Puppy Boot Camp
Who is training whom? That will be the question for the next few months. But the training began in earnest this morning for both the puppies and me.
Vanni keeps the sheep at bay while Tella steals his breakfast.
Everything Susie said about the pups is true - Vanni is a serious guard, and Tella is a bundle of raw energy.
We started our lessons this morning - I took each pup in turn out into the pasture on the leash to sniff around, see if the big dogs wanted to interact, and just generally give each pup a little experience surviving without the sibling. The pup back in the pen took up a bit of caterwauling, but the lessons were short. My plan is for this separation to get a bit longer and longer each time.
Even Tella gets the "Sweet, Quiet Game."
Susie also suggested keeping the main lesson to one particular behavior for a while, so as not to confuse the young dogs. They're so big, it's hard to remember that they're just ten weeks old, and don't have much of an attention span yet.
Tonight, I took them more water (they regularly tump the pan I have now, so I will be looking for a better solution) and we played the "sweet, quiet game." The rules of this game: I will stroke you gently and reassuringly when you are not jumping up, and when you are not trying to chew on me. In just a few minutes, they figured out the object of the game and were sitting and licking my hands as I told them how wonderful they are.
Chew bones help pass the time.
Patience. Strategies for long term success. And more patience. For once I have a virtual canine clean slate - no retraining a dog with lots of old baggage. Just praying I don't lay any dumb baggage on these awesome little guys.
Got any training tips?