Monday, October 01, 2007

All Over Nine! The Five-Week Report

And the weights are in...

  • Mr. Blue: 9 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Miss White: 9 lbs. 0 oz.
  • Mr. Green: 11 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Miss Scarlet (Red): 9 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Miss Black: 9 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Pinky: 10 lbs. 0 oz.
  • Mr. PSU (Blue-and-White): 11 lbs. 0 oz.
  • Miss Pink-and-White: 10 lbs. 2 oz.

That's about a 3.5-pound weight gain for each pup since last week. Wow!

Misses White and Black are still our smallest, but growing proportionally to the rest. Mr. Blue is a good pound lighter than the other two boys, but he's also the most advanced in development. Mr. Green is still the moose at nearly 11.5 pounds (his little legs look like tree stumps, and he's definitely stockier than the rest).

According those who know these things, the best approximation during puppy-hood of what a pup's adult body type/proportion will be occurs at about eight weeks of age (give or take three days on either side of the 8-week mark). That's still three weeks away for our crew. And that's only an approximation. But, generally, how the pups look proportionally at eight weeks of age (length of legs compared to body, set of shoulders, jaw alignment etc.) is about what they'll be as adults.

Since these little guys just hit the five-week mark it's really too soon to tell how the pups are shaping up in physical attributes (as in structure & frame) compared to the Lab breed standard.

But there are things we can assess now, and those things are looking very good:

1. All the pups are healthy (gaining weight proportionally, eating well, seeing and hearing as they should, vocalizing, playing, romping, climbing, sleeping, wrestling, startling-and-recovering, etc.)
2. All demonstrate curiosity, spunk, and an eagerness to explore.
3. All willingly relax on their backs in our arms (some stay relaxed longer than others).
4. All attend and come when we call them for meals. Now, they may only be four or five feet away when we call, but all of the pups have learned to anticipate what's coming.
5. All are people-oriented. All welcome and joyfully interact with strangers.
6. All can be comforted and soothed by human touch and by the sound of a human voice.
7. All can be happily engaged away from the pack, though they vary in how long it takes them to regain their confidence when off by themselves.
8. They all do, however, eventually become confident as long as they can hear or see us. They don't need to see or hear the other pups, but they all do need to be reassured that their humans are nearby.
9. All have dense, lush coats.
10. All can "chew" soft kibble, lap water, and seem to have sound jaw alignments.

No one (except Mr. Blue) is tracking moving objects yet, but that should start to develop this week as their vision strengthens (it's tough to track if you can't see the object!). Mr. Blue can only follow movement if it's not too fast; his vision is better than the rest's.

Once they can track we start evaluating their retrieving instincts. We'll just have to wait and see.

So that's the puppy status as 5 weeks.

Oh, they're down to nursing once a day now, just at night before bed. And by the end of the week, they'll be weaned from Elsie completely.

And so it goes...

'Til next time,


jonathan said...

Will one of the puppies be named Kilgore?

They look adorable. Glad to see they're doing so well.

Thanks for letting us share in the experience, now if we only had more space!!!

Sbflygirl said...

I have so enjoyed your blog!
I am a puppy foster mom in Santa Barbara, CA, for our local animal shelter and on a fateful day last month, Oct 13, 2007 @ 10 AM to be exact, I said, "sure I can foster a mama-dog and seven tiny puppies only hours old."

Three hours later I added eight dogs to my already pet-laden (2 labs, 1 chihuahua and 2 cats) household.

I have raised a few pups for the shelter before, but never from day one! My seven little mutts are now 5 weeks old as of Saturday and much more work than I ever imagined.

I can so relate to sleep deprivation, declined invitations, and puppy poop!

Thanks for keeping me company and guiding the way.