Pupdate – Week 21

21 Weeks, 1 Day

Weight: 21.2 kg / 46.7lbs

I took Epic to the vet this morning to have her ears looked at they have become gradually dirtier and itchier over the past week and I suspected an ear infection. Dr. Radcliffe took one look at her ears and said, yup it was an ear infection. We got a weeks worth of ear drops which will hopefully clear things up. We’ll go back for a recheck in a week or so to make sure the infection is gone. For good.

21 Weeks, 2 Days

It has been brutally cold here for a few days (-20’s . . CELCIUS!) and I have been thinking that Epic needs a coat because she has almost no undercoat. Luckily, Epic’s auntie Renee had a lovely coat just Epic’s size hanging around and it fit her perfectly!

21 Weeks, 3 Days

Today it was warm enough to go out tracking! After tracking disaster last week, tone he tracking groups that I have joined gave me some great ideas for out next track. Today, I took both Bear and Epic out.  Epic’s track was on the whole, successful. She found most of the bait, most of the footsteps and made her way to the jackpot at the end of the track.

21 Weeks, 4 Days

One of the things I worked on today with Epic is heel position and sit @ heel. As we always do, we worked in 1-5 minute sessions after each potty break but now we have a game of tug/retrieving when we are done. I haven’t been taking a singular approach to teaching this: I have been using a combination of targeting, luring and shaping to teach her that 1.) it pays to be on my left side 2.) It pays to sit in heel position at my left side and 3.) It pays to come back to heel position if she finds her self out of position.

By the end of the day she is sitting more or less straight beside me (not swinging her rear out) and she is catching her self when she gets ahead of me. Her natural tendency is to get out ahead of me (we call this forging in rally/obedience) which is an issue I can fix with time and appropriate reward placement.

21 Weeks, 5 Days

It has been rather cold lately which means less time outside for all of us so I decided to play some fetch indoors with Epic this afternoon. Sometimes she is not ready to give up a toy but is more willing if I have two toys. Today I switched it up and started clicking when she brought the ball back to my hand and offering a tasty morsel of food right away. Once she got that part down I started throwing the ball and then running away to hide from her so she had to come find me and bring the ball for a cookie and another ball throw. I call this Hide & Seek Retrieving and it’s *so* much fun!

Epic and I had class this evening! Tonight we got to work on walking nicely on leash stays and sitting/standing while strangers approach. We used our walking time to practice heeling with distractions. Epic was much less distracted than she was 2 weeks ago but about 30 minutes into the class she got very sniffy and started hunting for invisible cookies. I treated this as a sign she was mentally “done” and we went back to our mats for some chill out and settle time. After that she seemed much more focused and on task. This is going to be a very important thing for me to remember.

During the ‘sit nicely for an approaching stranger’ Epic sat while the stranger approached and spoke to me but our handshake was just too much she *had* to jump up and see what was in our hands!  We tried again a few times and I was finally able to click and reward her for staying still. This is the very beginning of greeting a stranger in the CGN, and the stand for exam in Rally/Obedience. We also tried having her stand standing while a stranger approached to go over her which is what will happen in the conformation ring her natural inclination is to visit people so I will be working on teaching her that her people will come to her if she can Just. Stand. Still.

21 Weeks, 6 Days

Epic is 5 months old today and has been with us for 3 months.

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