The puppies are currently in the Neo-Natal Period (1-14 days), as described by Kathryn Lanam in her “Behavioral Development of Puppies” article, published in the Dewclaw Magazine in Summer 2002. It has been pretty amazing watching them progress, even though they are still helpless and completely dependent on Miss Friday. Puppies cannot see, hear, or regulate their body functions such as temperature and elimination, but they can smell, and are very good at finding out where their mom is. They generally do this by crawling around in a circle, and moving their heads from side to side until they find Friday or the heat lamp. If they are hungry, stepped on, or otherwise distressed, they’ll squeal, and you’ll hear it.
We are “Bio Sensing” these pups, as described in an article published by Dr. Carmen Battaglia. This article reports on research by the U.S. Military program called “Bio Sensor” or “Super Dog,” which shows that “early neurological stimulation will have important and lasting effects” on puppies. From day 3 through day 16, we are performing the following for 3-5 seconds each day, on each puppy:
- Tickling between the toes with a Q-tip.
- Held perpendicular to the ground.
- Held head down.
- Held on its back in the palm of the hand.
- Lain on a cold damp towel.
According to Battaglia, this “kicks the neurological system into action earlier than normal, and will benefit the puppy with improved cardiovascular, stronger heartbeats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease.” Since some of these puppies are destined for the show ring, these exercises will help puppies be more active, more exploratory, calmer, and less distracted when working.
Here is a Week One summary for each pup:
BLUE BOY: Still the smallest. Still the calmest. He is my favorite boy, probably because he arrived first and he had us for more than three hours all to himself. A special note: he is ALWAYS nursing in the back… where the best milk is. Somehow, he just knows that he’s a little guy and gives himself a boost.
GREEN BOY: Still the biggest, and quite the squawker. Lots of personality. Has a small white spot on his chest. Found fast asleep, with his tongue hanging out of mouth more often than the rest of them. I think I already know where he’s headed in a few weeks.
PINK GIRL: Another squawker. She’s my little diva. Not the biggest girl, but not the smallest, either. Already showing white pasterns, just like her mamma.
ORANGE BOY: He isn’t the biggest, but not small, by any means. I don’t know much else about him yet.
PURPLE GIRL: She’s got a cute little white spot on her chest. The smallest of the girls. A little bit on the quiet side, and appears to be quite the snuggler with her mamma.
BLACK BOY: Another big fellow. So far, super mellow. Like his BLUE brother, he slept through his manicure on day 3.
YELLOW GIRL: I love this girl because when I napped the other day with Miss Friday in the whelping box, I woke up to this girl in the crook of my arm. I’m trying not to get attached because I think she will be the PICK GIRL; she is the biggest, heftiest girl, and doesn’t have any white on her chest. If I am right, she will have a long and successful show career ahead of her.
Here are some Week One photos… enjoy!
Monday morning: Piles of babies.
Thursday morning: sibling love.
Friday morning: PURPLE GIRL spending a quiet moment with her mamma.
Friday morning: YELLOW GIRL, sacked.
Friday morning: BLACK BOY demonstrating the proper suckle.
Saturday morning: GREEN BOY demonstrating the proper nap.
Additional Week One photos can be found on Facebook here.