We have a puppy! He’s actually almost 6 months old now, so we’ve had him for a while, but he’s still very much the new baby in the family. His name is Skare and he’s a golden mix.
I say he’s almost a purebred golden retriever.
Skare’s mum is mostly golden retriever mixed with border collie and English springer spaniel. She looked kinda like a black golden with partly curly fur. His dad on the other hand is a purebred golden.
I’m very happy with Runa, our lab/hound mix and I think a golden mix like this will fit us nicely. 😊
Picking the puppy
Like I’ve said before: we don’t have stray dogs in this country and, by extension, no overpopulation and only one single shelter down in Stockholm. So you can’t “rescue” a dog here. Our pet stores also only sell supplies and not actual pets (other than a select few species of fish, rodents, and birds). If you want a dog you have to find someone who owns one and is willing to sell it to you. Hence, you look for ads/websites/posts online.
I found an ad by Skare’s “breeder” (having one litter isn’t being a real breeder, but gonna use that word for simplicity’s sake) and she seemed decent so I gave her a call. We chatted for a few days and sent pictures back and forth before it was decided we would buy one of the puppies.
The breeder had two males still available who seemed very similar in temperament, so we ended up choosing based on looks. One was lighter in colour and had a shorter coat so we picked that one. It would be a long-haired dog no matter what, but I felt we could make it slightly easier on ourselves by picking the one with less fur.
We drove down and picked him up on the 23rd of September. He was a little angel in the car. No whining, no carsickness. He slept most of the way.
Too bad that didn’t last lol, we’ve had lots of trouble with carsickness since. But I think he’s growing out of it, he doesn’t throw up as much now as he used to. 🤞
His name is the Swedish word for that hard icy crust that sometimes forms on top of snow. Don’t think there’s a name for it in English?
It’s pronounced kinda like skA-reh.
Skare so far
He’s an oaf. A happy shaggy bumbling oaf, and I mean that in the most endearing way. 💛
His tail is always wagging in a lazy, unfocused sort of way. Like he has no idea what’s going on but is very happy to be here. He sucks at using his nose and he’s not exactly the athletic type. He frequently miscalculates jumps he’s trying to make and despite having just as long legs as Runa now he can’t keep up with her at all.
In other words, he’s the complete opposite of our older dog. 🤣 She’s a powder keg of energy, agility, and alertness and Skare is… not.
I mean, he’s not completely stupid. We’ve managed to teach him quite a few commands so far and he’s very eager to please, especially if you dangle food in front of him. But he’s hardly a workaholic.
But I’m fine with that, what’s more important is that he’s a sweetheart.
He loves to be close and cuddle. He’s been friendly towards everyone he meets, people and animals alike. He lights up every time someone pets him. His relaxed attitude also makes him very easy to bring along when out and about. We’ve taken him to all sorts of places and he’s always happy and calm. Before Christmas, we signed up for a puppy training class and it went well. He was far from the brightest pup there, but easily one of the friendliest and chillest.
Plans for the future
As I said, he’s 6 months now, so only a puppy. He hasn’t even reached sexual maturity yet and is still sitting down to pee. It will be interesting to see if and how he changes in the upcoming months. I hope he keeps his friendly easy-going nature! 🙏
He’s also still growing. My guess is he’ll be around 30-35 kg as an adult. He has enormous paws so we think he’ll be a big boy.
Work-wise I’m planning to teach him to pull the sled like I’ve done with Runa. He’s not really the right breed(s) or energy level, but ANY dog can pull with the right motivation. It just takes more training. And having another dog to help show him what he’s supposed to do will make it much easier. But he’s too young still, so we won’t start until autumn/next winter.
I’ll also train him in nose work. He needs it. He knows what “search” means but he’s… not good. Or maybe he’s fine? Maybe it’s Runa’s fault for having so much focus and energy that he looks like a Slowpoke in comparison? Right now I’ll ask him to search and while he’s bumbling around trying to find the treat I can see Runa in the background quivering with frustration. Like “I KNOW WHERE IT IS JESUS LET ME DO IT HE’S WORTHLESS” 😂
But most of all we’re just focusing on the basics for now. Sit and stay and recall and such. There will be plenty of time for sleds and nose work.