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Discussion Starter #141
This post is set on Friday, just to put it into context, I have been so busy that I didn't get around to posting it, don't hate me!) And so it begins! 😁 Potty area is up, sound intro is live, and they love their body handling exercises.

The potty area went up yesterday, I have been watching and so far they still aren't peeing on their own, but they are pooping, so it was time to introduce the potty area. It starts out small, just a little area to introduce it and get them started, then as they potty on their own more, and get more proficient using it and April spends less and less time with them, it will expand. All of this I will show as we go along. They are already picking it up, and this morning there was quite a bit of both on the pad, so they are quickly figuring it out. Their natural want to be clean has kicked in, and that's my moment to begin the foundation of house training.

Sound intro involves both sound effects through the speaker, and real world noises. I have fireworks, traffic, dogs barking, and thunderstorm on the speaker. Real world there are too many to name, but a few examples are, vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, chair being pulled across the floor, trash bag opening, things being dropped, door being shut and opened, lawn mower, and so forth. Since their amazing momma is unfazed by pretty much everything, for the moment I do most of the real world noises while they are nursing, the speaker noises while they are awake for a couple minutes after feeding, and I do this a couple times a day with them. As you can see from the clip, they think sound intro rocks!

Besides regular attention, cuddles, and picking them up which they get endless amounts of I might add, I also do body handling exercises from birth and continue throughout. Handling feet, ears, tail, muzzle, and so forth so they are used to, and accepting of all this handling. They love it and often fall asleep as they just adore human touch. I talk to them constantly and am always getting down at their level as this promotes focus on people's faces, beginning the foundation work for sit and attention once they are older. Training puppies to make eye contact and look for it not only makes them so much easier to train, it gives them a voice and ability to communicate and get your attention when they have a need. My puppies are far from ordinary, though in my opinion I wish it was the norm, if people put as much time in as my guys get, there would be so few dogs getting dumped in shelters with behavior issues caused by lack of proper raising from birth. I raise my pups to be intelligent, problem solving, enrichment seeking, and able to "speak" and understand how to express their needs to their family through polite behavior and making eye contact.
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Discussion Starter #142
Happy 3 weeks old! Another week, and once again a ton of change! They are now eating gruel, going potty on their own, exploring the kitchen, and having short play sessions throughout the day. They got their first water bowl put in today, and the beginning of crate training started as well with the introduction of a small crate into their sleeping area (will do a post on that later). They are doing amazing and are the most incredibly sweet babies, wagging their tails at me every time they see me now. Week three stays much the same as week 2, only this week I focus more heavily on item intro than before, (as before they weren't showing much interest in items) and begin more exploring of the house, taking them for a few minutes as a group into different rooms, expanding their horizons young is so important in helping them grow all the more in confidence. They love sound intro, always running over to the speaker to listen, and playing happily around the vacuum and hair dryer. April continues to spend less time with them, and is completely not thrilled by nursing anymore. She still shows interest in them and will hang out and watch carefully whenever they are exploring. She's a good momma, and a great dog! Love my babies to the moon and back!
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Discussion Starter #144
Their current setup. The water bowl was put in a few days ago, and they are already starting to show interest and try to drink, which is great to see. I have changed their top blanket out for a sheet to be more cool since it is so hot this week into next, they also have a fan that hangs above them to make sure they stay nice and cool.

They are beginning the transition over from all pads to newspaper now, the reason for all pads at the start is so they have good traction as paper tends to be more slick and harder to get good footing on. For the first week or two of their potty training, I do pads, then slowly start the transition over to paper. They are doing great with going potty where they should, and here in the near future, I will begin the process of teaching them how to hold it before going potty rather than just walking a few steps and going. How I teach them to hold it is by moving the paper back ever so slightly each day until it comes to rest against the opposite wall, making it so they have to get up and walk from one side of the room to the other, and after this point is complete, then they begin going outside to potty and in the end, all paper is removed and they go outside to potty full time. Training them to hold it is critical to proper house training with a litter, if it is not done, one is literally training their bladders to have low control as they never have to hold it, which creates a dog who is hard to finish house training with once older. The pups will start going out for short amounts of time this upcoming week, and I work to take them out pretty often to get a jump start until they are old enough to use the dog door go out.

Right now there is still a small part of their space that is sectioned off for momma to get away from them at night, this however will be going away in the near future as they make the change to sleeping alone. Here in a week or so, depending on April, she will begin sleeping in her crate again and they will be alone for the night, which is necessary for the mom as it is not fair to expect her to stay and deal with their pups for the whole night, and very important for the pups so they learn that nighttime is for sleeping, and don't create a unhealthy dependency on being able to nurse at night, because past a certain point, they don't need it and it becomes nothing more than a comfort thing, which at 4-5 weeks, it's important for them to learn to self soothe. However for my pups, they go right to sleep at night and have no issues or need to self soothe, since I train my pups from a young age that when the lights go out and you are shut in for the night, it is time to sleep, training them for proper nighttime behavior as adults.

The crate was introduced a few days ago, and has a nice comfy bed inside to encourage sleeping in it. This crate is the first step in crate training, introducing it and making it a positive thing, as they enjoy sleeping in it and feel safe and happy. I leave a crate in for the majority of their growing up. The next step in their training will come once I start feeding them in crates, this starts once they are eating out of their own bowls, which will begin soon. They are still on gruel for the moment, but once able to chew mash, they will make the transition from pan feeding to each having their own bowl. I cannot stress feeding separately enough as it prevents food aggression, the creation of pups who bolt their food, and allows proper monitoring of how much they are eating. They are getting three feedings a day now, and will continue with that throughout.
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If only some breeders were as responsible with their litters as you are. You give them such a solid start, and they aren't even your own litters.
 

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Discussion Starter #146
If only some breeders were as responsible with their litters as you are. You give them such a solid start, and they aren't even your own litters.
Same goes for other fosters, most fail their pups completely and it breaks my heart. Well, I wouldn't say that, they are mine, just not permanently, same as a breeder. I love my babies as much as any owner ever could. These pups will always hold a place in my heart and I will never stop caring about them.
 
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Discussion Starter #147
Happy 4th of July! 🎇🇺🇸🐶
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Alder
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Ashton
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Blaze
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Dawn
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Javier
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Peony
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Reed
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Discussion Starter #152
Happy 4 Weeks Old! Growing fast are these little ones! They are going outside for a few minutes throughout the day now, are eating mash and drinking water well, playing and being awake for longer each day, and exploring everywhere fearlessly! This week will bring about stroller rides, more individual time for each puppy away from the rest, and the beginnings of leash and harness training. The biggest pup so far is Peony, and of course the smallest is little tiny Alder, who might be small, but he rules the pack, lol! This week and next I will be working to evaluate their personalities in more depth as we prepare for the time when I will choose the best pups to meet each family's needs. In two weeks things will get extra busy as families come to meet their babies. Cannot believe how fast time is flying!
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