Actually, the puppies turned five months two weeks ago but better late than never! The puppies that left have now all been in their homes longer than they were with me. I have been keeping in touch with each family, and loving every update and insight into how they are maturing and developing.
Each puppy has started training for his or her future career, and all are showing great aptitude in their selected venture! So it seems the puppy aptitude tests and structural evaluations were largely accurate. Very good news and a protocol I definitely intend on repeating with future litters.
Pups also have been through teething, which is now almost done. Teething can make them cranky, cause digestive disorder, even trigger fevers! And most noticeably, teething for some strange reason has a powerful impact on ear position. As such, all five sets of ears have been up, down, and sideways (or all three at the same time), and where they will end up has been an entertaining source of speculation.
I thought it would be fun to share a few details about how all the puppies are doing, so I sent the same list of questions to each family, and am now going to share their replies. Thanks to Mary, Eve and Claudie for taking the time to respond! I’m so pleased with how the puppies are doing and excited to continue to watch them mature and develop.
Because there is so much to share about the others, I will write a separate entry shortly for my two puppies, Griffon and Raven. So, without further adieu, here are the answer for each pup who has started a new, in a new home, presented in reverse order of birth (for a change):
1) Kynic Snap (litter name Cooper)
Snap (or S.N.A.P, which stands for ‘sadly, not a poodle’ in honor of being the first non-poodle in his family) stayed local, going to an agility home nearby. He now shares his life with Mary and David, and canine brother Solo (who is quite happily, a poodle). I have had the privilege of visiting Snap in his new home on a few occasions now, and have been duly impressed by his accomplishments. You should see him rock his balancing act on a Bosu Ball!
Snap and Mary have been attending several puppy classes as well as working on Susan Garrett’s Puppy Peaks and Recallers games and activities from Sylvia Trkman’s Puppy Diaries. They are busy! In addition to building a strong foundation for a future agility career, and learning being a good family pet, Mary and Snap are working on some dog-dog reactiveness that emerged when he was quite young (reacting to my guardian dogs barking) and has become more pronounced in the ensuing months. They been working with some very talented coaches and Snap is making good progress on keeping under threshold and staying focused on Mary around other dogs.
Snap appears to be the only puppy who has inherited his mother’s ears! Of course, the verdict is still out on how they will settle in the long run, but my money is on UP! He also has Kes’s eyes: shape, color and expression.
Q: What do you love most about your puppy? His interest in life around him, the fact that he is busy but not too busy, his ability to grasp some things without repeated explanation. For example, getting into the car. I lift him in. He quickly understood to just go and wait by the car door to be lifted in. He’s so cute!
Q: What has been your most proud moment? His demonstration of some of the skills he has acquired in the past three months. Chosen as ‘demo dog’ in puppy class.
Q: What does he do that makes you laugh? That makes you cry? Laugh: when he stealthily sneaks a toy from his ‘big’ brother. Cry: when, in his enthusiasm, he is not mindful of where he is going and crashes into something.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge with him? Are you making progress? How?Biggest challenge: Reactivity with other dogs. Making progress yes. Hopefully. Introduction to other pups using the 3 second rule. Meet, greet, nice visit and leave.
Q: What is he naturally really good at? He loves ‘getting up on things’ which augers well for agility. i.e. very confident.
Q: What’s his favorite thing to do? eat? To do: Chase things… balls, tugs, chipmunks etc. Favourite toy: a bowl or can that he can scoot all over the floor. To eat: Raw food diet.
Q: What are you working on right now in training? Susan Garrett’s: Puppy Peaks and Recallers as well as attending local puppy class. Trying clicker training with varied results.
Q: What would you like to know about the other puppies? Have they nicknames? Snap does… ‘Dobby’ as in Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter because his ears are mostly pricked but do stick out with a little bent tip. Too cute.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add? I am loving this little fellow and am so pleased to have him here. He has become an integral part of the family.
2) Kynic Bess (litter name Wren)
Bess traveled the farthest to get to her new home, which is solidly eight hours east of me into Quebec. She now lives on a working farm, where she is manager-in-training of a large sheep operation of over 500 sheep, under the watchful eyes of present management – Porto and Bill, and human Claudie.
Bess was the most energetic puppy of the litter, and was selected for her future career based on her unquestioning willingness to engage with her new partner – Claudie – regardless of heat, full belly, or missed nap time. She is the puppy who is most like her dam, Kes, and has found the perfect outlet in her new home for her intense desire to work and boundless energy.
Bess started training for her shepherding career at the tender age of 11 weeks, helping in the lambing pens, and has continued to grow in confidence and skill ever since. She has recently mastered being called out of the pens, and is working on developing patience and not going back in until invited. Claudie and Bess are using Crate Games to help solidify this skill.
Recently Bess has started working sheep out in the big fields. Claudie kindly shared a video of her driving the flock, with help of current Flock Manager, Porto:
Kynic Everything aka Helé (litter name Lark)
Nicknames: Helou or Lou or Loulou, but mostly Lou.
Helé also flew the coop to land in Quebec, and now lives in the heart of wonderful Montreal with her new human, Eve, canine sister, Koro, and catsheep Neron and Hanielle. Helé’s puppy temperament test evaluated her as being a great dog trainer’s demo and assistant dog, which is exactly what she is doing!
Heré has been working as a demo dog since she was 4 months old and is now getting really serious about her job! She seems to know when she’s in the spotlight and really turns on the charm, behaving perfectly for her demos. She is helping Eve teach people and other puppies and dogs how to use positive reinforcement techniques to develop great life and sport skills.
Helé also in training to become an urban musher (how cool is that? I didn’t even know Canicross existed!), acquiring excellent city dog survival skills (bombproof recalls!!), and developing a strong foundation for just about any sport she and Eve decided to try. Eve and Helé are taking a puppy class, various workshops on shaping, teaching puppy classes, and working their way through Susan Garrett’s Recallers, Crate Games, and Puppy Peaks programs.
Q) What do you love most about your puppy? What I love most about her? That she is very easy going, she has a super nice off switch, she just ‘fits me,’ and am happy with about almost everything about her. She tries really hard to be a good girl!
Q) What has been your most proud moment with her? She has an amazing recall, but what has made me the most proud was when I broke my hand, she had a few very boring days but she was a very good girl. Very patient! We had some really rough days and she was really, really great. Did I mention her recall is jaw dropping?
Q) What does she do that makes you laugh? Everything! She’s a little clown. My father calls her clown face. Today she started something new at my parent’s place. We gave her a raw bone on a plastic tarp. So she buried her bone with the tarp!
That makes you cry? She doesn’t really do anything to make me cry. I hope I can find good solutions to help her with shaping so she will be more comfortable and stop shutting down. Shutting down means something is wrong for her, maybe she is putting too much pressure on herself despite my having very low criteria and not pressuring her. I want her to be proud of herself and happy and comfortable doing this training! She seems unconvinced….but we will get through it! And if she never likes shaping then we will find something else that we both like!
Q) What has been your biggest challenge with her? Are you making progress? How? Our biggest challenge is shaping; she shuts down! But we’re working through it. We’ve been following Sylvia Trkman on her Puppy Diary video, and it is going great! Right now she is teething so everything is a bit of a wreck, but that is unusual. Overall we’re making good progress!
Q) What is she naturally really good at? Recalls! She is naturally really good at everything that involves motion. If she has to stop and think, she gets stressed. But if she is moving then we don’t have any problem at all.
Q) What’s her favorite thing to do? Her favorite thing to do, besides herding the cats, is doing recall work. To eat? Liver treats and cat poop!
Q) What are you working on right now in training? Everything has slowed down with training because of my hands, but we’re still working on recalls and have been from day one! Even with a broken hand. It’s an on-going process. We are also working on heeling is just another trick, a really long trick to teach!
we are taking her training for her future career in urban mushing really, really slowly, but she is starting her free running and seems to really love it. And of course her recall makes everyone jealous! She has gone from being the Manding Queen to the Recall Queen!
Q) What would you like to know about the other puppies? I’d like to know how are they doing and anecdotes about them, little stories.
Q) Is there anything else you’d like to add? I am really curious to know how her siblings are doing! Helé is adjusting to city life really well. She loves everyone, has no fear, meets everyone, and wants to be friends with everyone. There is construction work on the street and we live close to a really busy boulevard and she is not afraid of anything! I’m very proud! Also, she settles really well. And she is VERY pretty, and getting prettier every day! She’s a really great dog!
And there you have it – the skinny on how each pup that flew the coop is doing on their Big Life Adventure so far. What an incredible journey they are on! That we are on with them! I am so very, very grateful to Eve, Mary, and Claudie – and their respective families and friends – for opening up their hearts and homes to these puppies, and for doing such an amazing job of helping them grow and develop to become all that they can be. You guys are amazing!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.