Windy and Babies
In Their New Whelping Box
Just a note before we start our article to thank all of you who have e-mailed, and called to say how much you like the web log, we very much appreciate your comments and support. Feel free to share the address with others. We have had many requests for pictures of mom and dad and will be posting these soon. For now here is a picture of Windy with her brood, she plans to have a beauty treatment before posing for any official photos!
Whelping boxes, their shape, dimensions, construction, strengths and weaknesses are a constant subject of disucssion among dog breeders. The old fashioned boxes of plywood and 2"x4" construction were sturdy all right, you needed two men, a boy and a pony to move them anywhere. Storage was a problem, where do you put the monstrosity in the year or more between litters? Cleaning, well that was another matter entirely since bare plywood is pourous and any other treatment might hurt the puppies, who like human babies put everything in their mouths.
This was followed by the decade of the plastic wading pool which has been favored by many breeders for years and which we have used almost continually. The wading pool has many wonderful features. First, it is lighweight, inexpensive, easy to clean, non-porous, non-toxic, and when whelping puppies it can be spun around for easy access at any angle. The soft sides are flexible enough that a pig rail is not necessary. When we moved to our new home we brought our pool/whelping box with us.
Just a few days before the first possible whelping date said pool was hauled up from the basement for a good cleaning. Disaster! It seems that moving and being left in the cold, plus some age and wear were too much for the trusty pool. Under our cleaning ministrations it simply shattered. Arrgh! We had ten puppies due in two days. It can be appreciated that purchasing a childs wading pool in January in Ohio is not going to happen.
For the first step Ryan came to the rescue. He purchased a circular saw and put together a whelping frame that would last Wendy and the babies until the "new" and "real" and "expensive" whelping box arrived via UPS. The whelping frame was so successful that we have decided to keep it and use it for the first few days of puppyhood. It is simply a 2"x4" frame, with a rail on top. We place it on linoleum flooring covered with one of our quilts used for whelping. This provided a soft bed for mom, and easy access for us to assist her without any high sides in the way.
The "new whelping box" which is white and can be seen in the above picture has also been a success so far. It is made of corrugated plastic, has a rail made of PVC pipe which has worked very well and has an entry door for mom which can be raised by simply adding panels into the slots on either side. It is easy to clean and Windy seems like it's coziness. Can't you tell by the look on her face!
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