Friday, August 26, 2011

Lots of Changes...

(Click on the photos for larger views.)

This week has seen a real alteration in Lily's puppies, as their features become much more defined and they develop better coordination with their bodies.  Lola's boys moved in with Lily's earlier in the week and they seem much more animated and happy to be with the larger "pack".  Initially, we moved them back to their room to nurse with Lola, but they kept escaping and running happily back to the other puppies.  Now, Lola tries to separate them from the rest to nurse, but sometimes she good-naturedly just gives them all a little drink...
The entire pack waits expectantly as Lola hops over for a feeding
The puppies have made some field trips" outside to explore, closely supervised by the Moms.

Lily is carefully shielding this puppy from the evil influence of Uncle Cosmo, who is getting ready to bark at the mailman.
Lola's Puppies have amazing silky coats like none I have felt before--they get a lot of lap-action, as it is feels wonderful to run fingers through the satiny fleece.
Both of these litters have great eye-contact, which is an attribute that we aim for in our program.

Lily is not sure about all this rough-housing...
...actually, she just wants to join in the game (and hops over herself.)
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Meeting New People (and other Family Members)

The puppies are being exposed for longer periods to other humans...and dogs.  Lily's permanent family have a second visit to see their new Mom.   It is clear that Lily trusts her human family with her babies and is proud to show them off!

Because young puppies are so vulnerable, we make sure that no outside shoes are worn in the house, and that everyone has clean clothes and sanitized hands.

Another one of our experienced puppy handlers has stopped by for a short visit, and helps us get some cute puppy-face shots.

Hmmm. Looks like the puppies smell Lily's sister "Auntie Emmy" on these pants.

Lola has Uncle Cosmo under close surveillance while he meets her puppy through the gate.

But she gives little Bibi a serious stink-eye, and eventually warns her away entirely.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Rule of Seven" for Puppies

We like this adaptation of Pat Schaap's "Rules" on everything a well-socialized puppy should have experienced by seven weeks of age:

By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, he or she should have:

  1. Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips.
  2. Played with 7 different types of toys: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items..
  3. Been in 7 different locations: outside, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate.
  4. Met and played with 7 new people and animals: including children, older adults, and healthy dogs/cats.
  5. Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.
  6. Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan.
  7. Been exposed to 7 different noisy objects: airplanes, vacuums, garbage disposals, musical instruments, motorcycles.

Plus, they should have been in a crate, by themselves, and with the litter, and been left alone for a short time when solo and with their littermates; and been exposed to a collar and leash.  We also make sure the puppies have experienced brushing, nail trimming, and handling of their teeth and ears.

We spend a lot of time making sure the puppies already have a varied experience of normal household life before they go to their Forever Homes.

This puppy is captivated by a new ball

Puppies (and dogs) love stuffed animals

Lola's Boys are spending more time exploring new environments

Puppies learn to drink water by imitating their mothers. As Lily has not been exactly on top of this, Lola obligingly demonstrates for one of Lily's puppies, who catches on immediately.
But then Lily's puppy decides to try out the traditional method with Lola and is firmly but gently growled at and asked to move along.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Focus on Early Crate Training

Since "crate training" is one of the most successful tried-and-true potty-training methods, we like to get the puppies used to using a crate as a cozy sleeping den.

A lot more goes on than just sleeping though...

And sometimes it just gets too crowded in there!

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Puppy Mush

Lily's and Lola's puppies have been experimenting with "solid"food for a week or so now.  We start out with a blend organic goat's milk, whole goat yogurt, and canned puppy food to make a soupy concoction that is easy to ingest. 
At first they can't figure out how to "lap"with their tongues and focus instead on cleaning the rim of the muffin tin

It is especially fun (read "messy") when they try to "knead"the dish with their paws, the way they do with Mom.

They don't all "catch on"at the same rate, and sometimes are more successful in getting their share off of the faces of their littermates, rather than out of the dish.

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