The Bonnie and Angus Journey

9th March 2023

Bonnie, after one missed natural mating, one TCI and one surgical insemination sadly didn’t fall pregnant all over a two year period.

Then as luck would have it she came into she came into season just before Christmas 2022. Armed with the knowledge that Angus truly is a stud, we let them get to it however due to the heat and inexperience poor Angus just wasn’t getting it together and he was tiring himself out. As I did not want Bonnie to miss out on becoming a mum again I intervened.

A progesterone test for Bonnie with our vet Andrea from Wagga Wagga Veterinary Hospital to establish the best days for mating. Now that this was known we booked in two natural Artifical Inseminations (AI) attempts with doctor David Riordan from Holbrook Veterinary Clinic over the Christmas break.

At four weeks we visited the vet again for a scan and quickly realised there was a lot of puppies onboard with an expected due date of 25th to 27th of February 2023. With this many pups on board an X-ray was necessary to establish numbers and eleven puppies were counted.

Whew! I knew I had my work cut out for me with many sleepless nights ahead.

In the early evening on a very hot Tuesday 21st February a very stressed Bonnie was not doing so well and a quick decision lead to an emergency cesarean section with 13 puppies born at 10:30pm that evening. The inital count was seven boys and six girls. Unfortunately one passed at delivery.

A day after they were born we lost a little boy and within two weeks lost two more boys. It’s a sad thing to lose any puppies however focus must always be on the surviving no matter how much it breaks your heart.

Until next time Karen out…

Bonnie with her eleven puppies on day one.
Bonnie with her eleven puppies on day one.

Winter Whelping

Our whelping plans started two years ago with establising essential item in preparation for whelping in any season with our two bitches Bonnie and Boo. Then, finally with a successful surgical AI mating the final touches were put into play. (A huge shout out of thanks and appreciation to Dr David Riordan BVSc and his team at Holbrook Vet Centre)

Our setup was simple, lots and lots of towels, newspaper, pee pads, Lilcracka Whelping blankets, electric blankets, whelping pen, other essentials items and the restructure of our living/dining spaces. Most importantly was having access to an on-call veterinarian to assist if needed, which of course, we did. Forever grateful to Dr Anita, who went above and beyond, Dr Andrea and the dedicated team at Wagga Veterinary Hospital.

While “Boo” thought it would be a good idea to have pups in the middle of winter the reality is that so much more effort is required for puppies to not only survive but thrive in the 0 to -4 degree temperatures.

Armed with the knowledge that our first litter would be during the coldest days/nights, we setup the pen three weeks out from the expected due date and let Boo enjoy the comforts of being inside. During this time we tested the heating of the gas heater and radiant heater to maintain a constant temperature. Not looking forward to the upcoming gas and electricity bills…eek!!! We were set.

The first week, as advised by so many breeders was indeed the hardest. The concern of, have I got the temperature right, along with the lack of sleep put me into hibination until Graeme and I found our rhythm. After the third day I did the early night shift then at 2-3am Graeme took over. Haaaaa sleep!!

The second week after the first was a breeze. Temperature was evenly distributed and the puppies were thriving and Boo was becoming an excellent mum and no more squashing attempts when they cried or squawked…

Even though we lost a pup, not because it was winter, we are so grateful to have been blessed with two gorgeous fur babies, a brindle boy Argos and a fawn girl Ava. Both are thriving and living a great life through the winter months in our home with all the love and support from our family.

Until next time… bless… Karen out

Our First Litter

Pureheartbul Wiggle It Argos and Pureheartbul Danity Lady Ava

I have been planning this, our first litter since Locki came into our lives three years ago. Locki was going to be my stud and my intention was to mate him with Bella and the next bitches (Bonnie and Boo) who supassed her. All that changed when Bella was diagnosed with cancer and within a few weeks of diagnosis she visited doggie heaven.

Our first season with Bonnie was a huge disappointment when we learnt that Locki just didn’t have any semen, so my BIG stunning placid, gentle giant boy became my teddy bear.

Then armed with frozen semen from quality breeders we tried again and again without any luck so on the fifth attempt between the two girls we finally had success and with three little one’s onboard we were excited to welcome them into our world with Boo as their adoring mum.

The challenges of listening to your heart and betterment of what you think is right for your bitch as opposed to the many years of experience of your peers and veterinarians opinions can be somewhat overwhelming. You see, many breeders with years of experience, believe that as I used frozen semen, then I should arrange a c-section on my girl for the delivery of my pups. It was my belief that they should be born naturally.

My dilemma was that Boo already had no understanding that she was made pregnant and waking up to three puppies after a caesarean could be very confusing which might end in Boo rejecting her puppies. So I made the decision with the experienced veterinarian on board to try naturally and then arrange a c-section if required.

On 10th July 2022 we welcomed two little brindle boys born naturally and one fawn girl born by caesarean and unfortunately the biggest brindle male was still born and crossed over the doggy bridge to heaven… bless this little boy.

We were immediately smitten with our two bundles of joy and pertinently called them Pureheartbul Wiggle It Argos and Pureheartbul Dainty Lady Ava. The names were brought about by their characters as Argos just wiggled right on out and hasn’t stopped wiggling since. Ava was first called Apricot however we were watching the movie Ava which was about a strong female character and well this just fit and she is called Dainty Lady Ava, as she is a bull dozer because that’s how her life began.

With nine teats to choose from this dynamic duo, from day one, scramble for the same teat. It is so funny to watch these little gems swabbling over the same nipple.

I am keeping these two as I can breed Ava with Angus and Argos with Bonnie which will give me my next generation of breeding stock. So with a mix of fawns, red and brindle bullmastiffs I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Until next time… Karen out and grateful for what lies ahead at Pure Heart Bullmastiffs.

Featured

Breeding, High’s, Low’s and Challenges

Dogs on my couch
In order from left to right: Boo, Bonnie and Locki

Becoming a Bullmastiff Breeder has been the most exciting and joyous journey that I have done in my working life. For the second time in my life I have a J.O.B. that I love. It is rewarding and challenging in many and various ways and I get to work from home.

Most people, me included, thought that you could get two registered dogs and breed them. Huh! Hmmm!! Well there’s a lot more to it. One has to know, follow and be accountable to the governing state dog regulations. They must become experts in breeding high quality registered dogs and be an effective communicator to dogs and humans alike.

My first challenge came in April 2021 when we attempted to mate Locki with Bonnie and he couldn’t seem to get it sorted. After various testing we missed mating Bonnie and discovered that my boy at two years old had a urinary tract infection and is now most likely sterile. So what do I do with a dog I cannot use as a stud dog, do I keep him or do I re-home him… the emotions are sometimes overwhelming as he is my boy.

As Boo was scheduled to come into season in late June 2021, my next challenge was to find a stud dog to put over her. Knowing Bonnie is very competitive I started to also research for a stud dog for her as well. So, after finding a stud boy for Boo where I would drive to Victoria and do a live AI, COVID-19 started to rear its ugly head again.

I learnt from the first failed mating attempt that I needed a Plan B which was to purchase and arrange transportation of frozen semen to store at my local AI Veterinarian Specialists. Now armed with semen I’m ready for both my girls.

I’m so excited that Boo is now in season with expectations of doing a TCI (AI) next week with puppies in 63 days after impregnation. Bonnie may not be too far away however she in not due until November 2021.

While all this is happening I have been looking to getting a new stud dog, which after some research I have found a beautiful red boy from the same lineage as my Bella. To say I’m excited is an understatement, however COVID-19 has also impacted when he can travel from QLD to NSW. Well today I got the good news and little Angus in on his way.

In the meantime I’ve been introducing Angus to Locki, Bonnie and Boo by placing an extra bowl out at meal times, regularly using his name and letting them know, he is on the way.

More information to follow when he arrives safe and sound.

Featured

Getting A Breeders Prefix

Deciding to become a Bullmastiff dog breeder has brought with it many reward’s and a few challenges.

My best friends have been breeding dogs for what appears to be forever and as long as I’ve known them which is as least 30 years. They work hard, attend many, many shows and make it look so easy. So, two years ago when I first told them that I wanted to breed my beautiful Bullmastiff’s they were so supportive and encouraged me to ensure I get dogs that closely resembles the breed standard.

After some studying of the breed standards and research I purchased Locki from a Victorian breeder and then my two bitches Bonnie and Boo (NSW and Queensland).

Something that my dear friends and other Bullmastiff breeders kept reminding me that this is version one and as long as I aim to better the breed by following breed standards and NSW regulations I would be fine.

So, that in mind I started the breeders course. To become a qualified NSW dog breeder one must have knowledge of the following:

  • NSW Regulations Code of Ethics
  • Canine Anatomy
  • Breeding – care, mating and whelping
  • First Aid
  • Nutrition
  • Dogs and the Law
  • Soundness, balance and gait
  • Genetics
  • Hereditary Diseases
  • Canine Welfare

So after much reading, re-reading and then re-reading over the last 8 months I finally took the plunge, attended the exam with the Supervisor and passed first go…YAY!!! I was ecstatic.

The next step was to arrange an inspector to interview me and inspect my property to ensure it is to Dogs NSW standards. The Inspector came and complimented that our kennel as one of the cleanest, organised and well structured she’d ever seen. We were very humble and grateful for her generous words. We sent the forms to Dogs NSW and I’m very happy that our prefix was granted as PUREHEARTBUL.

Until next time… Karen out…

Cen Oil

My dear friend, Alice suggested an omega oil to enhance my dogs coats. She uses this oil for her horses and has seen amazing results.

She gave me a sample to try, so I did some research and this supplement product is 100% Australian owned and based on the simple principle of “Nature Knows Best”. It is the highest natural plant based Omega 3 oil on the market.

They are based in Queensland and ironically in the suburb over from where I used to live before moving to New South Wales in 2016. You can purchase the product online and they will deliver to your door.

I have been using Cen Oil for Dogs over the past two weeks and I cannot believe the results. My dogs coats are fluffier and their colouring has deepened. It is easy to manage and I administer to them with their nightly food.

As my dogs are of a larger breed, I have just ordered some Cen Active Joint and Hip Support supplement. I highly recommend the Cen Oil and will provide feedback on the Cen Active joint and hip support in the coming weeks.

Until next time… Karen

Morning Sing-Along

Ever since Locki heard Sia’s Chandelier on the radio when we picked him up from the breeder, he has a strange passion for what I call his singing voice (beautiful howling).

Since then I have changed it slightly by saying his name at a high pitch and the fun has continued. Much to our amusement he regularly howls when I call him in this tone. Now that he has his girlfriends, Bonnie and Boo, I believe that he likes to show off his singing talents to impress the girls.

My girls have very different barks. Bonnie has gone from sounding like a wounded bull to the voice of an angel while little Boo’s bark is loud and sharp. This morning the girls decided to join in with Locki’s singing.

Here is a video glimpse of the fun we have when we decide to sing…

Enjoy…

Farewell Bella

Final Resting Place

8th July 2011 to 6th March 2020

After losing our beautiful Bella to Thyroid Carcinoma and stomach Cancer at only 8 3/4 years, we had the dilemma of how to honour our girl.

We buried out last Bullmastiff “Rastus” in a very large hole in sandy soil at our old home in Mackay, R.I.P Rastus. She was gently covered with her towel and red roses.

With Bella being bigger than Rastus and the red clay soil in Wagga Wagga too challenging to dig a hole without the aid of large equipment, we opted for cremation.

So then how do you honour an amazing pet that has followed you through nine house moves across two states? With a massive tree, of course! So my next challenge was to find a nursery who was able to source a large tree and then what type of tree would suit Bella?

The location was arranged for the dog pen and after some internet research we decided on an ornamental tree, Chinese Elm (Todd), the fancy pants version of the Chinese Elm. I then learned that the next street over was lined with the Chinese Elm, an omen indeed that this was the appropriate tree for our girl.

On the day of delivery I was expecting a 4 metre tree, however a 6 metre tree arrived and what a specimen. With some grunting we maneuvered the tree next to the planter box and Graeme and I planted it the following day.

As the tears rolled down, Graeme and I scattered her ashes around her tree and covered her with our rose petals. Our baby girl is now in her final resting place.

R.I.P. our beautiful Bella girl, we love and miss you so much…

Chinese Elm (Todd) tree planted in honour of Bella

Second Dog Show – Henty

8th February 2020

Henty Show was a blast for Locki and I, our first dog show on our own. We arrived early to setup. Learning about the show world is both interesting and confusing at the same time. You have to put yourself out there by meeting new people, asking lots of questions and learning the process very quickly.

Your dogs need to have faith and trust in you and on this day my Locki showed both. He settled into the day a little more relaxed than our first show in Wollongong. Even though the noises of side show alley were new and close, his choice was to stay in the protection of his cage.

It’s easy to forget that Locki is only a puppy at 10 3/4 months of age due to his size. Locki met lots of people who were impressed with how big, gentle and shy he was. He has started to lose some of his shyness which makes me one happy mamma bear.

Finally at approximately 1:30 to 2:00pm it was our turn in the ring and on the walk to the ring we almost had an incident. Locki’s trust in my holding while comforting him was noted by another breeder who later commented on my ability to control Locki in that instance…. feeling blessed.

Then it was Locki’s turn and once again he strutted his stuff by my side and he looks magnificent… so I was told!!! Our stacking training over the last week had paid off when Locki was awarded with a Best of Breed certificate and Best Puppy in Group ribbon against a boxer puppy.

Locki having a big drink after winning Best Puppy in Group

A huge thanks to the judge Mr Russell Britten for his guidance and awarding Locki with 6 points…

Locki receiving Best Puppy in Group Award from Mr Russell Britten
Locki’s Certificate for Best Puppy in Group

Feeling very grateful for my amazing boy… until next show, Gundagai 15th February 2020 here we come….

First Show – Wollongong

Locki and my first show was a three day event in Wollongong over the weekend 31st Jan, 1st and 2nd Feb 2020. At ten and a half months, Locki, a big shy boy with little experience with the outside world, ventured with me to the big smoke.

He travelled in air-conditioned comfort in the back seat of my Cruze, while we stayed at a friends home within an hour or so from the event. This was his first time away from his gals, Bella and Bonnie and he was quite anxious.

As a Bullmastiff we are in Group 6 “Utility” and after locating our show ring we watched until it was our turn. This weekend would give us the experience of six show events which is a big ask for beginners however would provide us with valuable experience. We were both nervous about what the following days would bring.

From the outset Locki had a glimpse at the world of weir and wonderful dogs. They say you can judge a person on how your dog reacts to them, well Locki reacted to everything including little humans and all dogs covered in fluffiness or long hair. As a true guardian he just didn’t like anyone coming within coee of Graeme and I.

We had been practicing to trot at home however I had very little experience of the show stack. So off we went on our first appearance as the only puppy in category 3 (puppy 6-12 months) and as we had trained, we did it…

The judges were amazing, welcomed us as newbies and provided some valuable advice. I was so proud of my boy who was as poked and touched in his mouth and over his body.

Our best results was on day two under the guidance of judge Mr G Vernon who awarded us with:

  1. Dog Challenge
  2. Runner up best of breed
  3. Puppy of breed.

We achieved seven points took out a few ribbons which will be the start of my collection.

So proud of my boy Locki and his first show results…

After this result my dear friend Marg took us by the hand and showed us how to stand. I cannot thank everyone enough who took the time to guide use over the weekend, friends, judges and other Bullmastiff breeders. To you all I will be forever grateful.

Learning to stand under the guidance of Margaret Munro from Chevalove Cavaliers…

We called it quits after the 4th show as my poor Locki was showing signs of heat stress, so we ventured the long haul home. Now back with his gals he is sleeping restfully.

Until our next show in Henty on 8th Feb 2020, Karen Feldbauer….