Saturday, March 22, 2014

Oreo x Sophie Litter Update - 6 Weeks Old

Socialization Period (5-16 weeks) and the Curiosity Period (5 -7 weeks) 

It’s been a busy time for the puppies here at Northrock.  The last two weeks have seen many changes in development for Oreo x Sophie’s little girls.  Their pen has expanded and the whelping box has been packed away.  There are lots of interesting things for the puppies to explore in their pen.  Mirrors, stools, toys, hanging objects, a pool filled with balls, a tunnel etc....  They are certainly enjoying their new space!

The pups have been taken outside for several excursions.  

They have mingled with the big dogs and hung out with our cat.  They have also had the opportunity to explore different rooms in the house.

“The more chances a puppy has to be properly exposed to something new during the critical socialization periods, the less bothered it will be throughout the rest of its life when confronted by other new or frightening things.” (Hastings and Rouse 2004:28)

The puppies still nurse from Sophie but they are also eating 3 meals a day that consist of ground meat and bone, organ meat, tripe and goats milk.  They are given raw meaty bones to gnaw on which helps to exercise their jaws, neck and shoulder muscles and ease their sore gums as their teeth continue to erupt.

The girls have all been given their first bath and blow dry this past week.  Here is a photo of Lily in the tub looking rather unimpressed with the experience.

Visitors continue to come over to help socialize the puppies and we welcome the opportunity to have the puppies meet an assortment of men and women and children of various ages. It’s been a great deal of fun helping Sophie to raise her three little girls.  Stay tuned for the next update of the Oreo x Sophie litter.

Hastings, P and E.A. Rouse, Editors. 2004. Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development. Oregon, Dogfolk Enterprises. 110p.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Oreo x Sophie Litter Update - 4 Weeks Old

The Transitional Period (14 days - 21 days)

Rose - 3 weeks
Lily - 3 weeks

Violet - 3 weeks
The Oreo x Sophie puppies have been busy doing lots of growing here at Northrock.  At four weeks of age they now range in size from 4 1/2 lbs to just over 5 lbs.   During their 3rd week so much seems to happen from one day to the next.  Their motor skills develop rapidly, eyes and ears are open and vision is far improved from what it was initially.  

It is delightful to watch how the pups increasingly engage one another in play, rehearsing pawing, biting and pouncing behaviours with one another and with their dam.  Sophie is very patient with them and gentle in the way she encourages them to be silly with her.  Watching their little tails wagging rapidly back and forth and hearing the little barks, yips and growls they emit never fails to bring a smile to my face.  I could sit and watch them interact with one another for hours on end.  

During their third week week we rotated various stuffed toys in their whelping box for them to snuggle up against and crawl over and around.  The puppies began to be able to eliminate on their own during this time and from very early on they moved away from where they were sleeping or nursing to pee.  

The Awareness or Identification Period (21 days to 28 days)

At three weeks of age the puppies moved from the guest bedroom upstairs down into the main living space in the house.  They are now in a larger puppy pen that is situated in what would normally be our dining room and is adjacent to our kitchen and living room.  

Here they are exposed to all the sights, sounds and smells of everyday household activities.  They have many more toys and objects with which to interact and these are changed around on a regular basis.  Visitors are welcome and the puppies are exposed to many people right up until the time they leave for their new homes.  The radio is on playing mainly classical and jazz.  We also have a few sound cd’s that we play that have the sounds of dog shows, airplanes, gun shots, etc... and these get played for the puppies as well.  

We have also introduced the potty box which is a designated space where the pups will eliminate.  We have found that using the potty box not only helps to keep the puppy pen clean but it is a tremendous aid in teaching the pups to have good bathroom habits.  Sophie has been a very doting mother, keeping her girls spotlessly clean and yesterday morning was the first time I found a poop in the puppy pen.  Gold star for Lily as she did it in the potty box.

Sophie has begun regurgitating food for her pups and they have shown an interest in what she is eating.  We introduced the pups to their first meal of solid food (ground turkey with bone mixed with goat’s milk) on March 7th and it was very well received!  We are very much looking forward to the adventures that will unfold for these puppies in the weeks ahead.

If you are interested in seeing lots of videos and photos of the Oreo x Sophie litter on a daily basis we invite you to like our Facebook Page and that way you won't miss any updates.