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