Puppies Growing and Learning at 4 Weeks of Age
At 4 weeks of age now, the puppies are spending more time out of the box while awake – getting more exercise – Exercise builds strong, healthy minds as well as strong, healthy bodies. 🙂
We will be setting up the exercise pen in front of the whelping box tomororw so they can just crawl out of the box to play and exercise when ever they want to from now on.
Sofie has pretty much decided she is done nursing them and they are doing great with their raw ground meat with a little bit of spring water, goat milk or goat yogart.
I have introduced the “recall” to their feeding time.
Before I put the dishes down, I will say “puppy, puppy, puppy” and they spring look at me and come running. By introducing the recall at a young age like this, they will develop a reaction – rather like Pavlov’s dog. (He would ring the bell, give the dog food, and repeat this every time he fed the dog, eventually he’d ring the bell and the dog would salivate with no food around!) The dog would have a physiological response as if food were present, even if the dog were never given food! This is VERY beneficial because we can use this type of classically conditioned response to train the puppies to be the best that they can be! By introducing and continuing to use the “Puppy Call” as we feed them, the”sound/call” drives them to have a solid recall! Eventually, we will phase out the repetitive “Puppy, puppy, puppy” and replace it with “Puppy,Puppy Come!” and then just use the word (higher voiced) “come!” and this will ensure an amazing recall for the life of the dog! (when carried on through adulthood!)
The following photo was taken of the puppies in their new bed, this morning after their breakfast and play time in the living room. I am still amazed every day at just how fast they grow!