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Will It Ever Change?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I have never had a pup this young (youngest was 4 months old) and I have little idea what's happening and I'm always skeptical of a google search. I don't know anything about puppy stages and growth etc at this age, please fill my brain with everything so we can do right by this pup. For starters, the pup is a Boxer/Dachshund, and we already have the father, Oscar (Dachshund) who's 3. The mother (Boxer) stopped all maternal duties and completely stopped nursing her puppies. They were going to solid foods on their own but were still trying to nurse. We have the smaller female from the litter. We picked her up wednesday night.

*deep breath* So, she's 6 weeks old. Drinks water. We have puppy food (dry) that I put warm water into so it softens. She initially ate it, then she ate a little bit and would cry, or cry while eating, then she slowed down going to eat. Now I let the food get really soft and mash it with a fork. She eats it easily, but doesn't often go looking for it. I'll bring her to her food and she'll usually eat. Now she cries while eating it again. Often I have to hand feed her to get her to eat from the bowl, or hand feed her just so she eats something. She's so tiny it feels like instinct to make sure she's always eating. I'm not comfortable assuming she'll go find it if she's hungry. I don't force her to eat.

Since we picked her up, she's sleeping more and more. She was the "sleeper" of the litter to begin with, always sleeping, play for 5 minutes, then back to sleep. I want to know if it's normal for a pup her age to sleep this much, sometimes I'm tempted to poke her. She'll sleep sound, twitch like she's dreaming, for easily an hour or two straight. Then she wakes up crying, rubs her snout with her paws and/or goes pee, chews a toy and falls asleep doing so (all within 5-15 minutes). Most of yesterday and all last night, when she woke up I had to bring her to her food, otherwise she just goes back to sleep. During the nights she's waking up every hour, lots of squeaks and cries and howls (actually sounds like a pig grunting but looks like a wolf baying at the moon). But during the day she wakes up anywhere between every hour to every 3 hours. During the night, after a few times of waking up every hour, she'll poo, then she'll sleep a little longer between waking. She pees almost every time she wakes up.

We have a kennel for her, it's huge so that I can have her bed in there, then newspapers, then food and water at the front. She flips out in it, as though she wakes up having no idea what's going on. Trying to climb up the sides, screams and grunts etc. Even not in the kennel, she wakes up like that. I have to say something so she hears me and then she stops. I know she isn't blind because she can navigate our home. Sometimes she'll walk around, then sit down and cry as though she's lost? Or is she still looking for her litter mates? Is she just tired already from only going 20 feet and being awake 5 minutes? I have to get up when she wakes up screaming and howling, and let her at her food and water (she was jumping it it while flipping out about being in the kennel). Then she just keeps crying until she falls back asleep. After an hour-ish of sleep, the process repeats.

The eating and sleeping have me the most curious. I have no idea what's normal for her at this age. Is she regressing back to wanting to nurse? Her and Oscar are getting along well, she always tries to play with him, he's opening up to the idea. I noticed yesterday she went for Oscar's...penis...and he jumped and ran off. Yesterday she also went for my husband's nipple because he had his shirt off (hot in our place) and she was on our laps. She does eat the softened and mashed solid food, but it takes reminding her, and she cries while eating it. Should I try warming it up because it's cold?

I know I have more questions and I know this is scattered reading, but for now this is what I can think of. I'm not nervous or scared, I just need my brain filled with information so I can handle this best I can. I want to make sure I'm not missing anything she's needing. She screams bloody murder whether we're home or not (have to remind her we're here), and we already have a complaint about Oscar's barking (he's 3 and we are his 9th home) when we're not home. Oscar (poor guy) is a whole other thread. I want to help them so badly, and it doesn't strike me as difficult if I can just know better what she goes through at her age.

Thank you!
 

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Will It Ever Change?
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7,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
How much should she be eating and pooing? I always thought puppies were poo factories. She poos 2-3 times in 24 hrs.
 

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Will It Ever Change?
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7,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I just woke her up to hand feed her because she'd been sleeping for at least 3 hours. She wouldn't even stand. She certainly had an appetite but wouldn't heat unless it was out of my hand, otherwise she wanted her chew toy. Then she peed and now she's chasing our Dachshund, Oscar, around and full of playful energy. The playful energy of hers, is almost restless, and full of chewing. I just saw her try to nurse off "him" again, so oscar ran away onto the couch because she can't get up there. But she's sure determined to try and get to him. She's looking and biting under my legs and crotch (I'm squatting down) and under my arm pits, sounds silly, but she actually looks like she's looking for something, not exploring. I noticed when I checked her mouth, a few of her teeth still aren't in, so I know she's uncomfortable from teething, it's the "is she trying to nurse" question that's got me. I'm a little concerned that she seems thinner than when we picked her up. Her rib on each side lowest to her abdomen seems more prominent than 2 days ago. The pup is now out cold asleep again.

I'm very unimpressed with their previous home. Basically, had puppies they didn't want and couldn't afford. When we'd arrived there to get oscar, the mother (Boxer) was skin and bone, I could lay my fingers in between her ribs, and she was refusing to nurse the puppies. The lady tells me she (herself) has been eating soda crackers because the dogs are expensive to feed, but she gave away t-bone steaks she didn't like, when she could have cooked them and given them to the nursing mother? She complained to me that the mother boxer was ransacking her house trying to get at food. Then she said the puppies have to go because she's moving and isn't allowed dogs, even though she's sneaking in her boxer (not the mother of the litter) and a puppy from the litter. The solids she had them eating was adult dry food with water added. And she can afford to smoke cigarettes. I don't understand why she couldn't try to bottle feed the pups to make sure they were ready to go, not just going because she wanted/needed them gone.

I likely sound more worried than I am (though I have concern the pup isn't happy with solids) because with my fibromyalgia, my back muscles are burning and I've gotten little sleep. It's a great deal of pain that I compare to remembering spilling acid on my hand in chemistry at school. Please bare with me, I'm not panicking! In the words of Jim Carrey: owweeeee
 

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You many need to get some puppy milk replacer to mix into the food, she sounds really young and may be a little less than 6 weeks. She doesn't fully get eatting yet.

They will look confused, then hyper, then sleepy then hyper then confused then happy and sad and everything all at once. Puppies are little emotional bundles.
 

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Oh, geez, that's young :(. Be prepared for some interesting behavioral challenges, I would seriously read up on pups weaned early.

I agree with Kendalle that she sounds younger than six weeks. I'd get a vet's opinion and puppy milk (after seeing the vet).

Is the kennel a small crate or a large pen? People use the word to mean different things. I would be crating her right next to the bed so she can see you. She's so young that I wouldn't let her cry it out or anything...I'd comfort her when she wakes up at night. Sometimes just talking or holding out your hand makes them settle again :).

We can probably give more advice once we know her real age, hence the vet. Good luck, I know it must be exhausting. She's lucky to have you.
 

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Will It Ever Change?
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The crate is a big metal cage. 3 feet long, so she has her bed on one end, and the newspaper on the other. Right now we just mostly let her explore it, though last night she actually walked in there on her own to go to sleep :) we have it in the living room because 1. it's too big for the bedroom, and 2. our bed is 4feet high, she can't see us anyways (neither can oscar!). we leave oscar out in the living room so they can see/smell each other. we definitely have not been letting her cry it out, we open the door or even just go and say hi and she settles. I usually (at night) take her out and she'll just instantly fall back asleep in my arms, or she wants to play for 5 minutes then she falls asleep walking. every time she falls asleep outside her crate, we pick her up and put her in it (in her bed). we're not in any rush to get her used to the crate. but we'd like her to practice waking up with that scenery. so far she just wakes up and walks out like any of us would our bedrooms. last night went a million times better (my husband stayed in the livingroom with them) with her getting used to everything. if one of us is sleeping or out, we wait until she is sleeping to take oscar out to potty. we can stealthily close her crate door and leave/return knowing she won't roam on her own unsupervised. my husband said last night when he took oscar out, she was sleeping in her crate. but when they came back in, she was awake and just sitting there. when she saw him, he said she made a little squeak but still just sat there, so he let her out (it's only closed if we're not here to watch her anyways). i thought it was wonderful that she didn't wake up and freak out that she was "locked in" as though maybe she's getting more ok with it. the door is never closed unless it's the most specific of situations. even oscar has walked into it to curl up in her bed and nap :)

she teaches us so much about what she needs, too. she RAN straight to oscar's food bowl and ate a kibble (chewed it too) before I could grab her. so for fun, i offered her HER food, just dry with no water and not softened. she inhaled it. and my husband said she gobbled her food all night! her poos are already picking up to what I'd expect (a poo every time she's awake) and she keeps getting more and more energy. we always bring her to her food when she wakes up, it does seem like sometimes she doesn't realize it. her pooing is cute, we can tell she doesn't know what she's feeling when she circles around and squats. she goes in circles acting confused and tries to bite her bum, then she'll squat and out it comes! she loves playing with oscar and even now tries to curl up and sleep with him. but she still tries to play while lying there, so he ends up going somewhere else to sleep, and she ends up just falling asleep beside us. then as usual, we scoop her up and put her to bed in the crate (door open, as always). when oscar is eating she wants his food, so i direct her to her food and have to keep her corralled because she just wants at his food lol. (he also needs to have quiet because he's finally eating!).

after more observation, she isn't trying to nurse, she was trying to smell and lick him. we decided to just let her go so we could watch what she'd do. oscar lifts his leg for her and everything, she licks then walks away to find a toy. all her milk teeth are in except for the one directly behind her canine on both sides and bottom jaw. she wasnt trying to nurse me, but just bite everything. her teeth are bothering her, that's all. i carry around a toy like i'm wearing a watch, so that i can always substitute it for whatever she goes for (toes, hands, faces, rugs, furniture legs, etc.) oscar let her gnaw on his leg too lol then he licked in her ear like he was cleaning her.

my husband said overnight when she would stop and go to sleep, he'd get her to play for another 10-20 minutes. then she'd sleep a little longer. remember she was the sleeper of the litter. my brother in law took a puppy and the mother dog (now putting weight on beautifully). he said last night that his pup has not tried to nurse and loves her pup food. he said she gets restless when going to sleep, so he will put a blanket on her and then she's out cold (simulates litter mates?). all the pups were more energetic than ours. i knew when she was away from then, she'd come out with her own little energy and personality, which she certainly has! (there's no such thing as a boring pup) :)

emotional bundle is an understatement! and it's too adorable to watch her learn things. we are keeping it very simple for her. right now all we worry about is making sure she remembers to eat between naps (and oh, she eats now! she didn't like the food softened with water. who knew!?), finding pee spots, and giving her things that are okay to chew on. we're always watching her, and for me "watching her" actually means hovering over her when she's awake lol. we are looking to bring her to the vet next week, on pay day so we know we can cover everything they could need to do. we want to bring her to oscar's vet, who is outside the city in a country town (also cheaper outside the city). I'll let you know how the visit goes :)

do you have any reliable (accurate) recommended reading about pups weaned early?
 

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Will It Ever Change?
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
update: again this morning she decided to put herself to bed in her crate :) even for all the times she doesn't, just seeing her do it once makes it all worth it. now she does it about once a day. we're not even expecting her to catch on so quickly! we're just letting her be a puppy, but she's picking up things on her own here and there. still eating well, though her sleep seems disrupted especially at night when it's quieter. I've started taking up residence on the living room couch lol.
 

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Will It Ever Change?
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
have a vet appointment for her on tuesday at 3:40, i'll let you all know how it goes :)
 
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