Monday, December 22, 2014

The Winston and Sophie Puppies are 7 Weeks Old

We had a wonderful week with the puppies.  The weather cooperated and we had several trips outside where they were able to run around the yard, explore the shrubs and hedges and play with the big dogs.  They also enjoyed playing in the pen we have set up outside.

Having a quick snack
Their indoor space has lots of toys for them to play with, especially things to chew and gnaw on as they have been busy teething.  Here is a video of the pups playing. 

New experiences continued this past week for the litter.  They continued to have meals in different rooms in the house. 
Dinner in the laundry room while the dryer was going didn't faze these puppies.
There were more visitors and car rides, they were tattooed and the puppies also had their first baths this week. 

Their personalities are really emerging and it's been fun watching them interact with one another and their environment. They are curious and delightful little puppies and it is such a joy getting to know their individual temperaments.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Winston and Sophie Puppies are 6 Weeks Old

This week just seemed to fly by!  The pups are growing by leaps and bounds.  Their teeth have erupted and they are busy chewing on anything they can get their mouths on.  Consequently they have been provided with some nice bones to gnaw on and a variety of appropriate chew toys.

The puppy pen continues to expand as new and interesting articles are added to it.  The puppies are very interested in climbing and exploring and despite a huge dumping of snow we received earlier at the end of the week we managed to regularly get outside with the puppies so that they could romp around the yard.


Interactions with the other dogs in the house are fun to watch.  The older Barbet girls just love the puppies and I enjoy seeing them play bowing to them or gently licking their little faces.  We are looking forward to the week ahead with Sophie and her pups.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Winston and Sophie Puppies Are 5 Weeks Old

The ability to really influence a puppy's brain begins between four and five weeks of age.  We are now in what is often termed the "critical period" of development.  This period extends from three weeks to sixteen weeks of age.  Busy times ahead with lots of positive new experiences for the puppies.

Sophie continues to be an enormous influence on her pups.  She will snuggle with the puppies and gently play with them.  It is beautiful to watch them interact with one another. She is still nursing them even though they have begun to eat solid foods.  Nursing is a developmental opportunity for the puppies as they jostle for space at the milk bar and now that their teeth have begun to emerge...valuable lessons in bite inhibition have also begun.

Housebreaking training is well underway.  The puppies are regularly using the potty box.  Their pen has lots of toys for them to play with which are regularly exchanged for new and different ones.  A crate was added to their pen and they love crawling in it for naps.  

Here are a couple of videos taken of the pups playing in their pen.

The weather cooperated this week and short visit outside have begun.  There are many new sights and sounds in the yard for the puppies to explore.  

A quick snack "al fresco"
Rogue and Duke pose for the camera.
One of the things we do with the pups while they are in our care is follow the "Rules of Seven" developed by Pat Schaap, a longtime Sheltie breeder.  By the time the puppies are seven weeks old they should have:
  • Been on 7 different types of surfaces:  carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips
  • Played with 7 different types of objects:  big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper of cardboard items, metal items, sticks or hose pieces
  • Been in 7 different locations:  front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom
  • Met and played with 7 new people:  include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges:  climb on a box, climb off a box, go  through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play  hide and seek, in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around  a fence
  • Eaten from 7 different containers;  metal, plastic, cardboard, paper,  china, pie plate, frying pan
  • Eaten in 7 different locations:  crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry  room, living room, bathroom
Visitors are a regular occurrence now that the pups have moved downstairs.
I hope you enjoy our weekly blog posts about Northrock's "E" litter.  If you would like to see more photos and videos of the pups I invite you to like our Facebook page Northrock Barbets where I try to post photos of the little muppets on a daily basis.