Wednesday, May 9, 2012

They're Now Three Weeks Old (and what a difference three weeks makes!)

The puppies have changed remarkably in just three weeks.  Their activity level has increased dramatically, not to mention their noise level.  Yesterday, Green Boy was the first to launch himself up and over the side of the whelping box.  In fact he did it twice, and didn't seem to mind it (unusual, since the sudden drop to the floor is more likely to elicit loud and frightened squawks).  Time to move the pups to their new home--a puppy pen that will better contain their increased mobility.  This morning upon sight of Sophie, they cried impatiently for her.  She nursed them briefly and then hopped out of the box, much to their dismay.  As Sophie's contact with the puppies begins to decrease, we'll supplement their feedings with goat's milk, and eventually kibble.  The pups are increasingly aware of us and their surroundings.  They can see and hear and have begun to notice, and even interact with, each other.  According to the Monks of New Skete in The Art of Raising a Puppy, the next weeks begin a period of intense socialization. "By socialization we mean two things: first, the positive adjustment a puppy makes to the many aspects of her life...second, what we do to foster this."  An important aspect of these socialization experiences is contact with new people and new experiences.  We're lucky to have neighbors and friends who are interested in coming by to say hello, and interact with the puppies.  Another frequent visitor to the puppy room is older half-brother Clarence, who at 10-months is both curious, and gentle, around these baby siblings. 

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