Though we try to implement certain elements of potty training through most of the whelping process, over the past few weeks, we've really started to cement their understanding of where to sleep (crates), where to play (carpeted area so they don't slide around), and where to go to the bathroom (newspaper area over easy to clean surface).
We've also been fortunate to have great weather lately, so we've been teaching them to go to the bathroom outside. We're happy to report that the puppies are quickly learning to come straight to the newspaper area (by the puppy gate and near the door that leads outside) when they need to go to the bathroom - they cry to let us know, we let them out and they do their business.
Regarding crate training, we keep the gates open to two large crates and allow them to come and go as they please - if they fall asleep outside of the crate, we just encourage them to go in to sleep. As time goes on, we occasionally start to close the gate during the day when it's time for them to take a nap, and then eventually start closing the gate to the crate for short amounts of time during the night. As they get bigger, we start to separate them out - maybe 4 per crate, then we introduce smaller crates and do 2 per crate, then before they turn 8 weeks old, we start keeping the puppies in individual crates during the night.
Keeping the process gradual like this really allows the puppies to make an easy transition to sleeping in their crate peacefully at night. Though the potty and crate training may not be completely finished by the time they leave our house, they'll hopefully be well on their way.
The puppies are doing great! The weather has been pretty good over the past few days, so we decided to try and get a few pictures of them playing around outside.
It took about an hour to take all of their pictures, but I think we were able to get a few good ones before they all started getting too sleepy. Once again, probably half of the pictures were too blurry because the puppies were moving around so fast, but each puppy should have a slideshow of about 8 - 12 photos.
Please let us know if you would like additional pictures of any particular puppy, and we'll try to get them to you quickly. Thanks for looking, and please let us know if you have any questions about the puppies.
Here are a few individual pictures of the puppies. Each puppy has a separate slideshow of pictures (some have more pictures than others), so you can get a good idea of what the puppies look like.
The lighting in some of these pictures might have made some of the puppies seem darker or lighter than they really are, so I thought I would tell you how the puppies compare to each other in terms of coat color shade.
Darkest to lightest:
Silver Male, Black Female
Pink Male, Pink Female, Green Male
Black Male, Orange Male
Our color selection for identifying each of the puppies from one another didn't turn out to be as distinguishable in the pictures as we were hoping, so we decided to change the colors for a few of the puppies to make them a little easier to tell a part in the pictures. In person it's easy to see which is which, but in the pictures it's a little more difficult. I'll post a table of the changes below for anyone who wants to reference any of the older pictures we have of the puppies before the color change.
*The new color for each puppy will be the color directly across from the old color for that puppy - some will stay the same.
The puppies are almost three weeks old, and they're doing great! Their eyes and ears are open, they're walking around confidently, and the playful side of them is really starting to come out.
It took quite a while to get their pictures taken because they've become so active, but I think we were able to capture a few decent shots. That's Alysse and one of the boys to the left after she had taken all of their pictures - the life of a puppy model can be pretty taxing!
We took group pictures of the boys and the girls, and several individual pictures as well. We thought we would go ahead and post a few of the group pictures we took - the pictures of each individual puppy will be up soon, so check back in later.
Feel free to call or email if you have any questions about the puppies, and we'd love to talk to you. I hope you all had a good Christmas, and that your new year is off to a great start!
Click the on the images to enlarge.
Jason and Alysse Ottinger of Stonebrook Retrievers - we thought this would be a good way to keep everyone updated on what's currently going on at Stonebrook Retrievers. Thanks for viewing!