Today the Seedling litter is 5 weeks old! We have seen huge changes over the past week. Puppies have gained quite a bit this week, and they are walking, running, playing, barking, giving kisses, and wagging their tails. This is where it starts to get to be a lot of fun!
This past week we introduced soft treats to get the puppies used to taking food from our hands. They mastered this quickly- especially our always starving little boy Wilbur! We have started with some very basic early training. We have been luring the puppies with the treats- getting them to follow the food. This is the earliest step in teaching them to follow us and eventually will become a heel. They all are quick learners.
This week we will continue with treats but we will be adding in clickers. We will have them associating reward with the click. This will be invaluable in later training. We will also start teaching them to sit calmly and wait for their treat. We don't want our puppies to jump on people and by the time they go home they should be sitting calmly when they want attention. Manners are important and it's never to early to lay the foundation.
We are adding in new items to our puppy room daily. As you watch on Facebook you will notice it changes daily. I try to keep them challenged and interested in new things. I want them to be curious and confident and not afraid of new things.
I've added in a Cato plank as a ramp for them to learn how to navigate slopes. I'll start stacking the cato boards into different levels. This will help the puppies learn how to do stairs. I've also added in a small tunnel. This can be a bit scary at first because it limits their vision. the will learn to love it and play in it. Lily Belle comes from great agility lines and tunnels are some of her favorite things.
It is hot here in Missouri! We are expecting triple digit temperatures this week. We will need to be careful of taking the pups out so that they do not get heat exhaustion. Puppies bodies are still learning to regulate their temperatures. The exciting thing about this warm weather is that we are introducing the puppies to water! This can be a lot of fun and is very important when you have hot weather. If your dog every gets over heated the quickest way to bring their temp down is water. If your dog likes water, it's that much easier.
Lily was not introduced early and was very afraid of it. She was also a February baby so it wasn't possible for her breeder to do this. We didn't do much with water until she was 2 and she was very afraid. It took us a lot of time and patience to get her to go swimming. Now she loves it. If you have the opportunity, keep introducing the puppies to water every chance you get. Having a small baby pool in your yard will give your pup a lot of fun.
Lets talk a bit about grooming. This is going to be something every springer needs to get used to. This week we will be brushing the puppies daily to get them used to brushes, combs, and rakes. I'll be putting them on my grooming table too. Eventually we will be trimming feet and heads, so we will start now with learning to sit calmly and be brushed.