The puppies had their first day at the office, they will travel with us daily from now on for supervision and as they get older, socialisation and training.
Many people are fascinated when they come and see our puppies about why they twitch so much when they sleep and is it normal?. The simple answer is yes, it is totally normal and in actual fact we would be worried if they didn’t twitch a lot when asleep. Many studies have found that twitching while asleep is very important when raising healthy, well developed puppies. This ‘activated sleep’ or REM sleep in which twitching, kicking, rapid eye movement and or vocal noises occurs, is said to help strengthen, develop and build muscle as well as creating neural connections to help motor coordination. If you wish to read more about why puppies twitch you can find more information in the following links:
Like many breeders these days Alaula Tenterfield Terriers are very proactive in our puppies lives. We are focused on giving your puppies the best foundations when learning to interact with the big, wide world. Here are at Alaula we use the building blocks from of a wonderful program, used by many different breeders worldwide, created by Jane Killion (a bull terrier breeder in the US) called “puppy culture”.
The puppy culture experience identifies the developmental periods of the first twelve weeks that are crucial in shaping your puppy’s future. This program allows our puppies to actively learn and includes early neurological stimulation, emotional resiliency exercises, leash walking, some toilet training and problem prevention techniques. Puppy culture’s scientific-based socialisation protocols are an invaluable tool for us as breeders and even for new puppy owners so if you would like to talk further with us about this or see these practices in action we will be adding videos on our Facebook page from our up and coming new litter (Kona end July 2018) so stay tuned for these otherwise you can explore Puppy Culture directly, click on the banner above.
The new pups had a very exciting day yesterday as Early Neurological Stimulation started. What is Early Neurological Stimulation you ask? Well, it is 5 short exercises that are carried out on all pups usually between day 3 (for us here at Alaula we started on day 5 for this litter due to mum being a little protective of her babes) to day 16.
I won’t go into to much detail as you can read further about this method on the link below but to give you the short version The exercises consist of : tactical stimulation, head held erect, head pointed down, supine position and thermal stimulation. Each exercise is carried out one after the other for 3-5 seconds each exercise. Why do we do this you may ask? Well these 5 exercises were created to stimulate brain functions that don’t normally occur in the early stages of a puppy’s life and it is believed that this early time period is when the puppy is going through a rapid neurological growth and development stage.
The benefits of these exercises include improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate), stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and a greater resistance to disease resulting in puppies being more activate and more exploratory than puppies that weren’t stimulated.
You may ask where did these findings come from? These exercises are used today by many breeders worldwide and are based on years of research done by the US military, in their canine program, to improve and enhance their dogs performance and overall well-being. The dogs that were stimulated during this window of time exhibited more calming behaviours and were less disturbed and/or upset when exposed to difficult problem solving situations when older.
If you wish to read further about this please click on the below link http://breedingbetterdogs.com/article/early-neurological-stimulation
As is the trend for Alaula Tenterfield Terriers, Kona has had her puppies early and they are all BOYS! Kona welcomed 3 boys last night and we have one of each to complete the collection, one Black & White (NBT), one Liver & White (long tail) and one Blue & White (long tail). Mum and bubs doing well, putting on weight and well settled.
Kona had her final vet check today and a literal head count of the puppies. We were hoping for a larger litter this time around, getting into the swing of it we thought why not have more puppies to spread more Alaula love? 3 is still great for Konas’ first litter she should be able to cope easily and feel her way through motherhood without much demand we hope.
As you can see the ultrasound confirmed we are in the home stretch, the x-ray gave us an accurate head count, unless a puppy is hiding exactly behind another one, we are having three. You can make out in my horrible screen photo of the x-ray the heads and spines of the little guys. Circle 3 is a little low and to the right of the actual head, I didn’t have it enlarged enough in photoshop to get the head right on that one.
The two most common breed specific genetic health issues that found and or tested by breeders of Tenterfield Terriers are:
Congenital Hypothyroidism with Goiter, commonly referred to as CHG and Primary Lens Luxation referred to as PLL .
CHG is a autosomal recessive defective gene that only affects young puppies in the the first 2-8 weeks of their life. Affected dogs lack an enzyme that is important in the production of thyroid hormone which is necessary for the normal development and metabolism of dogs.The symptoms consist of feeding difficulties, loss of co-ordination, loss of the ability to regulate their own body temperatures, eyes and ears fail to open and growth is very stunted. Puppies born with CHG very rarely survive long enough to receive their first vaccinations either by demise or euthanasia.
So what does this mean for you as a potential puppy owner? Alaula Tenterfield Terriers would never sell an affected puppy exhibiting any of these symptoms. As all of our puppies are vet checked before sale, this horrible disease would be identified by us (and our vet) as the disease is clinically obvious .
As responsible breeders we are obligated by the ANKC code of Practice to do all we can to identify and eliminate inheritable diseases and we do this by making informed breeding choices through testing our bitches and dogs for these genetic diseases. Research has shown that as an autosomal recessive gene, to end up with an affected pup you need to obtain a double up of the defective gene. That is, both parents must be carriers. Consequently, if only one of a breeding pair is a carrier, they will never produce an affected pup, but will produce puppies that may be carriers. Carrier puppies do not develop the disease themselves and will not exhibit any abnormalities throughout their lives but can pass the gene mutation on to the next generation. Therefore if breeders are mating a carrier to a clear, this will result in approximately 50/50 ratio of carrier & clear puppies. We therefore ask if you are considering buying a breeding bitch or dog please talk further to us further, about this gene and your options for testing your puppy.
PLL is an inherited eye condition that affects many breeds of dogs. Lens luxation refers to the lens being in an abnormal position inside the eye which is associated with an inherited degeneration of the zonules, or the thin ligaments that suspend the lens in place behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and in front of the vitreous (a clear, gel-like substance). In affected dogs the zonular fibres which support the lens breakdown or disintegrate, causing the lens to fall into the wrong position within the eye. If the lens falls into the anterior chamber of the eye, glaucoma and loss of vision can quickly result.
Clinical signs in terriers are usually not seen until the dog is in middle age, and include a sudden onset of pain (squinting, tearing etc), redness, and cloudiness of the cornea. Treatment of PLL is aimed at reducing the fluid pressure within the eye and preserving vision in acute cases, then removing the lens surgically. Blind eyes may be removed to treat pain.
As responsible breeders we are obligated by the ANKC code of Practice to do all we can to identify and eliminate inheritable diseases and we do this by making informed breeding choices through testing our bitches and dogs for these genetic diseases. Genetic testing is available for the screening of breeding animals, so that two carriers (or any affected animals) are not bred. Although the disease is treated as a recessive one, carrier animals will also occasionally develop lens luxation ( between 2%-20% statistics as per Tenterfield Terrier Club of QLD ) which is why all dogs in our breeding program, at present, have been genetically tested and classified as clear.
Alaula Tenterfield Terriers offer both PLL & CHG testing of your puppy through Orivet Genetic Pet Care, as an extra charge. Orivet are a leading genetic testing organisation who offer an extensive range of genetic services to Breeders, Veterinarians and Pet Owners worldwide.
We can also offer puppy owners who are looking at breeding, Orivet’s Full Breed DNA Profiles which cover breed specific genetic screens for diseases & traits that are relevant to the Tenterfield Terrier as well as your puppy’s colour genetics.
Our Boys, Neo and Jiminy, from Alaula Tenterfield Terriers are now six months old. How did that happen so fast?
It is time to put our thoughts on paper as we are just thrilled with their development and this is in no small part due to the time and effort and thought which Melanie and Peter put into their breeding programme.
During their first eight weeks, we were in almost daily contact with Melanie and Peter who really made us feel part of The Boys first weeks. First eyes open, first waddle across the floor. We really did feel included in their formative moments.
Our collection day was a lovely experience with Melanie briefing us on progress made, a list of their experiences, even providing us with two blankets made from a puppy blanket they had shared to help with separation anxiety and some homemade toys for their long trip home to the Gold Coast.
The Boys came to us at eight weeks beautifully prepared for their new life. Their outside experiences were already numerous, which meant they were confident little puppies from the outset.
Melanie and Peter were extremely supportive during the first few weeks they were home with us, fielding our many questions with considered responses and never making us feel like we were asking silly questions.
Being litter brothers, we have taken extra care in their training to ensure they are treated equally yet as individuals, however this hasn’t been a terribly difficult exercise as they are very different in personality.
We are thrilled with their temperaments, they walk off lead at the park and the beach, mixing with all shapes and sizes of dogs without any dramas. They are terrific little dogs in the yard and the house and are fitting in beautifully with our existing Fur Family members, two older chihuahuas and two cats.
We would not hesitate recommending an Alaula Tenterfield Terrier for any family looking for a pup with a beautiful temperament and wonderful conformation.
Deborah Wilson and Michelle Forbes-Lording