The pups are doing so well! I took them to their vet on Tuesday for their first immunizations and check-up. Our vet thinks that they are a beautiful litter and very healthy. Some of my pups cried when they got their shot. But some of them didn't. The vet warned that the shot might make the pups a little sleepier than normal, but, oh no, not my pups. They were just as energetic as ever. They will get their next shots in four weeks after they are with their new owners.
Of course, I am still working on getting the pups used to doing their business outside. They are doing really well for such little things. I take them out immediately after they wake up from a nap and immediately after they eat. And I mean IMMEDIATELY! At this age, they don't like to wait. Not at all. The pups pen is right next to the door to the backyard. It's opens onto a wood deck and then a few steps down to the yard. The first day dad had to carry the pups out to the yard as the steps were too much for them. The next day he added stepping stones under each step and the pups now rip up and down the steps like little mountain goats. Now don't get me wrong, they can be a little wobbly at times. But you should see them zipping around the yard discovering everything for the very first time. They are pretty good at coming back inside especially if I lead the way.
I just came across a great tip on housetraining on a blog from dog expert Kathy Diamond Davis.
“I don’t train my dogs to ask when they need to go outside. I take them outside on a schedule. Their bodies easily adjust to wait until the next scheduled [potty break]. I get many questions from people who don’t consider their dogs housetrained until the dog will get their attention and persuade them to stop what they are doing and take the dog out every time the dog needs to go. In many cases, this is expecting too much from the dog.” Kathy’s distinction between training a dog not to soil the house and training a dog to let you know when he/she needs to go out is important.
Without knowing it, I'm doing the same thing. Maybe I should be a dog trainer? We go outside first thing in the morning, after every meal, whenever they start to stir from a nap, and last thing at night before bed. This way, the pups have predictable breaks, and they “hold it” (as best they can) until the next break. I also let them out if they’re sniffing around or are hanging around the pen's gate.
If you have been away from the house (no matter for how long), you should immediately take your puppy outside. Even though I am pretty responsible myself, I agree with Kathy’s suggestion that pet owners need take responsibility for getting their dogs outside for a potty break, rather than giving that responsibility to us dogs.
You can check out Kathy’s blog at http://kathydiamonddavis.blogspot.com/