Day 38-All about Puppies!

Today the puppies got their first opportunity to take a short ride in the car! They were all kenneled in one large kennel and we went for a ride to get them used to the movement and the different surroundings.  Hopefully these brief road trips will help to prepare them for their first long trip in two weeks where they will have a two hour ride to their next journey where they will spend two weeks in Duluth at the prison for their first training series. They all did wonderfully and they came back without any real stress about their experience which is great!  When they got back from their jaunt, they got right back to the business of playing like nothing had happened!

Time to learn about car rides!

Sugar wanted to go along to supervise the transportation education….

Sometimes I have to stop and laugh because I have this huge area for the puppies and I think it’s hilarious that they all gather in one TINY spot!  In the pics below you see 6 of the pups squished into one area, and then you see Mr. Orange who figured out the REAL way to get a good nap…….Smart Boy Mr. Orange!

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Today I was reading a book titled “The Monks of New Skete-The art of raising a puppy” and I was intrigued by the information I was reading about.  It dawned as me as it has many times over the years that for every “answer” to a training or puppy raising question, there are 100 more “answers” to that very question.  So, how does everyone figure out which answers are the “right” ones?  And which ones will make the puppy we bring into our house the best dog it can be?  That’s where it gets murky……

-This litter has an intense instinct to scratch the ground after going to the bathroom.  Some “experts” say that dogs scratch at the ground after going to the bathroom because they are trying to cover up their smell; others in the field say that they are scratching to “spread” the scent to diffuse the potency of it that might draw predators.  In the end, the big picture seems to indicate that the final result is to lessen the possibility of predators finding them due to a centralized scent, but the two theories of what they are doing are exactly opposite!

-I thought weighing the pups was purely for the purpose of keeping an eye on them and seeing which ones were gaining and to catch any issues if one of them began to lose weight. Some experts say that weighing the puppies is supposed to be an early opportunity to look for personality traits which I had NEVER even considered before!~ Do some squirm more than others, not like to be on their sides or in a confined container while being weighed-which ones are more reactive, more vocal and more sensitive to touch…..imbalance than their counterparts raised without such stimulation.” (from book above)

This gives just a small idea of how hard it is for anyone who brings a pet puppy into their family to try to figure out exactly what the right thing to do really is-and for a service dog puppy you can imagine how that becomes so much more complicated!  Luckily for us volunteers, we don’t have to think too much about it because it is our role to go to classes during the puppy raising time and we are trained by staff trainers who let us know what they want us to teach the dogs, how to go about teaching them the needed tasks, and what is important for them to know to get the desired results!

Sugar ran into the play area, stole one of their toys and came back out to taunt them from the outside……

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