Grit Blogs > Finding Our Way in the Lost Pines of Texas

Growing Family

 New babies

LydiaWe started 2014 by adding two new family members. Since we live out in the country with chickens, rabbits, and soon to have cattle, we decided that our security system needed an upgrade.

Prior to moving to the country, our city-dog had never met a stranger she didn’t like or love. Although she barks at any approaching vehicle within an acre or two, she rolls onto her back for a belly-rub as soon as someone gets within touching distance. I think if she could talk, she would show them to the jewelry and fine china.

Kiki the friendly dog

Kiki

After reading about various dog breeds, we opted for the Rottweiler breed since they have a good temperament and were originally bred as herding animals. We found someone selling Rottweiler puppies on Craigslist and just fell in love as soon as we met them. Yes, love at first sight happens with puppies! We took the last two girls of the litter, with one being the runt. At 7 weeks, one weighed 7 1/2 pounds and the other 10 pounds.

OSAGreta the runt

Osa, on the left, and Greta, on the right

We knew when we got them they would be two handfuls, but we are ready for the challenge. We set up their beds in the brooding room next to the garage, but we just couldn’t let them suffer through sub-40-degree temperatures so we put their kennel in the kitchen for now. They will be outside dogs (eventually), and they will guard the chickens and house someday, but for now, they are just beautiful little fur-balls to love and train.

Learning

Between training sessions

We are going into our second week with the Rotties, and they bring us so much joy watching them play together and romp after the toys.

Last weekend, I cooked a big pot of beans and added a leftover ham bone from Christmas dinner. I wasn’t sure how puppies would react to such a large prize, but instinctively, they tore into it with their little razor sharp teeth and demolished it in about two days. There is a small knuckle bone left, and they play “catch-me if-you-can” as soon as we hand it to them. So much fun!

Tug-o-war

Playing tug of war

Now, for Page 2 of this story; the puppies’ introduction to Kiki, the female Australian Sheppard, didn’t go as expected. As soon as she saw them, she took a sniff and decided she wanted nothing to do with them. OH NO! Kiki likes everybody and even the chickens aren’t intimidated by her, so we had to figure out what she didn’t like about the new puppies. As soon as they came close to her in submission, she tried to nip at them. (Time to read Cesar Milan’s blog!)

We tethered both puppies to one leash and took them for their first walk outside. Almost immediately, Kiki ran up and became very nervous. We will have to keep a close eye on them until the puppies get their manners and work on socializing them. Several introductions later, Kiki and the Rotties still have tension between them that will have to wear off slowly with continual exposure and assertive discipline from us.

Naptime and crate training

kevin n lydia kendall
6/20/2014 10:42:29 AM

RC, We had a similar problem with rotties wanting to chase the chickens. We used an e-collar for about a week and it taught the pups very quickly that chickens are not toys. Good luck


linda dicks
1/18/2014 11:58:52 PM

Your baby girls are adorable. We are on the 4th Rottie in our lives and at well over 65 have seriously discussed not getting anymore(**) due to their size. Not afraid but when illness happens we may not be able to pick them up and take to vet. What struck me funny is we just got an Aussie puppy which our female Rott baby sits with and has bushels of patience with. (**) I won't hold my breath on that as we LOVE our Rotties!


rc
1/18/2014 2:08:53 PM

I love Rotties! When my house had been broken into for the second time, I decided to get a guard dog. I got a Rottie mix at the pound that was about 5 yrs old, they estimated. He was wonderful with people but also was alert to strangers coming to the door and became the protection I wanted. Unfortunately, he also loves to chase other animals and seems to have a predator instinct. One day he got into my barn and attacked a sheep and a goat. They had to be put down from their injuries. I don't know his history or his upbringing, but now I'm worried about how I will balance protection of my house and protection of my farm animals. I have put my plans to get chickens on hold now because of him.