Wednesday, 20 February 2008

February 20, 2008 Last Year's Pups Are Growing Up

(by Kathryn Trussell)
I thought that everyone would like to hear how last year's puppies are doing since a lot of them have been moved out on chains into the main yard.  One of my tasks while Karen and Mark are in Alaska was to get the puppies out of pens and onto chains so once spring comes we can start harness breaking these puppies.

Utin, from the Cree litter, has been out on a chain for several months now so I often forget that he was one of last year's puppy.  Even the day I put him out, he looked big enough that he belonged.  Granted a lot of the puppy fat and extra fur helps, but he never looked little out there.  In comparison to some of the others, he was easy to put out.  He didn't yank himself too much at all and is now very comfortable being next to Wifi.

Since the Candy litter (5 months old now) were getting too big for the puppy pen, there was a need to start moving out the older puppies.  Peeps was already starting to climb and Grit (Hillbilly) could climb over the fence it was time to get moving on this project.  One weekend, Anna & Gabi came over to help me put collars and hook up some puppies to the ready chain and walk some on a leash.  I have to admit that walking these young guys on a leash really helped in having them correct themselves with they were pulling away and we would just stand there.  It also helped us on the Come command and then we'd praise them.  Once I was on my own, my strategy was to take each dog into the garage and check it's collar.  I would give them pieces of chicken throughout this process.  Some of the collars were too big to keep on them on a chain, but were fine for in the pen.  So a few of them had to get new collars and it was easier to tighten them without gloves on in the garage.  In addition, the garage was a new place and they were not comfortable so not as crazy as usual, except for Grit.

Since TopDog and Tie were in a pen located the furthest away I wanted to move them out first.  At that time, Surge just pasted away and I had him in Crunchie's spot.  I thought that one of Surge's boys needed to be there.  Since Tie came out of the pen first, he got it.  TopDog wasn't as eager to leave the pen, but I did get both of them out without too many issues.  TopDog rarely sleeps in his house even in very cold temperatures.  I often find him playing with his neighbors, Fritz, Flash and Tie.  But both Top and Tie are doing very well.

Since these two boys went so well, I thought I would continue on with the boys.  Next came Roscoe and Grit.  For being as crazy as Roscoe was in the pen, he is much more "normal" out on a chain.  He is very manageable and doesn't get tied up and is quite quiet.  I often see him laying on top of his house.  He is very comfortable out there.  Grit on the other hand was a different story.  The first time I hooked him up to a leash to take him to the garage he wanted no part of it.  So I figured that he wasn't ready yet, I didn't want to deal with it yet, so I went onto the girls.

Beauty was already in a pen by herself, so she was easy to move to the garage.  Her collar was good and she walked very well (for a young dog) on a leash so I took her to the chain.  At that time, Nik was the only one near her.  I think he was pleased to be with a female in closer range.  He kept being at the end up his chain to try to reach her and her the same to him.  But once again, no yanking at all. 

Then I got See out and I put her next to Beauty.  See does not like her food bowl in its holder.  By now, I have given up on putting it there, because as soon as I walk away she'll grab it and put it on the ground.  Also, as soon as she sees me start cleaning the boys area, she will make this noise, but not yanking at the end of chain, but this constant noise for the rest of the duration that I'm out there.  Meg is quiet and very cute and sometimes ends up with all 3 bowls.  I've learned that these three girls eat better with their bowls on the ground, so I've left them there.  At first, I thought Meg would have been too short to reach her bowl, but she manages.  Beauty had the "Montana Bug" so she wasn't eating that great until I put the bowl on the ground and I haven't moved it.

I decided it was Grit's turn because I still needed one more pen for the Candy litter.  So like it or not, Grit had to come out.  I carried him to the garage and once I put him down inside, he didn't stop moving.  It took me 20 minutes to finally get him cornered to check his collar.  I had to tighten it a little bit, and then it was time to go out on the chain.  I put him next to his brother, Roscoe and Paxson.  Grit is also very vocal and gets himself tied up and I'm not sure how because the stakeout is not frozen.  Nevertheless, I often have to unwind his chain for him and then he's happy again, but still vocal.

Lastly, I put Daisy out today.  I needed a pen for Roary and since Fritter is in season, she has to stay in her pen.  So it's Daisy's turn and she did not want to leave her pen, so I carried her to the garage.  I checked her collar and it was fine so I opened the door to try to get her outside.  She was quite reluctant, but I eventually got her down to her chain which was next to Trigger, Kluane and Isis.  Kluane, being her (subdued and older) was very nice to Daisy.  Trigger and Isis were a bit more excited.  I had Fly with me and Daisy would often clean out his ears and go visit her neighbors until they got too rambuctious for her.  Within the hour, I caught her playing with Isis.  She didn't whine too bad when I walked away and continued cleaning the yard.

Now I finally had 3 pens open that I could move the Candy litter.  Before they were in 2 pens and I realized that Chicklet and Skittles were the "mean" ones in each pen.  Therefore, I was going to put both girls together.  Well, I did and they got in a fight which I had to break up.  They both had superficial blood on their necks, but I couldn't find any open wounds.  I then put Chicklet back in the puppy pen by herself, but the next day I felt bad so I put her back with Peeps (from the original situation).  The two boys are together, Turtle and Bean and Skittles and Smartie are together.  When the puppies were in the short puppy pen, I had to climb over the fence to escape Skittles, Smartie & Turtle because they always got out when I was leaving.  Now, I figured with only two puppies, I should have no problem leaving.  Boy, am I wrong!!  For feeding time, Peeps always wants to escape and any other time, Skittles and Smartie do.  Just yesterday, I was leaving their pen and Skittles and Smartie both escape.  Cricket is getting very good at running them down.  Skittles got totally scared and peed on herself, but still wouldn't go back in the pen.  So I decided to go in their pen to see if they'd follow.  Well, they did and so did Cricket.  Well, there's no way that Cricket can get out the door without the two little ones getting out.  So I let them all go out again for another run around the pens.  Finally, I get Smartie inside and shut the door and then Skittles comes around the corner and I squish her back in.  This all took about 15 minutes and they really enjoyed themselves.

I took pictures today of the puppies except for Utin since I forgot that he was a puppy last year since he's been in the yard so long that I don't worry about him anymore.  Here is the link:  I have other albums in the same area of puppies when I first put them out that you can look at.

Kathryn Trussell
NW Dog Handler Winter '07-'08

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