Monday, 24 August 2015

Raising 'A' Puppy

I have raised hundreds of sled dog puppies. With the support system we have created within the kennel and the experience I've acquired over the years, raising a well adjusted sled dog has become almost a habit.
Oh yeah, there are the occasional 'hiccups', but for the most part it is a pretty smooth process.

I have raised a couple single 'non sled dog' puppies over the years - Skeeter, my first dog - and Fly, our first 'yard' dog - but it has been a long time! Cricket, Bet and Bear all came to us as adults.
I had forgotten just how much work it is to raise a single puppy into a responsible canine citizen!!

Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying Twig immensely - and she is a smart little pup that catches on very quickly. Housebreaking is pretty much sorted - she figured the dog door out in no time. Though she does think there is a chance ALL walls may open to exciting new places if you paw at and bump them with your nose. It's pretty amusing.

I'm a big believer in letting puppies find out the consequences of their actions. Watching Twig corner one of the cats and find out that cats 'explode' when you pester them too much is not fun. My nurturing side (yes, I have one - it just doesn't extend to human babies) wants to scoop her up and protect her before it happens - or coddle her afterwards.  Neither will result in her being a good canine citizen though.

Same goes for her and Bet. Bet is extremely tolerant, but Twig has to learn there is a limit to that. Bet is completely supported in her corrections of the puppy - that extends to growling and even snapping.

She's got her head stuck in peanut butter jars, in chain link fence, fallen off couches, and tried to drown in the river. I bail her out only when things get dangerous.

Dangerous applies to the dog yard. She is not even allowed on the same side of the house as the dog yard at this point. In time, but not until she is much, much bigger

Many have asked if she sleeps on my bed. Nope. That is an earned privilege and she is too young to have earned that. She has her own well appointed kennel outside that she sleeps in and spends time in during the day.
It's important for her future life to learn how to behave in a kennel and crate - and much easier to deal now, when she just figures it is part of life, then to 'retrain' her later.

She has learned to hand over inappropriate toys, stomp in the river, eat politely out of her bowl next to Bet, give the cats room, be respectful of the guardian dogs (I'm not kidding - Bear gets scared and runs away if she jumps all over him), ride on an ATV, ride in a crate in the van, be quiet in her kennel and much, much more. But there is still SO MUCH more to learn!

I'm looking forward to and dreading it all at the same time!!!

1 comment:

Taz said...

Twig is SO cute! Have fun with puppy training.