Seedlings are 2 Weeks Old!

The Seedlings are 2 weeks old today! So far they have been doing great! I tried to get a good picture (using help) and you can see how difficult it can be! They are very mobile.

Today we had a huge milestone! Our first little one is starting to open her eyes. I expect the rest of the puppies to  open them over the next 24 hours.

To review, the puppies' eyes and ears are sealed shut when they're born. Their eyes open first (usually at around 12-15 days old for our breed), and their ear canals usually open around 7 days later. That period, between the time that their eyes and their ears open, is known as the "transitional" period. This is because useful vision and hearing are thought to be necessary for the puppies to enter into the next developmental period, which will be the socialization period.

What's really important to know is that scientists use behavioral rather than time line markers to determine when different developmental periods begin and end. So it's the eyes opening and the startling that dictate the beginning and end of the transitional period, not "the third week of life" as those ubiquitous internet "Puppy Development" charts would lead one to believe.  

This means that one puppy's transitional period might be when the puppy is from 10-21 days old, and another might be from when the puppy is 18-22 days old.

Our black and white red collar girl opened her eyes first at 2 weeks.
Red Collar Girl opens eyes first

Over this next week we will start with some of the weaning protocols. We will introduce a little puppy formula. Puppies will be interested and lap a little. The majority of the puppies nutrition will still be coming from Lily Belle.

We will also begin introducing new items or experiences to the puppies. We will begin early socialization, making sure we intentionally do the 10 point puppy handling: Ears, eyes, fingers in mouth, nose, neck, down back, tail, paws/nails, legs, and tummy. This will make sure the pups are used to handling from an early stage.

Pictures will be dim this week as we want to be cautious about the bright light and the developing eyes. The light can hurt the puppies eyes so we will keep window shades closed for a few days.

A few of you have asked how Lily Belle is doing. She is an amazing mother! She is still very protective of her puppies. We are trying to keep other dogs and noises away from her den area. She gets rather upset when she hears a new sound or barking dog. Sometimes we will watch the AKC channel- and we have found this incredibly upsetting to Lily Belle. She will hear a dog bark and then charge out of her kennel trying to find the threatening dog! We have to be very careful with sounds right now!

Lily Belle is ready to get back to work! She is wanting to go on longer walks and even do some light training. Since she will be going to Rally Nationals, we have a lot to do in a very short time! This week Lily will be working at home on various Rally sequences. If the weather is nice we are hoping to set up some courses in the yard for her to work on. She loves to do this so we will let her lead us in how much she can do.