Saturday, February 28, 2009

The end of the sixth week

We take puppies out every day now even though it is still pretty chilly. Today the tempearure outside was below 30F, yet they did not seem to mind.

Yesterday, when I was running errands in Albany, John started the pups on a deer liver. In my opinion, having pups on a raw diet stimulates their attraction to the scent of blood.

Since pups can take short trips outside, now is the time to start reinforcing following reflex. I found this exercise in one of the John's old files; the guidelines wre produced by The Educated Puppy club.

The description of the exercise goes like this:
"Each pup is taken to large, open grassy area. Handler places pup on grass and slowly walks away without speaking or looking back. Go 10 feet, step and face pup. Wait quietly until pup begins a distress "I'm lost" sound. Then, clap hands and move body back and forth until puppy sees you and approaches. Hold the pup's head in your hand for 3-4 seconds. Then walk away slowly again. Repeat over and over again till pup follows you whenever you move off. Do this exercise 5 minutes daily per pup."

I can see potential difficulties with this exercise as applied to dachshunds. They are very nose oriented and quite independent, so usually, unless very young, they are quite happy to follow attractive scents in the grass and they don't seem too concerned whether a handler is there or not. Yet I recognize the value of the exercise.

Today puppies were playing in the yard, and they were learning about stairs and a den underneath. True to his heritage, Ollie was delighted to get into the den.

Olana was trying to climb the stairs and after several attempts she succeeded.

We could buy a lot of different toys for pups, but nothing, absolutely nothing matches all the stimulation and learning that they can get outside "in the real world".

After 20 minutes of running and investigating, pups were ready for a good nap.


Albert A Rasch said...

Those are beautiful animals, I appreciate you sharing their growth with us!

When I can, I am getting one!

I can tell that one of them, one day, will be the dog for me.

Since I lost my beloved Oscar, no dog has really spoken to me like these wire haired fellows.

Again, thank you for sharing them with us!

Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator

Maribeth said...

Hi John and Jolanta. Just returned from Germany and breeding Anneliese with a male named Isagrim Vom Bruchsee. He has quite a good pedigree and is finished with his field work. Beautiful dog. Will know in a month if it took. I'm more than hopeful as we had 2 good ties.