Nearing the end of week 3 our lagotto puppies take it up a notch. Eyes and ears are now open, and they are discovering their world and actively exploring. Vocalizations are no longer for their own benefit but form the beginning of communication between one another.
At this stage we get rather busy as each and every day is a new experience. While we have been handling our puppies and stroking them, we now introduce carpet, yak fleece pads, crinkly plastic wrappers, soft fuzzy toys, and more.
We introduce classical music throughout much of the day. We then cautiously provide exposure to more upsetting sounds like a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or mixer at a distance. While classical music provides soothing, calming ambiance, the idea is to start to accommodate these young puppies to sounds they will experience during their lives but at a pace that is not frightening.
We start to provide puppies with things that they find startling. This may be a dropped object, or a sharp sound that surprises them. We then look for an immediate recovery and return to their previous behavior or activity. This is important as it teaches the puppy when something surprising happens, the puppy can move past it and recover.
Finally, they are now able to relieve themselves and are mobile - able to walk albeit a little wobbly, thus we have made some adjustments to the litter box - it is now split into 3 sections, a nest or sleeping area, a potty area right next to it and a play area. While their are going to be accidents, the puppies instinctually want to relieve themselves away from the nest so that they can keep it clean.