S-litter

December 27th 2010 our first litter, Spirgårdens S-litter, was born. The litter consists of two males and six females. At this time we didn't plan any more litters and instead of going through the trouble of acquiring our own kennel name we made an agreement with Jamie's kennel, Spirgården, to use their name, which is why our first litter is an S-litter and not an A-litter.

On this page you'll find all there is to know about the litter from diaries describing the pregnancy and the puppies' lives along with weekly photographs showing their development to breeding statistics and pictures from their new lives away from us - courtesey of their new owners.

PARENTS - PREGNANCY DIARY - BIRTH


PUPPY DIARY - WEEKLY PHOTOS - BREEDING STATISTICS - AS ADULTS

parents

Parents

The parents of our first litter is our own two, Carmen vom Brömchen and Spirgårdens Jamie. Both dogs are accomplished working dogs, typical and healthy, and we knew we wanted to pass these genes on to a new generation of puppies.

pregnancy

Pregnancy diary: October 28th - December 27th

Week 1

Carmen and Jamie have been mated – on day 13, 14 and 15 – and if everything has gone according to plan, we are expecting puppies around December 29th. We think Carmen is pregnant: she sleeps more, she wants company and she seems to be nauseated. According to Anni Mortensen's “Bogen om boxeren" (the book about boxers) yoghurt with a pasteurised egg yolk should be good for her and whether it actually helps or not she likes it. Apart from that we are not doing anything special for her. She still jogs with me several times a week and we still train with her – though we have stopped training retrieving where Carmen has to jump over a barrier, after having consulted our trainer who feels jumping isn’t such a good idea anymore.

And now we shall have to wait until we can determine with more certainty whether we have interpreted the signs correctly.

Week 4

According to other members of the family Carmen is gaining weight in the lumbar region. We can’t really see it because we see her every day, but hopefully they are right and she is pregnant. Carmen is no longer jogging with me in the mornings because she has begun to pause several times during our jogging and she seems more inclined to walk – so that’s what we are doing instead.

Week 5

Today we went to the vet where Carmen had an ultra sound scanning and finally it became official: Carmen is pregnant and the vet could see at least five puppies. We are all looing very much forward to the big day.

Week 6

Carmen is doing fine and she is getting bigger and bigger. She still likes to go for walks and she plays a bit in the garden, but though Jamie tries to encourage her it is clear she really isn’t feeling up to a lot of playing around.

Week 7

Carmen suddenly became very interested in the dog house in the garden kennel, and she tried to dig branches and other kinds of nesting material from the snow to bring into the dog house. Considering it is definitely too cold to give birth outside in late December we decided it was time to set up the birthing pen in Erik’s study – and he had to find other places to work so Carmen could get comfortable. The pen seems to suit her. So far she is sharing it with Jamie, who thinks this new contraption is incredibly interesting, but it probably won’t be long until he too must find another place to call his own.

Carmen loves to lie on her back and get her tummy scratched, but she is very careful not to exposed it when she is playing with Jamie. Perhaps she instinctively knows she has something in her abdomen she has to protect.

We are spending much time preparing ourselves for the birth as best we can. We read a lot of books and hope that Carmen will know what to do, when the time comes. We have spoken to the vet so we are prepared if something should go wrong, and Birthe Damkjær, who has many years’ experience, has agreed to supply phone support. Most bitches will not give birth if there are strangers around so though we probably would have been more comfortable with an experienced helper present at the time, the hotline will have to do. Thank you, Birthe!

Week 8

Carmen is now rather big, and when we are out for a walk, she is happy when she realises that we are heading home. Then suddenly she no longer has to be almost pulled along but moves up in front of me with her tail held high. But considering the extra weight she is carrying her behaviour is not surprising – she is clearly bothered by it.

But she is happy and well, and when she is lying down and relaxing we can feel the puppies move around inside of her. We are trying to get her more used to the birthing pen, but she is still very interested in the dog house outside.

Week 9

We are in the middle of her 9th week of pregnancy and it appears the birth is imminent. Carmen is not interested in food, her temperature has dropped and she is walking around restlessly.

birth

Birth - December 27th

As the date for delivery drew nearer, we began to take Carmen’s temperature every day, as a drop in her temperature is a sign of the birth beginning. On December 26th the temperature had dropped for the first time, and Carmen was walking restlessly around, panting and not caring about food. She showed some interest when family arrived around 1 pm (in Denmark the 25th and 26th are traditional days for family gatherings) but in the afternoon her panting intensified and she withdrew to the birthing pen in Erik’s study. In the pen she made herself a nest from blankets before lying down to relax and wait.

Later (around 6 pm) when our guests left and the activity made Carmen leave the pen to say goodbye, we used the opportunity to take her outside for a very short walk down the road. She was happy to be outside but as soon as she had done her business, she turned around, walked straight home, and went into the birthing pen to lie down again. When Jamie tried to enter the study she growled at him and he immediately withdrew.

Around 11 pm Carmen wanted to go outside and with her tail held high we went a few metres down the road before turning around and hurrying home again. Her nesting intensified and she was walking around in the pen seemingly unable to lie down comfortably. Around midnight her contractions were visible to us but still irregular with 10-45 seconds between each. Suddenly Carmen decided that the birthing pen wasn’t good enough for her. Annedorthe and Henrik were supposed to sleep in the study with her (when we thought she might not give birth until the next day) so a couple of mattresses had been made ready for them. But Carmen decided that that was where she wanted to be. She lay down on the mattresses, leaned against Britta and at 00.50 she gave birth to the first puppy.

Carmen immediately began to eat the placenta while the puppy instinctively moved about trying to get to nurse. Annedorthe picked it up, found that it was a male and placed it next to Carmen where it managed to latch on. 20 minutes later the second puppy was born, this one a female. The placenta disappeared quickly and while the two puppies nursed, Carmen was busy licking them and preparing for the next puppy – another female which came along 25 minutes later. It took another 50 minutes for the fourth puppy, also a female, to be born, during which time we observed several build-up contractions.

At 04.40 more than three hours had passed since the last puppy but nothing seemed to be happening. We phoned the vet because the ultra sound scanning had shown at least five puppies. The vet asked how Carmen was doing and because she seemed calm and her contractions had stopped, he didn’t think we should worry. Mistakes happen and perhaps there were only four puppies or the fifth had died and been reabsorbed. So we bundled the four puppies in a basket, lured Carmen outside to pee, gave her some yoghurt, Annedorthe went to her room (where Henrik was already asleep, having only managed to stay awake for the first three puppies) and Britta prepared to go to sleep in the study with Carmen. And then, at 05.10, Carmen gave birth to another male puppy, whereupon Annedorthe was promptly ordered back downstairs! So there were five puppies after all – and 30 minutes later there were six!

After this we were a bit more hesitant about going to bed. Annedorthe had managed a nap in the three-hour break so she stayed awake with Carmen while Britta got some sleep. When an hour had passed since the last puppy and Carmen seemed calm, we decided it was over. We changed the bedding in the birthing pen and Annedorthe went back upstairs. Not two minutes later puppy number seven arrived and Annedorthe was once again called back downstairs to help change the bedding. We managed to get the birthing pen nice and clean just in time for the birth of the eighth puppy! After that Carmen began to wash herself. She hadn’t done that after the birth of the other seven so we decided to interpret that as a sign that the birth was indeed over this time. Finally, we were right!

Over the course of 6½ hours Carmen gave birth to eight big (between 420 and 585 g) and healthy puppies: two males and six females.

puppy

Puppy diary: January 3rd - Februar 20th

1 week old

Already a week has gone by and we have yet to tire of looking at our "little S’s". They have been introduced to their father while their mother was out of the room. Carmen guards them diligently and she won’t leave them alone for very long – however yesterday she did find time to play in the snow with Jamie for a little while.

Our worst experience of the week was on New Year’s Eve: Carmen doesn’t usually respond to such loud noises and at the training ground she’s indifferent to shooting, but that night she was running around the house barking fiercely, and when all hell broke loose around midnight our attempts to calm her down were all in vain. Fortunately the increased stress didn’t affect her milk production and when things outside calmed down again so did Carmen, and she returned to her puppies.

Yesterday we discovered that, surprisingly, several of the puppies have already opened their eyes – on day 6! According to our source material that isn’t supposed to happen until around day 10-12.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

2 weeks old

The little S’s are now two weeks old and we can practically watch their development from day to day. On day 12 all of them had doubled their birth weight and all have opened their eyes. Though they can’t see much yet we feel that with open eyes their personalities are starting to show.

Carmen is caring well for them and she is still keeping Jamie far away – if she thinks he’s on his way into the nursery she will simply cut him off. She doesn’t say anything, she only has to look at him for him to understand her meaning perfectly. Besides he stops by the nursery to look at the puppies when she’s not there – but of course she doesn’t know that.

The puppies are beginning to move about with more purpose and they are capable of crawling out of the birthing pen. We are very careful to remember to put up the gate so they don’t venture out of the pen and hurt themselves.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

3 weeks old

We have now established where six of the puppies are to live: two will stay here in Haderslev, one is going to Skanderborg, two are going to Zealand and one is going to Odense.

We have set up a puppy pen in the living room so the puppies can leave the nursery and experience more of the world. We have had them in the living room for a couple of hours both yesterday and today along with their mother as a safe haven, if the world got to be too big for them.

The puppies have also had their first taste of gruel. Overall it was a success because they really liked it but their manners…They were crawling around in the gruel and in the end we had to give them all sponge baths to wash it all away. Afterwards they were all put under the heat lamp and just to be on the safe side they also had their first meeting with a blow dryer. And on top of such an eventful day they fell asleep immediately.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

4 weeks old

The last two S’s have found homes: Sille is going to move to the Faroe Islands, so we will be keeping her until she is 16 weeks old because of the Faroese import regulations. Samson will be moving just south of Hamburg, where he will join a family of German Shepherds, Chinese Crested, Main Coon cats and icelandic ponies. His new mother, Petra, visited us this Saturday and she and Samson bonded immediately.

Otherwise the S-gang is now four weeks old and a lot has happened in the past week. We have given them all collars with different colours so we can tell them apart – a few of them do look a lot like each other!

They have got to know their father better. He likes to play with them but he does look a bit puzzled when they bark at him – almost as if he’s thinking: “what does this five pound ball of fur think it’s doing?

And Carmen is considered fair game – but isn’t that a mother’s lot in life? Every time she lies down a boxer baby shows up for a drink! Sunday we started giving her a helping hand when we introduced the puppies to (almost) proper food: maxi starter pellets mixed with puppy formula until it turns into a thick porridge. Aside from Silke who slept through dinner everybody loved it.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

5 weeks old

The S’s are five weeks old tomorrow and they are a handful! They have become quite adept at both eating and drinking water, and they are really starting to play fight with each other to determine, what the pecking order is going to be. We have expanded their territory to include one of the living rooms in full, and said room has been almost completely stripped bare: our little terrorists have very sharp teeth and they seem to think that chair and table legs are delicious treats.

They have also visited the kitchen, hot on the heels of their mother. They follow her wherever they can and if she enters a room while they are sleeping, they hear her immediately and jump up in the hope of an extra drink of milk. While Carmen is very patient with them she also seems to think that the task can be accomplished standing up, and the puppies are practically up on their hind legs trying to reach her.

The puppies eat three meals a day – besides what they get from Carmen – consisting of Royal Canin Maxi starter softened with boiling water and then we add some natural yoghurt. Before bedtime they eat corn flour gruel with yoghurt, egg yolks and whipping cream – they seem to love it!

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

6 weeks old

Another week has passed and the S’s are getting bigger and bigger. The scales clearly show that they have started eating proper food though they still get milk from Carmen as a supplement. Today all have been given the third round of deworming – they were not happy about getting that pink stuff squirted into their mouths but it had to be done and now it’s over.

Carmen is now willing to go out for longer walks, but whenever we get back she’s always in a hurry to find her puppies again. She is a very considerate mother, and she loves to play with them while also disciplining them. Jamie is still not much of a hands (or paws) on father – he prefers staying well away from them in calmer waters, and when he has to walk through the puppy room he does so at a brisk trot. Whenever they see him, they immediately flock around him, so we try to make sure he is only exposed to one or two at a time. And fortunately in those situations he is very happy to play with them.

This weekend we had a full house when both Henrik and Annedorthe and Christian and Liselotte with Kristine and Julie all came to visit – we suspect it had more to do with the puppies’ presence than ours! Julie has just turned one year old so she probably didn’t gain much from the experience – though she and the puppies seemed to enjoy emptying the bookcases together – but Kristine is almost four years old and she had been looking very much forward to seeing all the puppies. But, like Jamie, she sometimes also felt that eight puppies at once are quite a handful.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

7 weeks old

Oh, how time does fly. In just one short week, most of the S’s will be handed over to their new families. How quiet the house will become! The puppies are still gaining new culinary experiences: they eat gruel, pellets, yoghurt with carrots and apples, and pressed cod roe with rice – but still they also enjoy nursing. Every time Carmen appears, they chase after her to see, if they can get a few seconds of drinking time.

We finally seem to have established a sleeping pattern where the puppies sleep from around 10 pm, when they are carried into their room after having fallen asleep around the living room, until 6 am. And then they’re off again! They eat (and expel the eaten!), they play, they fight and then from one moment to the next they collapse in a pile on the living room floor for a nap.

This week we have had plenty of guests and the puppies have been petted and carried around to their hearts’ content – they are a very trusting litter and they definitely enjoy human contact. We actively use their names when we talk to them, and we believe many of them are beginning to respond to their own names.

Their father is his usual self: one or two at a time is fine, but all eight of them activate his inner sense of self-preservation and he flees the room. We have thought up an ingenious system of closed doors so Jamie’s nervous system doesn’t suffer a complete meltdown. At one point he tried to use the stairs to get away from the little beasts but lo and behold: the puppies showed no fear and bravely began to scramble up the stairs! So now the stairs are firmly barricaded to keep the puppies from having any more bright ideas. Unlike Jamie Carmen seems to have resigned herself to her fate: there are eight of them and they must all learn to behave and as the patient mother she is, she does her best.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

8 weeks old

Tomorrow the day of departure is upon us. Out little S’s are old enough to move on and live with their new owners. We are keeping Samson until Saturday and Sille (who is to be called Joy) until the 18th of April because of the Faroese import regulations, so the house won’t feel completely empty.

Our last week with the S’s has brought us a variety of experiences. The puppies have had their first real taste of the great outdoors – though only briefly as it is very cold outside. Thursday they all had their microchips implanted (the boys whined, the girls were tough!) and Friday we brought them all for a check-up at our veterinary clinic and had the first round of vaccinations. I think our vet thought it was quite an experience to have eight boxer puppies running around the practice! We have received all the official papers (pedigree and health certificate) and we are all set for the great transfer tomorrow.

We welcome the many new experiences these wonderful puppies have given us. We hope their owners will find them as enjoyable and giving as we have. And what are we going to do with our time? Well, I started a book in December of which I have read five pages, so I think I will have to start over. And perhaps I’ll be able to stay awake when we sit down to watch a movie – though the S’s do sleep through the night there is still a lot of work to be done during their waking hours.

Good luck to all of our buyers – we have done our best to give the S-gang a good start in life and we are convinced, we have found good families for all of them.

See more pictures in Gallery - 2011.

weekly

Weekly photographs

We take weekly photographs of each puppy to follow its development, but it is not an easy task as the subjects are not always willing to cooporate. These nine photographs show each puppy from birth until it's 8 weeks old.

Samson

Smilla

Sille

Sofia

Sofus

Sally

Silke

Sarí

data

Breeding statistics

Because health is very important to us we will try to provide as much information about our puppies' health as possible - however we will not require that their owners have these tests performed, therefore the dataset is not complete.

Health and cosmetic flaws

 
Name HD/ED Spondylosis AS Cryptorchism Kinked tail White haw
Samson X 0 0
Smilla 0 0
Sille 0 0
Sofia A/0 0 0 0 0
Sofus X 0 0
Sally 0 0
Silke 0 0
Sarí 0 0

Vægt

 
Name Birth 1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks 5 weeks 6 weeks 7 weeks 8 weeks
Samson 585 g 918 g 1570 g 1960 g 2760 g 4400 g 5600 g 6800 g 8100 g
Smilla 547 g 925 g 1523 g 1859 g 2585 g 3600 g 4700 g 5400 g 6600 g
Sille 484 g 720 g 1145 g 1690 g 2260 g 3800 g 4600 g 5700 g 6800 g
Sofia 470 g 785 g 1326 g 1790 g 2560 g 3600 g 4600 g 5400 g 6600 g
Sofus 535 g 775 g 1200 g 1640 g 2200 g 3800 g 5100 g 6000 g 7300 g
Sally 450 g 810 g 1316 g 1740 g 2430 g 3600 g 4700 g 5400 g 6600 g
Silke 420 g 820 g 1492 g 2100 g 2790 g 3800 g 5000 g 5700 g 7000 g
Sarí 420 g 698 g 1150 g 1550 g 2390 g 3300 g 4500 g 5300 g 6300 g
 

Graph

adults

As adults