A Bulldog Puppy's Third Week, Through the Eyes of a Breeder
This blog post is late. I always have my blog posts complete by Saturday morning. That may give you an idea of how busy these babies' third week was. The first two weeks of bulldogs' lives are always the hardest. Those days are completely sleepless. During the third week things begin to level out with eating schedules. This week the babies have been eating every four hours and at night I have begun stretching their sleep schedule just a tad longer by a few minutes each night to begin getting them ready to have a longer fasting period during the night.
None of that is the fun part though. The fun part is...eyes and ears! These babies have sight and sound now! During their third week of life all eyes finally popped open. They began to watch me closely and if I moved and they were near, their little eyes would follow me. It's so exciting when they can actually see. There's a difference between just having eyes open and actually seeing things. When eyes first open their sight isn't all that great, but over the week period you could definitely tell that eyesight was improving.
They also began to hear things. You could visibly tell that they were hearing because if they heard a noise they would begin to shift around or be awakened from sleep. Now in our house, puppy naptime is quiet time. These little guys need naps just like human toddlers. They can become a little cranky when awakened too soon. You'll hear a lot of shhhh's in the house now when they're sleeping when one of the kids are a tad too loud.
The other exciting thing that began toward the end of their third week is that they are really testing boundaries. The world is a new playground that must be explored. Mama's bed is discovered territory, but the land beyond is awaiting discovery, and escape they must! Or at least try. But they don't get far. They have discovered ways to shimmy off of Mama's bed during mealtime. I always scoop them back up and move them back to their mama to finish their meal. Playtime must be after mealtime to have full tummies and grow each day.
We attempted to introduce big kid food. Normally I wait a little longer before introducing pureed puppy food but I started a little early in order to make sure they are fully accustomed to hard kibble before heading home. I quickly found that they just weren't ready, and that's ok. They loved the puppy food and then they hated the puppy food. They just couldn't decide if they loved or hated it and then they all quickly decided that they did hate it. It will be much easier to just give them a little longer to adjust over to it. The memories and photos are adorable though. We'll try again next week.
Their favorite hobby is still sleeping. During an exciting game of play they'll just curl up and go to sleep. During a fabulously yummy meal time, they'll just curl up and go to sleep. During a daring wrestling match they'll just curl up and go to sleep. Sleep is pretty much a common thing over here in between meals.
I have continued introducing new socialization techniques to them. They had their nails clipped for the very first time at the start of the week. They didn't mind it very much and slept through most of that as well. I've introduced new sights and sounds and have given them some safe and friendly startles so they realize that even when new things are a little scary, like jingling keys, it's ok. They also learn to come and check it out. What is that crazy sound? So they half crawl, half walk over to see where that crazy noise is coming from and if it's possibly coming from that shiny moving thing. It's fun to watch and a great way for them to learn. I've also still continued my touch and temperature socialization techniques and they are becoming more and more accustomed to it.
The biggest news of all...as I mentioned before, they began to attempt to walk this week.
Along with walking, they also began to go potty on their own sometimes. I decided because of this it was time to move to the playpen. This will give them more room to get those legs moving and will also allow them to be introduced to puppy pads and a potty area. Before this week we would separate everyone when mealtime came and our other dogs never actually were able to meet the new puppies. Now they're able to see them all the time. Diana in particular sat for such a long time just enamored with these little babies. She wanted to get closer so badly but I don't think Mama would appreciate that so we'll wait a little longer for the big official introduction.
As you can see, this week was very busy! It was a different kind of busy. Not quite the same busy as the weeks before but definitely a new kind of busy. These next several weeks are going to bring all sorts of really fun firsts and many more sleepy days but watching these little guys grow and change each day is completely priceless and worth every minute of lost sleep!