Saturday, February 28, 2009

The end of the sixth week

We take puppies out every day now even though it is still pretty chilly. Today the tempearure outside was below 30F, yet they did not seem to mind.

Yesterday, when I was running errands in Albany, John started the pups on a deer liver. In my opinion, having pups on a raw diet stimulates their attraction to the scent of blood.

Since pups can take short trips outside, now is the time to start reinforcing following reflex. I found this exercise in one of the John's old files; the guidelines wre produced by The Educated Puppy club.

The description of the exercise goes like this:
"Each pup is taken to large, open grassy area. Handler places pup on grass and slowly walks away without speaking or looking back. Go 10 feet, step and face pup. Wait quietly until pup begins a distress "I'm lost" sound. Then, clap hands and move body back and forth until puppy sees you and approaches. Hold the pup's head in your hand for 3-4 seconds. Then walk away slowly again. Repeat over and over again till pup follows you whenever you move off. Do this exercise 5 minutes daily per pup."

I can see potential difficulties with this exercise as applied to dachshunds. They are very nose oriented and quite independent, so usually, unless very young, they are quite happy to follow attractive scents in the grass and they don't seem too concerned whether a handler is there or not. Yet I recognize the value of the exercise.

Today puppies were playing in the yard, and they were learning about stairs and a den underneath. True to his heritage, Ollie was delighted to get into the den.

Olana was trying to climb the stairs and after several attempts she succeeded.

We could buy a lot of different toys for pups, but nothing, absolutely nothing matches all the stimulation and learning that they can get outside "in the real world".

After 20 minutes of running and investigating, pups were ready for a good nap.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Puppies' portraits at 5.5 weeks

Ollie (above) and Olive (below)

Olana (above) and Oak (below)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Puppies enjoyed their trip outdoors

Today I could feel that spring is not that far away. The sun was out, and the tempearture was in high 30s. It was a perfect opportunity to take puppies out for their first real trip outside. They are just five and a half weeks old but at this age they are certainly up to it. I remember that my first litter of wires was born in Alberta in December. The pups were around 6 weeks old when they started to run in the snow, and the weather was much more colder there.

Puppies did really well. They were not apprehensive about the snow or wet grass. They used their noses well, and they were very inquisitive. Nobody cried or wanted to go home. They had a lot fun and so did I just watching them. Emma did not pay much attention to the pups. She was just happy to be outside off leash.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today puppies had the 2nd round of Nemex-2 (Pyrantel pamoate) - see

You can get more information about roundworms and their life cycle at

Emma still supplies at least 50% of pups' food. Other than that, they have small meals of raw diet (a mix of ground chicken, bone, veggies) and canned Eagle Pack for puppies. Mom's milk is still by far the number 1 choice.

Puppies weights are:

  • Oak 4.8 lbs
  • Ollie 4.7 lbs
  • Olana 4.7 lbs
  • Olive 4.0 lbs

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Puppies' new explorations

Today puppies are five weeks old. They are doing really well. We started to take them, individually and in a group, upstairs, where our kitchen and dining area are. This way they have a chance to get used to the sounds of every day life - the sounds of the dishwasher, blender, fridge, kettle etc. They also get a chance to stretch their legs and run, and to meet other dogs.

The pups also spend some time in our mudroom (this is where the pictures were taken), where our washing machine and dryer are located.

They enjoy playing with toys but nothing beats the attractiveness of the antlers and deer legs. The antlers you see in the picture were given to us by Marty and Mikki Vlach from Nebraska as a gift, and puppies are putting it to a good use.
Today I opened the mudroom door that leads outside, and I let pups explore. We are getting some snow today but it is not cold, around the freezing point. I kept Emma away from the pups as I wanted to observe their reaction to the snow and lower temperature. They were not too sure about the whole thing at the beginning, but they all made it outside on their own. They seemed to enjoy the experience but at the end they were mentally pretty tired. Well, tired puppies are good puppies :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Big changes for puppies

Today was a day of big changes for puppies and Emma. First they have been moved from my office to our family room. Their whelping box is attached to a larger pen filled with wood chips. Pups quickly learn to keep the whelping box (now their sleeping quarters) clean and go to bathroom in the chips. We have been using this system for years and have been very satisfied with it. It is a good start to housebreaking, and it keeps puppies clean, and makes the cleanup really quick and easy.

Also today we gave pups their first meal of raw meat mixed with ground bone, organs and veggies. Pups were certainly interested in the food and ate some of it.

Emma can jump in and out with ease so she will continue to let pups nurse over the next week or so, but basically we are starting a gradual weaning.

Emma helped puppies clean the plate, and it was helpful for them to see their mom eating the food.

We gave puppies a deer leg to sniff and chew on. They were cautious but fascinated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Puppies' antics

Well, tomorrow puppies are going to be kicked out of my office. As you can see it would be a miracle if I could get anything done besides playing with puppies. They get out of the whelping box easily and roam all over the room.

I have to say that they are very good about doing their business on newspapers in front of the whelping box, and, of course, Emma is very quick to clean them. Since they started to express interest in Emma's food, tomorrow we will start a gradual weaning.

I was hoping to get them outside for few minutes today, but then our winter came back with a lot of snow and low temperatures. For now playing inside will have to do.

Emma's crate is in my office too and I started to put puppies there so they get accustomed to it.

They do not mind playing there as long as the door is open.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Puppies start their 5th week - sound conditioning

We have started to do some sound conditioning, which is very important. Since pups are in my office, where I stay most of the time, they are exposed to the phone ringing, tv playing, dogs barking, door slamming etc. But they need more variety than that. Today I put some bubble wrap in their box, which was not only a completely new object to explore but provided a new tactile and sonic stimulation. Popping bubble wrap creates a similar sound to that of a cap pistol. It can be quite loud (depending on the wrap), and at the beginning pups get startled, but they get used to the sound quickly.

Today was also the first day when puppies were introduced to another adult dog. Billy is very easy going and gentle so he was the first one. As you can see he was a hit with the pups.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Puppies are four weeks old

Today puppies are four weeks old. Their weights are (just after they nursed):
  • Oak (blue) 1860 gr
  • Ollie (green) 1680 gr
  • Olana (pink) 1785 gr
  • Olive (yellow) 1645 gr

Pups are still getting all their nourishment from Emma. We never hurry with weaning, and usually depend on a mom to let us know when it is a good time to start supplementing and weaning pups. Emma has plenty of milk, does not mind pups' teeth, and puppies are in a good shape so all is good.

I let pups out of their whelping box few times a day and they like to explore my office.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Puppies' coats at the end of fourth week

It is very difficult, actually impossible, to breed dachshunds with excellent wirehaired coats consistently. Genetics of wirehaired coats has not been solved yet though we know that the wirehaired coat is dominant over the smooth coat and long coats.

As these pictures of four four-week-old puppies show there is a huge variation in wirehaired dachshunds. Even in pups that young we can see it. These differences will be more visible with pups' age.

The above picture shows Oak whose coat is the longest of the litter. Next picture shows Ollie and Oak side by side. Oak (right) has more hair, especially on his face, ears, neck and legs.

There is also a difference in the amount and length of hair between paw pads.

Ollie and Oak

This picture shows Olive and Olana, and thier coats are as different as of their brothers. Olive (left) has much less coat and it is much shorter.

Olive and Olana



If we were to list puppies in the order from the shortest to longest coat it would be Olive, Ollie, Olana and Oak.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another bed

Within 24 hours it became obvious that the old new bed was small so today when I was in Albany I got a new larger bed for puppies. I got it just for $15 at K-Mart. As it turned out Emma liked puppies' new bed even more than her own bed! I think this is not going to last long as puppies erupting teeth will put the end to Emma's long visits to the whelping box.

Also I managed to get some new toys. The little green "Ribbit" is actually a kids' toy bought at Rite-Aid; it makes several different sounds, and puppies are fascinated by it. It is a right size for them. I'll take it away from the pups when they get older and will be able to destroy it. Luckily Emma is not a toy chewer, just a hoarder.