• @tanza You have a good point there - we always started on 'solid' food when the eyes opened. At first kibble very finely ground, with a little milky water. Flat dishes so they could walk through it !!!! Actually I used the plastic trays - underpinnings - of pot plants.

    Gradually the 'gruel' became less finely ground and a little bit of meat added. Yes we do use Pedigree Chum Puppy here ! Until the mix more closely resembled what the biggies have by the time they are fully weaned.

    Sometimes individual bowls and sometimes (supervised closely !) one large bowl so they learned to share.

  • Update time... It's been a while since the last one and MUCH has changed. By a week ago tomorrow everyone's eyes were open. Took a few days for vision to improve, but by Saturday they were MUCH more mobile. By Monday they were on the move big time. I took down the x-pen surrounding the whelping box and set it up in the family room between the couch and the TV. I have a crate set up on one end with a litter box in front of it. The idea is to get the pups use to a crate and hopefully get them to use a litter box. The crate is no problem. They took to that like ducks to water. The litter box is still a work in progress.

    They love their current monkeys. The pen is big enough that we can get in with them, love them, kiss them and play with them, which they love. So does Mamma. Gives her breaks to rest. She's now doing the standing and sitting feeding as well as lying down. They're about 3 and half weeks now. and we'll start weening them shortly. By this weekend at the latest most likely.

    I know they can hear now. I think I've mentioned that when I beep a song to Logan (Star Wars theme is his favorite) that he howls for me. I got him spun up and howling last night, and low and behold... puppies started to howl too! Then Sparkle joined in! That was awesome. The whole family was going!

    I'm beginning to see personalities emerge now too. Some love to play, Others want to be cuddled. And still others do both depending on mood. Some are really confident. Others need encouragement. I'm finally at the point I wanted to be at. The point where I've got a pack of puppies crawling all over me, gnawing on me, licking me, looking me in the eye, etc. They're really a blast right now.

    OH! And tails! I have a few that when they're really awake and active... their tails curl up and over their backs and the tail tip now touches their back! Still much too soon for true tail curl. Also, tails tips look fantastic! Nice white fluffy tail tips with no signs of irritation on any of them. They are definitely looking more like little Basenjis every day. Thier snouts are much longer than they were a few weeks ago and teeth are ripping through gums big time! They're more vocal now too.

    I'm not weighing them every day anymore, but I weighed one yesterday and he was nearly three pounds! All of them look nice and chubby. No umbilical hernias that I can see. Coordination and strength improve daily. Oh, and their little faces are so cute right now. They still have peppered noses. I'll try and post pictures soon. I've got to upload them to my computer, crop and reduce their size, which is going to take a bit of time. I've been taking a ton!

  • Sounds like you’re having so much FUN! So glad to hear that Sparkle ✨ and the pups are doing well! ❤🐾

  • @jengosmonkey - Sounds like they are doing great... have fun with them.... and make lots of noise... like pots/pans and for sure getting Logan to howl at them is great.... good job!

  • @jengosmonkey And I never worried about umbilical herinas.... pretty normal for Basenjis... but you did a great job with the babies...

  • You are doing all the right things, Greg.

    Very exciting !

    You also need to yodel, Basenji fashion, or get Logan to do it so the pups hear it and yodel too.

  • So here we are at the 4 week point. They change so much from week to week, but in some cases from day to day. I remember the first time I landed in Europe and was amazed at the place. Then after having spent several weeks there, I was convinced that everyone should be given the opportunity to do the same. Once I was able to see Peru... same thing.

    I truly wish that everyone could experience puppies from birth. Birth is a fantastic gift. But, being able to watch them develop, thrive, grow, adapt... just wow. The bond with momma has been really endearing, especially when she's concerned. Papa... he stays out of the mess for the most part cause mama says so. He's been really respectful in my opinion. Sparkle bosses him around and he just sucks it up. BUT, if someone comes into the house he plants his Basenji butt between the visitor and the whelping box/x-pen till he's convinced it's ok.

    So where are we. We are at solid food and have been for a couple o days now. Not cutting off the milk supply yet (my wife has a new nick name for Sparkle... Milk Truck). We'll be easing the milk off gradually over the next couple of weeks. Sparkle has kinda hit a wall though. She's reluctant to nurse them. I'm thinking needle daggers (teeth). We've been able to coax her into it by diverting her attention to COOKIES! She cries when she wants to be with them, but when she is she cries cause I think she knows it's gonna hurt. She does it, but I get the impression she's gotta work herself up to it kinda like jumping into ice water. What do I know?

    Puppies are beginning to look like Basenjis. Ears are starting to prick up. Tails are not only arched over and touching the back... now they're starting to loop just a little bit. Little snouts while still very rounded are getting longer. Noses are getting blacker. They growl! They chase. They run and leap. But you look into their eyes... and you just see wonder. Little beings puzzling it out. What am I? What is this? They definitely know who I am by my sent. Eyesight gets better daily.

    I'm really proud of them. Sparkle and Logan made some really beautiful babies. I really hope the people that take them on love them for a lifetime. Enough yacking...

    SQUIRREL!!! This is Red, or Zowie as we call her. She was the little one.

    This is the communal food bowl. I've had experiment with food consistency and temp. Seems like everyone has something different in mind just like human kids!

    This is silly thing to love, but it's one of my favorite pictures. I love PW and Spike's heads asleep and dipping into the litter box. Both females by the way. There are six puppies in that little house!!!
    PXL_20220113_161452130 (Medium).jpg

    So here's the weird thing. That little doghouse is small. Sparkle got in it and all the pups figured it out quick. She was in and ALL SIX PUPS ended up in it with her!
    PXL_20220112_005728465 (Medium).jpg

    Oh, and the litter box... OMG! The pups figured out really fast to pee in it. Granted, we would set them in it after they woke up from a nap right away, but by day two they had it figured out! I never believed that you could litter box train a basenji. Believe it. Pooping is still a work in progress, but the girls seem to get it better than the boys from my subjective observations.

  • @jengosmonkey You will probably find you don't have to cut off the milk supply, Sparkle will do that more and more herself. She may need to feed them a little to relieve the pressure on her so it is best to help her tell them 'NO !' when SHE wants to rather than cut off the supply entirely.

  • Tank!
    IMG_20220116_144414 (2).jpg



    PW and the Thousand Yard Stare...

    Tri Baby

    PXL_20220114_010902598 (Medium).jpg

  • OMG! The pups are soooo damn cute! Loved 🥰 that first photo of Tank. It’s amazing how fast they have grown and changed in the past few days! They bring a 😊 to my face! 🐾👍❤

  • @jengosmonkey - They are looking great and yes Litter training if you spend the time is really easy... so much better than newspaper... LOL. They learn the "potty box" the same as Outside!... I will to a point disagree and agree that having puppies are a wonderful experience. BUT it is not for the faint of heart, things can go wrong...period... and unlike you, they need an experienced helping hand... you had Stella that supported you through the birth and after.... new people to having puppies have NO idea how difficult it can be if something goes wrong or do they know if something is wrong. So you did all the right things having Stella (and me if needed) but it is important that first time breeders need this... it is not something that you just do so your kids can see the "wonder of birth".... OK off the soap box

  • @tanza Aaa... not really seeing the soapbox... cause you're right. There're all kinds of reasons everyone shouldn't make puppies. You mentioned some great ones. I was just lamenting that it's been a really fun experience. But, like you said I had and still have Stella, and you, and @Zande. I also remembered things that @DonC had shared here in the past. Haven't seen or read Don in months! I hope he's just really busy and that it's not something more serious.

    You also point out that things could go wrong. We were beyond lucky. So far so good with nothing weird, knock on wood. We kinda got gifted with a pretty perfect experience so far. The live camera for Stella was key. She was great during birthing from 3 and half hours away. So, I agree... if you choose to do this find people to help you. You can't know all the right questions to ask until some of the issues are right on top of you. Having someone to ring up quickly was such comfort. It pays off to have multiple experts to check in with. 👍

  • @jengosmonkey - For sure... Jengomonkey... just wanted people to know that this is not an easy decision... need to look at what you want from a litter... in your case it was Stella that wanted these babies... this is not something to be taken lightly. There is lots of work but it is rewarding when doing it for the right reason. There is no reason to breed if you are not doing it to improve the breed as was done in this case.... it is fun, exciting... but this was done for the right reasons. To improve the breed. I can tell you about breeding and births that have gone wrong... it is heart breaking... but when you have a wonderful litter it is the best of everything... just do it for the right reasons and with a mentor, as did Jengomonkey... he did it the right way! Hugs my friend

  • @tanza I was checking in with my mom tonight and we were talking about breeding. As you'll recall my mom was a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) breeder when I was a kid. I'd mentioned to her that I liked the markings on several of the pups. Mom said that was a short-sighted assessment. She said the standard is #1 and temperament. I'd also mentioned to Stella that there were pups that I felt had really nice markings. She said that markings are down the priority list. That structure and movement are higher and that's why she's going to need to see them in person to assess that.

    Correct me if I'm wrong... from a breeder standpoint... you're looking for at least four things:

    • Structure
    • Movement
    • Temperament
    • Markings

    Are there more? I know Stella has been building her line for 35 years and I think you did for a similar period of time. I just jumped in and bred two dogs she'd built over many generations, so I take no credit for the outcome. But I will say these pups are AWESOME!

    I'm learning more about head shape, tail set, tail curl, leg length, ear set, but I'd really like to have a deeper understanding of where veteran breeders have maneuvered this breed over time... and why.

    I've heard breeders/handlers/owners struggle with the reality that less people are showing and breeding Basenjis. Kinda true of all breeds. Breeders need to teach us what is/was the vision for this breed. As Carol Webb said in her very awesome YouTube video... "We've bred a lot of the Basenji out of the Basenji" She was referring to aggressive temperament, and I think that was a great goal. I applaud breeders for doing that. But, what else?

    If we want people to take on the mantle and move the breed forward... where are we going?

  • @jengosmonkey - For me here are the important thing when breeding.
    Number 1 is Health
    Number 2 is Temperament - right up there with Health
    Number 3 is Structure & Movement (one in the same) You can't have good movement if the pup is not sound in Structure.
    Number 4 Does the pup fit the Breed Standard - keep in mind that everyone reads the standard different. If you have not go to Basenji.org and order the Illustrated Standard. Note on page 9, the Tri in the picture is my C-Me.

    As far as Carol's statement, it is true to an extent. Breeders back in the 70's spent years to breed out poor temperaments.

    I do not think that markings are important. That said if you have two pups that are the same in 1 thru 4, then you might want to pick the one whos markings are pleasing to your eye. This becomes a personal choice, what one person likes is not what the next person likes. Some like flashy white markings, me just the opposite.

    It is expensive to show and takes also of peoples time. Especially if you have kids, they do not want to be stuck at a dog show for the good part of their weekend. But there are many dog sports that are fun for the family.

  • @jengosmonkey Sadly, Carol Webb has the right of it partly in the wrong sense. Some people have bred too much Basenji out of the Basenji. Heads for a start - so often long forefaces, pointed noses and a total lack of cushion. Side wrinkle is disappearing too often as well. @tanza has told you to look at the BCOA Illustrated Standard. The red/white head on, I think page 13, is my Firbi. A beautiful wedge head.

    The late great Wilma Bauer reasoned that people were learning if you stretched the rear legs back enough, you could hide a multitude of faults and so that set in as a fashion. I prefer Elspet Ford's (equally great and also sadly late) firm conviction that the hocks should be perpendicular under the shelf when stacked, giving the square outline called for in the Standard.

    I will stop this theme right there before I bore you to tears and address your comments.

    Now we have tests, Health is easier to ensure to a degree. One can avoid some of the worst scourges.

    Temperament is paramount because not all the litter are going to become Cruft's BIS winners and many will go to pet homes. When we bought in Donner, my first Basenji, we were warned that he wouldn't be good tempered because he had **** behind him. **** was born and brought up as a kennel dog as were many Basenjis in this country 'way back then. Socialising was not considered important. Donner was born in his breeder's 'dog-room', adjoining the kitchen. He got the same treatment as a wee pup as I learned to give my pups - and as a result was the perfect gentleman at all times.

    Breeding to the Standard - which actually covers conformation (construction). You know what you have and unless you are totally kennel blind, you recognise any faults and in choosing your stud dog you look to see how those faults can be remedied. But you don't need to go overboard. Over attention to - say- head shape without taking into consideration - say - length of leg could land you with perfect heads on pigmies.

    Movement is very important and to a large extent that is bound up with conformation. However, I have seen excellent, true Basenji movement on a bitch which was totally unbalanced structurally !
    And longer cast dogs often seem to have a truer gait.

  • As many here might not know the Illustrated Standard was done just a few years ago. Wanda Pooley, long time breeder was one of the main people that put this together. It does not support anyone's breeding or Basenji but to show what the standard should look like. That is why you do not see names on pictures... I am so proud as I know that Zande is also that our dogs were included... and this really supports the standard of the breed.

  • @zande said in Princess Sparkle...:

    When we bought in Donner, my first Basenji, we were warned that he wouldn't be good tempered because he had **** behind him. **** was born and brought up as a kennel dog as were many Basenjis in this country 'way back then. Socialising was not considered important. Donner was born in his breeder's 'dog-room', adjoining the kitchen. He got the same treatment as a wee pup as I learned to give my pups - and as a result was the perfect gentleman at all times.

    I've had this discussion before and my evidence is purely anecdotal, but my first Basenji (back in the sixties) and my second (in the seventies) had the best temperaments of the five I have had. Both were confident, good with strange people, mostly good with other dogs (except Lady was a tad same sex aggressive), and never a problem in the house.

    For what it's worth, the dogs sent to the States to perform in the movie "Goodbye My Lady" (in the fifties) also appeared to have had excellent temperaments (and were obviously very trainable), in fact the "star" of the show was adopted by the leading actor because he fell in love with her.

    When I went looking for a Basenji in the seventies, all of the adults I saw at various kennels were outgoing, accepting of strangers, comfortable in their homes, and showed no signs of bad temperament. One breeder suggested I blow in her stud dog's face to see his reaction! (a paw brushed over his eyes).

    I think with any dog that temperament has to be a primary consideration, right up there with health. Breed Standard in many breeds is at odds with what one actually sees in the show ring (German Shepherds a prime example!), and unfortunately when specific characteristics are accentuated because they are "pretty" much can be lost in other areas. I saw this a lot in Arabian horses.....the emphasis on pretty, dished heads, flat croups, some ending up looking like caricatures of themselves when this was taken to extremes. So far I don't think Basenjis have strayed as much from the standard as other breeds, but I do think we are in danger of losing the essence of the breed when we emphasize pretty at the expense of functional.

  • @tanza said in Princess Sparkle...:

    Number 2 is Temperament - right up there with Health

    Can you explain how you would judge "temperament" in a pup? Isn't that something that is subject to change based on the individuals experiences in life?

  • @elbrant I don't think @tanza was meaning making sure of temperament in choosing a pup. She was referring to breeding a litter.

    In any case, puppy-buyers should always ask to see parents, or at least Mom, and find out how much socialising the puppy has had. The early days are so very important. Weeks 3 to 6 make or break a pups chances of equanimity !

    Obviously a sensible, responsible breeder will pick a stud of good temperament from a line of well natured Basenjis to put a similar natured bitch to. And will take care to ensure the early weeks are well spent - SOCIALISING !

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