Puppies are much more active these days. They LOVE being outside to explore their surroundings!
LOTS of new experiences for puppies this week! Developmental leaps and bounds! Puppies keep us really busy along with caring for our other critters too! All the puppies are eating dry food now. I’m feeding a little over 1/2 cup per puppy three times per day now. When puppies go to their new homes, you will feed about 1 cup per feeding. I doubt they will eat the entire cup of food but you will know they’ve eaten enough (after 15 minutes of feeding or when puppy becomes distracted. Then just pick up the feeding bowl. Puppy has eaten his/her fill.) And again, when puppy shows little interest in that mid-day feeding, you will know you can eliminate that feeding and go to your permanent twice per day feeding schedule. (Usually at around 3-4 months of age).
Puppy poops are firming up more now too which is a good thing! We are in the process of drying up Deja who still wants to nurse her babies. And puppies LOVE nursing on Deja even though they bite her now.
Puppies weight this week has everyone around 8 lbs. Light Blue Boy weighed in at 7 lb 14 oz so he has effectively “caught up” to his siblings. Purple Girl and Dark Blue Boy have both hit 9 lbs (9 lbs 4.6 oz and 9 lbs even respectively). Pink Girl will hit 9 lbs today, I suspect, weighing in at 8 lbs 15.6 oz yesterday! Puppies are usually 10-12 pounds by the time they are 8 weeks old. We are right on target for those weights. And… All the puppies have had their third de-worming, dosage based on their individual weights. This is common practice with puppies to ensure their health. Roundworms are dormant and become “active” during whelping and through lactation. Treating them now as young puppies immune system are being built up fosters their health now. Later, puppies will start heartworm preventaive meds that will continue to prevent “wormy puppies”!
In other news…
Light Blue Boy went to the door this morning to be let outside to potty. I think he is absolutely BRILLIANT! Of course the other puppies went outside also and had to potty too but watching this bitty puppy sit at the backyard door and look up willing it to open/be let outside… BRILLIANT!
And just like that, it seems, pups are growing up! Puppies now go outside several times per day (and are doing a great job pottying outside!) They all have found the “hole” Deja has dug where she only THOUGHT she would have her puppies! Puppies like to dig in this hole unearthing the cool dirt. Fortunately, the area is dry so the dirt just brushes off puppies. This is a really good thing for folks to know… No matter how dirty puppy/dog seems to be, let them dry off and much of the “dirt” will fall off or be easily brushed off. Crate puppy/dog until they are dry and voila… clean(er) dog again!
Puppies have more toys now including a small child/toddler’s slide… They love climbing up the little steps and sliding down the slide! “King of the Slide” IS a thing here! And they now have yet another newcomer to play with… A rather large stuffed tiger that tolerates their tugging, climbing all over, and snuggling with.
Having them outside in our covered dog run is still iffy, in my mind. It really depends on the weather and heat. They are 100% safe in the run with LOTS of room to run and play except for the heat (and humidity). I’m really following the big dogs lead… If they don’t want to go outside, I figure they know best! Regardless, hubby has now put up additional shade clothes over the run to give puppies more shade but really… It depends on the heat! Pups still prefer to sleep on the concrete (cooler) and enjoy the AC in our dog room!
Deja continues to nurse puppies a handful times per day but puppies are getting the majority of their nutrition from solid food. And all are drinking from the water bowl although we still have a few who try to “swim” in the bowl! Regarding feeding, puppies go to new homes eating three meals/day. About one cup of food per puppy per feeding. They will probably NOT eat all of that food so don’t be alarmed if they don’t eat it all. I just figure it best for them to get their fill than leave feeding time “hungry”. You can always re-feed any leftovers at the next meal time.
At around three months of age, they will start showing little interest in the mid-day feeding. They may eat some then prefer to play instead of eating. That is when you will know you can quit that mid-day feeding. Puppy is just not that hungry anymore. That is the time you will go to twice/day feedings; still one cup per feeding morning and night.
When your puppy is getting their series of vaccinations from your vet, puppy will be weighed. So often, folks get caught up with the number. A better guide for weight is “how does the dog look?” I’m attaching two guides that I use frequently to gauge weight in my dogs. These guides have nothing to do with a number but more on how your dog “looks/feels”.
P.S. Sorry for being a day late! Computer glitch and internet down yesterday afternoon! Ahh… the love-hate relationship with technology!!
Puppies have been moved to a bigger area! Their world just got even bigger!
I’m raising this litter “differently” than I’ve ever raised any other litter. In the past, I’ve set up my big whelping box on a linoleum remnant to protect my flooring and have had puppies in various rooms throughout my house. For this litter, Deja had her puppies in my “dog room” (the most amazing “utility room” and highlight, for me, of my house!) We’ve lived in our current house over ten years; I don’t know why I’ve never thought of doing this before?
I vowed to NEVER have puppies in the summer after last year’s litter! The linoleum remnant covered my ducts thus blocked the AC flow of cool air. Puppies were HOT! Everyone was HOT! My dog room is on its own separate heat/AC system! It has to get pretty darn hot for me to turn on our house AC but the dog room AC… it gets turned on for the dogs!
This room has been finished with indoor/outdoor dog runs. I can separate visiting dogs, girls in season, or in this case… Puppies! Yesterday’s brilliant idea was wondering if I could open up two runs to create a bigger area for Deja and the puppies? HUGE thanks to hubby who reminded we DO have an extra 5′ panel gate not being used. He switched out the plain 5′ gate for the 5′ door panel and voila… two runs opened up! One for puppies and one for Deja to be able to get away from puppies! While the door is open, there is a panel that Deja easily can walk over to get to the puppers but they can’t get to her. Every mother knows it is nice to be able to take a break from the kids!
Puppies now have a bigger area (and toys) to explore indoors as they may still be a bit small to take outside. Eventually, I will open up the doggy door for pups to learn to go through and have protected time outside too (the dog runs are covered specifically for puppies. Nothing can get to them outside. Remember I live “in the country”. We have owls, hawks and eagles that like to “fly over” looking for easy targets/meals!)
We will start weaning puppies onto solid food this week. We will also be getting puppies outside this week also. All puppies have now master walking on concrete (flooring in the dog room) which was no easy task… the concrete is slippery! They will do much better on grass. Puppies are developing their personalities more and more each day… All are curious, outgoing puppies and all LOVE to be petted/touched. They are almost as excited having me in with them as they are having Deja in with them… almost!
They were ready for the move to a bigger space. And Deja is ready for them to be started on solid food. Standing to feed puppies is our sign of that! Plus, Deja gets to “clean up”and eat any puppy food leftovers… I think she will enjoy that part the most!
Puppies growing and hitting appropriate milestones… YES!
All up and walking well. All learning their voice (a few howl because… they can!) They are starting to play with toys (and explore with their mouths). All are being individually handled/rolled in our hands. They LOVE being scratched/tickled under their chins, bellies, necks!
All are really good eaters! We will start weaning, for real, this upcoming weeks. They are learning to “chew”/”lick” and not just “suck” although nothing beats “mom”! Regarding weaning… we always let the mom’s determine when to quit feeding puppies. Deja has, in the past, nursed or tried to nurse her puppies up until the day they leave. She is an incredibly patient “mommy” even when they start biting her! Yes, teeth are coming in!
Happy two-weeks-old to the puppers! I’ve been trying to take photos of puppies but all of them, when they aren’t sleeping, are on the move. Happy to say all puppies are pushing themselves up and using their rear legs to support themselves. They are learning how to walk! This, as it is with any baby, is a huge milestone for them.
Other big news this week… eyes and ears are open now. Eyes start off as tiny slits as they adjust to the world around them. Every day, eyes open more and more. Ears open right around this time too which honestly… freaks me out! Puppies yip, cry, give little barks that bring me running to see what is going on? As puppies “get their voice”, they startle themselves hearing themselves (wondering where is that noise coming from?) The puppy yipping is turning his/her head all around trying to find out where that noise is coming from that s/he is making… It IS sort of funny!
I tried to “re-post” an article I’ve posted before but seem to be technically challenged doing this…sigh! Just wanted to let folks know that yes, we do “neurological stimulation” with all the puppies. This stimulation is done when puppies are very young and is supposed to help them become “better puppies/dogs”. I don’t know how much of an effect this has on puppies but.. It is what we do with all of our puppies. You can read more about this here… Early Neurological Stimulation (click here!)
All puppies are over the 2 pounds now but one. We are spending more time with this puppy “helping him” get the best nipple and not be bullied/pushed off when eating by his siblings. He IS gaining weight but not quite 2 pounds yet. He will be soon hit that milestone but as long as he is still gaining weight every day, I’m happy!
We are still planning “puppy party” in two weeks (for those that can make it). I’ll send directions later. If August 3rd doesn’t work for anyone, let me know and we can make other arrangements. And that is MY cue to get Puppy Info Packets ready! Expect them in the next few days; early part of next week at the latest. As always, if you have any questions, let me know…
It’s hard to believe a week passed so quickly? So much happened in such a short period of time or so it seems to me! That first week of life can be a very critical stage for puppy’s growth; I’m celebrating that all are doing so well! Pups are all growing/gaining weight; I’ve had to loosen their paracord collars to accommodate their growth twice now. Deja’s body has figured out the milk requirements to make for the demand of puppies and is doing great also. Time to think about “down the road”…
Puppies will go to their new homes any time after Friday of Labor Day weekend. When folks decide exactly when they want to come pick up their puppy, let me know so we can all coordinate calenders.
A week before puppies go to their new homes, I will take them all in for their first vaccinations and wellness exams. New owners will get a copy of this exam for their puppy along with everything I’ve done for puppies prior to them going to their new homes. This information is what you will want to give to your vets to continue puppy’s care. I always want to keep puppies a few days after that first vaccination to make sure all puppies are doing well. It just doesn’t make sense to stress puppies’ system with both vaccinations AND leaving mom/littermates and going to a new place at the exact same time.
At around 4 weeks of age, we will have a “puppy party”. Puppies are more interactive by this age and mom’s LOVE to show off their babies as well as soak up any extra attention they can for themselves. Looking at the calender, this is that first weekend in August. I realize folks have made summer plans so can be very accommodating to everyone’s schedule. This is true especially for out-of-town families. Just let me know what works for you.
Picking puppies… I’ve taken into account what each family has requested when they filled out my questionnaire. It is through ongoing observation and interaction with pups that I will match up each puppy with what each family is looking for/stated they want in their next puppy. My personal goal is to make sure each puppy is placed in the “perfect” home from the start… I am sure that is what every family would want also.
Which brings me back to puppies themselves. Frequently, folks may have heard there is a “runt” in a litter? We take a more “hands-on” approach and “help” every puppy be the most s/he can be. I’ve taken the lightest (weight) puppies and make sure they get the best, most filled nipples at feeding time. I don’t let stronger, heavier puppies bully or push the lighter ones away. Consequently, we don’t have “runts” in our litters. By the time pups go to their new homes, they all weigh basically the same amount of weight. And once they start on solid food, even the lighter puppies “catch up” on their own.
Uniformity… All puppies will be a medium color. There are a few puppies who may be on the lighter shade of medium but none of them will be as blonde/white as my girl, Vee (her mother is Deja from Deja’s last litter). Being that this breeding is an “outcross”, I’m very pleased at how consistent each puppy is to each other. An “outcross” means… Deja and the sire do not share common ancestry/pedigree.
In your puppy packet, you will receive info on both sire (dad) and dam (mother). In that PDF packet that I will send ahead of time/soon, you will see your puppy’s pedigree and see what I mean. The goal of breeding an “outcross” is to produce consistent puppies while still bringing in new genetics to diversify the pedigree. We don’t practice “in-breeding” which can double up on genes that increase the likelihood of disease or problems in puppies produced. For those not aware, the sire of these puppies is named, Elton. He is the sire that produced the dog that won Best Of Breed at Westminster last February. Besides being a champion himself, he is from a pedigree of longevity, health, and good temperament which really, is the hallmark of the breed and what we always look at first before comtemplating any breeding.
Lastly, we always like puppies to be named according to a theme. It is a fun thing to do while waiting for puppy to arrive. The theme for this litter, in their registered name, will be anything with the word “Free” in the name (since they were born on 4th of July). Think of names you would like your puppy’s registration name to be; of course you can call puppy whatever name you choose. I will work on some name options and post later but time to start thinking of those registered names. I will register the litter and then each puppy with the registration name you pick out all at one time later. This is one less thing new owners have to do after bringing home their new puppy. AKC will immediately send you your puppy’s registration congratulatory email and in about a week, you will receive the formal registration in the mail.