From first scan to forever homes

An Agria Breeder Club member shares the first weeks with us

breeder1Whether it’s a first litter or you’ve bred puppies for years, there’s something magical about being involved in a dog’s crucial early days. For us in the Agria office, it’s been great to hear about the wide variety of litters our Agria Breeder Club members have been working hard to raise over the past few months.

Lucky for us, one of our lovely breeders kindly sent us weekly updates, pictures and videos of how his gorgeous litter of Cocker Spaniels was doing. To say we eagerly anticipated his emails is quite an understatement! Here’s a recap of how those first weeks went for the lovely Tilly and her puppies…

Weeks 1 & 2 – The start of the journey

It all started back in May, when a positive pregnancy scan showed that first-time mum, Cocker Spaniel, Tilly, was expecting 5-7 puppies in mid-June. Time flew, and soon it was time for whelping. The first puppy was breech, so Tilly needed a little help to start her off, but after this, she was brilliant and delivered the remaining seven all on her own – yes, one more puppy than was predicted.

And in those very first days, aside from a minor tummy upset, Tilly took on the role of new mum like a duck to water! The initial peace didn’t last long, as by week two, all the pups in the litter were firmly finding their feet and moving around a lot more with their eyes starting to open. Tilly’s owner told us, “Mum is doing really well and clearly feeding the puppies well too as they are growing so quickly!”

Over the next few days, Tilly’s owner not only had mum and pups to take care of, he also had the great responsibility of meeting and vetting potential new owners to make sure the puppies found the most perfect new forever families. The puppies received their first dose of worming medication this week.

CaptureWeeks 3 & 4 – Tiny teeth and big personalities
By week three, the puppies all had their eyes open and were thoroughly on the move! Although still very young, each pup was clearly starting to become an individual.
“At four weeks their personalities have really started to shine through; we can see which are going to be the cheeky ones!”

The other major development at this time were the rows of tiny teeth starting to appear – nothing stays the same for long!

Weeks 5 & 6 – The great outdoors
WP_20150724_001week 5_1By the five-week mark, with teeth grown and big appetites, Tilly’s once tiny puppies were throwing themselves into the weaning process with great enthusiasm. Their enormous appetites clearly playing a huge part in helping them to enjoy getting bigger and having more fun together.

“The pups are eating us out of house and home! With only 3 weeks to go until they leave it’s all hands on deck. Their characters are really clear now, and they’ve had their first foray in the outside pen and absolutely love it.”

All the puppies received their second worming dose at five weeks and by this time, they were getting very used to all sorts of household experiences; the sound of the washing machine, visitors, including children, other pets and day to day noises – all crucial in their socialisation into the world.

Week 7 – Barks and bath time
The puppies had grown so much and were truly becoming proper little dogs with proper little barks to match! They were thoroughly enjoying their four solid meals a day, and making the transition from fully wet to fully dry food.
“The first of the puppies will be going to their forever homes soon, so we are busy getting them all prepped. Yesterday, this involved their first bath, which was a pretty harrowing experience, especially with the hairdryer!”

Week 8 – Saying goodbye
Week 8_6And after the whirlwind of the first few weeks, it was soon time for the pups to start joining their new families. Before they left, Tilly’s owner gave them their eight-week worming dose and went online to activate 5 weeks free Agria Pet Insurance policies for them.

This gives new owners the peace of mind of pet insurance from the moment they collect their puppy for five weeks, just in case they become ill or have an accident. And for any of the puppies’ new owners that decide to continue their free policy to lifetime cover with Agria, Tilly’s owner will receive a cash reward.

Tilly’s owner concluded, “We have received updated pictures and messages from the new owners who are all delighted and have said how well the puppies have settled into their new environments, which is great to hear. Their vets have said what great specimens of puppies they are, which makes us very proud and makes all the hard work worth it!
“From start to finish Tilly has been incredible and she now has earned a well-deserved break and some spoiling time.”

Well done Tilly, your human helper and of course all eight stunning little puppies – and thank you for letting us share your experiences!

Would you like us to feature your litter next? Send us a picture or advise when your next litter is due at 

For more information about Agria Breeder Club, how to join and the ABC rewards scheme, please see