a couple people have asked me about the room I keep the pups in. My house. The pool. I start them out in whelping box in the living room. They stay here till 3 weeks old. At 3 weeks they start escaping. The smell momma and follow the scent. So they get moved to the office. This is the room between my kitchen and garage. It's a huge 15x25 room. With lots of light and patio doors to back yard. I spend over 12 hours a day in this room. So I am with them all day and most of the evening. I no longer sleep with them at this age. Momma can get over the side of the pool but they can't get out. I could leave them in pool till they went home but I would not be able to potty train or get them use to crate. So they only stay in pool 2 weeks. At 5-6 weeks they then get out into a puppy play yard with access to patio door. And we go in and out all day long. This all depends on the weather and there ability to go down steps. We do not go outside till they can get up steps and down steps.
i like to change things around to get pups use too all sorts of sounds and smells and textures. What sets breeders apart is the way they raise the pups. Take for instance a back yard breeder that keeps pups in a kennel. The puppies never get exposure to normal life. The sound of the vacuum, you banging pots to cook, the sound of the washing machine, the texture of tile floor. Twice now in my life I have had pups that came from this environment. Once was a greyhound I rescued. She had never been up steps. It took years for her to adjust to normal house life. It was very time consuming standing at the top of the steps begging this 80lb dog to take a step. The next time I had purchased a dog from another breeder. This was no "cheap" dog. This was a $2500 akc registered dog. Again this pup had no exposure to normal life. He was scared of the vacuum, me cooking, the washing machine. I felt the pup was always running from something. So when I started breeding I voweled to introduce them to everything. I already have the shop vac out to blow up the pool. So they get use to loud noises. They hear me cook. They smell the food. The washer is in the same room as them. They get use to the door bell. I talk about this now because everyday we are working on another sound or texture. You notice I have lots of pads in all colors and styles. So they sleep on something different all the time. The only consistency I stress is eating and potty time. And sleep time. I turn lights low every night so they get use to day and night time. Once they start eating solid food I feed same time every day. I also socialize them to people and animals. At 6 weeks they get use to visitors. They meet our neighbor dog. I'm not a fan of young kids handling pups but they meet my neighbors grandkids on the other side of the fence. They get to hear young kids playing. I also do not over stimulate. I don't want them running around like crazy pups. I do believe you can over stimulate and get them use to being wound up all the time. We play but they also get use to down time of being quite and relaxing.
i almost labeled this lots of poo. At this age they potty a lot. Curly still cleans up most of it but the smell, the smell. Lol. This is the age were they are very mobile and walking around exploring. They are learning to potty with out the stimulation of curly. So they potty everywhere. It doesn't take but a couple days for them to start going away from bedding. So you will notice in the upcoming pictures that I have pads down to encourage them to potty in that space. With in the next week I will put in litter pans and use pellets to potty on. They are not quite tall enough to walk over lip of pan yet. You will notice I change things a lot. Each stage I do something different. I feel it gets them use to all kinds of situations and smells and textures and sounds. Tomorrow I will do a post dedicated to variety and why I think it's important. I took lots of pictures today when changing bedding.
i promise I will do individual pics Tuesday. I got busy today switching out bedding and playing. They love to come running and for you to rub the top of their heads. In the pictures above it's Bella washing them, not curly. Bella is so happy that she now has access to the pups and curly can't keep her out. Bella will always have the mother instinct. I just can't explain to you how much she loves puppies and loves being a mommy. Curly is a great mom. But Bella just has this way of knowing what needs done and how to do it.
they are loving all the space to roam. The pool gives them so much room to stretch out. Plus I can get in with them all and play. Curly tries to nurse when ever I do get in. That way they are with her and safe. Another week or so and she will loosen up a lot. I will do individual pictures this week. With eyes open now and they have grown so much. They fuss less when you pick them up. I wanted to give a couple key dates. We will be doing picks April 22 and 23. I go in order of list. I try to schedule everyone starting at 9am every hour and then break for lunch. So 9,10,11,12,2,3,4,5. If I have someone that can't make a time we will have to bump the rest till Sunday. So start thinking about time and your spot to let me know if we have any issues.
you heard it right. I moved the pups today for some play time. They loved the extra space to explore and I took lots of pictures. The next step from the box is the pool. Then on to the play yard. I just don't like putting them on the floor yet. To me 3 weeks old is just too young. And today we had 2 escapers. Dark blue and green managed to get over the door opening. So the big blow up pool works great. I will transition slowly. During the day for a couple days before I do an all night.
they are really growing. I attached the weights below. They are now 3 weeks old. I hope everyone has had a chance to watch the videos on fb and the pics on instagram. This was a busy week. Clipping nails again. A light wipe off bath and lots of bedding changes. And curly's appetite is crazy. She is still eating multiple times through out the night. Her favorite is the dehydrated chicken hearts. She can eat 2 lbs a day. The pups are doing great and still nursing. I like them to nurse for another 2 weeks. Ideally we will ween at 5-6 weeks. Last litter she nursed a little longer just like Bella. Each evening I take a pup out and put on my lap and love on it. My son likes to do the same. Then we switch and get another one. Curly is still not happy about this but it gets them use to things like their feet being touched. And their ears being played with. It also gives them experience with being alone and not sleeping on top of each other.
sorry so late. I'm really dragging the last day or so. This is the end of week 2 sleeping on the sofa. Curly is still eating a fair amount at night and going out to potty. Plus as most of you know dolly is on week 2 of meds for her uti. All though she is 4 months old she can't go longer than about 2 hours at a time. Uti's are not real common in this breed. It happens but it's not a common problem like some breeds. So I'm not getting a lot of sleep. The pups are very noisy at this age. She squeak and talk when they are awake. Eyes should be opening any day now. I keep looking for peekers. The inside corner will open first and it looks like they are peeking. It's so cute. They love that we turned the oil heat on during this cold spell. The wall radiators are right at their box and it warms the floor to a much higher degree than the heat pump does. They have been stretched out the majority of the day. When they are cold or chilled they pile on top each other and the fuss a lot. I really have to keep a close eye on them to keep the temp just where they want it. And to keep dolly out of the box. She is very interested in them and curly does not like it one bit. She wants to sniff them and lick them but curly expresses her distaste. Bella loves when I get one out of the box and let her love on it. I can see her light up and smile. Curly's weight is coming back nicely. I can feel her back bone but her sides are filling in. She is eating mostly raw and dehydrated liver, gizereds, and chicken breast. And her high cal mousse. This is the end of week 2 so we will start deworming everyone Friday. This will continue every other week till week 8. Just to make sure everyone is clear. I've actually never had one test positive but puppy worms are so common it's a precaution all breeders do. And then the vet will give boosters to you at week 12 and 16 usually. I did the weights today and from this point on it will be weekly only. Right now in the photo you will notice yellow is missing her collar. The Velcro sticks to the whelping pad and comes off. The new pad is just as bad as the old one. So I'm not happy. And I don't think it has much traction like advertised so I put the carpet pad back in over the whelping pad. I do this to help them stand and keep collars from sticking and coming off. Sometimes other breeders recommend things and I give it a try. Hence the new grey pad. Down the road this pad will work nice but right now they need traction. So if you notice in pictures the white pad that's what it is. I know a couple of you have called and emailed and I'll try to get to them tomorrow. Bear with me. Getting 3 girls suited and booted up to go potty in the snow 20 times a day has added a lot of work to my plate this week.
the pups are just adorable. They are starting to wobble around in the box. It's so much fun to watch. I will post a video tonight on fb to show you. As you can see in the weights they are all growing and getting chunky. Thanks to momma curly they have an unlimited supply of food. I have to do individual pictures. I just have not had a chance. I want to show you all the markings. Each has a unique set of markings. Some have pure white feet. Others have a white spot on head. I feel safe saying we may get some wavy coats in this litter. So if you like the loser curl look toward the ones that have smooth coats now. You can start to see this on the back and head now.