For the next eight weeks, you are going to be in charge of making sure that the puppies are raised correctly. It is going to be your job to make sure that the puppy training and imprinting you are providing are creating puppies that are properly socialized and healthy.
First of all, they should be taken to the vet sometime after they are born. However, you want to make sure that they don’t get too cold or too hot, so make sure that this isn’t right away. For the first few days, leave them with their mama and try not to bother them too much.
The puppies will be blind and deaf for several days after they are born. They should begin to hear you within a few days, and should open their eyes in about a week. Puppies will grown very quickly ,and will look different from one day to the next.
The best thing that you can do for the puppies is to make sure that you are present ,that you are holding them each day, and that the mother has good food, clean water, and plenty of exercise and love. This is the best way to make sure that the family is healthy.
As the puppies get older, they will open their eyes and begin to be able to walk around. This is a good time to star to introduce them to other people.
Because you are going to be finding homes for the puppies, make sure that you are socializing them to everything. In order to socialize a puppy to something, have them experience it.
- Keep them in a room with a TV or radio on.
- Have a ringing phone nearby.
- Have children hold them
- Have adults hold them.
- Allow them to walk and run on different surfaces
- Speak in loud voices and quiet ones
- Have animals (who can be trusted with puppies) meet them – cats, guinea pigs, etc
- Make sure they interact with the mamma dog and with other dogs that you might have.
There are some things, however, that you should not let your new puppies do.
- Don’t expose them to dogs other than your own until they have had their puppy shots.
- Don’t take them to the dog park until they have had puppy shots.
- Don’t let people handle them unless they have washed their hands.
- Don’t let the puppies get too cold or too hot.
- Keep them out of drafts and away from windows.
- Don’t get them overly excited
- Don’t keep them away from their mother for more than a few minutes as long as they are nursing.
- Don’t let them eat anything other than puppy food as they get old enough.
Raising puppies for the first 8 weeks can be interesting and time consuming. There are a few things that you will need to be sure that you start to do for the puppies so that you can be sure you are providing the people who buy your puppies with a good dog.
- Get them socialized to a collar and leash
- Take them for short walks
- Start to work on potty training
- Get them eating canned and solid puppy food, after their teeth come in, around 6 weeks.
Socialize, socialize, socialize!
Then, your puppies should be ready for their new homes!
Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book. This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.