Every new puppy is a new story
Updated: Jan 5
I have had a new schnauzer male for three glorious months. So there are three dogs in my family now, two standards and one miniature. Little Chuck is now five months old and is my Bruce's offspring.
Chuck (5 months old) with his dad Bruce
We used to have three dogs in my family, but usually only two. But we were never breeders. I knew there was quite a difference between having two and having three dogs as family members, but I have also forgotten how big the difference is. It's VERY big!
My family has been living with dogs for decades. We've adapted our lives, but we don't feel deprived of anything. However, there have been no long trips (except when it comes to dog events), no vacations in hotels, no classic vacations where you go "OFF," visits to our friends are rarer and shorter because our dogs are waiting for us, money is spent very purposefully… But that's how it suits us.
I have been thinking about a new standard schnauzer for a long time, and finally, two years ago, I started gathering information from selected European breeders who I admire. It was not easy as I knew what I wanted. Then, things came together into an ideal solution for me at some point. Bruce repeated the mating, which has already proven to be good. I also know the dame, the breeder, and the offspring very well.
Even though we have Bruce's sperm frozen and stored at the University of Ljubljana, this was his "last physical mating." So with all the responsibility for myself and the new puppy, I decided to choose a male.
My puppy selection was a long, tiring, and demanding process. It started at around six weeks of the litter's age and only intensified as time went on. Observing the puppies throughout all their activities, playing with them, comparing them, performing a critical DNA test on selected ones… The selection was finally reduced to two males, and a decision had to be made. I had to choose among the two cutest, both perfect to my eyes, two little different types, both with the same (negative) genetic test results. Rational reasons for the decision were consumed, and finally, my heart had to decide (though I promised myself I would not choose emotionally). Decision-making is very difficult.
5 weeks old
Observation of behavior and movement
And so the third schnauzer came to my home. Tiny (I forgot how small they are at their 56 days of age) and completely helpless. The first days were not easy - neither for him nor for us. I knew he was missing his mother and siblings, the home grass, the breeder, the rhythm of his original family.
The first day with us was rather intense
But after a month, we were "back in the saddle."
There is nothing romantic about having a puppy or even more dogs together, in an apartment, in a house, with your family. It's nice, but you have to work hard 24/7. Behind every cute photo, there is real life. Getting up at night whenever needed ("sleeping very lightly"), taking care of proper nutrition, raising a new family member (which means a lot of work "one on one"), constant monitoring of the dogs' energy to prevent unpleasant situations… Today I can (hopefully) say that we succeeded.
At the age of five months, Chuck has already completed two of the most basic courses in dog school, behaves well on walks, is diligent at home, and interacts well with other dogs. However, he is becoming a distinct guard dog, which (in my opinion) is also a consequence of the "dog pack."
I pay a lot of attention to the maintenance of schnauzer hair. The breeder had already started pulling the puppy hair before Chuck came to us, and she had also accustomed him to the grooming table, so I just continued this practice. By four months, he already had very much that good schnauzer coat, the kind you would expect from an almost adult dog. Only the beard, mustache, and eyebrows are not yet done and will need a lot of time.
I intend to make a video about grooming a puppy in the coming days. The grooming techniques are pretty much the same as in an adult dog. But it is essential to determine what and how much to do - depending on the condition of the coat.
I enjoy watching this little boy of mine grow and become a handsome, handsome schnauzer. I want every day with him. He has charmed us all.