Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Adorable puppy faces
Sorry, no pics but lots of puppy updates. Most of the pups have their eyes open, Gilroy is the only pup that only has his eyes half open. I can't remember another litter in which the pups were so synchronized about opening their eyes. Yesterday, I needed to add a half gate to the pen since the pups were starting to try to crawl out of the ex-pen doorway which I had left open for Yoko to come and go. Typically the 3" lip acts as an adequate barrier, but the pups were highly motivated to attempt to get to Yoko who was just outside of the pen and three of them managed to get half way over before getting stuck. This morning, I saw two pups go down to the litter pan on their own and toilet - such good baby puppies. It is so easy to take advantage of that natural instinct to keep their "den" clean - it is amazingly simple to litter train pups at this age by just leaving the toileting area "scented" and helping the pups down there when they wake up and after feeding. This evening, the pups had their first bite of canned food and like good little Labs, didn't pass up on the opportunity to eat. I do not introduce solid food in the conventional way of most breeders. I typically introduce early at around 2 weeks just after the eyes open. I read somewhere that this is also when wolves introduce solids to their pups, so not all that radical. I prefer to use just high quality canned food, which is nutritionally balanced and the texture is appropriate, and this way, the pups learn how to prehend food. I start with just a teaspoon which I hand feed, and will gradually increase the amount and frequency over the next week or so. After that, I will introduce soaked kibble, also by hand feeding. Once the pups are accepting soaked kibble, will offer kibble and goat milk in a pan. I totally skip puppy gruel, and avoid a big mess.