Sheerah and Cooper have blessed us with six precious black & silver mini schnauzer puppies! Sheerah delivered 3 boys and 3 girls on October 10th - all black & silver like herself and the sire, Cooper. During her pregnancy, Sheerah had an ultrasound and our vet predicted 5, possibly 6, puppies. We are delighted that her labor and delivery went well and the puppies are thriving thus far. They were all 7 or 8 oz at birth. They visited the vet today for tail docks and dew claw removals.
As is our tradition, our children "name and claim" a puppy for the 8 weeks we get to enjoy them. AJ, age 9, named Annie in honor of Annie in the Magic Tree House series and Thomas the train's coach. CJ, age 8, named Shadow in honor of the dog in the movie Homeward Bound. We read the story (The Incredible Journey) and watched the movie as a family recently. JJ, age 6, named Rex in honor of his great-grandpa's German shepherd - a dog that has a legacy of intelligence and faithfulness in our family history. MJ, age 4 (and incidentally the only girl in our crew), named Clarabelle in honor of Thomas the train's other coach. She also thought it sound "princessy." EJ, age 3, named Thomas in honor of (you should be able to guess by now) Thomas the train. Elsa was a name suggestion given by someone on our waiting list. We always choose one Bible name each litter to honor God as the Creator of life. Elsa is a shortened or pet form of Elizabeth. I also felt it fit with Clarabelle and Annie, so I named and claimed Elsa as my puppy. Or, as my children say, my puppy to share with my husband.
It is hard to describe how tiny and precious these puppies are. I tried to give a visual below with Thomas and an egg carton.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoying our new little blessings!
7 weeks old! These puppies are full of life and love! It is so sweet how they all come running when we call them in a high, happy voice. Their attraction to human voices is due to being raised around them from day 1.
Photographing 7 week old puppies is no easy task. They've learned after 7 weeks that all my catchy noises behind the camera are just that - noises. Their interest is no longer piqued by me - they want to run and play and see new things. I was, however, pleased with this batch of pictures. I let them romp in their play yard for about 45 minutes before even trying pictures, which helped with the sitting still, but they still weren't amused by my noises.
The puppies’ had a full week – first bath, a trip to the vet, vaccinations, and lots of new experiences. The puppies spent more time outside as we made a larger play yard for them to safely romp. They so enjoy running around in the grass and seeing all the sights and smelling all the interesting smells. They spent more time with our kittens, saw a school bus go by, experienced an umbrella opening and closing, heard an air compressor and sander, saw a tractor and wagon go by, met EJ with a hard hat (see pictures below), and got to meet some more new faces as families came to visit them. That may seem like a long list of new experiences, but, remember – brief, gentle, and positive! Seeing EJ with the hard hat lasted only a few minutes. It was something familiar – EJ and his voice – paired with something new – a hard hat.
Below are some pictures of their first bath – admittedly not their favorite experience, but they weathered it well. They smelled wonderful after a bath in Life’s Abundance Revitalizing shampoo and a mist in Life’s Abundance Bath Fresh Mist.
The puppies are now on dry food. Their 7 week weights are as follows: Amelia - 4lbs, 14oz; Zeke - 4lbs, 12oz; Zuma - 4lbs, 7oz; JD - 4lbs, 4oz; Chester & Ivan - 4lbs, 1oz; Auggie - 4lbs; Tracker & Everest - 3lbs, 13oz; and Faith - 3lbs, 9oz.
Their vet visit went well. My vet found them to be in overall good health. He did note that their patellae (kneecaps) in their rear legs are loose. This condition is called a luxating patella. Although it is a common condition in small breeds, we’ve never seen it in our schnauzers. My vet graded them all at a grade 1, which is the most mild form. Since they were only 6.5 weeks old at the check-up, we feel it may improve with age and plan to have the litter rechecked near the 8-week mark. (UPDATE: We had the puppies rechecked at 8 weeks old and ALL were cleared of luxating patellae!)
I'm going to wrap up with a few more common questions we receive and snapshots. This will be my last post for this litter as they will heading off to their forever homes 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 very faithfully 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 but keeping it clean) and clean the play area several times daily. Even at this young age, they show a definite preference for pottying outside versus the potty box. When we let them out, they consistently take care of business first.
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 do 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. 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 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 - dogs and cats - are treated with Bravecto. You should discuss flea and tick prevention at your first vet visit.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a piece of our world! We are so blessed!
The puppies are doing fabulous at 6 weeks old! They are growing and changing and leaving their newborn puppy days behind. Nap time, although still an important part of the day, is decreasing as play time is increasing. On average, they sleep all night (though they often get up for a potty break or two) and 6-8 hours during the day. Puppies are known for lots of energy, but their energy comes in spurts. They may be a mini tornado one minute and sacked out sleeping the next. We make sure the puppies have lots of sleep time because sleep is essential to their growth and development.
The puppies are eating 3 meals a day of Life's Abundance Small & Medium Breed puppy food. I soak 1.5 cups of food in 0.5 cup of warm water for about 5 minutes. I feed them as a group with 5 bowls. They are gaining weight nicely. Their weights are as follows: Amelia - 4lbs, 2oz; Zeke - 4lbs, 1oz; Zuma - 3lbs, 13oz; JD - 3lbs, 10oz; Chester - 3lbs, 9oz; Ivan - 3lbs, 8oz; Auggie - 3lbs, 6oz; Everest - 3lbs, 5oz; Tracker and Faith - 3lbs, 1oz. By 7 weeks, our goal is to have them on dry food.
In addition to their food, we have added Life's Abundance Wellness Food Supplement to their diet. They receive a very small piece daily; I break 1 vitamin into 10 pieces for them. I add this to their diet as they prepare to receive their first round of puppy vaccinations in the next week and prepare to make the transition to a new home in just 2 weeks! I feel this vitamin helps maintain their overall health.
Their whelping area (shown above) includes 3 areas: sleeping area with a bed, play area, and a potty area. They are doing very well with potty training. (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.) Also, notice they have a water bowl in the corner. We give them access to water at all times. They have kept their bed perfectly clean. We are also now taking them outside to do business as often as possible. They definitely prefer to their business outside even at this young age!
The puppies’ experienced too many new things to mention this week – hearing airplane and helicopter sounds while playing outside in the yard, watching the children fly a kite, hearing a shop vacuum while we cleaned our shoe rack, hearing many new sounds through a puppy sound desensitization clip (knocking on the door, hair dryer, circular saw, drill, door bell, phone ringing), meeting our kitten Margaret, meeting new people, experiencing another brushing session with a Slicker brush, chewing on new soft toys, watching the children on a tricycle and rollerblades, walking on various surfaces in our house and yard, and going up and down a step. We believe that early and gentle introductions to a wide variety of sensations fosters a confident adult dog.
As I did last week, I'm going to address some great questions I get from families. (Be sure to scroll 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 early October. 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.
Do you at Russell Homestead take the puppies out for potty needs? Weather-permitting (see question above), 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 temperatures have been perfect for taking them out and they love the fall sunshine.
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 think all my 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; Ivan has earned that badge for this litter. Amelia, as well, is very adventurous and spirited. Tracker and Faith are distinguished by their small size – although they certainly are not behind the others developmentally. Faith shows glimpses of her Mama’s submissive personality. Zuma, Faith, and Tracker started as the smallest and all made their way in large litter, which means they have a bit of spunk. Next to Ivan and Amelia, Zuma is the most adventurous and inquisitive. I always hesitate to label a puppy as laid-back because no matter how laid-back, all puppies have "mini-tornado moments." If I had to pick a laid-back one, I'd pick Auggie. He reminds me a bit of a teddy bear with his sleepy, cuddly personality. Next to Auggie, I'd pick Chester as the other laid-back one. Zeke and JD are the “twins” – they are very similar in looks, build, and personality. Zeke was the most playful as I tried to take their photos today – he just couldn’t sit still! Everest is set apart by her darker markings. She is in the middle of her sisters in size as well as personality – not as playful as Amelia, but not as laid-back as Faith. 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. If you are looking for a Slicker brush or other great puppy products, visit my sister's shop at Kristen's Happy Tails.
I'll wrap up with a few snapshots. The first 2 pictures show you what the puppies wanted to be doing during the photo shoot. The adult schnauzer you see in 2 of the pictures is Cooper - the proud Papa of the puppies.
Thanks 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