We added a new member to our family on December 5, 2020! He is a blue merle Aussie puppy and his name is Morena's Experiment Six Two Six, but we will be calling him "Stitch". His breeder, Olga Ledyan, did a wonderful job raising this litter and we feel so lucky to have gotten Stitch.
The dam of the litter is GCHB CH Indigomoon's Midnight Confession, aka "Whisper". The sire is CH Cedar Hill Let the Games Begin, aka "Grayson". Both parents have amazing temperaments and structure, so Stitch should do well in a conformation venue. We weren't initially planning on getting another puppy this soon since we are planning on breeding Phoenix in 2021 and keeping a puppy back from that for performance, but when I heard Whisper was having a litter and it may be her last litter, I couldn't pass up on that opportunity. Needless to say, I love everything about Whisper and knew she would produce amazing pups!
We've had him for a few days now and are absolutely in love. Since he was born, I have gone over to see the litter every other week until they were 8 weeks old and I could bring him home. I was considering Stitch or one of his brothers who is now going off to another wonderful home. As those two boys developed, Stitch was showing he had some better conformation potential and would be the best out of the litter, and lucky enough, I was able to get him. He is an excellent mover, so I am very excited to see how he does in the ring when he is old enough.
A couple of things I have noticed and loved right off the bat is he is VERY confident. While we have only had him a few days, I have yet to find anything that scares or worries him. He has been confident walking on different surfaces, he has already experienced different sounds like the vacuum cleaner, dish washer, fire alarm, noises on the TV, and traffic noise without a care in the world. He is very confident meeting new people and dogs; he attended puppy class with me on Tuesday and was the first puppy out to say "hello" to the other puppies and play during the short play group session. He also has an amazing startle/recovery response. I have accidentally dropped a few loud things like boxes, books, etc on accident with him at least 5 feet nearby and he is not even phased. He may jump up for a split second, but then goes back to hanging out or getting into mischief, whichever suits him at that moment. He has even knocked down a TV food tray when playing with Phoenix and he hardly even flinched. His resilience is very exciting and definitely shows me some potential down the road.
Another thing we have noticed is he is very intelligent and picks up on things very quickly. We have only had him 6 days and we have yet to have an accident. He has been great about pottying as soon as we get outside (on leash). He has also been good about holding his bladder when he is out playing with his sisters, in his crate or in his ex-pen. We still take him out frequently, but he is definitely picking up how bathroom schedules will go. He has also gotten much better about being confined and/or separated. His first night he was not a fan of the crate or the ex-pen and would cry and whine when in there and continue doing so for a while, which is normal for a puppy that hasn't experienced that much before. Each day has gotten leaps and bounds better. He has started figuring out the crate is for sleeping in and relaxing in for longer bouts of time. He has started figuring out the ex-pen is for chilling out and playing independently or relaxing, or getting food out of a bowl or toy. Now that he has acclimated to this new home environment, he has gotten a bit more desire for eating, so we started some more formal puppy training last night working on offered focus, stacking, and playing with me with a toy in his ex-pen even though his distracting sisters are enviously circling us like sharks wishing they could get some play time in. He also had his first nail trim with a Dremel with us last night. He was a little bit wiggly, but not too bad for a puppy.
People have asked what Phoenix, Tesla and Zap think of him. Phoenix loves him and thinks he is the best Christmas present. She loves to play with him and has even acted a little bit like he is her puppy with how she would hang near his ex-pen if he was separated or in her interactions with him. Zap loved him, then got a little mopey when she realized she was no longer the center of the universe and has since then decided she likes him again. She started playing with him more on Tuesday and Wednesday and is surprisingly tolerant of his puppy shenanigans. I think Zap surprised us all in how gentle she is with him and how she knows how to interact with a puppy that young; for a bouncy and wild child like Zap, Stitch has calmed her down in a sense. Tesla is indifferent. She liked him for the first 20 minutes; Tesla usually loves itty bitty baby puppies when she meets them in class or in private lessons. Then she realized the puppy wasn't leaving and was staying in our home permanently. She tolerates him, but she doesn't really play with him or cuddle with him. If he walks up to snuggle her, sometimes she just gets up and walks away. I feel at this point, Tesla is thinking "I'm getting too old for this stuff". Overall, nothing concerning and everyone is currently living in harmony. Stitch is only out with the big girls when they can be actively supervised just to make sure interactions are safe and appropriate and also make sure he doesn't violate the older girls' space too much. The girls are handling this new transition pretty well.
So far, things are looking very bright for Stitch. I can't wait to continue to train him and a puppy like Stitch is a dream for a dog trainer like myself. I can't wait to see not only how he does in conformation, but I have a feeling he will also do great at the other sports I like to do with the girls as well.
Morena's Experiment Six Two Six