FROM BIRTH TO 8 WEEKS
SO MUCH IS HAPPENING
We are doing all we can to help get our momma dog ready to give birth. Females are pregnant for approximately 63 days. Some things we do to help her have a positive experience during birth are: feeding her a high-quality food and Nuvet supplements, making sure she still gets light exercise, and ensuring she is accustomed to her surroundings before she delivers so that she feels it is a comfortable and safe place to whelp her puppies. When the big day arrives, we are by momma’s side to ensure a safe and healthy delivery. Rarely do we need to intervene, but if need be, we are there to step in. We also weigh each puppy at birth so we can monitor each puppy closely during their first week.
Week 1: Birth to One Week Old
The big day we have been waiting for when the pups are born! Puppies are born with their ears and eyes shut. They are still developing after they are born. They find their way around, (mostly to their momma and litter mates) by feel and smell. They cannot bear weight on their little legs yet, so they push and scoot to move around. This first few weeks of their life is devoted to eating and sleeping for the most part. Mom takes care of them by feeding and cleaning them. During this time we focus on making sure each puppy is eating and gaining weight. We start each puppy on early neurological stimulation and early scent introduction which gives them a great early start to having a healthier life. This continues from day 3 to 16.
More about ENS and ESI?
Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is a part of Puppy Culture, one of the many tried and proven training programs we incorporate in our training. Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to ENS, including improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate); stronger heart beats; stronger adrenal glands; more tolerance to stress; and greater resistance to disease.
Early Scent Introduction (ESI) is proven to improve and increase greater nose awareness and enhances their ability to identify and react to scents.
Week 2: One to Two Weeks Old
The puppies will continue to eat and sleep most of the time. However, they are definitely changing each day--growing so fast! They are gaining more muscle in their legs and moving around much better. Towards the end of this week, we should start to see some eyes opening. Some will also begin reacting to sound as their ears open.
Week 3: Two to Three Weeks Old
Every week, we see so many fun changes to these pups. All of the puppies eyes are now opened and ears are opening as well. They are beginning to use their back legs more as they attempt to walk. Their personalities are starting to show, and they begin to interact with each other somewhat. We will begin laying out puppy pads and help them use this when they wake up. We are also introducing new common household sounds each day.
Week 4: Three to Four Weeks Old
Puppies really start to show their personality during the fourth week. They are walking and climbing at this point as their legs are getting so much stronger. The socialization period begins at three weeks old. They are fully aware of each other as well as people. This is such a fun stage to really begin interacting with them in a more social way. We officially introduce puppy pads and a litter box to begin the process of potty training. They move away from their sleeping area to go potty. We also begin interacting with them using small toys--offering something new each day for them to explore. We will de-worm each puppy at three weeks old.
Week 5: Four to Five Weeks Old
It’s a whole new world for the pups this week. A lot of changes happen as they begin the first stages of weaning from their mom. They continue to nurse on mom three to four times a day, however, we introduce wet food at this point. We begin taking them outside, not only to experience new sights and sounds, but to help them learn to go potty outside. We move them into a bigger area to play and explore as their sight and hearing has improved greatly and as they become more independent.
Week 6: Five to Six Weeks Old
During this week, we are introducing the puppies to lots of new stimulation. We offer new toys, different types of surfaces to walk on, new sounds, tastes, and a lot of new people. We encourage family and friends to visit to help socialize these pups. They are growing so much and filling out. They are really starting to notice their surroundings and beginning to establish roles in their pack. We continue to train them this week and see so much improvement each day. We take the puppies outside each day and let them explore the many textures, sounds, smells, and tastes the outside has to offer. We will officially begin training with the doggy door this week and encourage them to each get through on their own and learn to potty outside. Crate training will begin this week as well. We will let them have some alone time in the crate. We will also take them on car rides to help them get used to the motion of the car. The puppies and mom will all have a second round of de-worming right at five weeks old. Mom is feeding her pups morning and night at this point, and pups are eating food 3-4 times a day.
Week 7: Six to Seven Weeks Old
This week is very busy as the puppies are getting bigger and stronger and ready to learn more. They are beginning to explore a wider area in the yard and are moving a lot faster now. Their muscles are much stronger now and can easily get in and out of the doggy door. This is an exciting week to watch them go outside when they need to potty. We continue to train them to sit when they want something--like food or attention. We continue introducing new sounds, toys, and obstacles and invite people over to socialize with the puppies. During the day, they now take all of their naps in crates. We replace the dog bed with small crates where they can now spread out a bit. We want them to transition to being alone in a crate when they go home.
Week 8: Seven to Eight Weeks Old
This is a very busy week as we are getting pups ready to meet their forever families. We de-worm the pups for the third and final round. We also give them their first set of vaccinations before they go home. We continue to crate train and make sure they are sitting before giving treats or attention to them. By now, they are figuring it out quick as we wait patiently by them. We continue to have visitors over for socialization. We also give them one last bath before they meet their family. We are always a little sad to see these puppies, who we have fallen in love with, leave. However, we are so excited to see them become a part of a loving family. We enjoy getting updates and following these pups on social media.