Hello everyone & welcome back! I thought I would post an update about our new addition, Archie – the quarantine pup. Here’s a brief discussion of what it is like adopting a dog. We adopted him at the end of February, before everything went into shutdown mode, from a local shelter in the Ottawa area. He was born on December 6th in Iqaluit and had 3 other siblings (Aero, Allie and Amber). They think he has some husky in him, but we have also gotten Schnauzer, Border terrier, Shih Tzu (due to an underbite), Irish wolfhound, you name it! Whatever he is, and however big he will be, we love him.
He is a spunky little guy, quick to learn, loves the snow and to bite toes. His biting was pretty bad at the beginning, to be expected with puppies, and there was clear evidence of this on my poor hands. However, at around the 4 to 5 month mark, it improved greatly. We know when he wants to play, poop, or go to bed – these are usually the worst bits of the bites.
We follow a lot of Zak George‘s techniques for training, including being calm and rewarding of good behaviour rather than disciplining for bad behaviour. He’s a puppy, how is he supposed to know! He knows “leave it,” “wait,” “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “come,” “touch,” “shake,” and recently has mastered “roll-over”. Next, we work on not eating his own poop when outside.
Speaking of which, when we first got him, he ate everything off the ground – everything. Today, we are happy to say he loves sticks and ears of corn, but will no longer go for rocks and pebbles like he used to. He’s a solid 30 pounds now, is incredibly food-motivated, and loves all people.
It ended up being the perfect time to adopt a dog, something we weren’t seriously considering until the past couple of months. It has completely changed and enriched our lives as a little family. Archie, despite his crazy moments, is a great addition. He likes to snuggle on bed, he sleeps soundly in his crate all night, and he knows when he needs his alone time. I cannot imagine a better behaved puppy, and because of that… Archie’s future sibling will likely come in the style of a 1 to 3 year old young adult.
If you are thinking about adopting a dog, do it. Training and caring for a little guy is hard work, but pays off when he masters a new trick or learns a bit more obedience. Waking up at 5am to take him out isn’t so bad anymore. We love our little mystery dog, and would not change him for the world (but we do miss his tiny little puppy face sometimes). We are so glad we found such a great fit for our active family through adoption – we wouldn’t do it any other way.
Keep on keepin’ on,