Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Almost Six Weeks Old: Life in the Outdoor Pen

Momma Elsie likes to play with toys, just like her pups do.

She tries to sneak them out of the puppy pen when the pups are sleeping.

The pups are weaned now, so Momma Elsie would just as soon play with her pups' toys as she would play with them (toys don't have puppy teeth and puppy claws). :)

The pups have learned the significance of the back door opening out onto the deck. When they hear it, they know it's time to see their humans.

At nearly six weeks old now, the puppies need to learn to interact with dogs other than their siblings. Each of our big dogs takes a turn with the pups 1:1 in their pen. But the pups also regularly observe the big dogs outside of their pen, too. In this shot, Pinot is digging water (and giving Miss Pink and Master Yellow a hefty splash!).

"Momma Joan!  Stop taking pictures and come in and play with us!"

The puppies still sleep about 80% of the time, and they've grown to love the hammock. Inevitably one pup is reluctant to settle down (in this case it's Master Blue, under the hammock, but they all take their turn).

Almost asleep IMaster Yellow is long gone!).

Well, not quite.

Master Green takes a final peek.

Meanwhile, Master Blue entertains himself with the monkey.

And the hammock.

"C'mon guys, won't somebody play with me?"

Nose to nose.

Master Blue (underneath), finally settles in (but bumps Master Red, above, in the process).

Nap time! (Master Blue is sleeping under the hammock.)

Climb-on-Momma-Joan's-lap time (I took this picture holding the camera up over my head and pointing downward). We spend a lot of time with the pups socializing them to humans. :)
All five black pups thoroughly enjoy the water (perhaps it has something to do with cooling them off).  While Miss Lime (the only yellow in the litter) seems to enjoy it, too, she doesn't seek it out the way the black pups do.
At this age they engage in ferocious-looking dominance play.  So far, the most dominant of the pups seem to be Miss Pink (the littlest by far) and Master Yellow (the youngest)(, though we do not have a clear alpha. They all seem to spend as much time on their backs as they do on top of each other.
They've grown quite vocal, learning to use their voices quite appropriately. They do love to romp with, challenge, and bark at each other.
We deliberately work with the pups on not jumping and not barking for our attention. The pups learn quickly that in order for us to pick them up or pet them they must be quiet and have their bottoms on the ground. They're still quite young to be learning this, but they're doing remarkably well. Here, Daddy Don just arrived home and they're awaiting his attention. 
They've also started wrassling their toys (and chewing on their toys' ears, which is a huge improvement over chewing on their siblings' ears). :)
But that doesn't mean they don't still chew on each other!
Oh, yes, and they've discovered their paws -- another thing to chew on.

So that's what keeps the pups occupied these days.  Later this week, Friday afternoon, once they've all turned six weeks old, they will visit the vet (for the second time; first time was at 4 days old). At that time they'll all be thoroughly examined, will receive their first rounds of vaccines, will be dewormed (routine), and will have microchips inserted beneath their skin for permanent identification (big needle, ouch!).

And so it goes!

Until next time,


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What a collection of cutie pies!

Thanks for sharing all those pics!

Mango said...

Oh those little faces! They look like real labradors now. Thanks so much for taking us on your journey.

Mango Momma

Charlie said...

You do such a good job of raising these little guys!