Puppies Playtime

Working Border Collie Puppy playing with a plastic flower pot

Making good use of the plastic plant pots - "Apparently never sleeps" is in the foreground, with a Demon Twin in the background.

Mel's puppies are now spending their days outside on the lawn - weather permitting. It's hard to believe they'll be five weeks old tomorrow! Mel's beginning to weary of their demands (until there's puppy food around) and spends much of her time on her bench above the puppies' bedroom, well out of the way

We've had an interesting few weeks with Vince (Vinnie) and his younger brother, Nip. Vince, at 2 years old, had been here for a while and his training was making good progress when we bought Nip, from the same mating but a year younger.

Nip quickly established himself as the stronger character and after a week or so had Vince, Jed and Slip in his thrall. At the same time Vince appeared to be losing his enthusiasm and confidence in his work, so he was given a couple of weeks off, in case he just needed a rest.

Last week we sold Nip (much to Andy's regret, as Nip was showing tremendous promise) and Nip's followers spent a couple of days looking entirely lost, like rudderless ships, before rejoining the main pack and taking back their old places. Then I started to work Vince again, and he seems completely back to his old self. I'm not suggesting that either dog was aware of their sibling relationship, but I don't think Vince was being over-trained so is this improvement because he no longer feels undermined by Nip? Any parent knows the effect of bullying or peer-pressure on children, and personally I think the influence of pack structure goes far deeper than we can hope to understand.

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