and the day to day lessons they teach us.
This past summer we had two large litters at once giving us a total of 16 puppies. They were whelped on two separate floors of the house and spent their first four weeks of life separated. When each litter turned five weeks we gave them the entire front half of the kennels for night time space. From the get go, these pups will use the strawed kennels to toilet and the middle area and dog houses for sleeping/playing.
The matches I made to create these puppies were based on temperament, as I am looking to move my Service Dog breeding program forward with Auggie and Mithril's lines. Using Colorado Mountain Dog females to provide me with the perfect parameter of personalities for both Therapy and Service work.
It worked. When I pick up a puppy from the Reckoning litter, tha
pup melts into me, seeking the light touch of faces I adore so much. No wiggling or attempts to escape my embrace. They are a little "licky", using their tongues to get the full on human-contact experience. I have noted Anthem's (dam of the Reckoning litter) licking habit a few times. It now seems this is an inherited behavior. Anthem will still "lick" but she has mastered the art of licking the air just milimeters from exposed skin. Its amazing really. Now that I know, I can counter condition the pups out of the habit.
The specialty breeding of dogs meant to perform particular work for people takes a keen eye and a very dedicated vision. Knowing your lines and knowing each parents' strong suits are necessary breeder tools.
"Rosemary", pictured here, is unique to both litters, being the only black and white pup. She has taken on her dad's short coat, which makes her completely unidentifiable as having majority of her breed content being German Shepherd and Great Pyrenees. And for sure anyone's last guess would be a Malamute to be her great-great grandfather. A visitor recently asked where the little pointer came from. Haha! pointer...as if. My first thought is that Rosemary is far too mellow to be a pointer. She has very little "chase" in her drive and even less drive in her swagger. She has Bonnie Lee's ability to sit with you and commune. I have also felt her forehead get warm when being affectionate. This is a "tell" that comes from Auggie. Any pup of his heritage that has this physical response tends to excel at service work training. Rosemary's first leash-walk experience also showed me her potential, as she only had to feel tension on the leash once, and decided close to me was the place to be. Also not a Bird Dog trait.
Diamond, pictured left, has the shining. Much like his grand dad Auggie, he can read people like nobody's business. Right now, he is vocal and unsure of how to use his super powers. We have begun focusing on his meal times for gaining communication with him. Eye contact and a light hand gesture brings him away from the fray to a separate eating space, which he enjoys very much but doesn't make a fuss when another puppy invades his space. He has Mithril's blue undercoat with white guard hairs, giving him a sterling silver color. His physique is that of a strong mobility assistance dog. Every about him says Diamond.
Not every puppy can be a therapy or service dog, as much as would love that. My responsibility as a breeder is to place my pups in environments where they will thrive and have a life-long beneficial relationship with the people I place them with. Lulu, puppy pictured here is a little spit-fire that needs an active family that likes to camp and hike. She will give her all to accompany her family. Her mid-high prey drive will be a riot with any toy you give her. Lulu will need strict guidance in her pack, as she is bold and opiniated. She may be mistaken for a Golden Retriever when she grows up, the curl in the tail of Colorado Mountain Dog heritage giving her away. She will enjoy regular grooming and the attention it provides.
After much deliberation, we welcome St. Stephen to our pack. He brings everything we need to the table. Size, structure, intelligence and temperament even color have all lined up for us in this pup. Somewhat stoic, somewhat happy, he will start his Mobility assistance dog career with learning to use his body correctly and with care. Agility and Utility obedience will be our focus. Sometimes it's the scoring and tangible physical attributes... Sometimes the deciding factor is just a "vibe" I get from a dog. This puppy made it very clear that he wants to stay in the Timbers of Fennario.