Sunday 25 February 2024

New life ...

2 years ago we lost our 13 beloved dogs but they say every cloud has a silver lining . Our silver lining came in the fact that 2 weeks ago we had a litter of 6 beautiful fox red Labradors and this week - 4 days later so we were on tenderhooks a litter of 9 a mix of black and fox red Labradors. Another twist to this story is the mother of the mixed litter was concieved just a week before we lost the others . We had bred her mother and sold Sky and her brother as puppies to a lady who then came back to us use one of our stud dogs. We then bought 3 black girls out of this litter as we were worried we would lose our lines to keep out blood lines going. Jack calls them all Willow but there is Chloe who really is now called Willow , Sky and as she was black in colour and at that time the skies felt really black and Abbie after Byland Abbey. The first litter now have their eyes open and crawling about ,the second litter are just like tiny puppies are drinking and sleeping. So apologies to all of you who are waiting to see the puppies. Time seems to go by so quickly. One is already earmarked to go to the top of Scotland . The people have had 3 already from us but sadly lost one and have been very patient waiting for this litter to arrive. They got their last in lock down so it made for us a nice trip out to meet the lady half way. We had to pass a red squirrel area on the way but unfortunately didnt see any but it was a nice ride out,

Saturday 27 January 2024

What does a picker up do .And the shooting year

When we talk about Jack going picking up often people who have never been on a shoot wonder what we are talking about. The most days he and his dogs have done is 106 in a season in his prime but more likely to be 50-60 days these days . A season is starting on the grouse moors on 12th August known as the Glorious Twelfth and finishing on the 1st Februrary. They work just as hard as the loaders and beaters. Working teams of dogs and often walking and sending the dogs massive distances to find that one elusive wounded runner. A picker-up has to have a dog — the job cannot be done without them. A good beating dog is undeniably a huge asset, but many beaters do not have nor require a dog to do their job. Many shoots insist a picker-up has a team of dogs, so if one is injured, in season or has to retire, they have another to replace it. So this is why we have a lot of dogs.aand when it is really busy days we run two teams on alternative days so if the workload is too much it gives them chance to have a day off and rested up but most of them bark furoiously when the other set off to work as they love their job and want to go along too . So you could argue that a picker-up has increased costs purely from the fact that they need a full team of dogs, whereas for a beater it is often an option not a necessity. A picker-up frequently uses their own vehicle, so incurs those costs too. They also require essential equipment such as a priest, game bag or carrier, first-aid kit, drying coats for dogs and so on. Every single job on a driven day — where done by beaters, loaders and pickers-up — is just as important as the next and if done well they become a priceless asset to the shoot. On the last day of the shooting season it is known as "Beaters Day" which is when all the people who have worked on the shoot throughout the season have a free days shooting as a thank you for working hard and often closes with a meal at a local pub. With plenty to eat and drink there are plenty of tales to tell of what has gone on during the last six months. And if George Lupton had still being here he would have already been planning for the coming season to start again. As we look back at photos of him out on a hoot day over the years he always has a smile on his face .Never was he so happy than when he was out for the day giving guests a wonderful day at Wass Grange. He got great pleasure from giving memorable days to many people for years . He was a crack shot often managing to bag the first and the last bird and only handing his guns over when he was 99.

Saturday 20 January 2024

A perfect life ..

Usually blogs are written in house but this arrived and the owner has given permission for the words the be used to describe the life of their much loved Cuckavalda cocker spaniel It is with the heaviest of hearts, that today, we said our final goodbye to our beautiful, loving .... She could look into your soul, and know what to do to cheer you up, make you laugh or, to cuddle and love you with all her heart. She never once wagged with just her tail… the whole body wiggled with happiness and excitement. Play a game of fetch and you were in for the long haul! I used to mark it Human 0 - Dog 1 (often more!). And if she found a stick… well SIZE DID MATTER! She’s never left my side and seen me through thick and thin. She loved ... from the moment she met him (that’s how I knew he was the one for me!). Then she was our ring bearer at our wedding. Out of both of the best men we had, we still knew 4 paws were the most reliable option (only kidding guys, but she was far prettier than you, and got the most Aww’s of the whole day!). She was great with the elderly, often taking full advantage of rich tea biscuits given to her, and fab with kids, often sat under a high chair just to save parents having to tidy up! Thank you to everyone whose given her the best life! Her breeders, the vets (there have been many!), groomers, dog walkers, and to our friends & family who have looked after and loved her whilst she holidayed with you. Finally to my parents who looked after her so well, where she wanted for nothing, whilst I travelled around the world. The day she loved most, was a day out shooting, followed by a tin of tuna, or smoked salmon or ham! A sleep next to the fire and getting the last sips of a glass of Prosecco (or wine, or whiskey, or… well you get the picture). So tonight, we shall raise a glass to Cuckavalda ...... for being one in a million! We miss you with all our hearts, sleep tight .... 05.06.2011 - 19.01.2024 Thank you for breeding the best dog ever! She’s missed so much already.

Thursday 11 January 2024

Happy New Year with news from America

Occasionally we do a google search to see what is happening in our Cuckavalda World to see where our dogs are and what they are doing now and their offspring . So it was interesting to read this from Mississippi Ross is his nick name, His Kennel Club official name is Cuckavalda Yorkshire Teal who is a FTW - He is the result of a lining between Copperbirch Winnebego - Rollo and Jakoranda Moment which was our orginal Tina. Born back in 2014. This is what his owners say about him Ross is a Fox Red, Field Trial Winner that we imported from England. He has 30 Field Trial Champions and 11 Field Trial Winners in his five generation pedigree. His confirmation is excellent. he has a wide head, wide shoulders and an otter tail. Ross has an excellent nose and as evidenced by his natural game finding ability. He has picked hundreds if not thousands of birds and rabbits in the United Kingdom. Ross is a welcomed addition to our breeding cadre.
His daughter is USA Gemma Gemma Red of Muddy March “Gem”, is a fox red bitch that was whelped here at the kennel. Her sire is FTW Cuckavalda Yorkshire Teal “Ross” and her dam is Mossy Oaks Daisy. Gemma is representative of the British standard, she has a wide head, wide shoulders, and an otter tail. In other words, she has excellent conformation. She is steady to shot and fall and fast out and fast in on the retrieve.

Friday 24 November 2023

Feeding Times for Pups

When someone rings up at 7.30pm and when I say Jack has gone to bed people think how strange. So here is a run down on what a typical day is at this time of year when Jack is working on the shoots. To go through his whole day would make for far too long a blog so we will take this a bit at a time. So this is all about Feeding Pups No excuses Jack has always got up early when he used to ride the horses as he would go out before the traffic got busy on the roads, but in the shooting season he still gets up early as it isnt just turning up at a shoot with some dogs. There is work to be done before he goes and when he comes back. Anything in between Anna is responsible for at home, even though as many of you know her preference is to her beloved Duchess who is her cat who is tottering up to 20 years old. She has had experience with dogs for over 60 years . She will be the first to say she isnt a dog person -meaning she will never have the expertise that Jack has as he works effortly with 12-14 out on a shoot or having the whole kennel under control at home. But how many people can say that in any case, she is able to look after dogs as well as the next person and probalby doesnt take credit for what she knows and does. We start weaning pups gradually from their mothers on small feeds 4-5 feeds a day until they are fully weaned to 3 times a day by the time they leave us. We feed them Skinners Chicken Field & Trial Puppy And as the company says a complete dry puppy food, specially developed and formulated to support the early growth and development of puppies. Generations of puppies have been reared on Skinner's Field & Trial Puppy and it remains a favourite with breeders. Skinner’s Puppy is carefully formulated to ensure the correct level of key nutrients are provided in a highly digestible form and the kibble is of a size and shape to suit puppies of different ages, shapes and sizes! It is ideal for weaning puppies onto from approximately three weeks of age. Field & Trial Puppy is also a suitable food for pregnant and lactating bitches, to support the growth and development of puppies, before and after birth. We always soak feed and would always recommend that you do the same. For a puppy to gobble dry feed down and then when it mixes with stomach juices we dont not feel is a very good way . To begin with the biscuits are soaked in dry milk powder and as they get older introduce the water we boil our own vegetable in ...vegetables are not just good for humans but for animals too just not onion water. Back to feeding times again Jack likes to feed them regualrly so within 24 hours in a day he likes to do it as near to an 8 hour cycle as he can . This is why his first job in the morning is to feed any pups we have around 4am or just after . Then it is 11.30am feed and their last feed is at 7.15-30pm in the evenings before he goes to bed. When new owners take their pups home we encourage the spacing out of feed times, but this may be on a different scale of time say 8am 3pm and then later in the evening. This should fit in with the owners daily life but what we are saying is spread it out as evenly as you can . When puppies leave for their new homes we do not like them to leave within 2 hours of being fed as they would probably not have digested their last feed and consequently sick it up. This is not something we like to think the pup has to do through. When a time is arranged to pick your puppy up and the arrival time has been delayed we would like to think you bare this in mind so we can work around it so all the litter is kept happy. When puppies leave at 8 weeks old they are quite capable of waiting for a feed and it does not have any determent effect to their well being. We would recommend you do not feed a pup immendiatly on your journey home but wait 30 minutes to an hour to give it time to settle in and also for the kibble to be soaked. If we have a newborn puppy -and up to 3 weeks old and feel it needs supplimental feed this is done every 2 hours whether it be day or night. When this occurs we share the feeding. Jack starting at 4am and 6am and sometimes even 8am then Anna takes over for the rest of the day and probably cat naps between the 2pm and 4pm feed and tries to go to bed at 12 midnight but has to set an alarm to get up at 2am. And so the cycle starts again. Over the years we have both had sheep and done lambing times on both our farms so know what is entailed when your have animals and they need to be looked after. There was certainly a different in flock size as Jack would be lambing around 2000 sheep with Anna a mere 400 at their peak. This has put us both in good stead of how to look after animals.We use Tommie Tippie bottles as they have a little air vent in them and mum usually finished the milk off as we make new batches each time.

Monday 12 June 2023

Well what an end to a lovely weekend Sandra Ellis ,owner of(Q )Cuckavalda Black Bean took him to Yorkshire Golden Retriever club of Northumbria kc test at Lord Stones at Chopgate and he smashed it only dropping 1 point on the 3 challenging tests in 26° It is good to read his progress .To which Jack added when the going gets tough [meaning the hot weather] the tough get going. And then we heard from Debbie with her two cockers Well a day at Otley Agility show today and what a fantastic day my boys have had. Alfie came a away with 2 firsts and 1 second place💙🎉💪 Then my little boy Murphy got 3 clear rounds and came 5th and 6th, hit all his contacts So nice to hear they are all flying high .#CuckavaldaWinners

Wednesday 17 May 2023

The youngsters are coming on nicely

Not everyone wants to buy a puppy at 8 weeks old . Work and time can play a big part in this so we tend to "run" some of ours on until they are about 6 months to a year old so they have learnt basic commands and like children know how to behave to a degree . We are lucky to have lots of space for them and adventures where they can explore and open their minds but not "blow' their brains .Some people expect too much too soon and this can lead to an adult dog not been as laid back as you would like. This year we look to be having more youngsters coming back while their owners go on holiday or have to go away for a few days with work or a weekend celebration and dont want them to go into kennels . Jack has had dogs for more years than we like to remember ,but when you are 70 years old you have learnt a thing or two along the way. We always say any dogs we bred can come back for their holidays. Bitches preferably not in season. We think the pups/dogs like it too to meet up with the 'gang. It is like summer camp for them. Here are a few photos of the youngsters we have on at the moment .Please note not all would be availble to buy