The past few months I’ve been laying out a training plan for my new puppy: the posts and pages are my written down guide for what to start teaching in the first 6 months or so. That plan is very detailed and very ambitious: I don’t expect Levi to master it all, either.
I want to give the little guy every chance to succeed, and a chance as every category of SD work that would be useful to me.
That doesn’t mean he’ll rock them all or even most all of it, but in the process, I can really get to know him. By trying all sorts of task foundations, I can quickly discover what Levi’s going to be a natural at, and what might need more focus.
Believe it or not, there’s an awful lot more for my dog to learn besides what’s in “the plan” before he’s done training, but what I’ve written about is plenty to keep us busy long past 6 months old.
Now that I’ve gotten the training plan laid out, it’s wait time: two weeks or less until Levi begins his life with me! This is when the self-doubts, and the “can I do all the work” starts to set in. That is often cured the moment a tiny little pair of eyes looks into mine, though.
While I wait, I got things to do and decisions to make: I expect he’ll have to relieve himself in the crate, so what will I take to give him a bath before we start the drive home. I hope he isn’t, but perhaps he was scared and lonely in the shipping crate, so how will I comfort him and begin our bonding? Questions like that.
I’ve ordered what I think will be a safer vaccine made by Merial, the makers of Frontline and Heartguard. http://www.amazon.com/Recombitek-C4-25-Doses/dp/B000O5DVWK called Recombitek C4.
It first, doesn’t use cows to incubate the pathogens so there isn’t the contamination of bovine protien which many suspect is the culprit in auto-immune reactions in Great Danes.
Also it has altered the viruses, not just killed them, so there’s no chance that the vaccine can suddenly cause the illnesses it vaccinates against.
(Ever get the flu from your flu shot?)
And lastly, it is suppposed to overcome the maternal antibodies a puppy gets through its mothers milk, which can counter the effectiveness of some vaccines. It is expensive, and none of my local vets use it, staying with the typical multivalent 5-7 pathogen shots. Since I don’t want the extra risk or worry, I will give the Recombitek vaccine myself.
Levi will have at least one set of shots before he ships, and may have had 2 shots, so I will wait until he’s 12 weeks old to vaccinate again. Then one last time at 16 weeks, at least for this C4, so he’s protected against parvo, 2 adenoviruses, and distemper.
Its only 5 or 10 minutes away, which means we can go pretty often, for excercise, and cooling off. Looks like this summer is going to be brutal hot.
Swimming is a wonderful exercise for Danes, just as it is for humans. It keeps them cool in the heat, is a non impact exercise so it’s easy on their growing joints, and is an alternative to running about in the yard. I get bored with the same exercise too, so we’ll have other options!