- Your Coton will be raised around children, other adults, and other dogs
- They will be accustomed to loud noises
- They have exposure to basic obedience training: sit, stay, and come
- They will have experience with leash training
- They will have a solid foundation with grass potty training
Here are more details about how we raise your future puppy.
The puppies are welped (born) in our living room, and need to be in a very warm environment. We have a heating pad and heating lamp in their welpong box to keep the puppies warm. They nurse and sleep constantly, for the first week. It is important to keep the mother well hydrated and fed so that she keeps up her milk production. We get the puppies out and hold them many times a day. The puppies are born without teeth and their eyes and ears are sealed shut at birth. We usually name the puppies from characters in our favorite children’s books. Some of our litter names were:
- Caroline, Eliza, Henry, and Peppin
- Ol’ Dan, Little Anne, Horton, and Charlotte
- Donna Delle, Hazlenut, Opal, Lottie, and Alice
- Alp, Clara, Deiti, and Briget
- Hooks, Candice, Griss, Retha, Grenadine
- Harry, Liam, Louis, Zane, Nial
- Louisa, Poe, Harriet, Hawthorne, Jewlette, Waldo, Wallace, Julia, Bebe, Marrietta, Primrose
- Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Rosaline, Laura, Benvolio
- Wilbur and Orville
Try to guess…and then go to the bottom of this page to see the books these puppies’ names are from!
When the puppies are two weeks old they more than double their birth weight. They open their eyes and start to scoot around. We give them massages several times a day to stimulate them. Their mothers are incredibly devoted, so devoted that sometimes it is hard for us to get the mother to go outside to potty because she wants to stay with her puppies.
Their teeth begin to come in when the puppies are three weeks old. They start to walk a little bit and play with each other. We give them warm colostrum, which is great for their immune system. From birth, we take the mother of the puppies for short walks several times a day. This keeps her happy and helps keep up her milk production. When the puppies’ eyes open, we start to carry them in slings once or twice a day. This helps them get ready to walk for themselves and it stimulates their development. We weigh the puppies every day to make sure that they are gaining the right amount of weight.
When the puppies are four weeks old they are so much fun! They start walking/waddling around and enjoy playing with balls, jumping on each other and us, and exploring. Going for a walk outside snuggled in a blanket is one of their favorite things to do. They are alert and perk up to listen to the birds, wind, and the crackling of pine needles under our feet as we walk. Cotons are so smart, they already try to potty away from their sleeping area and their playing area. It is very exciting to see their little “puppy”alities (as my daughter calls it) begin to bloom!
At four weeks, we start to grass train our puppies. We make it a priority to take them outside to potty every hour or so. If our new puppy owners are able to keep up this routine (lengthening the time in-between taking their puppy outside) our puppies have very few accidents in the house.
At five weeks they begin to transition from nursing to soft food. We still potty them about every hour outside (weather permitting) and after every nap. They start to follow us across the yard and we call them “pup-pup”. They are like little ducklings following us where ever we go! We also start trying to have them sit before they eat.
At five weeks, we work with the families that will be receiving a fluffy bundle of joy to help them choose the best puppy for their family. We ask them to send a blanket or article of clothing that has the families scent on it so that their puppy can get to know them by their scent.
The puppies are weaned from their mother at six weeks. We play with them outside and then bring them inside, lay out blankets and play with them and baby toys that make lots of different sounds. Our children have a chart with things/sounds that they expose the puppies to like, drums, blender, trombone, flute, piano, hair dryer, trampoline, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc…. All of the puppies get a grade based on their reaction to the sounds of either good, okay, or not so good. By the time they go to their new homes, they are all getting the okay or good grade!
We take them outside to play several times a day for up to a couple of hours each time. They love to play in the leaves, chew on sticks and pine-cones, and just run around. Getting the puppies to walk with us in not easy and takes time and patience. However, once the puppies get the hang of it, hiking with the puppies is one of our favorite pastimes. After a walk, we bring them in and play with them in every room of our house. We give them several baths while they are with us, and brush them weekly so that this is not new to them when they go to their new homes.
When they are 8 weeks, we take them for walks with a leash and without a leash. On and off the leash they are exposed to “stop, sit, and stay”. We also work with the “come” command. Our puppies receive basic obedience training several times a day at this age.
We socialize our puppies by taking them out with us as much as possible. They love to play at parks with other children and adults. They enjoy visiting the school I teach at (and my students adore seeing the puppies) and stores that allow pets. We expose them to the vacuum, blender, washer, dryer, dishwasher, doorbell, and other loud noises.
As we help the puppies prepare for the wonderful transition to their forever homes, we have them sleep in a kennel at night for about six hours. They do sleep with a litter mate or two, so if their new owners have them sleep in a kennel alone, it takes a few days to get used to. We work incredibly hard on basic obedience training, leash training, and loving them as much as possible this last week that they are with us. As you can see by nine weeks, the puppies are tough and can even handle walking in two feet of snow!
Books (and one singing group!) we used to name these puppies are:
- Caroline, Eliza, Henry, and Peppin – Farmer Boy
- Ol’ Dan, Little Anne, Horton, and Charlotte – Where the Red Fern Grows, Horton Hears a Who, and Charlotte’s Web
- Donna Delle, Hazlenut, Opal, Lottie, and Alice – The Just Right Perfect Present
- Alp, Clara, Deiti, and Briget – Heidi
- Hooks, Candice, Griss, Retha, Grenadine – The Moss Gown
- Harry, Liam, Louis, Zane, Nial – One Direction
- Louisa, Poe, Harriet, Hawthorne, Jewlette, Waldo, Wallace, Julia, Bebe, Marrietta, Primrose – Children’s Poetry Book
- Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Rosaline, Laura, Benvolio – Romeo and Juliet