In August I wrote about our foster dog and her puppies about 3 days after they were born. I had intended to update with new photos of their progress as they grew in our home. However, it turns out that raising newborn puppies in my home was ridiculously and wildly overwhelming and busy. It took every spare moment we had to raise well adjusted and good puppies, the story of the frog in the pot being slowly boiled was a little like what puppy rearing is like. It’s wildly busy from the start and just gets busier.
I am extremely proud of the work we did. I litter trained them from about 3 weeks old so that they would generally use litter boxes with pine pellet horse bedding in it to potty in their pen, keeping their pen far cleaner than it could have been. From about 5 weeks old I trained them to sit and look at me when they wanted something in order that they would be easier to train in their forever homes. I kennel trained them for the same reason. I used various types of flooring in their pen so that they would not be upset or scared by new flooring as they got older. At 5 weeks old we started taking them outside to play so that they would also learn to potty outside and get used to leaving plants and trees alone, playing with safe things instead. They were well socialized to both people and dogs, I had regular visitors over to handle them.
By the time they went home they could do all these things, could do stairs, and were bold, non fearful, playful, fun, and well adjusted puppies. It about killed me, but we did a great job.
At the age of almost 10 weeks they began going to their forever home. Their mom went to her home first when they were 9.5 weeks old, then I had one adoption on a Thursday, 5 on a Saturday, 1 on that Sunday, and then I ended up with 3 different home visits to find the correct match for the final puppy but he went home on a Wednesday. So, over the course of a week all the puppies were placed in their forever homes before they were 11 weeks old.
I did get photos of them right before they were 9 weeks old, which is what I am posting here. I love each and every one of them. We had the best case scenario of a good mama dog who had 8 healthy puppies. Even with the last puppy who stayed a few extra days, he was easy because he slept through the night in his kennel, rather than waking up every 2-3 hours which can be expected at a young age. I love each and every one of them, but I do not miss them. 🙂 I am over the moon about having my house back to myself.
We regularly ask ourselves if we’d do it again. And the answer is probably yes. But, if we do, it’ll need to be another best case scenario situation and it’ll need to be a few years down the road. What the project ended up being was something which put our entire lives on hold for 3 months. A labor of love that I will not be able to manage regularly. But we are grateful for the experience and very happy about our good puppies.
One thought on “Puppy Finale”
Oh my goodness! You and your family did a great thing taking in the momma and taking such good care of the puppies! They will be so much better off in their forever homes because of all your hard work. Bless you all!