It’s been quite awhile since this topic has come up but I thought that we could revisit it today; living with a working dog, their behavior while they are growing up. Time and time again while we do public events people ask how was he as a puppy? Although I refrain from saying, “Not quite hell” I’m thinking it. You see, while cute, fuzzy, adorable, and every other word one could think of to describe Küster as a puppy, I totally believe he was made that way because of his brain. But, I will return to that later in this post.
From the start, my little boy was a handful. Let’s see, the day Houndstooth and I went to pick him up were all good. We visited with the breeder let him run with his litter mates and do his thing. Shortly thereafter we loaded him up in his crate and headed out. Before we were out of the driveway, Küster decided to leave a bit of himself in the crate. I downplay the “bit” now but it was not pretty.
Shortly, after the rest stop to clean up after traveling a whopping two blocks away, we were out on the interstate and heading home. What’s that? Why that’s our little puppy howling and barking. He’ll stop shortly when he figures out he will get no attention. Not. The barking, the howling it continued on and on. Remember, he was born in October and we were able to pick him up in November. That means Christmas music on the radio. Stay with me readers. Does everyone know the CD that has dogs barking Christmas music? At our house, we call that the Küster mute button. I tell no lie. A half hour of a puppy temper tantrum silenced by dogs barking Christmas music. Thank gosh for the Jingle Dogs!
Küster’s first night with us was a Greyhound’s nightmare. We had a wonderful idea to keep our new little puppy in the hallway just outside the bedroom. We put a bed and some papers down using a baby gate to corral him. After tucking him in and saying goodnight to our girls already in the bedroom we turned off the lights ready to sleep. It had been a very busy day already. Suddenly we were awakened to a commotion. The Greyhounds were suddenly in bed looking at us like they had just seen a bug and it was chasing them. Morgan was on full alert as the threat sauntered into the bedroom. It turns out that Küster climbed up and over the baby gate. As we looked down from the bed we found Küster strolling towards us like he owned the place, head up and tail wagging.
One thing that working dogs are known for is being smart and being able to figure things out by themselves. Yep, back to the brain as promised. We kept Küster in our ex-pen while he was little. It was set up in the living room so he was with us, but under control. He quickly became accustomed to turnout. He additionally thought that if he pooped in the pen he would be let out so it would be cleaned up. Küster was correct. It took a month of frog-marching him over to his crate during clean up for that lesson to soak in.
There are other ways to be let out of the pen; Climbing, and jumping are just two. My personal favorite was when Küster was a little bigger and he had some weight on his frame. For a time I thought flyball might be in his future. Küster would jump onto one the side of the ex-pen and bounce off the opposite side. After a few practice runs he when would hit side high and hard enough on the side to raise the bottom of the opposite side. See where I’m going with this readers? Yep, he would hit the side then make his mad dash trying to get out the opening. This was when we decided to start crating. We didn’t want to tell the story of how he guillotined himself in his own ex-pen on the blog.
Would you like more? Can you say, gorilla humping? Küster had a favorite stuffy, that’s all I’ll say.
Tastes Like Chicken. This phrase is one many of our readers know from a few of Houndstooth’s posts. Well, our little puppy all black and fuzzy had teeth. His favorite chew toy was Houndstooth.
All and all we have survived our little monster, Küster. When we started hitting, not him, but his training, he started refocusing that brain of his towards things less destructive. So, before you ask, yes, I’d do it again.