For the next few weeks, we will be releasing previous posts from the old website.
Lucy’s First Litter
by Ellen Akin, 2/23/09
It’s been three days since Lucy whelped her puppies and I wanted to tell a little about her story and how the birth went.
We got Lucy in 2007, as a gift to my Dad for Valentine’s Day. She was adorable when she was little, but has always had the same “big” personality. She is so cool but can also be really naughty! They say that the more nicknames an animal has, the more loved it is. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it certainly means something for Lucy. She has SO many nicknames!
We didn’t know we were going to breed her from the beginning, but we thought about it. Our relatives in FL have Oscar Meier, a little brindle dachshund guy, and we thought that it would be neat to breed the two one day. However, as Lucy got older and went into her second heat (the optimal time to breed a dog for the first time), a trip to FL just wasn’t possible. So we started looking elsewhere for “Lucy’s husband”. We found “Just Call Me Slinky”, aka Slinky, a miniature black and tan boy, and we took Lucy to the breeder’s house for a date.
Over the time that Lucy was pregnant, she grew and grew. This would seem obvious, but Lucy just got so huge! It seemed that she increased in size every day. Average Dachshund litter size is 3-5 puppies, but we definitely thought that Lucy would have 5 or 6, based on her size. We felt bad for her!
On February 19, Lucy started to give the signs that labor was going to be happening within 24 hrs. We have seen with our Great Pyrenees that usually before they give birth they get really quiet, and just want to lay there. Also, their respiration rate gets faster. Lucy was doing both of these things. She seemed pretty nervous too, which is also normal for first time mommies.
At 1:00 a.m. the next morning, Dad woke up to Lucy yelping. He woke up Mom and I, and we all rushed downstairs to where Lucy was in the whelping pool (we use children’s plastic wading pools as whelping boxes). Sure enough, she was having contractions. The first puppy was born by about 1:30 a.m.. The last puppy was born at 5:30 a.m., so the puppies came roughly 45 minutes apart. Half of Lucy’s puppies are black and tan, and half are red. They are all adorable and so sweet looking.
We found with Lucy that the birthing process is so much less messy than it is for the Pyrs. The Dachshund pups also nurse a lot better. It’s hard with Pyrs because the puppies often have a hard time getting on a teat, and the smaller ones tend to get pushed off. Not so with these Doxies! As soon as Lucy had cleaned the first puppy off after he was born, he was nursing; “Just like that”. Dad, Mom, and I all looked at each other with our mouths open, because he was nursing within 1-2 minutes after being born. By comparison, the Pyrs often don’t seem to want to nurse until they’re 30-45 minutes old. But it’s not just the babies who are doing a great job! Lucy is an amazing mom. She is so careful not to lay on a puppy; she takes her time when she has to reposition herself. She tries very hard to keep them all warm by tucking herself around them.
Lucy’s having puppies has been a really great experience so far (and a very easy one compared to the Great Pyrenees)! We hope to continue to breed her once a year from now on. Please check back often to see the babies grow! We’ll continue to add updates.