My sponsored DSC1 and route to stalking PLUS puppy diary

Puppy diary, volume 1

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Hi all,
As an addition to my DSC1 and stalking blog, I'm starting ot this puppy diary for anyone who might be interested. It will hopefully chart another of my learning curves as I enter the stalking and shooting world, in which despite my lack of experience I already feel like I belong.
The pup in question, as some of you may know is a GWP x Labrador. No doubt this will have the breed purists spitting, but for us (that's to say, me and the wife who tells me what to do) the cross made sense. We wanted a lab as I grew up with them, albeit only as pets with no working interest. Alas, a pure bred working lab would have stretched the finances a bit at the current time, and our friend who had promised us a pup had to disappoint us with the news that her bitch (who is a lovely character and great looking lab) wasn't in pup despite being, in her words "well and truly mated!"
So, the GWP/lab was a cross I'd already heard of. Many people sang their praises as brilliant working dogs, and why shouldn't they be? Both parents were bred for it. As for temperament, I already knew what to expect from a lab, and as a kid I was obsessed with dogs so I remembered reading up on the GWP as well. I know the traits mix, but I was willing to take a mix, as it seems both breeds have good outnumbering bad.
I'd already seen Mike's pups advertised, but did nothing because of our friend's potential litter. When we found out it wasn't to be, I wasted no time at all asking Mike if he still had a bitch (of the 5 labs I'd known growing up, the two bitches were my favourite). It had been a good few weeks, and I fully expected him to say no, but due to some time wasters he said he did. We travelled up to see them, and I was immediately impressed. The young pups looked healthy and happy, and both sire and dam were nice dogs in great condition. The wife fell in love with the only bitch with the tiniest white tail tip and the deal was sealed.
Over the last couple of weeks we've amassed various puppy paraphernalia - two cages gifted to us, a strip of vetbed cut off a roll, bowls, food, a tiny collar, a fluffy penguin (already her favourite toy), his and hers whistles and a multitude of other doggy items that one takes for granted until you have to buy them all for the very first time.
After a bit of a count down, Poppy, as we've named her was collected and brought home. In the car she cuddled on my lap for the whole journey (extended by holiday traffic, roadworks, and awful weather) and barely made a sound. She was soon fast asleep and only woke once or twice for a curious peek out of my armpit or a half-hearted little whimper.
She spent the rest of the day settling in, learning the house and having me try and predict her toilet needs (with mixed success!). Last night she slept in her cage on the bedroom floor, and she's been good as gold. I took her out after a few hours in bed, and when I put her back after a little bit of play she settled quickly. She's been awake since, for a little whine and whimper, but (being careful to wait until she was quiet) I comforted her for a moment and she was asleep, where she still is now.
I left my parents house almost 6 years ago, and ever since then I've missed having dogs around. Until now. I'm anxious that she'll bond with us, that I'll train her well, that she'll be happy. But what a privilege to own a dog from puppyhood. I'm sure the pup and I will learn together and end up teaching each other.
If anybody has any good advice for the next few weeks, please feel free to comment. Criticism fully accepted as long as its constructive and considered!
And for those softies amongst you yes she's absolutely gorgeous, and I'll try and get her to hold still for a photo later.
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  1. stratts's Avatar
    Only just caught up with your puppy blog mate it's going to be interesting to follow as I may well be in the same situation this time next year with the same cross!!