Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finals - just saying ;)

So, obviously I haven't posted in about a year - sorry. My last day of class was Friday (yesterday) and I have 3 finals coming up but only 1 in the coming week so yay for free time - yay for blog time. Lots of stuff has been happening lately - but this post will be about the A-litter Puppies. Last I left off they were three weeks old, since then I have visited them at 5 weeks, 7 weeks and today at 8 and half weeks old. These visits weren't just for fun though - much like the last one I had a job to do - guess what it was. I got to run the puppies through their 5 and 7 week temperament tests!! Sounds cool huh? Well it was, I learned so much about puppy brains I could write a book - it would only be half a page long but a book none the less, meaning I will print and bind it and sell it to people.. maybe.

So, bet you want to know what exactly I had to do in these puppy tests and what are they were for right. Well, the purpose of the puppy temperament tests it to rank the puppies sociability, soundness and biddability. Translated meaning we were testing how well the adapted to a new-ish environment, how the handled being startled and a crazy dancing penguin, as well as how much support they needed from the 'handler' (me) or if they needed any support at all. By support I mean if they would come to me when they were uncomfortable and if they were 'coax-able'  when I was trying to get them to do what I wanted (with verbal efforts first and food if needed). Well anyway, I didn't do any of the actual evaluation - my job was to actually walk to the puppies through the test / obstacle course. We had stations set up to have them go through.

picture of a puppy walking over a folded up puppy pen there is a metal pan and a green tarp near by  for them to walk over also
pshhh no problem walking over this thing! 

This is a big part of the test, we did this same test both times (5 weeks and 7 weeks) but during the 7 week one we moved them out to the driveway because they were way too big by then. It was my job to get them to walk on top of all of them and then their reactions would be evaluated by Michelle and Tracy. There is also an orange cone there in the background, that is to test their reaction to a brand new object in their environment. Another thing you can't see is a crazy maniac singing and dancing penguin (who sang a very annoying version of the cupid shuffle). This was to judge their recovery time as well as their auditory sensitivity.

picture of a floppy pink bunny attached to a flexi leash as well as a can with tape on top of it.
The flexi squirrel and penny can! 

So, whats going on in the picture above is there is the pink bunny and it is attached to a flexi leash, what happened with this is the puppy would see the bunny sitting for them nicely on the floor, and then when they go up to investigate it, it would be retracted in fast short bursts and then they would do it all over again in one long fast burst. This was to test their pray drive and (if they grabbed it) how willing they were to give it up. Also, see the can with the green tape on it - its full of pennies, this was also to judge their sensitivity but to a different type of noise/distraction.

The reasons we conducted the exact same tests at 5 and 7 weeks was to judge how they differed from the first one and if they did how much. So, after the tests were all complete we did get to play a bit - we had ourselves a little play session and photo-shoot (duh) so here are a few pictures from that.

all the puppies sitting in front of a fallen tree in their tiny puppy jackets, one on the end is on its back with its face hidden and back feet in the air
Ummmm I think this should be the new header for the website - just my opinion lol

One of the puppies with her front paws up on the log and she is looking at me, I am on the opposite side of the log than her
Miss Aspen peeking over the big log. 

one of the puppies sitting inside of half a stump with her puppy jacket on.
We put Alice in the log - can't lie and tell you that she did it herself. 

These last ones were all from 5 weeks old. Then they grew up lol - these next ones are from after the 7 week test.

a much bigger puppy chewing on an arm of the fallen tree
Big Aspen chewing on a branch

a puppy laying in front of a tree with dirt all over his face and tongue
Big Austin chewing on dirt... :?

one of the puppies laying in the middle of a bush so you can only see him through the trees
Alamo finding a nice place to rest. 

And here are the pictures from today: today was Puppy Hand Off Day - so today all the puppies went to their raisers. There was a news crew there for a bit and lots of picture taking with people and puppies and people and puppies.. and some people. Here are just a few of the pictures from today.

a news videographer with his camera in Poppy's face, poppy is sittin there with a blue bandana on that says I support guide dogs of Texas
Poppy gets her fifteen minutes of fame. 

Poppy getting a bone full of peanut butter
And a peanut butter stuffed dog bone. 

all the raisers with their new puppies in front of one of the GDTX trucks, poppy is laying down in front of the group
And the puppies with their raisers!!! From the Left going right we have Alamo, Alice, Aspen, Ava, Atlas, Allie, Austin and Poppy in the front :) 


Becky said...

Oh so adorable those little puppies. Oh, finals ... such a relief when they are complete. Wishing you the best ... free time is coming!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

The long narrow photo of the puppies is FABULOUS! How did you get them to stay put?! What fun, just wish I could squeeze each one.

Natalie said...

Thanks Mimi, we actually strung a leash through the back of all their puppy jackets but it seriously only worked for two seconds. They were up tugging as soon as they realized they were stuck lol.

Katherine and Breeze said...

Those puppies are so cute! All the photo of the A litter is really good! The one of Aspen and Alice and Austin are really cute and I love them!

Lauren said...

Adorable puppies, and awesome pictures! What kind of camera do you use? And also, for a dog-related question, how long do the raisers usually have to train the puppies?

Natalie said...

Thank you! I have a Nikon D5000. The puppy raisers have them for between 14-16 months and they go back to the school then depending on the pups and the amount of room available at the kennels.