Here are our four week puppies enjoying the October sunshine!
4 weeks old! It is hard to believe that half our time with these babies is already passed. The puppies are becoming a lot more “fun” in the past week as they are now up and romping with each other and interacting with us. These play periods are very short lived (5-15 minutes), as they still snooze away most of the day and night. With their increased mobility and desire to play, we have changed their whelping area to continue their house training process. See the area below.
We gave them a play area this week. Notice the potty box (with wet newspaper - good puppies!) is right outside their sleeping area because they typically go potty upon waking. They have free access to the sleeping, potty, and play areas. As they learn to keep the sleeping and play areas clean, we will expand it the play area to include the now "off limits" area. And, of course, they spend much time outside of their whelping area interacting with us.
Feeding them is becoming more our responsibility and less Tachi’s. Tachi has shown us some signs that she is ready to wean them – mainly spending less time with them. As opposed to spending a lot of time with them in the beginning, she now goes in mainly to feed them. Eight puppies at four weeks old is almost impossible for Tachi to feed – there simply is not enough room! We have begun feeding them goat milk in the morning and evening. In the next few days, we will start adding softened food with the milk. We start our puppies on Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed puppy food. We highly recommend this food for puppies! When our puppies go home, they will be on this food with no added milk or water.
The puppies continue to grow nicely. Their 4 week weights are posted on their pages. Their weights are as follows: Peace - 2lbs, 13oz; James - 2lbs, 12oz; Eddie & Gordon - 2lbs, 9oz; Benny - 2lbs, 6oz; Grace & Mercy - 2lbs, 2oz; and Theodore - 1lbs, 13oz.
We will deworm the puppies today and continue to deworm them every two weeks until they go home. Deworming puppies is simply a standard procedure for us. We also will be taking a fecal to the vet when they go for their health check-up to be sure they are worm and parasite free.
Their week was full of new experiences; we keep them brief and positive in order to show them that new things are safe and interesting. The puppies got to go outside for the first time and feel the grass, rocks, and leaves while hearing a leaf blower, traffic going by (including a loud motorcycle that caught their attention), and children playing in a leaf pile. During one of their naps, I turned on an audio clip of various city sounds - horns, sirens, traffic - and some power tool sounds. They slept through most of it. Another new experience was joining us for our afternoon reading time on the couch. For the most part, they snuggled down and went to sleep, but a few puppies listened very attentively to my voice as I read.
You may wonder why we have a focus on brief, positive, new experience for our puppies. Puppies are naturally open to the world around them. This "window of socialization" closes around a few months old. If puppies learn young to accept new things, they will be much more flexible as an adult to accept new people and places. When you bring an eight week puppy from us (or any breeder), do not consider them "socialized." We lay a solid foundation of socialization, but then the responsibility rests upon their new families to expose them in positive ways to new things. One of the best things we have done for socialization is basic obedience training at a local dog training club; it's an investment you won't regret!
I'll close with snapshots from the week - don't miss the last ones where they are experiencing their "first" meal. Thanks, as always, 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