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

I'm writing this at the beginning of the puppies' fifth week which makes them officially 4 weeks old! I can't believe that these babies are one month old already! It feels as though they've always been here and it feels as though they've just arrived.

This past week the biggest change of all was that the puppies have figured how to bark! Eyes and ears are open, so they are full of energy, or as much energy as a sleepy, well-fed puppy has! They have been attempting to growl and sound ferocious! They pounce and pretend to be wild wolves, but really they're just adorable, little, fat puppies...but we won't tell them that.

When they turned three weeks old, at the beginning of this past week, I attempted to introduce them to pureed kibble. I normally wait to introduce "big kid food" until the fourth week, but I had heard from so many other breeders that they introduce it at three weeks that I thought I may be waiting a tad too long. The puppies quickly assured me that I had been doing right all along by waiting. They made it quite clear that they not only wanted to wait and enjoy mom's milk a little longer, but that they also thought puppy food was much too messy and unappetizing. Needless to say the puppies have continued to nurse from Mama this past week. That being said, Emma is getting a little tired of it. She has definitely been making it clear that she wants them weaned. She has always fed them for 45 minutes or longer but this past week she has begun to flat out stand up and walked away mid-meal numerous times at around the 30 minute mark. The puppies have still been getting plenty of food in though. They have grown in those little baby shark teeth and she's having none of that. One night this week I managed to catch this adorable moment during a feeding though, and I'm so glad I did! What a sweet thing to capture on camera!

english bulldog puppies

english bulldog puppies

As for socialization this week, there hasn't been much change. I've continued to clip their little nails once a week and socialize them with touch and temperature. They have continued using their potty pads to begin early potty training and I've continued to introduce them to new sights and sounds around the house, including that terrifying vacuum...which turned out to not be so terrifying after all. I have begun to separate pups for just 5 minutes to no more than 10 minutes from litter mates to enjoy some cuddles and free time with humans to teach them that it's ok to have alone time away from brothers and sisters.

As for huge milestones , there hasn't been anything all that remarkable. In the breeder's world the first two weeks are super tough, the third week is not quite as tough as the first two, and then the fourth week pretty much is a little breather allowing some routine to step in and quite a bit more sleep, or at least more sleep compared to the beginning of the puppies' lives. Once that month mark comes into play a whole new type of challenge begins, but it's a fun challenge. Over the next four weeks I'll begin to get these puppies ready for their families. These next four weeks are just as important as the last four, maybe even more important in the eyes of their new families. The last four weeks were spent making sure that the puppies survived. They were incapable of completing literally anything on their own. That time was spent helping them latch on, helping them relieve themselves, helping them stay clean, and keeping them warm and protected. These next few weeks will be spent creating best friends. Over the next few weeks much more socialization will come into play. They will be introduced to so many new things and new routines. They will learn so much that it will be almost unbelievable that these little guys were the same babies that were spoken of just weeks before.

Next week, which for me is my current week, we have plenty of fun things happening though, so stay tuned for the next blog to see all the excitement that begins once puppies turn one month old!

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