Thandi with last years litter of newborn puppies
We are very excited at the moment as we listened for heartbeats in Thandis abdomen yesterday and we are sure there are puppies! It is very hard to estimate numbers as they are going so fast, but it seems that we are indeed expecting puppies. Thandi has whelped earlier than expected in the past, but we are working on the middle of July.
Livestock Guardian puppies are an exercise in self-control as they need to bond with livestock rather than with people, so we keep our handling of them to a minimum. They are handled to check their health and development, but we do not engage them in play. Puppies that have been excessively handled before being placed struggle more to adapt to life in the kraal, and are more likely to develop behaviours not conducive to successful work as Livestock Guardians. In South Africa, the farming systems are usually very extensive, and we rely on dogs that can often work independently of people, and this is an important selection criteria in our breeding.