Christmas Antlers

December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everyone.  I asked Santa for snow on Christmas and that’s what I got!  No coal, just snow. I guess I was nice this past year!

Kimber, our Chocolate Labrador Retriever was 1 year old when we bought her.  She was in a kennel until October.  Now she’s at home with us training and living in the house.

Needless to say, Kimber doesn’t like change.  If something is different in the house, she notices it immediately.  She doesn’t like it, goes out of her way to avoid whatever it is that is new and runs up the stairs into the loft.  You can imagine what it was like when we put up the Christmas Tree.  She didn’t like it at all.

After a day or so, she was fine with the tree.  However, I didn’t turn it on.  We were gone a lot and all of the gifts were in the way of the outlet so I just didn’t bother.  Last night I plugged the tree in.  Up the stairs and to the loft she went.  This morning I turned on the tree.  Up the stairs and to the loft she went.  This morning we were unwrapping gifts.  Yes, you guessed it.  Up the stairs and to the loft she went.  I sat one of my gifts on the fire place.  It’s a clock.  She avoided it like the plague and wouldn’t lay on her bed in front of the fire place.  She went to her crate instead.

My Christmas Clock

Last week, we bought Antlers for our two Labs and our Yorkie.  Kimber saw them and ran.  She wouldn’t allow us to put them on her.  Angel, well you saw my last post.  She sat for me and allowed us to put them on her head and she posed nicely.

Today we were able to do a sneak attack on Kimber.  I brought the Antlers up behind her and she let us put them on her head.  So, we gathered Angel and put her Antlers on her head and posed them together in front of the fireplace.

The above photo is the first one we took.  Keep in mind we are taking them on the iPhone and the shutter speed is rather slow.  The next photo that I’m going to add is Angel glaring at Kimber’s Antlers.  Just after I took the next photo, Angel attacked Kimber’s Antlers and wanted to play with them.  It was so cute.

"Kimber, I want to play with your Antlers!"

Kimber’s problem with not liking change could be a serious problem for most dogs.  Especially if the dog is in the hands of someone who is not experienced in training dogs or having knowledge of dog behavior.

This problem could have been prevented with socialization.  When a dog is kept in a kennel and does not have the proper attention that it needs, it will fear many things.  It will have many problems.  Fear aggression could set in.

To prevent this, heavily socialize your new dog.  Get your dog/puppy used to different sounds, many sounds, banging, walking, vacuums, music, you name it.  Once it has it’s shots, take it everywhere with you.  Let your dog get used to many different people.  Short people, tall people, dark people, light people, old people, young kids, you name it.  It is very important for you to do this.  It is much easier and safer to teach social skills to your dog rather than creating problems and then trying to fix them down the road.

If you purchase an older dog who may have these problems, never ever tell your dog that it’s behavior is acceptable.  If your dog cowers and runs or is aggressive, do not say, “It’s okay, honey,”  when it behaves in this manner.  Why, you ask?  It’s not okay.  Tell you dog, “No.”  Go get your dog, make your dog sit next to you and the problem.  Reassure your dog that whatever it is that is bothering him or her is not actually harmful.  Once your dog is behaving normally, then tell your dog he/she is a good dog.  Never reward your dog for behavior that is not acceptable.

Kimber

Kimber is a beautiful dog with an excellent temperament.  She loves to be loved and she loves to cuddle.  We are fortunate to have her.  She comes from a high quality bloodline and will work towards her titles in the spring of 2010.  Thankfully she is coming around inside of our home and her socialization problems aren’t too serious.

Outside, this girl is a different dog altogether.  She is on target, locked and loaded, ready to work.  She is amazing to watch when she’s training and hunting.  I shake my head at her.  Water is her favorite.  She attacks the water with extreme desire.  She runs fast and elegant.  She looks regal.  Of course I’m sure this has something to do with her pedigree!!!  Kimber is the daughter of the legendary FC AFC Cuda’s Blue Ryder MH and the granddaughter of FC-AFC-CFC-CAFC Barracuda Blue MH.

Please do your dog a favor.  Please always pay attention to your dog and introduce them to new people, places and things daily, throughout their lives.  You and your dog both will be very happy if you do!

Merry Christmas,

Wendy Porch
http://www.TotalRetriever.net
http://www.ShadowhillRetrievers.com

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Merry Christmas

December 21, 2009

It’s nice and cold here in Central Illinois this morning.  Angel, my 5 month old black Labrador Retriever is lying on the couch next to me all curled up and snoring like a freight train!

I have two labs at home I am training for hunt tests and hunting.  They are enjoying the snow.  This season is Angel’s first snow.  She was just too funny when she first walked outside and saw the snow.  Now I can’t get her to come indoors.  She loves to plow the snow with her cute little black nose.

The new Rudolph!

"Do I have to, Mom?"

Kimber, well she just rips and tears through it.  Makes her way to the creek and tries to bust through the ice so she can run in the cold water.

We put up the Christmas Tree and lights Saturday evening while listening to Christmas songs on the iMac.  Our bulbs are plastic, not glass.  Angel wanted to help.  I had her fetch the bulb from my hand and she took the bulb over by the tree and handed it to Jerry and Zachary to hang.  Now she wants to remove the bulbs so she can play with them.

Kimber, my Chocolate Lab wanted nothing to do with trimming the tree.  She doesn’t like anything “new.”  Being indoors is new to her since October of this year.  She was at a kennel until we bought her in June.  She’s now a year and a half old.  Getting her used to new sights and sounds is going to take some time.  Thank God she isn’t gun shy.  We truly thought that was going to be a problem.

Kimber during training

Time to Retrieve!

We took some poppers out and while I was throwing hup hups, Jerry was about 50 yards away shooting poppers.  Each time he shot, he got closer to us.  Soon, he was next to Kimber.  She had no problem at all.  We went through the same process again and then a few weeks ago I took her out with friends to goose hunt.  When she heard the call and the guns, she was ripped and ready to retrieve.

I have a Doctor’s appointment this morning so training the two girls will have to wait until this afternoon.  Blogging will be short as well, at least until I return home.

Angel posing by the tree!

"I love trimming the tree!"