In my many years of taking puppy photos, I've tried many times to capture a puppy yawn without success. Today, I got 2 - one from Clarabelle and one from Shadow. Aren't they adorable? I guess we know how they feel about photo shoots. And, now, for the 3 week photos of Sheerah's litter...
The puppies are growing and changing very rapidly. (Remember to click on their photos for more pictures and details!) They are now realizing there is a world beyond their whelping box. They still spend the bulk of the day snoozing away, but they have short periods of time when they are awake and beginning to play with each other.
A big change in the puppies’ abilities this past week was learning to walk. Their walk is quite tottery, but they are walking! They are also becoming purposeful in where they are going, such as trying to climb out of the whelping box when they sense Sheerah is resting just outside it. So, that means it’s house training time! We have added a potty box to their area, as you can see below. The potty area is where you see the blue newspaper.
We believe house training begins as soon as the puppies are mobile at 2-3 weeks old. (You can read more about our house training process here and here.) We use the Misty Method to train our puppies. The premise of the Misty Method is to capitalize on a dog’s God-given instinct not to soil the place where they sleep. The puppies now have two areas – a sleeping area in the gray box with a towel and potty area on newspaper in a plexi-glass box. They cannot yet access the rest of the whelping area. We change the towel in the sleeping area several times a day to teach them it’s a clean area and transfer sleeping puppies from the potty box to the sleeping area. (Yes, the puppies do sack out in there at first, but my children are good at catching them and moving them.) When the puppies do eliminate in the potty box, we cover it with fresh newspaper to keep it clean while preserving the smell to make them come back again. We also eliminate the smell in the sleeping area by cleaning it with Bio-base Biodeodizer, which works naturally to eliminate the source of bad odors by using viable bacterial cultures (read more here), and it smells amazing! This is hands-down my hubby's favorite Life's Abundance product because, yes, puppies do make messes; and, yes, they are quite smelly at times. Spraying on biodeodizer immediately makes the odors begin to dissipate.
Another new development in the puppies' lives was putting on their collars. In honor of the upcoming Christmas season, I ordered them Lupine's microbatch holiday collars, as well as some plain Christmas colored collars (trying saying that fast 5 times!). If you are not familiar with Lupine, check out this New Hampshire-based company here. We love their products. Below are the puppies with their collars to help the new families identify when they come visit. These collars will go home with the puppies.
All their nutrition continues to come from their Mama. They are all growing quite nicely, and their weights as of today are as follows: Shadow - 2lbs, 8oz; Thomas - 2lbs, 3oz; Annie and Rex - 2lbs, 1oz; Elsa - 1lb, 15oz; Clarabelle - 1lb, 12oz.
Since the puppies can now see and hear, they are already being socialized to the normal household sights, smells, sounds, and sensations. They are in a room off our kitchen and near our washing machine. They already are familiar with a myriad of household occurrences – doors closing, washing machine running, coffee pot brewing and beeping, happy voices (and grumpy voices), hands touching them, soft surfaces, hard surfaces, cool surfaces, radios, and on and on – and all of this without any real purposeful socialization on my part because they are part of our daily routine. As they grow, I intentionally socialize them to as many things as I can, while being conscious not to overwhelm or overstimulate them. We always, always let them get plenty of rest because that's an important part of puppy growth and development.
I’ll close my post today with snapshots from the week. As you can probably guess, the cuddle sessions are getting longer! Notice we took them into different rooms of the house to experience new sensations.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by!
Here's my overdue post to wrap-up Tachi's 2019 litter - their "going home" post. Though I'm wrapping up their journey here on my blog, their journey is just beginning in their new homes. Bringing a puppy home is an exciting time with lots to do and learn! We wish our puppies many happy, healthy years with their families. Below are their photos in no particular order.
As I was gathering these photos, I am still struck by the fact that our little Tachi had 10 puppies! There's no way to know exactly why she had so many, but I give many thanks to God as the Giver of life and to Life's Abundance for providing her with high-quality nutrition while pregnant and lactating.
In posting these photos, I wanted to point out that 3 puppies kept their names! Many families have sent us updates on the puppies - see them here on our puppy photo update page. Another thing that struck me was how many boys welcomed these puppies home. In our home, we have 4 boys and 1 girl. So, our puppies feel right at home with lots of boys!
Thanks again to all the wonderful families who welcomed one of our mini schnauzers into their homes. We enjoyed meeting each of you, and we wish you all the best. Blessings!
Click on their pictures above for more photos. Scroll down on their pages for the most recent photos.
Sheerah and her babies continue to do well! We feel very blessed to have her taking such good care of her babies. She has been a model mother - feeding, cleaning, and snuggling! Her babies show the results of her care in their weight gain and shiny coats. Their weights at 2 weeks are as follows: Shadow - 1lb, 10oz; Rex, Thomas, and Annie - 1lb, 9oz; Elsa - 1lb, 6oz; and Clarabelle - 1lb, 4oz. Their eyes and ears are now open and they are beginning to realize that life exists beyond the whelping box. However, they still spend the majority of their day sleeping peacefully in a pile.
Our care for the puppies continues to be keeping their whelping area clean. We change their bedding several times a day and clean the whelping area with Life's Abundance Biodeodorizer, a safe, deep-cleaning spray that helps keep odors away.
Another aspect of our care for the puppies is, of course, care for Sheerah. She makes mothering her litter look easy. She's eating, drinking, romping, and alerting us of any strange noises as she always does. We feed her extra food and give her vitamins to keep her energy level up as she cares for her babies.
In the next week, we will be rearranging the puppies' whelping area as they become mobile. Some of them are taking tottering steps, but their little bellies barely get off the ground at this age. That changes quickly, though, and we want to take every opportunity as they grow to begin laying the groundwork of house training. In an effort to do so (and as we follow the Misty Method), we will add a potty box to their whelping area as they become mobile. They learn quickly to keep their bedding area clean (because we've kept it clean all along). We've found the Misty Method to provide great results when our puppies go home in preparing them for crate training.
I'll close this week with a few snapshots of the children holding the puppies for the first time. They are only allowed to handle them once their eyes open up. Early, gentle socialization is best! Notice how the puppy MJ (our daughter in blue) is holding snuggles in the crook of her arm. Puppies at this age naturally look for a warm place to burrow into, which is why they sleep in a pile. We keep the holding sessions very short, usually only a few minutes, because the puppies really only want food and sleep at this age.
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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