This is the age , I think puppies look their worst. Half way between puppyhood and adulthood , growth spurts can throw their legs, head and movement all over the place and you wonder sometimes where the puppy that had so much promise has disappeared to. Around this time also they start to drift away from their reliance on you and become much more independent. Disappearing on walks and ignoring recall in favour of satisfying their own compulsion to hunt, chase and play.
While Uisce is quite like her mother in regard to her growth pattern and has kept a very even growth rate so far , she is definitely testing the boundaries in relation to basic obedience. I , persomally like to see some independence coming through at this stage . I like them to range out from me and don’t put much restriction with regards to keeping close while out walking. If I need her to stay near to me I keep her on leash and reward her by allowing her to run free again.
She follows her mother closely on walks . Smelling what Winnie smells. Copying her body language when hunting. Her mother still, more than any other of my dogs, teaches her about life as a future gundog.
Zoe, my springer, is for playing with and Chester is her comfort blanket. Slowly but surely Uisce is being absorbed into the pack , finding her feet and taking her place.Most of the work I do with her at this age is based around socialisation . Every oppurtunity is used to expose her to different situations, people, dogs noises etc. She is taken in the car with me on a daily basis. Sometimes in the company of one of the adult dogs but also on her own. She needs to be comfortable in her own company and confident to deal with situations without the back up of other dogs.
It’s difficult to tell how much potential she has a gundog yet. She readily carries anything in her mouth. I use a variety of objects when I throw puppy retrieves from cloths, tennis balls, plastic bottles and their favourite thing crocs! Retrieves are kept short, in a small area and are only thrown once or twice a week.
She is sitting and waiting well, has been one of the easiest puppy’s to teach to stack for the show ring. Although I will need to teach her to be slightly more animated… Again this is something I don’t get concerned with at this age. It is much more important that she enjoys her time in the show ring . I don’t care if she lies down, rolls over , bounces instead of trots. As long as she is haiving fun inside that ring then that can only be good. Once she gets to Open dog level then we can get serious.