|The working springer spaniel "Miss Sophie" story|
May 10, 2004
Miss Sophie was born in February 18, 2004. Her mother is Gun´s Choice Polly Pruta, usually called "Acca". She has very high merits from field trials and has in addition been tested and approved by the Swedish Police and delivered puppies to them. The Father is simply named "Salming", today 9 years old. He is completely untrialled but has hunted his entire life everything from birds to wild boar and can still at this mature age be held under the gun when rough-shooting birds.
Miss Sophie came to our house a week ago, a little older than the usual age of delivery at 8 weeks of age. Keeping in mind that she is a working springer puppy, that usually has more of life than you like to handle, she has been rather easy to deal with. Scream and howl has at first been heard a lot when she was forced to sleep in a cage and when she was put into the kennel. However she got used to this order of things very rapidly and after only a week she seems to accept her destiny and even thrive in her cage. The cage will only be used as long as she can be considered "unsafe" at night indoors. I guess we can get rid of it after a few months or something like that. The kennel is divided into two parts with a door between them. The door is closed now and she has her own compartment, maybe 30 square meters and a rather large heated doghouse to sleep in or seek shelter in during daytime when we are at work. The older dogs, Foxy and Briz, find Miss Sophie rather boring at this age.
This unfortunate fact forces us to keep them apart when kenneled. Foxy would simply escape from the kennel when she has got enough of the nasty puppy. Even though Foxy can handle old dogs very well she does not seem to know how to say "NO!" to a puppy and rather solves the problem by running away from it. Briz on the other hand will most likely accept Miss Sophie after some time, when she has realized that the problem will not vanish by itself. Until then we keep them separated when we are not at home. When we are at home, they are free to play both indoors and outdoors, not that it has happened very often. Miss Sophie has to cling to us most of the time and she does not seem to mind too much about who she is playing with.
Otherwise we have not trained Miss Sophie at all yet - except to continue what the breeder started: "Sit" at the door; "Sit" before given permission to eat, do not eat or even look at the other dogs food bowls and maybe a few more small things like to walk on lead and how to behave during car rides. She has all in all behaved better than expected so far and is quick to learn new things apart from being very attentive with an explicit will to please without being excessively soft.