Puppy Raising Schedule
This is a guide that goes through exactly what is going on after the point that the female has been bred. This will explain what the mama dog and puppies are doing and what I am doing so you can understand a bit of the process!
Female is Bred
During the prenatal phase, many changes are happening with the mama dog and we are doing a lot of preparing. Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days (9 weeks), but can go as early as 55 and as late as 70 days. We calculate the due date from the first tie we see, but depending on when she actually ovulates, it can be sooner or later. During this time, we are feeding her high-quality food and slowly beginning to increase as her pregnancy proceeds. She is still getting plenty of exercise without overdoing it. We believe a healthy, fit dog has a much easier delivery than an overweight or under exercised dog. We will also be introducing her to her whelping box where she will sleep at night for at least a week before delivering, so she is comfortable in the area. We currently have our mommas whelping in a bedroom right next to ours so that after birth, we are near enough to hear any distress during the day and night.
Babies are born! This is such an exciting time. During the first week, puppies sleep most of the time as they are not able to hear or see things and mama stays with them pretty much all the time except to eat and potty. Their ears and eyes are closed shut so they find their way around primarily by feel and smell. Newborns can also not bear weight on their legs, so will learn to maneuver and wiggle around as they build those muscles in their legs. For the most part, sleeping and eating are the focus in the first couple weeks. We begin Early Neurological Stimulation and Puppy Culture Protocols within the first couple days.
The second week is very similar to the first week as puppies are still sleeping most of the time, only moving around to eat and get comfy. They are getting a bit wigglier and squeakier as they gain more muscle in their legs and find their voices. By the time puppies are 2 weeks old, their eyes and ears will begin to open. Mama still stays with them majority of the time except to potty and eat.
At three weeks of age the puppies are no longer sleeping as much and they are beginning to respond to their surroundings both by sight and hearing. This is the time where we get more busy with cleaning and interacting more with puppies. Puppy’s eyes and ears should be open completely now and they are starting to stand and walk on wobbly legs. They are also beginning to interact with each other at this age. Mom is starting to take some breaks away from the puppies at this age and since they are already starting to get teeth poking through their gums, we will introduce the puppies to mush (goats milk blended with kibble into a very mushy substance). Once puppies begin to eat food other than their mama's milk, mama will no longer be eating their pee/poo so we will also implement the litter box into the whelping box. We also begin to play our CD multiple times a day that gets them used to different noises; car/truck noises, people talking, babies crying, fireworks, etc.
After week 4, the puppies really begin to mature both mentally and physically very fast. They are learning so many new things, hearing new sounds, experiencing new things, their growth will start to speed up and their individual personalities are beginning to stand out. Mom is starting to wean puppies naturally as they all mostly have sharp teeth coming in. Nursing is now a lot more rough and painful for mama so she typically comes in only to feed them then she will go do her own thing away from the puppies until the next feeding in a couple hours. Puppies have started to eat mush twice a day so nursing on mama become less frequent. They have begun to use their litter box more regularly, which is a blessing for me and cleanup! They are still a little wobbly on their feet but more confident and beginning to explore a bit more. Play will get more rough with their siblings and they will enjoy toys and human interaction.
The fifth week is full of puppies playing, learning, building relationships with us and each other, and building their own confidence. Their sight and hearing has improved immensely within the last 2 weeks, which improves their learning and adapting ability. At 5 weeks of age, puppies are beginning to develop and show their personalities much more and figuring out their spot within the pack. Puppies are are spending a lot of time playing and are beginning to use their voices. Mom is still present in the puppies everyday lives here and there but has almost ceased nursing completely and when she does see her puppies, she spends more time playing/disciplining than coddling. They are going potty in the litterbox very consistently at this age and are beginning to eat their food less mushy, which begins their transition to water and solid food. They will begin to go to the water bowl for a drink. We will begin to introduce puppies to the crate for short periods of time such as when we are cleaning their area and getting their food prepared. Weather permitting, puppies will also be introduced to the doggy door during the day at this age and it takes only a day or so to get that figured out.
Puppies are more developed mentally and are continuing to gain confidence. We notice at this time they are more aware of their surroundings and looking/listening beyond what is directly in front of them. They are playing and establishing their roles in their litter pack, and we can identify who is going to be the most dominant, submissive, noisy, etc. Again, mom is still present in the puppies everyday lives here and there but likely does not accept much nursing from the puppies. She will play/discipline the puppies but her time being with them is kept short due to her own preference. If weather permits, puppies will be using their doggy door to potty and play outside during the day on their own time. They learn this very quickly and begin to prefer to potty outside rather than in their litter box. They spend a lot of time playing with each other and their toys. While they are playing they will tell each other when it is too rough or they have had enough. New sounds and smells will really interest them at this age. They will likely be eating solid food by this age and drinking from a water bowl. Puppy picks will happen around this time and families will know which puppy is theirs. We will begin to use their given name if parents have one already picked out.
A ton of stuff happens on our end the 7th week in preparation for going into their new homes. Their first car ride to the vet will happen during this week. Puppies are developing very quickly and their day to day experience is very similar to week 6 other than they are more confident, independent, and even more mentally developed. Mom is not around much other than sometimes accompanying us when we are working with the puppies. She accepts no nursing from the puppies but will discipline and play with the puppies. Puppies are eating solid food two times a day and drinking water from a bowl. They are using the doggy door to go outside to potty and spend a lot of their time outside if they can, weather permitting. Puppies swiftly respond when we call them to come and greedily accept attention. We are still doing a lot of stimulation with their senses such as new and loud/soft sounds, new feelings like hanging toys and wobbly toys, new smells with treats/bird wings, and new tastes with the treats as well. We will continue with light treat training. Other than the puppies, we will be finalizing paperwork and getting puppy packs together to send puppies home well prepared!
Puppies get to join their new families and our Puppy Training Program begins for the next 4 weeks. Any of our puppies stay past the 8 week mark we begin one on one house/crate/potty/basic obedience training. This is a very key time to start introducing common commands and environmental stimulation as well as rules and boundaries within their new home.
Puppies are used to the doggy door to go outside to potty and this really helps with potty training as they have learned to distinguish between where their "potty area" is and where it is not. Puppies are typically eating about 1.5 cups per day. As puppies grow and begin to eat more and act like starving teenagers, I do recommend to feed three times per day. Puppies recognize treats and like to learn!
If you are picking up from our home please remember that we require cash for final payment. If you are using any sort of transport/not picking up in person your payment needs to be here BEFORE your puppy leaves. Please wear clean clothes and come straight from your house to ours and avoid any stops. When you take your puppy home, try to make it in as little stops as possible. We will make sure they have pottied before they leave. They will likely sleep in the vehicle on the way home so let them sleep as long as possible and just drive as far as they sleep. If you need to stop, avoid any place that is common for other dogs to be at. Be aware that your puppy is not fully protected when you take it home and won't be until it has received multiple vaccines. Set up a vaccination and deworming schedule with your vet and use our Puppy Go Home Document as a reference! Send us updates with pictures and videos! Do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns!