This futurity-nominated litter was born 18 August 1997. We'd planned to finish "Janey" (Foxglove Ashburton Ingenue, maj. pts.) before breeding her again, but once we decided we wanted to breed her to CH Lakehill King O' The Road ("Blake"), we knew we had to do it now, since Blake will be 12 years old in November. The litter of four is comprised of two tri bitches, one sable bitch, and one tri male. Pedigree and first photos are below; photos will updated frequently, so check back soon!
Blake-Janey Puppies at Almost Five Weeks
From left to right (in order of birth): #1. tri bitch; #2. sable bitch; #3. tri bitch, #4 tri male
Five weeks is a little too early to evaluate puppies in any substantive way, but we do think this is one of the prettiest litters we've ever had. We love the heads and expressions on these puppies, and we are particularly excited about the tri male (what is it about us and BOYS?). Too early to say much about size, but we are guessing that Puppy #3 (tri bitch) may be too small. Still, if she's on the chart and we like her otherwise, we may grow her out for a bit to see how she does. Sometimes those little ones can fool you. Puppy #1 (the other tri bitch) is "a lot of puppy" at this point. But, again, that doesn't mean much at this age -- particularly when it comes to our bitches, who generally need to be "a lot" at a young age if they are to be "enough" later on.
We continue to evaluate this as one of the prettiest litters we've ever had. In general, fronts and rears are less well angulated than those in the Chandler-Indy litter -- not unexpected. Still, all four puppies move very well in all directions. We are particularly pleased with the rears. Janey is close in the rear, a fault that none of these puppies seem to share. We were told that Blake usually improves rears; this certainly seems to be true as far as this litter goes. We continue to love the heads and expressions on all four puppies. Their dam, Janey, usually passes on her beautiful natural ears, and the ears on these puppies are looking pretty good at this point. Size does not seem to be a major concern right now... but these are Shelties, so we'll be watching and measuring in the coming weeks.
Who would have predicted that we would STILL have all four of these puppies at more than four months of age? I certainly wouldn't have! But, here we are.... Individual photos and evaluations have just been updated (12/28/97), but this also seemed like a good time to stop and look at these puppies as a group once again.
We still think this is one of the prettiest litters we've ever had. The temperaments on these puppies are also outstanding. They are smart, responsive, people-oriented and happy. Taken away from the group for individual outings -- video store, bank, shopping center, feed store, handling classes -- these puppies have approached new situations and new people with curiosity and confidence. Puppy Number One and Puppy Number Two are our happy-go-lucky, silly ones with tails that never stop wagging! Numbers Three and Four are somewhat more serious but equally outgoing and fearless.
In terms of conformation, we see similarities as well as differences. Three of the four puppies seem to be somewhat shorter in body than their dam, Janey, and shorter than any puppies she's produced in the past. Number Two, the sable bitch, seems most like her dam in terms of her bodily proportions. As we said in previous litter evaluations, these puppies are straighter front and rear than the Eli-Penny puppies, which was not unexpected. Although better angulation is to be preferred, with the slightly shorter bodies we've gotten here, somewhat straighter fronts and rears are likely to produce better movement coming and going. We haven't yet had a good chance to evaluate side gait. Within this litter, Number Two (sable bitch) and Number Three (smaller tri bitch) seem to have the most angulation both front and rear. Not surprisingly, these are also the two who appear to have the most neck. All the puppies single-track front and rear and stop four-square.
We expect these puppies to reach their mature heights by seven months or thereabouts. This is relatively early maturation compared to many Sheltie lines, some of which continue to grow until 10 months or a year of age. Puppies of these longer-growing lines typically appear at their most "leggy" and awkward between four and five months of age. In contrast, the puppies in this litter (with the exception of Puppy Number Three) went through their leggiest stage between 11 and 14 weeks. By four months, their current age, their physical proportions are pretty much what they will be as adults -- albeit, covered by significantly less coat! This is the same growth pattern we saw in the Eli-Penny litter, to whom these puppies are closely related. See Eli-Penny Puppies Grow Up.
We love the heads and expressions on these puppies. Heads are lean and smooth and have good planes, sufficient stops, full muzzles and good underjaw. We'd still like a slightly sweeter eye on Number One, but it's improved greatly in the last few months. Size is not a concern for Numbers One and Two. Number Three (tri bitch), originally thought to be at risk of being too small, now looks like she may make 14 inches, maybe a little more. Number Four (tri male) is still bigger than we'd like, but he hasn't taken off on any sudden growth spurts and, in fact, appears to be slowing down.
Well, they're all still here -- all four ended up in-size and look quite finishable. I know... we find it hard to believe, too. We had OFA preliminary evaluations done on the whole litter (and, at the same time, on all three Penny-Eli puppies) and were thrilled to be able to take advantage of the terrific price break OFA gives breeders who send in x-rays of entire litters. A preliminary evaluation for a single puppy costs $20, but OFA will evaluate an entire litter for $30! Good deal, huh? (Oh yeah, and they all passed.)
Puppy Number One (AKA Foxglove Cinnabar Carrera, "Cara") will be leaving this fall to go live with our friend Nola Chock in Hawaii. Nola has finished many champions and has even finished OTCH's (obedience trial championships) on two dogs -- no small feat when you consider the small number of shows held each year in Hawaii! Nola put in her order for a tri bitch before the litter was even born, and we can't think of a better home for this girl. The other three puppies will stay here at Foxglove.
I can't add much to what I said about them as a group at four months (see above). Everything I said about heads, bodies and movement remains the same. And what wonderful temperaments -- some of the nicest puppies we've every had! For details on individual puppies, see the individual evaluations and photos on the following pages.
In an effort to cut download time, each puppy now has his or her own page. Click on individual puppies in the list below to go to those pages, or simply start with Number One and go through the litter in order: