How We Estimate Adult Size in Our Mi-Ki Puppies

You may have noticed in our Nursery that we give estimates for what a Mi-Ki puppy is charting to be at maturity. It is helpful for people to know how big their Mi-Ki puppy might end up being as an adult, particularly if they are going to function as an emotional support or medical alert dog that is regularly going to be carried. Or perhaps you have a family with young children or grandchildren visiting where a larger, sturdier Mi-Ki is going to be a better choice.

The best we can do is provide an estimate based on the parents’ size, the history of the pedigree, and use some of the tools that other toy dog breeders use as a guide. We list the parents’ sizes as a reference, but sometimes the puppies surprise us and end up maturing to be smaller or larger than their parents. Sometimes the same two parents can produce a wide range of Mi-Ki sizes within one litter.

The general rule of thumb is to triple the weight of an 8-week-old Mi-Ki and double the weight at 12 weeks.

We use two online resources to chart our Mi-Ki puppies’ sizes. For young puppies under a pound, we start by using a Yorkie Weight Chart originally found on pricelessyorkiepuppy.com, I believe.

Once our Mi-Ki puppies reach a pound, we start using the puppyweights.com online dog size predictor. Unfortunately, they don’t list the Mi-Ki as a breed. For a similar comparison, I use the Maltese as a reference since my Mi-Ki lines tend to have higher percentages of the Maltese breed, according to Embark.

Influences on Mi-Ki Size

There are several factors that can influence a Mi-Ki puppy’s birth weight and eventual size a puppy matures to. These include:

  • Genetics
  • Uterine placement
  • Litter size
  • Health of the mother
  • Environment/lifestyle

Genetics

Genetics are the single most important factor to influence a puppy’s eventual size as an adult. I’m always mystified at the variation in size of mature Mi-Kis from the same litter! I’ve had a litter of two puppies where the male ended up being 3.5 pounds as an adult, and his sister ended up being nearly 9!

It would be nice if dog DNA tests had more accurate estimates for predicting size. On the Embark DNA dog health and trait tests we use to screen our breeding dogs, we’ll often see a Mi-Ki has genetic markers to be small, intermediate, and sometimes even large because multiple genes influence size. It does explain some of the genetic diversity in sizes we’ll see in just one litter, depending on the genes each puppy inherited.

Uterine placement

Some puppies get a nice, plush spot in their mother’s uterus with plenty of available nutrients. These are the largest puppies at birth. It is thought that regardless of multiple mating dates, all puppies are the same gestational age as the eggs are all released at the same time. Very small puppies in a litter may not have had proper placenta formation to nourish the developing puppy or had less desirable uterine placement. These are known as “small-for-gestational-age puppies.”

Sometimes the smallest puppies at birth end up being the biggest dogs as adults and vice versa. This is one of the reasons we track the arc of every puppy’s growth and look for trends to give us a better prediction of how the puppy might end up developing.

Litter size

Some of our bigger Mi-Kis have 5 or even 6 puppies in a litter. With a larger litter, there has been more competition for nutrients both in utero and at the milk bar after birth. For this reason, puppies in larger litters may initially seem to be tracking smaller. Once supplemental foods are added, you can begin to see what a puppy’s true genetic programming is as far as size. This is why some puppies suddenly start trending bigger at around 4 weeks on their weekly size chart estimates.

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A healthy newborn Mi-Ki litter with fairly even-sized puppies.

Conversely, if there are only one or two puppies in a litter, they are going to have less competition for nutrients in the womb and while nursing. This means the puppies may seem larger on their weekly adult weight estimates early on. These puppies look like chubby little seals! They don’t tend to move a lot because they don’t need to. As these puppies get more active at around 4 or 5 weeks of age, their growth may start to stagnate. Once again, you’ll see where the dog’s genetics come in to play.

Genetics is definitely a bigger factor than litter size or uterine placement when influencing a puppy’s size that they will eventually mature to.

Health of the mother dog

We do our very best to make sure our dog moms get the very best care and nutrition. We also make sure they get exercise, sunlight, and regular veterinary checkups. Keeping our dog moms at an optimal weight helps them have a healthy litter.

We use Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate prenatal vitamins as well as Oxy Momma postnatal supplements to ensure our moms are getting the extra support they need during their pregnancy, birth, and lactation.

Because our Mi-Kis have planned births, we are able to influence the health of the litters including making sure the puppies achieve their optimal growth with mothers that have plenty of milk, etc.

In contrast, rescue puppies from mothers of unplanned litters may have smaller puppies that are less healthy. This is one of the reasons it is important to research breeders and support reputable ones.

Environment and lifestyle

Dogs tend to adopt a similar lifestyle as their humans. If your family is sedentary and is centered around snacks and meals, there’s a pretty good chance your Mi-Ki will be heavier.

If your Mi-Ki goes to doggie daycare and maybe plays a little too hard and doesn’t get enough calories, he or she may end up being smaller. Active, young, Mi-Kis need to be watched closely to make sure they are eating regularly (every 4 hours) so they don’t get hypoglycemic.

Making sure your Mi-Ki puppy has a balanced diet, sunlight, fresh water, exercise/playtime, and has minimal parasites will ensure your puppy grows to their genetic potential. This sets the stage for a lifetime of good health.

I have had smaller females I’ve been trying to “fatten up” to be big enough to breed. Despite my attempts to pack on some pounds, I’ve only had moderate success, so genes still have a bigger influence over size than environment and lifestyle.

A few words about “runts”

Sometimes people refer to tiny puppies as “runts,” a term which is often used disparagingly. I’ve had specific requests for a runt from our program either because they are looking for a particularly small “purse pet” or perhaps because they are looking for a discount because the puppy is “weak.” If a puppy has a true health issue causing them to be small, we’re not going to sell it to anyone. We’re responsible for every puppy we create.

Again, if the mothers are well cared for, if a puppy is charting small, it’s often more about the size genetics the puppy inherited than a sign of weakness or ill health. As a 5-foot human who has had every caloric advantage, I can personally attest to the power of genetics!

Mi-Kis naturally come in a wide range of sizes so a puppy that is charting 3.5 – 4 pounds is not usually truly a runt. Smaller Mi-Kis are likely to be just as healthy as a 9-pound Mi-Ki. Smaller Mi-Kis may be more vulnerable to injury and will be more sensitive to veterinary procedures, however, so that is a consideration when selecting your puppy.

No matter what size your Mi-Ki puppy ends up being, we know that you’ll love your new family member. All Mi-Kis are perfectly portable and are ready to fit into your lifestyle as a steadfast companion.

Why Male Mi-Ki Dogs Make Wonderful Pets

This summer, we’ve been blessed with an unusually high number of male Mi-Ki puppies – eight out of nine are boys! Since 55% of our waiting list has indicated they are interested in a female, it won’t be surprising if our only girl is reserved soon.

Many of us would say that males make the best pets. Here’s why you might consider one of our “boys of summer.” Visit our Mi-Ki Puppy Nursery to see if we have any availability.

Females love you. Males are in love with you.

It’s been our experience and has also been expressed repeatedly on various social media pages that males are more likely to be cuddle bugs than females.

Even my very dignified Moses will always be the one to quietly follow me everywhere, whether it’s when I’m cooking in the kitchen or headed to the restroom to “powder my nose.” He’s very devoted. Sometimes he abandons his dignified ways and gives me a full-on face wash, which is always appreciated.

Male dogs are less moody

Males tend to be more happy-go-lucky. They love everyone. They are just so friendly!

Our girl Mi-Kis are also friendly, but they have to be in the mood. Let’s not forget, there is a reason female dogs are called b*tches.

We’ve had folks that have had both male and female Mi-Kis. Of course, they say they wouldn’t play favorites, but if circumstances only allowed for them to have one dog, most would choose their male.

Why people tend to want female dogs

Some people have always had females so that’s what they gravitate towards. There are other reasons people might shy away from male dogs including:

1. Concerns about marking

The main reason males are often overlooked is that people have concerns about males lifting their leg in the house. It’s true that an intact male will feel the need to mark their territory.

If you can find the sweet spot to neuter your male when they’ve attained most of their growth but not developed marking and humping behaviors (at approximately five months) you will likely prevent the marking behaviors from developing.

Keep in mind that both male and female dogs will mark their territories with urine. It’s just a way for dogs to communicate with each other, as weird as a “urine calling card” may sound to us humans.

Marking can be trained out of dogs and generally prevented with age-appropriate neutering.

Should you still be concerned about accidents, male wraps, also known as dog manner bands and belly bands are a great solution. There are disposable versions and washable styles that can be lined with a sanitary napkin to prevent leaks. This is a great idea, especially when visiting other places where your dog may feel the need to mark over other scents. This way, you and your dog will be sure to be invited back!

2. Concerns about wandering

Bred as companion animals, it’s highly uncommon even for intact males to go wandering. Again, many people opt to neuter their pets to prevent the desire for wandering and looking for a mate.

Many European countries will not ever spay or neuter their dogs because they feel it is cruel and unnatural. Yet, these countries are not overrun with unwanted litters.

People take their dogs with them everywhere, and they are not wandering unattended. European dogs seem to be well trained. I think this is a topic for a future article!

3. Fashion

It’s hard to believe, but many wonderful male puppies are passed over in the name of fashion! It’s true. With the humanization of our pets, many of us like to dress up our pets like little children. I know this because I work for BaxterBoo.com where the vast majority of our most popular products are actually dog clothes!

Thankfully, the dog clothing industry has listened and there are more and more fashionable dog clothes and fashion harness options for male dogs. In fact, I know one Mi-Ki breeder, Julie Lancaster, of Off the Cuff Stuff for Pets, who designs made-to-order dog clothing and has really fun designs for males.

Two of our recent chocolate Mi-Ki boys!

Our Mi-Ki boys will win you over!

Several of our best breed advocates and referrals come from people who have brought home one of our boys. I repeatedly hear that “this is the best dog we’ve ever had,” from both male and female owners. But more often than not, it’s the males that make the most zealous converts to our breed, and they’ve encouraged their friends to get a boy from us as well.

Should you be able to come and visit our home (which we encourage) resist the temptation to “check for parts.” Let our puppies’ personalities help you decide which one is right for your family!

Mi-ki Dogs Playing in the Snow

Although the Mi-ki dog breed is small, they still enjoy having big fun in the snow. Our dogs are used to playing outdoors and the wintertime is no exception.

Keep in mind that Mi-kis do tend to collect snowballs on their fur, which can become painful, and it isn’t exactly the best for their coats. We do have a collection of snowsuits from BaxterBoo that they can wear, but they seem to enjoy themselves the most when they’re able to run free and unencumbered.

The great thing about Colorado is that it can be sunny and downright warm with the snow on the ground. There’s nothing like exercise and sun to refresh the spirit for dogs and humans alike. Still, we keep our play sessions fairly brief and rinse off the worst of the snowballs when we come inside. We don’t have any carpet, and a quick mop makes everything fresh again.

As you can see by these photos, the fun we have in the snow far outweighs the inconvenience of dripping dogs and a group grooming session! We’ll just call them “snow baths.”

Moses’ fun snow day

Moses was feeling especially frisky as he’d had his bath in anticipation of getting his anesthesia-free tooth cleaning done. Moses weighs 5.5 pounds and has been paired with both Evie and Rayne for our Spring 2019 Mi-ki litters.

Denaya & Moses
Eden, Moses, and Denaya
Hey, Savannah, you should let Mom give you a bath like she did for me!
Moses and daughter Isabelle
Goofy Baron and Brighton in the background
Face plant in the snow…
Freshly frosted Mi-ki!

Eden

Royal T’s Endearing Eden is out of Savannah and Sinbad. She has just passed all of her health clearances and will be hopefully gracing us with chocolates and potentially smooth-face Mi-ki puppies in the future.

Isabelle

Royal T’s Irresistible Isabelle is growing up! At 4 months and nearly 3 pounds, she’s strong, sweet, brave, and thinks she’s big. We’re looking forward to putting her in the show ring with her perky, showy personality. She’s out of Moses and Truffle.

Brighton

Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton LOVES playing in the snow. Sadly, her fur also gets the most snowballs of everyone. She could care less, though. Brighton is our first “bred by” UKC champion. We hope she’ll have her first litter this summer. She’s out of Moses and Evie.

Baron

Brumby’s Run Baron von Royal T is making his debut as a sire soon. He’s been paired with our chocolate girl Savannah, and we’re hopeful for our first chocolate Mi-kis puppies this March! Baron, Brighton, and Truffle are great buddies, as you can see.

Handsome even with his goofy smile
Truffle and Baron

Savannah

Savannah is expecting the first week of March. Did we mention we could be getting our first chocolates? Yep, we’re very excited! We’re so excited, we don’t even care that she doesn’t care about her crazy hair!

More fun Mi-ki winter shots

Evie
Sinbad
Rayne
Denaya
Moses with his two daughters Brighton and Isabelle
Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle

2019 Airline Pet Policies May Affect Mi-ki Puppy Delivery Options

Many of our Mi-ki puppies are hand delivered to their new homes flying in-cabin with the use of a puppy nanny or one of our family members. Some of our clients opt to pick up their puppies themselves by flying to Denver International Airport.

Thanks to my flight attendant friends, I have been made aware of some airline pet policy changes that are happening across several companies. Some of these changes will affect our ability to deliver a Mi-ki puppy to their new families.

Our chocolate Mi-ki Savannah in her airline-approved Bergan pet carrier from BaxterBoo.com.

United Airlines Pet Policy

The most notable change that will affect puppy transportation is that no puppy under 16 weeks (4 months) of age will be accepted as an in-flight carry-on with United Airlines. This is disappointing for us, as United has been one of our favorite airlines to fly with.

My husband Bill is a Gold Member with United and has enjoyed delivering our puppies at a reduced rate if he happens to be flying into an area for work. This meant that our clients would only have to pay United’s $125 in-cabin pet fee. Unfortunately, this affordable and special delivery service will no longer be available for our customers.

Visit United Airlines for more information on their pet policies.

Delta Airlines Pet Policy

Delta has been cracking down on people abusing the emotional support animal rules and has also modified their pet policy. Pets must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel (within the continental US) and 15 weeks old for most international travel.

Since we don’t release our puppies to their new homes until they are at least 10 weeks old, this policy won’t affect our ability to transport Mi-ki puppies to their new homes.

Visit Delta Airlines for more information on their pet policies.

Major US Airlines In-cabin Puppy Policies

The following chart helps to explain major US airline in-cabin pet policies as of January 2019. Click the link to each airline to review all pet travel policies.

AirlineMinimum Age
(Domestic)
Fee
(one way)
Alaska8 weeks$100
American8 weeks$125
Delta10 weeks$125
JetBlueNot specified$125
FrontierNot specified$75
Southwest8 weeks$95
Spirit8 weeks$110
United16 weeks$125

Keep in mind that airlines typically limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin on each flight, so book your flight early to ensure your Mi-ki puppy can fly. Most airlines allow two puppies per carrier and charge only one pet fee, so if you’re picking up two puppies or going in with a friend for delivery, that is a nice option for savings.

As always, an airline-approved soft-sided pet carrier is included with each Mi-ki puppy from Royal T Mi-kis, even if your puppy isn’t flying!

While most airlines do not require health certificates to fly, some states do. If required, a health certificate is also included with your purchase.

Feel free to contact us to discuss Royal T Mi-kis’ premium puppy delivery services.

Royal T Mi-kis 2018 Recap

A collage of some of our Mi-ki puppies of 2018. So much to be thankful for!

So many beautiful Mi-kis!

2018 started out really strong for us at Royal T Mi-kis. We had three litters in January and kept Eden and Denaya as breeding hopefuls who will be making their debut as moms in 2019. 

We also added two new members to our future chocolate Mi-ki breeding program. The first is Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle – a 4.5-pound solid chocolate female. Truffle earned her UKC Championship for us in July of 2018. 

Jubilee’s Champagne “Truffle!”

We also adopted a chocolate-carrying Mi-ki male with a gorgeous red and white coat.  Baron weighs 5.5 pounds and has a very sweet, loving, quiet personality. 

Brumby’s Run “Baron” von Royal T

New Champions!

2018 also gave Royal T Mi-kis two UKC Champions! First, our very own Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton, and later Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle. We are looking forward to showing our sires and other upcoming juveniles in 2019.

New Friends

We are so blessed to have such wonderful adopters who have also become friends. We love getting updates and following our former puppies on their social media accounts. 

Looking towards 2019

We’re excited for our expanded program in 2019 and anticipate producing our first chocolates and possibly our first smooth-face Mi-kis. We also anticipate moving our homestead to a more rural location to accommodate our breeding program. We will likely have more Mi-ki puppies available around March 2019. Stay tuned for updates!

Breeding Mi-ki Dogs: Not for the faint of heart!

We are so pleased to announce that we have had another litter here at Royal T Mi-kis! The proud parents are Rayne and Moses. You can read more about them on the “Our Dogs” page.

For those of you that prefer to cut to the chase, the good news is that we have two beautiful puppies! The first is a girl we’re calling Felicity after good fortune and happiness. She appears to have her mother’s black and tan saddle pattern with white toes and a white stripe down her chest. She is tiny but vocal! She already looks like she has her mother’s sweet face.

We also have a handsome dark sable boy named Finnegan, which means “little fair one.” Surprisingly, Finn looks just like what his father Moses did when he was a puppy. You’d never guess now that our strawberry blonde stud was ever so dark! The color changes are just one of the fun features of the Mi-ki dog breed. And sweet Finn will likely become his namesake and be a light creamy apricot with dark fringe as he matures.

Now for those of you who appreciate details, here’s why we say that breeding dogs is not easy.

Puppies come when they want to come

This was Rayne’s second delivery and it was nothing like her first. The first was a textbook whelping with the puppies coming at even intervals with few complications other than helping reposition mom’s pelvis to make room for the new life.

According to our dog birthing calculator, Rayne would likely be due today (8-7-2018), and not three days ago, but I also knew that her first suitor was trying to woo her for several days and couldn’t seem to get the job done. Moses came to Rayne’s rescue late in her cycle, and so it wasn’t shocking that she delivered a bit earlier than what the calendar said (basing it on ovulation rather than the date of breeding.)

But it was a little disappointing that Rayne chose to deliver during my brother’s giant going-away party. Dog breeders pretty much have to put their lives on hold around delivery time, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Sorry to miss the event, Jeremy and Barbie! We’ll visit you in Alaska!

Puppies don’t always come easily

Rayne started leaking fluid, and developed the classic bubble of the sac, but no puppy was coming out… for over an hour, then two. We used the wheelbarrow technique to help reposition the puppy in case it was transverse over the canal. After elevating Rayne’s hips higher than her head for several minutes, the sac went away. I was getting pretty nervous and was gloving up to get ready to perform the stuck puppy protocol with lube and a feeding tube. But Rayne finally started pushing and out came a beautiful little female – Felicity!

The next puppy took a very, very long time. I found myself scrolling through the files and entries of the various puppy birthing Facebook community pages I belong to and my Myra Savant Harris dog breeding books. Savant Harris believes we need to trust nature more than we have been, that we’ve lost far too many of our precious dogs to complications with all-too-common C-sections. She says the main key is to watch your female and not the clock. A resting and nurturing mother who is tending her pup(s) is not one that needs to be cut open. Pauses in delivery, even very long ones, are normal.

Uterine inertia or a natural pause in labor and delivery? How to decide? All I know is that Rayne is my treasure, and as long as she wasn’t freaking out, I would try and follow her lead while lifting up prayers. I stayed in my street clothes all night with the emergency clinic on speed dial.

Sometimes there are angels

Early the next morning, Rayne calmly delivered a beautiful stillborn female after resting peacefully through the night. The tiny angel came down folded wrong and judging by her size and the placenta, she may not have survived, regardless of early intervention. It is a difficult thing to face and was our first loss as a kennel. Apparently, 30% of puppies die before, during, or shortly after birth, and we’ve been way ahead of that statistic and are extremely blessed.

Twenty minutes later, a very dark sable boy was delivered, and he is healthy and just so sweet! Finnegan is larger than his sister Felicity, but he’s less demanding. We’ve had to supplement his feedings to keep his weight up, which isn’t uncommon in the first few days with the very tiny breeds. It’s my privilege to stay near these babies and lose sleep for feedings, though now I remember why it’s the young people who have babies!

Though it was heartbreaking to lose a puppy, our beautiful Rayne is whole, healthy and happy with two puppies to tend. It was the right decision. She taught me a lot about patience and trust.

No, breeding and raising puppies is not for the faint of heart. We do it for the love of the breed and to bless others with such wonderful companions.

Hopefully, our next litters will be less complicated. Stay tuned!

 

 

Royal T Mi-kis Featured on the New American Mi-ki Club Site

Savannah_pink-hoodie-1024x851

We were tickled to be asked by the American Mi-ki Club to submit photos of our Mi-kis for their new website which was just relaunched this spring of 2017. The new AMC site is really fantastic and will be a great resource for Mi-ki lovers everywhere.

american-mi-ki-club-logo-web100

Photos of Savannah, our chocolate Mi-ki, are nestled throughout the site as well as some of our puppies from our first litter. In fact, Abby is the first puppy featured on the Long Coat Puppy Gallery!

Abby-teacup2-1024x1024

You’ll really enjoy looking at all the photos in the AMC galleries, and the Mi-ki breed history page is very informative.

When looking through the AMC site, I noticed there is going to be a shop as well! I emailed the president of the club and thanked them for featuring so many of our photos. I then asked, “what will be sold in the shop area?”

That one simple question has now led to me being appointed as the Shop Chairperson. Any suggestions for what a Mi-ki owner would like to buy for themselves or their pups would be appreciated!

How to Host a Mi-ki Puppy Tea Party

mi-ki-puppies-eating-together

Most folks might think it’s funny to host a tea party for puppies, but here at Royal T Mi-kis, we want to instill fine manners into our young charges, so that when they go to their new homes, they know how to behave properly.

Okay, actually, we just thought it would be fun to get out Grandma Snyder’s fine china that we never remember to use. We think she is probably smiling at these cute little pups eating so daintily off the dessert plates and sipping water from her teacups.

Evie’s puppies are nearly seven weeks old, and we know our time with them is running short. It’s one of the hardest parts of having Mi-ki puppies for sale. So we want to celebrate and capture these precious moments while we can. We hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Preparing for a puppy tea party

To create a safe place for the pups to eat and play, we spread a tablecloth over a table without the legs and placed it on the grass. Next, we added the place settings and some silk flowers.

The puppies’ proper lunch today consisted of a mixture of Cocolicious Organic Beef & Turkey grain-free canned food, a smidgen of Nummy Tum-Tum Organic Pumpkin pet food supplement, and Now Puppy grain-free kibble for small breeds.

We decided that saucers would just be something for the puppies to step on and flip the teacups, so we skipped those. Water was the beverage of choice.

Cuteness ensued…

If you’re interested in one of these darling pups, feel free to browse our nursery to see our available Mi-ki puppies.