Dubhbruja Flatcoats

Dubhbruja Puppies

What to expect from Dubhbruja Kennels before and after your puppy is born!

(Not the Spanish Inquisition!!!!)

Moses the flatcoat retriever puppy I remember how daunting it was to be looking for a puppy, hoping that a breeder would be willing to sell one to me and trying to make sure that the puppy I bought was from a reputable breeder. We get enquiries from all over England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales (still working on the Isle of Man!), and we have puppies who live in the USA, Australia, Dubai, Austria and France. I try very hard to make people feel comfortable when they first contact me, hopefully they never feel that they are being subjected to the Spanish Inquisition, this doesn't mean that I don't ask all the questions I need to just that I think there are ways to make it less daunting for everyone concerned. I have now been breeding since 2006 (I started in Cheshire before Justin and I moved to Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire in the Grampian region) I find that the Dubhbruja Kennel name is now being passed to people interested in a Flatcoat Retriever by many families that have one or sometimes two (or even 4) of our puppies, this means that our litters are often booked well before they are born, people sometimes wait quite a while for a puppy, particularly if they are looking for a liver Flatcoat bitch.

I thought that you might like an insight into how things proceed when you have found us, how we raise your puppy and the general logistics involved, so here is a run down of how I look after both you (I like to think of you as our would be extended flatty family !!!) and our Flatcoat puppies.

Lots of people find me and the gang on the internet via both our own site, one of the sites that we are advertised on (i.e. Royal Canin, Petplan, Buddies Pet Insurance, Pets4homes) or via the Kennel Club UK or our DubhBruja Flatcoats Facebook page. We have our own web site not just to make our presence felt on Google or Yahoo or Bing and other search engines but mostly to let our Flatty Families send us pictures and updates about their puppies/dogs that we can then share with you.

When you contact me I like to know alot about your family, work commitments and dog ownership history. I WILL ask for your vets details and I DO call them for a reference so please give me the information when you first contact me, along with your address and telephone number.

It’s not just that I am nosy but that I need to know about you so that I can judge if a flatcoat will suit your family, it‘s one of the most important parts of my job as a breeder to be sure that one of our puppies will be happy with you. Are you looking for a pet or for a dog for working, obedience, agility, that kind of thing. If you are looking for a dog/bitch to breed from I need to know as soon as you contact me.

Over recent times I have had lots of time wasters with people wanting to know all kinds of unusual information that prospective families don't usually ask and some suspicious and unpleasant traffic on social media. To that end I now insist that you include your address, telephone number and email when first contacting me I will do a check to confirm these details and I no longer allow anyone to visit unless I have their address and phone number and have spoken to their vets first). I dislke sounding suspicious of people but we are inviting you into our home and I feel that it is a small thing to ask for some details about you.

After our initial contact we like to get you to visit, to meet the gang and us, we like to build a relationship with you prior to you having one of our puppies. We are always happy to put you in touch with any families that have one of our puppies already if you would like to talk to them about both us and what owning a Flatcoated Retriever is like and both our past and present vets are also happy to speak to you about how we look after our dogs and their babies.

If you like one of our girls in particular we can put you on their waiting list when they are mated we will tell you and then when we are positive that they are pregnant we will let you know (this could be up to four/five weeks into their pregnancy as with some of the girls it can be hard to tell, Bramble and Echo to name names were so much more difficult to spot early on than Ziva or Willow were!

We make sure that the whelping box is brought into the house about 3 weeks before it is needed so that Mum gets used to sleeping there and all the puppies are raised in the house for the first five weeks or so of their life. We also sleep with the girls for the first week or so to make sure that no puppies get squashed and that Mum has everything that she needs. Within a week of the puppies being born we let everyone know what we have got, boys, girls, liver or black and send out photos of the new babies.

We will then ask you to confirm that you wish to reserve a puppy and also ask for a deposit to secure your puppy. We didn't used to take deposits but we have been messed around in recent times so now we will no longer reserve a puppy without one. We do offer to make a provisional reservation untill we have met but unless we have a deposit you are not guaranteed a puppy, we will let you know if our list is filling up and you will then need to make a decision as to whether you are committed to one of our babies.

We do try not to have any visits before the puppies are two weeks old as we worry about infection and tummy upsets and we like mum to be happy and completely settled. We try to get pictures on to the web site and the gangs facebook page at least once a week with updates on progress and try to make sure that you feel involved with their first 8 weeks before they leave us to go to you. When they are about 4 - 5 weeks old is a good time to pick a puppy as that is when their personalities are more easily spotted, we spend 24 hours a day with them and can give you an insight but it’s good to come and spend a couple of hours with them and see for yourself who appeals to you. When you have decided on a name we start to call your puppy that and most (not all!) but most leave knowing their name. We make sure that every puppy has plenty of cuddles every day, not a onerous task!

Our puppies are fed on Eukanuba large breed puppy which is a great food and they get their first meal at about 3 weeks old, sometimes sooner if they are particularly hungry (when Bramble had 13 puppies we bottle fed them every 4 hours to make sure that Mum was not over burdened and so that any little ones did not get pushed out) by the time they are 4 weeks old they are on 4 meals a day, drinking water and Mum provides the milk bar. They are still living with us in the house at this time and getting to see the way a house works, the hoover, television, Mai Tai the cat and all the other things that go with family life. By the time they are 5 weeks old they have usually started to escape from the whelping box and we have been met at the door more than once by a mischievous puppy toddling towards us looking very please with his/her self. This is the point that we move them to their heated puppy pen and they get to run out and meet the world in general, take a look at the outside, see helicopters, tractors, planes etc. Mum still remains with them although by this time she is glad they are weaned and can get in and out as she wishes! They get to interact with the adult dogs and are well socialised by their Dad and older aunties and uncle!

In the weeks that follow we welcome you to visit your puppy (distance allowing) as often as you wish, we have had one family visit every Friday evening for a couple of hours from 4 weeks old until 9 weeks old, we will always be around if you need us but may just get on with jobs we have to do while you spend time visiting your puppy.

They get a full vet check at 7 weeks old in preparation for going to their new families at 8 weeks old and we give them their first inocultaion at this time. This will be the proper first inoculation not a cover jab that some breeders give and puts them well on the way to getting out and about when they come to you, you then have their next jab done at 10 weeks and 2 weeks after that they can be out and about with you. If they are staying with us longer for any reason and we give them their second vaccination we do charge for that. They are of course all up to date with their worming treatment (we use Panacur 10%).

About 2 weeks before they are ready to go to you I send out some pre-flight checks! This is a reminder sheet with the name of their food, info about equipment you might need etc., a reminder to bring some newspaper and wet wipes when you collect them just in case and most people find it a good last minuet memory jogger. Puppies usually leave us at 8 weeks but we have kept them up to 14 weeks when their families were going away or not ready for them or if they are flying abroad and that is not a problem for either us or the puppy, Flatcoats settle in very quickly when they get to their new homes at almost every age.

The day that you collect your puppy he/she will have had a bath, had his/her “suitcase” packed with a comfort blanket scented by mum and the rest of the litter to try to help with the transition to being on their own, we try not to feed them the meal closest to when they are travelling just in case they are sick in the car. In your puppy pack will be the details of the free insurance that I activate before they leave, socialisation advice, a timetable of their day and much, much more. As time goes on we add more and more to our info packs passing on tips and info that other puppy owners have passed back to us.

Before you collect your puppy we will activate an online account for you with Eukanuba who will then send a you a pack with vouchers for food, we also send them home with a small pack of the puppy food that they are currently being fed plus more vouchers and this will be enough to keep you going if you have not already bought a large bag and also would be enough to let you change them over gradually to another good quality food should you wish to.

We do hope that the day you take your puppy is not the last day we hear from you as we love to have updates and photos. We are always there for you and your puppy if you are at all worried and you can get me on my mobile all day.

Lastly we will allways take back/help to rehome a puppy/dog that we have bred if for any reason you are unable to keep them, situations and circumstances arise sometimes that mean a dog/puppy can no longer remain with his/her family but what ever the reason we will not judge you so please contact us and we will do everything in our power to help. If this means fostering your puppy/dog while you sort things out great, we can do that or try to get someone in your area to foster sometimes, if it means we look for a new home for your puppy for you that's fine too (we DO NOT however re-sell your puppy for you, puppies returned to us will either be kept by us or rehomed to a suitable family (the new family in most cases will be charged a re-homing fee to cover vet checks that we do before a puppy/dog is rehomed), the worst thing we can imagine is that one of our puppies would end up in Flatcoat Rescue or some other rescue centre and as we are always here to take them there would be no need for that.

Well I hope that that has given you an insight into how we go about getting to know you and also how we look after your puppy, this is only general information and obviously we are very happy to answer more specific questions so feel free to get in touch and ask anything that you like.