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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!
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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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