Pupdate – Week 18

18 Weeks

Since today is Halloween, I took a few photos of Epic..and her pumpkin.

This evening was also my last class in Portage La Prairie so I decided to bring both dogs with me since I wasn’t sure what Sean had planned and to avoid the barking etc that tends to go on when folks ring our doorbell – even though our house always looks abandoned on Halloween.

I don’t typically dress Bear up, it’s hard to find “big dog” costumes but I did find this tiara for Epic. Pretending to be a princess isn’t much of a stretch for her!

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18 Weeks, 2 Days

Weight: 19.2lbs ~ 42lbs

Today, Epic and I celebrate a very important milestone. it’s been two whole weeks without any housetraining relapses. We started off with housetraining really well, and when Sean went away, and then I was sick for a week, it went to, well, crap. I got back on top of things and it’s been two weeks (and counting) since I’ve had to haul out the mop or paper towel at home, or at work.

This afternoon was our second Conformation class. Today I used roast beef as food rewards – and boy did it ever. Today we had two new people examine Epic, a woman and a man who are in the class. The woman did not seem to bother her but she was a bit worried about showing her teeth to the man until I let her face him straight on before showing her bite. She was less interested in the other dogs today, even the ones we did not see last class and she completely ignored the squeaky toys others were using to get their dog’s attention.

The two things we need to work on for next week are me being able to move away from her while she is in the free stack and teaching her to hold a stacked position and wait for her food to be delivered instead of diving for it – which doesn’t make for a very flattering picture.

18 Weeks 3 Days

Today I did not have dogs at work but I did have to go in to do a few things. Since today is one of the days we have a groomer come to the daycare and she brought one of her dogs. Epic got to play (meaning follow around) with a 10yo pointer boy, Cowboy who is just Great with puppies! While I was there a local Rottweiler breeder/exhibitor came in to have his dog’s toenails filed so I brought Epic out to see him.

He took a real hard look at her conformation and told me what he liked about her and what he saw as problematic. Overall she thought she was a nice dog and that her current ‘problem areas’ might improve once she is more physically mature. I didn’t ask for his opinion but I got it and, I see the same things he does and I feel the same way – things will change as she natures – and if they don’t, there is life after Conformation for us!

18 Weeks, 4 Days

Today Epic and I worked a bit on shaping with some FitPAWS equipment. check out the video below. I swear, you can practically HEAR her think!

18 Weeks, 5 Days

Today, I decided to start working on heel position with Epic. I have been holding off on it for some time now because I wasn’t sure how I would approach it. To be honest, I can’t even remember how I taught Bear to heel and in our beginning rally classes we basically shape heeling and lure/reward sit at heel. With Epic, I want to approach things in more of a structured way because I want good position, rhythm and attitude. I also want to shape this behaviour because I want it to be one of her strongest behaviours, I want her to ‘own’ it. So, today, after some inspiration from this YouTube video, I decided to start clicking/rewarding epic every time she moved to my left side. If I was the centre of the clock, I was clicking  any position from 6 o’clock to 12 0clock and rewarding at my left side. If she appeared to get “stuck”, I waited for her to offer movement to the left and then rewarded by tossing a cookie behind her to ‘reset’. In one session she caught on very quickly to the fact that staying on my left side was earning her cookies, now I just need to narrow down the “window” to the few square inches beside me.

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