Friday, December 22, 2006

The Dirty Period Begins

This post was from 12/22 but it didn't get posted. Sorry about that!


There is this period in the life of a litter when I always sigh and wonder what I was thinking when I did the breeding. It inevitably hits when they are three weeks old and we call it the "Dirty Period." We all get through it but it isn't without work.

The DP is when the pups are big enough to make a mess that their mother can no longer keep up with yet too immature to be able to use a litter box. Since puppies are inherently very clean, they try to poop and pee in one area while living, sleeping and playing in another area. But they have to be mobile enough to make their way across the box for this to work. So, inevitably, there is a period when they are ready and willing but not able to use a litter box.

*Sigh* This is where the Wine Litter is now. Up until now, the whelping box has been spotless and easily kept that way through my efforts and Una's (and, who could forget, Corey). But that time has ended. Yet, the pups aren't moving or seeing well enough for me to put a litter area in. So, the next few days are going to require a ton of cleaning and sheepskin changes. Oh well, it's short lived.

Andy and I have decided not to move the pups to the x-pen quite yet. They are just not mature enough and will only get themselves in trouble in a larger, more complex area. We usually upgrade a litter's living arrangements when they are 3 1/2 weeks old but we had wanted to do it early this time due to the number of family we have coming for the holidays. But after watching them yesterday and today, we determined that the pups are not ready for a huge increase in area and the risk of the x-pen's wire sides. We don't want them to get chilled by getting lost in a corner of the pen or hurt by sticking their foot through the wires.

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