Maggie settles in as a pet


Maggie’s first week and a half as a pet have been great!  She is such a good dog!  She loves to run, play ball (with anything she can pick up), splash in the kiddie pool and play ball again!   She loves it in the country, and when she has a chance, she will try to get horses to chase her (generally they just watch her as she runs crazily around them, I am sure wondering what she is trying to do).  She usually gets tired of this about the tenth circle around their legs, then just “grazes” along side of them!  Fascinating to watch…and they are all so tolerant of her.

We took her to a local lake, and walked her down a boat launch ramp, and before I knew it she was totally in the water ready to swim across to the other side!  Fortunately I had her lease on and kept control of her…but she definitely loves the water.  At the same time, she was very good about ignoring the ducks and ducklings, though she was a bit curious about how they floated on the water…:-).  I am proud of her for not wanting to chase them!

Speaking of ignoring small animals (which used to love to chase), she has exhibited lots of self-control off lease when she encountered a very surprised baby bunny!  Maggie began pursuit to play with the little fuzzball, but at my command to ‘leave it”…she did just that…stopped in her tracks and returned to me…while a very relieved bunny made its escape to hide in a woodpile.  She also encountered a full grown rabbit one early morning when I let her out to potty.   She looked at it, as it made its escape, but made no attempt to chase it as I yelled “leave it”.  Birds evoke no interest in Maggie (again, something she loved to chase in her “youth”).

Maggie has learned a lot in her 21 months, but she was just not cut out to be a service dog.  Since she is such a “people dog”, and energetic, we are going to pursue training her as a “Therapy Dog” and/or expose her to Agility Training either for competition or just to keep her sharp and thinking.

We are happy to have her as a pet, and she seems happy to be a pet.  Two of her siblings have gone onto “service”…her “Big” brother Buster is off to be a Courthouse Dog, and Lucy is off to be a Facility Dog…both jobs fit their personalities perfectly.  Two other siblings, Carol and Kate, took the same path as Maggie, and became pets with their raisers.  As mentioned early on, the failure rate for these dogs is about 50%, so this litter is about on the average.

Last I heard about Marcia, she is doing just fine enjoying her life as pet as well.  She is quite the swimmer, too.  She has lots of opportunity to do just that in her puppy raiser’s pool.

Keep posted as we consider another puppy to raise (probably around September).  In the meantime, I will keep you posted on Maggie’s adventures and pictures (sorry no pictures this time).

Thanks for following!

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2 Responses to Maggie settles in as a pet

  1. Liz Garthly says:

    Happy things are working out so well! Hope you and Sue are well and that you are blessed with many happy years ahead with Maggie:)

    • pmbender says:

      Thanks Liz! We are really enjoying her. Just found out that 3 puppies from a new litter are being discharged before they start official training. They do evaluate the pups to determine if they are sensitive to noise, different surfaces, etc. They also look at their personality at that early 8 week stage to determine if they have anything in the disposition that may disqualify them. Not sure what the issues are with these little ones (2 girls and a boy).

      Phil Bender http://www.myservicedogtraining.wordpress.com (CLICK “Follow” to keep up-to-date)

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