Introducing new toys, textures, and sounds is key to puppies that adapt quickly to changes around them.
Like toddlers, sometimes the puppies don't want to quit playing to sleep. Cam lost the battle, though, and fell asleep leaning on my leg.
Full bellies and play time has most of the puppies crashed out, but there is always one that tries to keep the fun going.
WEEK 3 - WEEK 4
The puppies' awareness of what is going on around them has dramatically increased. They still sleep most of the day, but they have brief periods of activity that now includes more than just eating! They noticed mom eating and wanted to try it, so they are offered milk with soft food each day. They listen to both classical music during sleep time, and a playlist with various household and neighborhood noises which allows them to let mom's lack of reaction and the positive reinforcement of eating to accustomed them to new noises without fear. We also introduce something new each day--a toy, new bedding, a new spot to play with them--all designed to teach them to adapt to change without stress. They're doing great!
Daily handling of the puppies means even picture time is nothing to stress about. Unfortunately, that means getting an alert puppy for a picture isn't always simple...
All the puppies's eyes are open now. They move around more when they are awake, and see mom lurking a few feet away much quicker (much to her dismay!).
The puppies are getting much stronger legs and aren't afraid to work to get where they want. Whether on top of the pile, under it, or in this case, Sarai decided to tunnel under Ashlyn's armpit!
WEEK 2 - WEEK 3
The puppies' eyes are all open and within a few days, their ears will be, too. We take them out of their whelping pen and they scoot around a bit, but still aren't stable on their feet or play with each other. They're showing some interest in mom's supplemental goat milk, and a few have tried lapping it up from the pan, others will suck it off our fingers. Until they hear well, we're just spending time touching and petting on them.
Pile of Puppies
At two weeks old, neither the puppies eyes or ears are open. They mostly sleep and eat.
Puppies need to be touched! After ENS, we always spend a few minutes with each puppy just cuddling and petting.
Using a Q-tip to stimulate skin on toes.
Puppies nails are already growing and to keep them from snagging in blankets and scratching mom, we trim them weekly.
DAY 4 - WEEK 2
ENS for Puppies
We strive to do the very best for our puppies during the short weeks that we have them. This includes different experiences and training that is specific to their development and capabilities. Specifically, we follow Jane Killion's Puppy Culture protocols. Part of this is using Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) for puppies from days 3 to 16. There is loads of research on ENS that shows that these exercises lead to faster maturation and better problem-solving abilities later in life (which leads to a happier, less stressed dog!).
Birth - 4 days
Bristol has had her puppies early for the last two years, so I kept my eyes on her from ten days out. With some dogs there is a drop in temperature nearing birth, and some of my girls won't eat when it gets that close...none of these apply to Bristol. So, each night I'd wake up every couple hours and check the puppy cam. No puppies. Just a snoring mama. Thursday night was a late night-I checked in on Bris at about midnight. She was a bit restless (not typical), and I thought, this is it! But after thirty minutes she settled down and went to sleep, so I did, too. I jolted awake at 3:30am and checked on Bris, all eight puppies were born. What!?! I love being with moms as the pups are born. It's like Christmas to see what's coming next, and, of course, to offer any assistance as needed. But Bristol did just fine without me (a blow to my ego, but that's okay). Now the
work fun begins!