Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NON-Wordless Wednesday :o) (Puppy Update)

The pups are all hitting more milestones this week. I thought you might like to see what they're up to as they approach the all-too-important six-week-old mark, which occurs in two days (just where have these weeks gone??? Hmmmmm... let me see..... hehe.....I wonder)!

The pups are now tracking pretty well with their eyes following slow movement over short distances. They can, as a herd in fact, follow Elsie (combination of scent and sight) when she passes the pen:

Their back legs are strengthening and catching up to their front (remember, their front legs at birth are much stronger and more developed). The pups are especially good at standing up to reach Elsie:

The pups, however, are also learning that standing on their hind legs is NOT the way to get attention from people (precursor to teaching them not to jump). We continue to affirm that in order to be picked up, petted, or given attention, they must sit down first (most have gotten the idea already!). Oh, and fyi, we use only 100% positive reinforcement for this (no correction yet; with how people-oriented and motivated they are, there's no need).

From left to right below, Mr. Blue, Mr. White, Miss Sky, and Mr. Green wait for me to pet them or pick them up:

And counterclockwise below starting bottom left, Mr. Yellow, Mr. Green, Mr. Blue, Mr. Black, Mr. White (above Black), and Miss Pink (standing at top) wait again:

But Miss Pink waits nicely, too, (she actually sat first when I took these pictures, before the rest, but then got bored waiting):

As they hone their motor skills, the puppies are all becoming more accomplished at the stealth-walk-then-pounce technique of wrassling with their litter mates (here Mr. Red begins his crouch walk):

And they are, of course, growing longer (this is Mr. Yellow):

They're also rounding out, as six-week-olds do, which makes them even cuter than they already were (this is Miss Sky):

And, though growing more confident and independent, they still need each other and still enjoy the puppy pile:

Although they do occasionally (and with greater frequency now) like sleeping spread out...

or alone (here's Mr. White with the Pull-My-Leg horse).

We're also doing more 1:1 work with them, separating them out from the litter for play-teaching from us (very preliminary). And we're starting some of their personality and retrieving assessments (although it's still early there, too). We'll report on more of that tomorrow and Friday. :)

Friday evening is the the puppies' six-week check-up at the vet's during which he'll check them all over well (hopefully clearing them all on the health front), give them their immunizations, do a routine deworming, and then (ooooohhhhh, fear and trembling) give them the BIG needle (insert their microchips -- a permanent, traceable, individual ID).

Then we'll give the pups a day to recover and will make our final decisions about which pups go with whom (Saturday), and then.... the pups can start meeting their new owners who can start visiting them Sunday and over the next two weeks until the pups are ready to go to their forever homes on Nov 15th at eight-weeks old!

Wow... busy time. And fun.

The pups are moving into that adorable, playful, demonstrating-intelligence phase of puppyhood, and what fun it is!

We're even enjoying cabin fever (sorry about my whine yesterday... I just really want the pups to get more exposure to the outdoors, and I'm not ready for slush in October, and I really wanted the Phillies just to take the World Series Monday night!).

And so it goes...

'Til next time,

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