Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old

Sue tends to some of the brood as they nurse

The puppies were a week old yesterday, hooray! Things started look like they were going to happen on Wednesday (the 6th) when Sue got very whiny, which is totally not her personality. I took her ear temperature and it was only 100 degrees, which is a little low for a dog (base temp is 101.5) and a known sign of upcoming whelping, typically within 24 hours. We thought that it was going to happen Wednesday night, but when I woke up and went to the whelping area Thursday morning, still nothing. I took her out for a walk with the rest of the pack first thing Thursday morning and she went in and “nested up” every single dog house, plus a pile of straw in the woods. Her next trip out of the whelping area, there was a lot of whining, she refused to eat pork scraps (that’s when I really knew it was coming because she’s a total soup hound) and lots of squatting in the yard. About 1 PM I let her out again, once again lots of squatting and this time started seeing definite contractions. So, I put her up in the whelping area and 45 minutes later, we had our first pup. She had a pup an hour up until about 7:30 PM, when we were up to 6. I checked again at 11 PM and we were still at 6. When I got up at 5 AM the next morning, we had 7: 3 boys, 4 girls. I left her whelping box undisturbed until midday to make sure that she was finished before cleaning it out and adding new chips.

We went to Heartland Animal Hospital first thing Monday morning to dock tails and remove dew claws. Dr. Andrew Kliewer told me that they were all fat and healthy.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old


Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old

Sniffing out a teat

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old

Madonna of the cedar chips (no blasphemy intended)

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old

Chowing down!

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies One Week Old

A unique approach

Here is the video taken on days 5 and 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww3h-6t99IY

Right now the biggest challenge for me is keeping up with letting Sue out, I’m having to let her out of the whelping area once every hour to hour and a half unless I want to clean up a mess in the whelping room outside of the box with the pups in it. It doesn’t happen for all females, but Sue has consistently abandoned housebreaking the first few weeks post-whelp with her other litters (Mae did not).

We’ll pretty much keep on the same track with the pups for the next couple of weeks and wait for their eyes and ears to open sometime towards the end of that.

Not but a few hours after I finished cleaning out the whelping box on Friday, Cordelia (my 11 year old daughter), “BB” (our year old female) and I left for the Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota Kennel Club dog show on Saturday and Sunday.  It is difficult to get a “major”, or a group of griffons together at a dog show in this part of the country.  Our longest traveler drove 6 1/2 hours and the shortest drove 2 hours.  It took us about 5 1/2 hours to get there, but the trip was well worth the fabulous griff fellowship!

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons Dog Show

A gang of griffons! Photo by Cordelia Upchurch

Results-wise, Saturday was kind of a bust because I was so nervous about the show and emotionally overwhelmed about the pups and my two younger boys (ages 3 and 8) at home with dad.  Cordelia took some photos of my form and movement on Saturday that allowed me to make corrections for Sunday.  Although it isn’t worth any points towards an AKC Championship, we won first place in Open Bitch class and Reserve Winners Bitch on Sunday.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Show

Charity and BB “go around” on Sunday.  Photo by Cordelia Upchurch

For those of you who don’t speak dog show (I’m just learning), there were 3 classes of bitches: puppy, 12-18 months and open.  Whoever gets first place in those 3 classes goes to the “Winners Bitch” round, where you go through the whole process of stacking your dog and doing whatever movement exercises the judges asks you to do again.  There is then awarded “Winners Bitch” who goes on to compete with the other Winners (Winners Dog and any Best of Breed only competitors) for 3 places that are worth points toward the AKC Championship: Best of Winners, Best of Opposite Sex (opposite from BOW) and Best of Breed.  It all seems to happen very quickly and it is sometimes confusing to know where you are supposed to be at in the ring and what you are supposed to be doing, but I was lucky to have helpful experienced fellow competitors who shepherded me around.

Another highlight of the trip was meeting the outside audience that the griffons had both days.  It is great to see other people’s enthusiasm for the breed!  My favorite observer was a surprise visit from a two-year old “A” litter puppy, Winston.  He is also a pup of Sue and Sam, just like our current litter.  Thank you to Nancy and Kelvin for bringing him out!!

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Two Years Old

Winston’s face

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Two Years Old

Winston’s body

I’m really not sure when our next show will be, I’d like to spend the next couple of months at home with the pups and getting ready for hunting season to start September 1st.  We have nationals in Sioux Falls in October and I’d like to organize another major here at the Lewis and Clark Cluster Dog Show (co-sponsored by the Nebraska and Council Bluffs Kennel Clubs) at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha in November.  I also want to get Mae trained up for Cordelia to use as her Junior Showmanship dog.  So we may take a break from the dog show circuit for awhile, but we are not dropping out.  Even if we don’t win, it is so much fun to get together with everyone to compete.

I apologize to the pup owners who sent in photos and videos this week that I didn’t get posted because of the dog show news, I promise they will go in next week!  Time to get on the dog chores…talk at you then!