The pups were well ahead of all the usual puppy markers. One thing that we do is to provide a good learning environment for the pups. They meet new people, other animals and learn to interact in a variety of environments. They have been on wood floors, carpeting, concrete, gravel, grass and in the wading pool. They have been exposed to gunfire while eating and to the sound of banging pots and pans as they are called to dinner. At times, though, it is also important for the pups to have quiet time with nothing stimulating. There was a study done at Lackland, in their puppy program in which they thought that the puppy development would be enhanced by having more toys and stimulation in their environment, after observing that some pups had difficulty with new objects and experiences. However, what they then found is that thoe pups who were constantly being stimulated became stressed when placed in a kennel with nothing. Therefore, the conclusion is that it is equally important for the puppy to learn how to handle quiet time. At night, our pups go to their whelping box where they sleep. Soon they will learn to sleep in crates, to make that transition easier.
The pups have a wading pool where they can play and (of course) drink! To date, I have not caught any of them peeing in the pool, so apparently they have better manners than many children <grin>. They know that coming when called means something GREAT is going to happen and they come flying!