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C.L.A.S.S and STAR Puppy training

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R and K are doing great in their training classes! R has his class first, then K has class immediately after. It works out perfectly because I only have to drive them to class one day a week instead of two, and while one is training, the other is crated. It’s really helping to teach them both that it’s ok for one to get attention without the other having to butt in. R is having the most trouble being crated. He doesn’t usually get crated so I can totally understand why he isn’t happy about it. K is ok with it unless she can see her brother getting attention and having fun. Then she throws a little fit until she realizes she isn’t getting anywhere.

So far R has started learning settle, spin, wait, stay, and we are working on his recall. He is the oldest in his class, and his recall is about as fast as a turtle running through molasses in February during a wicked Nor’easter… Which is to say not very fast. He doesn’t get excited about much when it comes to training. I asked if I could bring in a squirrel to get him moving… The answer was no.

In K’s class we worked on sit and down tonight, as well as puppy massage. K LOVED the massage part of class. At first she fought me every step of the way because it involved light restraint, and touching her paws, but then she about fell asleep on my lap. We got a quick 10 minutes to play before we left, too, and K made a friend! A little female Australian shepherd mix.

Even though R is bored with the class and not very willing to participate or show any enthusiasm, I’m still looking forward to really working with him and getting him to pass the test at the end. He is already an obedience school drop out, so we can’t drop out of this class, too. I think he is just bored, to be honest. He’s really smart, he’s just lazy and knows he doesn’t really have to do any of the tricks we do in class. I need to be a little more confident for him.

I will try to update when I can, but once school starts it won’t be easy. A&P I is gonna be tough!

And Then There Were Two!

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As I said in my last post, we recently adopted a German Shepherd puppy, K-dawg. We got her when she was 8 weeks and 1 day old! As of today she is just over 15 weeks old, and at least 35lbs. She has been gaining 3 to 4.5lbs a week since we got her. At this rate she will be over 100lbs before she is 9 months old. That will make R-dawg the “little” dog. Boy will that be a sight! Poor R-dawg is going to have a BIG little sister.

And I’m going to need a bigger car!

So K-dawg is a handful. We called her the Ten Pound Terror when we first got her (even though she was 13lbs) then the Twenty Pound Terror. Then just The Terror. Occasionally I called her the Devil’s Child or the Devil’s Spawn. It’s all in love though, don’t get me wrong. She is so full of energy and personality that I can barely keep up! So far she has learned quite a few commands.

Sit – for treats, usually.

Crate – for treats… usually.

Let’s Go – for when it’s time to go back inside after being out in the yard.

Leave It

No

Get A Drink – she gets to playing and forgets, then she drinks a whole bowl in one go, so I like to remind the dogs to drink water.

Outside

Kitty Cat – because it’s fun to watch my not-so-little puppy look for the mean kitty cats around the house.

AND she has learned to use the bell to tell us she has to potty. But now she also uses it to tell us she wants to go outside to play. She will do all her potty business outside, play, then come inside and ring the bell as soon as she goes through the door to go back out. Yeah, no. I know what she’s doing. She’s too smart for her own good!

She has also learned to walk on a leash, and that the vet is NOT a scary place. (I’m going to give a big thank you to R-dawg for that one. He loves the vet, and he was the one she followed into the office for her first visit, and he was the one she learned from. Now she loves going to see our vet friends as much as R-dawg does. Except for the car ride part… She hates the car, poor baby.)

I am really really super excited to get her started in obedience classes. I have a feeling she is going to be just as smart, if not smarter, than her big brother. She already watches and learns from him. Plus, having them both in training will help keep me busy while I suffer through the next month. Having a month off from school is a nightmare. I’m ready to go back already, and it has only been a week.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that K-dawg graduates training with flying colors and that we can move on to the next class. I also hope it helps her grow to be a friendly and well behaved girl!

R-Dawg’s Introduction

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In 2010 I adopted a 5 week old puppy. Let’s call him R-dawg. I didn’t know he was that young. I also didn’t know that the lady I got him from was running a puppy mill, not working for a shelter like she claimed. I thought and was told that he was a border collie. I thought he was healthy. I thought he would be an easy puppy.

That little guy has been full of surprises since day one.

Conjunctivitis. Worms. Fleas. Ticks. 5 weeks old. He was a mess. And this was just the second day of our new life together, when I took him to the vet. $500 later we were home and he was on the mend.

Thankfully, not all of the surprises have been bad. He was surprisingly housebroken. He was playful. He had a great appetite for food, love, and learning. And separation anxiety that took 2 years to get over.

He also grew… A lot.

My little border collie puppy that we expected to be around 30-35 pounds as an adult grew to be a 70lb shepherd mix. He is now four and a half, and still surprising me every day!

He has had his share of ups and down. He was beat up by a golden retriever. He got a pretty nasty eye infection when he was 2. Then he got seriously dehydrated when he refused to eat or drink when we moved 1400 miles. Soon after, he caught the flu. Since being dehydrated and catching the flu R-dawg has become good friends with the vet and vet techs, and we visit on a regular basis for wellness checks to make sure he stays healthy. My boy is going to live forever with the quality of care he receives from our new vet! The vet we had before the big move wasn’t the greatest.

Anyway… In 2013 we started taking obedience classes, but then we moved before completing the class. R-dawg became my decently behaved obedience school drop out. Well, about two months ago our family grew by four feet… Or should I say four paws? R-dawg became a big brother to an 8 week old female German Shepherd, whom we will call K-dawg. I figured that putting R-dawg back into school would help ease him into big-brotherhood. Not only will it give him a new job and reinforce the few things my boyfriend and I have managed to teach him, but it would also give him time with mommy awake from K-dawg.

The first couple classes have gone great! Much better than I expected. We skipped the basic class, too! Before these classes started we met with the trainer to see what R-dawg knew, and she put us in the next class up! The tasks R-dawg has been learning are not easy, but he is trying his hardest to figure it out. I am so proud of my baby boy. He is the oldest in the class, and he doesn’t have the energy the other dogs have, but he is a star so far. I’m so proud of him that when he picks up on a new command, even just a little, I give him treats AND I get down on the floor with him for lots of hugs and rubs. He is just so good and so willing to learn! He really is full of surprises!

The past two weeks we have reviewed sit, down, wait, and leave it, as well as started to learn how to turn/spin. Then we started learning to go to a special mat on command to begin learning “settle.” I can’t get over how quickly R-dawg is picking up on everything. Sometimes I wonder if this dog is smarter than he lets on. I’m pretty sure he plays dumb to make his life easier. He’s crazy intelligent. And so well behaved. At one point during class I told him sit, wait, then I walked away. He just sat there, eyes on me, maybe a little confused but going with the flow as best he could. So damn smart! It actually surprised me that he sat and waited for me. I really expected him to follow me.

As these classes continue I will update. I’ll also start updating on K-dawg’s training. She starts this Sunday! It’s going to be a great set up: R-dawg’s class starts at 4, and K-dawg starts at 5, so while R-dawg is training K-dawg will be in a crate near us, and they will switch. I’m hoping it will help show K-dawg that it’s ok if R-dawg gets attention and help her settle down instead of bullying R-dawg away from me.

We shall see!

 

 

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