This is my favorite week to photograph puppies. They are beginning to be very aware of their surroundings, but they think all the noises I make to get them to look at me are very interesting. In a week or so, they will find my noises old and boring and the world around them full of excitement and adventure just waiting to be discovered! (Which translates into no sitting for pictures!)
The most significant event for the puppies this week was the introduction of milk into their diets. Up until now, the only nutrition they received was from Mama. This week, we began offering them warm, fresh goat milk once a day. This is to teach them to lap. In the next week, we will begin soaking their puppy chow in milk to teach them to eat. We use goat milk because it is very gentle on their digestive systems and very readily available from our goats. Below are some pictures of lapping milk for the first time. At first, they seem to prefer licking it from their siblings' faces.
Lastly, just two extras from my photo shoot today - Jake showing his enthusiasm for photos with a yawn & a glimpse of my assistant.
Cocoa's puppies are 4 weeks old today! How they've grown in just 4 weeks. They are becoming more and more mobile. We now have their whelping area set up with a potty area, and they are doing fabulous! Cocoa continues to provide all their nourishment and care, but her time is winding down as we look ahead to weaning. (If you haven't already, check out our nutrition page to find out the food we will feed them.) They were dewormed today for the first time.
Their big highlight this week was going outside. I spread a blanket in the grass and allowed the children to play with them outside yesterday. Then, today, I took their photos outside. I think you can see their colors even better in the beautiful sunlight! Remember to click on their individual photos above to see more photos. I also added their "4 Week Weight" on their individual page. They are all around 2lbs with Strawberry being a bit smaller at 1lb, 9oz.
Two interesting photos from today - Holly being shy and Jake proving to be the most adventurous!
And some fun pictures from being outside yesterday...
Cocoa's puppies are 3 weeks old today! They are all over a pound with Jake leading the pack at 1lb, 10 ounces and Strawberry the smallest at 1lb, 5 ounces. As you can see from Jake's picture above, the puppies are perking up! They are beginning to try out their legs and waddle around the whelping box. They still spend the majority of their time eating and sleeping, but they are definitely becoming aware that there is a world around them.
I took their photos this week on a brown blanket in an attempt to show the difference in Jake & Misty's chocolate color and Strawberry & Violet's black color. Click on their individual photos below for more pictures.
One of the biggest highlights from this past week for our children was that we let them hold the puppies. Our children were so eager to get their hands on the puppies, but we made them wait until the puppies were over 2 weeks old to give the puppies some time to grow and get strength before meeting little eager hands. Below are some pictures from the first very supervised handling session.
On a different note, this is the time that we begin thinking about house training. Yes, house training at 3 weeks! We have found that the Misty Method works very well for preparing puppies for house training. We will begin that process in the next few days by rearranging their whelping area to give them a designated sleeping area, play area, & potty area. I've already watched as a puppy crawls away from the group to "do business." We want to show them the correct place to go to do that. This new arrangement of their whelping area lays the foundation for teaching them that there is an appropriate place to sleep, play, & go potty. We don't want them to learn at this young age to soil their bedding area. Thus, we give them a designated place to go. Will they catch on immediately? No, but even at this tender age puppies are learning!
Lastly, for your smile of the day, a mothering tip from Cocoa: when you're feeling exhausted in your mothering duties, just lay down & relax!
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!
Independent Field Representative