Lovely update sent to me from Amanda for Laika, who turned one years old on the 4th December. Laika is from Ernest and Blottie's litter of ten puppies again.
Laika turned one on Sunday, and I just wanted to send you an update on her, and a few photos. She has really matured of late, and blossomed into a very easy and adaptable little dog who will walk for miles when we’re out, but is calm and well-behaved at home, and a loving companion on the sofa in the evening. She has her little routine: she accompanies me on the school run in the morning (where she is very popular among the children at my daughter’s school!), followed by an hour’s walk on the common near our house. Her recall is super and, although she loves to chase squirrels, mice and crows, she generally sticks quite close to me and I rarely need to put her on the lead except when we’re near livestock or a road. When we get home, she announces her return by running around the garden and barking (but only for a few seconds), before coming in to roll on an old sheepskin rug that my sister gave her. Then she has a crazy few minutes where she streaks along the sofa and around the coffee table several times in great excitement, before settling down for a snooze.
She gets another walk in the evening which, now that that the nights are drawing in, generally takes place after dark, and she seems to love being out at night! On her morning walk, she is like my shadow (apart from when she plays with other dogs or chases squirrels etc), but after dark we find that her behaviour changes and she ranges further away, zig-zagging across the grass (luckily with her white coat, she is easy to see at night!). I’m not sure if there’s a more interesting range of smells at night or whether the darkness seems to awaken some ancient wolfy instincts int her that are usually buried under layers of domestication, but it’s as if she’s a different dog. Her recall is still very good, even at night.
Once she’s home from her evening walk, she turns into a heat-seeking missile and is straight onto the sofa and curling up next to whoever is there. If the sofa is unoccupied, she is most disappointed and comes looking for somebody to join her!
Laika had her first season in October. She was fine and kept herself very clean, and we didn’t notice any major behavioural changes. We tried to walk her away from other dogs, in fields where I could see other dogs when they were still some distance away and avoid them, but some male dogs did manage to approach her and I think she found their attentions a little overwhelming at times. Although she was very good, I hadn’t appreciated how difficult it can be to keep a determined male dog away if his owner isn’t around and there were a few tricky moments. I don’t think either of us want to go through that again, so she is booked in to be spayed in January!
She is still a bit scared of water and especially of having a bath, but she will let me shower her. Having said that, I only ever need to if she’s rolled in something unmentionable – she seems to have a kind of Teflon coat so, although she’s often muddy after a walk, I find that once she’s been towelled down, rolled on her sheepskin and air-dried on the sofa, she is mysteriously all clean again!
She is quite petite at about 7kg, but almost twice the weight of our cat, Bluebell. Nevertheless, the cat definitely has the upper paw and Laika is quite timid around her. Sometimes Bluebell will block her way by sitting in a doorway and staring at Laika, who doesn’t dare pass her at such close quarters and will cry for one of us to rescue her. However, Laika gets her own back when Bluebell is stalking something in the garden – she races over to “help” Bluebell catch it and her unsubtle approach alerts the bird or mouse, which is gone in a flash, and Bluebell is thwarted. Funnily enough, Laika also likes to use a stalking technique when she sees large birds on her walks and will approach slowly and unobtrusively at first, and then uses a sudden burst of speed at the last moment. She has yet to catch anything though.
She’s such a darling and we all love her so much! Thank you for breeding her, Jane.
I hope you and your family are all well and have a wonderful Christmas and a better 2022.
With love from Amanda and family, and Laika x"
Active, sporting, sound little spaniels
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“Humans are aware of very little, it seems to me, the artificial brainy side of life, the worries and bills and the mechanisms of jobs, the doltish psychologies we've placed over our lives like a stencil. A dog keeps his life simple and unadorned.” Brad Watson, Last Days of the Dog-Men: Stories
Welcome to this blog. I am Jane, a hobby breeder, situated in North Devon, England, UK (map at bottom of page ,shows where we are) on a quest to breed a healthier small spaniel similar to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
WE DO NOT EXPORT PUPPIES
Why I don't export
Our breeding dogs are multi generational extensively health tested. With all our breeding stock having recommended and relevant DNA tests for their breed/breeds. We also have breeding stock annually eye examined on the BVA Hereditary Eye Disease Scheme for dogs, MRI scanned on the BVA scheme using the BVA chiari malformation /syringomyelia breeding protocol, and heart examined using The Kennel Club Heart Scheme for Cavalier King Charles breeding protocol