D: LabPups2013

Labs have been a part of my life since I grew up.

I was named after my Aunt Dot, who became a champion breeder of Labrador Retrievers in the 60s and 70s. She wrote one of the first definitive books about them – The Labrador Retriever by Dorothy Howe. Her “Rupert Kennel” was legendary and, since 1994, I’ve sought to honor her mantle by maintaining the highest quality breeding standards in the most responsible and ethical manner.

These pups are ready to go home mid-August. If you are interested in reserving a pup or have questions, please contact me at dotbatch@comcast.net or call 978-283-6046.

Click on image thumbnails to see a larger photo or video in a new window.

The Puppy-Cam is up and running!!!  Our Gloucester Quilter webcam of Gloucester Harbor has been moved to steam the puppies LIVE!  They are out of the whelping box and have free reign of the puppy room.  We will be taking them outside in the shade during the day. They are usually awake around 6am and we let the room go dark around 9pm. Check back often Click on the image to go to the webcam or select Puppy Webcam from the navigation bar. Best times to watch are 7a-11a and 6p-9p.


July 31. Puppy head shots! They are seven weeks today! We paint their tails different colors to tell them apart so some we call by their new names and some we call by their tail color.


“Blue Tail” or “Scooter” (Male)


“Green Tail” (Male)


“Red Tail” (Male)

IMG_0299“Molly” (Female)


“Zulu” (Female)


“Daisey” (Female)


“Cooper” (Male)

July 29. The puppies are learning how to go up and down stairs. They love hopping off the bottom. This 16 second video shows how much fun they have.


July 27. The puppies are having a blast outside. They just love running fast in any direction.  Since they also love to follow me, I decided to record a 20-yard puppy sprint. Look to see who comes in first and who decided to join the race at the last second. Click image to view :23 sec video.


July 23. We have rearranged the puppy room so that the crate is at the doorway entrance. This set-up helps the pups spend more time in the crate at night AND it helps keep Stella out (she still wants to nurse and clean up after the pups). I like to call them “puppy prisoners” and the other photo shows you what the new configuration really looks like.



July 21. We are now feeding the puppies three-times a day but Stella is having a hard time weaning them. She snuck in for one more feed. They are getting so big it is “standing room only.” Click image to watch :47 sec video.


Here is video of the puppies right after Stella stopped nursing them in the above clip. They are kinda confused and very cute, as always. Also, after they eat, there is a lot of “eliminating.”  Food in means waste needs to go out to make room. Luckily they know to go to the back door and “do their business” on the towel…or they do most of the time.


July 19. It seems that most people are watching the PuppyCam but I thought people might be wondering what happens when the “puppies outside” sign is displayed. We are in the 5th day of a heat wave and the room doesn’t have much ventilation. I took this video to show you how we keep them outside and how we keep them cool. Click image to watch 1:04min video.


July 9. Puppy mosh pit. People ask if the puppies miss Stella when they go home. No. They miss sleeping in a pile with their litter. Compare it to this picture taken nearly a month ago. My! How they have grown!


July 8. The puppies are getting much more active and playful. This video shows their romper room. Click image to watch 1:12 minute video.


July 7. It’s only a matter of time…they are very close to getting out of the whelping box.


July 6. This :12 second video shows that even little puppies have tickle spots. Click image to view video.


July 5. I have a soft spot for pups who sleep upside down. First off, they are very silly and equally cute. More importantly, when a pup will lie upside down, it is the first indication that they have a more submissive nature. Then again, it’s been in the 90s and these little guys have to find a way to cool off!

UpsideDown1_july4 UpsideDown2_july4

July 3. They are 3 weeks old! The yellow girl was playing “peek-a-boo” with me. She is very cute!


July 1. The puppies are starting to learn how to play.  Stella was out on a walk and they were very confused. Chester sniffing around the whelping box didn’t help either. Click on image to watch 1:17min video.


June 29.  Is there black-white tension in the litter? Is this a sign of puppy self-segregation? I don’t know but I found the litter sleeping like this last night and it made me laugh. FYI: They were not arranged.


{whew} Puppy integration took effect today. Lots of cuddles and coos coming from them. All is right with the world again.


June 28.  I took this video of the pups nursing so you could get an idea of how competitive it can get. They are only going to get more aggressive as the get bigger because they will be both stronger and hungrier. I showed it to a friend who commented, “They looks like piano keys.” I laughed. Yellow Male is on the left and Yellow Female on the right. It is hard to tell the blacks apart. Click image to view 1:10min video.


June 27. Always let sleeping puppies lay.  They always sleep together, unless it is too hot. And today their eyes started opening!


June 25. This yellow male is 2 weeks old today. He is so big I have to hold him with two hands! He is going to be gorgeous!


June 24. This video shows the two-week old puppies learning how to walk. Their eyes should be opening soon. I took this on a very hot day and Stella was quite restless. Chester (our choc male) makes a small appearance.  Click image to view 1:12min video.


June 17. The puppies are back to their playful self. I took this picture Sunday afternoon. This silly guy laid upside down like that for 15-minutes.


June 15. A New Normal. We have had a difficult few days as we regret to report that two male pups have passed – a yellow and a small black (he was probably the last one born). I had worried with such a large litter and a long delivery that some would just not make it. I really don’t know what happened to cause their distress other than each pup became lethargic and did not want to suckle much at all. I have had this happen with previous litters and realize, in with talking to other breeders,  it is not uncommon to lose a pup or two. For you reading this blog I am relieved it happened early in the process as they were not strong enough to even last 2 days.

Stella comforting a sick pup under her chin.

Stella comforting a sick pup under her chin.

I would also like to add that when the litter feeds it’s quite a competition. If you cannot hold on to your tap, or find one fast, it’s going to be hard to keep up, let alone survive. The big ones get bigger and the smaller ones fight on. For these two it was a downward spiral over the course of a day. Stella did her best to tend to them, licking and keeping them warm but there was little else she could do. In the final stages, Stella let each go and focused more on those present who are very healthy and hungry.

June 13, 2013: We have 9 pups total!!  4 Black Males, 2 Yellow Males; 2 Black Female, 1 Yellow Female. All healthy and good. I  made a short video of them sleeping this evening. They are unusually quiet and still. Typically there’s a lot of vocalization – yip, whines, hungry grunts. But they love to sleep on top of each other on the heating pad. Stella was eating dinner when this was taken. CLICK image to watch 1:01 video file on vimeo.com


June 12, 2013: Puppies have arrived!

Pups2013Day1Stella’s water broke late last night and the first pup was delivered a 5:30 am.  This photo was taken about an hour after the last pup was bonr. Can you tell which one? There might be more coming. We don’t know but we’ll keep you posted. Click image to see larger view.

June 10, 2013
: Stella is very pregnant and isn’t due for another 5+ days. She can no longer sleep under my bed or turn around in close spaces.

StellaPregnant2013 StellaPregnant2013_2


8 thoughts on “D: LabPups2013

    • Hi Ryan,
      Stella is definitely pregnant, however we don’t know how many pups, what color or gender. We won’t know all this until delivery, we are expecting around June 15.
      Hope Roxie is doing well!

  1. I’m so happy to see the babies have arrived! They are all so cute. I’m glad that I don’t need to select one this year, I’d never be able to take just one! Stella is such a beautiful and loving Mom. I’m happy to hear they are all healthy and doing well.
    Wrigley’s Mom

  2. I am so sorry Dot to hear about the 2 pups, our Jetty who passed away at the age of 2 will be taking care of Stella’s babies in doggy heaven, don’t worry!

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