Second Awareness/Identification Period (28-35 days). This week, puppy play gets much more sophisticated; puppies growl, chase, and “kill” their peers. Everyone is 100% weaned, which leaves more time for physical and mental challenges, like chewing on things, climbing on things, carrying things, and tugging on toys. This sort of play helps to develop strength, agility, and coordination; skills these puppies will need to function as an adult. It’s also this week that puppies must develop problem-solving abilities so they can excel as adults.
Click on these links to see puppies at five weeks of age:
At five weeks of age, puppies are old enough to be stacked (definition: standing for evaluation) for the first time. (Nerd alert: this is where it starts getting really fun for me.) At this age, I’m not really looking to see the perfect picture. My first priority is schooling the puppies on the first golden rule: “stand pretty and still for me and I will give you something really good to eat.” I’m also looking to get a preview of what the puppies look like so I can see how they’ll grow over the next three weeks (hat tip to the one and only, Ms. Louise Brady!). This growth trajectory should provide us with a pretty good picture of what we think the puppies will look at when they’re mature.
Mardi Gras from Max x Friday 2014 litter at Day 37. The front angle should be right about 90 degrees, and the rear angle should be right about 110 degrees. (Don’t ask me what I’m doing with my left hand, I have no idea!)
Will the puppy coming home to you have these angles, exactly as shown? Likely not. Does it make it any less wonderful of a pup? Not at all!
No puppy or dog is perfect.
I reiterate: no puppy or dog is perfect.
For those of you who’d like to geek out a little more on the Weimaraner Illustrated Standard, take a look, here. (But please don’t feel like you have to.) You’ll see that “angles” are just one of MANY, MANY different elements that make up the whole dog. In my humble opinion, the stuff between the ears (the brain that drives the temperament, intelligence and biddability) is just as important as the stuff that makes it pretty (angles, face, coat condition, etc.). At seven weeks of age, we’ll be evaluating all puppies for temperament. At eight weeks of age, we”ll evaluate for conformation. Then, we’ll make our selections about which puppy is going to which home. Please know there is no pass or fail; no two puppies are alike, and one person’s “not ideal puppy” will be another person’s “perfect puppy.”
Barrett puppies are potty trained at Week Five. (Woohoo!!!) When one wakes, they ALL wake, and the first thing they do is dash outside and potty on the lawn or patio. Then they turn around and go right back in. With exception of the middle of the night, no one’s peeing or pooping on the blankets I lay down for them in their pen.
Homework: Start thinking about your daily routine, and how you’ll have to adjust it to keep your puppy’s potty up to snuff. Specifically, the first week you have your puppy home, you’ll need to take him/her EVERY SINGLE TIME he/she wakes up from a nap, and about every hour thereafter. If you are successful with every hour, stretch it to every 90 minutes, then every two hours, etc. Regardless, the puppy needs to go outside and potty after every single instance of napping or sleeping. In the weeks to come, we’ll also go over some potty training tips to make the transition into your home easier.
In my house, the puppies have been exposed to a myriad of sounds, surfaces, temperatures, and people. Once they go home with you, it’s CRITICAL you keep up the socialization / exposure so that he/she can get past their “fear periods” without incident.
Homework: Start reviewing the puppy socialization checklist. Come up with a preliminary game plan of relatively clean and germ-free places you can take your puppy between 8-11 weeks, and also after the Week 12 shot (in which your pup can go just about anywhere). If you can think of any places I haven’t thought of, please drop me a line so I can add it!
Anne and Meredith wrote an eBook called “Your Weimaraner Puppy: How to Survive the First Six Months.” You can buy it from Amazon, or you can get a copy from your awesome breeder (link to the manual will be emailed to all new Barrett puppy owners).
Homework: Get through as many pages as you can, and holler with any questions.
In the next lesson, we’ll talk more about preparing yourself for your new arrival.
Puppy butts from the Max x Friday 2014 litter. Sorry, couldn’t help myself!
BLUE BOY from the Max x Friday 2013 litter.