At three weeks the puppies are developing fast, their eye sight is good and now they can hear. We have changed and extended their accommodation to the large puppy pen in the study. This means they can see through the bars, and get used to the day to day noise of family life. They are starting to move about a lot more – not yet fully stable on their feet but they try, and there is a lot of falling over. They are also interacting with each other, biting to incite play (well gumming as they don’t have teeth yet), and trying to get Huntu to regurgitate her food. Puppies lick and target the mum’s mouth, in the wild this usually stimulates the bitch to regurgitate her food, which is how dogs wean in the wild, the regurgitated food being soft, moist and chewed up eg. minced. But even though Finnish Lapphunds are generally primitive, I have found that most of my lapphund mum’s are too fond of their food to share, even with their pups. Luckily for the pups we step in and help!
My lapphund pups are introduced to soft weaning food quite young, compared to the other breeds I have bred, they are quick to be steady on their feet, and they start to show the inherent action to stimulate regurgitation young. so I offer a small amount of Royal Canin weaning mousse on my finger for the pups to try, it doesn’t take them long to put their noses in a saucer and starting licking the mousse. After a few days they are excited by the smell of the mousse and are soon eating well. Of course they still have free access to their mum, who is with them 24/7. From the mousse they then transition to a mix of mousse and soaked kibble, just a couple of mini meals a day, on top of mum. There is no intention at this stage to get them relying on semi solids but just to start introducing them to the semi solids, and as they grow over coming weeks and their teeth develop, Huntu will be grateful to spend less time with them! They are certainly growing well, at their three week weigh in they have all reached 1.5kg and more – Pudding is still heading the weights at 1.7kg
The puppy pen now includes a range of toys, this is to stimulate them, and give them other things to chew/teethe on asides from each other and their mum. I have also started brushing them with a soft brush, plus of course they had their nails cut again. They already love human contact, reacting to my voice with a waggy tail.
New mug shots below – click on each thumbnail to see a larger version.