My breeding plan

I have told you about my breeding plan. Lately, I have been busy for obvious reasons – I have a litter of six to take care of at home. Puppies are seven weeks now. Their mom, Indy Hanmark, “left the building” a few weeks ago and moved the responsibility of taking care of her offspring to me. That has meant a full day in doggies daycare. Before this situation, I had an exciting spring, and finally, a long-waited trip to Germany. It took a week time, and about 3000 km, but it was all worth it!

First-class travels

My travels happen to be, should I say, nuanced. And most of the time it has something to do about my breeding plans. This time wasn’t an exception. Most of the blame is on covid-19 and various regulations, but there were some minor issues for other reasons too. With vaccinations and several negative covid-19 tests, and with a commitment to responsible manners, I was confident enough to travel.

There is no doubt whether my staying at Bönsch residence for a couple of days was memorable. I met the fully working GSD committed couple in a beautiful farmhouse, and of course, Odin v. Düstergrund himself. I had the pleasure to meet their other adult dogs as well and help with the puppies. Yes, I worked as a one-weekend kennel hand and shoveled puppy poop – I had several years break of the last litter, so it was like practice for my becoming puppy pack. In addition, we made a short training session with dogs, and also Indy had a chance to show her skills.

Carefully executed breeding plan

But about my breeding plan, the main thing was successful Indy-Odin breeding. It wasn’t exactly a happy meeting. Indy wasn’t excited at all about Odin jumping on her. I had a full-time job to hold on to Indy – to keep her steady and prevent her not start a fight with the Gentleman. I knew this could happen, while Indy is a very dominant female who doesn’t take orders from others – not even a Gentleman like The great Odin v. Düstergrund himself. But everything went well. I have to thank Odin – he is a remarkable male. Weaker stud male wouldn’t do the job! Therefore, because of the excellent service of Odin v. Düstergrund, and of course, the quality of Indy Hanmark as a breeding female, this couple has a full of promise litter of six puppies!

Long waited breeding

I was excited to see how Indy would develop as a mother. Every female is a little different when it comes to behavior during pregnancy. So was Indy. I was stunned to see how she changed from a tuff cookie to a motherly caretaker. I am also very proud of how she took care of giving birth to her first litter. She was so calm! I even didn’t recognize any signs of her being in labor, not until she started to push! After she started, she did everything by the book, without any help, and with great confidence. It took 6 hours to pop all puppies out with ease, not to mention she didn’t seem to be tired or restless.

I was delighted about the gender distribution of the litter, 5 males + 1 female, despite that I had many people who were hoping to get a female pup. But Indy made it easy for me to choose my Princess from this litter, while there was the only one available 🙂 And, oh boy, am I happy with her! Yes, I am! Like I am so pleased with the whole litter. They have been interesting from an early age, and they seem to be grown to active and characteristic little GSD pups. This is what it is all about my breeding plan.

My goals in breeding work

When I planned this litter, I was glad that with this Strong combination of Indy Hanmark and Odin Düstergrund, I could get all such features that I so much appreciate in working line GSDs and especially in working GSD breeding. I have planned this breeding for both my future breeding work and IGP sport. My goal was to get a female for myself, perhaps also a male, and potential companions to the IGP fields for my trusted and committed sports friends. I am aware that I have put a high standard for these little fellows, but is there any other way to breed GSDs than to aim into better litter in every combination? I don’t think there is. And still, there probably are things you have to deal with even it doesn’t please much. I have very tight principles that I don’t easily give up. Compromises are not something that I want to do about my breeding plans. This time, however, I had to do that – I had to prioritize – so to win big time, I had to give up a little. So far, I feel like I have succeeded. The future will tell if I really made it.

Each combination has been carefully considered

Since 1994 I have bred 19 working line GSD litters, this R-litter included. I remember those who, I think, has been my best. Despite the several nice combinations, there are few that I have been most satisfied with, and I still remember how they were as pups and when they were adults. This new breeding seems to belong to one of the top litters. Of course, it is too early to say if this breeding will be The Best, but at least I have done all possible pre-work for that. And these guys look promising.

I have, however, studied this litter more closely than previous because of all my interest in this combination. Therefore, I could see things that I would like to see. But I don’t think that this is the case. This litter caught my eye already at an early age when they were around two weeks old. Compared to my other breedings, some of the pups in this litter were exceptionally confident when facing first time a new environment. With a “new environment,” I mean a carpet and tiled floor when I took them out from their nest to clean the place instead of putting them together into a small box waiting to get back to their nest. One pup even made a wide round around the room, studying surroundings without getting stressed or confused at all. At the age of two weeks, I think it is remarkable.

Special remarks on puppies

My first attention was this puppy who so confidently wandered around the puppy room at the age of two weeks. But I have noticed other things too.

Some of the pups have high dominance. It has appeared both among littermates and me. Typically, puppies may growl when touching when they are 2-3 weeks old. But usually, the growling stops quickly after taking them into arms. With these puppies, growling didn’t stop. They continued to growl until I stopped touching. I tested this several times. I even filmed one time – the growl continued all that time (30 seconds) I handled the puppy. When I finished, the growl stopped too. Despite this growl, all pups are very open and love to be around people. As the puppies grow, this growling behavior is alleviated, but instead, they fight a lot with each other.

Dominance and determination have also occurred in another way. For example, when you prevent the puppy from going to the wrong place or you separate fighters from each other, puppies resist e.g. leaning heavily against your hand, or with growling, and of course, trying the same thing over and over again.

They all have nice drives. When I go to them after a pause, they are alert and bark but always on the gate. No one goes backward or shows any hesitation. They play with each other but alone too, they show prey drive, they all want to bite, and some of them bite exceptionally well at their age. Especially two of the males and the female are very demanding and make noise. But overall, they all have good nerves, and they also seem to be capable of independence. In addition, all seem to handle new situations well and have no issues with the environment.

I wish them a great and healthy life

There are still a few days to go – pups are waiting for their new handlers to pick them up. Even though this puppy time has been great, I am excited to see puppies leaving their new homes. It kind of starts a new era for me as a breeder because the last litter was so long time ago. Now I am going to have something to follow on the sports fields again. Meanwhile, I am starting new plans for breeding Indy Hanmark next year if all go well.

Best regards from Finland, kennel Grauenfeld, and possibly also from the most stubborn, ideological, and principled workingGSD breeder in the world 🙂

R Grauenfeld litter, born 21.7.21

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