The puppies are 4 weeks old today! They have had a busy past 2 days as their new families have been coming to meet them & decide which bundle of fur is going to be their very own. All 6 families now know who will be their puppy. We enjoyed meeting everyone, and we are so honored to be a part of adding a puppy to 6 homes!
In the past week, the puppies have continued to grow. Ranger and Jewel still lead the pack at 3lbs, while Sasha and Ebony remain the smallest at 2lbs, 6oz. Charity and Pollyanna fall in the middle at 2lbs, 10oz and 2lbs, 8oz. In addition to growing, they are becoming more aware of life around them. My boys were sure they needed toys this week, so we gave them a stuffed animal. They were curious about it, but soon went back to taking naps.
The whelping area expanded this week to allow a play area for them in addition to their bed and potty area. They have made a few mistakes outside the potty area, but the majority of the business has landed in the right place.
I took them outside for the first time this week. They stayed together in a group and sniffed around cautiously. At the same time, I allowed Cooper to "get his paws" on them for the first time. He has met them through the whelping box wall, but he's never been able to play and sniff. He was delighted with them, but disappointed they couldn't be his playmates yet.
And, of course, snack time when Mom walks by!
Speaking of feeding, I feel like at this age Jolly looks at us and says, "Hey guys, I've done my part, now it's your turn to feed this hungry bunch!" In the next week, we will begin the weaning process with the end goal for them to be on dry food by 7 weeks. They will continue to get Jolly's milk until about 6 weeks, but they will get less and less from now until then while getting more and more solid food.
Thanks for stopping by & have a Happy Memorial Day weekend!
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I couldn't resist beginning my week 3 post with this snapshot of Ranger because it captures perfectly how alert the puppies have become in the last week. Life is slowly becoming more than eating and sleeping for them. In this picture, he was curious about the sounds coming from me and my camera as I tried to get his attention.
And here are the rest of the puppies! (Click on their photos for more photos on their pages. Scroll all the way down for the newest photos.)
They all continue to grow. They are all around 2lbs now - with some a bit over & some a bit under. Their days still consist of eating and sleeping, but I saw them playing with each other for a brief little bit this past week. They are also starting to make little growls and yips.
They are just starting to walk, and that means paper training time! Below you will see the new set up in the whelping area.
We believe that house training starts now for the puppies as they begin to be mobile. We have used the Misty Method successfully with our past litters, and we plan to use it again. The premise of the Misty Method is that dogs do not naturally want to soil their sleeping area. As the puppies can begin to choose where they eliminate, they should be given a "potty area." We teach them what the potty area is by keeping the other areas as clean as possible. Whenever the puppies soil their bedding area, I clean it up to remove the scent using Biodeodizer and/or a fresh towel. Whenever they properly go on the newspaper, I cover it up with more newspaper to keep it clean, but yet preserve the scent that will keep them coming back. They do not always catch on perfectly, but it is amazing how fast they learn and how often they get it right.
Paper training the puppies then lays the foundation for crate training, which should begin at 8-10 weeks old. Because the puppies have been paper trained, they already know there is a proper place to eliminate and proper place to sleep. Crate training simply transitions them to have that proper potty place be outside and the proper sleeping area being their crate. (If you want to read more, see my previous posts on house training - part 1 and part 2.)
The puppies diet still consists solely of Mama's good milk. Jolly spends longer and longer stretches of time away from them - even venturing down to the creek in our backyard to go swimming last night, but is always eager to return and check on them. We begin weaning them around 5 weeks old using Life's Abundance Small & Medium breed puppy food. (If you are going to be bringing one these puppies home, please check out our nutrition page on our website to find out all about Life's Abundance.)
I'm going to wrap up today with some photos from this week - mostly sleepy ones because they still sleep a lot!
We are honored that you stopped by today!
Note: Click on the pictures above to go to their individual pages. New pictures are all the way at the bottom. There are many more photos of each puppy to see on their individual pages.
Week 2 always feels like I should begin with "We have eyes!" The puppies starting opening their eyes at 8 days old with Jewel. Over the next 2 days, they all opened up. Their ears are open, too. Our children are excited to see their eyes open because they know that means they can begin handling them. Below are my two oldest children - AJ & CJ - cuddling with the puppies. CJ (in brown striped shirt) was so impressed because he got several puppies to fall asleep in his lap.
The puppies still spend their days eating & sleeping & growing. Jewel continues to be the largest at 1lb, 12oz today. Ranger & Charity are close behind at 1lb, 10oz. Pollyanna is 1lb, 9oz, Sasha is 1lb, 8oz, & Ebony is 1lb, 7oz.
Although the puppies cannot walk yet, they can get around quite well by doing something I call "swimming." See Charity below swimming while I'm trying to take her picture today. This motion propels them across the whelping box to help them find food or a sibling to snuggle with.
They are just sure when I set them down on a cuddly blanket for photos that a meal is around somewhere - see a determined Jewel below.
I added Jolly's bed back to the whelping area this week because she is beginning to spend short stretches away from the puppies. I like to give her a nice place to get "away" if she needs it.
The puppies aren't usually on the bed, but I put them there as I'm weighing them. They quickly snuggle in and fall asleep on Mama's bed.
And, since I can't resist, I will share some more sleepy photos. Puppies sleep in the most interesting positions. They also twitch in their sleep, which is another sign of being happy & healthy.
Thanks for stopping by!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
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