The Ninth Week

 On Wednesday it's time to get the litter approved. Nowadays, every visit is greeted with a loud chorus of barking; but as soon as we come down to their level the loudness tapers off and the puppies curiously sniff the visitor. The breeding supervisor is quite impressed with the litter-area. One by one every puppy is examined and graded. They are judged to be very well socialized and Benga determined to be in good condition.
The veterinarian is coming for the inoculation and to give the puppies an ID-chip. They are all healthy and in very good condition, no complaints or defects. Planting the ID-chips was accompanied by loud squealing. Before that the last worming took place without complications.

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The purpose of the play among the siblings is increasingly becoming the determination of hierarchy in the pack and the loudness grows with it. Sometime one wants to intervene but Benga knows when the best time for that is. Unfortunately in one case it is not enough to rely on Benga. The "fights" between Anina and Alessa-Malou sometimes get out of control and we have to jump in and stop them. When this happens a small (sometimes large) bite wound is unavoidable. The baby teeth are quite sharp.

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 The Eighth Week

 In the eight week a nostalgic feeling is creeping in. The puppies need to get prepared for their next phase in life.
They are now used to having a collar on. Some of them don't even notice it anymore but for others
it's still a bit aggravating. All of them now accept being leashed and have their fun.
Taking a ride on the train has also been done. The noise didn't scare any of them but climbing into the train
was an adventure. Anina had no problems but Ares, Andor and Aaron had to be talked into crossing the threshold.
Aura and Aless preferred being carried in. The shaking during the ride was not a problem for them

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They've also experienced a car ride and a "nature excursion." In groups of two we took a twenty minute car ride. There was no need to use sickness bags. Some of the puppies looked out of the car windows, others enjoyed the drive in our arms. Once in a while one could hear a sigh.

The trip into the field was something special for everyone involved. We headed for a large pile of sand. The grass was so high that some of the puppies disappeared. They all had lots of fun. There was much sniffing, exploration and lively playing about. Surprisingly, not one of the rascals tried to make an escape. They even barked at another larger dog, in union, and then ran after him. We had to run in the other direction and call them loudly in order to stop their pursuit.

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The playing among the siblings is now getting rougher. Everyone is trying to get as high as possible in the hierarchy.
Even when playing with the mother the scuffling is intense. Sometimes one can feel sorry for Benga,
one puppy is pulling on her tail another on her leg and yet another on her ear. Usually she will quickly concede and look for a quiet place to be alone. When only one puppy is involved the playing around can last several minutes.
 It's amazing how careful Benga is when using her teeth.

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Die Seventh Week

Week number seven is full of new experiences and exploration. We've expanded the "territory" by opening up
the entire ground floor for supervised exploration. The impulse for activity for some is now difficult to control.
The living room, hallway and kitchen are investigated. The staircase gets a lot of attention.
Two, three and sometimes more steps are climbed. They are always carried back down in our arm.
Walks now take place alone or with one of the siblings. They don't trust themselves yet to go alone
but together they are courageous and go briskly along the street and in the field. These walks are kept short
at 5-8 minutes. They should get accustomed to the various noises from cars, people and children.
One of the main things still to be learned is when not to bite people and their siblings. The puppies are learning to enjoy the pool filled with balls, they now jump right in. Playing with the mother is now more frequent.

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The puppies now know exactly who belongs to the family. Family members are now waited for
 and greeted loudly mornings and evenings. With the command "Kommt Babies" the rascals run towards you
and you have to be very careful where to put your feet. You are surrounded by cuddling puppies.

In meantime there are only four meals per day. No more pureed food. The dried puppy food is soaked in water.
For at least one meal the food is served dry. Our eager one is held back for a few minutes so that
he doesn't take the largest portion. The smallest one gets an extra portion be

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The Sixth Week

The sixth week continues the emphasis on socialization. The play among the siblings is getting rougher.
There looking for there place in the pack. Growling and the drive for dominance are becoming more frequent.
Benga knows exactly when she need to jump in. She puts her head between the two adversaries and everything is OK. Sometimes we humans need to keep our hands off when the "game" seems to be getting out of control.
The mother is nor more often part of the game.
The garden is now rearranged on a daily basis. Sometimes the pool of balls is the main attraction, other times the tunnel, still other times toys are used or just the sandbox.

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The meals for week six haven't changed much compared to week five. For one meal pureed food is served
and for another dry food like grown up dogs receive. The puppies have noticeable differences in their weight increase.
On certain days there is an increase of 100 grams per day, on others only 20, sometimes nothing.
But one must consider that the rascals don't make it easy to measure their weight so a little error is expected.

The first attempts are made at walking with a collar, at first with the mother than alone.
The puppies react to this quite differently yet according to their character. Anina can't get enough.
Alano stays close to Benga and has to try and keep up with her. Aura and Alessa-Malou simply remain seated
and have to be convinced to take a few steps. All of them are unaccustomed to the collar and they keep scratching at it.

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The Fifth Week

In week five socialization plays a major role. The puppies are making attempts at moving up the hierarchical ladder
and are playing more seriously with their siblings. Now one often hears a squeak or a squawk.
Benga seem to know instinctively when something gets out of hand and jumps in putting her head between the adversaries, who are then quickly separated. This wrangling among the siblings takes up most of their waking time.
They jump and run towards one another and try to get hold of a tail or a leg. The speed of thier little legs is already quite respectable. The entire garden is now a playground, flapping ribbons and a large wooden log complete the adventure.

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The baby teeth are now in the upper and lower jaw which means that at the end of the fifth week the puppy food
need not always be pureed. One has the impression that they like this better than the "puppy-porridge."
Benga has reduced her lactation and it's mainly there for the "dessert." Now there are only four meals per day.
For "lunch " there is curds or porridge with fruit. For the other meals puppy food is given.
Our puppies have the typical "Gossi eating rhythm": at 10:00 p.m. they have a large portion, whereby mornings and afternoons they eat only a few morsels.

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More and more more visitors are coming, simply to look at the puppies or to see their progress and growth.

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 The Fourth Week

 In week number four the socialization phase begins. The time awake is now one hour with 2-3 hours sleep.
The litter room is really coming to life. As soon as someone wakes up he/she wakes one of the others to play.
One can hear something like a "growl" when they were woken from a deep sleep. Loud growling gets Benga's attention.
She looks to see whats happening, puts her paw between them and gives each one a lick.
Play is the driving force in the waking times. Toys are offered but in a measured manner, a paper carton,
an empty plastic bottle, a few stuffed animals. This is done so that the puppies can explore their litter area.

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On day 23 the feeding with small "meet marbles" begins. They were a little tentative at first but ended up liking the taste and licked our hands and fingers several times over. In addition each puppy gets 2 meat nuggets.
 The first meal with meat went well, no digestion problems. The next day a spoonful of children's porridge is on the plan. They cannot eat from a spoon very well so the feeding is done with porridge between the fingers.
The only remaining question is who made more of a mess of themselves?

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The garden/playground is beginning to take shape. Poison ivy has a fence around it. there is a pool with balls, a tunnel, noisy cans, towels blowing in the wind and reflective shiny discs.


At the end of the fourth week all of the puppies have their canine teeth, the other teeth in the upper
and lower jaw at least visible. One can already feel them quite clearly.
The porridge meals are no longer served from ones lap, rather 2 or 3 puppies eat it from a bowl.


 The Third Week

 The third week is considered a transition week. All of the puppies have now opened their eyes.
There is a blueish/grayish film on their eyes so that they can only see dimly.
 The ears won't open up until the 14th of July. This explains the fact that the puppies don't take notice of any noises that occur outside of the main litter area.
Benga no longer sleeps the entire night in the puppie area. Once or twice per night one can hear her
go downstairs where she nurses the puppies. In the morning she lays down peacefully with her children in a boxed in area, which is covered over at night. The first small excursion takes place.
The boys and girls are placed in the garden on a Vet-Bed and explore their world for ten minutes.


On the 17th of July the first teeth appeared in the upper jaw. Puppies experience teething too, not just little children. Some of them squeak loudly and frequently. Usually after a quick cuddle from one of us (humans) everything is OK.
On the 18th of July all the puppies ears have opened up.

Now it's time for the first playtime with the siblings.

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The times when the puppies are awake are filled with exploration and discovery all around the litter area.


The puppies are very accustomed to human contact and are quite relaxed.


 The Second Week

 Also in the second week the puppies spend all the time in the litter area. Benga give herself a break
 for a couple to sleep and recoup some energy.
In this way the puppies learn that the "milk-bar" is not permanently open and they take naps of up to two hours.
One can really see how the puppies put on weight from day to day.
On the ninth day every one of them has doubled their birth weight.
The puppies claws are trimmed so that the mother doesn't get injured when they nurse. This goes well, since they are now used to sleeping in our hands. But is does take a little time to trim all five (sometimes 6) claws.

After day 10 we are all waiting with with anticipation that their eyes open up. Chica Cuatro did this on the 12th day..


At the end of the second week the first attempts are made with little legs to climb over the wall enclosing the litter area. Of course, we took a snapshot of the first "excursion."

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Chica Cuatro and Chico Dos were the first ones.

The First Week

The first week of life is spent entirely in the litter area. Each one in our family spends some time
 with the puppies either in front of the box or in the box.

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The puppies are petted, so that early on they get used to the odor of humans and realize,
 that besides the siblings and the mother there are people that care for them.
Sometimes they are so relaxed that they peacefully sleep in our hands.


© Schüssler, fuego del viento, 2007-2012

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