Jade and Levi's Sensational Seven Born: July 24th / Going home: September 19th This litter is FULLY RESERVED.
"Thank you for watching us grow! See you again next week :)"
The puppies' first week could not have gone better! Jade is an exceptional mom! Her puppies are quiet, content, and growing like gangbusters! They gained 5 - 8 ounces this week, and now weigh 15.5 oz - 1 lb 3 oz. They still spend almost all their time nursing and sleeping. Fun fact: even when puppies sleep, they seldom stay still. Their muscles are constantly twitching, developing, and gaining strength as they dream their little puppy dreams. I'd give anything to know what they dream about, wouldn't you?
Momma Jade is doing fantastic! She has more than enough milk to feed her babies, and more than enough energy to spare to convince me to throw her ball a few times every time I take her outside for a bathroom break. She still spends almost all her time with her puppies, but she is welcome to join the rest of the household at any time. She does pop out to visit or see what's in the fridge every couple of hours, but then she misses her puppies and rushes back to greet them after 10 - 15 minutes. Jade is giving your sweet puppy a wonderful start in life! Thank you Momma Jade!
I tried to do a little photo shoot for you, but the puppies were hot, squirmy, and difficult to photograph. I think their adorableness more than makes up for their inability to cooperate with staged photos though, don't you? I hope you enjoy this week's slideshow!
The puppies had a fantastic week! They grew a lot, gaining from 7.5 to 10 oz each. They now weigh 1 lb 7 oz to 1 lb 13.5 oz. All that healthy momma's milk is paying off!
The other BIG news this week, is that the puppies' eyes and ears are starting to open! If you look closely at the pictures, you'll see tiny little eyes - some fully open some about half - looking unsteadily at the camera. Their vision will become clearer over the next few weeks. They are also just beginning to respond to loud noises in their environment. Up until now, they couldn't see or hear a thing!
The other very noticeable change is that the puppies are up on all fours WALKING instead of crawling on their bellies. Next week, I will be sure to take a few videos to share with you.
This week I did newborn puppy portraits for you (i.e. close ups of each pup). I hope you enjoy the slideshow!
Week 3 Wow, can it really be week THREE already?!? Gosh, time flies! The puppies are growing and developing at an astonishing rate! You will see BIG changes this week! To start with, they have gained between 6 and 16 oz each this week, and they have all surpassed the 2 lb mark! They now weigh in at 2 lbs 1/2 oz to 2 lbs 12.5 oz. Jade is working hard to feed her puppies, but miraculously has lots of energy to spare. Mommas are amazing, isn't that right gals? In addition to her regular food, Jade is eating an egg and 4 lbs of raw food everyday! It takes a LOT of calories to feed a litter of puppies! As a group, the puppies weigh just over 17 lbs to Jade's 23 lbs - so you can imagine how hard she's working to feed them. This is typical of normal, healthy development. An average sized litter will outweigh their dam (as a group) by 4 weeks of age. Puppies teeth begin to erupt at the 3 week mark, and that's when they start eating solid food. Jade's puppies will start on solid food (goats milk and raw beef and chicken) today. For the next few weeks, they will continue to nurse as they fully transition to a raw food diet.
While the puppies' growth has been remarkable, what you will really notice this week are changes in their mobility, and increased interaction between the puppies and with Jade. They are transitioning from newborns to tiny little dogs! Best of all, the puppies are starting to PLAY! Because the changes are so profound, I took mostly candid photos for you this week. I wanted to include you in their day-to-day lives as much as possible. As such, the photos aren't always as clear or as well lit as they could be, but I trust you will enjoy them, nonetheless :)
This proved to be an intense week! Jade developed eclampsia (milk fever) and had to be rushed to the hospital to supplement and monitor her calcium. Fortunately, I caught it immediately and the veterinary hospital was great! She was on an IV drip within half an hour of showing her first symptoms. As as result, she bounced back quickly and only had to go back to the vet to be monitored. I don't ever want to put our Momma dogs at risk, so I immediately weaned her puppies. Fortunately, the puppies had started on solid food a couple of days earlier, so the weaning process went well (although a little earlier and more quickly than if Momma had not developed eclampsia).
To allow Jade and her puppies to spend time together without nursing, I put Jade in a onsie with a medi-shirt over top. Jade's milk has almost dried up, although she will have to continue to wear her special suit whenever she visits with her puppies. She is able to visit with the puppies throughout the day and even sleep with them at night in her little suit! This week's photos are terrible quality as many were taken in dim lighting, but they are really sweet, at least to me. Eclampsia can be life threatening, so getting through that and seeing Jade and her puppies all snuggled up together was really heartwarming. The puppies have now moved to a larger enclosure and they all sleep in a crate, together with Jade (also very cute). I hope you enjoy this week's (rather unique) photos!
Week 5: Family Visit via Zoom
As you can see, the puppies had a fantastic week! They enjoyed many hours of outdoor playtime! They are becoming brave and adventurous, as the same time as gaining strength, endurance, and mobility. At 6 weeks of age, we are typically outside for about 90 minutes before the puppies wind down and start to fall asleep. We bring them outside twice day and stay out with them each time until the first few puppies fall asleep, at which point we bring them in for naptime and indoor playtime. Indoors, they also have a significant amount of space, lots of varied activities, and frequent small group play sessions in the kitchen and in other parts of the house.
Fun, low-key exposure to new people, places, and environments is integral to raising happy, friendly dogs. Many people don't realize that puppies are naturally somewhat cautious. Fortunately, they are also curious, and often brave if given lots of age-appropriate opportunities to explore at their own pace. Gentle, positive exposure to new experiences helps them to overcome feelings of caution and trust that good things will happen when they go new places, have novel experiences, and meet new people and dogs. Conversely, lack of socialization - or improper socialization - can magnify feelings of caution and lead to fear and reactivity in adulthood.
Exposing puppies, at their own pace, to a wide variety of socialization and enrichment activities should start with the breeder and continue throughout the puppy's first few years of life. Look for evidence of enrichment activities (challenging things for the puppies to do) and socialization with dogs and people in this week's slideshow (note that some of our visitors voiced a preference not to appear on camera but you will see people - or parts of people in the background).