Friday 24 November 2023
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 ....is 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
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
Sunday 30 April 2023
The idea is to introduce pups slowly and not rush in .As if you do you can have problems . You may have heard of a gun shy dog this would 99% be the fact that it was not introduced slowly and then havingnoiseld buidling up . I write this blog as to us it is just every day life as I had posted a photo of Jack sat on a chair in the middle of some running water. The comment was "what a good idea". So you sit there and the pups, then realise that you are safe and so in turn they would be safe to follow. And with that thought in mind and also of getting a pat for their effort in they go. They may hesitate a bit at first as it is b .cold in the middle of a stream with fast running water in Springtime. But they get to like it ,think it is fun ,find that special stick or stone in the water and away they go. We know everyone is not as lucky to have access to water like we have so you have to be careful. Then out of the water a quick sprint down the wood and home all in time for dinner.
Tuesday 21 February 2023
These pups are nearly 6 weeks old. A fine litter and our first and last litter of fox red Labrador puppies this year. They have done very well and are coming on nicely .As Jack is laid back, so are these pups which makes it easier to keep them near together and they build confidence from each other . By the time they leave at eight weeks they will be going 200-300 yards down the road 5 times a day and also up into the field. This way we do not say they are house trained but they are more or less as they learn not to do it where they eat and sleep.
Sunday 19 February 2023
The working dogs have had a rest after the season has finished as has Jack. The tweeds are ready to go to the dry cleaners and the pickup is ready for a good service. And we look to start training the young ones which are under a year old now . Next week the year olds go to have their eye tests and fingers crossed they all pass and then it is the hips and elbow to be scored. This is like waiting for your 11 plus results as a lot depends on them as we would never breed from dogs with high hip scores. We are told it takes the BVA about 3 seconds to give them a score which is crazy when you think it can be a make or break time for the future of breeding the lines in the future. Finn is 13 this month and although he is fully retired he still enjoys doing what he does -trotting round the fields three times a day with the rest of the clan and enjoying an extra breakfast to keep him in good condition. Even the vet who came to inspect us for the council grading was impressed with him . Dont know if the same could be said for Finn as he is very much Jacks dog although he can be a bit of cupboard love creeping in and will wag his tail to anyone who feeds him a sausage roll or other tit bit. It saddens us to hear of people who bought dogs in lock down who were taken in by people only interested in making a uick buck rather than being respnosible breeders and "We have got the papers' doesnt really mean a thing as soon as they get them out of their cars you can see they are not true Labradors and no matter how much training is put into these dogs they will probably be "handfuls" for the rest of their lives. Minty continues her life doing whatever she pleases .She dines with the cats early morning and her brother George often shares his supper with her . She loves a sausage at lunch time and looks like a dog smoking a caigar with it stuck in her mouth as she proudly carries it about. She has a routine that tallies with Jacks and you certainly dont need a watch when she is about .As I type this they are both having their afternoon siesta on the settee.In th eeveings she makes a fuss as she likes to curl up with the cats so goes backwards and forwards to the door till we get sick of it and darent risk it any longer in case she wants to go to go to the toilet,but it is just so we let the cats in.