27 December 2010

So, you may wonder....

What sort of things am I doing with my puppy?

Well I'll tell you. It is so different being home with a puppy all the time. This is the FIRST time EVER that I haven't had either school or work during the day, so this puppy doesn't spend as much crate time as my previous ones have. Even though he isn't crated as much, he is by far the best behaved puppy I've had at this age (Drifter was older when I got him and so was Freeze). He will wrestle like a maniac with the other dogs for a while, will play fetch or tug with me, but after he's had his hour or so of fun, he will simply lay down on the floor or my lap, and go to sleep. It's quite nice. I can even get up and walk around and he will continue staying there. I don't know if it's because he's that much calmer than my past pups, or just due to having more time out of the crate. It's possible that the 4 hour crated periods (my mother let them out partway through while I was at work) made the previous pups a little less likely to just snooze when they were out. On the other hand, this puppy seemed to come with a "no button" as his breeder put it. If he is getting into something naughty (eating paper, fuzz, biting an older dog, whatever) all I have to do is give a mild verbal correction, and he immediately stops and comes running to me as if to say "okay, what should I do instead?". I KNOW some of my previous pups did not do this. Seri, in fact, used to sort of stick her tongue out at me when I gave a verbal correciton, and then go right back to what she was doing. It took months of patient escalation to get her to understand what I meant (meaning start with "no" or "aaah", then growl a bit louder, then just go get her and remind her she's being naughty, if she goes back to it even after I've removed her then she'd go in the crate for a bit).

Anyways, he is a well-behaved, sweet puppy. When I train him, he is a very smart puppy. So far I have been taking it easy with his training. I do want to get a very good foundation on him, as I am determined to have a dog who is really ready to go at 2 yrs old this time. The last few dogs I've trained have gotten the short end of the stick in training at a young age. So far he knows Sit, Down, Stay (I can walk about 5 feet away, or hold it about 10 seconds), he is learning to heel on both sides and he sits automatically when I stop. I've taught him to go round a jump wing over a bar on the ground, but we only do one at a time, and we come back to heel position and sit afterward. He knows how to put his front feet on a box and rotate his rear feet around it, and he also knows how to jump up on a bigger box and lay down automatically (like a table). He comes when called, and he potties outside except when I forget to let him out after playing for a long time (he's so good I forget once in a while how long it's been).

So yeah. He'll be 16 weeks old tomorrow, and I do think he's got a pretty good list of behaviors for his age. I'm not an obsessive clicker trainer, I don't do thousands of tricks with my pups, I just want them to learn how to learn, and instill the right foundation for what I do. Most of all he's learning to be a good house dog!

Today we romped in the snow, will probably do some core work (even Strafe does this!) then romp in the snow some more.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I watched the video of Lisa Frick that you posted and since we're snowed in it turned into a day of watching her agility videos. WOW does Hoss turn tight! And I do see her doing a lot more shaping/handling of the take off vs. just handling the landing performance. Imagine how fast they'd be with those turns and running contacts! Pamela