Puppies: Weeks 2 and 3

Sleeping pen full of two-week old labrador retriever puppies

It’s time for another posting by my youngest, PetKid, who we homeschool. We had an amazing offer from the breeder of our dog, Regimbald (also known as Reggie!), for a weekly visit and lesson on the newest litter of puppies. Our dog’s breeder, the wonderful Culandubh Kennels run by Laurel Cook and Ross McLaughlin in Clayton, Ontario, raises purebred Labradors, and the latest litter are entirely chocolate labs. This post covers weeks two and three.

Week 2

The puppies were cute, big and fluffy when we went to visit them in week two. They had doubled their weight in a week. They were starting to crawl and some of them were starting to open their eyes. Week two was also their last week of tactile stimulation exercises, so we did them again for the last time.

pen of puppies stretched out sleeping

Laurel puts coloured dots on the puppies’ heads, bums and backs so that she knows who is who. For example, our dog Reggie was ‘Blue Butt’. In the chocolate lab litter, ‘Pink Head’ eats a ton, but she was very small at the start.

Here is a picture of me and Apa, the mama of the puppies.

PetKid with Apa, the puppies' mother

Apa is eating 14 or 16 cups of food every day and drinking a ton of water so she can produce enough milk for eleven puppies. It’s a big job!

Week 3

In week three, the puppies weren’t getting enough milk, so Laurel had to bottle-feed some of them. She was also starting to give all of them mush. Here’s a picture of Laurel bottle-feeding one of the pups.

Bottle feeding three week old puppies

The puppies are getting more agile. Their mama, Apa, sleeps beside their pen and at night some of them were climbing out to get to their mum. Laurel had to put up a cardboard wall to stop them from doing this.

This week the puppies will have moved downstairs to a bigger pen and playspace.

24 thoughts on “Puppies: Weeks 2 and 3

  1. I love reading about these little puppies. The puppy pen design looks very clever. It’s always a challenge to design a pen that can grow with the puppies and still allow the mother to come and go to allow them to nurse.

    1. Thanks! PetKid says: Sometimes when the puppies are trying to nurse Apa tries moving away, so Laurel has to keep her still. I helped with this last week. Apa didn’t mind! Have a good day and say hi to your dogs!

  2. Great pictures. You say the puppies have doubled in weight, and I suppose since you saw them right at the beginning, they must look bigger to you, but from here, they look so small! I tried to see the coloured dots, but didn’t “spot” any..

    1. PetKid says thank you for your comment. You should click directly on the first photo to enlarge it, and you’ll notice some dots, particularly on the puppies backs and bottoms that are closest to the edge of the pen. If you still can’t see them we’ll try to show a better close-up in our next post!

      1. We think it’s a safe kind of paint that sticks well. Laurel gets to know the puppies pretty quickly, but it helps early on.

  3. My friends got their 8 year old chocolate lab as a ‘rescued’ dog: the breeder brought her in to the vets to be ‘put down’ because she wasn’t ‘producing’ lots of puppies anymore! I was shocked to discover that breeders do that. I hope beautiful Apa enjoys a wonderful long life after she ‘retires’ from breeding……
    P.S. The puppies are adorable!

    1. That’s awful! Our breeder finds new homes for retired breeding dogs. Generally, they identify someone they already know who has owned one of their dogs before/currently owns one of their dogs, and they give the dog away to them. That way they get a wonderful home with an owner they know will love and appreciate them. The ‘girls’ are bred three times and then go to their new ‘forever home’. I can’t think of a better arrangement! PetKid will love your comments about the puppies.

      1. PetKid, you’re welcome. You’re doing a fantastic job with those puppies! Our kitten was petted and hugged alot when he was a newborn and I think that’s why he’s such a great 1 year old cat now! Thanks to you, so will those puppies…..

  4. When I was a teenager my parents bred their black lab and we kept two of the 12 pups. The birth was amazing–we were all crying and nervous–and the 12 weeks we got with them were some of the most magical of my life. Thanks for reminding me we need to do this with our three boys. I’m so glad you get to experience this!

    1. What a special experience that must have been, and keeping two of the pups would have been a permanent bond. You are so right about what a magical experience it is. PetKid just came home earlier today after having 11 puppies crawling all over him and he effused about it being the best visit yet.

      He’s so thrilled that you are following his blog!

    1. We will need to decide whether to let Reggie become a dad. It’s so neat to think about having a whole litter of puppies right under your own roof. Mind blowing really! In those first few weeks with a new litter, whenever we see Reggie’s breeder, she looks so exhausted!

      1. I love your enthusiasm, it’s extremely infectious! Dog party house sounds fun and exhausting. In geography PetKid and I are currently looking at Mexico and the US southwest, so we’re completely ‘in’ your part of the world. I’ll be showing him your blog to get up to speed with regional cuisine.

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