to let everyone know he is there! He did bark continuously but stood for Toni, and eventually settled into a trot on the way around the ring. To my surprise and total joy we where called out for 1st place:-)

Now we had to wait for the best male, there where lots of very handsome boys there and best man (or dog:-)won with Int/NL Ch Fidelis Duuri being the winner and he later went on to be BOB. Musse did unfortunately get even more excited the 2nd time around and did not show his best side.  He is such a glorious dog to live with so its a shame I couldn't get the best out of him in the showring. However as always it was great to see so many lovely lappies and their owners. Now lets see how we get on at FL of GB show!!

The next day was a completly different dog adventure as I had entered Unikko in a working trial held locally by my training club. I did enter as a training exercise, which was just as well:-)
Unikko was entered in CD, (companion dog). The trial started really well, first exercise was 2 min sit stay with me out of site, no problems. Next a retrieve which was performed perfectly from Unikko, but I lost point as took dumbell before being told to!! Next was search square which she did fantastic in good time, even got the teaspoon:-) (most dogs dislike metal in the mouth)

Unikko having a rest after a trying trial day
 Heel work was ok, recall perfect, then sendaway, well that was just a laugh! She went out ok but mistook marker and went to a complely diffrent point and we haven't trained any redirection! Then on to jumps, she clipped the 3ft hurdle, refused long jump, I wouldn't then do 6 ft scale as not had enough practice and there would be no point. Last execise was 10 min down stay with handlers out of sight, which went haywire as two collies got up and left to look for owner (one handler  had entered 3 dogs), Unikko sat up and was up and down like yoyo according to steward! So as before back to more training!! After all that, it was a good execise, and a lovely  day out in the coutry side after a day at NEC and motorway driving.

I write about my two active dogs and it appears that I ignore my no 1 Blizz, he is the gentlest lovlies dog anyone could wish for. Here he is today chilling in the garden love him:-)

Making a den!


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Musse, a UK veteran on the 4/3/11

Happy 7th birthday to the gorgeous Musse
Hard to believe but Musse have now reached middle age, unbelievable because he is such a baby:-) He is so soppy, loves nothing more than a cuddle and with such a gorgeous face who could resist?