Monthly Archives: August 2014

Puppies- Now there are 2

Or maybe I should say three, since Dave’s Aussie baby, Silk, joined the boys on some of their adventures since the last update.

Last week, three of the boys headed to their new homes. Wally Junior, Hickory, and Murphy are all settling in, learning about housebreaking, and probably being a little (or a lot) spoiled by their new families. Gromit will be joining our pack and Watson is hanging out with us for a few more weeks while his people are on vacation.

The puppies will be 10 weeks old tomorrow, so they are in an important period for socialization. They have been on 2 pet therapy visits, one for staff and camp kids at a local college and one at the county nursing home. The boys were a big hit at both places- what could be more therapeutic than PBGV puppies? They also got to meet some new dogs, including a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. The Dane was scary at first until they realized how gentle he was. At first they approached the Chihuahua like a puppy, after all she is their size, but they were more respectful when she explained to them that she was a grown up dog and as such outranked them.

This weekend we took Silk and Gromit tracking for the first time. The difference between the 2 breeds was really obvious here. Silk viewed the articles as the point of the game, skipping the food drops and driving to them right away. There were no turns yet, so this works at this stage of training. Gromit on the other hand, approaches life nose first. He went to work right away. I don’t think he missed a single food drop on this way to the gloves and he didn’t seem to notice a man walking in the park who stopped just a few feet from the glove to see what we were doing. I think my boy has quite a nose, but I also really love his food drive. I can deal with a performance dog who won’t play tug (yeah, I know the agility people reading this are cringing), but it’s really hard to work with a dog who isn’t into food either.

Wally had come tracking too and was a little warm afterwards, so we took him and the puppies wading in Blue Marsh Lake. Watson even went in deep enough to swim a little. Wally likes the water the most (or maybe I should say hates it the least) of my dogs, so he was a good influence on the puppies. They all followed him in willingly and the hounds also checked out the weeds near the shore for critters.

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Puppies Week 8 and introducing Gromit

This will be the last week that the boys spend together as a litter, since the first one will be going home with his new family next weekend.  I have decided who I will be keeping (more about him later) and most of the other boys have names.  The boys continue to be really brave about checking out new things.  This week we put an Avidog Adventure Box into the pen (plans to build these are available at www.avidog.com).  They really could have been introduced to this a few weeks ago, but Dave got a little behind on building it since he has been taking down the wreckage of the deck.  Right away they started checking it out.  They even seemed to enjoy banging on the cans to make noise.  The boys have also enjoyed some off lead walks and playtime around our property, with lots of high value treats for checking in with me and coming when called.  I find that since most puppies (yes, even PBGVs) are trustworthy off leash at an early age it is good to give them some practice at being off leash, even if this has to be restricted later on when they reach adolescence.

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Our new addition is the really dark puppy from the litter.  I chose him mainly based on structure and breed type because I would have been happy with the drive and temperament of any of these pups.  This week I have started doing some individual training with him, following the Susan Garrett Recallers 5.0 Program.  He is very food motivated, which I love and has a pretty good attention span for a hound baby.  His full name will be Clancy’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit, but we will call him Gromit, after the fabulous cartoon dog who passes his time knitting when he’s not saving his owner from misadventures.  This is Gromit wearing his harness and leash for the first time.

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And here is a stacked photo of his at about 4 weeks.

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