I know it has been very quiet here, but I have had a very exciting development, and I didn’t want to jinx it.
Many years ago, I fell in love with the german shorthaired pointer as a breed. I knew I wanted one, but it was never practical. When I became single again, I joined the national breed club, a local breed club, and started working on the breeder of my favorite type of the breed. She tried very hard to help me out, but unfortunately, there were no puppies for me.
Then my breeder-friend had a friend with ten puppies who were from the same lines, and my friend was going to get one. So she asked her friend if there might be a puppy for me. HURRAH!
So now we have a new addition. His name is Bacon. We had great plans to give him this sophisticated name like Giove and Bijou, but I met him, and it just wasn’t going to happen. He is Bacon.
Without further ado, here he is:
I apologize for the sleeping photo, but he’s pretty hard to capture in stills right now.
Early this week, he and I made a 12 hour journey from his breeder to my home. In addition to being a healthy, conformationally-correct puppy, he’s also incredibly resilient. That is one of the things that means the most to me. Reputable breeders do their best to make sure all puppies get the proper socialization, but especially with a large litter (TEN!!), there are always spots that need a little work. I lived in suburbia when I bred two of my puppies, and they had more problems with sounds and people just appearing in their space when I moved into town. (One is particularly reactive, which I think is genetic, but even her littermate tends to bark at environmental change a little more than other dogs.) One of my puppies was a singleton and has never adored puppies (although he had plenty of adult dog socialization, he didn’t get a ton of early puppy-puppy work; classes weren’t working in our schedule and I didn’t know any other puppies!)
Bacon hasn’t met many non-GSP dogs up close and in person. He has seen them (his breeder boards dogs) but he hasn’t played with any. He was a little cautious about the new dogs, but he is so resilient, within a few minutes, he is figuring out that other dogs are fun (much to Giove’s chagrin.)
He also spent most of his life with littermates, or penned near the big dogs, so being alone is stressful. He made himself hoarse crying the first day. However, we’ve been using positive methods to reinforce quiet, giving him puzzle toys (kongs, etc) and he’s slowly but surely figuring it out.
On the plus side, he has done very well with all of the traveling, and aside from an urp or two during the 12 hour travel, he hasn’t been car sick or really cried in the car. (We discovered singing “Happy Birthday” over and over quickly calms him and he usually falls asleep now.)
He doesn’t bark when people come in, and he is learning his name and has a decent recall now. He loves to play fetch, and we’ve been using this game to wear him out to help with the mild separation anxiety. He has two dog walkers who are enjoying him and who are helping to reinforce the potty training (NOTE: training him is a million times easier than a cavalier!)
I am a firm believer that 5 minutes a day of well-planned, well-received socialization is a lot better than 30 minutes of chaotic, so-so socialization. So we are doing a little a day, and keeping everything positive.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more of the details of what I do for socialization. I hope you will come back and check it out!
BTW, any suggestions for a registered name which includes the word “Tocino?”