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First 8 weeks of your Bully’s life

Puppies sleep about 90% of the time and nurse the other 10%. New born puppies are very helpless. They are born blind and deaf and unable to regulate their body temperatures, so we have to use an external heat source when the puppies are not in direct contact with mom. During this time period, their mothers have to stimulate them in order for them to urinate and have bowel movements. While some mothers take to this very naturally, others don’t enjoy this as much and so we have to stimulate the puppies.

This is a very busy time for us (and we are usually very sleep deprived) because we assist the mothers every 3 hours around the clock to make sure that all puppies are latching on well, growing, and being stimulated to urinate and defecate. It is a critical time in which the puppies are so small that an unaware mother could accidentally smother one or more of her pups, so we monitor them very closely.  New  puppies start life at around a half pound, and will usually double this weight in the first week and add 3/4 pound to a pound per week over the next several weeks. They continue to gain weight rapidly over the next several months of their lives.

At about 10 days they open their eyes and start discovering the big world around them; actually, they don’t see much more than mom, their litter-mates, and us, but that helps them greatly on their voyage to proper socialization. At two weeks age their ears open and they are able to hear, and another big part of their new world opens up. Prior to this event, about all they do is grunt or mew, but afterward their vocabulary includes yelps, whines, and even little barks.

At three weeks of age the more advanced puppies start taking their first shaky steps; prior to this their basic mode of mobility is a combat crawl. They are now able to urinate and defecate on their own and will move away from their sleeping area to do so. Their only nourishment is still mothers’ milk, although it is during this week that they start getting their little teeth. They are starting to get more active as they discover their new abilities to get around, although most of their time is still spent sleeping in their large puppy pen.

Up to this point it is strictly the mother and us who have handled the pups .

At four weeks we start introducing them to solid food. The mothers milk also decreases, and they naturally start wanting to decrease the length and frequency of nursing.  By the end of the 4th week they are eating their puppy food, three times a day. Because they are not nursing as long or as often, we provide fresh water for them at all times.

At 5 weeks of age they are starting to run around all over the place with litter mates. It is during this time when some of their personalities will start coming out. By the end of this week their puppy teeth are all in, and they love to chew on things, including fingers if you let them. However, even at this age, they will spend most of their time sleeping, probably close to 20 hours per day, with only short times between naps when they are alert and active.

By the end of the 6th week they are completely weaned from their moms and eating solid food well. We frequently take them out of their puppy pen to scamper around. They are full of energy and love to play with their litter-mates. This is the time that we really focus on socializing them. When they are not being held, played with, or having playtime around the room they are kept in their large puppy pen and they sleep most of the time, probably still up to 20 hours per day.

By 7 weeks they have already passed through most of their puppy milestones and are continuing to grow rapidly; they are generally in the 8 to 12 pound range. This is when their personalities really start coming out! It is so fun to watch them play with the OUR Daughter and their litter-mates and observe their new fascination with toys. Though they are fast, active, playful little puppies at this point in their lives, they still are like babies and require lots of sleep (probably over 18 hours per day) and are still quite fragile.

Starting at 6 weeks, All of our puppies are given their first DAPP/C vaccination (5 way). They are also de-wormed and their 1st dose of heartworm prevention medicine.

At approximately 8 weeks of age our puppies are generally ready to go to their new homes.

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