Archive for the ‘DAILY LIFE’ Categoryby Northernmost on August 6, 2013 in Daily Life, Hilary, Wilder with No Comments
We had visitors today! Three handsome reindeer came by to say hello after breakfast. They stayed for over an hour and in the end I had to chase them away as they came a bit too close for safety. The reindeer are odd animals, sometimes they are shy and run away as soon as we look at them, and sometimes they seek our company by following us around on the property. Right now they seem mostly curious about the dogs but since they are unpredictable and their antlers are dangerous we try to keep them at bay. After the morning’s excitement we went down to the river to cool down. It is true what they say – every day in Lapland holds at least one small adventure 😉
A young bull?
The river runs peacefully at the edge of our property. The water is always ice cold.
Both Hilary and Wilder love to get wet!
Wish I could have let them swim and play off leash, but it isn’t safe when the reindeer are around.
“I’m so thirsty I could drink a whole lake!“
On my way to Hetta for a few days of cosy cabin life. Nothing major planned, just going to enjoy the quiet life in the forest, pick some berries and mushrooms, read books and hopefully catch up with some old friends. My travel companions, Hilary and Wilder, will probably drag me along on some hikes too, but my aim is to have a relaxing holiday rather than an extremely active one, if I can.
It’s always special to return to Lapland, as this is where my roots are and where I feel most at home. Most likely we will be relocating the kennel back up north in the future. Not next year, and probably not even within five years, but some day. Meanwhile, going here on holiday is quite nice too 🙂
Puppy Wilder (6 months) had some fun with Titan (4 years old) today. Big sister Hilary (2 years old) was there to make sure Wilder behaved himself around an older dog. Hilary is a sweet girl with a rich vocabulary that enables her to get a friendly response from most dogs that she meets. At home she can be a bit of a boss dog too – making sure everyone are on their best behaviour 😉
Back in May I painted the dog houses in the puppy pen and this week I’ve painted three more dog houses in a deep red colour. Since our home and guest house are painted red we’re using the same paint for the dog houses. This colour is very effective in preserving wood and since it allows the wood to breathe it minimises the risk of rot. In addition it is very simple to maintain; As the paint ages, you can brush it off and repaint without using a scraper. I think the dog houses look very neat in red, if I may say so myself 🙂
To be safe, we have not painted the parts of the dog house that the dogs may chew on, for example the entrances and corners, as most paints can be poisonous for dogs.
Pretty Lyra says hello from inside her house. She usually shares pen with Tuisku.
A freshly bathed Tuisku in his prime, at 8 years of age.
I still have three more dog houses to paint and after that we’re going to scrub the wooden decks that the dog houses are built on and put on some new (non-toxic) oil on to make the wood last longer. Only a couple of months left before the start of autumn so we better get going with our summer chores!
Last week it was premiere for Wilder at puppy class. We have been looking around for puppy classes since May but apparently Skellefteå (our nearest city) is a black hole when it comes to puppy classes. Finally, we found a class in Umeå, about 1.5h from home. It is fair distance to travel each week but going to class is so important for a Malamute that we think it’s worth it. The class is led by Hanna Vernerlund who runs Hanna’s Hundsupport. We have been to Hanna’s classes before and really appreciate her methods which are based on positive reinforcement and a good understanding of the behaviour of different breeds. She also has really good technical skills as a trainer, which means that we get lots of tools that we can use at home. Wilder has been to two classes so far and is really doing well on every level. He’s an outgoing and relaxed puppy who is happy to explore new environments and try new things. He is also very food oriented, which makes him easy to train and reward. Sue and Roy have done a wonderful job socializing Wilder before he travelled to Sweden and it is a real luxury to receive such a well-adjusted pup 🙂
There is quite a mix of breeds at the class; Alaskan Malamute, Schapendoes, Greyhound, Beagle, White Swiss Shepherd Dog, Coton de Tuléar, Irish Setter and a Saluki. The age range is 10 weeks to 6 months, which means that Wilder is one of the oldest (and largest) pups in the class. We actually think this is a good thing, as it gives him an opportunity to socialize with breeds that are smaller than him, and learn to play with younger pups – something which he rarely gets a chance to do at home.
To the first class we were asked to bring an interactive toy along for playtime and reward but it was a bit hard to get Wilder interested in the toy when there were so many interesting puppies to look at instead…
At this point in his development, Wilder is definitely more interested in treats than he is in toys.
At yesterday’s class we trained nose work both on the ground and on tarp. None of the pups hesitated to explore the tarp that was blowing in the wind but from experience I know that these things can change quickly if the puppy enters into a fear stage. So far we haven’t noticed Wilder going through any obvious fear stages but the second fear stage can occur quite late during adolescence (approx. 6-14 months) so it’s still possible that we will see some of that apprehensiveness later.
We also had a couple of timeout sessions during class and all the pups did much better relaxing yesterday than they did at their first class. As you can see – Wilder rested on top of my legs, that way he made sure he wouldn’t miss any activities if he happened to fall asleep.
Wilder is very friendly and gentle with the other pups – here together with a young Beagle boy.
Fredrik and Wilder said hello to Mischa, a pretty 4-month-old White Swiss Shepherd girl.
Plenty of treats are consumed at every class and since Wilder eats dog food from Orijen, we were excited to see that this brand now also offers its own range of freeze dried treats. I will write a full review about these treats when we have had the chance to try some more of the different flavours available. To yesterday’s class we brought along a bag of Orijen Brome Lake Duck Singles that are made from 100% pure boneless duck and duck liver. What I particularly like about these treats is that they are made from free-run (cage-free) duck. Since dogs are carnivores who need to eat meat it feels good knowing that the animals they are eating have at least had a good and natural life.
This is what the Orijen Treats look like. They are lightweight and very different from any other treats we have tried in terms of texture. The lovely smell makes me (almost) want to try one myself 😉
Yummy treats equal a very focused pup 😉
Wilder and our other seven Mals really love these treats and when Mischa sniffed Fredrik’s hand after class she went wild too – can I have some of that?!!
Wilder’s puppy class will be going on for another 4 weeks so I’m sure he will be learning a lot this summer and have plenty of positive experiences (which is our main reason for attending classes). To next week’s class we are instructed to bring a tracking lead – I guess that means more nose work, or maybe we’ll be working on improving our recall using a long lead?
We introduced Gemma to a new toy yesterday – the KONG Bounzer! In the adverts for this toy it says that dogs will go crazy for the KONG Bounzer and I can say without exaggeration, that’s exactly what happened – Gemma went totally wild!!! 🙂
Unlike most KONG toys the Bounzer isn’t designed to be stuffed with treats and it doesn’t squeak, instead this is a lightweight interactive toy with a handle on top which makes it great for tossing.
The Bounzer squishes and releases air when grabbed by the dog, before it quickly bounces back to its original shape. I think the quiet hiss of air is part of what makes this toy so intriguing.
This is fun!!!
When tossed and rolled the Bounzer bounced all over the place and gave Gemma a real workout!
The Bounzer comes in three sizes: Medium, Large and X-Large, we use X-Large for our Mals.
Nice attempt at a balancing act!
The determination in her eyes says it all 🙂
I’m gonna get you!
Weeeee!!! Gemma played nonstop for about 20 minutes with this toy. A perfect way to have fun on a cool morning or evening at home or in the park.
While the Bounzer is made from a durable material, this is NOT a toy that we let our dogs play with unsupervised. Instead we use the Bounzer for interactive games and when the play session is over we put the toy away until next time – that way its attraction will remain high and the toy will last longer. You can buy the KONG Bounzer from www.vetzoo.se in Sweden and from most well stocked pet stores around the world. Highly recommended for dogs that love to fetch and retrieve 🙂
This week our hay has been harvested in preparation for winter. After a couple of warm and sunny days the hay was ready to move into the barn, where it will continue to dry in the loft.
We have been thinking of possibly making this space into a play area for the dogs next year. Our other play area (you can see the fence in the background) is in a more shady corner of the garden and it would be nice for the dogs to have more sunshine, especially during winter. But fencing is hard work so it’s not exactly a project we’re looking forward to…although I’m sure it would be worthwhile.
Hilary and Wilder had a playdate with Fredrik’s mother’s 2-year-old Labrador Retriever James yesterday. James is a great dog, playful and uncomplicated (like most Labs are) and ready to invite other friendly dogs into play straight away. Since James and Hilary already know each other we figured it would be a good idea to introduce Wilder too. Wilder has had a great start in life at Mountain Home and we aim to continue building on that foundation by making sure he has as many positive experiences as possible, with dogs of different breeds, new people, new places etc. We’re still waiting for a puppy class to become available anywhere within 1h of where we live, but for some reason there are very few classes available during summer. If nothing comes up soon, maybe we should organize a puppy class ourselves?
A brief break from playing to recieve treats from Fredrik’s mum – happy pups 🙂
When all the chores are done in the evening we usually take a couple of dogs and head for the beach. Last night it was Titan and Wilder’s turn to come along for a swim. We stayed on the beach until the sun set in the ocean, like a blazing ball of fire. ♥ Magic moments of summer ♥
It has now been a week since Wilder arrived in Sweden and what a great week it has been! Wilder has settled into his new home in no time and much is thanks to Hilary, who has been a great “play nanny” to Wilder, keeping him busy and loved all week. Apart from a visit to the beach with Tuisku, a forest walk with Titan, and a visit to town today, Wilder has spent his first week in Sweden mostly in our home and garden, getting used to our daily routines. I’m glad I bought a big supply of toys before he arrived, as he and Hilary have had a blast playing with these KONG and rope toys all week 🙂
The Five Knot Rope Toy is great for sharing.The only downside is that it quickly gets grubby when left out in the garden. We pop ours in the washing machine and let them air dry. And if they get too grubby we replace them with new ones, as these toys are luckily among the more affordable.
Quality rope toys are great for itchy gums.Wilder lost two of his baby teeth today 😉
This was the biggest rope toy we could find – it’s very popular with our Mals but not 100% durable. After each play session there are pieces of blue yarn left in the grass.
The KONG Stuff-A-Ball is Hilary’s favourite, she picks it up and makes Wilder chase her around. Since this toy has two rope ends it is good for two dogs sharing.The ridges are designed to clean the dog’s teeth and the toy can be stuffed with yummy snacks to make it even more appealing.
The KONG Extreme Goodie Bone made from ultra-tough black rubber is a big favourite with most of our dogs but so far Wilder hasn’t shown any interest in this toy. Right now he doesn’t like the smell of it but I don’t think it will take long before he realises that this toy is FUN 🙂
Wilder hasn’t shown any interest in the KONG Dental yet either. Maybe this toy
is still a bit too big for him?
The KONG Tails is popular with our Mals but if a heavy chewer is left unsupervised with this toy for too long, the blue “tails” will start to break off. Instead of being available to the dogs on a daily basis, the KONG Tails is better used as a treat during training, or as a toy to bring along to puppy class.
Hilary is a great teacher, she gets most pleasure out of sharing her toys with her friends.
It’s been a good first week 🙂
With a new puppy at home we spend a lot of time on establishing good relationships between the new pack member and our older dogs. Hilary has done a wonderful job of welcoming Wilder and they are already the best of friends. On Monday we introduced Wilder to Titan during an evening walk in the woods and yesterday it was eight-year-old Tuisku’s turn to spend some one-on-one time with our new boy. Wilder is a cool kid who doesn’t get overly excited about things. He is keen to make friends but at the same time has a streak of independence about him. When he meets new people he is curious and likes to give kisses, but in a calm and polite sort of way. I think he’ll have many different pet names as he grows up, but right now we call him Mr Cool 😉
Hello, what’s your name?
Maybe we’ll just sit here for a while and smell the dandelions together.
We’re having an early summer here on Sweden’s northern coast. 25ºC (77º F) and hardly no wind.
Tuisku is more comfortable now when most of his underocat is gone. It took two baths and lots and lots of brushing, as his winter coat was really thick!
As always, Tuisku got the zoomies as he just looves being near water.
Looks like Wilder is a Water-Mal too. Hopefully he’ll be equally happy about having a bath at home. Tuisku has always loved to swim in lakes, rivers and the ocean – but for some reason he loathes the bathtub!
We stayed at the beach till sunset. The world is so incredibly beautiful this time of the year. I’m having “press pause moments” at least once every day ♥