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I thought it might be a nice idea for people to get an idea of what their puppy's stages are while here at PitterPatterPrints where they were born. I am going to summarize of course but all the same try to give a good idea of their first 8 weeks of life!
- Kat is there for each and every one's arrival. Minnie & Heavenlee are an excellent Mommy and doesn't need her help much but enjoys the companionship and comfort of knowing that Kat will be right there with her if she ever was needed.
- As they are born mom breaks the sack and chews the umbilical cord. So long as she's not tired from birthing other pups mom immediately gives a good bath to dry the pup off. If she is tired Kat dries the pup off and makes sure the umbilical cord is not oozing. She also gives it a quick 'exam' by checking from head (especially inside the mouth for a cleft palet etc.) to tail and all the toes on each foot.
- If there is anything unusual such as a larger pup or a breach (born backwards) Kat knows how long to let the situation be, step in and determine if she can help OR get mom to the Vet immediately (on call always as I have their home phone numbers! plus their spouse's cell too! ;) I have on past occasions had to revive (CPR) a puppy or two.
- I keep a written record of time born, sex and description (just in case anyone looks too much alike or being up all night I might put them in a different order from being too tired) and if time and light is plenty we take pics in between labor.
- After everyone has arrived and is nursing happily on mom I go to take a nap as well with them all located at the foot of my bed where they were born. I can hear the tiniest squeak and wake up to check on them.
- When I wake up after a few hours nap we take pics of their 'birthday' arrival.
- EVERY DAY from this point forward they are all held individually by me, I touch their toes, their bellies get kisses, I rub their bodies and get them used to having their ears handled too. THIS IS A DAILY ROUTINE until they go home to their new families which are encouraged to continue this process so that their puppy grows into a dog that is used to being handled and is confident in the process. Important for socialization and later grooming etc.
- Time to get the Vet to do mini surgeries! Tails are docked as per the breed standard and dew claws are removed as they can present a problem later in the dog's life by getting caught in things or growing too long as they do not make contact with the ground and thus do not wear down.
- The ONLY TIME I do not dock the tail is if the owner requests this before surgery date and pays in full for the puppy. The reason for this is 99% of the people think of the wiggle butts with short docked tails when they think of a cocker spaniel. I understand some ppl believe it cruel and so I do make that one exception even tho I do not believe it is cruel or I would not do it. Paying in full is required because if for some reason the new family changes their mind I do not wish to have a full tailed cocker spaniel to find a home for. If I felt for one second that these mini surgeries were cruel I would not allow it done on my babies. However science and first hand experience has shown me that they do not feel the surgeries (they cry more from being held away from mom than anything else) as the nerves have not developed in that area yet.
- By this point I have never lost a puppy (which is why it's ok to have their mini surgeries). They are taken to the vet and given an exam before hand (just in case I missed anything?_
- Around this time their eyes begin to open. All puppies (and kitties and humans) are born with blue eyes. Even tho they are opening their eyes are not yet able to see and focus and I limit the # of photos taken or take them from a distance because their eyes are sensitive to light and I do not wish to potentially damage their vision. Brown is what I mostly will get with the slight chance for light brown and or hazel if they are 'brown based'. Brown/Chocolate is a diluted color and thus if the nose is brown the eyes are in general often lighter. Blue eyes or partial blue eyes can and does happen in the 'merle' puppies. This is sometimes easy to see if will stay blue at 4 weeks but sometimes it takes right up until they go home at 8 weeks to have a good idea.
- By this point they have at least doubled if not tripled their size from their birthday. They are growing fast and while they aren't yet walking they are certainly crawling and becoming vocal. They dream, their sense of smell is keen (can always find mom and one another), and you can just start to see a bit of 'personality' by their preferenc as to where they sleep and by whom.
2 Weeks Old
- At 2 weeks old I begin taking regular weekly photos. I may do videos but at this stage the puppies literally just eat and sleep in alternation. I do not feel the need to weigh my puppies as each puppy in the litter has their own 'growth ratio' and numbers can sometimes confuse others. A smaller puppy in the litter is going to remain smaller at this age and may it's entire life. However smaller in size does not mean it's any less a wonderful puppy, only that it will grow to it's own size at it's own rate.
- The pups are also beginning to find their 'voices' at this time. They are much louder if they don't get the nipple they want, or wander behind mom. They will even 'coo' to one another when mom isn't with them.
- They have about doubled their size from the week before as well. I usually will take a photo with a tennis ball to show the size ratio or a child's alphabet block as most people know the size of these and can see how the 'size' of the pup would relate to their hands. They still spend MOST of the day and night eating and sleeping.
3 Weeks Old
- At 3 weeks old we are now crawling around and have begun walking some. I will take both pics and video at this point. Personalities are not yet showing themselves from one another. Most of the day and night is still spent eating and sleeping in alternation.
4 Weeks Old
- At 4 weeks old we are now moving around and thus starting to play and show our personalities better. As this week turns into week 5 we begin weaning from mom and start learning how to lap up puppy formula and water.
- Often this is the age where we get our first baths! Which will then happen as frequently as we need them.
- Our teeth are coming in just about now and as such mom isn't wanting to nurse us as long.
- We get our first 'furcut' which is really just a trim of our muzzles and getting used to the feel of the vibration of the clippers on our bodies.
5 Weeks Old
- At 5 weeks old we are mostly weaned from mom and eating puppy gruel (formula with canned food mixed in, then as we approach week 6 we are also adding dry kibble food to the mush).
- We get out first dose of 'deworming' medicine for intestinal parasites. (we get 3 consecutive days and repeat this in 2 weeks time.
- This week we are also now out of the bedroom and in the main part of our home where there is more light and activity and we begin to be much more active. We go into a larger puppy pen and are introduced to newspaper for the first time.
- We get another 'furcut' trim to our faces and also more time with the sound and vibration of the clippers near us. It is also time for our 1st nail trim. Many know that there is not much need for a furtrim but the importantance of getting used to the experience is vital to ur development.
- We have our microchip implanted. Which goes along with our AKC Registration and all paperwork is begun to be prepared.
6 Weeks old
- At 6 weeks old we are fully weaned from mom, thus we get our 1st of 2 deworming (preventative measure) medication doses.
- We also get our first vaccination (DHPPC--Distemper Hepatitis ParaInfluenze Parvo Corona). At this point we are allowed visitors (without pets or children) to come see us by appointment.
- We also start going outside frequently (about every 2 hours) to get the chance to potty. it's alot like follow the leader only so cute as we are all cockers and thus adorable! Our neighbors get to meet us and play with us just a little this week.
- We get another 'furcut' trim to our faces and even more time with the sound and vibration of the clippers. We also get the fur on the bottom of our feet trimmed (using the buzzing clippers to introduce that experience as well) even if there is only just a little. Again more important for the experience than the actual amount of hair.
7 weeks old
- We get frequent visitors at this age. Whether its our neighbors or Kat's friends or people interested in coming to meet us to decide if they want to make us part of their family.
- We are very playful and are going out to potty in the yard more than we make a mess on our newspapers.
- We've also shown which of our toys is our favorite and it's noted to be added into the puppy packs that we go home with.
- At this point, most if not all of the puppies have a home chosen for them and have been paid in full (half down to reserve as yours, other half by this age). Arrangements are being made as to when and how they go to their new homes (if out of state 'delivery/shipping' payments must be made as well).
- If a home has a preference for us to get a 'cocker puppy' furcut we get one at this time, if not we still get our fuzzy faces trimmed, as well as our feet and time spent acquanited with the buzz of the clippers.
- This week is also our time we begin riding in cars so we get used to that new experience.
8 weeks old!
- Airlines allow us to fly at this age and if one of us is we get a health certificate visit at the veterinarian's office.
- We are sleeping thru the night without making accidents and have been 'crate' introduced individually to prepare us for our new homes.
- We get our 2nd dose of dewormer to cover the entire lifecycle of intestinal parasites and are 'pest free'.
- We have been as socialized as is possible for us here at home and are ready to conquer the world by charming our new families to accept us as the royalty we were raised to be like :D
Will be working on this page thru August 2017
Where the PitterPatter Of Cocker Spaniel Paws Can be Heard Through Out the Halls.