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Our Breeding Program

 

 

At Bar TT Ranch, we breed because we love the process.  There is such anticipation each time we have a foal or litter of pups on the way.  Will they be athletic like their chosen sire? Will they be friendly and easy to train like their dam?  Will they carry the colour markings and performance abilities of their famous ancestors?

Of course, breeding is a lot more than excited anticipation and cuddly newborn mewing.  Breeding is a tough undertaking because in nature, so many things can go wrong.  It is in fact miraculous that healthy newborns arrive with all their tiny limbs correctly put together - never mind all the complications that can arise internally.  Unfortuntately, some puppies are stillborn, others die in a few days for a variety of reasons and a few come down with a deadly illness before they are big enough to fight.  Those are the very difficult days.  

Our entlebucher breeding program is based on our chosen goals - producing healthy, mentally stable puppies that help promote the survival of our beloved breed.  Read more about each of these aspects of our program below.

 

Goals
Health

Health

Producing healthy pups is a matter of good breeding matches, a warm and clean environment and good nutrition. 

 

For best health, we need the parents to be unrelated - we all have heard the stories of what happens when communities become interbred - all kinds of weird and unusual diseases crop up. 

Once we have made our mating decision, if all goes well we look forward to puppies.  For newborns of any species, warmth and cleanliness are very important. After they are first born, the pups are dried in a clean towel.  Sometimes, if there are many pups yet to be born, they are placed in a warming box temporarily. 

 

Pups are born inheriting some disease resistance from their mothers but his declines gradually through their early weeks.  We are fastidious about cleanliness for the pups. We limit visitors and insist on hand washing and santizers to keep outside organisms at bay. 

The natural disease resistance inherited by the puppies drops a little each week after birth. 

At Bar TT Entlebuchers, we use the blood titre levels of the mother to calculate when this vaccine can be given to provide the best protection without leaving them vulnerable any longer than necessary.  Once the puppy vaccines are complete, we will have your send a blood sample into the lab to confirm that your puppy has appropriate levels of protection. 

With recent scientific study, we now know about epigenetics. This area is still quite mysterious but we know that when mothers are exposed to severe stress during pregnancy, (like a loud storm with rocking and tossing), the pups can be born with an innate fear of the stressor (the big storm).  So babies can inherit the fears of their parents.  We make choices to minimize the stress on the unborn pups. 

Temperament

Temperament

In a litter of pups, there will always be one that is a bit more energetic and one that is a slower mover.   Puppies are mentally quite open to new experiences from birth through about nine weeks of age.  After this, they start to have more set ideas about what's normal and what is scary.  Changing their mind gets more difficult as they get older. 

Puppies that are well socialized (provided positive exposure to many items) generally thrive in their new homes and are able to accept new people and experiences easily.  Some portion of temperament is inherited from parents, so we never want to breed dogs that are not stable and happy themselves.   We will provide you with a list of items to seek out so that your pups can be confident in their world.

Breed Survival

Breed Survival

Breed survival is the preservation of genetic variation within the breed.  Although we can't see the whole gene picture, we know that individuals that are closely related, that look and act in a similar way have many of the same genes at play.  

Entlebuchers are not a large breed. Our gene pool is quite small which means that we could soon run the risk of recessive diseases arising.  Recessive diseases show up when both parents seem fine but each carries a gene for the disease. 

Many diseases have not yet been sufficiently studied to predict how they occur.  For these, our best practice is to breed dogs that are genetically different.  

Our Litters

Our Litters

Shortly after we confirm pregnancy, we select a litter theme.  It builds some enthusiasm and planning for the puppies that will soon arrive.  Each puppy will receive a name from the selected theme.  We'll use the name while the pups are with us - until about 8 weeks of age.  It's more fun than calling them by their collar colours (Mr Red, Ms Blue etc).

When the pups are ready for new homes, their families will select a name.  Each litter has a letter, to help us keep track of the groups.  The chosen names will begin with D this time.

Next Liter

D Litter - The Space Explorers

We have confirmed that Nakita is pregnant!  The vet saw about 6 pups, due around January 8th in Cottonwood, Arizona.  This will be the D Litter for us.  We've chosen the theme of Space Explorers, to follow up on JackAss Joe's UFO Fuel Station, where the breeding took place.  Stay tuned for more updates!

A new stud?

Recently, a new male qualified to breed in Aspen, CO.   Valmiki's Ramayana of Dyberry Creek Farm was born in June of 2019.  He's called Rama for short.

In November, we were hauling horses south for the winter.   We made a detour  from our usual Alberta to Arizona route to meet Rama in Green River, UT.  What a handsome young boy! 

As it turned out, Nakita was in standing heat on the day of our meeting and after a little play they successfully mated. 

It was a new experience for Rama and her 'mom' but all went well.  The photo shows Nakita looking over to Rama on the right.  What is she saying?

Rama.png
C Litter

C Litter

In May of 2022, Nelson bred Nakita for a third time.  The previous pups were growing to be fine young dogs without any health issues.  This litter was born in time to be present for our big annual ranch branding - with lots of fun, new people to meet.  They also had some visitors for a week - young cousins from California and Isla & Elvis from the island - to help with their socialization.

Bar TT Entlebuchers had 9 healthy pups in July, 2022, all of which survived to head home.  The C Litter puppies were named after small Alberta towns - Cremona, Kiscoty, Carbon, Banff, Taber, Oyen, Camrose, Champion and Empress.

Banff

Taber

Oyen

Kiscoty

Empress

Cremona

Vermilion

Champion

Camrose

B Litter

B Litter

In May of 2020, Nelson bred Nakita again.  Nakita had recovered well from her litter and was a more experienced mom.  The pups did well and enjoyed playing in the long grass at the ranch.  We had a wet spring so there was plenty of carrying the pups in and out, up and down stairs.

Bar TT Entlebuchers had 8 pups in July 2020, with 7 survivng.  These pups were named after native Alberta trees - Aspen, Spruce, Larch, Pine, Maple, Oak and Willow.

Aspen 

Aspen_edited.jpg

Maple

Willow

Larch

Pine

Spruce

Oak

A Litter

A Litter

In November of 2019, we allowed Nelson to breed Nakita for the first time.  Nakita was two years old and in good health but developed an illness late in gestation.  She required extra care during and after whelping, and the pups needed extra help as well.  As the pups approached the time to head home, COVID shut down the world.  We had a very interesting time getting those pups to their homes.

Bar TT Entlebuchers welcomed 8 pups, 6 of which survived.  The pups were named after tractors - Farmall, New Holland, FIeld Marshall, John Deere, Mahindra, Kubota, Caterpillar and  Case.

Puppies 4 weeks.jpg
First Mating

Our first mating

Nelson enjoyed meeting and mating with Hazel - Precocious Hazel Jean of Liberty's Run, from Oregon, USA (Mary & Bob Prinslow) July 9 to 12, 2019.

This was a first time for all parties.

Country Glen Entlebuchers had 8 healthy pups in Septembr, 2019.

Breeder Ethics

NEMDA has established comprehensive breeder requirements.  Breeders who agree to meet these rules can apply to become members of the BCOE.   Bar TT Entlebuchers is a strong supporter of the Breeder Code of Ethics.

Breeder Education

We have become students of animal husbandry through our quarter horse breeding and continue to learn about the genetics of Entlebuchers.  Our continued education is important to the survival of this wonderful breed of dogs.  

Ethics
Education
Courses
Ongoing

Completed Courses of Study

When I decided that I wanted to breed our dogs, I looked to NEMDA, the breed club for help and advice.  I had already found some material available through the AKC but they pointed me to AVIDog, a series of online courses and community focussed solely on successful dog breeding.  

Beyond breeding the dogs, breeders are the driving force behind the kennel clubs establishing the standard for the breed and working on emerging health issues.  In the comments below you will find some of the projects and courses I have completed. 

Institute of Canine Biology 

          COI Bootcamp 

          Useful Genetics 

AVIDog Breeder College

          Your Litter A to Z 

          Stud Dog 

          Heat Cycles Simplified 

          Puppy Evaluation Testing 

          Introduction to Transformational Dog Breeding

          Transformational Puppy Rearing 

           Vaccine & Titres

Seminars Attended

AVIDog - Transformational Puppy Evaluation & Matching
September 19-20, 2019

NEMDA Contributions

Glaucoma Education Documents

CEBA Website Update

AKC Breed Standard Review & Update, 2022

Health & Genetics Committee - current

CEBA Committee - former

Breed Committee - former

Other Contributions

CKC Breed Statement Update, 2023

Ongoing Education

As a member of the NEMDA Health & Genetics Committee,  I make an effort to learn as much as I can about the health concerns of Entlebuchers.

Work with our own dogs

Confomation showing of our dogs

CEBA evaluation of our male

Herding Instinct Testing of our dogs

Herding practice with our dogs

Training our dogs in Obedience, Rally, Nose Work & Agility

American Kennel Club Canine College 

          AKC Breeding Basics

          ABC's of Dog Breeding - Genetics 1 & 2

                                                          Breeding Systems

                                                          Pedigrees

                                                          Selection

                                                          Anatomy 1 & 2

                                                          Kennel Blindness

                                                          Genetic Defects

          Nutritional Influences on Reproduction

          Whelping & Medical Intervention

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