Sunday, February 14, 2010

7 weeks old

Joy sleeping with visiting Golden Retriever Ella

Joy and Auntie Tacara

Joy and Rudolph

The entire gang after a rumble through the house

Hard to believe that the pups will be leaving next week, and I will be able to reclaim my living room. At 7 weeks of age, the boys weighed 13.3 lbs (Nicholas) to 11.3 lbs (Rudolph) and the girls weighed 11.6 lbs (Star) to 10.9 lbs (Noel). Tiny Tim weighed 8.5 lbs and continues to thrive. The pups continue to have play time loose in the house, and are increasingly more active and mischievous. The kitchen towel that normally hangs on the oven door is no longer safe. The pups have been exposed to new experiences such as meeting the resident house cats, other adult dogs, potentially scary toys such as Jump & Shout Elmo, and a hairdryer. During the day while I am at work, they listen to NPR. At other times, they listen to a series of sound effect tapes. This is the first litter that has not been able to go outside - just too cold. This weekend, the pups have transition from soaked kibble to hard kibble with a little water added. They are not too sure yet they approve of this new food texture. I typically feed the pups two at a time, and almost immediately, one of the pair runs over to the other pup's bowl to see if it got something better. But in the end, there isn't a piece of kibble remaining - the litter is currently consuming 20 c of kibble per day divided into 4 feedings. On Friday evening, three ICAN volunteers came over and we put the pups through some standardized temperament tests such as response to a loud noise, scary object, fast moving object, etc. Always fun to compare and contrast the pups to earlier litters and attempt to make early predictions. Such tests are typically good at picking out extremes, but so much can change as the pups grow up. Overall, this litter was a soft, non reactive group which is exactly what we are looking for in assistance dog candidates.

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