This page has pictures, videos and weekly development reports for Lacey's Goldendoodle puppies from 3 days old to five weeks old.
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Lacey’s Goldendoodle puppies were five weeks old on Wednesday, June 23. They are growing up fast! Their physical ability and coordination have improved dramatically since last week, although they still prance and play like puppies. They are completely weaned but still like to nurse briefly on their mom when she allows (they don’t get much). They are eating three meals a day now, of coarsely ground puppy chow softened with warm goat’s milk. They are getting much better about using the litter box in their pen. Meal times are exciting, followed by nearly an hour of energetic play, before napping until the next meal. Even while sleeping, if I walk past their pen some of them awake and watch me intently until I leave the room and they settle down again. They continue to enjoy lullaby music during the day and are not bothered by the desensitization sounds I play in the late afternoon. My wonderful volunteers continue to visit twice a day to handle and socialize the puppies. The puppies love the attention and are very affectionate. They lick noses and nibble on chins, and if we are interrupting naptime they will fall asleep in our arms. During this next week they will go on their first car rides. I will start “Come, Site” training, and I will be seeing more of their individual personalities beginning to develop. Click on the thumbnails below to see the full pictures and video.
Two of my wonderful puppy volunteers are supervising and socializing the puppies during an outdoor play session. The puppies go out at least once a day as weather permits. They chase each other, tussle, and explore a playhouse, ramp and bridge, chew toys, wobble board, low table and stairs to the deck. The different obstacles and surfaces are very stimulating to the puppies' physical and mental development. View the video full screen with sound for the best experience.
Lacey’s Goldendoodle puppies were four weeks old Wednesday, June16. Their baby teeth are in, so my wonderful volunteers encourage them to teethe on soft chew toys (instead of fingers). They are eating a thick nutritious porridge four times a day and nurse on their mom only briefly as an occasional treat. Some of them are good about using the litter box while others have to be reminded. After meals they enjoy long playtimes with a wobble board, a tippy chair, a stadium cushion, and an upside-down iron pot covered with an old towel. The popular new addition to their play area is a cardboard box with holes cut in the top and sides (see the video below). The puppies get outside on my patio once a day. This morning they were introduced to a wading pool with about an inch of water. They were mystified by this new experience. During playtime and while they’re sleeping I play soft lullaby music. For a limited time in the afternoon I expose them to desensitization sounds. These include thunderstorms, fireworks, city traffic, children playing, babies crying, airplanes including helicopters, doorbells and dogs barking. The sounds are annoying to me but the puppies remain unbothered. For their birthday this week each of the puppies got a bath in the kitchen sink. They fluff up beautifully when they dry and their wavy fur is a delight to touch. Click on the thumbnails below to see the full pictures and video.
The Goldendoodle puppies' new favorite toy: a cardboard box big enough to climb into. I call it "the clubhouse." It didn't take long for the puppies to immerse themselves in this new experience. And they discovered it's a great place for a group nap! View the video full screen with sound for the best experience.
Lacey’s Goldendoodle puppies turned three weeks old on Wednesday, June 9. They are definitely puppy dogs now, and no longer just little squirmy balls of fur. Their eyes are open and their faces are adorable, with little black eyes and black noses. The curls and waves in their coats are developing. They have new vocalizations—not just squeaking and chirping but also huffing, barking, growling and trilling. Very cute! For the past week I’ve been feeding them a pablum of goats milk, puppy formula and rice powder cereal. This coming week I’m replacing the formula and rice with softened ground up puppy kibble. They continue to nurse on their mom several times a day, but are less reliant on it. Last weekend I moved them out of their whelping pool into a pen with a litter box. They have more room to explore and play as they become active. They continue to receive twice daily individual cuddle sessions and socialization from family and trusted volunteer friends. During this past week the puppies have been introduced to grooming tools including brushes, combs, and the vibration of an electric clipper on their backs. Their baby teeth are coming in. I leave little chew toys in their pen, but so far they are mainly interested in each other. Today I took them outside for the first time. They roamed the patio, tried out the rocker board and rested in the shade of the play house. Click on the thumbnails below to see the full pictures and videos.
The puppies are awake for longer periods after meals and are more active and social with each other. They play bite each other on the ears, tail and legs, and lick each other's noses. After play time they settle down and sleep peacefully again until their next meal. View the video full screen with sound for the best experience.
Lacey’s Goldendoodle puppies were two weeks old on Wednesday, June 2. During their first two weeks the newborns did nothing but nurse and sleep. By ten days old they had more than doubled their birth weights. Now their eyes are beginning to open and they are walking (kind of)! For the first time they recognize each other as something other than a warm pillow. These are big steps in their young lives. It’s the beginning of their interactions with the world. Of course they still have a long way to go. Even with their eyes open, they can’t see very well yet. Their vision will clarify over the next few weeks. Their ears will open by the middle of the week. And whereas just a few days ago they were still pulling themselves around blindly on their bellies, they have now taken their first wobbly and enthusiastic steps to explore their whelping pool. Vision and walking are a powerful combination! They explore the limits of their confinement and return easily to their mother and littermates. By the end of next week they will begin climbing out of the whelping pool so I will enlarge their world into an exercise pen. Still, most of their time continues to be nursing and sleeping. Their coats show hints of the curls and waves that will develop as they grow up. Their nails have been clipped. Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) has been completed. Family and trusted volunteers spend time with the puppies twice daily for individual cuddle and handling sessions to accustom them to people. When their ears open in a few days we will begin a progression of socialization exercises, and I’ll describe those to you in each weekly report. Click the thumbnails below to see the full pictures and video.
The litter is waking up (most of them) from a long nap and are exploring the whelping pool. Eyes are opening but vision isn't great yet. Walking is wobbly and there's a lot of stumbling and rolling over. But they are determined! During this brief awake period they begin to see the possibilities of each other as playmates. You may notice that some of them have started to pee on their own. Life is good. View the video full-screen with sound for the best experience.
Lacey's Goldendoodle puppies are healthy and vigorous. They all doubled in weight by their tenth day, a benchmark for puppy growth. They nurse frequently and spend the rest of their time sleeping. Their bodies are plump and their faces are filling out. The twitching they exhibit while sleeping is not dreaming, but a normal automatic condition that helps with their early muscle development. Scientists call this "activated sleeping." Their dew claws have been removed, and I've clipped their sharp little nails once already to minimize scratches to their mother's tummy. With help from my puppy volunteers, I began Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) on their fourth day. ENS consists of five daily gentle exercises for each puppy. First I tickle the bottom of one foot with a Q-tip, then I hold the puppy straight up with head pointed to the ceiling, then straight down with head toward the floor, then on its back (supine), and finally I set it down feet-first on a cold damp washcloth. Each of these five exercises is done for only five seconds. ENS improves their cardiovascular performance, stimulates their heart and adrenal glands, increases their tolerance and recovery from stress, and improves their resistance to diseases. I continue with ENS until the puppies’ eyes and ears open toward the end of next week, when I will begin in-home socialization and training. Click on the thumbnails below to see the full images and video.
The puppies have been separated from their mom for their weekly photo session. They miss her warmth and hunt for each other in order to huddle together. Since their eyes and ears are still closed, they navigate by smell and by sensing nearby body heat. They pull themselves along with their sharp little claws, trying to walk but not quite there yet. View the video full-screen with sound for the best experience.
Wednesday evening, May 19, Lacey whelped ten healthy, vigorous Goldendoodle puppies: five girls and five boys. The deliveries were normal and without complication. The puppies began nursing immediately. Lacey is a good mother. She likes to have her puppies with her at all times, but since there are ten, I give her the five girls, then the five boys, in alternating shifts so she is not overwhelmed. At birth, the puppies each weighed about 11 ounces. They have all gained weight during their first few days. All the nourishment they get is from their mother's colostrum and milk. Lacey licks her puppies frequently to keep them clean. At this point all they do is nurse and sleep. When they sleep they jerk and twitch. This is a normal condition that helps their muscles develop. Their eyes and ears are closed and will not open until their third week. Click the thumbnails below to see the full images and videos.
You can see why I don't usually put all 10 puppies on Lacey at the same time. But Lacey is attentive and tries to keep track of each one, even when it appears Miss Pink may get lost. If the puppies whimper while sleeping, Lacey becomes concerned and checks carefully to make sure they are alright. For the best experience, view this hi-def video full screen with sound.
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