Winter Has Returned to the UP and Puppy Chewing Tips

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Dora woke me around 5:15 am. So, she, Kea, Rosie, and I hurried to the door–I couldn’t wait to see if it had snowed. I am so like a little kid when it comes to snow. It was a huge, depressing, kick-me-again, let-down to see there wasn’t any. Bummer.

I stoked the wood stove, put the peculator on, went in and picked up each of the new puppies, gave them some attention and lovin’s and then crawled back into bed and pulled the covers over my head. The girls joined me. Bliss. Pure bliss. We cuddled for a bit…sort of.. I tried to cuddle, Kea and Rosie were being jealous of one-another and “mouthing,” and Dora growling a bit at them because she really wanted to cuddle and nap without puppies bugging her… they settled and we all dozed for a few lovely minutes listening to the wind howl. I could have stayed there all day. But, after a little while, it was time to get up and get this show on the road. Too much to do…

Layers of long johns would be necessary this morning. And my favorite turtleneck sweater because the wind is howling. The thermometer says 22°F, but the widget on my cell phone reports 10°F with the wind-chill. I said I liked the cold, right? So, two pairs of Smart Wools (makes my boots fit better), the rabbit fur-lined hat because I didn’t want my Kromer to blow off (because I got it too big), my have-to-have wool-scarf, the long cowboy duster with wool liner, Muck boots, and Swedish mittens my Dad just sent me (thanks, Dad!), buckets of water ready, food ready, and out I go to take care of my Llewellin pack.

It actually had started to snow! (calls for a whole-body wag!!!) Woot-woot! It was mostly blowing side ways more than down. Still, the field behind the barn was now white. Excellent, things were looking up!

The dogs had a great romp, and a nice, warm breakfast. And, here we go again–Lady Bird is in heat, now! It never fails—they all come in at the same time. Mia is finally coming out of hers, but Luke still keeps visiting her and acting like he’s super cool studly dude (which he absolutely is). All the girls love him. He is such a cool dog and is always sweet and seems to actually court the gals. He plays with them, lays with them… he’s such a gentleman about it, instead of wild-man maniac.

Addie is coming out of her heat and eagerly returned to her kennel this morning, instead of flirting with Luke, Ike, and Steele, or standing at the fence hailing the coyotes and contemplating running off with them.

The young pack needs more time out to run. So we do. I work with them a while, then let them explore on their own a bit while I see if putting some ashes from the wood stove on the driveway might help with the ice that is now practically completely covering it. They insist on trying to help me. The ashes were not hot–I took them out of the stove Saturday, I think, but Llewellins helping me apply ashes to the solid-ice covered driveway was certainly a treat. We were all slipping and sliding. Too funny. They have to see what I am doing all the time. Love that. My pals.

Back inside and Kea and Rosie are just hanging out in their crates, looking so stinking cute. Just laying there patiently waiting for me. They easily took to their crates again. And even go in for a nap on their own account. It hasn’t been any problem at all. I always try to make crate training as fun and rewarding for the pups as possible (yes, I use treats when I am teaching them). I give them their breakfast and out they go to play and stalk pigeons again.

Kea
Kea

The snow and wind have picked up and it is frigid out there. They could care less and have a grand time playing.

Rosey
Rosie

Puppies and Chewing

Llewellins are chewers. Or at least it seems many of mine are. Especially pups. And some more so than others. I’ve had Llewellins that didn’t chew at all, but others that are very orally fixated. It’s best to provide them with lots of things they are allowed chew on, put up everything you don’t want them to chew on (like the piece of wood Rosie has!), and when/if you catch them in the act of chewing on something they shouldn’t, first try to get them to bring you the item–don’t chase them to get it, they love to be chased and it won’t work. When they bring it to you, praise them and give them something they are allowed to chew. This works very well for me. I don’t really bother scolding much. I might give an “ahhh!” when they approach something I know they are going to try to chew on, but really, just watching a pup and keeping them busy with things they are allowed does the trick.

You must understand that a dog needs to chew. Rather it be to alleviate painful teething or even more painful boredom, you need to understand them and their needs. Give them a beef knuckle bone and they—and you—will be very happy. I also love to give them strips of thick leather—like from old leather collars or leads with any hardware cut off. Toys will just get eaten in a matter of days. Very few make it longer than a week and you must throw it away at the first signs of fraying, tearing, or bits coming off of a rubber toy. For instance, I just bought about $40 in toys last Friday. Dora immediately “de-squeakerd” the two Angry Bird toys. The pups didn’t even get a chance with them. The bird toy with a rope on it is surviving. The toy bone, I had to throw away after two days. I know better. Save your money on the junk toys and get a variety of bones or try to find some old leather harnesses, etc.

I don’t recommend letting them have an old pair of shoes–why can they have that pair and not your expensive ones? That never made sense to me. I never ever give them socks with knots tied in them either, for the same reason and if a dog swallows a sock it is death or a very expensive surgery if caught in time to remove it from their intestines. I also do not like stuffed animals. My dogs just de-stuff them quite quickly and the stuffing can also be deadly to a dog’s intestines. Some rope toys are okay, but keep an eye on them for fraying and throw them away at the first signs. Kong toys definitely stand the test of time with older pups.

So try lots of different shapes and textures, rotate them often so pup thinks he has a new toy and keep children’s toys, socks, electrical cords, etc., out of reach. Understand their need to chew, provide good options, and you just might survive it! 🙂

 

Finally getting white again!
Finally getting white again!

Off to work, now. But I will be finishing posting the new, two-week photos of the Dora x Steele litter, some training articles, and the calendar is almost ready to unveil!

 

-ML

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