The L’s have been brushing up their behavior in preparation for their new homes. Of course they’re rowdy when they play with us or our adult dogs or one another, but they settle well.
Potty training outdoors is the rule now. They come when we call, eat twice a day from individual bowls (not above trying to take a nip from a sibling’s bowl – it’s a work in progress), sleep through a seven hour night in their own crates (unless the puppy is Laddie, sometimes waking in the middle of the night with hopes of joining a sibling, which is fine at this stage.) They follow us as we lead them inside, outside and across the deck. They play sweetly with well-mannered children, which is all we allow, and they know we’ll have our hands under their chins when a child gently pets them, to help them manage those frisky tongues.
Their “sit” is excellent by now and all four are quick to respond. Tonight I helped our granddaughter to signal them, and they responded nearly in unison. (I’ve done this with other toddlers over the years, with puppies and also our adult dogs. Even very young children can be taught to handle them, and dogs can be taught to respond.)
So, are they perfect little angels? Not at all. Their new owners have lots of work ahead of them, but their foundation is solid and that’s always our goal.
I’m glad I wait to form opinions about the puppies’ temperaments until they’re eight weeks old or so. It helps to see them together, but also alone, and in different social situations over the weeks prior. Molly and Ren have fairly relaxed puppies, playful and lighthearted but pretty calm at the core. It’s true for the L litter as well.
Lark is a happy-go-lucky and adventurous puppy. Linnea is gentle and likes to observe before engaging. Lottie is a loveable teddy bear, not easily ruffled, and Laddie is an adoring, affectionate little fellow who will wrestle with his litter mates but would rather be in our laps.
When I scan back over our collection of puppy pictures, I can often identify the individual puppies at a glance. We tend to have “types”: those that resemble our male, Clancy McGee, or black and white puppies that look like our Maddie Mae, and many that have dark tricolor coats and large round eyes. But they’re still unique, and I love trying to pick them out by name. Once I do, I remember their personalities – that’s what really lingers.