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Puppy Talk

What to expect - Part 6 - Puppy Progress

Let's count them inBreeds will differ and these are by no means the hard and fast rules, but this is roughly how our litter developed week by week:

Day 10: Eyes open but the puppies are still blind. Eyes are blue and a little milky in colour.

2 Weeks: Ear canals open and puppies responding to noises and voices. Puppies can now see, and will move towards Maisie when she comes into the whelping box. Movements are still very small, and the pups will be squirming on their tummies and using their paws to propel themselves around the whelping box. Very cute, so make the most of it. Soon they'll be everywhere and interested in everything!

3 Weeks: First little teeth come through and puppies are starting to play with one another a little. Puppies are also standing (if a little shakily) by the end of week three, and defecating without Maisie's help (so now you'll be changing their newspaper several times a day, as up until now mum will lick their back ends to both stimulate and clear up their business!) We also gave the puppies their first worming treatment this week - ask your vet for advice and for a handful of plastic syringes which make administering the liquid far less messy!

4 Weeks: Weaning has begun. We started off with a tiny ball of Weetabix soaked in water and placed in each puppy's mouth, then graduated to small bowls of the mixture three or four times a day. In fact, we put the mixture in one large bowl and let them all feed from it together, making sure everyone got an equal amount. The pups will keep suckling as well for the time being, but next week you should start to limit access to mum's teats. Pups are now walking and running around a little, barking and seeing everything clearly.

Can I help?5 Weeks: More weaning, so set an alarm throughout the day and make sure you feed them at roughly the same time. You'll know if they're still hungry from their cries, so be led by them to some extent. Maisie was sleeping away from the pups by this week, and we had also moved them and their whelping box to a larger play area downstairs so that they could explore more and stretch their legs. We bought little toys for them to play with and started to take them outside once or twice a day to feel the grass under their paws and to encourage them to start going outside. This week we continued to discourage suckling from Maisie, with a view to no more feeding from her once they reached six weeks.

6 Weeks: The pups were more or less weaned by this point, though as none of them were leaving us for another week and a half, we allowed the odd quick suckle every now and then. Worming treatment number two was this week, and the puppies were spending more time outside under one of our watchful eyes. Lots of play fighting and rough and tumble with the puppies this week, and their poos are getting noticeably bigger and smellier. Lovely!

This series of blogs won't replace a professional guide by any means, but intends to cover all the bits and bobs I wished I had known from the start, plus things I worked out along the way that were well worth knowing.

 Disclaimer bit: I am not a vet and all advice given here is purely based on my personal experience. I can thoroughly recommend The Book of The Bitch as a professional guide for all stages of the process. 



Alice West

Alice West lives in Buckinghamshire and is the proud owner of two gorgeous black Working Cocker Spaniels called Maisie and Dotty, and a one-year-old human called Matilda. Dotty came from Maisie's first litter of puppies - all girls - born in December 2013.

Running a copywriting business from home means Alice can enjoy lovely dog walks on her lunch break, and is distracted frequently by Spaniels chewing her shoes, begging for food and fighting over toys. She works Maisie and Dotty on a very sympathetic local shoot in the winter months. 

View Alice's Google Plus profile here

Alice West

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