Photos of Bree taken 11 days apart, yep, puppies grow fast! Since I have had more than one person ask about my puppy raising methods, I will give something new a try with this litter; I have decided that whenever I post their weekly photos, I will share what I have planned for that week as far as training and socialization, then at the end of that week, I will likely do a recap of how everything went. Since I didn’t layout their first week on here, here is a recap of what has been done.
1. As they are born whelping collars are placed on them, this is done not so much for identification, as it is done to get them used to collars, most dogs wear collars as adults, so when one of my puppies goes to it’s new home, it is already used to wearing a collar and won’t have the irritation of having to learn how to wear one, it is a simple thing that I have found very useful for the puppies later in life.
2. The first day is simply rest time for both mom and pups, I keep handling of the pups to a minimum, this allows the mom to settle, and the pups to rest. Since I am there for each whelping and handle them the moment they arrive, it doesn’t affect anything to limit contact that first day.
3. After the first day is over, handling resumes. For the first week I focus mainly on teaching them that people mean warmth and comfort, meaning lots of gentle handling and snuggles, petting while they nurse, etc. From day one I gently handle them all over, feet, tail, ears. By the end of the first week, as my current litter has done, the puppies will often react to human scent in the same way they react to their mother’s, meaning they associate people with the same comfort their mom gives them.
4. Most interactions are kept gentle and non stressful, however I make sure that they all get stressed a little each day, as odd as it may seem, it is very important that puppies get stressed a bit. It has been proven that puppies that don’t get that stress grow up with more fearful temperaments, and are easily stressed by things later in life. I accomplish their daily stress through placing them all in a bucket for daily bedding changes, and letting them struggle a bit and figure things out on their own, such as, letting them find their way to mom instead of picking them up and moving them to her, and if one flips over on it’s back, I allow it to struggle a bit to get back up, this creates a healthy amount of stress and helps build strong muscles. Of course, should one truly need my help, I am right there.
5. After the first day they get texture introduction, done with different textured blankets/towels, it is good for them to experience this as the input helps their minds develop, along with this I also often leave small wrinkles in the bedding, this builds their leg muscles and helps prevent swimmer puppy syndrome.
6. Around day three, and one week of age they get their first nail trims, done after they have nursed and gone to sleep, I always do my best to keep nail trimming a positive thing for them as this helps greatly after they are full-grown.