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A Bulldog Puppy's Fifth Week, Through the Eyes of a Breeder

It's been five full weeks that these babies have been living with me. I realized just the other day that they'll be leaving me in about three weeks and I hugged them a little tighter. One of the hardest parts of breeding english bulldogs aside from the duties pertaining to their health is the fact that you get so attached, which I attribute to all of the hand rearing required of this particular breed. Emma is their mama, but I'm their human mama...for now. In about three weeks they'll be heading to live with new human mamas and daddies, and luckily for me all of their mamas and daddies are absolutely terrific and plan to shower these babies with as much love as I do, but it's still really hard to let them go or even accept that they'll be leaving me in a few weeks. My puppy families of the past are just as terrific as my current waiting families and they send me updates and pictures often of the babies that are no longer babies. I wonder if they know how exciting it is to me to receive those pictures and updates about the puppies, now adult dogs, that I helped raise, that I fretted over if they made a funny noise or hiccupped, those babies that I was blessed enough to witness their first meal, first steps, first barks, first dash across a room! It may sound super cheesy and way too emotional but this is part of the life of a bulldog breeder, part of this weeks' realizations, and as the title states, this post is about the puppies fifth week, through the eyes of a breeder.

bulldog puppy

But enough mushy stuff. You're here to find out what the puppies have been up to, right? This week has been exciting!

bulldog puppy

Last week I tried, and failed, to introduce kibble puree a little earlier than usual. The puppies made it clear that they thought the food was disgusting and were extremely inconvenienced by my even attempting to have them eat it. It was gross, it got on their paws, their faces, their bellies. They're really messy eaters in the beginning. Just waiting a few more days led them to realize that that gross stuff wasn't so nasty after all! After attempting to introduce it at the four week mark instead of a few days prior they realized this stuff was delicious! Of course when feeding the first few meals the breeder has to get just as messy as the puppies. We have to get down on the ground and hand feed them. We have to convince them to give it a try. It gets on our hands, our pants, shirt, feet, and anywhere else that can be accidentally be bumped by a messy puppy. I forgot how messy you become with those first meals until I had to make a quick run to the store after a meal and realized, after getting out of the car and heading up to the store, that my feet were covered in dried baby food! Yuck!

It takes a couple of meals to convince them that this baby food is pretty tasty after all, but after the first couple of meals they get the hang of it and really enjoy meal time. (Little) George enjoyed it so much that he helped (Big) George with a spot of food on his face.

Another super exciting thing this week was another big move! These babies can officially maintain their body temperature enough to sleep in their big kid pen. The other dogs of the house have been so excited that not only are the puppies out of the play pen and in a pen that is easier to peek into, but the puppies are big enough to be on the inside of the doggy gate so both of our other dogs have taken turns peeking at them, observing them, admiring them when they thought no one was looking. They've been wanting to hang out with these babies for so long and they still have a little longer to wait, but the fact that the puppies are this much closer was quite exciting to Diana and Charlotte.

bulldog puppies

The puppies are becoming so much more playful now that they've become a little older. They run, they growl and pounce, they attempt to rip toys to shreds with their ferocious teeth! They pretend to be big, giant mama and daddy dogs, but of course they're just adorable, little puppies, and what they assume sounds like terrifying grown up growls actually sounds absolutely adorable.

Notice at the end of their dangerous wrestling match that they both just separate as if nothing happened. They aren't really fighting, but learning. They're learning important things like proper and polite play along with bite inhibition.

I continue to socialize them to new things and experiences. This week was their first exposure to a squeaky toy and (Little) George was having none of that. We'll have to keep introducing fun opportunities for him to play with squeakies so he realizes that they're not all that bad, and that in fact, sqeakies can be fun!

They had their first real exposure to the vacuum this week as well. In the past I have vacuumed in the same room as them but not near them. I simply introduced the noise. This time I vacuumed right next to them. Some didn't care at all and some were a little cautious, but soon everyone realized that the loud monster wasn't there for them and they went on playing amongst themselves. I try to introduce real life to them now so when they head to their new homes it's not so shocking.

So, if you've been wondering what's been going on with the puppies during their fifth week of life, that about sums it up. It's been a lot of fun and I know in the coming weeks it's just going to get more exciting!

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