H Litter Plan

My dogs teach me so many things; the latest involve a reminder that I am not really in charge, and also the opportunity to practice flexibility and acceptance.

So in the Spring Cadi got pregnant -- and resorbed her litter. This was very disappointing and sad, but gave us more time with Mac and seeing him at shows and in new places helped us to decide that he and Cadi could be a good match. And so Mac was waiting for his chance to be a dad, and then Cadi decided that a squeaker was a better option than puppies.

(To read/see the full Blog entry, click on the "Read More" that is directly under this sentence.)

I am presented with a couple of options -- whine/cry/complain/curse the universe or just assume that all will work out as it should and move on; I think it is okay to do a little of the first but really -- it doesn't get you anywhere that is particularly fun so best to move through that quickly.

Obviously we are not breeding a dog with a stapled incision in her abdomen, and Cadi is currently in season. She would be 6.5 years if we bred her next time and I am just not sure we want to do that. But only one litter from such a great dog?! That is really unfortunate and suggests to us that maybe we need to breed our girls just a little younger...

Okay -- it is what it is -- now what? Some are assuming we are breeding Fiona from the D Litter (we co-own her with Marti/Molly) but she has already been in season and we held off breeding her due to the desire to breed Cadi, not knowing Cadi had other plans. No, we are breeding Sydney.

If you are like Galen, you are horrified that we are breeding a puppy -- but actually Sydney is almost three years old now and no longer a puppy :)

I do not like to breed girls who have not finished a championship yet and so had to really think hard about it -- but the truth is that Sydney is not finished because I had a car accident in January and that imposed limitations on my showing. My revised plan was to finish Sydney this fall since I was not able to show her in the Spring but instead she will have a litter first and then finish that championship - not how I prefer to do things but my preference that other drivers stop at stop signs didn't matter much either, did it?! This is all part of that lesson about being flexible, I suppose...

Sydney is Cadi's daughter with Jed, and will be three in November. The full litter data we have allows us to know a lot about Sydney and her family, and we believe she brings some important qualities to a breeding. First, she has a stellar temperament -- she did not read the part of the Breed Standard that says berners can be aloof to strangers -- in fact, she has never met a stranger! Everyone she meets is her new BFF and that includes people and other animals, including dogs. Her mom, Cadi, is that way also and so is Maize; we believe Sydney's temperament is one of her best features.

Second, Sydney has lovely structure and good type. We would like her to have more bone, or substance, and will breed her accordingly -- but she has excellent type/bone around her so is likely to produce it.

Third, Sydney comes from strong orthopedics and I expect her to produce well in this department.

Fourth, there is longevity and good health around and behind Sydney. Her dad is a veteran and her mom is six; grandparents also have above average longevity (Maize is one of her grandmothers).

Fifth, Syd is brilliant -- I love smart dogs. Obviously Zoey has been a focus and Syd has not been out earning titles but she is ready to go and will do very well. Her maternal line is filled with working titled dogs -- she comes by her intelligence and working ability very honestly.

And so on -- she is the product of careful and thoughtful breeding, and it shows. Her littermates are wonderful, she is a lovely and sweet girl, and we are excited about her future as a working dog -- and a mother.

Syd's progesterone was still low on Monday so we will test again today; I expect her to be bred next week. Here are some photos of Sydney:

And so there you have it -- Sydney will hopefully be having the H Litter. Mac will not be the dad because of the relationship between them -- we are breeding Syd to a related dog but not enough related to have a high Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI); as I mentioned before, the COI for the planned H Litter is 4.04% based on ten generations, which is very low for our breed.

More on the husband after the breeding happens but I will say that I am SUPER excited about this breeding, and if one wants a typey working berner, this is the litter and the pedigree will demonstrate it -- you don't have to take my word for it...

Let's all think good thoughts for the planned H for Hopeful Litter -- and have a wonderful day :)




by cindy heintzberger on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:16

Can't wait!!!! Nothing could be a better Christmas present than puppies and grandbabies all at once!!

by Heidi on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:31

I am over the moon that there is an H litter in the works . . . . Good things come to those that believe (and remain hopeful!)

H is also for Hurrah! :-)


by Marianne on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 01:17

Sydney, Sydney...my Fav for years. She will be an excellent mother ~ I can feel it!

by Patty on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 15:01

Mary-Ann: thrilled to hear that Sydney will be bred. I hope she has fantastic puppies. We also have a Jed son that we kept from a breeding with our Ava and Jed. He has such an amazing temperament and has been an absolute pleasure to raise. I wish this type of temperament to run through your H litter. So smart and sweet and friendly!!!
I will be taking an EXTRA interest in watching this litter grow, meaning even a bit more than usual. I am one of those peeps who check your blog daily. I am so thrilled that now I can leave a comment...the set up before did not allow me to. yey Galen!
Wishing you and Sydney all the best!!
Love, Patty Gartmann

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