Sunday, January 29, 2012

Heidi, The Great Pyrenees Puppy - Week 4

Heidi is 10 weeks old now and is beginning to grow legs which means she can RUN.  Fortunately she mostly runs to me and not away from me.  I moved her for a few days into the main goat barn with the adult does while the weather was dry and mild so she could explore the larger yard.  She mostly explored ways to escape.  She is still small enough to squeeze through gaps in board fencing as well as through the wire stays in the fence.  I think she's decided she likes her small pen where she spent her early weeks because I would usually find her near her old pen.  One of the more interesting escapes was kind of a reverse escape.  Somehow she manged to get herself out of the new pen and back INTO her old pen that had all the gates closed.  This pen is the one we use for the Nigerian kids which are TINY and I still haven't figured out how she got back in.  We returned from working on some fencing and she was happily playing by herself in her pen.

Heidi is learning to "hang out" with me when I'm working with the goats.  I was trimming feet and Heidi would lie close by and watch.  Yes, that is poor Celia wedged up against the wall while I trim her front foot. Heidi did try to help a few times but by pushing her away, she got the idea and seemed content to lie and watch.

The goats are still teaching her a bit about respect, especially Celia our Mini-LaMancha.  I think it is more of a game at this point because I often see them chewing on a tree branch together.

Heidi is walking nicely on a leash now and is learning cues such as sitting at a heel position when I stop walking and also sitting "near" the front when she comes to me.  I think leash walking is a great way to emphasis to Heidi that I am the alpha figure above her.  By walking on a leash she has no choice, at least while she is still small, to go where I go.  I noticed today that this is beginning to pay off when I tried to get her in a "down" position from a sitting position.  She willingly let me place her in a "down" without fighting me.  Previously it was a small battle.  Because this is a breed that likes to assume the role of alpha, I take this as a small victory since alpha dogs don't willingly like to placed in subordinate positions.

I love puppies of this age.  They seem so willing to please and try so hard.  I have no doubt though that all this will change in another few months when she enters that pre-adolescent period where puppies seem to LOVE to exercise their independence. For now though, she enjoys our "training" time because she is the center of attention.

During her resting time when the goats are in the barn, she hangs out by the goat door so she can easily monitor who comes and goes.

Heidi also went back to the vet this past week for a second round of puppy shots and a visit with the staff.


  1. It sounds like all is going well with Heidi. Do you think you would be noticing these subtle week to week changes if you weren't writing about them?

  2. Probably not so it is fun to try to write it all down.

  3. I love these updates, Shelley. Keep 'em coming. It might make you feel better to know that at 9 months old (this week) Keri still recognizes that we are the boss. She also recognizes that the goats are her bosses too at this point. Like Celia, my mini lamanchas seem to show the most interest in keeping her in line. I think Keri actually likes them. I think they like her too even though they pretend not to. Heidi's a doll.

  4. I'm glad to hear Keri still thinks of you and the goats as top dogs. Nine months can be a "fun" age. I remember it well with my Spinoni. I have noticed a subtle shift in the goat's attitude now toward Heidi in that they don't fear her anymore and are much more willing to let her pass by without butting her, except for when Celia chases her. They are so funny.