Since I last posted, I retired a pair of walking shoes because they reached 500 miles, got more cute photos from puppy families, started catching up on back logged DCA and DCAF duties, Rhani and Jo Jo play and play and play, we learned that Maxwell and Jo Jo both have reached 17 1/2 pounds, and Jo Jo went to school! Where to begin? Let's start with Rita - now called KiKi! She's doing great with her new family! Kiki is just one more pretty girl in a house already full of them! Poor Tom! See for yourself!
Maxwell continues to LOVE his bed! They apparently hide it from him for most of the day and only bring it out for him about 7PM when he sits at the family room gate and whines for it. Just watch him get his nails done on his bed. It was an entire family affair. How could he possibly object with all that love coming at him? OMG! What a goober! Maxwell didn't come to class tonight but will join us next week! Can't wait to see him again!
I've been increasingly worried about Jo Jo's extreme independence and preference to play with Rhani rather than with us, so I've been limiting his time with Rhani the past couple days. I knew he was independent, but for the past few days, he pays absolutely no heed to me when I say his name. Oh my! So going to puppy class tonight was really important! An old friend, Cooper's co-breeder - Janice Brennan, is an excellent trainer who has started a training business with a colleague. They both previously worked for Support Dogs as trainers so have excellent credentials - AND she knows and loves Dalmatians. I think she trains with the perfect balance of positive reinforcement and no nonsense that a hard-headed Dalmatian needs. While these babies are young and have had only one set of shots, I decided the need to give them a great foundation before they are 12 weeks old outweighed any limited risk of them picking up a bug. Here's a pretty good and quick to read article regarding the importance of what puppies learn especially before 12 weeks and ultimately before 16 weeks. After that, it's really hard to alter behaviors. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/socializing-new-puppy#5
So class was great! There were at least a dozen different puppies there including Aurara and Jo Jo. Our friend, Kara, was there with her 4+ month old Ela, so Dalmatians were well represented! At first, Aurora was a little overwhelmed, but she quickly recovered and did great. Jo Jo was even a bit taken aback by all the different dogs - some bigger than him. At least he respects bigger dogs! Imagine that! Lots of great tips and reminders (if only I can remember them!) Probably the biggest is - DON'T mark bad behavior. Instead try really, really hard to divert to a good behavior and mark that with a treat. We may have to cut out lunches to make room in his diet for all the treats he will need! Can't wait till next week! We will practice what we learned tonight in between! Thanks to Kara for capturing a photo of our reunion with Aurora and the video.
While I am sharing articles, I'm also posting this one about why harnesses are not a good idea. https://www.avidogzink.com/to-harness-or-not-to-harness-that-is-the-question/?fbclid=IwAR0fsBe-Ycb-5JDCg2bMtVNxyV4ZVZ5BwmaMbUSn-_7Ss65OIUqHkzkipL0#comment-2663 The article reports the findings of a study that demonstrated that any kind of halter restricts the dog's natural movement of the shoulders and upper arm/front leg. This can actually damage development of a young dog and result in injuries for adult dogs as they learn to not use their shoulders and upper arms appropriately. I see so many people walking dogs with halters and it makes me nuts. (What drives me over the edge are halters with flexi leads! But I won't go into flexi-leads in this post!) In addition to the actual damage that can result for the dog, you really have no control of a dog on a halter because you have no control of its head. Call me old school, but if you control the head, you control the dog. That applies to both physical control and mental control (training). If you think about it, halters are functionally used for animals that pull things - horses/carts; sled dogs. So it makes no sense that a halter would discourage a dog from pulling! However, the massive pet supply industry is making a fortune from halters convincing the general population that these are somehow more humane because collars damage the trachea. That is only true for some very small breeds. Put a collar on your arm and tighten it to see how much it "hurts". It doesn't. My preferred type of collar is a limited slip or martingale. These slip over the head (no buckle to come undone) and tighten if the dog pulls. There is my soapbox for the night!
Until next time...
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I saved them off as pdf's and was reviewing them last night. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Imagine memories too!