"Tachi ought to be treated like a queen," my 11-year-old son said last evening. Yes, yes she should! She has done and is doing an outstanding job taking care of her nine puppies. Tachi loves snuggling in with her puppies, even though at this age she does not spend every moment with them anymore. I can just imagine her below saying, "Now, shhh! Don't wake them up!"
Also, notice on the photo above that we have placed a "potty box" (plexi glass box with newspaper) right outside their sleeping area. As I mentioned in my previous post, we believe house training begins at 3 weeks old when they are mobile. We change the towel in their sleeping area several times a day to teach them it is a clean area. Before we hold them or feed them, we put them in their potty box to business. We keep it clean by layering fresh newspaper; this preserves the smell that keeps them coming back while keeping it clean. Enough about beginning house training, here is the crew at 4.5 weeks old. Be sure to click on their photos for additional photos and details.
As you can see, the puppies are now alert and aware of their surroundings. Though they still sleep the majority of the day, they are starting to play with one another and with us. We spend a lot of time with our puppies. Since we homeschool, it is a favorite activity to have a puppy during school time. Below are the puppies beginning their education.
Their "education" right now is to develop a repertoire of different sights, sounds, and smells to learn not to be fearful or intimated by new things. Raising puppies in our home means these things happen naturally. Without any intentional socialization, our puppies already know what music, vacuums, blenders, cell phones, and more sound like. (Some past litters have learned our phone alarms and woke up right then HUNGRY. We try now to keep them from hearing that one particular sound in case we want to hit "snooze".) They also know what a couch feels like, what a wooden floor feels like, what a bed looks like, what a table and chairs look like, and much, much more. I can only imagine what their little noses have already smelled in our house - dirty laundry for sure as a favorite place of their parents to sleep is in laundry baskets. They've smelled various meals cooking as their whelping area is just off the kitchen. Candles, mud, cats, goats - all things they've likely caught whiffs of as we do life with them. We balance all these new experiences with lots of nap times snuggled up with their mom and siblings. They really do need lots of sleep at this age.
The puppies are developing new skills all the time - the ability to climb into their "potty box" to do business, the ability to walk, and the ability to lap out of bowl. Tachi still nurses them at this age, but they are learning to eat on their own. We began with goat milk, fresh from our homestead. We are now soaking their food in milk until it is soft. For right now, they mostly lap up the flavored milk. In just a few days, though, they will be chomping down the food. We feed them three times a day, getting them onto the schedule they will be on when they go home at the end of March. You can read all about nutrition here.
I'll wrap up with snapshots from around the house - you can see the puppies are getting lots of love and experiences! Look for the puppy yawn.
Please do us a favor and "like" this post below to share with your family and friends. We have a few boys still looking for their forever homes.
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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