What do 3 weeks old puppies do?
And they’re off! The Sunshine litter are 3 weeks old now and they are much sturdier on their feet. I shared a video a few days ago, saying ‘running about – well not quite running’, but they’re not far off!
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This is the time when they really start to engage with each other and explore their area a bit more. The world is still a small place for puppies who are 3 weeks old, but they will become more adventurous very soon.
I’m quick to introduce more toys to the run, although these won’t be played with just yet! The puppies will need a range of different kinds of toys, including things to cuddle up to (as Vespa is demonstrating above!) They also need things to chew, as those teeth will be arriving soon. Toys that move and make a noise are important too.
Visits from owners
Normally, when the puppies are 3 weeks old I have the new owners visit to be vetted by me. Not this time! One owner came the day after they arrived and will visit weekly. The other two have to come when they can, as they both live a few hours away. They are very welcome though, as they are ‘existing owners’ and I know I can trust them to raise these pups well.
I do need plenty of other visitors, because I love my pups to be really used to meeting people and experiencing different situations. Unfortunately this does not include people I don’t know. The house is busy enough for me and the dogs.
If you want to know how to apply for a puppy, why not read about how to contact a breeder?
Amazingly, puppies do try not to toilet in their bed, even before they can see and hear. Now that they can do both I expect their bed to stay more or less dry. I have always used newspaper in the run, because its free and absorbent. I have found puppy pads have a tendency to get chewed and tend to slide around a bit, but I know most people swear by them.
This time I have decided to try and create a toileting tray, which I know people have found successful. This is a designated container, which the puppy are supposed to target. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Once we get to three weeks, I start to introduce solid food. Well when I say solid, obviously it’s not crunchy yet! I feed my dogs Royal Canin complete kibble and I always introduce them to the Starter food first, with some puppy milk powder to soak it in. There are a wide range of views of on what is the right way to feed our dogs, just as we all eat different foods. I’m not joining that argument. I feed what works for my dogs. They like it and they have the right levels of energy for the life they live.
I am mentoring a person who has a litter sired by Quin, just as I was mentored by the breeder who’s stud dog I first used. I showed her how I make up the food and gave it to them. She asked me about quantities and how often to feed them. Hmm, that’s a bit of a tricky one. It’s one of those ‘suck it and see’ times.
So I gave them a heaped tablespoon of food, soaked yesterday and they weren’t really interested. This morning I gave them that much again and they tucked into it, finishing it off. They quickly get the hang of it, but they don’t really need it.
It becomes a bit of a competition then, between me and Ounce. Who can feed first and when will they be satisfied? I aim to be feeding them four or five times a day by four weeks and then increase that to ‘as often as possible’ by six weeks (probably six times a day). But then it quickly drops off again, with them having four meals a day at 8 weeks and going to 3 meals by 10 weeks. They eat very small amount of food at a time as well, even at 8 weeks it’s still only a few grams at a time.
NB: Visits are by appointment only. There is someone here at all times.
Buy the Workbook
The Workbook – A Year With Your Puppy is available to buy. It was written and designed to be a hands-on, interactive book for you. It will help you survive the first year with your puppy, but also act as a memento of that time and the journey you have been on. You can write notes and stick in pictures of your puppy throughout the year. Lovely!
Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs? And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.
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