Weekly Raising Schedule
How your puppy is raised, week by week:
Below is our week by week, tentative schedule for raising your puppy.
Prenatal & Birth:
During the prenatal phase, we are getting momma ready for delivery. Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days, but can go as early as 55 and as late as 70 days. We always calculate from the first tie we see, but depending on when she ovulates it can be sooner or later. During this time, we are feeding her a high-quality food. She is getting plenty of exercise without overdoing it. We believe a healthy, fit dog has a much easier delivery than an overweight or under exercised dog. We will also be introducing her to her whelping box where she will sleep at night for at least a week before delivering, so she is comfortable in the area. We currently have our mommas whelping in our master bathroom so that we are near enough to hear any distress. This is a very fun stage, in the last couple days you can feel the babies nudging at mamma's side.
The birthing stage is certainly our most nerve wracking stage. We are constantly with mom's while they are delivering, and are rarely able to sleep for almost 24 hours during this time. We don't leave mom's side so that we can be sure every puppy is delivered and out of their sac safely. This also allows us to weigh and check each puppy over as they come out.
Babies are born! YAY! This is such an exciting time. During the first week, puppies are not able to hear or see things. Their ears and eyes are closed shut. They will find their way around primarily by feel and smell. Newborns can also not bear weight on their legs, so will learn to maneuver and wiggle around as they build those muscles in their legs. For the most part, sleeping and eating are the focus in the first couple weeks. At this time, their momma is staying with them pretty much all of the time except to eat and potty themselves. During this week we are primarily making sure all the puppies are eating well and gaining weight. In the first 3-5 days we will have their dewclaws removed if we are removing them on that litter. Lately we have been educated on the importance of leaving them intact. During this time, the puppies will get held every day to get used to a human’s touch. In the first 2-3 weeks we are getting up every 2 hours during the night to check on them.
The second week is very similar to the first week. For the most part the puppies are still eating and sleeping for most of their time. They are getting a bit wigglier and squeakier as they gain more muscle in their legs and find their voices. During the end of this week we will start to see some eyes beginning to open and we will notice the puppies reacting to sounds as their ears open. At this time, momma is still with them most of the time, but taking small breaks away from them to eat and potty. We will give the puppies their first dose of worming medication. They will also get their first pedicures done. For stimulation, we are holding the puppies and making sure to target their feet, neck, and belly’s for touch.
Three weeks is a fun age. Puppy’s eyes and ears are starting to open and they are starting to wobble around. They are also starting to find their personalities. During this time they will start playing with each other. Their baby teeth are also coming in, so momma is not with them 100% of the time now. She is with them at night and periodically throughout the day. During this phase we will introduce a litter box and start litter box training. They will not start using it too much yet, but they will start to use it towards the beginning of the fourth week. We are introducing new sounds like the blow dryer, running water, and music.
Four weeks is when we see such a big change in puppies as their personalities are really developing. At this point we can see which puppies seem to be more outgoing and which ones are more in the middle of the pack. The nice thing about goldens, is that even the shyest puppy is usually very much a people dog and does nicely when they go home. The puppies are walking around much better. We will introduce wet puppy food at this time, but they will still be eating off their mother as well approximately 2-3 times a day. At this age she is still sleeping with them, however we make it so she can escape from them if need be. The litter box is a blessing at this age. They are using it approximately 40-50% of the time, but are leaving their bed to potty every time. We introduce some fun toys for them that make sounds and wobble around. People are usually coming to visit their puppy around this age, so they are meeting new people! We will do a second round of worming and nail trimming during this time.
We will take them outside at this time, weather dependent, to start introducing them to pottying outside and experiencing new sounds. This is also a really good age for us to introduce them to a lot of sounds. Their sight and hearing has improved immensely from the first weeks. At 5 weeks of age, puppies are beginning to become more independent. They are walking around, wandering and exploring new things. They are a little more whiney when we leave them, because they love being with humans. Their mother is with them in the morning and at night, but during the day we are feeding them their own kibble food. It is being watered down still, but we will slowly transition it to reduce the water amount. YOU GET TO VISIT!! We will schedule a pick day and visit day during this age.
Week 6 is very similar to the week 5, however they are mentally more developed. We notice at this time they are more aware of their surroundings and looking beyond what is directly in front of them. They are playing and establishing their roles in their litter pack, and we can identify who is going to be the most dominant, submissive, noisy, etc. We are doing a lot of stimulation with their senses such as new and loud/soft sounds, new feelings like hanging toys and wobbly toys, new smells with treats, and new tastes with the treats as well. We will start some treat training. The first week is just an introduction, we don’t expect them to be pros yet. At this time, they are using their litter box 90% of the time, with only a few outside accidents. We are also letting them play outside and working on outside training as well with a doggie door. Their mother is only feeding them once a day.
A ton of stuff happens the 7th week in preparation for the 8th. Puppies are developing very quickly. They are going to go to their first vet visit to get a puppy physical. They will also get up to date on their shots and get their microchip. We will continue treat based training this week and puppies seem to catch on much quicker. They will also be introduced to crates and crate training with a buddy. They are eating solid food now, and their mom is only feeding them when the puppies sneak a sip.
Puppies go home! If any of our puppies stay past 8-9 weeks we begin training. This is a very key time to start introducing to common commands and environmental stimulation. See our training page for some of the key things we will begin. We charge $25 a day for puppies to stay past 9 weeks for our training.
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