The puppies have reached 5 weeks old! When we hold them the first thing I notice (other than increased wiggleness – haha) is that they are getting more leggy. And they know how to use those now longer legs! The pups love to follow our children from room to room in our house, chase toys, and crawl into our laps for extra snuggles. It is a fun time. Below are a few highlights we’ve noticed this week:
- Sensory Development: The pups’ sense of smell is clearly becoming more refined, and they become extra animated when they smell food. Their vision also continues to improve, and they easily follow our movements around the room with their watchful eyes.
- Socialization: These pups are SOCIAL! When not sleeping they are constantly playing with their littermates or our children. Through this play we see them learning basic social behaviors and communication skills.
- Motor Skills: As mentioned earlier, the pups are much more confident and capable of getting around on all four legs. Where before they would move in a more crouch like manner, they can now all out run when excited. Playful activities, such as chasing and pouncing (tails wagging all the while) is the norm now.
- Weaning Process: It is clear now that Brandy is actively weaning her puppies. She still allows them to nurse a little bit, but not nearly as often as they would like. They eat 3 small meals of soft puppy food a day, and all really eat like the champs they are. We like to feed them two at a time, and pet them while they eat to desensitize them to touch while eating. I like to feed them two at a time so they stay cleaner and we can clearly see how much each puppy gets. I would like to say this also helps them eat slower/not race, but at this age that is not the case they all eat as quickly as possible. 🙂
- Introduction to Basic Commands: These puppies are SMART. At this young age they can already start responding to simple commands like “come” or “sit” as they become more aware of their environment. Our kids have all been working on mindfulness and calmness with them. It is fascinating to watch how fast they learn! When we come in the room they had started to get pretty crazy, jumping and barking, like puppies do. But before they get a pet or a little treat, we watch for the puppies that choose to sit and observe and reward them. Within a few days they have figured it out! Farm dogs that jump up on people really frustrate my husband, and we have so many people come and go to our farm that we have taught our dogs to sit to ask for attention. It takes time upfront and people training more then anything, but sure makes for nicer interactions when company comes over. You can see all 11 puppies sitting at the same time using this method below.
- Housebreaking: Work on gentle house breaking continues, with the pups continuing to show signs of understanding where to relieve themselves when in their pen.
- Independence and Curiosity: We love seeing the puppies become more and more independent and curious about their surroundings, exploring new spaces with quicker confidence than before, or pouncing a new toy that was scary before.
Thank you for following along on our adventure with the growing farm collie puppies. God bless your day!