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[MUSIC PLAYING] As the puppies turn 3 weeks old, they can solicit and accept invitations to play, defend themselves from being hurt. They ask for attention, and show an emotional response when they receive it. Daphne begins to treat them differently. Up until now, she almost exclusively licked their rear ends. Her contact with them was, perhaps, driven by a maternal feeling, but it had a functional purpose. Now, she begins licking the puppies' faces, which has no evident, utilitarian purpose. This looks to us like the first reciprocal expressions of love between them, a key component of the socialization process. The quality of these early communications will have an impact on the puppies for the rest of their lives. A breeder or puppy owner can positively influence these early communications by setting up an environment that avoids conflict. Weaning is a good example of this. Their teeth are coming in more, and Daphne's getting less delighted about nursing them. She still wants to spend time with them, but she'll pick herself up and leave if they try to nurse for long. I have never seen a bitch wean young puppies by growling at them or baring her teeth. In my observation, if a bitch can retreat to avoid nursing her puppies, she will. And let me tell you, bull terrier mothers have some interesting ways of retreating. [MUSIC PLAYING] All kidding aside, I think Daphne is giving these puppies a great first lesson in non-violent conflict resolution, which is treat if you can, and then offer in a pleasing gesture or playful gesture to defuse the situation. Daphne can outrun the puppies at this age, and given the choice, she's always going to choose to retreat rather than confront them. There's a popular belief that a bitch snapping and snarling at her puppies is a natural and necessary part of the puppy's education. But studies have shown that this behavior is not necessarily in the best interests of the puppies. A study of 600 German Shepherd puppies showed that puppies for mothers that used growling, snapping, and snarling to wean them grew up to be less outgoing and less likely to approach strangers. The puppies from litters with non-confrontational mothers grew up to be more social, more playful, more willing to approach strangers, and less fearful in general. For us, the moral of the story is clear. Make sure your bitch always has a way to get away from her puppies if she wants to. Anything you can do to give an adult dog an opportunity to retreat from a puppy, rather than have to confront the puppy, is great. So as a puppy owner, this applies to you as well. Give the big dogs in the house high places like couches to get to that the puppies can't get to. Have little barriers across doorways so that the big dog can retreat and get away from the puppy. The more you can allow the older dogs an opportunity to retreat and get away from the puppy, the less conflict you're going to have. 3-week-old puppies do a lot of growling and posturing. [GROWLING] Their vocalizations may sound terrible to us, but they're learning to use ritualized threats to avoid physical conflict. In nature, violence is very expensive. [GROWLING] And nature will do everything it can to avoid violence. [GROWLING] Dogs evolve from social pack animals. And if two animals in a pack fight and injure each other-- First of all, there are no veterinarians or antibiotics in the wild, so a simple wound that becomes infected could be fatal. Furthermore, that is going to bring the whole pack down. An injured animal can't hunt, and an injured animal will attract predators. So dogs have evolved a very elegant set of signals, which will resolve disputes, but avoid actual violence. So all of the sounds that you hear coming from this whelping box that sound like a raptor's next, as bad as it sounds, it's really about not hurting each other and learning not to hurt each other. The sounds 3-week-old puppies make can be frightening, and you might worry that your puppies will grow up to be aggressive. But we know of no correlation between puppies growing at 3 weeks old and their eventual temperament as adults. It's just a normal developmental phase, and there's no reason to believe they won't grow up to be well-adjusted adults. Sometimes, the puppies will even growl at us when we pick them up, and that's perfectly normal at this age and nothing to worry about. Just keep picking them up and creating good associations with being handled, and they'll grow out of it. Good breeders will keep the puppy's nails short. If their nails grow long, it can become painful for their mother to nurse them. And she can start avoiding them. The early exchanges between mother and puppies are very important to the puppy's socialization, and you want to foster that relationship by making sure that the puppy's mother is comfortable to be with them. Short nails are also essential for the puppy's health. As they begin to walk, short nails will keep their legs and feet in the correct position so their bones and muscles will grow properly. Nail-trimming also serves to desensitize the puppies to having their feet handled. Dogs instinctively are protective of their feet, so it's crucial that the breeder gets puppies used to nail-clipping while they're still young and impressionable so the puppy owner has an easy time keeping nails nice and short when the puppy grows up. Nail-trimming is an operation best carried out while the puppies are sleeping. [RUFFLING NOISES] [SQUEAKING] During this week, we introduce a new toy or visual object to the whelping box each day. Keeping the toys in the box is another story. [GROWLING] At 3 and a 1/2 weeks old, we give them a litter box, and they gladly start using it. Or at least, their intentions are good. We start with a small cardboard box with special dog litter pellets we got at the pet store. Allowing the puppies to keep their sleeping area clean will go a long way toward housetraining them. Negotiating the litter box builds motor coordination and provides important stimulation, exercise, and enrichment for the puppies. Exercise, enrichment, and stimulation are more than just entertainment for the puppies. Scientific studies have shown that animals who are raised in a stimulus-rich environment, with lots of toys exercise and challenges, have larger brains with more neural connections than animals raised in a stimulus-poor environment. The stimulation actually causes the animals to grow more brain-- up to 5% more brain mass with anywhere from 25% to 200% more neural connections. Furthermore, studies have shown that the area of the brain where these new brain cells form is the area related to learning, memory, and emotional response. This is consistent with the findings of scientists that animals raised in enriching environments demonstrate increased learning ability, with better retention, and appear more stable, less fearful, and better able to cope with and recover from frightening or stressful things. For the purposes of this film, we're going to refer back to these findings as "the enrichment effect." We'll talk more about the enrichment effect later, and show you what you can do to provide appropriate enrichment to your puppies at each stage in their development. [MUSIC PLAYING] During this week, the puppy starts showing a clear social attraction to people. So now, it's time to start to habituate them to humans. Invite over as many people of as many different types as possible. It's a great idea to have potential puppy buyers over to start bonding with the puppies. It's good socialization, and also a good opportunity for you to observe how your prospective puppy owners interact with the puppies. The puppy should still have maternal antibodies and be immune to most diseases, but they're very fragile physically. And if they get sick, they're at high risk for dying. This is no time for taking chances, but there's also no reason not to get the socialization process going in the safety of your own home with a few precautions. Have everyone take off their shoes and wash their hands before entering the puppy area. If they've been to a place where there's a lot of dogs around, such as a dog show, dog park, or veterinarian's office, make sure they change their clothes before handling the puppies. If you're reasonably prudent, the risk to the puppies is very small. And for us, that risk is far outweighed by the benefits of early socialization. While your goal should be to habituate your puppy to as many things as you can, you can't possibly expose your puppy to everything he's going to see for the next 10 to 15 years of life. The reality is that there will be new things that will startle or scare him as an adult. Therefore, one of the most important things you can teach your puppy is recovery from fear. It's this bounceback quality that makes a dog easy to live with and a great companion that you can take anywhere and do anything with. Dogs that don't have good recovery from fear may not be able to enjoy going places with you and can react aggressively to things that make him uncomfortable. The good news is you can condition the puppies to be emotionally-resilient by triggering their startle recovery cycle when they're 3 to 4 weeks old. The more times the puppies startle and recover during this window of time, the faster and better their recovery will be as adults. So when the puppies are 3 weeks old, you should begin making loud noises. Drop dog dishes. Slam doors. Start a vacuum cleaner. Drop a stack of books. And startle them with objects so they experience being surprised and recovering from it again and again. When the puppies are 3 weeks old, they have a startle response, but they recover almost immediately. And studies have shown that they have no real fear response to anything. This means you have a small window of time where you can exercise your puppy's recovery muscles without worrying about damaging the puppy psychologically. This lack of fear and quick recovery time is another reason why it's a good idea to have a lot of people over to see the puppies now. Now is a good time for the puppies to learn to recover from being startled by people because puppies at this age take everything in stride. Come here. I got you a toy. It's also important to start taking each puppy out individually whenever you have a chance to. This will promote the puppy's bonds with humans and also lay the foundation for preventing separation anxiety. We'll talk more about separation anxiety later, but separating young puppies from their litter for short periods of time is key to successfully and humanely training them to be alone once they're a little. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 29 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 44
Posted by: norabean on Apr 2, 2018


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