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Joanna
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We were a family on a quest! We had decided to get another dog (our wonderful Briard died 5 years ago) and were trying to find the 'right' breed - this led us to a book called 'Dogalog' by Dr. Bruce Fogle, his comments on the Serra were "An excellent breed, it is very easy to obedience train, good with children ... virtually unknown outside its native land, this unkempt-looking canine is a classic dog, worthy of more international acclaim" (although it should be said that they were under the title of Portuguese Shepherd Dog/Cao da Serra de Aires!) So that was it, I got on the internet and got searching, coming across this very friendly website and Pauline! Smile After several lengthy emails and being glued to this website for pictures and updates on Amigavel puppies, we eventually went to visit Pauline, Nesp'a, Finn and pups on Sunday 19th August. What more can I say, we were putty in their paws! The lovely Lola and her sister Zetta were presented to us and we fell in love. Lola will be coming home with us next month - we are a very excited household! We will keep you all updated on her progress and exploits in her new home and no doubt ask you all for advice in one way or another! Thank you Pauline for letting us have one of your beautiful girls, we promise to look after her and love her to bits! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for this. It was a pleasure to meet you all. I will keep you up to date on Lola's progress. I bought some wide 'drain' pipes from my local builders' merchant for the puppies to explore. Lola loves crawling inside and through them. She has also found them a comfortable den in which to sleep. I'll post a pic.

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well we couldn't resist it, we just had to go and see the lovely Lola again before we eventually pick her up on Saturday 22nd Sept and so desended on Pauline and her husband last Sunday. All the Amigavel puppies were gorgeous, thriving and full of mischief! Their coats are getting thick and fluffy. Nico is definately the boss and knows it! Poor Jack can hardly contain his excitement and is wishing the next few weeks away until he can pick Lola up and finally bring her home. Jack has already brought her some toys and grooming equipment and her first collar and lead. We have registered her for puppy training/socialisation classes to begin middle October and at the Vets for her injections, etc,. Just got to finalise pet insurance - then I think we're sorted! Oh, apart from bowls, food, bedding, etc, etc!!! Very Happy
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Sharon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Joanna

I am green with envy. I hope you have great fun with Lola when you get her home. The next couple of weeks aren't going to go quick enough. If we have another Briardathon would you consider bringing Lola along?

Sharon
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Sharon!

Thank you for your message. Yes of course we'd consider bringing Lola to a Briardathon, as long as we're about. It would be a great opportunity to see the similarities between the two breeds and have some fun! Smile
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well the waiting is almost over, we are picking Lola up tomorrow morning and we are rather excited to say the least!! Everything is in place and ready to go. We are reading and re-reading Pauline's 'Puppy Info' she kindly sent to us and shall be following it to the letter for the first few days while we're finding our feet. Jack has already offered to sleep downstairs for the first few nights to settle Lola in - how much sleeping will go on I'm not sure!??
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Sharon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm getting excited for you - how stupid is that? Laughing
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Paul Andringa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

good luck with Lola. I am sure you will have lots of fun. Like you say it will be fun to see the difference between her and the Briards. Give her a cuddle from me.

Caitriona

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you Sharon and Caitriona for your kind wishes. It was rather sad having to take Lola away from her siblings and the lovely Pauline, poor Jack was quite tearful that we were taking her away from her home. Crying or Very sad However, Lola has definately settled in, she travelled well and took the car journey in her stride. Very Happy Funny how you forget what having a puppy is like though until you do it again!!!! House training is going well - if in doubt I take her out! I'm trying to train husband and son to do the same but they think if the door is open she'll just go outside to relieve herself! Lola is amazingly chilled out - there is an Old English Sheepdog puppy (11 weeks) next door who is so bouncy he won't leave you alone if he spots you, whereas Lola is happy to greet people -she will sit down and wait to be petted then calmly lies down and gets on with her toys or snoozes! Which is a great trait to have when introducing her to small children - I'm sure she'll say hello then move on! (watch this space!) Lola is the most gorgeous thing and we love her to bits. I'm looking forward to getting updates and comparing notes on the other Amigavel puppies and discussing training highs and lows - help is always gratefully received!
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Sharon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Joanne
Lola sounds delightful. How did she cope with her first night in her new home?

Enjoy her and make the most of those first few months. They go so quickly and before you know where you are you have an adult dog.

Looking forward to the next up date.

Sharon
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am so pleased Lola is settling well. It will all be down to the care she's receiving.

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Sharon, Lola's first night didn't go quite to plan! We got her a large cage which we set up in the dining room and made it all cosy, we knew she had been used to sleeping in a pen so thought she would be fine but when it came to putting her in, boy did she put up a fight!! Jack got his sleeping bag next to the cage and tried to calm her but she 'screamed' and chewed at the cage. Poor Jack only managed 10 minutes before getting himself really distressed so I let her out and she slept against the sleeping bag until Jack got too uncomfortable and went to bed at 2.30 am!! I then decided to put Lola in the hallway on her bed where she slept until 6.00am. I'm pleased to report that she has settled down with sleeping (still in the hall) and we have been re-introducing the cage at different times of the day which she now seems quite chilled about, thank goodness! She has really come on in the last week and settled down - and getting rather cheeky! We all adore her and can't wait until we can take her to puppy training/socialisation classes and walks! Very Happy
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Lola is enjoying sitting in our enclosed forecourt at the front of the house at the moment. It's a good way to get her used to some car noise and children passing, etc,. Her 2nd vaccination is this Thursday and then we've got a 2 week wait until she's able to go out and about properly. The Old English Sheepdog puppy next door has been poorly recently with sickness and diarrohea - the vet thinks it could be an airborne virus so I'm being slightly cautious.
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saintbriard
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Great story please keep everyone updated.
Steve and Jenny
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Steve and Jenny and Welcome! Off to the vet's tomorrow for Lola's 2nd Jab - will let you know how she gets on!
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I am pleased to report that Lola was a true star at the vets, no crying with the vaccination at all - just rather nosey and wanting to investigate everything! She made friends with a few cat owners and the receptionists. I got her next worming tablets and flea/tick application so we're ready to rock and roll - she was weighed and came in at 6 and a half kilos!! Can't believe how quickly she is growing - when will she stop Pauline, I'm assuming full height is reached between 9 and 12 months? The only thing we need to get Lola to stop doing is chasing her tail - I appreciate it's an easy game to play but I don't think it's something I want to encourage. We clap our hands to distract her and give her another toy with lots of praise, so hopefully if we're vigiliant we can crack this little habit before long. Going to go walkabout this weekend (Lola will be in my husband's arms) around the local roads just to familiarise her with slightly louder car noise/children/bikes etc. Next door are having an extension built and it has been getting very noisy with drills/saws/nail guns etc, the noise hasn't bothered Lola at all - she just enjoys seeing the builders come and go and having some interaction with them!
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Enjoy your walks! You are right distraction is the key to help stop tail chasing together with more exercise and things to see now she can go out. Full height is reached around 9-10 months but then the skeleton fills out and bone mass increases. The rate of growth is remarkable as my vet says puppies are children on speed!

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well Lola has surprised me - she's just taken her worming tablet from my hand and eaten it! I hope that doesn't change anytime soon! I've also managed to cut her nails twice over the last 4 weeks - cooked chicken titbits have helped distract her but even so I'm really pleased. She's not so keen on me pulling a few hairs out of her ears though - got to still work on that and as for lifting her tail to groom or trim her bottom, well!!! However, I can understand her resistance, not very dignified is it?! Embarassed but I shall persevere, perhaps I may use another pair of hands - son Jack with titbits at the front end may be required!! We are counting down the days until Thursday and our first walk, it will also be our first lesson at puppy training/socialisation class so Lola will be sleeping well that night I think! (and hope!)
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Sharon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Joanne

Great to keep up with Lola's progress. Why did you wait so long before letting her go for a walk? I am guessing it was because of the vaccinations. Do you intend to give her boosters on a regular basis? May I point you in the direction of Canine Health Concerns? They can be found on www.canine-health-concern.org.uk Also have a look at the link below which is under the health forum on the FBC site http://www.briards.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=971

I don't want to sound bullish but I want you to have all the facts so that you can make an informed decisions in the future.

I can't wait for the next installment of Lola's progress.

Sharon
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi there Sharon,

We haven't taken Lola out on the recommendation of our vet who said that we have to wait for 2 weeks after the 2nd vaccine, which will mean we will be 'free' this Thursday. Thank you for the links and suggestions to the other websites, I've just had a quick look and realised that I need longer to digest all that info - very interesting though and thought provoking, something that I may discuss with all the other puppy owners and trainers when we go to puppy class on Thursday evening. Unfortunately there are some strong viruses about here in Portsmouth and I can't help but want to air on the side of caution for Lola - I would never forgive myself if she came down with anything yet and it was my fault!? I do however feel that waiting for 2 weeks after a vaccine is rather too long when socialisation in young puppies is so vital. I shall be flicking back later to the Friendly Briard site to read more on the vaccine topic, a subject encouraging alot of debate which I think, is good for dog owners and dog lovers everywhere. Smile
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We've been having some fun at meal times with Lola this past week. We have made two holes in an empty squash bottle and pushed a chopstick through it, these form your 'handles', you then let your dog see you put treats or food into the bottle and they have to work out how to get them out. At first Lola hit the bottle too hard with her paws and the bottle spun in my hand without anything falling out but suddenly she's sussed it! Very Happy Just a tip with the paw and a gentle nudge with her nose and the food falls out onto the floor Laughing It makes meal times more fun and gets her brain working a bit. I will post a photo on the site to show Lola in action! Razz
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I love the idea of this game! I must try some with Bonita. Laughing

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Nicola Jacobs-Pearce
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi all

I have had dogs all my life but it was not until I got my briards and guidance from the breeder that I started to look at subject of vaccination.

I do not vaccinate every year - they have the initial vaccination followed by a booster at 18 months - then only every other year to the age of 7, as it is considered that a vaccine will last for 10 years. The KC is looking in to the opinion that puppys theses days are born with natural immunity if there is a good history of parents being vaccinated.

With my puppies I have always taken them out as soon as I got them - in a puppy sling not on the ground - the peak learning time for any dog is 6-12 wks before the fear factor kicks in. I believe that the more they experience during this time the more sound they will be. A few times a week my husband takes them to the pub for an hour and lets lots of people cuddle them so they get a good relationship with people. I can say that all my dogs do not have a problem with fireworks or people.

When I have had litters I play classical music to them from the time they are born onwards as I believe that the sudden change in instruments help them deal with sudden noise later in life. Also they go out in the car weekly from three weeks old with mum, just for a quick trip so that when they go to there new homes they have already experienced the car and less to worry about - I can happily say that all my puppies have travelled to there new homes with no problem of sickness or stress (and some have gone as far as Scotland and the Isle of Man from devon).

When a puppy is in a sling they feel your heart beat and as long as you are calm they will responded - it is not good to keep puppies shut away until they are vaccinated - car boots, busy shopping centres are all good training grounds from a puppy sling (including a trip on a bus).
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I thought Lola would sleep well after her first walks on Thursday and puppy training and boy was I right! She was fantastic walking around the roads, getting closer to very noisy traffic - buses and motorbikes whizzed past but she didn't flinch at all. Jack and I then took her to some fields just down the road and she had a great time running and chasing after Jack. The puppy classes scared her at the beginning - possibly due to the dark car park and very loud dogs barking! Lola wasn't impressed at all with all the noisy dogs (I have to say some of them definately need puppy training!) however by the end of 30 minutes she was really concentrating on Jack (who wanted to take charge) and performed her 'sit, down and stand' beautifully - we've just got to get quicker and Lola needs to go 'down' from standing and not just from sitting which is slightly trickier but we're practising and aim to be better by next Thursday! Very Happy
Thank you for your post Nicola - I wish I had seen a puppy sling, that would have been great for Lola who's a bit of a wriggler! Lola has been enjoying lots of car rides (we take Jack to school every morning) and for the past 2 days she has been waiting outside his secondary school for him to come out - she's getting better with crowds of children, although black uniform on these very tall children must seem pretty intimidating for a puppy but she's taking it all in her stride. I'll continue to take Lola to school with Jack and next we're going to go for a walk with next door's Old English Sheepdog puppy - should be interesting! Very Happy
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good to hear about Lola's progress. All in all she has quite a busy life. Well done Jack with the training. Very Happy

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I'm very pleased (and proud) to tell you all that Lola was 'Star Puppy' at Thursday's training class Very Happy She walked and jogged to 'heel' (well kind of!) and went into sit / stand / down, very quickly when asked - in fact the quickest of all the puppies in the class - there are 10 puppies. She has been brilliant. We have also had our first 'woodland walk' in the rain and met loads of dogs and people, no-one could believe how chilled out she was for a 14 week old puppy, Lola is happy to sniff everyone briefly and then carry on sniffing the ground or the dogs. I've had comments from two people now who wondered if she was an German Shepherd / Labrador cross!! Surprised Sad I'm also being told by most other dog walkers how very big Lola will be when fully grown "just look at those big paws" ??!!! I will weigh Lola over the next couple of days and measure her from floor to withers and perhaps we can all compare notes?! Smile
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I find that Bonita is very bright too and responds quickly. She's begining to walk to heel but it is a bit early yet. She weighed 7.4 kg last week. She will be weighed in on the 6 Nov. It's good she's focusing on you and ignoring the other dogs - I hope the noise has reduced! I will look out for a puppy class for Bonita. Their paws have lots of hair and look bigger than they are.

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chava
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Very Happy Chava to has big paws and he is two weeks jonger.I think has somthing to do whit the type of dog he needs strong paws to run arrond the sheep when working.Awre other dogs (schapendoes)also sheepdogs also have big paws as a puppy,buth not as big as the Shocked aires Shocked

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Big Paws are 'in' then! Good! Very Happy Well I weighed Lola last night on our scales and she's a little under 10 kg and from floor to shoulders she's about 40cm - although that's my husband and I doing the weighing and measuring so it is probably not exact! Do we know how heavy and tall Nico or Zetta are? Lola is definately not being overfed - she's very long in the body and just a statuesque, voluptuous female!!?? Embarassed Very Happy
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chava
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

i think you sed she is 14 weeks? Shocked 10 kg is a little bit over not mutch the hight 40 cm is more ore les ok.I have scheme for the other breed we have witch has the same adult eind weigth 20 kg.The scheme says ath 16 weeks 10Kg.The scheme is not a bible but a indication; one dog grows faster than the other, Very Happy one dog becoms bigger thanthe other Wink

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katlan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have just been reading through this forum and found it all very interesting. I found out about the breed from Dr Bruce Fogles Encyclopedia of the dog - a larger version of the dogalog which is like the bible of dog breeds, then found the website and contacted pauline about puppies much the same as Joanna!! My lakeland terrier - Jack from the age of twelve weeks was put through his paces in terms of socialisation. At the time i was an art rep for the south west of england so off we went in the car to see galleries and going to lots of different places. This for me and him was an incredible thing to do as he so quickly became use to so many different environments and so many different people. I still take him everywhere i go, including shopping only he likes to put his feet up on counters in shops which most people fortunately find highly amusing!! I think the more you can do in a calm way with them from an early age gives them a great basis for the future.
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Joanna
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for your reply 'Chava', I think our Lola is just a big girl, I wonder whether she has just been through a really big growth spurt - hopefully the other puppies will catch up and it will all even out in a few months, I have to get a worming tablet from the vets next week so they will weigh her there to get the correct dosage and they will be more accurate than me!! Smile Lola isn't on her full meal quota yet either, she should be having 80grams of kibble per meal but when I increased the amount she gobbled it all up and was promptly sick at every meal for a day - the vet said to increase her food gradually over a few weeks as it was too much for her tummy! She has been having 76grams of kibble for 2 weeks now and I shall try to increase it to 80grams this weekend. I have noticed she's quite often not bothered about food - she'll sniff it and have a few mouthfulls then leave it. If I shred a little cooked chicken breast in the mix she dives in! but I'm then worried that having a small amount of chicken with 76grams of kibble puts her over her allowed calorie limit? Should I leave the small amount of chicken in or out? How many meals should I let her miss? Confused
On another note - I've just been stripping wallpaper from our kitchen and have now got a wallpapered Serra!! She has been totally happy sitting at the bottom of the ladder (chewing the aluminium!?) and getting covered in paper - time for a groom and then a walk I think. Very Happy
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chava
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello,i wouldend be wourried about the chicken if she eats it is ok,whe put in a little bit of Cesar (brand name)in his food evry meal.count the chicken in to the 80gr so your sure se does not get a surplus Laughing Awere breeder told us Shocked Aires Shocked are not big eaters.In Portugal with the shepperds they usually got just a pice of braed with olive oil Confused Wiht dogs it's like with humans some eat mutch en dont get fat others eat a little en get fat.

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Joanna
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well after having a chat to the nutritionist at puppy training I have stopped giving Lola chicken in her kibble - apparently too much protein can give puppies loose motions and as she has a dried and well balanced kibble diet she shouldn't be having too much extra. So I decided to try and cut the chicken out altogether and she's still tucking in so good news so far! (but watch this space!) I would be interested to try Lola with a little tripe Pauline, you said it was Butcher's Tripe - do you mean from your local butcher or the dog food company Butchers? Good news Smile I went to the vet to get another worming tablet for Lola and they weighed her - she's 9.75kg so not quite as heavy as I thought phew! You're still the big boy Nico! As I am typing this Lola is in a heap - she had a good 30 mins playing with a golden retriever this afternoon and is absolutely exhausted, it was a joy to watch her playing and rolling around with another dog, she is really socialising well with other dogs which is great news.
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Lots of good news. It's true about protein, it also can affect bone structure. It's tinned Butcher's tripe but I too have given up on this for all the dogs. Sorry messing about. I suppose even after all these years with dogs it's still hard to accept that dogs are best with no change in their diet and a well balanced high quality (which I know doesn't come cheap) dry kibble. Bonita had been doing well but then developed rather loose motions. Since she's come off it we've returned to normal Poor thing having to put up with me as an owner Embarassed

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