The tile is taking longer than expected, maybe going on until the end of the week. But last Saturday night was the last one I have to spend sleeping in the kitchen, so the end is in sight. I’d love to put some photos up soon, though I have to wait for the photoshop software to come. I tried downloading it, but no dice, there wasn’t enough RAM in the new computer for a download that size.
Still, I can find pretty colorful pics to share here from the internet! This is a rug set I’ve bought for the various rooms. There’s the bedrooms and entryways and stuff that will need rugs. There’s a lovely echo effect with bare tile!
I wanted a 10×13 or bigger for the living room, but that’s hard to find with a latex backing. (I tend to trip on turned up and skidding carpets). I also want to get some fitted furniture covers, and insulated curtains next month. It may be August but fall and winter isn’t too far away.
I know…this is a blog for dogs, not home decorating! But that’s what I’m stuck doing, for the next couple weeks anyway.
Despite the current state of exhaustion, I figure it’s best to get done what I need to get done now, so I have the winter to rest. As said in an earlier post, I chose tile for it’s being waterproof and easy to clean–less work keeping the house clean for a new puppy.
The rugs I’m looking at, the furniture covers, even the paint type I chose (enamel) has the same purpose: easy to wipe off, or throw in the washer sort of products. The less time I spend scrubbing, the more time and energy I have for a new puppy next year. I found this great article about puppies in general, though it is geared towards assistance dogs. Being the science geek I am, this was my “cup of tea”. http://www.puppyprodigies.org/Early%20Learning%20Focus.htm
“The most influential time of a puppy’s life is between three and six weeks. Fear is not present in newborn puppies. It begins to develop slowly around five weeks of age, and increases gradually until it escalates in the fear imprint period during the eighth week.
Therefore, there is a window of opportunity between three and six weeks of age when anxiety levels in the puppy are the lowest they’ll ever be in their entire life. Anything the puppy is exposed to between this timeframe will therefore be associated with low anxiety.”
Once again, this proves how terribly important it is to choose your breeder with the utmost care: that 3-6 week old socializing window is entirely up to the breeder to make the most of. The early exposures a puppy can have is limited only by creativity really, within the parameters of safety of course. For instance going to different dog parks for an unvaccinated puppy is terribly unsafe. But being wrapped in a blanket and carried into different stores or human environments during the course of those weeks (away from the litter) is an excellent idea.
If you are a breeder, please, please consider improving your early development skills for your litters. If you are looking for a puppy, consider choosing a breeder who uses these techniques. Puppies intended for pets or working dogs alike need the ability to cope with stress, to be unafraid of human generated noise, and accept frequent handling. http://www.puppyprodigies.org/Early%20Learning%20Program%20Highlights.htm
I’ve also been studying charts and graphs about Dane structure in much more detail than ever before. The Great Dane Club of America has an illustrated guide to the standard here: http://www.gdca.org/illustrated-standard.html
I still haven’t gotten the “show lingo” to penetrate my skull too well, though I’ve joined some Facebook owner handler groups to try and learn. They’re also a good resource for which judges like what if I choose to show the next puppy.
Since agility and dog sports aren’t an option for me to practice working with the puppy in loud and distracting environs, as well as accepting handling etc for the Canine Good Citizen test, that leaves showing as a possiblity. Or at least conformation classes.
Knowing the standard isn’t just about beauty though: this pic shows the structure a Dane should have. Variations like too long of a body, or a shoulder with the wrong angles has a direct effect on longevity, in terms of arthritis and joint issues. Even if you are only wanting a companion dog, rather than a working dog, the more you know about health and conformation, the more of the predictable orthopedic troubles you can avoid.
Danes don’t live long, and their prime working age period is short. Sadly, seven years is the average life span these days, so if a dog has good structure, and is well cared for, 10 years of healthy life isn’t too much to expect. That is, barring things like bloat or cancer, or those infernal ticks…
I’ve also updated the feeding and growth page to the right. The links were old and difficult to load now that the articles are archived. So I’ve put new ones up. And I’m still researching particular food brands, in the hopes of creating a list of foods that are good for giant breeds. Most recently, I’ve found the Innova large breed puppy is one of the very few “puppy” kibbles that has safe mineral and protien levels. The adult large breed is also spot on. http://www.innovapet.com/products/941
All the things I’ve written about lately have been ways to give a Dane puppy a leg up for becoming a working dog: early neural stimulation and socializing before 8 wks old for their temperment, being picky about their structure and conformation, putting the greatest time and effort into their training from 8-16 weeks old, too (as opposed to cleaning the house).
It may seem like I’m idle, with no dog to work with right now, but truth is, I’m gearing up. Educating myself, reading and studying, preparing the house to be as little effort as possible all have my end of the deal in mind: the right puppy choice, and the very best love, care, and training I am physically able to provide.