This week we are starting a lot of new things. The past week the main goal was to start the puppies weaning, learning to walk, and learning to use the litter box. We've had a mixed bag with all three tasks, but we are getting there.
This week is a big change! They are no longer helpless newborns- they are ready for some challenges and lots of new adventures. We are starting the first week of socialization.
The first thing we are doing is introducing new sounds to the puppies. We do not want them to be afraid of normal household sounds. This means we are getting them used to hearing vacuums, hair dryers, music, and even some environmental sounds like thunder storms. We have various music and noise soundtracks running in their room during the day. Night time is for sleeping, so we turn these off and have a quiet time.
We are also beginning in home socialization with a variety of people. We will be posting pictures on facebook! We want to expose the puppies to babies, children, tall people, old people, people who look strange- anything that might later on cause an issue. We didn't expose Lily Belle to little kids and now she gets nervous around little girls around 3-6 who make loud high pitched sounds. Getting these puppies exposed to as many different people is very important now, and throughout their puppyhood.
We have also reorganized the puppies living space. We are packing away the whelping box and moving them to a puppy pen! The puppy pen has litter boxes, sleeping space, and a play area. The litter boxes are boot trays with pine pellets (from a farm store) covered with artificial turf. Cheap and easy to clean. Puppies are learning to keep their sleeping and playing areas clean- no one likes to play in poop! We have one who is nearly perfect with this, and the rest are coming along. It's a lot easier to maintain a clean area when the poop is all in one place!
We are adding new experiences to the puppy pen daily. I'll post these on facebook. Today I am introducing one of my favorite training tools- the Cato Placeboad. This is a tool we use to define a "place" for the puppy. I'll have some videos later as we start incorporating this into our program later on. Today it is there as an object for the puppies to investigate and climb on. Going up and down different levels will be good for later learning to do stairs. I put links below to some Cato board/ Placeboard resources in case you want to see some of the ways people train dogs with these tools.
Another object you'll see in the above picture is a waterbowl. This one is very small- and attached to the side of the pen. The puppies are getting more nutrition from food than mom- so they also need to increase their liquid intake. Later on they will get a proper bowl or bucket, but for now they get one they can't dump over or swim in.
Cato board explanation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o80u2VxnlsY
Place board training links:
Where to buy: