Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tux x Ellie Puppies - Week One

We've been having a wonderful week with the puppies.  Ellie is once again proving to be a superb dam.  She is attentive, gentle, nurturing and has a very relaxed approach to motherhood.  She has been eating well and as a result has lots of milk and her puppies are gaining nicely.

It's a quiet and intimate time as Ellie's bond with her puppies strengthens.  We are for the most part, privileged observers to the natural rhythm of caring for new life.   Here is a video of the four day old puppies nursing.

I support Ellie by fixing her meals, offering her lots of cool fresh water to drink, making sure she gets out to potty, monitoring her temperature and breasts and telling her what a good girl she is.  The whelping box is kept clean and the puppies moved to a basket lined with a nice soft blanket.  Ellie is always close by to make sure that her puppies are safe.  

On day three we began performing Early Neurological Stimulation (also called Bio-Sensor) exercises with the puppies.  Although the puppies are handled for weighing twice a day, cuddled lots and nails trimmed every three days - the exercises done with the puppies offer some gentle stress and all told take less than a minute in total to perform on each puppy.  We will continue with them until the puppies are sixteen days old.

During days three to sixteen we also introduce the puppies to novel scents.  Early Scent Introduction.  Neonate puppies are pretty vulnerable and are born with their eyes and ears closed and it's several days before they open.  However, they do have the ability to smell and it's interesting watching their reactions to the different fragrances, some of which are quite pungent such as cloves, leather and cedar. 

Towards the end of the week we began adding some small challenges to the whelping box for the puppies to climb over and around.  The puppies at this point are up on their feet and these added soft toys and little hills offer added enrichment for their growing brains and bodies. 
The litter theme has been decided on for these puppies.  The "Gemstone Litter" now have their litter names for the duration of the time they will be with us until they leave for their new homes. 
The males are:                          The females are:
   Flint (blue collar)                      Jade (purple collar)
Garnet (red collar)                    Ruby (pink collar)
                      Onyx (green collar)
                      Jasper (yellow collar)

Frequent updates and photos are posted on our Northrock Barbets Facebook Page if you would like to follow the litter's progress.

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