Tuesday 21 February 2017

Indi's puppies and the Strange Smell

I have added some newspaper to the whelping box now. The pups don't tend to piddle on it at this stage (in fact mine never seem to wee much at all until they are older, and I don't find the box gets damp) but they are moving around a lot more now, and having different textures gives them a new experience.

Conventional wisdom says puppies should be left to their own devices at this age and most formal socialisation plans only start introducing objects to hang up for puppies to 'look at' at three weeks or so after their eyes have opened. Some more recent ideas for exposing puppies at this age to new sensory experiences have started to become popular, including ideas for handling them in particular ways (I've never bothered with these as I always handle the puppies anyway). A friend from working trials and scentwork asked me if I had heard of the idea of exposing young puppies to odours, which I think is an interesting idea, as smell and touch are the main senses puppies live by at this age and the olfactory cortex is developing.

So, in this video, I put a drop of clove bud oil (a target smell in scentwork) on an object after I had changed the pups' bedding. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on how people use this, or what the pups are supposed to do. Hopefully audible in the video are the big sniffs the pups are doing. Puppies normally only do this when the bitch returns to the box, particularly if she has been away for a while and the puppies are hungry. I am going to try the other two odours used in scentwork on other days.

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