I didn't get to see Aristotle and Askii today, Anushka and Apollo are both bigger than their siblings and they're just beautiful. Abby is still dainty and pretty.
|Riddick and Apollo (blue collar)|
|Riddick and Abby|
|Abby & Apollo greet Paddington|
|Apollo and Anushka|
The "A" litter pups in training- Anushka, Apollo, Abby, Askii and Aristotle (and Riddick)- have been joined by two donated pups that are a few weeks older than them. The male has been named Paddington but we have yet to meet his sister. He's a real sweetheart and it seems he may be trained as a service dog instead of a guide-dog.
Occasionally, SAGA will accept donated pups if they have not had enough pups born to keep up with their goal of training 50 dogs a year. Unlike SAGA's own breeding programme, the donated pups do not have as detailed a lineage- not only bloodline (which can be traced with registered breeders)- but in temperament as well. SAGA's breeding programme takes several factors into account when selecting a breeding pair including the dog's health, size and temperament, and their brood bitches and stud dogs have very well documented lives as they are monitored by SAGA from birth.
After they had a game and some water, we sat in our circle with the pups between our knees. Placing one hand on their chests and one on their backs we make them "sit" and then keep them calm, bringing them back to a sit if they try to move around. Then we do a bit of "handling"*, getting the pups accustomed to being touched. We check eyes, ears, gums, teeth, toe wedding, nails, paw pads, tummy, chest and tail, running our hands all over the pups looking for any lumps and bumps or injuries that may have gone unnoticed under their thick coats.
|sleeping puppies all in a circle|