At Killiebrae Sheepdogs, our primary aim is to produce sensible, trainable, healthy and good-natured dogs who will be fit for purpose.
It is of the utmost importance to us to breed dogs capable of a hard day's work on the fell, in the pens, and on the roads. Our aim is to have tremendous work dogs who also perform well on the trial field. Not every dog will make the cut for trialling, but that is the reality of the situation.
We are also more than happy to place our dogs in active homes where sports like Agility or Obedience are the main focus, or Search and Rescue.
For rearing litters, we have a warm sandstone building that is set aside with individual kennel runs, each equipped with a fresh bed of straw and heat lamp.
We are very strict about who is permitted inside this building, as we want to promote a calm and relaxed environment for the benefit of new mothers and their pups. The radio is always on, allowing dogs to become acclimatised to novel sounds and human voices from the very start.
Rachel is in charge of rearing the puppies. For biosecurity measures, there is a bucket of disinfectant at the entrance to the maternity kennels. Any visitors to the building must wash their footwear in the disinfectant before entering the premises, to minimise possible contamination of the area and any animals residing inside.
Each kennel run is thoroughly disinfected and cleaned before use, and pressure-washed and cleaned once more after the pups move on.
All expectant bitches are fed on CSJ Champ until 3 weeks before their due-date, at which time they are switched on to CSJ Little Champ. A week prior to their projected whelping date, they begin a supplement of minced meat and offal, along with Brewer's Yeast.
Puppies are usually started on solids at roughly 3 weeks of age, beginning with CSJ Little Champ well-soaked in warm water, which we then blend into a liquid, and feed to the pups 2-3x a day, depending on their appetites.
As they grow used to eating food, we offer them soaked kibble with Brewer's Yeast, and a minced meat, offal and bonemeal mash. At the time puppies are ready to join their new homes, they will be on a schedule of two soaked meals a day, and a small afternoon offering of dry CSJ Little Champ.
Puppies will only be allowed to leave and go to their new families beginning at 8 weeks of age; we will not let them go any sooner than that as we feel it is crucial for their social development to spend time with their litter mates and mother.
If a puppy is travelling abroad, it will need to reach the age of 15 weeks before it is cleared to travel, per DEFRA regulations.
They will receive their first set of vaccinations at 8 weeks, a second at 12 weeks as well as their rabies inoculation, then there is a 21-day waiting period before the dog is cleared for international travel. Some countries may differ in their requirements.
Puppies will be ISDS registered (we may or may not have their individual registration card at time of sale depending on the litter's age), microchipped, wormed up to date with Panacur, and insured with Petplan for 4 weeks past collection date if staying in the UK.