Friday, September 12, 2014

Three Weeks Old Today

Some one is getting tired of puppies
Happy Birthday Puppies, three weeks old today!  Today is the day the babies become puppies and start acting like little dogs.  Many of their instinctive behaviors will become evident over the next few days, particularly their attempts to keep "the nest" clean.  The front comes off the whelping box today, giving them full access to the pen and the newspapers that cover the floor.  It's amazing how quickly pups learn to leave the box and use the papers, rather than peeing on the carpet.
They see and hear more clearly at this age, and if you reach quickly for a puppy it will instinctively duck in an attempt to avoid possible danger.  No Hawks or Eagles to worry about in my basement, but I'll be careful not to startle them when I reach for them.  They also start to recognize people and greet them with wagging tails.  I love being greeted by happy chubby pups with wagging tails.  NOTHING is cuter than that.
The pups are starting to interact with one another too.  Slow motion wrestling and mouthing one another are such fun to watch.  In the picture to the right Dallas and Summerset are mouthing, while Peabody and McNab are practicing their wrestling moves.  They're such fun to watch.  It's like Puppy TV.  If I go down to check on the pups I end up spending an hour just watching them.  They don't stay awake for long, but if they decide they want Fern and she's not there, they do some serious yelling.  Fern is resigned to the feeding on demand, but almost sighs before she heads back to work.

They really started noticing toys yesterday and their box is full of colorful items of different shapes and sizes.  Some hanging, some on the rug. A few dog toys, but many household items as well.  Everything is interesting when you are three weeks old. Such fun to watch the pups discover new things and check them out.  By providing them with a variety of toys now, they become accustomed accepting new things quickly. The experiences a pup has as a baby have a great deal of effect on his eventual personality.
Time for company this weekend too.  New people with different laps, new smells and strange voices.  Our goal is always for pups to meet a MINIMUM of 100 new people before going to their forever homes.  It's important that as many of the visitors as possible are children.  Pups need to be socialized to accept and be comfortable with all the different experiences they will encounter in their new homes, and they need to have positive experiences with children.  The next five weeks will be very busy!

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