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Seven Weeks Old

Think "new thing"
every single day
Evaluate each pup
to see
if there's something
you need to work on.


Keep on doing everything you’ve been doing!

Read the earlier pages if you need details on:


  • New toy/sound/texture/visual stimulus every day.

  • Bring in new people (no shoes, wash hands, etc.)

  • Present formal challenges to develop problem-solving.

  • Slam a door, drop a bowl to build startle/recovery response.

  • Build tolerance to all kinds of touch using treats.

  • Reward sitting for attention (not jumping/pawing). 

  • Encourage calm, structured play using toys to discourage bitey-play with humans.

  • Do “exchanges” with high value items to discourage resource guarding.

  • Encourage play with safe larger/older dogs in the home, always providing an escape -- under a low table for pups, and over a low fence for big dogs.

  • Use mini agility equipment (or a home-made equivalent) to build confidence and willingness to explore.

Seven weeks is a perfect time to “evaluate” the pups in a litter. Developed by guide dog associations to evaluate the potential various pups have for that kind of work, fosters can use these little tests for help in matching each pup to the right adopter. Plus, if you see an issue you still have time to work on it a bit with that individual puppy!

  • Social Attraction (Will the pup come when you call?)

  • Desire to Follow (Will the pup follow along as you walk?)

  • Reaction to Restraint (Will the pup settle after a bit when you cradle him like a baby?)

  • Ability to Forgive (Does he bounce back in a friendly manner after restraint?)

  • Elevation Reaction (How much does he struggle if you just hold him a bit off the floor?)

  • Chase & Retrieve (Does he go after a thrown toy, and bring it back at all?)

  • Sensitivity to Touch, Sound & Sight

  • Startle Recovery (Drop something loud, how quickly does he recover?)


PHOTOS:  We got lucky with a few warm days in January, and tried to make the most of them for this litter. In the warmer seasons, I take our litters outside a lot starting at around 5 or 6 weeks. It's great for potty-training, but more importantly there's a whole world of new sights/sounds/smells out there. (I know in some places parvo is so omnipresent that even your own back yard could be a threat. Luckily that is not the case here.)

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