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!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A middle of the night update, Apollo is home and thriving!

Apollo: 9 weeks 5 days old
Knightley: 1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days old

My very cute and fluffy boy.
So, Apollo is home and has been for the last 3 days. He is everything I could have hoped for and more. He's very enthusiastic, a quick learner and very physically agile - much moreso than Knightley at that age, which I hope bodes well for his hips.

They are getting along very well although Knightley sometimes plays a little rough and I have intervene. Apollo is so small compared to him! It is hard to believe that Knightley was ever that size. Having said that though, Apollo at nearly 10 weeks old is probably the size of Knightley at 8 - or even 7. That doesn't necessarily mean that Apollo will be a small dog, but it does make it more likely. Knightley is a big boy afterall.

A bit wet from playing in the paddling pool... he LOVES water!
It's nearly 4:30am and I just was up taking both dogs outside for a wee. Apollo has been sleeping in the master bedroom with me for the last three nights in a little fabric crate, but when I came back inside after the dogs had done their thing 20 minutes ago or so, I decided to put Apollo in the big metal crate. He will have to get used to it as I have two medical appointments later today, and he'll be left in the crate. I had one on Monday too, but since that was Apollo's first day with us, we took him along to the appointment in a crate. He just slept (yay!) in the reception area. Anyway, so I just left Apollo in the big crate out in what has slowly become 'the dog room', then went back to bed. After nearly 25 minutes he has FINALLY stopped barking and whining like the world is coming to an end. Poor little thing, he sounds so very pitiful, but if I give in and go to him he'll learn that it's a surefire way to get attention. The best idea is to only go when he has a break from whining.

Such a cute little darling. And so small!
So he's already pretty attached to me - and Knightley - which is good because I was a little worried that he would just bond with Knightley a lot and so he and I wouldn't have a close bond. So far though he is well aware of who mummy is. Probably because I supply the food! On the subject of food, Apollo is doing fantastically well with his new raw diet - barring a little grain free kibble and a few splashes of puppy milk every day. I started him with two meals of chicken with bone (he's on four meals per day) and his stool was looking great, not loose at all. It is much easier to swap puppies onto a raw diet, and Apollo had already been eating beef and chicken mince at the breeders which made my next decision to try him on beef heart easier. I figured if he had been eating beef mince for a while he would likely be ok with beef heart, even though it's quite a bit richer. And he has indeed been fine with the heart. I am still giving quite a bit of chicken/bone to ease the transition, but he is doing just great. Takes a good while to eat his food - his teeth are so small and his eating involves a lot of shaking the food to get bits off. He also finds it hard to get through skin, so I sometimes take that off for Knightley. He is getting plenty of fat with the big fat caps on the beef hearts.

Knightley and Apollo together. You can see Apollo's ears are
quite dark, I think he may turn out a little darker than Knightley.
Other than that they look very similar.
I'm currently focusing on housetraining (not even one accident yesterday!) and basic manners, although I have taught sit, which he absorbed like a sponge. I am not sure how I will manage doing the training with Apollo as Knightley always wants to be with me when I am doing interesting things with Apollo (and food!). Apollo comes really well to his name as well, frankly, better than Knightley sometimes sigh! This is thanks to the breeder who used their names all the time and played come games with all the pups. I think he is going to be a very quick study!!

A happy little lad
So despite still struggling to get over these infections everything is going rather well. I have more work than I can handle from Oz Working Dogs, but I guess that is better than not enough. Can't wait until Apollo grows up a little more and we can start taking him outside some more. Since he got his first vaccination quite late (9 weeks old) he won't be good to go out places until at least 13 or 14 weeks, and won't be fully vaccinated and completely safe until 17 or so weeks. Annoying for socialisation reasons! I want to take him places right now!

It's weird having two dogs now, but Apollo is a happy intelligent chap and learns quickly! So everything going well here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Apollo comes home tomorrow!

Knightley: 1 year, 3 months, 1 week and 6 days old
Apollo: 9 weeks and 2 days old

Apollo on the right. This was taken yesterday after three pups
had already left to their new homes.
Well, the day is just about here, that Knightley gets a new little brother. I'm very excited, despite the fact I have a triple bacterial infection, sigh! But tomorrow hubby and I drive up to Sydney to pick up our ball of fluff and sharp little puppy teeth. I could have pneumonia and I'd still be going!

I'm going to give him a couple of days before we start training in earnest, but the first couple of days will be dedicated to house training and general manners. I am so looking forward to see what happens between him and Knightley. They should be well matched in personality.

Apollo a couple of days ago. This and the following pic are our
formal puppy pics from the breeder! He looks good.
We still have a bit of puppy proofing to do, but I've set up our 'dog room' back to how it was when we got Knightley. Currently we don't have a big crate for Apollo - he's got a little fabric one, and we have a big fabric one too.... but I haven't got around to getting a wire crate for him yet. I will though, it's useful and that's where I feed Knightley, and I'd like to have Apollo with his own. It'll make sure there is no squabbling over nice fresh raw food. I'll have Apollo sleeping beside my bed in his little crate for the first couple of weeks until he can hold his bladder all night, but after then he'll spend nights in a wire crate - so I'll have to get one before then.

Apollo age 9 weeks, face shot!
Definitely looking forward to diving into Sue Ailsby's levels from the beginning again. I'll have to get my books out soon and re-read level 1. From what I can remember it teaches a basic sit, zen (leave it), down, come and target. While you are supposed to do the steps in order when doing 'the levels', I found working on target really helped Knightley 'get it' as regards clicker training. I'll be interested to see how the first training sessions go with Apollo. I'm a much more confident clicker trainer, for a start, and I'm also really really hoping for a more food motivated pup! It was always so hard to get Knightley enthused in his training because he really doesn't care much about food. Hoping for a massive food drive with Apollo.

I am thinking of getting a dehydrator so that I can make my own jerky for Apollo (and Knightley) our of the lovely beef hearts I buy in bulk. That way if I need some extra good treats with Apollo, I can use raw food, or even a little cooked with parmesan or garlic. That is the only problem I've found with raw feeding - finding treats that don't cost the earth for your dog, but are good nutritionally. I feed a lot of beef heart - they come from near here and are from grass fed beef, so I am reassured about the quality. Knightley loves them raw.

That's the other thing I'm looking forward to with Apollo - starting him on raw from day 1 with us. He has already had a reasonable amount of raw in his diet, although it has only been minced beef/chicken. It's much better than nothing, but doesn't offer all the great benefits of feeding a proper raw diet. I plan to use a bit of Artemis dry food in addition (very high quality grain free stuff - I don't believe in feeding dogs grains). Eating raw should slow down Apollo's growth and make hip dysplasia (HD) less likely. I do wonder what would have happened if I had fed Knightley raw from the beginning - would his HD be as bad as it is? It would probably be a little better, even though I did a slow growth plan with Knightley.

I'll be starting Apollo on raw chicken - just a whole chicken cut up into Apollo sized chunks (about 180g, four times a day). Because he's had some raw already, and because he's so young, we won't have to stay on plain chicken for long. Hopefully he'll be eating beef heart by the end of our first week together with no tummy repercussions (heart, while it is counted as muscle meat and not organ, is quite rich for a dog not used to it).

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be very interesting, especially seeing them meet each other. We'll be going up and back to Sydney in a day, so we'll be back just after dark tomorrow. I'm pretty excited!!!

See ya later internetland, will try to upload some Apollo and Knightley pics soon - hopefully showing how well they're getting on!