Gibbs x Diva Puppy Page

Even Split!

Diva whelped a little early on us! Four boys and four girls were born on Friday, July 26th, 2013. It was a bit of a surprise, being almost a week earlier than planned, so we set up a temporary whelping box (giant crate bottom) until she finished and could be transferred to our regular box.

Whelping was smooth, uneventful and Diva stepped up to be an awesome mom to her pups.  Orange boy and Pink girl were our smallest with birth weights of 10 oz. Topping the charts was Green girl who weighed in at 16 oz. All in all everyone is doing very well!

At this point the pups are pretty laid back. Each puppy is handled at least once daily, though generally more often than that, and seem very relaxed while we stimulate their senses. Some seem to respond to our voices already and one has even barked back! We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks!

Collar Color Assignments  

BOYS: Purple, Orange, Green/White and Blue/White

GIRLS: Yellow, Blue, Green and Pink

Week 2!

The pups have been quite boring until recently. Their lives have, up until now, consisted of eating, sleeping and being relieved by Diva. They have been very tolerant of our handling and stimulation and boy are they GROWING!

All of that changed now that their eyes and ears have opened and have begun to toddle. They are very responsive to our voices and will migrate over to us to cuddle up for attention. On our individual handling session, we are beginning to see their personalities develop. A couple of these guys are very talkative and love to converse as we speak to them. 

They are big enough now to graduate from their puppy bands to their puppy collars.   All of the boys have solid colored collars and the girls have paw prints on their colors. 

Collar Transfer Assignments  

BOYS (Solid Colors): 

Purple = Purple    Orange = Red  

Green/White = Green    Blue/White = Blue

GIRLS (Paw Prints): 

Yellow = Purple    Blue = Blue    Green = Green    Pink = Pink

Week 3

This has been a very fast moving week for the pups! 

Since the opening of their eyes and ears, we have placed a variety of toys in the whelping box as enrichment. We use toys of different sizes and textures as well as multiple noise making toys to stimulate the pups as much as possible. While the pups love the toys, there is still no replacement for chewing on a sibling, lol!

The first lesson we are tackling is target training for potties. Puppies have a natural desire to eliminate in an area separate from where they sleep and nurse. We encourage this behavior by providing a clear distinction between the two areas (i.e. a bed vs. potty pads) and praise puppies who crawl out of bed to potty. 

We use potty pads for their added scent which mimics the smell of urine. This scent draws puppies to the area and tells them that it is the designated potty area. Instinct alone is not always enough, so excessive praise and physically moving puppies to the pads after awakening and meal time are other mechanisms of motivation employed. 

As they become used to targeting the potty, either for praise or out of habit, we begin to minimize the space allotted for potty pads. This encourages them to seek out the specific area in which to eliminate so that we can expand their pen and have only that area devoted to the latrine (more room for PLAY!).  We also add a litter pan filled with non-toxic pine pellets. A litter pan provides a more distinct target for them and, ideally, we can eventually phase out/minimize the use of potty pads (puppies LOVE to shred the pads!).  

It is a slow but steady process :)

The other new thing this week is that we are weaning! Poor Diva has put up with the teenie tiny teeth that are coming in, but has made the decision to start shutting down the milk bar. We knew it was time when the adorable purple girl started mimicking Diva, eating from her bowl. Everyone took to the gruel very enthusiastically. Part of our program is to provide multiple different feeding pans. We started with a muffin tin, which worked very well as far as keeping the pups out of their food. Much better than the feeding pan anyway, where a pup or two will undoubtedly climb in and walk the circle - creating sort of a feeding merry-go-round. Feeding on a folded blanket provides traction and helps to contain the mess :)

Well, that is just about all for week #3. Stay tuned for the many adventures of Week #4!

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