Puppies 2012 – The Ninth Week and Beyond

Just because the puppies have left our homes doesn’t mean that we’re no longer involved in their new lives!  We are always available to our puppy buyers to help them with any problems they may have, or just offer advice.  We have had puppy buyers contact us with vaccination queries, toilet training advice, feeding advice, and just to share lovely stories about their puppies. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.

“Douglas” (was “Jakkalberry”) the sleepy cowboy puppy.

"Boomer" kept his name in his new home.

“Boomer” kept his name in his new home.

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Dogs Learning Through Modelling

For those who have read my about me page, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have always been into dogs and their training. As a student at school, I always tried to make my assignments about dogs where possible.

I remember doing Stage 2 Psychology in school, and how immensely easy learning theory was. I was doing this already when I was training dogs!  We had an oral presentation on three aspects of learning (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and modelling), and I chose to base mine on dogs.

While classical conditinoinng and operant conditioning was easy to talk about, I had difficulty finding examples of modelling in dogs. To this day, I still struggle to find examples.

That’s probably why I was so excited to find this video (shared by PuppyTales – thanks!). It shows a young puppy who is hesitant to go down a small flight of steps. An adult dog walks past a number of times and the puppy eventually follows suit and descends the steps himself:

This video is getting a lot of publicity for the cute factor, but I am more interested in how the puppy demonstrates an understanding of the adult dog’s behaviour, and how it relates to their own. Obviously, there are other factors in play for this puppy descending the steps, as well, but at least part of the puppy’s success is related to the adult dog’s descent.

So, I want to ask, when have you seen a dog model behaviour of another dog? Do you use modelling to train dogs? I look forward to your responses!


Strangely, today Stanley Coren posted a very similar post on his blog! Read “Dogs Learn by Modelling the Behavior of Other Dogs“.

And a new link: Children teaching a dog to jump on the bed.


The Week in Tweets – 22nd January

This is our near-weekly instalment where we share what we’ve tweeted about in the week gone by. If you don’t like waiting for this post, you can always follow us on Twitter.


Tweet of the Week

This week, my favourite link I shared goes to an article written by Karen Peak called “Choosing the Rescue Route“.  She suggests that potential adopters be prepared (e.g. do some research on dog breeds), consider whether to go through a kennel rescue or a foster care rescue, ask themselves “Is this really a rescue?”, and avoid rescues that give guilt trips regarding dogs. A valid resource that explains that rescue is not always the ‘right’ option for everyone.

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Puppies 2012 – The Eighth Week

Jakkalberry, one day shy of 8 weeks old.

Jakkalberry, one day shy of 8 weeks old.

This was another stinking hot week and we, again, didn’t get out as much as we wanted to. We did, however, manage to take all six puppies to a shopping centre for the Boxing Day Sales which was excellent.  We saw so many different nationalities at these sales that  it was well worth the excursion.  It was a big day, and it was reassuring that some of the puppies were relaxed enough to sleep in this busy environment.

We also took the puppies out to another shopping strip during the week where we had to fight out way through crowds, which was also a good experience for them.

We managed to get everyone happy and relaxed in their crate to sleep through the night this week.  The only puppy that was a bit exceptional was Kelinni, who objected to being crated in the puppy area but was quiet next to our bed.  Not only did this upset the other puppies, to hear Kelinni crying, but it also made me worry that Kelinni would get into the habit of making noise in her crate. Because of this, we compromised and had Kelinni next to our bed (in a crate) at night. Her new home was happy to continue to have her sleep like this, and I suggested they move her crate out of the bedroom over time if they want her to sleep somewhere else.

Apart from Kelinni, all puppies were sleeping through the nights in their crate quietly, and by themselves. Success!

And then, just as I had got them to be pretty good little dogs, it was time for them to go!

Daisy, dreaming of her new home.

Daisy, dreaming of her new home.

Our puppies come with quite a puppy pack, and I had these all ready for them to go when their puppies were collected. They also go with a crate to sleep in in their new home, and lots of other bits and pieces, of course.

Puppy packs, ready to go!

Puppy packs, ready to go!

Alfalfa went to a home to be ‘co-parented’ by a mum and adult son team.  Man and Jakkalberry went to homes with young children, with the whole family much anticipating their arrival.  Kelinni went to a young child-less couple and will get the opportunity to dabble in showing and sports.  Daisy went to a home with young kids to join another border terrier and be involved in working on the farm, dog sports, and maybe showing as well.  Finally, Boomer went to a family of triathletes! So he gets to lead a busy life running, swimming and everything else.

At home, we’re just happy to take a breath and be puppyless for a few months before we get around to doing it all again!