At this age, the puppies are beginning to show their own personalities and are starting to explore their world as their eyes open. This marks the beginning of the socialization process. The puppies learn from their mother about boundaries and respect, and their siblings teach them how to play nice and understand what is too rough. It is also critical to have as much human interaction as possible to develop confidence with many different people and many different situations. We continue to handle the puppies daily, and encourage our friends and family to cuddle with them. This encourages a love of people and sets the foundation for that strong bond Labradoodles are known for. During this period, we also introduce food and water to the puppies while their mother is enjoying a break. They pick this up quickly from watching their mother eat and drink.
The puppies also begin to spend some time in our puppy play area in our home at 5 weeks of age. This area is set up for the puppies to have a play side, a comfy bed of blankets, and a litter box potty area. The puppies are already aware of the difference between a bed area and potty area from their whelping box and within a week know to use the litter box for their bathroom. The puppies also spend some time outside if the weather permits.