08 August 2011

Yep, 2 posts today. This one's brief. My little Danish puppy was 11 months old yesterday. His next birthday will be his real one! He'll be a whole year old! It's been so nice to have time during the day to actually work with a youngster. He knows SO MUCH more than my last few dogs have known by this age. He can run a dogwalk, although I limit his repetitions and don't allow fast or angled approaches, he can go up a see-saw with me holding it so it doesn't slam (I lower it for him), he goes over a lowered aframe (again, limited repetitions). he can do lots of simple jumping and handling exercises. He pushes to the backside of a jump. He can blind cross. He decelerates appropriately, and commits fairly early on wraps (so I can leave after cueing). He can do basic rear crosses. He knows how to stay, and how to recall. I have been lax in working serious recall-to-heel type work, but to be honest, I am not a big flatwork person anyway - I tend to focus on educating the dog around the actual obstacles, and learning how to focus on me and the obstacles appropriately. So Strafe can both send 20 feet to a jump, or run with me past one without looking at it.

He does not run full courses, of course. I have sent him to a full size jump or two, here and there, just to keep him thinking and see how he handled the challenge. I never did this with speed, and he always responded by just jumping right over it like it was nothing. I am confident that jumping is natural and easy for him. He is already better at bending and decelerating than Seri has ever been.

I have to admit that he's no longer truly perfect. He has started chewing up things made of paper if I leave him alone in a room for too long. Interesting that he waited until almost 11 months to start this habit, but there it is. He put teeth marks in a brand new book I was reading while I was out of my bedroom for a few minutes over the weekend.

I think I'll keep him though ;)





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