Welcome to week 6 and ENERGY! Click on each picture for more individual photos (scroll down on their pages for the most recent photos.)
So much has changed since the sleepy newborn days! Life is about exploring, eating, chewing, running, smelling, playing, chasing, wrestling, and romping! The puppies still take several long naps during the day, but their awake time has increased exponentially over the past week. They are no longer content with the eating and sleeping way of life!
They have experienced numerous things in the past week - most importantly getting to play outside in some unseasonably warm November temperatures. My children were sure they wanted to play in the leaves, which prompted them filling their outdoor play yard with leaves. The puppies seemed to delight in all the new sounds and sensations of the leaves. These puppies quickly learned to love the outdoors - the rocks, grass, sticks, leaves, and oh-so-many new smells. When we take them back inside, some run straight for the door and try to get back outside.
In other new experiences, they got to experience a repairman coming to our house, the children in various hats, such as a bicycle helmet and a hard hat, a large ball, several power tool sounds, a campfire (from a distance), distant gun shots from state game lands near our home, airplanes overhead, and so much more that I don't even think to document because they are doing life with us every day.
Food is becoming routine and much-anticipated from the crew. We feed them three times a day - roughly at 6A.M., 12, and 7P.M. When they go home in two weeks, that's the basic schedule they will be on; though, we do bump the evening feeding closer to 6P.M. to make sure all potty business is done before bed. Speaking of potty business, these puppies are doing an impressive amount of business outdoors; yay! When our feet hit the ground in the morning, they go STRAIGHT to the puppies and out the door to try to catch that waking-up incident. Then, throughout the day, I take them out when I catch them all waking up or before/after meals - basically as often as I'm able to aid in the their training and keeping their whelping area clean. They still use their potty box in their whelping area because I can't catch every need for eight puppies. They are fairly good at getting their business in the box, but if the box happens to be occupied, they chose privacy in another corner over the correct place. Dogs like to do their business alone, and you'll see this as you train your puppy - they'll go off from you outside to eliminate or slip off to another room. (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.)
In addition to eating food, the puppies are beginning to explore more and have begun shredding the paper in the potty box, which tells me two things - their little teeth are bothering them and they are looking for new things experiences. Enter - chew time! We've introduced them to buffalo lung and buffalo bully sticks.
My favorite chew for the puppies is the buffalo lung. They love it, and I love that it’s one ingredient – buffalo lung! Life’s Abundance has several wonderful chewing products that are one ingredient – no harsh chemicals, fillers, or preservatives! We use these products on our adults and puppies because chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. In addition to help easing the pain of puppy teething, it helps clean their teeth throughout their lifetimes. And, chewing is just fun and enjoyable for dogs! I think it can help relieve stress and anxiety, as well. We don’t believe in trying to teach puppies NOT to chew, we believe in teaching them what to chew on. We already are training our puppies there are things not to chew on – mainly our toes (which seems especially delightful to puppies) and the newspaper in the potty box. We instruct our children never to let puppies “play bite” or chew on them – even though it’s adorable right now before all their teeth are intact and before they have real jaw strength.
All this eating and chewing, means growth! The puppies weights as of six weeks are as follows: James - 4lbs, 5oz; Eddie - 4lbs, 4oz; Gordon - 3lbs, 14oz; Peace - 3lbs, 13oz; Benny - 3lbs, 11oz; Mercy - 3lbs, 2oz; and Grace & Theodore - 3lbs. Using their weights as a guide, we dewormed them again this week. We will do this one more time right before they go home. The puppies show no signs of worms; but, due of the susceptibility of puppies to worms, we do it as a preventative.
As I've done with some previous puppy litters, I'm going to go over some great questions I receive from new families. (Be sure to scroll down 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 November. We never clip our puppies before they go home. (We bathe and brush, but no cutting of their hair.) 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.
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 believe all our 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; Eddie has earned that badge for this litter. Peace, as well, is adventurous and spirited. Both Eddie and Peace are confident and like attention from people, which reminds me of their dad, Cooper. Theodore is distinguished by his small size – although he certainly is not behind the others developmentally. He definitely has some spunk and is not afraid to tackle his larger siblings and instigate a wrestling match. Mercy shows glimpses of her Mama’s submissive personality. She was the most cautious when brought outdoors at first, along with her brother Benny. Benny seems the most laid back, though I always hesitate to label a puppy as laid-back because no matter how laid-back, all puppies have "mini-tornado moments." Next to Benny, I'd say James is also a bit more laid back. Gordon seems like an all-around middle of the road - not stepping out first like some of the others, but not hanging back either. Grace, like Mercy, seems a bit like her Mama in being more reserved than the others, but she's full of life like the rest. 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. By far, I use the regular human comb the most, especially on their belly and legs.
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.
And, now, the snapshots from the week...
Thanks, as always, for stopping by and sharing a bit of our world this week!
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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