A couple of months ago we had to make another difficult decision – after recently having to say good bye to Ludde – namely finding a new home for Seeker. We’ve known for a long time that he’s a special dog, that he has a lot of opinions, that he has elbow dysplasia and that he sometimes might be in pain from that and even though I’ve worked very hard with his resource guarding it’s still there in specific situations.
Seeker is an amazing dog in many ways, the cuddliest dog I’ve ever met and very fun – although challenging – to work with. But now when our daughter is about to start to crawl around there’s a risk that she will crawl up to him and if he can’t move away he’ll snap at her. That’s a risk we simply can’t, and don’t wan’t to, take.
We’ve already seen that he can start to resource guard food that she’s dropped when she tries to take it again. With older kids and when he can move away there’s no problem, but if he’s cornered there is. And unfortunately we can’t guarantee that there will not be any situations like that even if we try. Perhaps he could have been in the dog house or in the laundry room more than he has been, but we don’t want to have our dogs like that. We want them as a part of the family – being with us in our everyday life. We also don’t think it’s fair to him that we’re walking around being worried or that he should need to defend himself if he feels cornered.
In a way it was a very simple decision – it was for the sake of our daughter. Right and simple, but at the same time so very difficult since he’s a highly loved member of our family. Many tears have been shed over this, and we’ve been thinking and pondering if there might be any solution that would make it possible for him to stay with is. But deep down we’ve known that it will not work.
We started to think about what a new home for Seeker would look like and thought that it would be perfect with someone over 50, with no small children, that wants to do some tracking and maybe hunt with him. A family where he can work – because he’s made for that and loves it – but at the same time takes his elbows into consideration (they have been xrayed twice with a couple of years in between and they haven’t gotten worse, but you never know how things like that develop). It would also be great if they had an older bitch that would keep Seekers “ruffian” sides and wouldn’t it be great if that person had some experience from working obedience, tougher dogs and likes that style!
And we were so lucky – that’s exactly what we found! He now lives with a couple with grown kids, two older bitches and he’ll be working at pidgeon and geese hunts as well as do some tracking. And sleep in their bed! <3 The other day we went to see him and saw that he was doing great and his new family adores him. Papers were signed and now he’s no longer my dig.
It’s so, so sad, but still 100 % right. We’re so happy that he’s got a good life and really enjoys his new family.
We’ve experienced a lot of things these past three years, both at home, while traveling, training and competing. For a while it seemed impossible to ever start at a field trial since he didn’t come back with things, but after our first try in beginners class cold game trial it worked so well that the judge even said “good delivery to hand”.
We’ve been hiking in the mountains, traveling to England, Italy and Switzerland. Tracking, training and competing in nosework, training for gun dog work, competed at field trials and workings tests, giving courses. And we’ve been cuddling – a lot. Seeker is a dog that takes up a lot of space and is quite browdy, but who really loves to cuddle and be close to us. At home he’s seldom more than a few yards away from me and he’s always on the lookout for when I’m up to something – be it training, going for a walk or going to the toilet. He has found it difficult to work around other dogs unless the other dogs have been very calm, but when he’s in the right frame of mind he’s been working very well. He’s always been great at tracking and with a lot of patience and structured training he became great at nosework, even in distracting environments. While doing gun dog work he’s also found it difficult to watch other dogs work and become too aroused – which usually led to the delivery to hand braking down. Towards the end we started to find some solutions to that and he worked really well.
Here’s a few of all the great moments we’ve had together – and his special features.
Seeker and the strawberry attack – it’s comforting to know that we’re protected if the strawberries were to attack!
A very helpful pet retriever
I’ll remember everything we’ve worked with, and how far we’ve come and all the fun we’ve had along the way – and that I’ve might have gotten a gray hair or two in the same time 😉 Now I wish Seeker and his new family all the best and I’m sure they’ll have a lot of fun together!
- The great delivery challenge
- The journey or the destination?
- Seeker’s First Novice Cold Game Trial
- Seeker’s first ”mock cold game trial”
- Resource guarding