Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer Fun

I decided that it is just too darn hot to do anything serious today. Now, I know you are thinking "What serious things could puppies possibly do?" Well, we have lots on our list this week. Things like bird introductions and evaluations but the birds are too hot and so are the rest of us. The pups hunkered down on the cool slate floor after their walk and breakfast. They woke up briefly for lunch but with temps still in the low 90s, they went back to their siesta until 5 PM.

At 5, I decided it was time for fun for everyone so we all headed back down to the creek. I like puppies to see adult dogs swimming a lot since I think it affects how they see the world so I figured even if they didn't swim, the pups would cool off and watch the other dogs swim. In addition, they could have some summer fun--playing in the shady grass, wading or swimming in Clove Brook, mucking around in the mud, chewing on sticks and, the best fun in the world, digging.

Well, they did all of this and more. There are photos and videos posted. WARNING! You won't see clean, fluffy pups in the pictures. Instead, you'll see wet, muddy, grassy, happy puppies. I'll try to remember to take a picture later tonight because they will be dry *and clean* by 8 PM. They have my favorite kind of coats--truly wash and wear!

Once we were all cooled off but before the mosquitoes ate us alive, I decided we needed to do edge and stair training. I believe that given the opportunity, puppies at this age can learn to discern the danger of edges and can make reasonably good decisions regarding getting off of things. That is one of the reasons that we have the crate jungle gym in the puppy pen. On it, they learn they can fall off of things, in addition to assessing differences in height and see-through footings. This must be innate in dogs if we get them off of flat surfaces and give them the chance to learn.

Today it was time to take the lesson out of the pen to our rock walls and stairs. I'm sure these multi-level patios were built for other reasons but they are also great for teaching pups about these concepts. It is particularly important here because our woods have many extremely high cliffs, stream banks and walls that can be a danger to naive puppies. You can see the pups tackling the stairs and walls in the videos. Like all pups, they learned that going up is much easier than going down so you'll see the pups going down are like salmon swimming against the tide of their littermates.

I think that's about it for today. Signing off from hot and humid Cold Spring.


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