Our 5 week update on the puppies is a video update. I had the children introduce "their" puppies on a short video clip. I also introduced two puppies and our favorite Life's Abundance products. Enjoy these clips below:
Vanessa, Peace, & Theodore
AJ, Eddie, & Mercy
CJ & Benny
JJ & James
MJ & Grace
EJ & Gordon
Our favorite Life's Abundance Puppy Products
Note: The children sometimes refer to the puppy saying this is "my" puppy or "this is not my puppy." They each claim a puppy for the 8 weeks they are here, and they know the puppy is going home to someone else. Also, I realize the clip of 4 year old EJ needs some type of Toddler translate, but I decided to give it as is and let you enjoy his lingo. He's basically saying this puppy is named Gordon and he likes to hold him. He reviews other puppy names he has used in the past - Hiro and Thomas (anyone notice the train theme?)
Have a blessed week!
Here are our four week puppies enjoying the October sunshine!
4 weeks old! It is hard to believe that half our time with these babies is already passed. The puppies are becoming a lot more “fun” in the past week as they are now up and romping with each other and interacting with us. These play periods are very short lived (5-15 minutes), as they still snooze away most of the day and night. With their increased mobility and desire to play, we have changed their whelping area to continue their house training process. See the area below.
We gave them a play area this week. Notice the potty box (with wet newspaper - good puppies!) is right outside their sleeping area because they typically go potty upon waking. They have free access to the sleeping, potty, and play areas. As they learn to keep the sleeping and play areas clean, we will expand it the play area to include the now "off limits" area. And, of course, they spend much time outside of their whelping area interacting with us.
Feeding them is becoming more our responsibility and less Tachi’s. Tachi has shown us some signs that she is ready to wean them – mainly spending less time with them. As opposed to spending a lot of time with them in the beginning, she now goes in mainly to feed them. Eight puppies at four weeks old is almost impossible for Tachi to feed – there simply is not enough room! We have begun feeding them goat milk in the morning and evening. In the next few days, we will start adding softened food with the milk. We start our puppies on Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed puppy food. We highly recommend this food for puppies! When our puppies go home, they will be on this food with no added milk or water.
The puppies continue to grow nicely. Their 4 week weights are posted on their pages. Their weights are as follows: Peace - 2lbs, 13oz; James - 2lbs, 12oz; Eddie & Gordon - 2lbs, 9oz; Benny - 2lbs, 6oz; Grace & Mercy - 2lbs, 2oz; and Theodore - 1lbs, 13oz.
We will deworm the puppies today and continue to deworm them every two weeks until they go home. Deworming puppies is simply a standard procedure for us. We also will be taking a fecal to the vet when they go for their health check-up to be sure they are worm and parasite free.
Their week was full of new experiences; we keep them brief and positive in order to show them that new things are safe and interesting. The puppies got to go outside for the first time and feel the grass, rocks, and leaves while hearing a leaf blower, traffic going by (including a loud motorcycle that caught their attention), and children playing in a leaf pile. During one of their naps, I turned on an audio clip of various city sounds - horns, sirens, traffic - and some power tool sounds. They slept through most of it. Another new experience was joining us for our afternoon reading time on the couch. For the most part, they snuggled down and went to sleep, but a few puppies listened very attentively to my voice as I read.
You may wonder why we have a focus on brief, positive, new experience for our puppies. Puppies are naturally open to the world around them. This "window of socialization" closes around a few months old. If puppies learn young to accept new things, they will be much more flexible as an adult to accept new people and places. When you bring an eight week puppy from us (or any breeder), do not consider them "socialized." We lay a solid foundation of socialization, but then the responsibility rests upon their new families to expose them in positive ways to new things. One of the best things we have done for socialization is basic obedience training at a local dog training club; it's an investment you won't regret!
I'll close with snapshots from the week - don't miss the last ones where they are experiencing their "first" meal. Thanks, as always, for stopping by!
You will notice immediately a new sense of alertness in these little gems! This week, they became aware that a world exists beyond their whelping box. Here they are at 3 weeks old:
They are now sporting some eye-catching Lupine collars. Lupine, a company based in New Hampshire, makes top-notch pet products, such as leashes and collars. Their collars come with a chew guarantee, which we've tested and found accurate here at Russell Homestead. Below are the puppies' collar colors to help you identify them in photos and when you come visit, if you are one of the families that is going to bringing on these puppies home.
The puppies are all growing beautifully. Their weights at three weeks are as follows: James & Gordon - 2lbs, 1oz; Peace - 2lbs; Benny - 1lb, 15oz; Eddie - 1lb, 14oz; Grace & Mercy - 1lb, 10oz; and Theodore - 1lb, 4oz. Their sole source of nutrition is Tachi, and that will begin to change in the upcoming week. In addition to packing on ounces, they are developing rapidly. Though they mostly still crawl (see James below)...
...they are taking tottery steps and sitting occasionally (see Eddie below).
With their added mobility, we turn our attention to beginning house training. Yes, house training at 3 weeks old. 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 blue 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 spraying on biodeodizer immediately makes the odors begin to dissipate. You can see below to the left the potty box. As the puppies begin to use over the next week, we'll give them access to a larger play area.
The above picture also shows how the puppies spent the majority of week three - sleeping. However, they are beginning to play for short spurts of time. They may tumble over each other and play for 5 minutes and then sack out for over an hour. They did show interest in a stuffed moose we added, especially in snuggling with it to sleep.
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. This week, they also got to hear a leaf blower and lawn mower from a distance. 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!
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