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Vimy's Birthday Week - Day 1: Survival Tips for Raising a High Energy Puppy

It's Day 1 of Vimy's Birthday Week Celebration, and I couldn't be more excited to share Vimy's origin story and my survival tips with you. Vimy, the baby bird dog, has been an integral part of my life and Canine Development and Testing. Here's his origin story...

A black and white puppy standing and sitting on a table
Vimy at 7 weeks old

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (well, okay, maybe just across the border), there lived a GSP breeder, Honor Point Kennels. They bred a special littler of puppies I was absolutely thrilled about. And since I was making a huge change from having Dobermans for 20+ years, this new little GSP puppy had to be PERFECT. No pressure, Annie and Charles!


After many conversations with his breeders, they decided this puppy was the best pup for my lifestyle and goals. It was a done deal, little 'Manny' puppy from the 'Fight Club' litter was going to be mine!


But Vimy's journey to his forever home wasn't a walk in the park. It was more like a whirlwind adventure filled with twists, turns, and a few unexpected detours along the way. You see, Vimy was a "COVID puppy," born during the time when the world was a mess, and travel was anything but straightforward.


His breeder, located in Iowa, faced the daunting task of sending Vimy across the border into the Great White North. And let me tell you, folks, it was no easy feat. The border situation was trickier than a game of hide-and-seek, trying to navigate all the new government nerves were frayed.


But with determination, perseverance, and a little help from some incredibly great friends, Vimy finally made his grand entrance onto Canadian soil.


Sure, he may have brought along a few pesky ticks as souvenirs from his journey through Minnesota, but hey, nobody's perfect!


And speaking of journeys, let me tell you about the epic road trip from Calgary to Winnipeg—a saga filled with endless prairies, quirky towns, and one best friend named Cori. Without her by my side, I'm not sure I would have made it through those long stretches of nothingness with my sanity intact.


Three years later, that journey and all the stress surrounding it seems like a distant memory. I'm not quite ready to do it all over again but I certainly wouldn't trade the adventure we had for anything!

Black and white dog laying down with a litter of puppies
*Momma Aero with the 'Fight Club' Litter - Photo courtesy Honor Point Kennels

Vimy came at a time when I was just launching CDT. I couldn't imagine a life without him, but man...he was (and still is) a lot of work!

Survival strategies for raising a high energy puppy or dog


  1. Decompression Walks - It's not always easy to get these high energy breeds out to stretch their legs, and give them adequate decompression time but it's such a must! I personally love the private off-leash parks as a resource for doing this safely, but my pro tip if you don't want to spend the $$$ is to open up google maps and look at the satellite view for your area. I usually look for areas that are away from roads, have a lot of green space, and are away from the hustle of the city. Then, go do a drive-by so you can scout out the area. Once you start looking around, you'd be surprised how many areas exist to get out on or off-leash for exercise that doesn't include the city dog parks (yikes...). If your recall is shaky, grab a back-clip harness and a 30ft long line and get out there! You can thank me later.

  2. Teach Your Dog to Swim - This is a great way to burn off some extra energy but low impact enough that even young dogs can safely enjoy the activity. I would highly recommend checking out Sleep Rover's indoor pool! They provide a safe experience to get your dog swimming, even if they've never swam before! To help celebrate Vimy's birthday, Sleep Rover is giving all CDT customers a 30% discount on an intro swim. That's 30 mins with an instructor in their brand new pool! Use code VIMY3 when you book. Hurry, offer expires April 30. Sleep Rover

  3. Start Training These Skills - There are 7 essential skills I believe every puppy and dog should know...even Vimy! These skills will save your butt once adolescence hits so check out my free video series here and get started working on these skills, today! 7 Essential Skills Video Series

  4. Enrichment - If you've trained with me before, you'll know I'm adamant about appropriate exercise as the priority for our puppies and dogs, but we can't overlook enrichment as something that can help save your sanity when raising a puppy! Personally, I look for long lasting natural chews such as knuckle bones or bull tails but check out Especially 4 Pets - they have a huge selection and offer delivery so you don't even need to leave your desk! PS - They also give CDT customers a discount on treats and toys, plus free shipping! Use code train2024

Vimy's First Swim

I've captured many moments of Vimy's first few months with me but one that stands out as the BEST and sweetest memory is his first swim with Wendy and her puppy, Blake. Watch all the cuteness.

I invite you to join me in celebrating Vimy's birthday week. Throughout the week, I have more stories and some offers in store for you. Stay tuned for more!

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