At first glance, it’s not even apparent that Ziva is a pure bred German Shepherd. She certainly doesn’t look like any of the “calendar” Shepherds people admire. Ziva is big and black and has oversized ears perched on top of a horsey face. There are many adjectives that come to mind when describing her: strong, courageous, sweet, smart , friendly … unfortunately, beautiful is not one of them. At Abby Kennels, she is affectionately called Donkey because she never grew into her enormous ears.
Yet, Ziva just had her third litter of puppies. What makes a good mother? What criteria does a breeder look for when deciding who to breed? Why pick Donkey to breed over the oh-so-beautiful, calendar-pretty Mia?
Abby Kennels holds the highest standards for its breeding program. All of the females and males are first tested for stability and conformation. Hips are checked by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. All dogs in the breeding program have a conformation and working title either in Herding, AKC or Schutzhund. Dogs that have not passed one or more of these stringent tests are not accepted for breeding. The Kennel promotes strong, healthy, vibrant German Shepherds that are secure and stable. Ziva passes every test with flying colors. She is the definition of a loyal companion and working dog with great bone structure.
On Wednesday, January 24, 2013, Ziva gave birth to eight healthy, lively puppies. This is her third litter and if history is any indication of the future, these eight puppies will grow into big, beautiful, sweet dogs. Ziva is a natural mother. She delivers her puppies with minimal assistance. She intently examines each puppy after it is born, cleans it and stimulates it, satisfied only when her baby begins nursing. Our only job is to quietly cheer her and to be on hand in case complications develop.
At the end, after 10 hours of labor, Ziva rests comfortably among her puppies in the whelping box. And when she glances up with her great soulful eyes, she is the most beautiful Shepherd ever.
Watch Ziva’s puppies grow on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AbbyKennels