Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Puppy update

The greatest event for the pups since the last update has been a trip away from home to visit the veterinarian’s office.  The nine received exams, DHPP vaccines and a second round of dewormer.  All checked out very well and were a huge hit amongst the staff and visitors.  I was impressed again by the professionalism of Dr. Mangis and the team at the Ketchikan Veterinary Clinic. 

At 45 days old, the puppies have increased in weight from 9.5 to 11 times their whelped weight.

Paper training in the kennel where they bed at night is 100% effective.  Everywhere else, paper training is improving, but not perfect.   I am truly impressed with their strong doggy nature at so young an age. 

They are very smart.  Behavior I have instilled in the adult dogs is reflected in the puppies without consciously meaning to; while I prepare the dishes for the puppies, they calmly wait siting near with full attention on me.  A part of the adult dogs’ feeding ritual is that they all sit calmly with their attention on me before I permit them to approach their dish.  I have not purposely implemented feeding the puppies in this manner.

Rudimentary prey drive is very strong in all of them.  Scent tracking for kibble is a lot of fun because they can’t quite see the small bits being thrown.  They do respond promptly when they hear it hit skip across the floor.  Watching them work intently with noses to the ground for such a small snack is remarkable.

In the morning, they are released from the kennel and fed in the adjacent laundry room.  When the food is gone, they are invited into the front yard.  It is always dark and the weather is usually no great surprise for Southeast Alaska in the fall. 

When the novelty of the great outdoors wears off, inside they go for a nap in the laundry room.  They sleep very soundly when the clothes dryer or washer is running.

The remainder of the day they make multiple visits outside and a couple visits up the stairs to the main floor. 

Nearly every front yard adventure prompts a visit from new people that walk by.  Kora always makes a little time to play with the pups, but her size, speed and agility visibly humbles them.  The few times Kohl has ventured with them, his interest in play is predominately with Kora, not the pups. 

Kora’s maternal aggression is waning towards new people and practically non-existent towards our dogs. 


Of course we always supervise the other dogs when they are with the puppies.  For the most part the puppies find better things than the older dogs to molest, but from time to time they seem to gang up on one of the dogs and it becomes real uncomfortable quick.  The alpha male German shepherd and the crotchety old mix-lab rescue have no problem breaking away from the pack to the sanctuary of the bedroom, escaping the mayhem of the inquisitive youngsters.

Kora still nurses freely at times but the end is certainly near.  The puppies demand for milk seems more of a habit than anything else.   

Slowly, but surely, the puppies’ indoor experiences accumulate.  Amongst the group of experiences confronted and accepted are a loud TV, a cat, the running vacuum in a distant room, and a 6 month-old baby.  A major milestone to achieve will be close proximity to the vacuum with the same disinterest.

Crate training has started for them, very gradually and in twos for now.  Every trip to the store or other errand is accompanied by a pair of the pups. 

Temperament testing is continuous.  The puppies have subtle changes in results from day to day so repeated testing is crucial.  I am impressed by the puppies, and believe their new owners will concur.

This week the puppies will be introduced to the leash and get to explore parts of the neighborhood.

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