The past two weeks have been full of growth and development for the Muppets.
The Third Week:
Nine puppies is a larger litter for a Barbet and I weigh the puppies twice a day to carefully monitor who may need a little extra time at the milk bar and to give the smaller puppies some private nursing sessions with their dam. There was always music playing in the room and we made a point to gently handle the puppies multiple times a day. It has been a pleasure watching them grow from vulnerable little neonates into the puppy equivalent of toddlers.
The Fourth Week:The fourth week for the puppies was a big week for the litter. It began with them moving out of the guest bedroom down to the main floor of the house. They now occupy the space that would otherwise be our dining room and are exposed to all of the sounds of daily living coming from the living room and kitchen.
They were introduced to the potty box and housetraining is well underway. It's amazing how the puppies quickly learn to eliminate in the areas that have been designated for them to do so. We don't have a 100% success rate just yet but overnight all poops and pees have been made in their potty box and I'm quite pleased with that!
The larger space that the puppies now have to play in allows for more room for environmental enrichment in the form of new toys, hanging objects and different footing. Their teeth are emerging and they are enjoying mouthing, grabbing and even carrying some of the light weight toys. They play and interact to an even larger extent with one another and with their dam. I don't believe I will ever tire of watching little puppies learn to play. They are still sleeping the grand majority of the time with short play periods of about 15 minutes or so before they begin to tire.
Some of the puppies were ready for solids and have been introduced to soft meals of ground chicken with bone and ground turkey with bone. They are enjoying their food immensely. The few puppies that simply were not ready to start solids yet will begin eating solid foods later in the 5th week.
During this week we have also begun having more visitors over to help socialize the puppies. We aim to introduce the pups to many different people during the time that they are with us. Visits will continue in earnest over the coming weeks.