are fast and as agile as any cat, and even as a puppy learn to distinguish
between familiar and suspect noises. Talking about agility, I would however
like to emphasise one point, they are strong dogs and strongly built,
but they must maintain agility to be typical of the breed. They must never
become heavy overweight dogs. I wish to underline this fact as some breeders
seem to see as their aim, when addressing themselves to choosing subjects,
to choose dogs which are growing and growing in size and which are becoming
too heavy, with too much skin and therefore losing the agility of their
movement. If it is true that today on average, the breed is definitely
of greater size to what it was years ago, when there was less attention
and less knowledge given to the selection and feeding of the dogs, then
this must not alter the duplicity of a breed that has been maintained
in so pure a way for centuries on any count. Otherwise we will run the
real risk of losing a very rich patrimony that surely many other breeds
envy. If we loose the physical characteristics we also risk losing the
psychological ones as well, which are so particular and so beautiful in
the characteristics of the breed is the ability for bitches to rear large
litters, giving everything of themselves to the rearing of puppies, so
much so that it can take a bitch up to six months to recover her condition.
The puppies are much more precocious than in other breeds opening their
eyes at around ten days as opposed to fourteen to eighteen days in other
breeds, and as soon as they can move around they will look for a corner
to relieve themselves. At one month of age the puppies will follow their
mothers around and have great adventures exploring as a group. They are
very curious of any angle or corner that they can reach, always however
being able to return to the nest without ever getting lost. Puppies are
very brave, possessing strong instincts of the sheepdog, going off in
groups, and not being afraid of dogs and animals coming into their territory.
regardless of the size of the intruder.
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