Tuesday, October 9, 2012

12 Weeks - Soap Box Derby

Last Saturday (the 29th), Maddie and I picked up our friends, Ginsey and Fire, and headed to Atlanta for a city exposure for the puppies.  Our friend, Tracy and her new doberman puppy named Ivy, told us about a Soap Box Derby in her old neighborhood that would be great for getting the puppies around people, children, crowds, live music, and other weird sights.
And for the record, Tracy had no say in having Ivy's ears done.  The breeder had the entire litter done before they went to their new homes.  Ivy comes from fantastic working lines which was important to Tracy so she had to accept the ears as is.
Maddie and Ivy seemed to hit it off and we are hoping they might make good playmates as they continue to grow.
Ivy is only two weeks younger than Maddie and their parents are the same size so we are hoping they will stay evenly matched as the months pass by.
As promised, there was lots of weird stuff to be seen and lots of people.
 This little girl was very interested in Maddie. Maddie was mostly too busy to pay her much attention, but she gently tasted a finger.
Fire found her Box car and was able to pose with it.
We then headed to lunch and sat out on a patio so the pups could watch and hear the traffic pass by.
It the past, I have had mostly greyhounds that were bold and accepted all the new noises and sights.  They were just born that way.  I find that fascinating and the racing greyhound illustrates this better than any other dog because most racing greyhounds live similar lives.  You can have a hundred greyhounds born, raised, and trained on a good farm yet some will still be fearful or shy.  Some have low prey drives while others are very high.  Some dogs are born very bold.  Others are middle of the road.
Maddie so far appears to be mostly bold, but I want to do everything I can to maintain that and introducing her to everything imaginable in the first 3 months is the best way to do that.  We even listen to CDs of thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, trains, motorcycles, and so on.

I can't help but wonder wonder if Reagan had been introduced to all the things Maddie has in her first three months if Reagan would have turned out differently.  I do think there might be a genetic component to phobias or that it is at least something they are born with.  In my experience, phobias do not develop from a bad experience so it seems more likely that there are wires crossed in the brain that make them more prone to phobias..  They just develop with no rhyme or reason.... but your best shot at preventing a phobia is to work on it before it happens and create positive associations.... so that is what I am doing with Maddie.