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It happens way too fast! Puppies are born then puppies are off to their new homes.
It’s now been a couple weeks since we said goodbye to the last pup from our litter of English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies.
Let’s turn back the clock to the end of 2017.
It was early Friday morning…
English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies
Raven’s first litter of puppies were a light golden color. If you want to take a peek at some of her first litter of Golden pups click here.
Her second litter of puppies were pretty much all white Golden Retriever pups A.K.A. English Cream Golden Retrievers.
Here’s our week-by-week pics and short descriptions of Raven’s second Golden litter:
Week 1 – Puppies Arrive Early
We woke up to the cries of puppies!
Yep, Raven went into labor while we were sleeping.
We rushed Raven and her newborn pups over to the whelping box. Luckily we had got the last few whelping supplies a few days earlier.
She wasn’t done as one puppy after another popped out until we reached the magic number: 8 beautiful English Cream Golden Retriever puppies!
All the puppies were pretty much white in color except for one who was a shade darker.
Week 2 – Eat, Sleep, Pee, Poop
The first 10 or so days aren’t too eventful…usually. Puppies army crawl looking for food, pee and poop (with moms help), and sleep.
Around day 12 puppies eyes start to open and around the same time they start walking around like drunken old men.
As I said the early days are usually uneventful. Unfortunately we had one sick puppy and had to make a trip to the vet. The scary part is the vet told us besides give fluids and antibiotics there wasn’t a whole lot she could do for our little sick pup.
Fortunately for us our little guy pulled through although a little smaller than the others.
Week 3 – Eyes Wide Open
By the time third week begins all of our puppies are no longer squinting…eyes are wide open!
A little more activity, but still acting pretty much like drunken old men.
Some of my favorite times are week 3 – 5 because the puppies are still very docile and easy to manage.
Week 4 – Eat, Sleep, Poop, & PLAY
We start to see some real interaction in week 4 as puppies start to show some spunk and play with each other.
This is around the time we start noticing the poop piling up.
For the first 4 weeks Raven cleans up most of the poopie messes. This is around the time we cut her off from her poop supply.
Week 4 is also around the time we start working on crate training our puppies. This gives them a head start before they go to their forever homes.
Week 5 – Poop Wars Begin
Without Raven cleaning up the mess it’s much more difficult to keep the whelping box clean.
Enter the Poop Wars Phase!
If you’ve never had a litter of puppies before then you probably don’t know about the Poop Wars.
Basically, after a good nights sleep you will walk out to the whelping box, but notice a particularly poopie smell.
When you arrive at the whelping box you do not just find poop on the ground…no…you find it smeared all over the walls, on fur, on heads, stuck in paws, and sometimes while bathing you’ll dig some poop out of ears.
Yeah, not the most exciting part of raising a litter of pups.
Week 6 – Puppy Temperament Test
Puppies are starting to show more personality during week 6.
I was only planning on keeping one puppy from this litter to raise as a service dog and during week 6 I temperament tested the litter.
Puppy temperament testing is usually recommended at 49 days (7 weeks) we did ours a little early on day 43 and day 45.
When we picked Archer from his litter we mainly used Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Test.
Since then I’ve refined my method for choosing a puppy based on a combination of things I’ve learned over the past 3 years.
I’ll share how I choose a puppy from a litter in a future episode.
Until then I can tell you I narrowed my list from 8 puppies to 4 puppies to 2 to finally THE ONE…and we named him Neo…just kidding…harmless Matrix reference.
There were 4 puppies we thought would make good service dog candidates:
There was not much difference separating these four. We ended up going with Beige/Draven because he had a very easy going temperament.
Following our rules for naming puppies we re-named our little guy, Charlie.
Week 7 – End Poop Wars
Six puppies from the litter went home with the breeder when they were 6 1/2 weeks old.
The final two we kept at the house were Purple/Pippin who was re-named Riley and of course Charlie.
END POOP WARS!
Can I tell you that caring for a litter of 8 puppies is about 100x more difficult then taking care of two pups.
Riley and Charlie were best of friends and with only two pups I was able to give them more play time in the backyard and work on their training.
By week 7 these guys act like normal rambunctious puppies.
Yep, the life of a puppy…the good, the bad, and the cute! 🙂
Week 8 – Saying Bye To Riley
We kept Riley and Charlie together so both would have the advantage of socializing with each other for a full 8 weeks.
Riley’s journey continued with her new family on week 8. We said our goodbyes and we were down to one puppy. 🙁
And that’s the story of our litter of English Cream Golden Retriever puppies.
Of course if you read this blog then you know Charlie’s journey to become a service dog continues with the wonderful organization Cascade Service Dogs.
If you missed that then check out our recent article: Will my dog remember me?
So what about you guys? Tell us about your experiences with puppies and litters.
Are you on the waitlist to bring home a new puppy? If so, you might want to check out our article about a puppy’s first night home.
Did you choose your last puppy from a litter? Have you raised a litter? Have you experienced the POOP WARS?
If you’re prepping for a litter then you might want to check out our whelping supplies checklist blog post to make sure you have everything you need before your puppies arrive.
Leave us a comment below.
I know…English Cream Golden Retrievers are the cutest. I wanted to mention two final thoughts. If you’re planning on raising a litter check out Puppy Culture DVD and Workbook. The DVD and Workbook have information on how to raise a litter of puppies.
If you’re about to bring home your very own English Cream Golden puppy then take a look at The Puppy Primer. This book sets a great foundation for raising and training a puppy. By the way, it’s also mandatory reading for one of the service dog organizations I’m involved with.