Saturday, April 10, 2010

Transitional Week (14-21 Days Old): Informational Post

The pups are experiencing all kinds of changes this week, a week during which they're no longer considered neonates, but still don't have use of all senses.

Their eyes are open now, and we can see them turning and bobbing their heads as they make their first attempts to look at their surroundings.

Remember, however, they can't hear yet as they will once their ears unseal.  For now they're effectually deaf (not truly deaf).  We'll know their ears have unsealed when we see them startling to noises. That should happen any time now.

The pups are making huge strides in their motor skills:  they can stand, toddle (still quite unsteady though on their feet), move backward as well as forward, sit, and move around much more.  They're peeing on their own now, and actually move away from the puppy pile to do so.  This instinct to eliminate away from the nest is the foundation upon which housebreaking is built.

They're also becoming aware of each other for the first time. We've seen them chewing on each other, licking each other, sucking on each other's paws and ears, and pawing at each other.  As they become more aware of each other (and more comforted by each other's presence), they seem to need Kenya's presence a bit less.

Kenya, now, is spending a couple hours at a time away from the pups outside the whelping box -- with us, curled up on the couch, sprawled on the kitchen floor, playing with the rest of the canine crew, taking naps, eating like crazy (she's doubled her food intake.. eating 4x a day now).  She only goes into the whelping box to nurse and clean the pups (hardly...she's not fanatical about pup cleanliness the way Elsie has been).  

Before we know it, the pups will be romping and playing and doing all things puppy.  For now they're busily developing their senses and motor skills, and still sleeping 90% of the time.

For our part, now is when we start introducing toys to the whelping box (bright objects with contrasting colors) to provide some visual stimulation. The pups won't play with them much yet, but they will take notice of them.

We're also giving them more 1:1 human attention and people socialization, and exposing them to new surfaces for added sensory stimulation (usually when we clean the whelping box).

Their third week of life is a huge week in terms of development.  Just a few days ago they couldn't see, hear, or walk.  In just a couple days from now, they'll be seeing, hearing, and toddling around like pros! :)

Such is the life of a 14-21 day-old.

'Til next time,


scargosun said...

I love these informative parts! So great to learn how well adjusted doggies get that way. :)

AZ Ali said...

I just found your blog and I'm LOVING IT! Our female lab (Chloe) just had 6 puppies on Jan 21, 10 (17 days old today) and I have never had a dog have puppies before so I am scouring the internet for all the info I can about what to do with them and when! Your site has been great to read the different things and know that I've been doing mostly right, and will now add it a few more things (like the sensory stimulation - they have only been on a comforter, towels, and the floor so far).