Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Don't faint, it's a new post!!! Temperament testing the litter this weekend!

Knightley: 1 year 2 months 3 weeks old
Possible puppy: 6 weeks 1 day old

I know, I'm a very bad girl. It has been so very long since my last post. Hah, that sounds quasi-religious.

The reason, once again, is Oz Working Dogs. When I started it I was rather tentative about its prospects of suceeding, but now it is very obvious that it is taking off in a big way. Especially this last week I have been working very hard - probably too hard - and I'm exhausted. I am stocking all sorts of things now, toys, first aid, dog cologne, and making quite a few vests, capes etc. I am happy that I am making others happy with the equipment.

I've also had several bouts of sickness since my last post, including one big whopper of a migraine coupled at the same time with some sort of flare in my primary illness - fever, bad rash, joint pain - which had me as close as going to a hospital as I've been since I spent my 29th birthday in ICU. After that horrific experience I swore I wouldn't go back unless I was half dead. Last week made me reconsider, but I did get through it.

The good news is that Knightley and I have been getting back into training some more. We're working hard on his recall, and it's improving - even at the dog park, gasp!! He's very good at coming at home, even when he is doing something fascinating outside. We continue to work on Level 3 of the Sue Ailsby Step to Success Levels, but without the urgency of before. If I get a new puppy, I plan to take him back to the beginning with the pup. Sometimes I realise how much Knightley does know, especially the indoor manners that are so useful in turning a dog into a nice companion.

Ready world??? Here we come!!
So the big news is the litter of puppies I talked about in my last post are old enough now for temperament testing to see if they are up to assistance dog quality. While temperament testing gives you just a guide of how good the puppy could ideally be when it grows up, it is a valuable tool to rule out puppies who are definitely not going to make it. I am very excited to meet them. The breeder has continued to send photos of the puppies daily - to the point I feel like I already know them somewhat. I'll also be temperament testing some of the girl pups. One of the families getting a pup has a high functioning autistic child, and they're getting a girl. The breeder wants my input to make sure they get the right pup. I've had a chat to someone who is very involved in autism assistance dogs, and with my own knowledge of temperament testing I think I'll be fine to find the right girl for the family. Or maybe two, and then I'll get the breeder to judge which one the child bonds better with.

A small part of their awesome puppy yard, completely with pipes
to crawl through, little seesaws, all sorts of things that blow in the
wind, balls, toys, objects hanging from ropes... just so many thing
that contribute to making a scare proof well balanced pup.
We leave for the trip up to the breeders later today, and it is a long drive - about 7 hours including breaks.... so we are splitting it up there and back over three days. First day will be about 4 hours driving or a bit more, second maybe 5.5 and third 5. Not a bad split. We'll be testing the litter on the second day. I am pretty positive about finding a good prospect in this litter - even perhaps two. These pups have been brought up extremely well, with an amazing expansive puppy yard filled with all sorts of interesting objects. Compared to how the first litter I tested (very very timid litter) was brought up it is just completely and totally different. These puppies have every chance of being amazingly well adjusted dogs. The breeder doesn't let them go until they are 9 weeks old as she vaccinates late, which is fine by me as an extra week with their litter and mother is good continued puppy education and socialisation for the pup. They are a touch over six weeks old now, and will be just about 6.5 weeks old when I test them. 7 weeks is meant to be ideal, but next weekend just wasn't going to work out. They'll only be four days off the ideal, so I think that will be fine.

If there is a puppy in the litter for us, we will have a few purchases to make as I have held off getting things like a crate, bed and mat, although I will be able to make all the leads, collars and harnesses that I desire. The main thing I want, with the whole of my being, is for this puppy to be healthy. If we had another pup with hip dysplasia I would find that extremely hard to accept. We will get PennHip done on this puppy, early, so we know what we are working with.

The puppies exploring the spray from a hose leak. It's so wet!
Knightley will be staying with my dad while we are away, as my mum is also away down on the coast. So I think that will be a bit challenging for him!! He's hoping to engage my brother as a helper to tire Knightley out and babysit him a bit. It's a good idea. My brother lived with us when we first got Knightley, and even though he has grown up a LOT from the lanky adolescent he was when my brother moved out, my brother is still more familiar with him than my parents.

So this weekend is make or break time. Cross your fingers and toes for me as I desperately want to get back on the assistance dog train!!

Will give you the news soon internetland, as to whether Knightley has a new best friend.


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