One week until...
...some families are getting some PUPPY KISSES!
Here's Tachi & Cooper's puppies at seven weeks old!
Since seven-week pictures of puppies are a challenge because they don't like to sit still, I had a qualified helper hold the puppies while I attempted to capture the cuteness.
The puppies are doing fabulous - growing and changing each day. Their weights as of seven weeks are as follows: Eddie - 5lbs, 5oz; James - 5lbs, 4oz; Gordon - 4lbs, 9oz; Peace - 4lbs, 6oz; Benny - 4lbs, 3oz; Mercy - 3lbs, 10oz; Theodore - 3lbs, 8oz; and Grace - 3lbs, 6oz. They are now eating dry Life's Abundance Small & Medium Breed food three times a day. I feed the group two cups at each feeding, which means each puppy gets roughly a quarter cup a feeding (3/4 cup per day). In addition to their food, I give them 1/4 of Life's Abundance Wellness Food Supplement. My adults eat this vitamin like it's the best treat EVER. The puppies are learning to like it, too. I use this supplement when my puppies or dogs are going to experience some type of change or stress in their lives - going home, vaccinations, growing during their first year, boarding, pregnancy, lactating, injury, new family member, etc.
The puppies experienced (tolerated might be a better word) their first bath this week. After a bath with Life's Abundance Revitalizing Shampoo and Bath Fresh Mist, they all smelled amazing! They will receive one more going-home bath right before they are picked up.
The puppies, of course, experienced new things again this week - the UPS man and another delivery man, rainy weather, lots of leaf blowing noises ('tis the season), meeting more new people, playing more with the cat, several different balls, and lots of love!
On the house training front, they are doing lots of potty business outside. They show a clear preference for doing their business outside and away from the group. Though I can’t catch every potty need, I take them out several time a day and they go nearly every time. Other times, they use the potty box in their whelping area. They sleep all night and use the potty box as necessary overnight.
I will wrap up with a few more frequently asked questions and then some photos. Keep in mind, this is my last post for this litter as they prepare to go home next week.
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 needs go into the potty box. We keep fresh newspaper in the potty box after they use it, preserving the scent while keeping it clean.
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 all 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. We try to encourage them as the puppies grow that we are helping get them ready for their new family. When our children ask, “Why can’t we keep a puppy?” we gently name off our adults and say, “We did 'keep' a puppy.” Another thing that softens the blow of seeing their puppies leave is that new life is part of a homestead - we are hoping for goat kids in December and January. 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.
What should I bring when picking up my puppy? Your puppy will go home with his/her collar, a blanket that smells like his/her littermates, and a bag of treats. You should bring a leash and a crate for traveling. Your puppy likely will not go potty on the way home. Puppies do not like to go in unfamiliar environments. However, it would be wise to stop every 2 hours to make sure the puppy does not need to eliminate.
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 is your one parting piece of advice for taking home a new puppy? Take time to invest in training, training, training! You won't regret the hours you invest in training your puppy - it will pay off over their lifetime. I highly recommend taking your puppy to puppy kindergarten and obedience school. And, of course, give them lots of love and patience!
And, a few last photos of their time here at Russell Homestead. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our joy over this litter. We give all glory and honor to God for this healthy, happy litter.
Welcome to week 6 and ENERGY! Click on each picture for more individual photos (scroll down on their pages for the most recent photos.)
So much has changed since the sleepy newborn days! Life is about exploring, eating, chewing, running, smelling, playing, chasing, wrestling, and romping! The puppies still take several long naps during the day, but their awake time has increased exponentially over the past week. They are no longer content with the eating and sleeping way of life!
They have experienced numerous things in the past week - most importantly getting to play outside in some unseasonably warm November temperatures. My children were sure they wanted to play in the leaves, which prompted them filling their outdoor play yard with leaves. The puppies seemed to delight in all the new sounds and sensations of the leaves. These puppies quickly learned to love the outdoors - the rocks, grass, sticks, leaves, and oh-so-many new smells. When we take them back inside, some run straight for the door and try to get back outside.
In other new experiences, they got to experience a repairman coming to our house, the children in various hats, such as a bicycle helmet and a hard hat, a large ball, several power tool sounds, a campfire (from a distance), distant gun shots from state game lands near our home, airplanes overhead, and so much more that I don't even think to document because they are doing life with us every day.
Food is becoming routine and much-anticipated from the crew. We feed them three times a day - roughly at 6A.M., 12, and 7P.M. When they go home in two weeks, that's the basic schedule they will be on; though, we do bump the evening feeding closer to 6P.M. to make sure all potty business is done before bed. Speaking of potty business, these puppies are doing an impressive amount of business outdoors; yay! When our feet hit the ground in the morning, they go STRAIGHT to the puppies and out the door to try to catch that waking-up incident. Then, throughout the day, I take them out when I catch them all waking up or before/after meals - basically as often as I'm able to aid in the their training and keeping their whelping area clean. They still use their potty box in their whelping area because I can't catch every need for eight puppies. They are fairly good at getting their business in the box, but if the box happens to be occupied, they chose privacy in another corner over the correct place. Dogs like to do their business alone, and you'll see this as you train your puppy - they'll go off from you outside to eliminate or slip off to another room. (If you are just joining my blog readers – you may want to check out our philosophy of potty training in these posts – here and here.)
In addition to eating food, the puppies are beginning to explore more and have begun shredding the paper in the potty box, which tells me two things - their little teeth are bothering them and they are looking for new things experiences. Enter - chew time! We've introduced them to buffalo lung and buffalo bully sticks.
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.
All this eating and chewing, means growth! The puppies weights as of six weeks are as follows: James - 4lbs, 5oz; Eddie - 4lbs, 4oz; Gordon - 3lbs, 14oz; Peace - 3lbs, 13oz; Benny - 3lbs, 11oz; Mercy - 3lbs, 2oz; and Grace & Theodore - 3lbs. Using their weights as a guide, we dewormed them again this week. We will do this one more time right before they go home. The puppies show no signs of worms; but, due of the susceptibility of puppies to worms, we do it as a preventative.
As I've done with some previous puppy litters, I'm going to go over some great questions I receive from new families. (Be sure to scroll down to the end for more pictures!)
Should I take my new puppy out in the cold weather? This question can not be answered with a "yes" or "no" because there are many factors - age of the puppy, outside temperature, breed of the puppy, if the puppy has been clipped, etc. When I get this question, my mind goes back to when we brought our first mini schnauzer home. It was Valentine's Day weekend 2013. We took her out for potty needs from Day #1 here. We did not clip her coat to give her some protection from the cold. In my opinion, it is okay to take them out to go potty for short periods of time. If your puppy does not go potty in a few minutes in the cold weather, I would recommend crating them for another 20-30 minutes and trying again. Obviously, if the cold is extreme, you should not take a very young puppy outside. However, mini schnauzer puppies will quickly be able to stand colder temperatures as they grow. For this litter, they will be going home in November. We never clip our puppies before they go home. (We bathe and brush, but no cutting of their hair.) By the time the cold weather sets in in this area of the country, I think the puppies should be able to handle it. So, in summary, use common sense and watch your puppy for signs of being too cold when deciding if he/she should stay inside or go outside.
What are the puppies' personalities? Due to the way we raise our puppies in our home around people and household noises, there are certain things I believe all our puppies have in regards to personality. They all are drawn to people and human voices. They are all unfazed by normal household sounds. They are all used to living in a clean environment and ready for crate training. They are all playful, energetic, and fun-loving. That said, in a litter, there is usually one puppy who stands out as the one who does things first and has the most adventurous spirit; Eddie has earned that badge for this litter. Peace, as well, is adventurous and spirited. Both Eddie and Peace are confident and like attention from people, which reminds me of their dad, Cooper. Theodore is distinguished by his small size – although he certainly is not behind the others developmentally. He definitely has some spunk and is not afraid to tackle his larger siblings and instigate a wrestling match. Mercy shows glimpses of her Mama’s submissive personality. She was the most cautious when brought outdoors at first, along with her brother Benny. Benny seems the most laid back, though I always hesitate to label a puppy as laid-back because no matter how laid-back, all puppies have "mini-tornado moments." Next to Benny, I'd say James is also a bit more laid back. Gordon seems like an all-around middle of the road - not stepping out first like some of the others, but not hanging back either. Grace, like Mercy, seems a bit like her Mama in being more reserved than the others, but she's full of life like the rest. All in all, they are all very sweet puppies who will continue to develop their personalities as they bond with their new families. All have been given a great foundation of experiences to build upon.
What grooming tools do you use on your mini schnauzers? My adult mini schnauzer receive a weekly bath and brushing. The two tools I use the most are a Slicker brush and regular human comb. I occasionally use a de-matting comb. By far, I use the regular human comb the most, especially on their belly and legs.
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.
And, now, the snapshots from the week...
Thanks, as always, for stopping by and sharing a bit of our world this week!
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