The first puppy went home this week to a happy hunting home. Mike and Mary lost both of their older brittanies last year and were waiting for some time to heal. Nothing can feel the void of losing a good hunting buddy like a young puppy full of promise and thoughts of many days afield. They decided to name the puppy Bella and she took to Mary quite quickly. I was not envious of their position, picking just one pup from this bird dog litter is no easy task. Bella had the most and largest freckles on her face and seemed to be the most people-oriented of the litter. We look forward to hearing about Bella’s progress and training with her new family. Mike just got back from a week of bird hunting in Colorado and commented that it was pretty empty hunting without a brittany dog.
The puppies are really starting to get their personalities and develop into individuals instead of a swarming mass of cuddly fur balls. The puppy pictured below is our little explorer and is always hovering outside the other pups range of motion. She is not the most dominant female but simply the most adventurous of the bunch. She is doing well and comes back when we call her in. We got all the puppies their first shots today also and a de-wormer. They were a big hit at the Vets office and loved the ride in the dog truck.
The puppies are getting pretty bold this past few days and venture out quite a ways from Annie. However, they do seem to run out of energy in a very short period of time and often find a spot for a nap after we have had them out to play for 20-30 minutes. My children love to follow the puppies around the yard as they explore and sniff around. They are doing a lot of growling and wrestling with each other which is funny to hear these little fur balls try to sound mean. They are eating straight solid food now without any water added and are still nursing a bit each day. Sometime in the next week or two I think they will have to start to leave Annie alone.
Between 3 and 4 weeks the puppies will have their teeth coming in enough to start eating solid foods. At first I add a cup of hot water to make a kind of mush with out of their high protein puppy food (I feed Black Gold 30/20). I am always amazed at how they know just what to do. The only problem is they seem to eat with both front paws in the food dish. This can be a very messy part of raising puppies but it is fun to watch. They are getting around pretty good and starting to venture out of the whelping box during the day. Now that the pups are starting to eat they begin to poop and momma quits cleaning up after them. I line the whelping box with newspapers and change them out daily, if not more often.
Part of what makes for great pups is proper socialization when they are young. At 3 weeks old the pups are pretty helpless so I make my kids sit down to hold the puppies. This helps avoid any accidental dropping of the pups and it gets them down on the same level. At three weeks old these american brittany puppies just need a lot of gentle petting and handling by people. They learn early to like the sound of humans and it won’t take long before they hear you coming and meet you at the gate/door. Below my nephew Jake is giving this liver/white female a good loving and squeezing. Kids and puppies are about as cute as it gets.