Latest news:   3/11/2016 - The next Lodon GPS litter is due in the spring of 2017 - to reserve a puppy contact Andrew and Jane on 01885482273 or email us at av.morris@btinternet.com

Lodon Stanley

 

The Beginning
The build up to collecting Maverick (Lodon Stanley) felt like the week before Christmas, so full of excitement! I had been in communication with the Morris’s since well before Lodon Katie Can was mated (since March to be precise), and felt part of the whole journey. I really cannot recommend Andrew and Jane highly enough: their professionalism, experience and care for the litter is second to none.

I met little Maverick at 4 weeks, and he stole my hearts with his strong-willed attitude and love for attention! It was a nervy one week wait to hear if my home would be chosen and was beyond ecstatic when Andrew phoned to give the good news - it certainly brightened up what would have otherwise been a very dull supermarket shop!


8 - 12 Weeks
Maverick is the most head strong little pup I have ever come across! The words Jane left me with will always stick in my mind “he’s going to be a big boy, and you’re going to need to work hard’…. She wasn’t wrong, but for lovely reasons! He did not mind the car journey back one little bit - no whining or crying, mainly just sleeping. That could have something to do with the hot water bottle and snuggly blanket though! When he got home, he was full of intrigue and set about dragging everything he could find into his big bed: blanket, toys, slippers, you name it and it was in there!

He has been a fantastically quick learner and will happily trot outside to do his toileting. Within 24 hours the smart boy was sitting on command and even waiting patiently before tearing around the house to chase his favourite cuddly toy, duck-duck. He can manage playing for little bursts, his little paws scrabbling around as he slides the length of the downstairs floorboards!

Maverick takes everything in his stride. He didn’t flinch during any of his trips to the vet for jabs and micro-chipping, think his dad was more in pain than he was! It had been a long 3-week wait to be able to take him for his first walk, and he loved it. The continual leash training indoors (he was never too sure why we ran up and down the garden with me saying “let’s go” repeatedly) all paid off and he walked like a pro next to my side, sniffing anything he could get his nose next to!


12 - 16 Weeks
What a jam-packed four weeks it has been! Maverick has grown up so much and is so quick to learn. He’s completely sussed toilet training and has gone from having a bladder the size of a walnut to being able to hold throughout the night! Which has meant he’s moved into his big boy bed, a coffee table come wooden dog crate that is like his own little house.

Silence fills me with trepidation, as it generally tends to mean he has sacrificed something into his bed and is slowly nibbling his way through it - slippers seem to be at the top of his list and a lovely new toy he was bought lasted all of five minutes before being ‘conquered and destroyed’! He is willing and obedient and picked sit, down and stay commands up like a real pro! When he gets into a deep sleep, his snore can match mine! In true human style, I have also learnt that he also gets man-flu! A very worried night of him crying and yelping with painful movement (and a trip to the out-of-hours vet) led to the diagnosis that he had a slight temperature and a cold - I could empathise with the feeling of complete incapacitation though!

Maverick has been out for his first walks and is such a confident little puppy and absolutely loves being able to bound around on the sand, mud, and through puddles. His recall to whistle is superb, unless he finds something more fascinating to fixate him! He is such a head-turner wherever I go and I am so proud to be able to show him off. He’s been into work a few times and is slowly becoming the star of the Regiment with my office receiving more visitors than usual whenever people hear that he is in!


16 - 20 Weeks
Maverick needs to start growing into his gangly legs! He loves nothing more than to gallop around everywhere, and resembles Bambi crashing through the woods. His temperament is so lovely, and he is an a gem around children. I have a young nephew and nieces, and he will happily play rough and tumble with them and has more patience than I to cope with the odd ear pull!

I transitioned Maverick to a raw working puppy food and he is flourishing for it. Not that he needed it, but he has even more energy than ever! His coat is still soft and very shiny, he is putting on muscle not fat, and a beef shinbone will easily pacify him for at least an hour!

I am so lucky to have Maverick by my side; it’s difficult to remember what things were like without him around. He feels the need to be involved in everything that happens, and his little face will pop up during the middle of a conversation just checking to see if he can get involved.


20 - 24 Weeks
It’s so hard to believe that the puppy I picked up 6 months ago has grown so much! He now stands at a whopping 21Kg (having been 4.8Kg as an 8 week old puppy) and still has plenty of skin and large paws to grow into. Wherever I go with Maverick, topic of conversation quickly switches to him and what a handsome and well-behaved chap he is. Whilst obedient for the most part, he has definitely started his adolescence and the words from Jane when I picked him up in November are truer now than ever - I am most certainly working hard to stop any bad traits before they become too ingrained. If nothing else, I would like a pair of slippers to last for more than a week before they become his favourite chew toy!

Gun dog training has now started in earnest, and we attend weekly sessions with a local trainer. Having secured a peg at a nearby shoot, I am working towards getting him out at the start of the 2017 season as retriever and general shooting companion. Plenty of hard work to come, but he is really solid in the heel and has superbly quick responses to other basic commands. His favourite part of training seems to be chasing the rabbits around the pen but, for now, they are just that little too quick - one day he will get there!


Months 6 - 8
Maverick is growing up so quickly; people find it hard to believe he is still a puppy! Weighing in at 31Kg he is showing no signs of stopping and is already taller than most other GSPs I meet. He is now a permanent fixture at work and has settled into a routine - he knows when to chill out and sleep, and when to get animated and be an exuberant little chap. Long days in the office are now filled with lots of laughter as he scampers around. Sadly, I need to curtail his bin foraging as the nickname ‘bin dog’ is spreading throughout the Regiment!

He has spent a lot of time in the countryside and absolutely loves it: from meeting horses at the yard to galloping in open fields. There is not an ounce of fear in his body and he will charge headfirst into any new situation, engaging his brain as an afterthought. He came to Badminton Horse Trials and decided to take a dip in the lake…. Not having yet developed his swimming legs or depth appreciation, the dog walkers and I held our collective breath as he fully submerged himself. Fortunately, before I had to dive in after him (the Baywatch theme started up in my mind), his head bobbed up and he continued to splash around! His favourite place to relax appears to be the pub, which is somewhat fortuitous. He has wonderful table manners (taught by a spaniel that would ‘shout’ at him until he learned to settle) and will lie on the floor beneath me. That is until someone offers him some food and then, without as second thought, he will abandon me!

Maverick is progressing at a phenomenal rate with his gun dog training. I have him walking to heel both on and off the lead, and introducing more whistle/hand commands. He will retrieve in the open on command and is pretty steady (at least when there are no distractions around!). My trainer works spaniels, and despite his nickname being ‘cocker’ when we train, his utter contempt for retrieving in cover is a firm reminder that he is most definitely a GSP!



Andrew and Jane would like to thank Jon Warren for sparing time to write this article.