The puppies are born. The first week is filled with drinking and sleeping. The mother helps the puppies with pooping and peeing, as they still needs their mums help to do that. The puppies can’t see and hear yet. This phase is also called the vegetative or neonatal phase.
They still have to learn to walk, so in this fase they crawl. After three days we start with a neurostimulation program, this will ensure in the future that the puppies can deal with stressful situations. In the first three weeks, this program mainly consists of an introduction to stimuli that are registered by their bodies. For example, touching the puppies with our hands (head, foot soles etc) and petting the puppy. So cuddling!
This is referred to as a transition phase. The puppies prepare physically and mentally for their introduction to the world. The eyes are opening after about 9 days, the ears are now open as well. The puppies can now hear and see. At the end of the second week, the puppies get the first deworming and the nails will be cut.
In the third week, the start of the primary socialization phase (which lasts until the 12th week), it is very busy in the whelping box, the puppies ‘walk’ around and practice different motor skills. Walking is getting better, they sit down and play with each other. A first acquaintance with toys is also consciously offered in this week. This phase is also known as imprinting phase and is essential for the future development of the puppy.
It is important to let the puppies make contact with different materials at this age. We therefore exchange soft and hard materials to play with. In the meantime they start to eat soft food (soaked puppy kibble) and they start to drinking water. The potty training has also started. The pups gradually learn to keep the litter clean, which is very important for successful house training for the new owner.
It is time for deworming treatment again. Furthermore, the nails are cut and the hairs are cut for the first time. This way the pups learn at a young age that human hands are not a threat and coat care is also part of their life. If the weather allows it, they have already been outside. The puppies play with each other.
In the meantime, the puppies eat hard kibble. They alternate between playing, learning and sleeping. They are becoming more aware of the other animals. Sometimes the chipper of the Kennel club visit us already this week, all puppies get a microchip with their own unique code and a buccal swap is taken for the parenting DNA test. This makes them permanently linked to their pedigree name.
In the sixth week the puppies get their first vaccination, we go to the vet by car. They also get another deworming this week, but a different substance than the last time. When the weather is good, the puppies go outside every day. Meanwhile, most of the puppies are already well-trained on the puppy trainer.
The days consist of eating, playing, sleeping and experiencing. Every day they discover new things. All play equipment is widely used. Not only to play with, but also to bite it. Puppies still learn the best to discover the toys with different materials by biting them. When the weather is nice, the puppies also play in a small pool.
The puppies leave for their new home, ready to discover the world.