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Bob and Joy Good                  912-863-5767                  Sylvania


Wild Blue Yonder

byDeborah Luper Wyndsong Shelties


Sometimes when ‘Keeper” suddenly sees anything big and dark (a Porsche 911, a pile of truck tires, firewood, whatever) he lets out a series of sharp barks, tucks his butt and scoots away. What I love about this little dog, however, is that he always comes back, sniffs his way carefully up to the monster, determines that it’s okay and trots off like he’s too big for his britches and was actually just putting on a show for my amusement.

It never fails to put his mommy rolling on the ground laughing, which is not always a good reaction. For one thing, that’s a fail-safe way to get yucky, smelly spots on your clothes.


One of the most important things you can do for your Sheltie puppy is to socialize him early on. What does this mean? Cocktails at six or black tie? Putting the napkin on the lap? No, it means that you train your new little baby, through interesting and sometimes frightening experiences, that life happens and they’d best get used to it!


Wait a minute—that sounds a teensy bit mean. Actually, it isn’t meant to sound harsh at all. A well-socialized puppy becomes a confident adult—both a fine, sensible companion and a dog that is less likely to be unnecessarily frightened by life’s hard, and often loud, knocks. And as you well know, it knocks often and at the most inconve­nient times!


How is this accomplished you ask? It’s actually a lot easier and more enjoyable than you might think. I for one take my babies everywhere I possibly can, right from the get-go. As soon as I am confident that they are up to speed on their immunizations (around 12 weeks), I take them in the truck with me to puppy classes and adult classes (they get to sit in a crate and watch), and when they are confident on the end of a lead, to the airport, the park, etc. I take the puppy to work with me and lead him around to meet my co­workers in the building. It helps if your co-workers are warned and armed with little pieces of cheese or other bits of bribery. My puppies invariably say, “Ooooo!!! Another softie! Let’s go meet her, Mom!”


These places all offer strange sights, sounds and smells that excite and stimulate your puppy. This is very good for him, especially if you treat each new experience as though it were completely normal. If your puppy runs to you, entreating you to pick him up, stand there and speak to him in a normal voice. Make sure your voice sounds pleasant and unconcerned, even happy. If something frightening happens, such as books falling down the stairs, I will sometimes even laugh as though enjoying the situation (not as though I were laughing at the dog—there is a difference, and I believe dogs can be humiliated by laughter directed at them, just as humans can).


If the situation is too much for your little darling, distract him with a toy or treat. If it doesn’t go well, calmly take the puppy away from the situation and try again in a few days or a week. It’s amazing how much change can occur in such a short time.


Remember, it can be heartbreaking to stand there and refuse to pick your sweet baby up. It may be difficult to keep that pleasant, relaxed tone in your voice. However, in the long run, the good you will do for your dog is immense!


I have found Shelties to be the most intuitive of dogs—they pick up on our emotions very easily. If we are frightened or disturbed, so are they. If we look on a situation with calmness or humor, it’s amazing how quickly they can come around to the same viewpoint. If you ignore an alarming situation as if it weren’t there, often the puppy will learn to take the same attitude. Each dog’s personality and learning style is unique to him, however, so try to discern those differences and realize that you may have to cus­tomize your approach to accommo­date them.


ALWAYS reward your baby for good behavior. Doggie treats (just a morsel will do), warm and effusive praise or a belly scratch are all wonderful ways to make your little friend feel like he’s king of the mountain. Also, don’t over stimulate your puppy in an effort to get him used to all of life’s challenges at once. They are tiny babies, after all, and need breaks and naps just like a human child. Attention spans are also quite limited in very young puppies. A few minutes a time is sufficient to begin with. By the time he is four five months old, he will be emotionally equipped to begin classes where he can learn simple obedience exercises to get along with others of his kind.


In my humble opinion, I believe well-intentioned folks make mistakes in certain ways. They “baby” their new darling to

reassure the dog in a manner that convinces the puppy he was right (that WAS a big and awful monster!), or they don’t put the baby into the “frying pan” often enough. Each time the puppy faces up to something dark and threatening, loud, startling, or whatever the case may be, he comes away a more experienced, confident dog, as long as the situation is treated correctly. 


Shelties are far too wonderful as companions to leave at home. They make fabulous traveling buddies and are delight to have around in virtually every situation. I even one of my dogs flying with me when I take a plane up pleasure flight. There is something absolutely special in up there “all alone” in the wild blue yonder and in being look over at your best bud, scratch him behind the ears, es, even talk to him! Whether it’s on a walk in the park, a visit to someone’s or strutting his stuff in the show ring, it is only fair to your sheltie that you help him to develop the confidence he to face life’s interesting and sometimes intimidating events head-on, It will make his life and yours more and fulfilling.


Now get out there with your little friend, meet life face to face and get used to it!



Puppy socialization can be a lot of fun for both owner and puppy!



The Rule Of Seven  



By the time a puppy is 7 weeks old, it should have:


1. been on 7 different surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, woodchips, etc......


2. played with 7 different types of objects: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal items, wooden items, milk jugs, etc.......


3. been in 7 different locations: front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, kennel, etc....


4. met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults.


5. been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, climb off a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles,  play hide and seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down, run  around a fence....


6. Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc....


7. Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, x-pen, etc...



Written by Pat Schaap

Every Eye

"All creatures great and small, the Lord God created them all."

GoD and DoG

Every time I lose a dog he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. 

Someday my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving and forgiving. - Unknown

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Sylvania is located 70 miles NW of Savannah, Georgia.