"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
For our curriculum we use a combination of BAB, "Badass Breeder" to provide a structured curriculum to ensure that puppies learn the world is safe, people are kind, and dogs are friendly and "Puppy Culture", to breed and raise socially well-adjusted puppies and give them the best possible start in life, both highly reputable programs.
During the first week handling is brief to limit stress to daily weigh ins and a few minutes of holding. Only as much as the new moms are comfortable with. Often it is more stroking the puppies while in the whelping box.
Puppies are handled gently on a daily basis, stroking them, snuggling, making sure they stay used to human touch. Daily weigh ins are continued through week two to ensure puppies are growing properly. ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) and ESI (Early Scent Introduction) is introduced in this week. ENS introduces gentle stress to the puppies’ bodies, and has been shown to strengthen immune systems, cardiovascular systems, and tolerance to handling. ESI is designed to enhance their ability to identify, and react to specific scents. Each day puppies are introduced to a strong scent for brief intervals and the puppy's reactions are recorded. Eyes are beginning to open during this week!
Eyes are open and puppies are beginning to walk around. We move them from their whelping area to an area that's a little larger for them to explore some. This week we introduce potty training and put the potty trays down for them to learn to use. Loud noises are introduced and different sounds and music are played throughout the day. They are given liquid this week to learn lapping before food is introduced. Puppies start mouthing during this period and are given plush toys.
New noises are continued this week as well as playing different types of music throughout he day. Puppies are introduced to crates for just a short period while their pen area is being cleaned. This is also a big week because food is introduced this week, starting with a liquid/mush and gradually working toward a more solid blend. By this time they have lapping pretty down and are easily drinking water out of a bowl. They are still nursing but have cut back due to being fed food. Puppies are still being handled daily and at this point are starting to really pay attention to humans and wanting to play a little.
Puppies are usually starting to get the potty training down and are using their potty trays well which makes it possibly to expand their pen even more. New toys are introduced as well as obstacles for them to climb over and go around. Mom is usually really starting to wean them at this point and only wants to visit them for brief periods.They are doing very well with eating their puppy food.
This is a big week for our puppies. They are moved to our toddler pen with a much larger area and a lot of new toys to climb on and play with, slides, balance disc, swing, small steps. Weather permitting this week puppies are introduced to going outside and always love it. New outside noises include birds, chickens, goats and horses. They can also interact with other adult dogs through their puppy fence. Most moms are done nursing at this page but still like to check on and play with their puppies. We let the mamas tell us when they want to and don't force them. They are also crated for longer periods while we clean all the areas.
Puppies are getting a routine down with feeding times and following us outside without being carried. They are going outside for potty breaks on a regular basis but do still have a potty area in their pen for emergencies. Outside we put out the kiddie pool and let them explore going in and out of the water on their own. They are crated individually for around six hours during the night. They are given more high value chew toys throughout the day. This week we are working hard at learning not to jump on people and no biting.
Puppies get to go to new homes!