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How to care for a newborn puppy litter?

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The puppies are here!! They are so cute, but now what do I do?? Whether a new breeder or an accidental puppy mom, thing just got real. You now have a handful of puppies and you’re really not sure where to begin. How do you care for a newborn litter of American bully puppies?

Let’s go over the basics: Temperature, Cleanliness, and Nutrition.
Temperature is very important. Newborn puppies cannot keep themselves warm. So you  must keep their room at a even 90*. Some people prefer a heating pad, others a space heater in the room, others a heat lamp placed over the puppies whelping box, or habitat.  It is important to keep them warm but not to over bake them either. The perfect temperature is critical in your puppies survival. Too warm can lead to your puppies dehydrating and inevitably death. If you decide on a heating pad method, make sure it is set to LOW and covered with a towel. This will provide a comfortable temperature.  The important part is to not toast the entire area. Give them the option to waddle closer, or away from the heat source as their bodies need, within their new home.

Immune systems are non existent at this point. The smallest germ can kill your babies. Keep them separated from all other pets in the household (except the mom).I know your first instinct is to show the puppies to every person that comes in your house, because they are just that cute. DONT! No one should be around the puppies at all until they have at least done their first set of vaccines. When personally handling your puppies it is important to wear latex gloves which you will dispose of after each wear. That way you know your hands are clean and free or bacteria that could potentially pass along to the puppies. Also, whether you are keeping them in a whelping box, a laundry basket, or a baby pool, their area needs to be kept immaculate!  The mother will stimulate the puppies to go by licking them and will most likely eat the excrement, so your cleaning of puppy droppings in the beginning will be minimal. However, the mother is expelling and discharging, and this will need to be kept off the puppies. If you are using blankets, wee wee pads, or newspaper, it will need to be changed frequently (multiple times a day) and you will want to wipe down the mothers privates with a warm wet towel to keep her fresh as well to avoid infection.  As the puppies get older and go on their own, you will have a constant job of changing their box or habitat to keep it clean, because as babies, all they do is eat, sleep, and poop.

If you have an absent mother or neglectful mother, you will need to make your puppies go. At a young age they cannot do this on their own.  The easiest method to induce a pee or poop, is to gently rub a warm damp towel over their privates, it will feel just like the mothers tongue and will allow the sensation to make them go. You do not want to use cold water or a soaking wet towel. The goal is to leave the area dry and warm, because as already stated, body temperature is critical!

There is a large variation in the size of American Bully puppies and other breeds so I can not tell you the puppies should weigh ‘X’ amount on each week. But it is important to keep track of each puppies weight every single day for the first few weeks. You want to see a gain in weight every single day, even if its an ounce. If your puppy is losing weight or stuck on the same weight for several days, their food intake is lower then should be and you need to pay close attention to this. If they are nursing on mom, then you may find that one puppy is not getting enough nipple time, due to stronger more aggressive eaters in the litter. If you are bottle feeding then you simply aren’t feeding enough. Speaking of feeding, if your mom is nursing her pups and they are steadily gaining, you have a slightly easier whelping job on your hands. This is not the case in all puppies. For one reason or another, the mother may have no interest in taking care of her puppies, or the mother may be absent from the equation all together, and you are now the surrogate mother of all these tiny fur-balls. If bottle feeding is the route you go, any old milk will not due. Cows milk, or the milk humans drink is NOT good for puppies. Your options for a milk substitute are GOATS MILK, or pre-prepared puppy formulas, such as Esbilac.  Esbilac is pricey but a very good product. Many people will choose the powdered version (just add water) over the liquid, canned, ready to go version because of the cost. This is totally OK! It isn’t any less of a product, however make sure to purchase distilled water for the mixture, and DO NOT use tap water. Tap water contains bacteria that could make your puppies sick.

Now you know what to feed, but WHEN do you feed? For about the first 3 weeks of your puppies existence they will need to be fed every 2-3 hours. Yes, it is a full time job. If the mom is caring for them, they will crawl to her on a consistent basis for food whenever they are hungry, which will basically be every time they are awake. If you are controlling their food then you are on a 2-3 hour clock between each meal. (TIP: for bottle fed babies, buy a brand like PLAYTEX as your bottle, avoid the bottles made for pets they are of lesser quality, don’t provide the right amount of milk, and the puppies never take to the shape of the nipple and feeding will be much more difficult then it needs to be).

Time for a break!
Your puppies are 3 weeks old and your sleep deprevation is crazy! Well your life is about to get a littler easier, at this point you can begin to space out your feeding times a little more, You can now feed every 4 hours, and believe me that 1 hour extra of sleep is well deserved! By the 4th week your puppy can begin to eat out of a bowl on their own. Once this is happening you will slowly want to introduce a puppy cereal to their milk to make it thicker, and fill their stomachs better, which will lead to longer times of feeling full and once again lengthen the times needed between feedings.

At about the 6th week, you can start adding in Kibble to their milk, soak the kibble for a decent amount of time before you allow the puppy to eat, that way it is soft and easy to swallow. How much of this should you be feeding?  At this point you cannot overfeed the puppy. Since it is eating on its own it will stop when it feels full.

The puppies are 8 weeks now and there is no longer a need for milk of any kind. Your puppy should be solely on kibble or if you are feeding raw, then strictly on raw. Plus don’t forget a fresh bowl of water! The puppies will be pretty much walking and running! Most likely they are still confined to a small area which is OK. But at this point you will need to start allowing them to get regular exercise. Most people will allow them to roam a closed off area like a kitchen or bathroom. Learning how to move and jumping and playing is crucial to a healthy puppy.

Socialization Time!
Puppies should be handled daily, given love, attention, and petting. Pre-shots and vaccines remember to wear your gloves. Post shots and still young, just wash your hands with a gentle soap and water. You have gotten them this far, no reason to chance getting them sick, take the few seconds and just wash up before handling.  If at all possible from weeks 6-8, it is important to allow your puppies to interact with an adult dog of good disposition. This will help teach them to abide by rules and learn how to be a good dog. Keeping the puppy with their mother and littermates should be done until they are 8 weeks old, to instill a sense of comfort and security.

I have written a separate blog on a vaccine schedules. Following a vaccine schedule is very important to ensuring a healthy puppy. Please make sure to read our blog on the correct ages, and age appropriate vaccinations for your puppies. http://bullygirlmagazine.com/when-is-my-puppy-due-for-what-vaccine/.
Good luck with your new litter. Whenever in doubt always ASK questions to fellow breeders, and your vet. No question is a stupid question if you are not 100% sure of the answer, little lives depend on you getting it right.

CO-Owner of Bully Girl Magazine, LLC, Jennifer Carter has been part of the Bully Girl brand since day one. She is also one of our Senior Writers, as well as head of Social Media for the Bully Girl Brand.

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What is an Exotic Bully? | Opinions from Breeders in the Bully Community

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Exotic Bully

First, let us start off by stating that Bully Girl Magazine loves all breeds. With that said, there has been a lot of controversy over the past few years about a new breed of dog. The Exotic Bully. Those who brought this breed about and the many who have followed, love the Exotic Bully Breed. However, there are also many who despise this new breed, and feel that it is an unhealthy representation. Once more, there are a great deal of people who don’t even know what an Exotic Bully is.

Bully Girl Magazine looks to shed some light on this new Exotic Bully Movement. We have decided to get opinions from bully dog breeders, as well other bully community members around the world. We simply asked all these people the same two questions:

In your own words, what is an Exotic Bully?
What is your opinion on the new Exotic Bully Breed Movement?

The responses we received were interesting. The Exotic Bully is definitely a controversial topic on a global scale. Read the responses below and let us know what you think about the Exotic Bully Breed and Movement in our comments section.

Jacobi Guyton – The Bully Kingdom (Texas)

“Hmmmm, to me an exotic bully is exactly like the name exotic! Something special that you don’t see too often. My perfect exotic bull would be short and clean, with a slight bow on the front. It would have a full tail, and be very functional.”
“Since there is no standard for the exotic class. I feel that there are too many experiments out there. However, I have also seen some dope ass exotics bulls out there too. D1 Kennels does a great job in that class!”

Tim Levi – Elite Bully Kennels (Florida)

“Exotics in our opinion are Bullies that have been bred to the extreme by pushing the envelope of the breed standard.”
“Although we prefer pockets and standard American Bullies, we have friends that own everything from exotics to XL’s. To each his own. Who are we to judge? After all, this breed was founded on pushing the limits, since it’s inception.”

Orlando Ortiz – Hammerhead Bullies (Texas)

“An exotic bully is a smaller compact Bully with bulldog features.”
“The exotic bully breed movement is nice if it’s bred right. If you scatter too much blood around it can get messy.”

Jessica Wade – Unleashed Kennels (Georgia)

“You know, I have a few friends that breed Exotics and to each their own. They aren’t my preferred style of dog. But I have to say, I have seen some clean correct ones lately. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s an over-exaggerated style of features on a smaller, more compact dog.”
“I have no problem with it when done correctly. A functional dog should be the result. When the quality of life for these dogs gets compromised,  I get upset. Dogs should not die at an early age due to health related issues.”

Carlos Hernandez – Pound4Pound Bullys (Connecticut)

“In my opinion an Exotic Bully is simply the look of the dog. Certain features in the dog make it exotic, not just the bloodlines.”
“I have no problems with the exotic breed as that is what I am currently breeding. I definitely enjoy having exotics. The designer looks they carry as well as their temperaments is something I love.”

Brandon Johnson – Triple J Bullies (Louisiana)

“An exotic bully is a man’s best friend!”
“I love it. I can see things changing. A lot of folks are becoming aware of the breed, and we’re here to make a mark.”

Haile Selassie – H.D. Bullyz (Pennsylvania)

“An exotic to me is something that is not ordinary, or is different than the usual.”
“I feel there is room for all likings. Hopefully, with more time we will see more improvement in the breed.”

From what we can gather, the Exotic Bully Breed is a new designer breed. When bred right you will have an exotic looking bully that will still be functional. When bred wrong, it can lead to various health issues, which can shorten the life span of the dog. Everyone has different opinions when asked about the exotic bully. What are your opinions on the Exotic Bully Breed movement? Leave a comment below and share opinion on this topic.

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Bull Terrier: Origin, Stereotypes, Temperament

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The Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers are a type of terrier that are best known for their outwardly sloped “egg” faces. For many people, the most recognizable Bull Terrier is Spot, the Target mascot. We will discuss the Bull Terrier’s origins, stereotypes, and the reasons that this breed makes a wonderful companion.

The Origin of the Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers have a long history, dating back to the early 1800’s in England. Initially, “Bull and Terrier” breeds had two purposes: for vermin control, and for participation in popular blood sports of the day. The original Bull and Terrier breeds were based on Old English Bulldogs (a now-extinct breed) and Old English Terriers. Since the exact lineage of these dogs is unknown, it is probable that other terrier breeds were represented as well.

As a group of dogs, Bull and Terrier breeds were intended to have the speed and agility of the more lightly built terriers, but the tenacity of the Bulldog. The goal was to create an animal that would perform well in combat situations. This was required for animals used in blood sports. Sadly, many of these dogs were bred for fighting bulls and bears for entertainment, which necessitated a strong-willed, fearless animal that had both strength and speed.

Despite the value of a bulldog / terrier cross during the evolution of the Bull Terrier, little was done to preserve the ancestry of this dog. No breed standards existed until the mid-1900’s, and breeding was solely based on performance measures, as opposed to the dog’s appearance. Eventually, Bull and Terrier breeds were divided into two groups: Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The latter of which was smaller and easier to handle than the former.

The 1850’s

In the mid-1850’s, James Hinks began breeding Bull and Terrier type dogs to the now-extinct English White Terrier. His intention was to create an animal with a cleaner appearance, better legs, and a nicer head than standard terriers. In 1862, he entered a dog named “Puss” into the Bull Terrier Class in a Chelsea dog show. Puss was immediately popular, and thus “Hinks Breed,” also known as “The White Cavalier,” was born. Over time, what is now known as the Bull Terrier was bred with Dalmatian, Whippet, Spanish Pointer, Borzoi, and Rough Collie to create the dog as we know it today. The first modern Bull Terrier, named “Lord Gladiator,” was recognized in 1917.

Although Tom Hinks set out to create an all-white dog, there are many health problems associated with all-white coloring, including deafness. In 1936, the AKC began recognizing colored Bull Terriers, with brindle being the preferred coloring today.

Bull Terrier Stereotypes

Bull Terriers are not commonly considered a fighting breed. However, to the uninformed they suffer from many of the same stereotypes as other bully breeds. Indeed, the blanket term “pit bull” commonly includes Bull Terriers.
One of the top stereotypes of this breed is that it is vicious, which could not be further from the truth. In fact, part of the breed standard for the Bull Terrier is a “gentleman” temperament.

Another common stereotype of pit bull-type dogs is that they have locking jaws, which will latch onto humans, dogs, or other animals and never let go. Again, this stereotype has been proven time and again to be merely a myth.

Bull Terriers are also unfairly assumed to be poor candidates for living with children and other pets. It is true that some terriers are inherently dog-aggressive. However, the Bull Terrier is well known for its ability to get along well with other animals, especially when properly socialized. Similarly, Bull Terriers are widely considered one of the top breeds for children, due to their fun-loving nature.

While people commonly assume that all forms of pit bulls have been bred for fighting, this is simply not true. Indeed, James Hinks’ original Bull Terrier was not intended for the fighting ring, and instead as a “gentleman’s companion.”

Bull Terriers as Companions

What makes Bull Terriers great dogs and companions? The typical Bull Terrier personality should be charming, mischievous, and playful, which is why this dog is revered by many. Part of the reason this breed was initially called the “White Cavalier” is because of the level of chivalry a Bull Terrier is supposed to possess. For instance, this dog should never start a fight, but should be courageous enough to finish one.

Additionally, the Bull Terrier socializes well with both humans and other animals. Indeed, according to a poll conducted by the American Kennel Club, 94% of Bull Terrier owners say this breed is good with children. In addition, 84% of owners say this breed is good with other dogs. Since the Bull Terrier was never intended to be a pit-fighter, few Bull Terriers display inherent dog-aggression.

For many dog owners, Bull Terriers are ideal because they can be very independent dogs. They have an even temperament and accept discipline well. At times they can be stubborn, which makes them better for experienced dog owners; however, they are extremely people-oriented pets. As with any dog, socialization is necessary for ensuring they get along well with unfamiliar people and animals. In terms of temperament, a 2008 German study showed that the Bull Terrier most closely matches that of the Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever is widely regarded as one of the most family-friendly canine companions.

The Standard Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is a short, dense dog that weighs 55 – 65 lbs. Shorter in stature than a typical pit bull, these dogs make great companions for people who prefer a smaller dog. Miniature Bull Terriers also exist. They stand only 14’’ tall at the shoulder, and are approximately half the height of the Standard Bull Terrier. The average lifespan of this breed is 10 – 14 years, which typical for a dog of this size. Bull Terriers do not require extensive grooming, due to their short, rough coat.
Ultimately, the Bull Terrier is an older breed with origins in England. Bull Terriers are unfairly stereotyped, like all “pit bulls”. At the end of the day, they make fantastic companions due to their friendly and loving nature.

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Ruff House Rescue | Millions of Adobtable Pets are sitting in Shelters

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Ruff House Rescue

Ruff House Rescue saves homeless pets from kill shelters here, and across the country. Animal rescue has become a necessity because euthanasia is the primary solution. Shelters (funded by your tax dollars) have been put in place to solve the homeless pet problem. Without rescues like Ruff House, countless more would perish in the shelter system, which euthanizes healthy, adoptable pets every day.

Ruff House Rescue pulls hundreds of animals every year from these shelters and finds these pets the loving homes they deserve. Ruff House is comprised of dedicated volunteers, who give their time and their love to help save so many. Once having been rescued by us from a shelter, each pet is vaccinated, altered and micro-chipped. They are loved and cared for until they find a home to call their own. This could take a day or a year. No adoptable animal is euthanized.

Bully Girl Magazine had a chance to sit down with the president and founder Diane Indelicato for an exclusive interview, to let her explain what Ruff House Rescue is all about. Here is what she had to say:

Tell our readers about Ruff House Rescue, and how it all began.

Ruff House Rescue started in 2009. We’re a 501c 3 organization. There has always been a tremendous need for rescue, especially for the bully breed. We started pulling pit bull breeds and other breeds from the Manhattan and Brooklyn shelters, and rehoming them. We have foster homes for our dogs, and we have our own facility here in Freeport, NY on the nautical mile. Our dogs are spayed, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before they go to a new home. Adopters must be approved before any dog is sent home. We’ve rescued and found new forever homes for a lot of dogs since our inception.

Do you focus on mostly rescuing bully breeds, or do you rescue all dog breeds?

We rescue all types of dogs. A lot of people are confused with what dog rescue actually means. While we encourage dog adoption, we do understand that bully breed dogs aren’t for everybody, so we do rescue and find homes for all types of dogs. People are very open to adopting, so we want them to understand know that there are all types of dogs to adopt, and that rescuing doesn’t pertain to any one breed of dog. They can come in and meet all of the different breeds that we have rescued, and see which is the perfect fit for their family.

Explain to our readers, why it is so important to spay or neuter their pets.

Rescuing is not just all about adopting out dogs to new homes. It’s also about educating people to help them understand why they need to spay and neuter their pets. The main reason is because millions of beautiful, adoptable pets around the world are sitting in shelters, and are euthanized daily. I don’t think there is enough awareness. I think people need to get involved, and make a difference. Adopting might not be as convenient as going to a puppy store or breeder, but for every puppy or dog that you are buying a shelter dog is being euthanized somewhere. So we just want people to be educated and aware of what is going on.

What would be the best way for someone who is looking to adopt, to get in touch with Ruff House Rescue?

To adopt a puppy or dog from our facility, please visit our website at www.ruffhouserescue.org. You can also email us at [email protected], or you can visit our facebook page at facebook.com/ruffhouserescueny.

 

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