The Litter's Early Life, Week 3
Note: The following information, unless otherwise noted, is taken directly from the Web pages Cathy created for this litter. It is reprinted here with permission.
October 22, 2001
Week Three (Days 15-21)
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES
Puppy Toddlers (3 - 6 Weeks) During the Toddler period, puppies emerge on their own from the litter. They venture into the surrounding environment. This emergence from the litter is a gradual and continual learning experience. During this stage of development puppies learn basic behavioral patterns specific to dogs. While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and litter mates. They learn what it is like to bite and be bitten, what barking and other vocalizations mean and how to make and use them to establish social relationships with other dogs. Such learning and activity tempers their own biting and vocalizing. From the age of five weeks, the mother teaches her puppies basic manners. They learn to be submissive to her leadership and what behaviors are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, snarls, or snaps at them as a form of discipline. When weaning the litter, for instance, the mother will discipline her puppies so that they will leave her alone. Because the mother disciplines them in a way that they clearly understand, after a few repetitions, the puppies will respond to a mere glare from her. If a pup has not learned to accept leadership (and discipline) in its early interactions with dogs, its training will be more difficult. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early tend to be nervous, more prone to barking and biting, and less responsive to discipline. Often they are aggressive with other dogs. Generally speaking, a puppy taken away from it's mother and litter mates before seven weeks of age, may not realize its full potential as a dog and companion. To maximize the mental and psychological development of puppies, they must remain in the nest with their mother and litter mates until seven weeks of age.
October 24, 2001
Today is the last day of the Bio Sensor exercises. Look at how much the pups have grown!
October 25, 2001
Not much activity today. The pups walk around the whelping box more when Gabby steps out. They make funny growling noises. They look towards anyone walking by. They may still see more shadow and motion than actual detail. With their squinty eyes, and wrinkled roman noses, they look like a bunch of old men. :-) Several times a day we pick up each pup and hold them under our chins and talk to them. Ears are starting to open. Some of the pups will react to sound.
October 27, 2001
All the pups are walking much better. They can recognize Gabby when she walks by the box and they get real excited to see the dairy bar go by! Some are finding their voices. A couple will sit and bark. They turn toward noise. When I turned up the radio, several woke up and started puppy growling. You can tell they are more aware of each other. Although not playing yet, some are making gestures that will lead to play. Several times a day I pick up each pup, talk to them, pet them, and briefly give them a simple stressor. A momentary pinch to the ear, another day a momentary pinch between the toes. Not a hard pinch, and the same pressure for each pup. Some pull away, some yip out, some don't seem to notice. I dig out and wash off the puppy pans. I think I'll try the puppy mush bath soon! (you will know what I mean when you see the pictures!)
Look at the pups in the pumpkin patch!
List and Site Owner: Melissa Alexander, mca @ clickersolutions.com