Hi everyone Rascal Dog's wife here. Thank you for your replies and advice. Hyacinth, yeah we were fairly disappointed the owners insisted we collect the pups when they were only 6 and a bit weeks old. I tried very hard to push for them to stay with their mum for longer! Also turns out one of the boys from the litter (now living with another friend of mine) is deaf, something I'm sure they would have discovered had the pups been allowed to stay with mum until now.
Grabbing pup's head when they're growling and nipping has worked a treat. Millie (the more "boisterous" of the two) rarely nips or growls at me at the moment, she generally sits beside or in front of me looking up with an expectant look on her face! I took the "no attention" approach with her, as well as holding her down (something I saw the mother dog do on a few occasions). Hubby's hands are bigger, so he successfully grabbed her on the head, I'm a bit worried about sharp puppy teeth!
Thanks all for the warning re the oval. Being a nurse, I *know* the risks re partial vaccination and can't imagine why I didn't consider this with the pups!! we'll be holding off on the oval for a little while. Also, hubby had a tense experience the other day - an Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky type dog, no leash and no owner in sight, bounded over to the pups, had a sniff around them, Millie got up in it's face nipping etc as she does and this giant of a dog put it's mouth completely over her back and pinned her to the ground. Hubby's heart was in his mouth I can tell you! Interestingly "big dog" didn't break any skin or do any damage (given I'm sure he/she could have eaten her in one gulp!) Maybe he/she understood they were pups and treated Millie accordingly?