4 weeks old! While the last four weeks have been mostly about snoozing, eating, and growing for our puppies, the coming 4 weeks promise a lot more action! And the action is beginning. My children added some soft puppy toys to their area, and the puppies showed immediate interest. They are also beginning to play with each other and chew – evidenced by them shredding Elsa’s and Clarabelle's collars. (But, thanks to Lupine’s guarantee, I will get free ones!)
The puppies continue to get their nutrition from Sheerah. In the next few days, we will begin introducing raw goat milk and softened Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed puppy food. They are growing well under Sheerah’s care, and their little teeth are beginning to erupt from their gums. Their weights are as follows – Shadow - 2lbs, 11oz; Thomas and Rex - 2lbs, 8oz; Annie - 2lbs, 7oz; Elsa - 2lbs, 5oz; and Clarabelle 2lbs.
The image below shows how we have the puppies' whelping area set up. We've added a new "play area" this week as they've shown themselves faithful in going in the "potty box." (Notice the wet paper in the box - good puppies!)
We are continuing to work on house training using the Misty Method. The puppies have shown marked improvement in going in the “potty area.” They now toddle away from their sleeping area into the potty box to do their business. I change their sleeping bedding several times a day to teach them it’s a clean area. They are learning quickly; I’m always amazed how such small puppies have a preference for keeping their sleeping area clean. The puppies have to go by the "potty box" to get to the play area because they typically have to eliminate upon waking. Over the next week, we will expand their play area as they show preference for keeping it clean.
The puppies experienced their first round of dewormer today, which was not their favorite new experience. Deworming is standard procedure for us. At their vet visit, we also do a fecal to be sure they are worm and parasite free.
Above are Clarabelle's and Elsa's new collars after their littermates got a bit too curious about theirs. I show their collars to help new families know who is who when they come visit.
Other new experiences for the puppies included watching AJ mop outside their whelping area, hearing fire trucks go by, hearing a generator running, watching the children fold wash, seeing LEGOS, and hearing leaf blowers. I also played some puppy sound desensitization clips for them of construction noises (hammering, sawing), motorcycles, and city noises (sirens, horns, traffic). I played the clips softly by their whelping box. They pricked their ears and looked around, and then fell asleep. I also played them while my children were holding them in order to pair something familiar (our children) with something new (the sounds). We continue to socialize them with different areas of the house as the children begin to be able to play with them more. However, they still do sleep a lot of the day, and we give them plenty of rest time.
I'll wrap up with some snapshots from the week! Thanks, as always, for stopping by and sharing in our little homestead.
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!
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