Your Puppy's First 8 Weeks
Preparing your puppy for life with you!
Now we will describe for you week by week what we do to prepare your puppy for life. Just like you want to prepare for a new child coming into your life, a dog is the same. His or her early development is very important, and we believe that our pups need to be not only healthy, but well adjusted and socialized. We believe that working with our pups to prepare them for their new homes makes the transition from our home to yours a pleasure, and also results in you finding it much easier to train your new Doodle!
South Paw Puppies are born inside our home. No matter what time day or night Miss Bo begins her labor, we are here and helping her every step of the way. While they are born completely dependent upon their mama, our pups begin their interaction with humans at the moment of birth. Pups are born unable to see or hear when they are born. Their eyes are closed until they are 10 days old. During week one the pups will primarily eat and sleep. It takes a lot of energy for these little guys to grow and develop. They begin to gain weight, and you can notice them getting a little stronger every day. Their bodies do not regulate their body temperature quite yet, so they depend on mama and the other pups for warmth. We also use heating pads under the floor of the welping box to help keep them warm. This is a very busy time for our family as we care for these pups, and for mama as well.
By the end of week one we can see noticeable changes in the pups as their front legs are getting stronger, helping them seek out milk, or to find the others in order to cuddle up for warmth. At about 10 days their eyes begin to open, and a whole new world begins to open up to them. However, that new world will be a bit fuzzy or blurry to them at first, but soon their eyesight will develop. They are still very dependent on mama for everything, although at this point they are being handled and cuddled by our family. At the end of the 2nd week we also begin worm medicine, and continue this every 2 weeks until they are 8 weeks.
By week three the pups' legs are now strong enough to support their weight... some of the time! They are still quite wobbly, and you will see them tip over at times. It's all a learning process. You have to crawl before you can walk! They are now beginning to explore the world around them, and they begin to try to play with each other. They are no longer as dependent on mama for body heat, and we notice her taking a break from the pups now and then. Their razor sharp puppy teeth are also beginning to come in, and its not long after that that mama is ready to begin weaning the pups! You can imagine why!
Weeks Four & Five
South Paw Pups' senses are now fully developed, and now comes the time to really begin to develop their experiences and socialization. They learn just as children do: through playing! They get plenty of play time in the welping box, but now is also the time that we get them outdoors for play periods as well. They have a safe, fenced in area where they are supervised. They are never outside alone. Plenty of toys designed to develop their senses and abilities, and of course... room to romp and wrestle! It's during this time that they will be introduced to new people (perhaps YOU), hearing new sounds, being handled and learning human voices. All of this is a positive experience design to enhance their lives and better prepare them for their new families.
Week Six & Seven
Getting toward the end of our time with your pup, they are now beginning to develop personalities of their own. They become more and more playful, and they begin to recognize or become familiar with humans that they interact with. Socialization is every bit as important now as it was in the beginning, and this is when we encourage their future family to come and visit if they are able to. Sometimes at this stage pups can become skiddish of new experiences, but we continue to work with them to ensure that they are excited about new things. It is also during this time that the pups will receive their first round of vaccinations: Distemper & Parvovirus.
The pups have made it to week eight! If you are the new family, this is a very exciting time for you as well! Your puppy is ready to come home with you. This does require patience on your part. You can expect your pup to experience some separation anxiety from the litter, and he/she may keep you up a night or three. This is perfectly normal. Give the pup lots of love and affection, and after a day or so he/she will settle in with your family. To help with the transition we will be sending your pup home with its own "goody bag" which will will contain a small blanket with mama and the litter's scent on it, along with a stuffed animal. Before you know it, you will be your new pup's "pack"!
"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog." - Mark Twain