If you haven’t asked your breeder what a typical day in your puppy’s life is? You should! Knowing your puppy’s existing routine will make it easier to figure out how to help them adapt to yours. This post is part one in a series documenting how we raise our puppies!
Week 1 for puppies is a quiet one!
Mom’s whelping box is set up some place quiet (usually my bedroom) where no other dogs are allowed so that she will not feel the need to protect her puppies from them. People use all sorts of things for whelping boxes. I prefer to use small kiddie/wading pools, but Chinook (pictured) hates them and requires this specific crate half…. Momma gets what she wants! (Please excuse the grimy picture, this crate is ancient but the correct compromise between size and having a tall enough lip on the door-side that puppies can’t tumble out!)
Every day, puppies are weighed and their weights recorded to make sure they’re gaining weight. The puppy den is kept quite warm, because they’re unable to regulate their own body temperature just yet.
I check their nails to see if they need clipping. (Usually not yet, but just in case!) Puppies are gently picked up, loved on a little, and replaced in their nest.
We use the BioSensor (Superpuppy) protocol developed by the US military for working dogs. It’s supposed to make them smarter and better learners. It definitely doesn’t hurt anything. (No photos of this, sorry- I’ll do a whole post another day, I promise!)
Mom supervises all our interactions with puppies very carefully. Usually, she will not want to leave them even to eliminate, and we will need to take her outside on a leash 3-4 times a day for a very short break. She has free access to as food instead of scheduled mealtimes, and a waterbowl right next to the box so she doesn’t have to go far to drink.
By the end of the week, Mom has usually relaxed quite a lot.