The Sunshine litter are 4 weeks old today!
There has been such a big difference in the puppies during this past week. At 4 weeks old, the puppies have already spent half their time with us, but it is only now that they begin to be hard work! They are so much more lively and fun – this is the time we really enjoy them.
I moved them downstairs once they had started to eat solid food. They need to be part of family life now. They are very much in the middle of things! The TV is there, the radio is on. Kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners all make a noise. And of course there are the other dogs!
Normally, you wouldn’t have other dogs visit puppies. However, if they are dogs I have bred myself, why shouldn’t they come and see us? It’s so good to see my puppies, all grown up and lovely. Charlie, Aura’s son, from the A-Z litter is one of my favourite boys.
He’s such a gentle boy, who has brought so much pleasure to the children at his local school over the past few years, supported by the charity Canine Concern.
As you can see the other dogs all take an interest in the puppies, so they are bombarded with plenty of interesting smells. Murmur and Quin are both so sweet with their family members. Look at Murmur in with them here… I can’t wait for her to have her own litter.
New spaces at 4 weeks old
When they move downstairs, I add a crate to the run. I cover this up with towels, so that it becomes a cosy space for them to sleep in. It’s great to have them used to this, so that they like being in a crate when they go to their new homes. Crates are useful to keep your puppy safe, just like a cot for a baby.
The puppies don’t stay in their run all the time though. I have them out for chunks of the day, especially in the evenings, when I can sit on the floor and spend time watching and playing with them. It’s fascinating to see their characters developing.
The great outdoors
At around 4 weeks old I try to get the puppies outside. This involves a further run setup, so there is a bigger space for them to explore. I find that they only go out of the door at first, but it won’t be long before they are going further afield.
Poor Ounce gets grabbed by them everywhere she goes! They still feed from her plenty of times each day, although I have been putting food down for them, as I described last week.
You can see that Angus already has some teeth! It won’t be long before they are biting and chewing everything in sight. So if you are visiting, keep your shoes on, but don’t wear laces!
The right breeder
I’ve been reflecting once again on the challenge of finding the best homes and the challenge for people of finding the right breeder. There has been some publicity this week about a champion agility person who over-breeds their dogs in horrific conditions. We just don’t have enough control over how and when people can breed from their dogs.
Likewise, there are inexperienced people who want to do a great job, but don’t have the knowledge needed and end up not being able to find a home for a puppy without advertising online. Hopefully I am the ‘Goldilocks breeder’ who has experience and knowledge, without being commercial. There aren’t that many like me though, which is such a shame.
Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of amazing homes and I receive an enquiry MOST DAYS. It’s so hard, because I don’t really know what to say to all these lovely people.
I always recommend people look at the list of Assured Breeders on the KC website and also contact the breeders on the Champdogs website. There are more thoughts on finding the right homes on the blog from the Mystical litter. I currently have homes for the next litter…
NB: THESE PUPPIES ALL HAVE HOMES. 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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