A day in the life of our puppies
This is a diary of some of the events that help shape your puppy
This is kept a quiet time for both the mother and the puppies, as this is the time when the maternal bond is established. At this time, we are gently handling the puppies to check on good progress, keeping them clean and generally ensuring the mother and puppies are doing well. The puppies are weighed daily and their weights recorded.
The pups days are mainly spent sleeping, they are beginning to lift themselves up and negotiate their box. Early socialisation began immediately they were born, each day the puppies are cleaned with baby wipes introducing being handled. We look in their ears and mouths; touch their pads and gently turn them to view their tummies. This starts the process of ensuring that they are happy to be handled in the future. The start of enjoying the vets!
In week 3, the puppy’s eyes start to open and, while his vision is initially poor, he can see movement. He also begins to hear what is going on around him. He will begin to startle when hearing unexpected sounds but, his fear response is not fully developed, so we do not keep things quiet at as it is important for them to acccept general household noises. In this week, the puppys start to learn about their social group. We now begin to introduce the other animals in the household.
In Week 4 the puppy is starting to develop his play behaviour, and also, if given the chance, his problem solving behaviour!
This is also the week we start to spend more time with each puppy individually and in groups – slowly increasing the time they spend away from their littermates and mum. This will help to prevent separation problems, will develop independence and will encourage bonding with humans. Evening time is spent in the lounge with the pack including the cats!
4-7 Weeks - Curiosity
These weeks are a crucial time for the puppy’s brain development. This is when puppies are at their most curious and willing to approach people, but at the same time their natural fearfulness starts to be shaped by their environment. This increase of fearfulness is a gradual process over the next couple of weeks and so now is the time to introduce all manner of sights, sounds, and people as this will ultimately determine how well balanced the puppy will turn out as an adult.
Their individual features are starting to show now. Often I can see that a couple look just like mum did as a puppy.
The biggest thing is to move from their whelping boxes into the puppy room. This has direct access to the outside puppy pen, where the pupies get to explore the outside world.
The puppies now have much more space to play and practice their walking.
We introduce lots of toys, including a paddling pool, tunnels to run through and our sand pit to dig.
The outside world
For the first time the puppies are spending the whole day outside. This is another enrichment process for them. They will also learn to pee and poo outside too. I provide some dens to hide in. The picture shows some of them are sleeping in one.
Changing the scenery provides a little stress for the puppies and this teaches them to handle stress in the future. If they show signs of any extra stress I give them a quick cuddle and a tut tut tut tut. Once they are soothed, it's straight back into it. The little confidence build normally does the trick.
Giving too much attention when the puppy is stressed can reinforce a fear so it is important to keep it short and sweet and give them a second chance to face the object of fear. Once in the new homes it is important to allow the puppies to face their fears. Picking a young puppy up when it meets another dog may cause it to be fear aggressive in later life. The best method is to allow it to hide behind you and gently coax it out. Don’t leave until it has at least had a little smell of the other dog and removed it’s tail from beneath it’s legs. If you don’t next time may be worse. Don’t worry if there is a little growling that is normal conversation for dogs.
Getting ready to leave
The last week of the puppies living with us has been extra specially busy. We make up their leaving packs. Organised their follow on food, beds etc. They were registered with the Kennel Club not long after they were born. However they are now microchipped and logged with Petlog.
Rides in the car have been increased preparing the puppies for a long ride home. Taking as many as 12 puppies for their eyes testing was an interesting experience with a production line that involved lots of sheep dye.
All of the puppies have new collars and lead provided when they are chosen. We introduce them to the lead walking them around the kitchen central work station.
All of the puppies have had a bath, before leaving. Each puppy was bathed dried, blow dried combed and then photographed. If we are lucky Lynn Kipps ( Wheat and Diamonds owner)comes and takes professional photographs of them which can be purchased directly from her. Their true colour stands out now and they look prestine for their collection.
Some of the puppies are stay a little longer so we take a trip to the vets for their first injections.
We offer a service of keeping and training the puppies upto 12 or 16 weeks. If this might suit your circumstances please ask for our rates.
7 Weeks of Sevens
By the end of the puppy's 7th week, we aim for them to have experienced the following seven ;
1. Met 7 different types of people (examples: toddlers, women, men, people with hats, wheelchairs….)
2. Been on 7 different surfaces (examples: newspaper, lino, grass, polished floors, vetbed, uneven ground…)
3. Played with 7 different types of toys (plush, hard, tuggy etc)
4. Heard 7 different household/natural noises (for example TV, vacuum cleaner, playing children, things been dropped….)
5. Been in 7 different locations
6. Done 7 different problem solving activities (for example climb over a step, over a blanket, go through a tunnel….)
7. Been out and about to see 7 different places or things (carried to watch traffic, children in playground, vets, sat in car etc).
Most of the puppies leave at about eight weeks. It is a very busy time, we provide a two hour training session for new owners. Explaining the puppies progress so far and training tips for the next few months.
Our puppy pack includes:
- Training and information booklet
- Small bag of Healthy Options pet food
- Kennel club pack
- Microchip tag
On leaving day you will be given an allotted time to fit in with everyone else.
Don't worry about mum, in dog life it's aboout the time when our children go off to University and as much as we love them it's good to get our lives back!