From puppies to police dogs - a trainer's diary (Week two)
Date published: 21 May 2010
The picture shows how the puppies arrange themselves when sleeping (the banana is just to give some scale to the size of the puppies)
Following last week's first entry of ‘From puppies to police dogs - a trainer's diary’, here is the second instalment.
The second week is always the most relaxing week as by now mum has settled into feeding and cleaning and we can see the puppies growing bigger and stronger all the time.
There is very little work for us humans – mum takes care of everything. One small change in Xena is that she is not as desperate to get back to the puppies once she has been out to toilet.
More and more she will potter about the garden while I sow seeds and work in the greenhouse. However if the puppies start to cry she lets you know it’s time to go back inside.
At the beginning of the week we changed the vetbed to one that only covers ¾ of the whelping bed. This is the first brain stimulation that we introduce.
The puppies will always crawl back on to the warm bedding and seek the comfort and warmth of other puppies.
As the week wore on it got warmer and we noticed that the puppies would lie on the cool wood floor but only if with another puppy so when warmth was not a factor company still was.
On Thursday their tiny eyes had started to open and today they are almost completely open.
Sight is not perfect though as the eyes have that vacant milky look but they do appear to be able to see movement and well defined shapes.
Last night Xena went off for a play and a romp with Peter giving me an opportunity to watch them more closely without mother’s interference.
They all seemed to have a waking time and for about 15 minutes they were very vocal with their little mewing sounds, my neighbour says it sounds like seagulls.
They were very active too, crawling on wobbly legs all over the whelping box again suggesting that with eyes and ears starting to open they are becoming increasingly aware of their surroundings.
Throughout the week Dave has been kept up to date with their progress but I know he and his family can’t wait to visit.
They have booked a mini break in the half term holiday which is excellent timing as the puppies will be three and half weeks old and into everything no doubt.
I think the pups will start to liven up by the middle of next week when we will give them temporary names as we start to identify their characters and note their behaviour.