It blows me away how much, and how quickly my little puppies are changing! When they were born, and I was completing my research and reading on development, as best as I could figure out by the time they were eight weeks, their personalities would be fairly set. But this doesn't seem to be the case. Or maybe I'm just crazy... *a distinct possibility*
When they were younger, Luke seemed to not care about what the human was doing, now he's the pup that's glued to your side (as much as a pup ever is). He happily follows me around the yard, plays tug with the rubber ring and fetch with the baby ball. He's adorable! I just want to snuggle him and love him forever! I'm not normally a male dog desire'r, but Luke tempts me, tempts me bad. I'd love for him to find a family who will love him as much as I do and give him a work/pet home.
Ryder, who was my shy, hyper little fellow has turned into an active pup who will also stick around you. He's not interested in playing with you but loves to play stalk and chase with the other dogs. He's the pup that's brimming with enthusiasm and joy when you sit down for pet's time. Gotta watch that tongue though... At the last vet check he still had one "nut" up. I'll keep an eye on it, and if it doesn't drop, he'll get neutered in the spring - once it's dry and warm out. (Vet says if you leave it they have a higher chance of getting testicular cancer - and I don't want him to have the risk.)
Diva, who used to run to greet me when I came out is turning into a bit of a stinker. She's number one on the list for some one on one work. The little fart will come into the run for her treat. Once she has her treat she beats a hasty retreat out of the run. Then you have to catch the rotter. But, she also loves her pet's and will happily settle onto your lap for some one on one snuggle time. (Yes, I'm cuddling my working dogs - deal with it.) Diva's the watcher when the others are playing. I'm going to try and get her to engage in some one on one play with me. I think Diva and Grace are going to be early developer when it come to desire to work stock. They're going to be ridiculously keen. I'll need to keep a close eye on them. And keep them away from stock for as long as I can.
Grace, my crooked tail beauty, is the one the I think may turn into the best worker of all. She's pretty serious - and always has been - and very interested in her games of stalk and chase, but also keen to play fetch with the ball. Mind you, the whole "fetch" isn't quite mastered, let's say it's a game of chase and drop. And is she ever FAST! That little pup can RUN! To think she was the runt... Of all the pups, Grace seems to have held her personality the most consistently. She loves lap time, and will happily curl up for a nap.
All the babies know their names. And come pretty good. We've been going for walks around the fields and they've been listening much better than Tessa ever did when she was that age. (I didn't have Reba at this age.)
They get their final set of vaccinations on Saturday. The next big push is to start one on one training. Hopefully the weather breaks, making it easier for me to get out and work with them. The plan is to work on developing a consistent recall (name), and get a lie down started. I believe the work I do now is the foundation for later, and I really don't want to screw it up. The babies' manners aren't too bad - now I just need to build on it.
And once I have a recall and lie down - look out dog park - here we come for some socialization fun!