Following Filly

By Jennifer Broome, QK Owner

We would like to officially welcome the newest member of our QK Pack! Quinebaug’s Sweet Filly in the Ferns arrived in CT on May 23rd. I had the pleasure of pick-of-the-litter for this amazingly bred pup whose Dam’s side comes from an incredible lineage of Search and Rescue Dogs as well as field trial dogs, and whose Sire was the 2016 National Field Trial Retriever Champion. Based on pedigree alone this little girl is impressive, however, my trip to Florida to pick her up was equally impressive. Her breeder is Jennifer Brown, DVM, DACVS-LA, DACVSMR, CCRT (read more about Jennifer’s career here).

Dr. Brown whelped and cared for the litter at her home and her veterinary sports rehabilitation practice. These puppies had the great fortune to be around awesome dog people as well as enjoy the interactive toys once they got mobile and started to really get active. From vacuum cleaners to rehab equipment, obstacles, and many play toys, these puppies had the upbringing that I wish all puppies could enjoy. Noises, new exposures to objects, a few lucky people to socialize with, Dr. Brown’s own Labradors (the litter’s Dam, Aunt and Grandmother), and daily travel in crates from Dr. Brown’s home to the vet clinic during the week enabled them to really learn wonderful lessons in patience, travel, social skills and great fun play and exercise time. Each of the pups in this litter of 8 was bold, confident, well-adjusted and there was no bad choice. They were ALL keepers and potentially future Champions!

The blue collared girl captured my heart from the moment we met, and after spending 24 hours with the litter (they were all so wonderful) I made my decision. Blue collared girl traveled in a soft carrier with me flying back home to CT where she never made a peep during the 3+ hour flight! Not only did I make sure she was EXHAUSTED before the flight, I was pretty confident that her well-balanced upbringing with lots of crating and travel would have prepared her for this journey. She was a trooper.

We arrived in CT at 11:30 pm and did not arrive home until 12:30 am. My husband Jason and I were smitten right away with this gorgeous little girl. We played with her for about an hour and then put her in her own puppy crate for the night. She cried for about 20 minutes then settled off to sleep until 6:30 the next morning. Let the adventure begin!

We started by carefully introduced this new puppy to our other 5 adult dogs, however, we would not let them be loose together to interact as a pack. If they wanted, they could kill her in a flash. Instead, we go on walks together with one or two of the older dogs under a very watchful eye that she does not get trampled or harshly corrected by an adult dog not wanting to deal with a needle-toothed annoying puppy.

It took a few days of getting to know her before her name came to fruition. The breeder’s line of dogs often starts with an “F” sound, and many use “Ph” for the names such as Phallon (Mom), Phanesse (Grandma), Phame, etc. I had hemmed and hawed for months to come up with a creative “F” name before she arrived. Given my horse background and love for horses (along with the “Y” ending that I like for my dogs), I came up with Filly, which is a young female horse. If I spelled it Philly, Jason said everyone would think Philadelphia or cheese steaks… so I decided on Filly with an F. Her entire name came about on our first pack walk with Treat, Peety and Elsie. We were hiking through the woods out back of our farm just as the sun was setting and lighting up the woods and forest floor. The ferns were glowing chartreuse green and little Filly kept diving into them, disappearing and then emerging with exuberance. And so she came to be: Quinebaug’s (our kennel name) Sweet Filly in the Ferns.

We have now owned her for 13 days and I would say things are going well. She is on a great schedule sleeping from about 10 or 11 at night (last let out) until 6:30 or 7 in the morning. She loves her crate toys to include puppy nylabones, Yak chews, Whimsies chews and some marrow bones. They keep her busy to help with patience time and self-entertainment in between play time, pack walks and naps. If she is not immediately with us, she is in her crate. I also have a crate in my dog truck and she comes to work, stays in the truck crate (in the shade plenty cool), and Jason and I walk her multiple times during the workday.

After work, we typically go for a big 30 to 45-minute hike in the woods crossing stone walls, over streams and through lots of ferns. I tired puppy is a happy puppy is a happier owner!

Filly stays away from the kennel dogs, most people and all other dogs. She is only 9 weeks old and needs several more round of vaccines so I do not want to expose her to possible illnesses. She attended our recent Rick Smith seminar and spent several days learning about the patience chain (learning neck pressure to be tied) as well as some introduction to leash work. She also traveled to upstate NY with me for an overnight trip and stayed at a client’s house with me safely confined to her cozy, comfortable puppy travel crate. She spent the entire day with me in NY on the patience line, under my careful supervision, while we worked another 12-week old puppy and some adult labs.

Again, this training teaches her to accept pressure on her neck and to give in to pulling against the chain since she cannot win. This tied confinement allows for leash work to systematically follow since she is learning to move into the pressure and not fight it. In no time she will be walking with me on leash following light leash neck pressure, moving as I move and stopping when I stop.

We feel pretty darn lucky to have Filly join our pack. I am not sure what her future will hold just yet. I know that she will be my hunting dog and I am sure that I will pursue other work and competitions to challenge her mind, her athleticism and to put titles to her name for her pedigree. For now, it is awesome to watch her grow, experience new things every day, and to enjoy each step of the lifelong training process.