Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#SAGApupVolt's First School Visit

Today at puppy class there were a lot more dogs than usual, 'coz we were going on an adventure!
Volt's sisters Vegas (pinkish collar) and Vossie (red collar) were with us at puppy class today, as well as his two brothers Vinny (he's wearing a purple collar in the photos and he's much bigger than his litter mates) and Viking (his fluffy brother)! Their other sister, Vera, has gone to Cape Town and Vinny was supposed to go too, but they suspected a problem with his feet and kept him in Gauteng to be checked out. He's coming along really well now and there doesn't seem to be a problem at all any more so he'll be joining Vera soon. 
The pups were also joined by brother and sister Toby (black pup) and Tamsin (light pink collar)- who are a few weeks older than Volt- and they got to hang out with 6 month old Rankin ('double' blue collar from the QR litter), and Volt's grandfather Chaka (the adult retriever in the photos)!
Once everyone was there we allowed the dogs to play off lead for a good 20 minutes before loading them in crates and heading for a nearby nursery school.
the pups and Chaka
the pups and Chaka
Volt and Viking
Volt and Rankin
Volt, Toby and Vossie at the trough
Volt, Toby and Vossie at the trough
Volt and one of his sisters
Volt and Vinny in the SAGA car
The point of the school visits is to get the pups accustomed to children of all ages, especially since the puppies get so excited when they see a child that they tend to lick and jump! It is also a way for the SAGA people to see how the dogs behave around children and pick up any potential problems with the pup's temperament.
The excited puppies were mobbed by the excited children when we arrived at the school and got lots of treats from the children, who were instructed to offer the treats on a flat open hand to avoid getting their fingers nipped. After a few minutes the children got a wee bit bored with the pups who aren't allowed to play, but just letting the pups walk around the playground- on leash- is such good training for them! The swings, the push-bikes, the shouting kids, the balls flying around, everything is so distracting and its great for the pups to learn to ignore it all. As always there are one or two children who stay with the dogs and cuddle them and talk to them non-stop, and there are a couple of children who ask endless questions, and a few children who are very nervous and hang back completely. None of the children are forced to talk or interact with the dogs, and if they are nervous we try to avoid heading in their direction, and of course the questions are answered as simply as can be done.
Volt watching Vossie and the kids play
the kids getting treats from their teacher (provided by SAGA) to give to the dogs
Volt and Vinny chilling in the shade
After puppy class, we headed to a few shops for some baking supplies and Volt got to meet a few more people, and then we went home where Volt drank LOTS of water, ate his lunch, and fell faaaast asleep!
Volt, worn out after his trip to puppy class, the nursery school and the shops
click on the puppy to make a donation to SAGA

Don't forget to check out the Twitter hash-tag #SAGApupVolt to see regular updates on my puppy raising adventure!


cat said...

Such a fun morning for kids and pups alike

Gill said...

I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again: I am LOVING following you in your journey with Volt. I have been telling my family all about it and they now regularly ask me how he's doing. Volt has a LOT of fans :-)