Puppy Progress Week 3 - Walking & Wagging

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Puppy Progress Week 3 - Walking & Wagging

Leela's puppies have now reached the ripe old age of 3 weeks and the changes over the past 7 days have continued at a fast pace. Growth wise they have continued to get heavier quickly with one puppy in particular now reaching 5 times their birth weight. However, it is in their behaviour and activity levels where we have been seeing the biggest changes. Play fighting, tails wagging, walking, running (sort of).....it seems like the last seven days have seen the transition from newborns into puppies in a much more rounded sense while at the time same time their individual personalities have also continued to develop.

Somewhat traditionally I'll stick with a quick list of how much they do actually weigh compared to their birth weight and at the end of weeks 1 and 2. 

x Bigger3.94454.34.4

That's right folks. 5 of the 6 puppies have now topped a kilo, with Bella and Rose in particular powering away from the rest of the pack. Rose is now 5 times heavier than she was just 3 short weeks ago. Little George has continued to lag behind and the gap has widened in absolute terms, but at a shade under 4 times his birth weight he is still doing OK. We do notice he is less active and energetic compared to his bigger brothers and sisters, but we're hoping that over the week ahead he will reach the stage they are at now, which is really quite energetic. 



A week ago, when I wrote about their eyes opening I also mentioned that we had seen tentative signs of standing up. At the time it was somewhat of a drunken legged wobble followed by a bumpy landing on either bottom or face depending on which leg gave way first. Yet now, 7 short days later, the puppies are dashing up and down their box like crazy. They still have the occasional collision, usually with the wall of the box, but it doesn't seem to put them off and although not quite there yet I would say the word 'running' might not be too unfair. Thankfully we did have the foresight to construct 'Puppy Box' Mach II prior to this active development with both thicker and higher sides (although we may not be far off Puppy Box Mach III)

In addition to being up and about a lot more other developments include tails now definitely wagging for reasons other than balance (usually near to Leela at milk time) and that playfights are also in full swing. Again, usually just before meal times when they are most active after a good long sleep we get to enjoy watching at least 2 or 3 puppies climbing over, on and underneath each other while at the same time apparently testing which of their brothers or sisters extremities is the tastiest. At times it seems there is a competition to see how much of a siblings head they can fit in their mouth. A show that Leela seems to watch from outside of the box with a tired look on her face.

Waste output (shall we call it) has also been on the increase, but thankfully the instinct not to dirty their sleeping area seems strong in the group so we're doing our best to encourage them to tend towards one area in particular. Not that we expect anything like 'toilet training' in the near future but we have read that you can get a head start by earmarking one area early on.

As I wrote about a few days ago the changes over the past few weeks have been hard for Leela to keep up with and the demands on her are very visible.

Personality wise traits we noticed early on have developed further. Rose, for example, remains the happiest to do her own thing and cause mischief. She's usually the first to stop nursing while Leela is laying in the box and seems to like nothing better than climbing over her mums face, chewing her mums ear and then trying to wriggle underneath her back. She's also happy to fall asleep away from the group while the other 5 tend to huddle together in a pile. George and Bella's bond is as strong as always - 4 out 5 times they can be found lying side by side asleep.

Finally the puppies have also gotten to meet some new faces in the past week, with the children of some neighbours coming to say hello along with several other visitors and most recently our friends Phil and Mel coming to stay with us for 9 days. They don't seem phased by much I have to say, probably helped by how relaxed Leela is around anyone and we've read that this is a good age to start getting them used to new faces, smells and sounds.



Looking ahead the big change for the week ahead is more solid food on the horizon. At 3 weeks old it's time to start weaning them on to food other than mums milk. I wonder how they will take to it? We'll also be keeping a close eye on George to see if he develops into the same activity and independence as his weight continues to increase. It would be nice if he gets closer to 1kg before the end of week 4.







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