The puppies have only been in this world for about two to three weeks now. But that first two weeks of life easily can be compared with an entire human infancy and that describes the rapid speed of puppy growth that is typical in the canine world.
This particular litter of puppies is lucky. The knowledgeable, caring breeder is handling them several times a day for eight minutes to get them used to being handled. She blows in their faces to let them smell her breath. Even the new owners are stopping by, washing their hands first and then handling the dogs. Yes, the puppies may have been born blind and deaf but they will remember those human scents since they were born with an acute sense of smell and their memory is developing like crazy right now.
At only three days old these pups had their dewclaws removed and their tails docked. These miniature schnauzers additionally had their ears cropped since these dogs were bred to hunt rats. If rats are in a pack, they are known to band together and attack a mini schnauzer’s ears and tail. Therefore, the practice of docking and cropping the mini schnauzer was started about 110 years ago for their health and well being.
The puppies have been mouthing each other while the mother has been out of the bed eating. As she returns the now three week old puppies start licking her mouth and the mother dog leans over and regurgitates her food. Perfect. The puppies are happy. They gobble up mom’s next best meal ever. The mother dog will continue to provide milk until the puppies are seven to ten weeks old but why shouldn’t the puppies get as many nice meals as possible.
Mother dogs do not baby their little ones but they still provide a tenderness that make the puppies feel safe. Humans would do well to observe the mother dogs. The mother dogs know what to do to give the foundation needed to raise puppies into healthy, confident future adults. She carried the puppies for between 58 and 63 days before the pups were mature enough to be born and now she isn’t going to allow anything to harm them. But does the mother dog pick up or coddle a whining puppy? Never. She knows that to overly protect her puppies means taking away learning experiences that will be important to them soon. If she picks them up when whining, the puppies will think something is wrong and become scared when in fact there is no reason to be frightened. She protects them but allows the pups to learn for themselves.
Nevertheless, the rules are firm and the mother expects the puppies to obey. For example, if two puppies are playing and one becomes too harassing or dominate over the other, the mother dog is likely to put the offender on his side. Dominance games, play growling and play biting are allowed and expected but the mother dog will provide firm but gentle corrections when needed and the puppies understand. Rules are part of a dog’s life from the very beginning. Read my other articles on raising puppies.
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