A Long Overdue Update to the Website
Isn’t there a saying about the Capenter’s house falling down or the Plumber’s sink always dripping? Well, I’m afraid that’s what has happened with this site. I have been terribly remiss is updating the status of our pups. Luckily, one of the pups from the last litter went to a great family in California who is provides us fantastic, detailed updates on their girl’s progress.
The Yocum family welcomed Red vom Last Chance in June. Red was the largest pup of the litter. She was a bold but calm pup who didn’t take guff from her sisters. She had a confidence and self assurance that reminded us a lot of her father, Duke von der Balthasarley.
Seth sent us an email a few days ago. I asked if he minded if I post it as well as some photos of Red. He graciously said yes. It’s a really nice summary of the beginnings of training a Wachtelhund pup. Red is becoming the great dog we knew she could be.
Red vom Last Chance
Hello, Kraig and Trista -
Just thought I’d drop you a line and let you know how things are going. Red is happy and healthy and fitting in nicely here in Central California. She is also quite big. At her 12 week appointment she was just a hair shy of 22 lbs. When my vet asked how large the Wachtels usually get, he chuckled when I said 55-65 lbs. He said it was a bit to early to predict, but wouldn’t be surprised if she was on the larger side of typical.
She has been very quick to learn the house rules and is a top notch citizen. No furniture, no jumping on people, no teeth on skin. Red loves kids and still looses her mind a bit when they’re around, but she really tries hard to keep her excitement at bay. Red has also taken quite nicely to her indoor crate and outside run. Being that both my wife and I are teachers, Red will be spending a significant amount of time without supervision (7-8 hours a day), thus the run conditioning. She is up to 5-6 hours a day and
In addition to her crate/kennel training, her other training is going very well. Red is growing quite competent with her basic obedience. She is about 95% consistent with sit, stay (about 10 seconds), come, no, and release. She is as consistent on whistle as she is on voice. We’ve begun to add a few distractions and she is still very responsive with these commands. We are also working on waiting at the door until I release her, which is a challenge when she knows the boys are on the other side. But again, she’s doing well. Of course, all of her obedience training is still on the six food lead, but we will be introducing the 50 foot check cord soon. I do believe she is ready for the challenge.
Her retrieving is still a work in progress, but is becoming more and more successful each day. Kraig, you were right. Red is very mouthy. She is constantly carrying something around, whether it be a toy, a stick, a horse hoof, or someone’s sandal (oops!). After speaking with you a few weeks back, I began to back off with the formal “retrieve” training and focused on praising her for bringing whatever it was that she had in her mouth to me. This has become a favorite game of her’s, the “let me show you what I’ve got” game. I began to introduce to command “hold” at this point as it seemed a natural segue into a gentle form of “force fetching”, if need be. Long story short, following this different approach, yesterday Red made 11 retrieves of 10-20 yards to hand. Pretty good for a little girl. Interestingly, this morning during our retrieve session she began to swing wide on her return, a behavior I haven’t seen from her in the past few days. I began to act excited and clap my hands to get her attention and then realized that she needed to pee. She held the bumper the entire time and then returned to me when she was done. I realize it might sound a bit weird to take pride in her “pee” retrieve, but I see it as definite growth in her commitment to the game.
Water work has been entertaining. There is no doubt in my mind that Red loves the water, as she plays in her water bowl enough to make me nuts. In fact, I’ve had to fashion an access restricter on the waterer in her run just to assure that she doesn’t dig out the entire 4 gallons while we are at work. She is also eager to cross the shallow irrigation canal in the farmers field across the street. What continues to perplex her is the swimming pool. Being that it rarely drops below a daytime high of 90 degrees here from June through August, we are in the pool numerous times each day. Sunny (springer) swims regularly and can even do a few different ”dives”, while Gus (bulldog) wants nothing to do with it. Red has found a spot right at the edge of the pool, drinking, barking, and running numerous laps each session, but has still not committed to jumping in. I placed her in the pool several times and although she is a competent swimmer, she is primarily focused on getting out. I stopped placing her in the water as I didn’t want to scare her, but she has managed to fall in with increased frequency over the past week. I’m sure she will be performing a few of her own “dives” soon enough.
What’s next? Much the same as we are still quarantined to our property for the next few weeks. Unfortunately, the Central Valley of California is notorious for Parvo, especially in the summer months. You run a serious risk of major illness or death if you get too liberal with where you take you puppy prior to final shots. Fortunately, we have about 2 acres of property to utilize, enough to suit our needs for the next few weeks. We are slowly but surely working on the command “heel” as I am a runner and this command is central to one of our favorite activities. It’s been a hard command for me to commit to since it requires that I keep her nose off the ground, but I bought a harness yesterday with the intention of starting blood trail training tomorrow. I think that this will allow me to differentiate between nose up while on lead with collar and nose to the ground while on harness with lead. I will be modeling the Dave Pepe article on blood trail training for puppies. If you have any helpful advice with this training, please let me know.
Sorry for the long winded e-mail. I didn’t intend it to be so, but I guess I just have a lot to report. Hope all is well with you and yours (and Red’s sisters) and will speak with you again soon.
Seth W. Yocum