So here I am, several litters of Shikoku later, and while I haven't bred any non Nihon Ken breeds so I have nothing to compare it to, raising Shikoku litters is a delicate thing. For me a lot of it has to do with getting the right amount of food into them, and keeping an extremely close eye on their digestive system. That and keeping bacteria and parasites out of them.
I tried to take some puppy photos, but only got some of male number 1. Anyway, so far this litter is doing swimmingly. I've managed to keep Chacha well fed through her pregnancy, and she hasn't really lost any weight yet while still feeding the pups. The pups are eating well, and stools were a bit soft at first, but looking good now.
To anyone breeding or thinking about breeding Shikoku, pay attention to their stool! I cannot stress this enough. If it starts getting soft or runny you need to figure out what it is quickly. More often than not I've seen digestive stuff go downhill pretty fast, and the pup loses all that nutrition it really needs in this period that they're growing extremely fast.
This litter is 35 days old now, and pretty much already toilet trained. They wake me up at dawn to get out into the yard, and as long as I let them out three times a day, the kennel is clean. Pretty damn amazing when you compare that to Shura who is 10 months old and still having accidents. The next big stepping stones for these pups will be getting them out a bit and meeting more people etc. They're already fine with all my dogs.
Raising a shikoku litter has been the most stressing experience I have had during my "breeding career"... you need to keep your eyes open 24/7ReplyDelete