Wookie Mon Pups Heading towards 7 Weeks

The pups turn seven weeks old tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Heading closer to that evaluation at 8 weeks which will help us match puppies to their FUR-ever homes. We are excited to welcome each family that will be coming to the North Rim and also our puppy evaluator, the esteemed Ms Pat Hastings.

We have sure enjoyed raising the pups and we hope you have been watching their progress on our Facebook Page. (RODEO Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs). Each and everyone is a delight and we are totally in love.

We have sent out some shopping list and tips to our puppy buyers. For interest we will post a few here.

We use two crates to raise puppies: a daytime crate and a nighttime crate. We let them have a little more room in their night time crate to sleep, after taking them out a lot in the evening. They have already demonstrated to us at six weeks that they don't make a mess at night. Good puppies! We use a smaller crate in the daytime as the pups are in and out of this crate a lot and we want a smaller crate to discourage housetraining mistakes in the crate. We also use the smaller crate for all car rides, so this crate is in and out of the house with us, while the night time crate becomes a "nightstand". We even decorate the nightstand as it will be at bedside for many months, so we put a top on the crate to make it more useful as a table. We find a low pile rubber backed bathroom rug is the perfect liner for crates, to keep the puppy from slipping and of course we add blankets and pads, but we take them out for feedings or if a puppy shows an interest in eating the bedding.

We feed all meals in the crate and we do CLOSE THE DOOR pretty early on. At first, we close the door while they are busy eating, and we watch every minute of the meal. Magically as soon as they finish we open the door. As they progress, we leave the door closed for a short time (a minute or less) when they finish. Then, longe.r We are careful though not too push a puppy past its comfort zone too quick, as we NEVER open a crate door for a crying puppy. So, if they start crying, out comes the stop watch as we wait for a significant period of silence and reward silence as the key to the door, not crying. We do crate our puppies from their first night home, with the door closed, and we find this is a key to a good nights rest for all. We firmly believe that crate training with a door open is not crate training at all. For baby puppies still learning their crate training, we baby gate them INSIDE the kitchen with their crate available and one or two toys (usually just one). We find a positive association quickly develops with the crate with all meals fed inside.

Our favorite toy for puppies is a Nylabone. We spoil pups with many toys, just a couple at a time, but the Nylabone (non-edible type) is a tried and true good toy for a chewing dog. The pups already love their Nylabones.

Just a couple ideas and we will share a few more as we watch our puppies finish up their final week or two with us, depending on when they go home.

Baby Wookie- Learning to love her crate

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