Tachi's 2023 Puppies ~ 7 Weeks Old
My favorite picture from this past week isn't a puppy photo...
It's a mom photo. Tachi has done an outstanding job once again of raising her puppies. Her gentle, sweet personality is one of our favorite things about Tachi. She's an excellent mom, and we're so thankful for her. She is officially retired; if you want one of her amazing puppies, let me know today as two boys are available in our litter. (Update: All our puppies have found their forever homes!)
Tachi's puppies are 7 weeks old already! How much they've grown, changed, and learned in the last 7 weeks. They are now eating dry food and doing the larger part of their potty business outside. I take the litter out every few hours. It is amazing how they quickly prefer to go outdoors. While I tell families taking puppies home that their puppy is not house trained, they are well on their way! They are absolutely ready for crate training as they keep their bedding area spotlessly clean. However, with puppies, accidents are inevitable - enter Life's Abundance Biodeodizer spray!
If you'd ask us what are some must-have product for puppies, this biodeodizer spray would be at the top of our list. It is safe to use around pets and children, and it eliminates the odor naturally with viable bacteria cultures. I haven't found a surface yet that I can't use it on - including ones that come in to direct contact with the puppy, such as crates and bedding.
As this will be my last post for this litter, I will answer some frequently asked questions for those families taking a precious bundle home with them soon. Don't miss the photos and video at the end of the post!
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 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.
What do I need to purchase before bringing my puppy home? See my blog about puppy shopping here.
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 business goes outside or in their potty box on the newspaper.
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 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. This time around, for the first time, we are keeping one of the girls. While that is super special, it is still hard to say goodbye to the other puppies. We try to encourage them as the puppies grow that we are helping get them ready for their new family. Another thing that softens the blow of seeing their puppies leave is that new life is part of a homestead - every year we typically welcome puppies, goats, and kittens. 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.
And now, a short clip of the puppies in the spring sunshine- here - and lots of photos. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings!
"Tachi ought to be treated like a queen," my 11-year-old son said last evening. Yes, yes she should! She has done and is doing an outstanding job taking care of her nine puppies. Tachi loves snuggling in with her puppies, even though at this age she does not spend every moment with them anymore. I can just imagine her below saying, "Now, shhh! Don't wake them up!"
Also, notice on the photo above that we have placed a "potty box" (plexi glass box with newspaper) right outside their sleeping area. As I mentioned in my previous post, we believe house training begins at 3 weeks old when they are mobile. We change the towel in their sleeping area several times a day to teach them it is a clean area. Before we hold them or feed them, we put them in their potty box to business. We keep it clean by layering fresh newspaper; this preserves the smell that keeps them coming back while keeping it clean. Enough about beginning house training, here is the crew at 4.5 weeks old. Be sure to click on their photos for additional photos and details.
As you can see, the puppies are now alert and aware of their surroundings. Though they still sleep the majority of the day, they are starting to play with one another and with us. We spend a lot of time with our puppies. Since we homeschool, it is a favorite activity to have a puppy during school time. Below are the puppies beginning their education.
Their "education" right now is to develop a repertoire of different sights, sounds, and smells to learn not to be fearful or intimated by new things. Raising puppies in our home means these things happen naturally. Without any intentional socialization, our puppies already know what music, vacuums, blenders, cell phones, and more sound like. (Some past litters have learned our phone alarms and woke up right then HUNGRY. We try now to keep them from hearing that one particular sound in case we want to hit "snooze".) They also know what a couch feels like, what a wooden floor feels like, what a bed looks like, what a table and chairs look like, and much, much more. I can only imagine what their little noses have already smelled in our house - dirty laundry for sure as a favorite place of their parents to sleep is in laundry baskets. They've smelled various meals cooking as their whelping area is just off the kitchen. Candles, mud, cats, goats - all things they've likely caught whiffs of as we do life with them. We balance all these new experiences with lots of nap times snuggled up with their mom and siblings. They really do need lots of sleep at this age.
The puppies are developing new skills all the time - the ability to climb into their "potty box" to do business, the ability to walk, and the ability to lap out of bowl. Tachi still nurses them at this age, but they are learning to eat on their own. We began with goat milk, fresh from our homestead. We are now soaking their food in milk until it is soft. For right now, they mostly lap up the flavored milk. In just a few days, though, they will be chomping down the food. We feed them three times a day, getting them onto the schedule they will be on when they go home at the end of March. You can read all about nutrition here.
I'll wrap up with snapshots from around the house - you can see the puppies are getting lots of love and experiences! Look for the puppy yawn.
Please do us a favor and "like" this post below to share with your family and friends. We have a few boys still looking for their forever homes.
Hello from Russell Homestead! It’s been many months since we heard the adorable squeaks and chitters from little puppies, but our house is once again graced with those sounds times nine. Yes, nine! Our sweet Tachi has given us yet another large litter of puppies, and this time it is two girls and seven boys.
Since this is Tachi’s last litter and we want to continue her and Cooper’s bloodline here at Russell Homestead, we will be keeping one of the girls. So, without further ado, here are the little cuties. Remember to click on their pictures for more photos and information.
Picket is the largest puppy in the litter. He is a gorgeous salt & pepper with some white on his chest. He’s named for the main character is a book series our family enjoys called the Green Ember. He was named by CJ, age 11.
Meet Benny – a black & silver male about the same size as his brother Picket. Benny was named by EJ, age 6, after one of his favorite book characters – Benny in Boxcar Children.
Next up is one of the gals – Valentine. Valentine, named by MJ, age 7, was named for the holiday in her birth month (even though we know the real Valentine was a boy). She’s a salt & pepper.
Here’s Violet. Sweet violet (sweeter than all the roses, if you know that song) was also named by MJ. Next to her sister, she has more peppering in her coat. Both she and Valentine were four ounces at birth and have maintained about the same size.
Jo has the honor of being the little guy on the block. Born at three and half ounces, he is a little tot. With Tachi’s incredible nurturing skills, even her littlest puppies thrive. Jo, named by JJ, age 9, was named in honor of another Green Ember character, Jo Shanks, who is a famous archer.
Alongside Jo in birthweight, there’s Jax. Jax was named in honor of yet another Green Ember character who, in the beginning of the series, was a small baby. We took liberties with the spelling, but pronounce it like the story.
Meet Simon – a black & silver boy who has a teeny-tiny dot of white on his chest that helps me tell him apart from his brothers. In every litter, we pick one Bible name because we honor God as the creator and sustainer of all life. This litter, we picked Simon because two of our children have memorized John chapters one to six as part of MACSA Bible quizzing. In the passage, they memorized verses about “Simon Peter.”
Then there’s Theo! Named by AJ, age 12, in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, Theo is a black & silver boy with a white triangular shaped mark on his chest.
Waiting patiently until last, there’s Oliver – a salt & pepper boy with a thin white mark on his chest. Oliver is named after Oliver Vanderbeeker, another favorite character in a book series. (Can anyone tell we do lots of family read-alouds?)
That’s our happy little crew! We are very pleased with the puppies’ growth. We like to see them double their birthweight by 7-10 days. At eight days old, all but Benny has doubled their birthweight. Benny, the second largest in the litter, is just one ounce shy of doubling his birthweight.
As with our other litters, I will be posting periodic blog posts as they grow. I aim to blog about every ten to twelve days with pictures and information on the puppies. As a special wrap-up to this week’s post, here are two videos that showcase puppy twitching – video 1 & video 2. If you’ve read my past blogs, you know that two things we look for to know the puppies are doing well is sleeping in a pile and twitching while sleeping. Researchers are not one hundred percent sure why they do twitch, but it’s a sign of healthy puppies! And quite adorable!
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