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!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Internet, meet Apollo!

Knightley: 1 year 3 months old
Apollo: 7 weeks 3 days old

So, in two weeks times we are embarking on Downunder Assistance Dog: Mark 2. The temperament testing last week went really well. We travelled up to Taree without a hitch and met the lovely breeders and their adult dogs. Then finally, we met the litter. They were so lovely, lively and happy. It was great to see what a lovely area they had been brought up in. I was pretty nervous and worried, because we'd come a fairly long way to find a new assistance dog prospect, and I really wanted to succeed with this litter.

I was also there to help temperament test some of the girl pups for a family with a boy with autism, to make sure we picked one that would fit well with him.

Our puppy on the right.
We set up in the shade because it was a very hot day - especially for us Canberra people!! So, the first dog we started with was a boy, with a green ribbon around his neck. He was extremely curious and affectionate on my lap which was great. He was happy to get attention at my feet. Hubby moved a couple of metres away and called him over and he sprung towards him eagerly - despite the heat. The other puppies were still milling around a bit at this stage, but 'Greenie' focused on us, it was very impressive. We next tried him out with our squeaky toy, which I had got specifically for our new pup. He was very curious, ran around after it eagerly. Then we tried a retrieve test, throwing a mini tennis ball and he brought it back, to my hand, twice... despite all the distractions around. We were very impressed - and the very first pup we tested! He watched the umbrella open suddenly but didn't draw back at all, and couldn't care less at loud sounds. The pinch test was great - about 9-10 seconds, meaning he wasn't particularly physically sensitive. A good thing when a dog is going to be wearing a harness/vest etc. He seemed a very friendly, happy and well balanced puppy.

We tested all the boys after that. They were all pretty good, none of them flinched from the umbrella, they all were interested in the squeaky toy - but only Greenie retrieved.

Meet the Internet, Apollo.
We tested three of the five girls for the breeder. Two of them were very good for bombproof-ness, probably the most important aspect for a pup going to a house with an autistic child - or any average family really lol! One of them actually wanted to investigate the umbrella/loud noises. I thought that was great. The other one was the only other retriever of the litter. If they had been wanting a full on assistance dog, I perhaps would have recommended this one, but the other one 'Dark Pink' was just so bombproof and loving I thought she would be the better match.

So it was obvious to us which puppy we wanted. While the others were pretty good, Greenie retrieved and that is often a big indicator for trainability as an assistance dog. So, he is ours!!! We racked our brains for a name for a few days and eventually (thanks for the suggestion, mum!) came up with the name Apollo, for the Roman god of healing. We pick up Apollo two weeks today.

The litter today, getting fluffier every day!
Knightley is well, we continue to do a reasonable amount of training. I am keeping up a little bit of his public training because I want to use him to train Apollo in what is expected of him in terms of public behaviour. I feel sad when I do take Knightley out as he really is well behaved, and I wish that we had been able to be the team we were meant to be. At least he will now have a best friend to play with - and very soon!! Knightley is currently undergoing treatment for his hips in the form of Zydax injections weekly for four weeks, and he'll get that every six months. It should stop his cartilage degrading too fast from the osteo-arthritis that goes with his hip dysplasia. Now it is warming up we hope to have him swimming regularly soon.

This breeder has been a real find, and it was really exciting to see the litter, and all the adult dogs. Their mother is a gorgeous Golden, quite dark and very delicate looking especially in the face. Although I like having male dogs, a part of me wants to own one of those feminine beauties.

So the pups are growing very well, and Knightley is as well as can be expected. Oz Working Dogs is growing and doing well, and I'm considering buying a new sewing machine. I've been pretty busy with it.

So that's us for the moment. We're up to Sydney next weekend for a wedding, and Knightley will be going to my parent's place again for the weekend. Then the following weekend, it's time to pick up Apollo. Can't wait!!

'Til later, internetland.

1 comment:

  1. YaY! Glad you found a pup!

    Can you give me more info on the Zydax? People do post on Raw Feeding and especially Raw Chat about treatments for hip displacia, so I'd like to have some links to info about that, if you can.