Swiss Cheese Litter
Swiss Cheese Puppies
Swiss Chinooks 'Zorro'
Swiss Cheese Name: Tomme Vaudoise
Birth Weight: 365g (12.86 ounces)
Zorro (aka "Gentil Zorro", originally named Tommi) was initially named after the Swiss cheese, Tomme Vaudoise. This is a soft cheese with a flowery rind typical from the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It is said to have originated in the 17th century in the alpine chalets bordering Lac de Joux in the Jura region of Vaud, before moving down to the plains in the cantons of Vaud and Geneva. It is made from cow's milk and has a typical taste and a soft centre.
Swiss Chinooks 'Sierra'
Swiss Cheese Name: Luzerner
Birth Weight: 340g (11.99oz)
Sierra (aka Eeey Sierra, Sierra Montaña, Monti Sierra) was initially named Luzi from Luzerner (Rahmkäse) cheese, which is a popular, semi-hard cheese made from pasteurised milk and cream from the Lucerne region, taking 5 to 6 weeks to mature. It is delicately creamy, mildly aromatic, has a slightly acidic aftertaste and is naturally lactose-free. It is typically used in Swiss cuisine to make traditional Älplermagronen (a Swiss ‘macaroni and cheese’ dish), which gets its name from a combination of ‘Älpler’, a term for alpine dairymen, and ‘magronen’, which is a loanword from the Italian word 'maccheroni'. Älplermagronen are now regarded as a traditional Swiss alpine dairyman's dish. In fact, pasta only arrived in the Central Alps when the Gotthard tunnel was built and the Italian workers brought their usual pasta with them, which soon became naturalised.
Swiss Chinooks 'Willy'
Swiss Cheese Name: Appenzeller
Birth Weight: 288g (10.16oz)
Willy (aka Willytongo) was initially named Appi from the Appenzeller cheese, which has a documented history of at least 700 years. It is a hard, cow's-milk, Alpine cheese produced in the Appenzellerland region of northeast Switzerland. A herbal brine, sometimes incorporating wine or cider, is applied to the wheels of cheese while they cure, which flavors and preserves the cheese while promoting the formation of a rind. The cheese is straw-colored, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell and a nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy, depending on how long it is aged.
Swiss Chinooks 'Lila'
Swiss Cheese Name: Emmentaler
Birth Weight: 314g (11.08oz)
Lila (aka Violetta) was initially named Emmi to represent Emmentaler cheese which is a yellow, medium-hard cheese that originated in the area around Emmental, in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is classified as an Alpine cheese and was first mentioned in written records in 1293. It has a savory but mild taste and is usually consumed cold (as chunks or slices) and is used in a variety of dishes, particularly in gratins and fondue where it is mixed with Gruyère.
Vreni, pronounced 'Fre-nee' (aka Vreniska) was initially named Zinca from a cheese called Zincarlìn, a Ticino fresh cheese made from sourdough produced exclusively in the Valle di Muggio from raw paste. Its shape is unmistakable, reminiscent of that of an upturned small cup. To make Zincarlin, rennet is added to raw cow's milk with a small percentage of goat's milk. It is acidified for 24 hours and the curd is left to drain for another 24-48 hours in a cloth and, if necessary, pressed. Salt and pepper are added to the resulting paste which is taken to specific underground cellars of Monte Generoso and washed almost daily with white wine. After two months maturing the resulting cheese is called Zincarlìn da la Val da Mücc.
Swiss Chinooks 'Vreni'
Swiss Cheese Name: Zincarlìn
Birth Weight: 305g (10.76oz)
Swiss Chinooks 'Nanuk'
Swiss Cheese Name: Tilsiter
Birth Weight: 284g (10.02oz)
Nanuk (aka Nananuk) was initially named Tilsi from the name Tilsiter, which is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk with a red smear rind and 30 to 60% fat in dry matter. It is named after the East Prussian town of Tilsit, now Sowetsk. Cheese dairies already existed under the rule of the Teutonic Order. Tilsit cheese is a result of improved recipes by Dutch Mennonites, Salzburgers and immigrants from Switzerland. These had migrated to depopulated northern East Prussia as religious refugees after the Great Plague in the first half of the 18th century or followed the calls of the Prussian rulers. Tilsiter has been produced in eastern Switzerland since 1893, after two local cheese makers brought the recipe back from a trip to East Prussia in 1890. In 1950, the Swiss office for Tilsiter cheese was established in Bern. Since 1999, it has been marketed under the protected brand name "Tilsiter Switzerland". Production takes place mainly in the cantons of Thurgau, St. Gallen and the Zurich Oberland. Swiss Tilsiter does not have the strongly holey shape common in Germany or Denmark and its taste is not as pronounced or comparable.
This was the first Swiss Chinooks litter and second litter of Chinooks born in Europe. Initially 7 puppies were born (3 males and 4 females) but very sadly, Mr. Purple died on the fifth day. Puppies were born in the following order: Mr.Purple, Zorro, Sierra, Willy, Lila, Vreni and Nanuk.
All the pups were evaluated for their physical conformation on Day 4 with Susan Burrell (Burrell Handling, LLC), Jessica Maurer (Great Mountain Chinooks), Patti Richards (Forever Greene Chinooks), Lynn Philipp, Rene Philipp and a helper present. The evaluation took around 3 hours via Zoom and it was concluded that the puppies were ranked in the following order for the intent of breeding in the future (provided, of course, that all their health test results came back healthy i.e. hips, elbows and eyes after their 2nd birthday): Zorro, Sierra, Lila, Willy, Mr. Purple, Nanuk and Vreni. All the pups were re-evaluated for physical conformation at the end of 7 weeks and were ranked in the following order (for breeding): Zorro, Sierra, Lila, Willy, Nanuk and Vreni. All the pups were evaluated for temperament via Zoom with Susan Burrell, Lynn Philipp, Rene Philipp and two helpers present.
Puppy Enrichment, Socialization and Lactation
All pups received Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI) from Day 3 to Day 16. All the pups received enrichment and socialization training/exposure until they left for their new homes. Willy and Vreni required a rabies vaccine (plus 21 days) to be able to enter their new home countries (Scotland and Germany) so we took them to puppy classes from 8 to 15 weeks old.
All the pups got their mother's milk until they left for their new homes (9 and 11 weeks) with the exception of the last two pups: Vreni and Willy who stopped receiving milk at 12 weeks, when Nana decided she had had enough.
This was our first experience of raising a litter and dealing with all the logistics and red tape that comes with owning and transporting a dog to/from different countries. The Covid pandemic definitely didn't make the situation any easier, but we managed to get all the puppies safely to their new homes with as little inconvenience and as much care as possible.