Bringing up baby

Our latest puppies are now three weeks old and growing fast. They’ve all just opened their eyes and they’re starting to play with each other. Two of them are bigger than the third, but they’re all growing at a rapid pace, probably because it’s such a small litter and there is plenty of nutrition available from mummy.

One of the things we take great care to do is monitor each puppy’s growth in their first eight weeks. In their first week we weigh them twice a day, and make notes about any special observations or issues we find. We also have a strict schedule of things we have to make sure happens to ensure they are growing healthily.

However, our records start way before birth. We begin when Mum comes into season, and we have to record each and every mating, recording who the mating partner was, how they mated, for how long, and what day of the season we think it was. Keeping this information helps us roughly predict when Mum will go into labour, as it’s usually stressful and we need to ensure we are available if any complications arise. Around day 58 of Mum’s season, a few days before labour typically starts, we start measuring Mum’s temperature regularly, as a drop in body temperature tells us that labour is on the way within 24 hours.

The day of birth is especially difficult: we have to ensure the puppies start nursing from their mummy as soon as possible to ensure they get the essential nutrients that kick-starts their immune systems. Puppies should have doubled their weight in the first seven days, and they all must be treated for parasitic worms at 2 and 5 weeks age.

Any unusual observations are documented as they may become important in later healthcare decisions. Puppies can and do occasionally fall ill and this can easily impact their development, so tracing back the start of an illness is made easier when you have a record of their early growth.

We keep all this information way beyond our puppies have gone to their new home, not only because it might turn out to be useful later in life, but also because doing so helps us learn about the unusual patterns of growth and what to expect. We can compare the growth rates of the current litter with previous ones, and identify how changes in Mum’s diets might affect the puppies.

It’s also just one of the things we do to comply with the strict requirements of being an Assured Kennel Club Breeder.

Gatsby is this year’s Erlenbek Christmas Card

Every year we design a new beagle-themed Christmas card and sell them in our online Etsy store. We’ve been doing this for five years and are incredibly proud each time we release a new design.

This year, our card features our delightful youngest boy, Gatsby (one of Piper’s first pups), stealing some supper from a festive robin.

Available in packs of five, we’re now also offering free shipping to the UK and EU, and reduced shipping to the US – check our store for details as offers vary depending on where you are based.

Proud winners

We’re so excited that two of our beagles have won prizes in a photo competition in support of Service Dogs UK, F.A.I.T.H Animal Rescue near Norwich, and Nelson’s Journey.

Our beloved Erlenbek Watson won 1st place in the Most Handsome Dog category.

In addition, Erlenbek Gatsby, won 3rd place in the Cutest Puppy category.

We’re really happy to have supported the fantastic causes championed by the competition, and would like to thank the organisers and judges for selecting our photos.

Beautiful tricolour puppies – all sold

Our current litter of puppies out of Erlenbek Piper Maru x Gladstyle Google Me have now all been reserved and have wonderful new homes to look forward to.

All our puppies are fully Kennel Club registered, wormed, microchipped, come with a comprehensive puppy pack and pedigree, five weeks of free insurance from The Kennel Club, and buyers have the peace of mind of buying from an Assured Breeder, part of The Kennel Club’s accredited breeder programme. As is routine, all parents have been fully DNA screened so all our puppies are fully clear of MLS, NCCD, IGS and Lafora.

Currently we do not know when our next litter will be available, however if you would like to be placed on our waiting list, please fill in our New Owner questionnaire to express interest.

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

With a heavy heart and lots of hugs and kisses, we bid a fond farewell to Elsa Inu, the last of Ava’s litter to leave us.

Named after a certain singing Snow Queen (we do have a 4 year old in the house), Elsa has enjoyed weeks of tumbling with her sister Piper and competing for our attention. She is going to live in Germany with a new family that we know will give her all the love (and attention) she deserves.

And so, after 15 weeks, a microchip, a rabies vaccination and a pet passport, it’s time to Let It Go, Elsa.

Farewell Endeavour

Hi-Five... Endeavour was quick to relax - this photo was taken when he was just  2 and a half weeks old.

Hi-Five… Endeavour was quick to relax – this photo was taken when he was just 2 and a half weeks old.

Endeavour goes to his new home tomorrow, living on a school in Hertfordshire (not Oxford). It’s going to be a difficult good-bye as he’s a spitting image of Barnaby and is incredibly cuddly like a teddy bear. We know he’ll be really happy with his new owners and will get a lot of love.