Posted by: allstaragility | February 19, 2012

12 Weeks!

Hard to believe the baby is already 12 weeks old!  C-ya is growing like a weed and starting to lose her baby face.  Her legs are sprouting and the ears still thinking about standing up.  Every day I see a little more maturity.  That is so much fun on one hand, but kind-of sad on the other.

We have had some wonderful adventures this week.  She has gone to all of my classes and helped on Tuesday night by being a great distraction at the weave poles.  I would toss her toy and let her run to get it against the direction the dogs were weaving, and only about a foot away.  My students have done an amazing job teaching weaves- only a few dogs popped out to see what was going on and all were successful ignoring her by the end of the evening!

We have gone numerous times to K-9’s and C-ya has been in the training rotation with Solei and Bode.   I have created a tunnel monster!  She loves the tunnels so much, they have become a distraction when working in the main arena.  Because of this, we go out and work some focus skills (hand targeting, setting-up, sits, downs, waits) and then she gets to take a tunnel as a reward at the very end.   If she decides to go to a tunnel on her own, I simply turn and walk away.   She is quickly learning that fun things happen with me and it isn’t as much fun if she wants to do it on her own!  We end our sessions with all the dogs having a great romp in the arena.

We have taken several walks around the neighborhood, experiencing traffic and heavy construction equipment.  The big concrete truck passing us worried her some, but she was quick to recover and got lots of cookies for being brave the next time it came by.   Loud noises don’t concern her at all, she is just curious as to the source of them.

We also took a trip to PetCo and it was a long visit as C met a new friend on every aisle!  She has pretty good manners when somebody pets her, but would much prefer to climb into their lap and nibble their ears.   She hasn’t met a stranger, yet!

The main training aspect we have added into our skills has been the concept of moving items (nudging the balance ball and drawers, pushing doors closed, little teeters, etc) and more proprioception  exercises (ladder-work, balancing, turning around on planks, etc).   It is important to keep in mind that C-ya is going into that awkward phase where body coordination won’t be her strongest attribute.  While we will continue to work on honing these skills, I will have to be careful not to push her beyond her physical abilities.

As much as C loves to eat, she is really becoming more of a toy dog in training.  The treats aren’t holding her focus and desire to work as much as the prospect of getting to play.  Because of this, our sessions have been short and I have to leave her wanting more before  she decides she is done with food and seeks out a toy instead.  I am also working toys into shaping sessions, but I have to be careful not to over-stimulate her with toys or she has a hard time focusing on the tasks.

It has been interesting to see how bringing they puppy into my household has changed the dynamics of my group.   C-ya and Solei are buddies and rough-house when they get the chance.  One is a little shadow of the other.  I was pretty certain C would attach herself to Zoom, but it looks like Solei is her idol.  She cuddles with Zoomie, but he actually polices her more than he did with Solei.  He is very gentle, but does let her know when she is out of line.

Bode will play with her when he gets the notion, but otherwise he ignores her and wants to cuddle more with me.  Caper is still ambivalent.  He told her once to stay away and she is sure to leave a wide buffer around him.  Still, I keep him pretty separate so his peace isn’t disrupted.  I am very thankful that the addition hasn’t been too stressful on Caper.  He is pretty fragile and I was worried how it would affect him.

Probably the most interesting development has been that Bode and Zoom have been playing with each other!  That has never happened before.  It will be interesting to study the interactions and relationships between my dogs as C-ya grows up.

Here is a video of some of the things we have worked on in the last few days:


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