7 weeks old! The puppies had an exciting week and their little worlds expanded even more! The unseasonably warm February temperatures felt like a heaven-sent blessing because I could take the puppies outside. They loved the outdoors, and they got to experience rocks, mulch, snow, grass, macadam, and, of course, children with riding toys! In addition, they showed a real preference for doing their potty business outside.
The puppies had a fabulous trip to the vet. They weren't too sure about the car ride there, but nobody threw up. At the vet, they were very well-behaved - no accidents or barking! Our vet said they are all in great health. King has a very mild underbite that we are keeping an eye on. As his teeth come in (he was a late teether), we will see exactly what his bite is going to do, Below are a few pictures from the vet visit.
The puppies are now eating dry food. I switched them over from softened food to dry food this past weekend, and they ate it like champs. I now feed the whole crew 2 cups of dry food 3 times a day. So, on average, they get 3/4 cup food per day. If you are taking a puppy home from this litter, I will have detailed feeding instructions for you.
As I did last week, I'm going to address a few more common questions I receive.
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 (with a few exceptions). 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 frequently.
This past week I saw an example of how well the Misty Method works for beginning house training. As I prepared to take my puppies to the vet, I took them outside right before my half an hour drive to the vet. They did their business, and we drove to the vet. I waited about half an hour to see the vet. Once in the examination room, the puppies wanted OUT of the crates they were in. Since it had been an hour since their potty break, I assumed the puppies would have accidents in the vet's office. However, not one puppy had an accident! We drove home, and I let them out again and most went potty!
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. We are expecting baby goats in the near future and hoping for more puppies in 2019. 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 are treated with Bravecto. You should discuss flea and tick prevention at your first vet visit.
Are you Amish? While I’ve never had this question from anyone interested in our puppies, I’m going to speculate that it was an unvoiced question in many people’s minds due to where we live and what we look like. No, we are not Amish. We are Mennonites. There is a difference, but rather than discuss doctrinal differences, I’ll just say that the most important part of our faith is believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In Romans 10:9 the Bible says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” As Mennonites, we strive to know the Bible and live by it in our daily lives. We welcome any further questions anyone may have on our beliefs.
Well, this wraps up yet another journey from newborn puppy to home-going. There will be no blog post next Monday as we begin sending off our little ones to the next chapter of their lives. Thanks for joining us; we are blessed!
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