Six and Seven Weeks

Due to Thanksgiving, I skipped my weekly puppy blog post last week; so today I’ll try to give you a brief summary of our last two weeks.

This is the point of time where puppies become the most fun! They are playful and responsive, and you can begin to see their temperaments and personalities.

It has been a little bit different raising a singleton puppy versus the usual multi-puppy litter. There are definitely pros and cons to each. Here are the observations I have made.

Pros:

  1. We have a very affectionate, people-oriented puppy! Since this little munchkin doesn’t have litter mates to play with, we have become her play mates. She is very affectionate and much more in tune with us than other puppies at such a young age.
  2. She is content to sleep alone. This is, in my selfish opinion, the best thing about a singleton puppy. I was afraid once we started separating Noel and Mia overnight, that we would have to deal with all of the crying and whining that usually comes with lonely puppies. But not this time. Noel was more than happy to sleep alone, since Mia had been slowly spending less and less time with her anyway at night. Sometimes I can hear Noel growling and yipping as she plays with her toys after we go to bed, but she her crying and complaining is very minimal.
  3. I can give her a lot more freedom in our house. With a normal litter of puppies, it’s impossible to give them freedom of the whole house. You’ll end up with chewed shoes, puddles, and general chaos. With only one puppy, she gets to spend a good bit of time with free access to most of the house. I can monitor the potty situation more closely; and therefore, she can spend a good bit of time roaming and playing as she wishes.

Cons:

  1. Singletons aren’t as well socialized with dogs as most puppies. Puppies teach each other tolerance. All of the play biting and wrestling and such makes a puppy generally used to not always getting his own way. He is used to sharing his food and his toys, and he is generally not overly surprised when his sibling jumps on his head during a nap or wakes him up with a chomp on the ear. Singletons don’t get nearly as much of that socialization. I have had to be much more intentional about socializing Noel with other dogs. I can still tell a difference, though. She gets overwhelmed more quickly by other puppies. She likes them and wants to play, but her comfort level is fairly low. It quickly becomes too rough for her. She actually does much better with older dogs. She loves Duchess and Jade. These dogs are much bigger, but they aren’t like puppies. They are calmer and more gentle. They follow the doggie rules of good manners. Noel doesn’t get overwhelmed when playing with them. They are sometimes pretty rough with her simply because of the sheer size difference, but Noel can sense they are “safer” and more “mannerly” than other puppies.
  2. Singletons are harder to wean. This little lady is spoiled. Without the competition of other puppies for food, she didn’t take much of an interest in eating solid kibble. She would nibble at it, play with it, and then scamper off and play with her toys instead. Usually, puppies are greedy and immediately devour whatever food is given to them. Instead, I found myself hand feeding this little miss and coaxing her eat. She wasn’t in a hurry at all. She knew she would get enough to eat, and there was no reason to fully devote her attention to eating. It took some extra time and new methods of teaching Noel that meal time is for eating! I also had to be much more strict in separating Mia from Noel. With only one puppy, Mia wasn’t helping the weaning process at all. She was very tolerant and was still allowing Noel to nurse as much as she wanted. Despite the extra hurdles, though, Noel is successfully weaned! She is eating unsoftened kibble, and she eats most of it from her bowl (no more hand feeding! Yay!). She sometimes prefers to eat it directly off of the floor instead of from her bowl, but we are conquering one habit at a time. 🙂 I’m satisfied at the moment that she doesn’t need to eat from my hand any more.

With the extra work of weaning and such the past two weeks, I realized I have done a terrible job at taking pictures! Here are just a couple.

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Here is a fun video of Noel and Jade playing. Jade is an awesome dog. She is so big, yet she is so gentle! (Although, Noel doesn’t think she is gentle when Jade accidentally rolls on top of her.) Noel thinks she is such big stuff when she gets to play outside with the big dogs! (If you are viewing this from an automatically sent email, you may not be able to watch the video. Click the URL at the bottom of the email, and view it directly from my website.)

Have a good week!

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