Naturally there are puppies delivered almost around the year, but it seems that there are excessive amount of them going around right now. In the Club Show I mentioned earlier there were loads of puppies and I know of some batches just about to leave their home. Puppy love in it’s best.
I’m sure the puppies will get excellent, loving and caring homes for the most part. And as natural as that is, there are those who will find home only after one or two tries, which is very sad in it’s own way.
Every breeder has their own ‘rules, regulations and guidelines’ on how you should feed and care for your new puppy. All meaning well, all aimed for one thing only: the wellbeing of the Irish Wolfhound puppy in it’s new -hopefully- permanent home.
The question is, what is the only way to do it right?
Like I said, every breeder has their own set of guidelines, which have things in common, but have vast differences, too. We have the guidelines from three breeders, and they all have their differences. In some cases even very big differences.
And that is where the owner comes into the play: how clever, interested and curious she is about the dog, the breed and the overall handling and wellbeing of this puppy. Will she do whatever the breeder has stated, even if she sees that the guidelines are not working for this puppy? Will she have the nerve to make her own decisions? Will she have the courage to call the breeder and ask even the most stupidest thing if she’s not sure about it?
We have been blessed with three things: magnificient breeders from whom our dogs came from (especially the first one, for she paved the way for the interest in the breed), great interest in doing the best for the dog (and the breed in general) and some prior experience about dogs before our first gentle giant.
Because of the fact that the breeder trusted us so much that we got to do our own decisions from very early on (she insisted that we should use our common sense), we have experimented with feeding, excercise and training in general. We have learned from our mistakes, corrected them on the way and rejoiced from our successes.
And noticed how little we really know.
One of the questions I got asked in the Club Show was that how can one start training this 10 week old puppy to become a lure courser. What could I say except to love her, to play with her and just live with her. No restraints, no limits and no demands in the beginning. I citated the Holy Triangle several times, as that has proven itself to be valid and solid foundation for a healthy Irish Wolfhound.
What usually seems to be difficult to understand is the movement of a puppy: most of the breeders emphasize that you shouldn’t make your puppy run excessively at young age, and that long walkies are especially bad. Long meaning walkies over 15 minutes at a stretch. For us it has been so that the puppies have had full freedom in our yard from very early on: they can run and play as much as they want. There is one thing I’m very strict about: the puppy will do what she wants and when she wants (except eating). If she wants to sit, she sits: no-one should force a puppy to move when she’s resting. The puppy may sit down in the middle of a shorter walkie: she should be given the time to get up herself.
That is the only thing I would forbid from a new puppy owner completely: forcing the puppy to move. Free running and playing is for the good of the postural muscles, which pays in the long run in better agility and balance. Forced movement (pulling from the leash, urging the puppy to continue when she’s resting and so on) only causes damage to both the body and the mind of the dog.
But then again, the last one applies to the whole life of the Irish Wolfhound. They are clever enough to get along without forcing them to do anything.
The best for a new puppy: unconditioned love and loads of free movement with set feeding times and ample resting.
I could live with that, too!