Friday, March 24, 2006

A Little Bark - Meeting New People At The Door

Mary Telleen and her daughter Julia Allison with
Fofair Spring Season, (AKA) Luna

Mary arrived from Boston, Massachusetts with her daughter Allison. She sat quietly on the sofa and observed that all of the puppies were lovely and whichever one I put in her arms was the one she was taking home. A breeders dream come true.

Since we are with the puppies from birth we get to know their personalities. Who is outgoing, who is quiet and who is the most active. One of Mary's observations was that her new puppy was the color of the moon, silver, and thus her call name "Luna", also named after Luna Leopold the famous geologist that discovered the ways in which rivers develop over time.

Puppies are very impressionable. They are subject to reward and discouragement. Things that you praise will be repeated, things that you discourage will diminish. So, what happens when they bark? Mary discovered that Luna had a voice when she walked her out in the yard and she gave out a little bark at something that suprised her. No reaction to a suprised bark is probably the right one. Luna is a little explorer, packed with personality she was the one who started the games with her sisters.

But, if someone comes to the door and there is bark? In training guard dogs a bark at the door is encouraged until there are multiple barks, then the dog is jumping at the door, agression is encouraged in this type of dog. Most peopel would prefer it if their dog barked to let them know someone is at the door. After one bark you can say, "Okay", let the person in and introduce them to the puppy. The puppy being a Keeshond will gladly greet the newcomer, and might even give them a kiss.

Do not let the puppy jump up on a person coming into the house. The best way to handle this from the beginning is to have puppy sit and then let the new person pet the puppy. Puppies quickly learn that they are the center of attention and may get over excited when someone new comes into the house. To avoid this, sit down and talk quietly with the new person while puppy plays with a bone or toy. You can admire the puppy but make it sound like you talking about the weather!

One little note about greeting people if your dog does not like them, especially a Keeshond who pretty much likes everyone, think about it for a moment.








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