After a long period of waiting, we were finally able to arrange to have our new pups fly over from New Hampshire to join us here in Alaska.
They were born on 14 April, and they are now 5 months old. They coped with the flight well, including their 3 hour delay in Salt Lake City, and despite that, they jumped in our car for the drive north without a qualm. Finn settled down for a nap but Ciara seemed much more interested in the scenery and proceeded to look out the window and lick the door handles for the next 90 minutes.
It didn’t take them very long to seem at home and they quickly have established themselves with the “house dogs” and the 3 bitches that are in heat. However, that first night in the house was enough to convince us that they truly were outside dogs and we duly established a separate pen for them in beside fellow new arrivals, Ruby and Mermaid. Subsequent nights have been much more sleep filled for all !
Our kennel practice here, and back in Scotland, has always been to feed our dogs on tethers or chains. I consider it a useful training tool, it helps the dogs get used to untangling their feet and legs, it creates a calmer environment for the slower eaters who don’t feel pressured, it allows us to monitor who has eaten what, to administer any medications required etc etc. Our guys are all used to it, and as the only times they go on chains are to be fed or to go running, it’s regarded as a “good thing” to be called to your dog house and get clipped in.
However, for two 5 month old puppies who haven’t had collars on, who haven’t had leashes on, never mind chains, it was going to be an interesting time. As indeed it turned out to be……….. The pups are in the “new arrivals” yard just now, so they do have an example of how to behave on a tether right there. However, the youngsters weren’t quite as composed or quiet or co-ordinated. Poor Fionnghall in particular seemed to find the concept of not wrapping the chain around his legs a difficult one to grasp. He was also a bit verbal in his dislike of the situation he found himself in. Of course, nothing happens instantly with dog training and usually patience and perseverance are called for, in order to bring about the changes desired.
True enough, it hasn’t taken either of them very long to figure out that not hurling yourself to the end of your chain is easier on the neck, and not tying your legs in knots is just easier all round.