Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Keeshonden Are Sensible

Windy - A vigilant mom

With dogs it is difficult to strike the right balance between watchfulness and overly agressive behavior. Most females are appropriately watchful of their babies, this is true of Keeshond mothers also. Dogs are pack animals being 99.9 percent genetically similar to wolves. In a wolf pack only the dominant female is allowed to reproduce. So, even when domesticated mothers have their babies they make sure that no other dogs, even their doggy friends are allowed around the puppies.

Windy, especially when her puppies were younger just chased any dog that even thought they might like to walk down the hall or come in the house. She would speed past them to the doorway where the puppies were and when well positioned would chase them out of the room. She did this quietly and efficiently without even a nip, but she got her point across.
We minimize any distubance by keeping other dogs out of house when puppies are small. Nova, our Pomeranian suffers the most, because she is always in the house and in my room. I finally had to put a quilt over her crate, because Windy didn't even like to look at her when she went to past to get to the whelping box.

In this photo, Windy is standing on the deck telling all the dogs that she has a litter and they will have to wait to see them until she is ready, until then don't even think about coming over here!

Most Kees are so friendly that they would hand over the family silver to anyone who came along. However, their appearance and a bark or two is usually enough to seve as deterrent to anyone who does not belong on the premises.

With puppies you can determine the amount of both barking and guarding behavior you want. If you want only one bark when someone comes to the door, then just use phase,, "Quiet!" or "Enough" and your puppy will learn to bark once and then welcome the person when you say, "Okay."

I will never forget when we visited a famous breeder in England, Margot Emerson, all her dogs came running down the hallway barking up a storm. She opened the door and quietly said, "That will do," the barking instantly stopped and they all just started smiling at her. We have star boarder that comes here who belongs to my friend Mary. She had a habit of barking at the person who let her back inside after she had gone out. When she tried it here, she was puppy and I simply picked her up, looked in face and said, "We don't do that!." A few of these and she dropped the habit very quickly. Keeshonden are very smart!

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