Someone has most definitely pressed fast forward on my life. Puppies are now six weeks old! Over the past couple of months I have watched several other litters grow up on-line, and have noted a pattern that I now find myself repeating: the older the puppies get, the fewer picture and blog entries get posted.
Puppies at this age (and from here on in) are quite time consuming. They’re also hard to photograph as they never stop moving! I have a bit of a backlog of photos and videos to post and am going to try and catch up.
First, I have started taking the puppies outside. Winter litters are at a disadvantage in that they can’t go outside until they are old enough to regulate their own body temperature. At five weeks (the first two videos, below) I found the pups got cold very quickly, and were rather overwhelmed by the great outdoors. You’ll see the difference by six weeks. In the third video, it’s actually snowing out yet puppies are happy to run around and explore.
Here are two short videos of the pups outside for their very first time, the day they turned five weeks. Prior to this date it has been too cold (wet, windy, snowy etc.) to take them out. We finally had a sunny day and some dry ground, so off we went.
As I can only carry three pups at a time, I first brought out Cooper, Lark, and Raven:
After putting the first three back in the house, I brought out Wren and Griffon:
The weather only cooperated enough to get the puppies out twice more throughout the week. I set up an x-pen so I could put three puppies in, and then go back to get the rest while knowing the first group was safe. I put a box in the pen so they had something to hide in if they felt it necessary. I then opened the pen and let puppies explore.
To be honest, they weren’t terribly thrilled with that arrangement. Very quickly they climbed out of the pen and started hiding under my car. I didn’t really like that, so decided to try a different tack.
These puppies are very good teachers, and I learn something new from them every day. Actually, all animals are amazing teachers. Our job is to pay attention. Watch their behaviour and body language. When they are confident and happy, we are doing something right. If they aren’t, well then we need to put our thinking caps on and figure out how to make that happen.
Given their desire to hide under things, I decided to let the puppies use the back deck as a den-like space under which they could hide (after sussing out the potential for them to get stuck, and determining it to be pretty much nil). This allowed them to feel safe, and come out and explore each at their own pace. If you think about it, this is how it would happen in nature. The difference was quite impressive! Check it out: