7 weeks old - are you ready for cuteness and curiosity with a dash of zest? If you've never tried to photograph a 7 week old puppy, here's a summary:
You can get them to sit for brief periods of time, but their little minds are so intent on seeing everything, they rarely look your way. All my interesting noises behind the camera have been going on for 7 weeks and just aren't worth their time anymore :) So, I worked to capture the cuteness in the update photos below.
Can't you just see the energy in their adorable faces? Their lives here at Russell Homestead have been brimming full of love and new experiences. Though their home going is a bittersweet experience, we are confident they are ready and prepared for what lies ahead.
Since my last blog post, these puppies have experienced so many new things as they journeyed through life with us. The new experiences under their belts (or should I say, collars?) include a bath, a vet visit, a repairman visit (seeing him in uniform, hearing him talk), listening to some city desensitization clips (sirens, horns, traffic), watching and hearing tractor trailer trucks as we waited outdoors to go into the vet’s office, hearing several thunderstorms, going outside in a gentle drizzle, playing with balls, seeing orange traffic cones, inspecting an inflatable pool toy, hearing machines like a hair dryer and shop vacuum, playing with CJ while he wore a helmet, sniffing and watching bikes and a trike, more interaction with our cats, and lots more of daily life experiences! This list may sound like lots of stimulation for a young puppy, but we keep the new experiences short and positive. Our goal is not to introduce them to every thing in life, but rather to show them that new things are interesting and enjoyable. Below are a few pictures of their new experiences.
In the food and weight department, these puppies are growing! Their weights are as follows: Luna - 5lbs; Midnight - 4lbs, 13oz; Hiro - 4lbs, 5oz; and Bella - 3lbs, 10oz. They are now eating dry dog food three times a day with constant access to water. They are no longer nursing from Sheerah. 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, boarding, pregnancy, lactating, injury, new family member, etc.
Above are Midnight and Hiro at their vet visit. The puppies were very well behaved! We were thrilled to get a clean bill of health for the litter, and honored that our vet commented on how well socialized they are and how beautiful their coats are.
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 another litter of puppies this fall from Tachi. 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!
Thanks for stopping by our blog! We appreciate all our loyal readers, and we feel blessed. To God be the glory!
Good Friday morning to everyone on this lovely holiday weekend! Once again, I was too eager to share my video clips to wait until regular blog post day for this litter, which is Saturday.
But first, we have a WINNER to announce for the caption contest from last week's blog. Thanks to all who entered (some in the comments and some via email). All entries will receive a $5 Life's Abundance gift card and the winner gets a $15 card. The contest is now closed.
Congrats to Laura, and thanks for all who entered! Be on the lookout for a gift card via email this morning.
For my weekly update, I did short video clips of each puppy and two longer clips of them playing outside. Enjoy & Happy 4th!
More Play Time
Thanks for stopping by! Check back next week for my final blog post for this litter.
If you've read my blog before, you know I have a special spot for puppy yawns. This one of Midnight is SO good, we are going to have a first-ever-for-the-blog "caption the photo contest." To enter, suggest a caption for the photo in the comments. As a family, we'll pick a winner by 7/3/20. The winner gets a $15 gift card to Life's Abundance. (To be eligible, I must have a way to contact you; leave a way to contact with your caption suggestion.)
For the next photo, the caption should simply be SUMMER!
And now for their weekly update photos... (Remember to click on the photos for more of each puppy. Scroll down on their pages for the latest photos.)
As you can see in their photos, the puppies are much more alert to life! Some new sounds are coming from the whelping area – little yips and paper being shredded! Puppies somehow seem to “come alive” between week 4 and 5. It is like a switch flips from life being about food and sleeping to life being about playing and exploring with a dose of food and sleeping on the side.
When they begin shredding the paper in the potty box, it tells me two things - their little teeth are bothering them and they are looking for new things to explore. Enter - chew time! This week, we 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.
The puppies were introduced to solid food this week. We began by soaking their Life's Abundance Small & Medium breed food in goat milk. We use goat milk because it has a reputation for being gentle on digestive systems and deliciously irresistible to dogs (and it’s available from our own homestead so we know it’s fresh and safe). They love meal time! We will transition them from softened food to hard kibble before they go home at 8 weeks. Sheerah still also feeds them a few times a day, but she’s making that switch already to spending more time away from the puppies than with them. A wise canine Mama, she is, knowing that it is time to release her babies. She’ll continue to feed them over the next week, but finish up by the time they are 6-7 weeks. The time frame of a few weeks of mothering may seem short to us, but not to dogs. She fed them, cleaned them, socialized them to dog behavior, and lots more in a few weeks, and she knows it’s time to let them go.
Their weights are as follows: Luna - 3lbs, 10oz; Midnight - 3lbs, 6oz; Hiro - 3lbs, 1oz; and Bella - 2lbs, 9oz.
In addition to adding chews and solid food to their lives, socialization continues for the puppies. They got to spend time outside checking out rocks, mulch, grass, kittens, and more! They had the wonderful privilege of interacting with some of the families who are going to take them home. They got to experience another room in our house - the basement which has lots of new interesting toys and furniture. A mop and leaf blower were 2 new sights and sounds. I also gave them a quick, gentle brush with the slicker brush and comb I use for weekly brushing on my dogs. So, the horizons continue to expand, all with lots of time left for....SLEEPING!
The above photo shows you who is who to help you identify puppies in my other photos. Luna has a purple collar, Midnight has an orange collar with geckos, Hiro has a peacock collar, and Bella has a southwest-y design called "El Paso." For the families taking these puppies home, the collar will come with them.
Before the weekly snapshots, I'm going to give some answers to common questions I receive.
1) 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 adults 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 recommend using Frontline on your puppy once he/she is 10 weeks old.
2) What size crate do you recommend? We recommend 30"x19"x21" wire crate with a divider panel. This crate will serve your mini schnauzer from puppyhood to adulthood. When you are crate training, use the divider panel to give the puppy a small place to bed down. As they grow and learn to potty outdoors, expand their crate area. When they are fully trained, the divider panel will not be needed.
3) Do you at Russell Homestead take the puppies out for potty needs? Weather-permitting, we start taking the puppies outside for potty needs between 5-6 weeks. There is no way to take the puppies out for ALL their potty needs at 5-6 weeks, but we take them out at common times of needing to go - when they wake up and after they eat. For this litter, the warm temperatures provide lots of opportunity to go outside. When they don't go outside, they typically go in their potty box. We have opened up the whelping area giving them a sleeping area, potty area, and play area. While your puppy will not be house trained when he/she comes, your puppy will have a preference for doing potty needs away from their sleeping area.
I will close again with fun snapshots from the week! I've said this many times before on the blog, but I think it's worth repeating as you look as these pictures of puppies being handled by children - as I've watched my children interact with puppies over the years, I've decided there is a balance when allowing young children to play with puppies. On one hand, the child needs to learn to be gentle, and, on the other hand, the puppy needs to learn how to tolerate hands that don't always know the best way to hold them. We have to be constantly monitoring our youngest children as they handle the puppies. As I think back, when we had our first litter of puppies here at Russell Homestead in 2014, AJ was 4 years old. At age 4, we could not trust him to be alone with the puppies. Now our oldest children can play with puppies alone, while we still have to monitor the younger ones. I feel both our children and puppies learn from this experience. We've heard many, many testimonies from families that our puppies love children.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by! Remember to enter your caption in the comments below. We greatly appreciate clicking the "Like" button below; thanks!
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