Poodle Puppies start their initial training
The weather has finally given us a few days of less than heavy rain and some scattered periods of funny yellow and blue stuff in the sky so the mud is starting to dry somewhat. Meanwhile Cherry and Napoleon’s puppies have commenced their initial training. They have been exploring the big world outside of the puppy pen and learning about clickers and nice things that come when they give me behaviors that I like. They had a great time exploring new surfaces and new things with a banana skin being a particularly big hit. Cherry had to check it out first of course, as all good mothers do, but once she gave it her approval it was on for young and old with puppies on each side of it in a great game of tug of war. Then there was licking to see what it tasted like and after all this of course we needed a big sleep, on my feet of course.
They were also introduced to scatter feeds and having to investigate their area to see where I had hidden interesting items that were good to eat. This work is all essential for producing puppies that are well socialized and know how to think for themselves and to offer good behaviors that can be rewarded.
Poor monkey, normally their favorite toy was all but forgotten in the excitement of fun new things to explore and play with. He did get an occasional bit of attention when a piece of food fell on him in the scatter feed. He had also had a good wash as he was getting to be a stinky monkey as baby puppies do not really understand the nice concept of only weeing or pooing in acceptable places. It is at about this age that so many puppies are offered for sale as it is pretty tiring constantly using the mop, bucket and disinfectant to clean up after then. However it is also at this time that so many of the important socialization and training skills that only a mother can teach her puppies are put into place so that these puppies grown into healthy well adjusted adults. One of these skills is the learning that occurs during puppy play where they learn the nuances of doggy body language and how to read the very subtle signals such as a raised lip and sideways look of the eye and minor changes in ear stance all of which are the clues that dogs give each other in their version of language. Puppies that miss out on this vital learning in this period are often those that have difficultly interacting with other dogs when they are older and show up so often in training classes with poor dog to dog communication.
Now that the puppies are growing up they are interacting more and more with their dad however he is not so keen on the toe biting that they particularly like at the moment. For that matter I am also not so keen on having my toes attacked and have to quickly find distractions to substitute when three puppies with their sharp puppy teeth attack my toes. They are responding well to my “ouch” but tend to just look at me with a look that is so mischievous and a comment something like “Oh did that hurt? Sorry but we needed to see if your toes were nice to eat”.
We also had a great session last weekend where Napoleon, Cherry, Annabell, Jed and all 5 of their collective puppies were introduced to each other. More on that next week and hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to edit the video we took and load it to YouTube.