When we decided to breed Krasa, we knew that there would be work to do once the puppies were born. But what we didn’t know is the amount of work there will be. Over the past 16 weeks, we’ve lost count on the amount of time we spent on the puppies, the things we managed to teach them, the exposures they have gotten and the characters they have built. Without a doubt, the amount of work is more than we had expected, every step of the way had to be planned carefully, every exposure had to be done properly and every change had to be introduced smoothly. Knowing a handful of responsible breeders is a blessing, with many suggestions, guidance and recommendations. Everyone had their own opinion and ways, we had ours too. The only reason that she was bred was because we wanted to add a female into the pack and the pair that was mated, is the perfect combination in our opinion. The perfect size, the perfect anatomies and the perfect characters to our liking.
Character, health and exposure are the main things that we focused on. We knew exactly the kind of puppies we want to raise and the kind of dogs that we want. Proud enough to say that Pluto and Jupiter are both dogs that we would gladly add into the pack. After owning a large pack and training a number of dogs, we knew that the puppies had to be confident, well-exposed and highly workable. These were the things that we exposed them to, taught them and guided them through. We wanted dogs to be naughty like none other and healthy as hell. True enough, over the weeks of exposures, they have turned into little workable confident monsters. The puppies were exposed to the outside world since they were 4 weeks old. Against all other breeders’, vets’, peers’ suggestions and recommendations, we chose to not vaccinate them ever. There were more work, more precautions and more stress to the decision we made, but we would be regretting if we did puppy shots. Weaning them onto raw was probably one of the most joyful thing, watching how they tackle the meat and bones. How they work their jaws trying almost every protein available, crunching bones at 7 weeks old.
Many times we had thought that if the puppies had gone to their forever homes weeks earlier, things would have been easier, amount of work would have been lighter. But to be honest, we never really felt that they were ready for their new homes until now, and they are almost 16 weeks old. Now, we know for sure that they are ready, they will be just fine and we have taught them enough, the rest has to depend on their owners. And it’s time for the mom to take a break and enjoy time to herself. We’ve been quite lucky with the mom, she is more than what we had expected her to be. Since the day the puppies were born, she never left them for more than 5mins in the first 3 weeks. She would rather not eat, not go for walks, just to stay beside them. Over the weeks and months, she guided them on how to play, she fended for them when other dogs came, she taught them to have boundaries. She did bounce back to her own self and health pretty quickly but we still could tell, there is more to recover. At 16 weeks, she felt the same as we do, she knew the puppies were ready to go to their new homes and she no longer whine and bark when they are not near her.
Breeding dogs can be a magical moment as some call it, watching the puppies grow into healthy dogs. At the same time it can also be a disastrous moments, times when breeding is done without consideration. Without considering the mating pair’s health and genetics, without knowledge on how to raise the puppies and without precautions to protect the puppies. Not many people know that in every litter, not all puppies make it, not all puppies grow up to be healthy or are born without defects and the most critical point, not all moms make it. Without a healthy mom, the breeder will have to take the role into raising the puppies, without a good mom, the puppies wouldn’t learn well. The other adult dogs, no matter how good they are, just wouldn’t cut it.
Choosing owners was one of the hardest decisions to make. Although there were so many enquiries, little made it far. What we seek was simple to us, but it seems that finding owners who will carry the same mindset and amount of care is hard as many do not view Westies as little working terrorists. It is the same across the board with other breeds, other countries. The owners in Singapore are so accustomed to ‘if i pay, i get the dog’. No, it does not work like that. Even though we didn’t let the puppies go at a low rate, regardless of the amount of money you want to pay, you still will not get the puppy if you are not a suitable owner. Any responsible breeder would have done the same. No matter the amount of money, you can not buy the breeder’s care given to the puppies, knowledge used to teach and guide the puppies, time given to the puppies and most importantly, the health and life of the mom.
Breeding and raising healthy, well-exposed and strong puppies hugely depends on the breeder, the mom and the environment. It is a lot of work, a lot of monies, a lot of considerations and honestly, a lot of stress. The next time you seek a responsible breeder, be sure that you are ready to be an owner as good as they expect you to be, if not better. The worst part to the breeder other than the puppies not surviving, is placing a puppy the breeder and the mom painstakingly raised, into a bad home.