My favorite picture from this past week isn't a puppy photo...
It's a mom photo. Tachi has done an outstanding job once again of raising her puppies. Her gentle, sweet personality is one of our favorite things about Tachi. She's an excellent mom, and we're so thankful for her. She is officially retired; if you want one of her amazing puppies, let me know today as two boys are available in our litter. (Update: All our puppies have found their forever homes!)
Tachi's puppies are 7 weeks old already! How much they've grown, changed, and learned in the last 7 weeks. They are now eating dry food and doing the larger part of their potty business outside. I take the litter out every few hours. It is amazing how they quickly prefer to go outdoors. While I tell families taking puppies home that their puppy is not house trained, they are well on their way! They are absolutely ready for crate training as they keep their bedding area spotlessly clean. However, with puppies, accidents are inevitable - enter Life's Abundance Biodeodizer spray!
If you'd ask us what are some must-have product for puppies, this biodeodizer spray would be at the top of our list. It is safe to use around pets and children, and it eliminates the odor naturally with viable bacteria cultures. I haven't found a surface yet that I can't use it on - including ones that come in to direct contact with the puppy, such as crates and bedding.
As this will be my last post for this litter, I will answer some frequently asked questions for those families taking a precious bundle home with them soon. Don't miss the photos and video at the end of the post!
What bathing and grooming products do you use? My crew of mini schnauzers gets a weekly bath using Life's Abundance Revitalizing Shampoo and a mist of Life's Abundance Bath Fresh Mist. The mist is also helpful to freshen them up between baths. For grooming, if I were told I could have only one grooming tool in my house, it would be a simple comb (as in the human kind). When brushed weekly, mini schnauzers do not typically get mats and tangles. I occasionally use a slicker brush. Rarely, I pull out my dematting tool to get a stubborn tangle.
What flea and tick products do you recommend? We do not treat our puppies with any flea and tick medicine. (We do deworm and vaccinate them, but no flea and tick medicine.) We choose not to use flea and tick products due to their small size. In addition, they live in a low-risk environment because all our adult dogs and cats are treated with Bravecto. You should discuss flea and tick prevention at your first vet visit. Since Bravecto is not recommended for use until after 6 months old, I would recommend using Frontline on your puppy once he/she is 10 weeks old or five pounds.
What do I need to purchase before bringing my puppy home? See my blog about puppy shopping here.
Will my puppy be house trained when he/she comes home at 8 weeks? No. Your puppy will be ready for crate training when he/she comes home. We do the Misty Method of house training for our puppies. They have a basic understanding of a place to sleep, play, and potty at 8 weeks old. They are ready to begin crate training at 8 weeks, but they are not house trained! This litter has been doing well with the Misty Method. They consistently keep their bedding area free of potty accidents. Most of their potty business goes outside or in their potty box on the newspaper.
Is it hard for your children when the puppies go home? Yes and no, and harder for some than for others. My children understand the responsibility and the training an 8 week old puppy requires because we’ve had the privilege of raising our adults from puppies. They love playing with the puppies and are, of course, sad to see them go. At the same time, they get to see the joy a puppy brings to someone else. This time around, for the first time, we are keeping one of the girls. While that is super special, it is still hard to say goodbye to the other puppies. We try to encourage them as the puppies grow that we are helping get them ready for their new family. Another thing that softens the blow of seeing their puppies leave is that new life is part of a homestead - every year we typically welcome puppies, goats, and kittens. So, our children may or may not seem sad when you pick up your puppy, but they say their goodbyes before your arrival to limit any teary last-minute goodbyes.
And now, a short clip of the puppies in the spring sunshine- here - and lots of photos. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings!
The world is now bursting with possibilities in the puppies' eyes! Each new day holds things to discover, to sniff, to chew, and to play with. Let's begin today with their updated pictures and six week weights - remember to click on the pictures for more individual pictures. (Don't miss the two videos at the end of the post!)
The puppies have been able to experience many new things. Whenever the weather permits, we take them outside to do potty business and play in the grass for a few minutes. This has opened up their eyes and ears to many new sights and sounds - trees, cars going by, grass, sticks, balls, and more! While inside, they've heard the vacuum cleaner, the leaf blower and lawn mower (both outside of the house, but within their hearing). The children have played with them wearing some alligator masks they made at the library and a batting helmet - both to show them new is not scary. We pair the new sight with a familiar voice and hands. At this age, the puppies are simply curious - observe how they sniffed and chewed on the batting helmet.
Though we teach our children NOT to stick their fingers in our puppies mouths, IF you were to stick your finger in right now, you would feel their little needly teeth erupting from their gums. As the teeth emerge, so does their desire to chew - enter chew time! My favorite chew for the puppies is the buffalo lung. They love it, and I love that it’s one ingredient – buffalo lung! Life’s Abundance has several wonderful chewing products that are one ingredient – no harsh chemicals, fillers, or preservatives. We use these products on our adults and puppies because chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. In addition to help easing the pain of puppy teething, it helps clean their teeth throughout their lifetimes. And, chewing is just fun and enjoyable for dogs! I think it can help relieve stress and anxiety, as well. We don’t believe in trying to teach puppies NOT to chew, we believe in teaching them what to chew on. We already are training our puppies there are things not to chew on – mainly our toes (which seems especially delightful to puppies) and the newspaper in the potty box. We instruct our children never to let puppies “play bite” or chew on them – even though it’s adorable right now before all their teeth are intact and before they have real jaw strength.
I'm going to wrap up this post with two videos from outside time - here and here - and lots of snapshots of their early socialization.
Thanks for stopping by!
"Tachi ought to be treated like a queen," my 11-year-old son said last evening. Yes, yes she should! She has done and is doing an outstanding job taking care of her nine puppies. Tachi loves snuggling in with her puppies, even though at this age she does not spend every moment with them anymore. I can just imagine her below saying, "Now, shhh! Don't wake them up!"
Also, notice on the photo above that we have placed a "potty box" (plexi glass box with newspaper) right outside their sleeping area. As I mentioned in my previous post, we believe house training begins at 3 weeks old when they are mobile. We change the towel in their sleeping area several times a day to teach them it is a clean area. Before we hold them or feed them, we put them in their potty box to business. We keep it clean by layering fresh newspaper; this preserves the smell that keeps them coming back while keeping it clean. Enough about beginning house training, here is the crew at 4.5 weeks old. Be sure to click on their photos for additional photos and details.
As you can see, the puppies are now alert and aware of their surroundings. Though they still sleep the majority of the day, they are starting to play with one another and with us. We spend a lot of time with our puppies. Since we homeschool, it is a favorite activity to have a puppy during school time. Below are the puppies beginning their education.
Their "education" right now is to develop a repertoire of different sights, sounds, and smells to learn not to be fearful or intimated by new things. Raising puppies in our home means these things happen naturally. Without any intentional socialization, our puppies already know what music, vacuums, blenders, cell phones, and more sound like. (Some past litters have learned our phone alarms and woke up right then HUNGRY. We try now to keep them from hearing that one particular sound in case we want to hit "snooze".) They also know what a couch feels like, what a wooden floor feels like, what a bed looks like, what a table and chairs look like, and much, much more. I can only imagine what their little noses have already smelled in our house - dirty laundry for sure as a favorite place of their parents to sleep is in laundry baskets. They've smelled various meals cooking as their whelping area is just off the kitchen. Candles, mud, cats, goats - all things they've likely caught whiffs of as we do life with them. We balance all these new experiences with lots of nap times snuggled up with their mom and siblings. They really do need lots of sleep at this age.
The puppies are developing new skills all the time - the ability to climb into their "potty box" to do business, the ability to walk, and the ability to lap out of bowl. Tachi still nurses them at this age, but they are learning to eat on their own. We began with goat milk, fresh from our homestead. We are now soaking their food in milk until it is soft. For right now, they mostly lap up the flavored milk. In just a few days, though, they will be chomping down the food. We feed them three times a day, getting them onto the schedule they will be on when they go home at the end of March. You can read all about nutrition here.
I'll wrap up with snapshots from around the house - you can see the puppies are getting lots of love and experiences! Look for the puppy yawn.
Please do us a favor and "like" this post below to share with your family and friends. We have a few boys still looking for their forever homes.
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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