XX Litter Enrichment Experiences

XX Litter Week 4
Enrichment Experiences

I began Mr. X’s enrichment experiences this afternoon.  Several years ago, I found a great puppy-raising resource:  the “Puppy Culture” DVD set by Jane Killion.  This four-DVD series is mainly for breeders, with suggestions of things to do with puppies from birth until the end of the critical socializing period at 12 weeks.  

During this fourth week of the pups’ lives, they advise one new experience per day for the litter.  I had always waited until the ears opened before I began seriously introducing new things, but for the last few litters I decided to start earlier like the Puppy Culture people do, and it was fun.  Usually, for the first day’s new experience, I hang a small blanket cut into relatively standard strips over the entrance to the puppy bed.  It stimulates them to use their eyes in a different way by having something vertical that looks totally new and also moves.  However, that blanket must be out in the shed.  It was 3 p.m. – and 97 degrees – so I decided to go with a different experience.  I’ll try in the morning when it’s cool, to find the blanket and use it tomorrow.

I usually clean the room and put out the day’s experiences early in the morning, but with the heat wave we’re currently having, I’m rushing to get out and start ball sessions as soon as possible.  My therapy dog visit today was cancelled because they have a covid outbreak, so at least I could change the room and put out the articles in the early afternoon and he would have plenty of time to fall over/investigate them before I pick the stuff up at bedtime.

Tomorrow and Thursday I don’t have to go anywhere so this schedule will work.  Wednesday and Friday I have therapy dog visits in the afternoons so I may have to figure something else out.  No use hoping we’ll have cool weather so I can do the puppy room before starting ball sessions.

I put on the floor an old cooking pan with a handle, a big lid, a cake pan lid, a jelly roll pan, a big metal spoon and a small wooden rolling pin.  I thought the reflection off the metal pan and lids would be interesting for him, both the metal and wood would be new things to taste, plus the rolling pin would (naturally) roll and the jelly pan would rock.  He wasn’t too impressed.  He kept trying to find either Lovely or me, but eventually I got some photos of him with the objects.

I will add photos daily to this New Experience page.

With only one pup and a VERY attentive mother, I’m not having to change many newspapers, so I’m only changing everything every other day. That means tomorrow’s photos will have the same fleece pad and flannel.  Hopefully tomorrow’s photos won’t be too boring with the same background…

I managed to find the blanket out in the shed this morning.  Naturally, it was in a tub on the very bottom and back of the stacks of tubs.  I was about to give up and find a small throw to cut into strips when I finally found it. We were blessed with a cool, cloudy morning, so I didn’t have to rush through ball sessions and wait until all were finished before setting up Mr. X’s Enrichment Experience.  After Lovely had her ball session, I took time to hang the blanket at the entrance to the whelping box and to take photos.  I put Lovely on a down stay out of the way and put Mr. X down by the blanket.  He definitely noticed it and seemed to be having fun trying to take one of the strips in his mouth. 

I released Lovely from her stay and she promptly headed into the whelping bed.  He went towards her and then came back out to play with the blanket and then find me.

I was disappointed that the photo of him falling over as he grabbed the strip was too blurry to use.  Another good one was slightly blurred but still usable.  Oh, well, I got some good ones.

to page 2 of the Enrichment Experiences photos
to page 3 of the Enrichment Experiences photos
to the XX litter diary
XX litter background information
XX litter pedigree