Building the Foundation
At Hickory Hills JackS, we work hard to ensure that our puppies have the best foundation possible. From the time they are born, we do a variety of different activities and exercises to help them.
In the first two weeks of life, we handle each puppy. We hold them close and let them start to recognize us as a safe place. We weigh them to ensure they are gaining and getting enough milk. We want to make sure that they are thriving.
After puppies reach the two week mark, a whole new world opens up. Literally! Ears and eyes are open and they are slowly starting to toddle around. We start playing music at this age, and gradually change the CD's as they grow. In addition, they start to find their little voices. We start handling them more focusing on their faces, tails, paws and bellies. Each day their nervous systems are growing by leaps and bounds.
Around three weeks of age, we slowly start introducing a new item to their around. Sometimes it is a ball, or stuff animal, maybe a different material of a towel. We continue to play a variety of different CD's and introduce them to a hustle and bustle household. This includes banging pots and pans, kids slamming doors and the occasional argument (I have two kids, ages 8 and 10...it is inevitable, LOL).
Four weeks of age, my FAVORITE TIME! Puppies are like real puppies. This is where we start focusing on socialization. Puppies, just like babies have very limited sight and hearing the first few weeks of life. Now, they are at the age where they are more aware of their surroundings, they start playing with each other and wagging their tails. My favorite part! Nothing beats a little Jack tail wagging.
From four weeks old until they go home at eight weeks old, we add new toys and sensory items to challenge them. We have sensory balls, stuffed animals and talking toys all to help engage and expose the puppies to new things. After they receive their first set of vaccinations, we take them outside so they can explore the new terrain of grass! It is also fun to watch them.
Kennel and potty training comes at six to six and half weeks of age. When puppies leave our home, they are on a set schedule (You can find it on our website under Puppy Schedule) . We have found that sending them home on a schedule greatly reduces stress, which is what we want. A smooth transition for both our puppy and their new family.
At Hickory Hills JackS, we are doing all we can to provide the best foundation for our puppies. We love what we do and enjoy helping them learn, each step of the way.