Thursday, August 17, 2017
Not all Saarloos dogs have this dense and heavy northern coat variety. To a certain extent my Snowsaarloos dogs acquired it genetically by breeding a well furred line, on the other hand the coat quality is determined by the climatic conditions under which my dogs live.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
A 4 month old puppy sitting inside the enclosure waiting for her daily run. The forest tracks are in the immediate vicinity of the enclosure, in fact the runs commence at its gates. No training, but a stepwise model of habituation inspired by the methods developed by Karen Pryor, is used to mold this puppy into a perfect jogging companion. A steady repetition of short distances in succession to finally complete the whole distance in a continuous fast and floating trot. The puppy is stubborn, has an exploring attitude and an innate propensity for laziness. It is no way to teach it to run by force or to motivate it against its will. Habituation will hopefully elicit its own will to become a running mate. At 8 weeks old we started to walk parts of the tracks, following an retired senior dog. Her physical stamina and speed required running sessions to be started at 10 weeks old, still following an older dog. A few weeks later she had to continue the runs with a younger and more fit dog in front or beside her. It is still progressing and gives hope that when a year old she is as good a running mate as the rest of the pack.
A few months later, and there are some improvements in the habituation. Nevertheless, I must be both steady and flexible in my approach. Being too rigid will make her protest and possibly quit. On the other hand; being too yielding will quickly lead to a total failure. We have made some agreements in the process.