A Day in the Doggie Life!
A Day in the Doggie Life!
A Day in the Doggie Life!
I suspect that some may wonder what it is like to have many dogs so I thought I would share a bit with you about what our days look like. We are devoted to raising our Labs with family love, care, training and attention.
We start each morning just like any other family that gets to share their lives with dogs…we let the dogs outside…we just have a few more to let out.😀 After some exercise all of the girls gather around the front door and patiently wait until their name is called before coming back inside for breakfast. We do expect them to wait and not bound through the doorway and they do learn manners from an early age when teaching and expecting good behavior (which we encourage our adoptive families to do as well). Let me clarify a bit though…. some aren’t always ‘feeling’ patient. They need reminders and redirection at times but they are such good dogs and they are quick to respond to reminders. Sometimes they want me to make sure that I see them first and that I call them first so they do the FULL body wag so as to not be overlooked. We have such fun with them and all the while, even when they are excited, we expect manners and they have them. The simplicity of this daily happening sometimes still amazes with. We can have 12 dogs looking up at us with their gorgeous eyes and talking eyebrows and their happy body wags just waiting, all together, all waiting for their names and the okay command.
They come in for breakfast after the morning potty break. All of our girls and boys are fed in crates so that they never feel like they have to compete to gobble up food although Labs are pretty good at gobbling. Once they are in their crates with their food we have our girls and boys wait to eat. The bodies may be wiggling and their mouths drooling but they just watch us and wait for the hand signal and verbal go ahead to eat. We may wait 5 seconds or 5 minutes. This is a small ‘training’ opportunity but I think that whatever opportunities naturally present themselves for teaching and training then certainly take advantage of them. They eat twice a day so this is a great opportunity. Having them wait keeps the focus on people, it helps them to remember that you are the one that gives them their yummies and they are needing to be submissive to you. Our 6 year old boy can be the one they are looking to for the signal which is fun to see and it is helpful for him to know that he can love up and feed the dogs and not get taken over by the dogs if that is what is expected and laid out. Dogs really want to understand their boundaries and expectations and to know who is in charge. When we use the daily small things to train and maintain good behaviors and manners and then we don’t have big behavior issues. Once the ok command is given they all go for their bowls and it sounds like a waterfall. Yum, yum, yum. Now we move on to playtime.
After breakfast our dogs then go back outside. We live out in the country. There are four fenced areas that we have on our property with several acres fenced in in each area. We also have unfenced areas that we can use and enjoy with the dogs so exercise and opportunity abound. So, after breakfast we may do some training, go on a walk, tend to grooming like baths or clip nails and such. We seem to spend a large chunk of each day giving belly rubs and throwing the tennis ball for retrieving fun. Of course we have piles to pick up and vet visits and cleaning and such but pretty much everything involves or revolves around our dogs. There are times when it can be limiting raising dogs because we choose to not leave the house for more than 5-6 hours (that would be a REALLY long day away) because we want to be available to care for our dogs and puppies but the great sides of sharing our lives with Labs definitely keep my focus. As I write this I have Beauty by my feet warming near the wood-stove, Oona is snoring in the entry, Olivia is in the bathroom snuggling her three day old pups, Cia and Therese are playing tug with a toy, Truffle and Missy are staring at me with their beautiful eyes and Tina and Toona are getting ready to head out to explore as Bryce does some more chores. We are so thankful to share our lives with Labs.
There is summer swimming, and winter snow fun along with some dog shows and more recently we are looking into shed antler fun. As we roll into the afternoon then we feed the girls and boys again and then our evenings are similar to our days but there are more people around. There are typically people and puppies or doggies in most directions that one would look in our home and yard. We do feel fortunate to spend our days and lives with our Labs.
How many you may wonder?
We aim to have 12 breeding age females. Of course, there are times that we are growing pups up until they are ready for their health clearances at two years of age and then we may have those that are retiring so the number fluctuates some. We aim to have 3-5 breeding options of each color every year. Each pairing doesn’t always workout but that is our guide. Every one of our Labs knows basic manners of come, sit, stay, wait, kennel, down and so forth. We can share our days and our home with our Labs, even large numbers of Labs, because they are calm and trainable and so pleasant to be around. When we say that our Labs are family we mean it!