Puppy Paws Episode 1


Welcome to our new series, The Puppy Paws, here in Denali National Park and Preserve. We know that all of you were really excited to watch our puppies grow up on the Puppy
Cam last summer. What we are hoping is every few weeks we will update a new
couple of minutes of looking inside the training that begins the day our puppies are born. The process begins now of growing up to be an amazing working dog here in Denali. This is where she gave birth to her puppies and this is where I stayed through the whole
process. So from 10:30 on I was just curled up on an
insulate pad with my head inside the house. And the first puppy, who was a little black and white male, arrived at about 5:00 in the
morning. After the puppies are first born I think
one of the things that a lot of people don’t
realize is that most of their days are spent sleeping
and eating. This point in their lives, the puppies
eyes and ears are closed. They can’t urinate or defecate on their own and they don’t
generate their own body heat. So they are really entirely dependent on Mom. I always refer to them as little heat seeking
missiles. They are looking for the warmth of Mom’s body and they are trying
to latch on to a teat to nurse and feed. (puppies nursing) One of the earliest forms of training that we do with our puppies will usually start
around age day three. We do some really basic stress testing. Studies have shown that by putting puppies
just under a minimal amount of stress it will actually help them to better
be able to handle stress later in their lives. When I say stress testing it just means that we are holding the puppies upright, tilting
them upside down, holding them on their backs, and tickling them between heir toes with a
Q-tip. We do it for three to five seconds for each
of those positions each day. What it will lead to is an adult dog who handles
different stresses that they might encounter out on the trail in winter much better than
a dog who hasn’t been through this initial puppy stressing phase.

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