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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I've Been Silent for 3 Months

His name is Angus, and he's now nearly six months old.  Since he came to live with us last May at seven weeks of age, I've been doing the "new mom" routine and have had precious little energy for sitting down and giving advice to others on how to raise their puppies.

Angus is a Labrador...my husband's choice for a buddy and hopefully a hunting partner.  We got him from a respected breeder in Helena, Montana, about four hours away.  Since Day One, he's been an exceptionally sweet boy--sensible, inquisitive yet unchallenging, and just a tad lazy, which is a nice alternative to a bouncing-off-the-walls Lab disposition.  Believe me, in the past 21 years I've seen every conceivable type of Lab and Lab behavior come through my classes, and I am thankful that Angus' personality and disposition fits into our quiet, laid-back lifestyle so well.

This has been a good refresher course for me in puppy-raising, and a chance to practice and prove the validity of the techniques I used to preach each month in "Puppy Parenting Class" at Manning Dog Training in Yakima.  They have worked...Angus  hasn't jumped up on anyone or done any "play-biting" since the day we brought him home.  He hasn't destroyed anything because our floor has been littered with dog toys--primarily Nylabone wishbones, Kongs, and rope toys.  And he's housebroken because we practiced "supervision and/or containment," using a drag leash on him when he wasn't in his crate.

Angus is blessed, as are we, to have a wonderful "big sister" and role model in Lizzie.  He adores her, and the feeling is mutual, although she seemed to appreciate him a lot more when he was still smaller than she is.  I'm a strong advocate for having an older dog to help raise a new pup.  It doesn't always work, and the older dog isn't always thrilled...but, for the most part, it's usually good for both of them.

So keep the "New Puppy" questions coming, along with any other behavioral questions you might have about your dogs.  Angus is a lot lower maintenance these days, and I anticipate having a bit more time on my hands as the days grow shorter and colder. 

Oh, wait......what's that he has in his mouth NOW??????  

1 comment:

Rhonda T said...

Hi Jan. Congrats on adding Angus to the family. From the sound of it, he isn't much like Cinder! He is very handsome and I look forward to seeing more pics and stories in the future.