Hanging Out With BJ's Trio

The lambs are arriving in a trickle now, only five newborns yesterday and none the day before.  I am immersed in the quiet lull after lambing and finding it tough to get going on the next big project which is fencing.  The days are slipping through my fingers in a relaxed and peaceful way.  These hooligans certainly take up more time now and they swallow up my reserved-for-me morning time, ... plus each spare moment of the afternoon and evening.

They are six weeks old today.  BJ no longer stays with them but comes and goes and feeds about once a day.  The rest is now on me.  BJ deals with the pups with such finesse and each time I try to replicate a correction, or settle a puppy I wonder how in the world she does it. 

The pups mingle with the other dogs, who are not terribly interested in them at all.  The other dogs tolerate the puppies with the disinterest and exactness you might expect them to.  Nobody gushes over them and there are obvious boundaries which the puppies learned real fast and seldom test out.  Meanwhile I’m still flailing away at teaching them not chew on my hands or grab my pant legs.

I handle them frequently, and with almost every interaction am trying to instill the idea of relax and settle as a default behaviour.  I am asking them to settle and relax when gently restrained, and the other rule I have set for them is they must settle and relax before they come out of the run and before they get to eat.  Prim, the little cream colored female is the shy one,  the cream male, Speed, is the calmest and the black and tan pup is the wild, independent one.  On suggestion from a friend I am trying a little experiment with hand feeding them to influence behaviour. 

They show brief moments of stalking behaviour and running out in front to stop each other or myself.   I managed to get one photo of Black Jack the other day and while the angle isn’t great you can see the lowered head and shoulders and purposeful manner of his baby walk. 

They are a treat and a handful at the same time, and it will tear me up something fierce to part with them.