12 Weeks, 1 Day
Weight: 11.8kg (26lbs)
Today our puppy adventure involved a trip to a vet clinic – our very own vet clinic. Although Epic has been to the clinic, I like to take her frequently for low stress visits. A weekly visit for a weigh-in to monitor her weight is perfect and the staff at Brandon Animal Clinic are always happy to see us and always have a cookie for Epic.
A dog that is comfortable at the vet and looks forward to visiting the vet is a dog that will experience less stress, should she ever have to spend a significant amount of time there.
Before and after the off-site clinic Epic and Hudson spent the morning playing tug and chasing each other. Cooperative play is not something Bear ‘does’ (he would rather hoard toys and guard them from Epic) so I am pleased that she has an opportunity to play this way with Husdon.
We came home from puppy camp to discover a yard full of heavy machinery and half a dozen men in the process of re-siding our house. Epic was slightly wary of the strange men in our yard but I convinced her to come into the house. The dogs and I napped in the afternoon to the sounds of drills, hammers and siding being cut. Neither of the dogs barked all afternoon – until the workers piled into their truck – apparently the slamming truck door was something to bark about.
Since they are only about halfway done with the house, there is some heavy equipment, ladders and a small pile of building material in our yard. Epic was not worried about this at all and the scissor lift has become a centerpiece in a new game for Epic and Bear. Epic hides underneath the scissor lift while Bear runs around it barking. From time to time Epic will pounce on Bear and then run back under the lift where he can’t find her. This causes more barking!
12 Weeks, 2 Days
One of the things I want to work towards in the next few weeks is having Epic stay at home, alone in her crate for up to 4 hours. Having a dog that can stay home alone means I can go for dinner with friends, or run errands when it is too hot or cold to leave a dog in the car.
I left her last night for about 2 hours. I put her into her crate with supper next to Bear’s crate and Sean and I went to a friends for a bonfire. When I returned she was dry, clean and happy to see us.
This morning we left her for 2.5 hours while we went for Breakfast with friends. Again, we left her in her crate beside Bear with breakfast and returned to a quiet house, and a clean, dry, and happy puppy.
Later this afternoon, I took Epic to a local agility trial to schmooze and take in the sights. This trial was a bit different from the last one in that Epic could see right into the ring where the dogs were running (which was fascinating) and this club uses an electronic timer with a loudspeaker. The loudspeaker says “go” and counts down from 5 for the table count. Epic did not startle when she heard it but she did look around the first few times to see where that voice came from.
As with all puppies at agility trials, Epic got a ton of rewards from strangers (men and women). She also got to meet a few dogs who she approached cautiously but wasn’t all that interested in. Since it was a windy day, Epic got to check out some flapping tarps and shade cloths – which were quite suspicious. I think I might attach my tarp to our fence next week (we always have wind) and let her explore the scary flappy thing.
After a few hours at the agility trial I thought Epic would be nice and tired for a bath and nail trim. She was. This time we did the bath at the local Dog Wash. She was less than impressed but stood still while I washed her. I could not believe all the puppy coat that came out of her, even though I have been noticing that her adult coat is overtaking the puppy fuzz.
Once we returned home, I did her nails with her lying down on the couch next to me (I use guillotine clippers) with minimum fuss.
12 Weeks, 3 Days
Today (Sunday) was mostly a lazy day but Sean and I did want to go to the local bar to watch the football game. Since Epic did well in her crate the day before, the plan was to giver her a good walk/play before the game and leave her with a couple of chicken necks to chew on. This time we left her in her crate upstairs.
Approximately 4 hours later we pulled into the driveway and when I opened the car door I could hear Epic having a royal puppy fit from the open window.
I went upstairs to find a clean and dry un-happy puppy. God only knows how long the fit had been going on for. It occurred to me then that I had left her downstairs with Bear before so perhaps she was more bothered by being truly alone than by being left for the extended period of time. Next time I leave her, I’ll leave her with Bear and see how she does.
12 Weeks, 4 Days
Last night we had a typical prairie thunder-storm – several in a row actually – with thunder so loud that it woke me up! Bear who normally barks, was quiet and so was Epic. I knew she was awake because I could hear her rattling around in her crate but I didn’t hear a peep from her. Although the thunder made for a sleepless night, I am happy to know that Epic does not appear to be sound sensitive or thunder-phobic.
Today at work my friend Kathy was in to do nail trims and grooming so we had a chance to chat a bit more about conformation. Epic is still growing (right now she’s all legs, no neck) but we are working on standing still as the lead-in to a free stack. We also talked a bit more about the mouth exam. Epic did not like Kathy covering her eyes, she fidgets/fusses while we look a her bite and there was no way we were going to see her molars. The Canadian Kennel Club standard for the Rottweilers dictates that Rottweilers must have all of all of their teeth, so it is almost certain that I will have to show a judge her molars in the ring. I don’t want this to turn into a battle of wills (or strength) so I’m going to use some of the methods outlined in the book, Click for Grooming to get Epic used to people handling her mouth and face.
Before our Puppy playgroup this evening, I brought Epic and Bear to the training building so that my friend, who was concerned about a photo I shared last week, could see them play in person. We watched them for about 15 minutes and even though both dogs had half-closed mouths and we could often see ALL of Epic’s front teeth, we both agree that everything else about what was going on says “play”: the dogs took turns being on the ground and crawling over each other, despite ‘scary mouths’, both dogs had relaxed bodies, ears and faces, they took natural breaks in play and both came when called to sit for a cookie. I am glad my gut instinct was correct.
Our Puppy Play Group consisted of Epic, Copper-the-Beagle and Hudson-the-Welsh-Terrier (from Puppy Adventure Camp). The puppies got to play and then we did a bit of recall and obstacle work then the puppies got to play again. The game of the day was tug/chase!
12 Weeks, 5 Days
Epic’s AKC registration arrived in the mail today! This means she is now officially recorded as an individual dog in my name with the American Kennel Club. I also received the 3 generation pedigree I’ll need to register her with the Canadian Kennel Club and now I have a boatload of paperwork to do to make that happen.
12 Weeks, 6 days
This evening I had to teach two classes and I had Epic with me. Between classes, as I was taking her out to potty, the daughter of one of my students asked if she could see the puppy. Of course, I said yes, this being the perfect opportunity for Epic to meet a young person, especially a young person who has done some training with her own dog. Epic was very gentle (no jumping, no nipping) and happy to perform some of her tricks, for a stranger, in exchange for cookies. We have 3 weeks left of this class so I need to remember to make sure Epic gets a weekly visit in with this great little girl.