Down South Westies Monthly Newsletter

What's New This July!

July 2, 2005












Click here for







In This Issue:

1.  Ellie's New Pups Are Almost Here!

2.  Did You Know?

3.  A Photographic Celebration of the Dog!

4.  Artificial Insemination!

5.   Send Us A Photo!

6.  Westie Supplies!

7.  Got Your Pup Yet?

1. Ellie's Pups Are Almost Here!

Ellie's appointment at the vet on Friday, July 1, showed that she has 4 pups.  The vet said all looks normal and she should be able to whelp the pups without any problems.   All of her pups are already booked.  We are just waiting to see who gets them, depending on the gender of the pups in the litter.

2.  Did You Know?

-A pup needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unrestricted access to water?  This helps new pups avoid any type of urinary problems, especially female pups.

-The most critical period in a pup's life is the first week?

- An X-Ray to show how many pups are in the mom can be safely done only in the last few days of pregnancy?  That's why we wait until the last week.

- From the time our moms stop eating and the temp drops below 99 degrees, we stay with our moms 24 hours a day?  If we have to run upstairs, we keep check on the TV monitor.

- Pups must get colostrum from their moms to have full immunity to germs and diseases they will encounter in their first weeks?  The first 12 hours is critical for this transfer to be possible.  That is why we spend time with the mom and litter to be sure the pups nurse immediately. They must nurse aggressively or we supplement the pups with a special milk formula.

- A male pup neutered before 6 months will likely not "mark" his territory inside the house and will probably not hike his leg at all?  Some of our families have reported this with their Down South Westies male dogs.

-There is a statistical advantage for females spayed before they come in heat for the first time, as regards to the possibility of developing mammary cancer later in life?

3. A Photographic Celebration of the Dog!

A first-ever of its kind canine photo exhibit will be on display at The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis beginning February 25, 2006.

A Photographic Celebration of the Dog will include photographic images of canine companions of all walks of life by amateurs and professionals. Informal 4x6 color snapshots will most likely comprise the majority of this photographic extravaganza with everyone in the fancy encouraged to send a favorite canine picture for this special event. 
Read the full article.

4.  Artificial Insemination!

I am always amazed at the way some people react when they find out that we artificially inseminate our females instead of allowing them to breed naturally.  In the midst of their interest and amazement, they seldom ask why!  The reason we AI is because it protects the male from infection and injury.  During the tie, the male may be injured if the female throws herself about.  An aggressive female can also cause a male to back off and not breed naturally, causing "performance anxiety". 

We began our first breeding years ago with our vet coming to our home to artificially inseminate our females.  After a while, he taught me how to do it and we have continued with this practice over the years.  We have had 100% success rate and we are very thankful. 

There are many variations of AI to consider. There is dog-to-dog artificial insemination, fresh-extended (chilled) semen insemination, and frozen semen insemination.  The most effective is dog-to-dog insemination and frozen semen is the least effective or successful.  We use dog-to-dog artificial insemination.

Determining the proper day to inseminate is very important.  This is done various ways:  vaginal cytology (smear), progesterone RIA test, vaginoscopic examination, etc.  There are many ways of estimating the proper day to deposit semen, but an experienced and reliable stud dog’s nose is frequently the finest instrument for this.  Darby has a "good" nose!  So we determine when to breed the old fashioned way!  We consider the number of days in the heat cycle, past history records of previous breedings, and we depend strongly on Darby's nose.

Artificially inseminating a female should be left to the trained person, because a female can be injured if the procedure is not done properly.

5.  Send Us A Photo!

We designed our "Friends" page to allow you to send us pictures of your Westie, even if it is not a Down South Westie.  We will post your picture and comments for 30 days.  When you send me a picture, be sure to comment that it is for the "Friends" page.  We love hearing from Westie friends and enjoy posting your pictures.  Let us hear from you soon.

6.  Westie Supplies!

We get multitudes of emails asking what we call typical Westie questions.  We have questions about what kind of shampoo we use, dog food we feed, grooming questions, and the dreaded questions about skin/allergy problems, etc.  Be sure to see our "Westie Supplies" page.

Another good source is our "Links" page where you can get info related to puppy care, doggie manners, pet friendly motels, grooming, AKC site, as well as "Ask A Vet".  I have just added an interesting Animal Behaviorist site.

Also, we have a lot of info on our "WestieGram" page.  There are past WestieGrams that might answer one of your questions.  Check it out!

7.  Got Your Pup Yet?

Due to our long wait list, we know some may grow impatient in waiting for one of our pups.  If you are on our wait list and have gotten your pup from another breeder, please let us know.  If you are growing impatient, please feel free to get your pup elsewhere, but please contact us so we can keep our wait list up-to-date.  There are a lot of good breeders out there who have a very good, healthy line of Westies.