Pupdate – Week 15

15 Weeks

Epic is now big enough for her pink ‘big girl’ harness. I bought this for her about 3-4 weeks ago hoping she could go right into it after the ‘baby’ blue harness but alas we had 2 weeks of no harness. I’m glad this now fits because her puppy collar is also getting small.

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15 Weeks –  2 Days

I was rummaging around the basement today when I came across a stack of foam floor tiles. “These,” I said to myself, “will be perfect for the dogs to play on in the living room”.

I have been looking around at rugs/mats but right now the size of our living room makes any kind of temporary carpeting or large rug cost prohibitive and, to be honest, I’d rather not have to deal with anymore carpet in the house between my kluztiness and the dogs. These 2’ foam squares fit together like puzzle pieces and can be arranged to whatever format works for me. They can also be vacuumed and mopped easily in case of canine accidents or human spills. Bear and Epic love their new wrestling ring!

15 Weeks – 5 Days

After a long, long weekend off (4 days) I am back to work, still bringing both dogs with me because Sean is still away.

Epic is teething right now. It seems to go in fits and starts but I know when it is particularly bad because her eyes start watering/dripping. Since her mouth is extra tender, I’m not even going to think about handling her mouth or working on having her show her bite calmly for a week or so. Until then, however, I am going to use the training time after every potty break to shape a free stack.

This evening Epic went to her first ‘big dog class’, a class where dogs work on leash, unlike puppy play group. The puppies in this class are 17-24 weeks but Epic and I snuck in a bit early. We got to work on sits downs and stands, basic loose leash walking and then Epic got to play with one of her classmates, Cooper the Cocker Spaniel. Cooper is a bit worried about other dogs but Epic was slow and gentle with him, much different from her usual run right at ‘em play style. I was so pleased to see that she can adjust her play to her playmates. This means she ‘speaks dog relatively well and dogs who ‘speak dog’ well are less likely to get themselves into dog fights.

15 Weeks  – 6 Days

Have I mentioned teething? Epic has lost about 4 of her front teeth (the chiclets, I call them) in the past day. Her gums are red and she is awfully prone to puppy hissy fits in her crate. All I can do is provide her with a variety of things to chew on….right now she seems to prefer bully sticks, rawhides and partially frozen food-filled kongs.

Pupdate – Week 14

14 Weeks

This evening, I had to head to Portage La Prairie to teach a class. Since Sean is away, both Epic and Bear came with me. Before class we had a short walk around the block and then Epic came inside to socialise while Bear camped out in his crate in the car.  I left Epic with a friend while I went out to get her crate and when I came back she did not appear to panicked by my absence.

One of the things I have agreed to do with Epic is obtain either a CKC Canine Good Neighbour Certificate or an AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate. Both the CGC and the CGN are programs designed to encourage responsible dog ownership and the test contains basic exercises designed to test whether a dog is well behaved in public around people and other dogs. The most difficult test item, and one that I think is the most toughly judged is the final test – supervised isolation. Dogs are left with a stranger for 3 minutes and are not supposed to whine bark show distress or be generally out of control until the owner returns. This means that if your dog is calm until he sees you return and then barks and jumps to get to you, depending on the evaluator, you could disqualify for nothing more than your dog being happy to see you.

In the scheme of things, I’m not certain this is the most realistic test item. I’d like my dogs to be calm when I leave them with strangers (vet, groomer, boarding) however I am ok with them being a bit excited when we are reunited so long as they aren’t knocking anyone over in the process.

It took me quite a long time to teach Bear to contain himself when he was reunited with me….and I have the feeling Epic might have a rally title or two under her belt before we even attempt the CGN or CGC.

14 Weeks, 1 Day

Today we headed to 4U Farms in St. Norbert MB to take Epic to a Herding Instinct Test. Herding Instinct tests are a pass/fail kind of thing and simply evaluate the natural instinct your dog displays the day of the test. Passing an instinct test doesn’t mean you have a herding champion in the making, some dogs with instinct need more training than others to succeed in trials. Conversely, failing doesn’t mean your dog is a herding dud it may just be that your dog needs a few exposures to stock to ‘turn on’ or perhaps they need to mature a bit.

I didn’t have a clue what to expect with Epic. I knew her breeder took the litter out on ducks when they were about 7 weeks old…about 1/2 of Epic’s lifetime ago.

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At first, Epic was pretty certain the the ducks would bite her. She ran towards them and they got all flappy which made her jump back. We caught one and held it for her so she could sniff it, determine it was not a duck of the puppy killing variety and then she was much more willing to give chase. Once she gave chase, the ducks would scatter and her little puppy brain had a tough time diving itself between having fun exploring the arena and keeping the ducks together.

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She did have a few moments, however of gathering the the ducks together, working in balance and even a bit of driving (moving the ducks away from the handler as opposed to towards the handler).

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Epic passed the test and I’m looking forward to more herding with her. You can view the test evaluation form here.

14 Weeks, 2 Days

This morning, I took Epic to a local vaccine clinic for her final distemper/parvo booster. I stayed on hand afterwards to help out with dogs receiving vaccines, nail trims and to hand out some daycare coupons and talk to potential customers.

While I was busy Epic waited in her crate, when I was not busy she was out to say hi to whoever would pet her. She met quite a few new people and even made friends with a very sweet little girl.

After the clinic, I had to go into town to teach a class and to pick up some groceries so I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to leave her home alone with Bear. After she was fed, watered, went out to potty and had a new (to her) chew toy to play with I left her in her crate, beside Bear for what ended up being 4 hours. Class happens to coincide with what is typically her afternoon nap-time so I returned to a clean, dry, happy puppy. Much better than the last time I left her alone for that length of time! With Sean away, and my very long work days, I have even less opportunity to leave her home alone so for the next few weeks, if I have errands to run on the weekend, instead of staying in a crate in the car, Epic will be staying in her crate at home like a big girl.

14 Weeks, 3 Days

Today we returned to St. Norbert, MB to attend a herding trial with Bear. Epic came along for the ride and got to schmooze with her herding friends both canine and feline. Sometimes I think my dogs have better social lives than I do.

14 weeks, 6 days

For the past few days, I have been battling some kind of virus. It figures that I would get sick when I’m stick home alone with a puppy.  Epic has been spending a lot of her time with food puzzle toys (Kong, squirrel, Nina Ottoson) and chew toys. Now that I am feeling better, I’m looking forward to the weekend when we can get out and do more.

Pupdate – Week 13

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13 Weeks

Today over lunch I decided to play some games with Epic using both a fleece tug and cookies as rewards. I rewarded her for offering stand and downs, for walking beside me and for coming to find me if I hid out of sight while she was distracted. I am making a very conscious effort with Epic to pair the click with food and toys so I use them both as rewards in the same session.

The other thing I practiced was letting Epic “win” the tug game, encouraging her to bring it back for another round and then doing the same thing all over again. I am hoping in the long run that she finds playing tug with me more fun than whipping the tug around on her own…we’ll have to wait and see about that.

This evening Epic came with me when I drove to Portage la Prairie to teach an out of town class. As usual she was a princess in the car and since we had some time when we got there before class started we took a short walk around the block and then went into the training facility to say hi.

She went down some dark stairs, said “hi” to old friends and new, and she was able and willing to play tug with me for a while. I took her back out to the crate in the car while I taught class but plan to try her in her crate in the building while I teach next week.

13 Weeks, 1 Day

Weight: 13.2 kg (~29lbs)

Well, Epic can now help herself onto the furniture now, without taking a flying, leaping, running start. She’s growing like a weed, but not all at once. First her back legs seem long, then her front legs catch up. At the moment she most closely resembles a linebacker because she appears to have lost her neck. I hope she finds it again someday.

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With a face this cute, who needs a neck?

13 weeks, 2 days

This afternoon, my partner Sean left to work in Cyprus for a month so I’ll be flying solo with two dogs for the first time. Since I work long days this means both dogs will be coming to work with me during the week and there’ll be no one around to entertain Epic in the evening when I am tired and most likely to have any regrets about getting a puppy. I’m armed with a lot of food puzzle toys for those moments . We’ll miss him terribly but I am  thrilled he got the opportunity to travel overseas, without having to go into a conflict zone.

This evening, Epic and I went to my friend Renee’s birthday party. Renee has a Westie puppy, Darra, who is about 6 weeks older than Epic but right now they are perfectly matched in size and play style. Much of the evening was spent watching puppies play. They chased each other around and around and around the furniture until Epic could barely walk. During dinner we put the puppies in their crates and Epic settled in quietly with a few kibbles in a Kong. This is the first time she has been in her crate outside of work or home and I was pleased she was able to settle down. After dinner the puppies chased each other around some more! We got home at about 11pm, I had to drag Epic out of the car and I didn’t hear a peep from her until 8:00am the next morning.

13 weeks, 4 days

Today we got a lovely gift from Perri & Andrew (Epic’s breeders).

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A lovely pink bowl (she was the pink collared girl in her litter) handmade by Andrew. It made me burst into tears. I was feeling tired and a little lonely with Sean leaving so receiving such a thoughtful gift put me over the edge and brightened my day at the same time.

13 Weeks 5 Days

Today I cleaned out the Sherpa bag I brought Epic home in. She was such a tiny fuzzy puppy and she has doubled her weight since.

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I am NOT going back in there again because Sherpa bags are for babies!

For memory’s sake, I took a picture of her beside the bag and there is no way I could even try to stuff her into it now.

13 Weeks 6 Days

One of the ways I have been making time to work on certain things with Epic is to attach them to certain events throughout the day. This week, after every potty break at work, Epic and I have been working on mouth handling or as I call it Operation-teach-Epic-not-to-flail-like-a-dying-fish! We started with a click/reward for chin touch (to my hand), graduated to longer chin/hand contact, then chin/hand contact with fingers under lips and on gums. We are also working on rewarding her for staying still when I place my fingers over her muzzle, which seems to be the part that really sets her off. We’ve been practicing this on a grooming table for now so to avoid the whole element of me leaning over her into the mix.

Epic goes out to pee a gazillion times a day, so I figure if I can work on this 10 repetitions at a time, a gazillion times a day, then we should have it sorted out quickly. Since 10 repetitions of this lasts about a minute, we can make a lot of training happening in a short period of time without carving out hours to do it and that suits me just fine!

Pupdate – Week 12

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Anti-Goal Setting

You would think goal setting with a puppy would be easy. I have this tiny ball of energy who is just jam-packed with potential…but I find myself struggling with putting together a “training plan” for her like I might for Bear.

Eventually, I would like for Epic to compete in rally, agility and herding with me. Less of a priority but still something we will train for are tracking, traditional obedience and carting.

I have friends with dogs that were in the rally and/or obedience ring (and qualifying) by 6 months of age. The dogs appeared reasonably well prepared and not overly stressed so I have no real problems with this.

And yet, when I look at Epic, who has been on this planet for all of three months (and with me for all of three weeks) I can’t imagine going into the rally ring with her in three months. Not because I think she lacks intelligence  or ability but because she is still learning so much about the world around her.

On top of this, there’s the fact that I had so much trouble along the way with Bear and stress at trials that I am hesitant to rush things with Epic. I want her to be comfortable and confident no matter what I ask of her, no matter where we are and for this to happen, she needs to learn at her own pace. As far as I know, there are no shortcuts when it comes to building confidence and I don’t know any dogs who have benefitted from being pushed past their abilities at any point in time.

As a result, I have been working with Epic in in short training sessions through the day on some basic behaviours for a pet, conformation dog or sport dog. Sometimes we work on these things while the daycare dogs are watching /playing from another room, sometimes we work on them at lunch time by ourselves. We have been working on these things at work, at home (indoors and out), and when we are out and about if people want to see what she can do. These behaviours include:

  • housetraining (go pee/poop on cue outdoors)
  • kennel up
  • sit/stand/down
  • come
  • hand touch
  • foot target (2 paws on mat, 1 paw on Easy Button)
  • follow me (lead up to both heeling and gaiting)
  • handling for grooming/vet/conformation ring including body, legs, feet, ears, teeth and nail trimming and, hand stacking.
  • sit pretty
  • spin/turn
  • paws up
  • roll over
  • sit/stand/down for meals, to be released from crate and to go outside.
  • Doggy Zen (lead-up to “leave it” and an overall great self-control exercise)
  • interaction with puppy-appropriate obstacles (ladder, ramps, cavaletti, tunnel, wobble board, fitPAWS equipment)

I’m not working them in any particular order and I’m not overly concerned about practicing everything everyday but we’re working together and most importantly, Epic is learning how to get what she wants (and she wants SO MUCH) by offering me appropriate behaviors.

My business partner also as a puppy who is about a month older than Epic. We haven’t had a huge conversation about our respective training goals but it does not appear that they are in a huge rush to get into the ring either.

If you are reading this and have a puppy now (or added one to your family in the last year or so) do you (or did you) have any goals for your puppy with definitive timelines? I’m curious.

Pupdate – Week 11

11 weeks

Today, Epic and I worked on some conformation basics. While my main goals with Epic involve sport venues, I am looking forward to giving the breed ring a try. I see it as another set of skills for us to learn and another adventure to share.

My friend Kathy brought me some puppy show leads to try out last night and had me start Epic with stands (already there) and then rewarding her for planting her back feet and moving her front feet forward. We have been practicing this on a grooming table in front of a mirror. Right now this is a pure luring but I have been clicking and offering a jackpot t0 Epic if she stays still or (in my uneducated eyes) holds herself especially nicely.

We have also been practicing trotting on leash. Right now Epic is either behind me, directly in front of me (she is going to trip me one day), or mouthing the lead so it’s taking a TON of clicking and rewarding to keep her moving away from my feet.

Aside from this, I am handling Epic’s ears, toes, tummy, girl parts, legs, neck, chin and teeth every day so that when it comes time for someone else to handle her, she will be familiar with the process.

11 weeks, 1 Day

Weight: 10.2 kilograms (~22.5lbs)

Today at Puppy Camp, Epic and Hudson’s adventures involved the automatic car wash and then the dog wash, a coin operated u-wash place for dogs.

The loud sounds of the jets and the drier are something that is new to most puppies. Some puppies whine, some bark, Epic raised her head when she heard the first jets go and then she laid it back down. Nothing she felt was worth worrying about.

At the dog wash, Epic sniffed the usual places; the drain spot, the floor squeegee, the corners. She did not, however react at all to the dog statue that resides there. She glanced at him and moved on.

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Once she had her fill of sniffing, I placed a cookie trail up the ramp to the tub. It took her a few tries but eventually she was able to get onto the ramp and up into the tub on her own.

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And then all the way out of the tub and down the ramp again.

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After Puppy Camp, Epic and I went out to visit my friend Stephanie, her Rottweiler Quest, and her Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Astrid. Stephanie lives out in the country and has a huge field where the dogs can run/walk freely off leash.

Epic had a great time with Astrid and Quest and she managed to keep up with us on the walk. Unfortunately I forgot to take the camera, but we won’t be forgetting it next time.

11 weeks, 2 Days

Weekends are no longer the same with Epic in the house. Before Epic (BE) we rarely slept in past 9:00am but After Epic….we need to be up by 7:30am to let her out. Thankfully, she is happy to go back to bed for a few hours after a Pee and a breakfast.

Today however, Sean and I went out for breakfast so we left Epic and Bear crated in the house together. This is the first time we have left Epic at the house while we went out, and she appears to have survived.

After Breakfast, Bear and Epic played outside together. I think they have decided to get along, for now.

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However , the photo below really bothered a friend (who is a trainer, behaviour consultant and someone whose opinion I value). What I saw as a moment in play, she does not.

DSC_0033A photo captures an instant in time and a cropped photo provides even less information.  So, just to be on the safe side, we are going to meet this  weekend to see if, my friend has the same concerns ‘in real life’ and we’ll proceed accordingly from there.

One of the things about being a trainer and daycare play supervisor is that I am always working with other people’s dogs. Sometimes I think a lot of trainers are blind to behaviours we see in our own dogs, or play them down or make excuses. Unfortunately making excuses does not make things better and this is the number one reason Epic and I have been going to puppy classes and will continue in classes for quite some time.

After a morning of playing and lunch, it was time to head to Kathy’s for (human) lunch and a bath for both dogs. Epic was not 100% thrilled about her first bath but she did tolerate it and she enjoyed some cookies between shampoos and rinses.

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After bath time and more playing with Bear, Epic was very tired which made for the perfect opportunity to trim her toenails. I had her lay down beside me on the sofa and she let me pick up and trim one paw at a time. She earned a cookie after each paw and she didn’t struggle at all.

11 Weeks, 3 days

Today I decided that I would try to walk both dogs on leash.

At the same time.

I had Bear on the hands free leash and Epic on my 10 foot leash. It didn’t go half as bad as I thought.

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Half way through I thought I might use the hands free leash as a splitter. After about 2 minutes of Bear practically dragging Epic along, I’ve decided to wait to use it again when Epic is a bit taller.

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11 Weeks, 4 days

Today at work, I ran what I call “Tween Camp” for puppies that have been through Puppy Adventure Camp but that aren’t old enough for regular daycare (they must be 6 months).

Since Epic was at work with me, I let her out to play a bit with Cooper before the third puppy Darra came. I decided to use this opportunity to call her from play, reward her every time she came and then send her back to play. Teaching a recall this way, in this scenario, is teaching her 3 things.

  1. She is learning to leave something interesting (a playmate)
  2. She is learning that I will reward her for coming to me with a tasty treat
  3. She is learning that a recall does not always mean the fun is over, in fact a recall in this scenario almost always results in being allowed to go back to play.

Aside from being a potentially life saving behavior, a recall will be useful in rally, agility and herding later on down the road.

This evening we went to Epic’s second Puppy Play Group. She got to play a bit with Copper, the beagle, but her full body contact play style was a bit much for him. I spent a lot of time calling her away for rewards and a short cool off before sending her back to play.

During the class, the instructor brought out a stroller and a bicycle out for the puppies to see. Epic was curious and followed but did not get too close. She wasn’t 100% comfortable with them but was curious enough to approach in her own time.

1 Weeks, 5 days

This evening, I decided to once again attempt walking both dogs on leash. Just like before I had Bear on my hands free hipster and epic on the 10 foot leash but this time I put Bear’s back pack on. I had forgotten how much less he pulls with it on. Our trip around the “block” was less than 2 kilometers but I spent considerably less time untangling myself from leashes.

Best of all, Epic was ready for supper and then a bit of settle time in her crate, right at the time of day I like to sit down and relax.

Pupdate – Week 10

10 weeks, 1 Day

Weight: 9.2 kilograms (~20lbs)

Today was Epic’s second day of Puppy Adventure Camp where she got to play with Cooper (Labrador Retriever) Darra (West Highland White Terrier) and the new puppy, Hudson (welsh Terrier).

Cooper and Darra were up for a wrestle but Hudson, who is about 4 days younger than Epic, was a bit more reserved.

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Today’s off site adventure was a trip out to my friend and business rartner Renee’s. Her home is in the bush about 20 minutes away from Brandon and has two large fenced yards just full of things for puppies to see, do and explore!

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Renee also has an older dog, Bella, who is great with puppies.

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Epic also finally got to met Renee’s husband Tom for the first time. She thought he (and his treats) were very nice.

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After puppy camp, we went to our very first vet appointment with Dr. Tracey Radcliffe at Brandon Animal Clinic. we got there early and Epic had a chance to meet all of the staff, and explore the clinic. Our vet appointment went well, epic is happy and healthy (no surprise there). She got her second vaccine and will be getting her third in about a month’s time.

10 weeks, 2 Days

Today, I packed Bear and Epic into the car and we headed to St. Norbert for a herding trial! While we waited for Bear’s turn to go into the ring, Epic hung out with whoever would give her attention.

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Epic also spent some time watching sheep MOVE!

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Trials really are the best places for puppies. They are full of people who work with an train their dogs and who know about how important it is for a puppy (especially one destined for working venues) to have a positive experience in the trial environment.

10 Weeks, 3 Days

Epic was very quiet at work today, no shrieking in her crate and only a little bit of whining before she settled down. Every time I went into the kitchen at work I gave her a cookie – hopefully making the connection for her between being quiet and getting cookies.

10 Weeks, 4 Days

Today,Since I had some time after work, I decided to take Epic out and see what kind of nose she had. Her Sire, Gable is a Champion tracker – maybe he passed on some of his sniffing genes to her.

I did two 3’x3’ scent pads for her, sprinkled them liberally with some food and went back across the road to retrieve her from the house.

She definitely has a nose, she scoured both scent pads….crawling on her stomach. I’ve never seen it but seeing as she was working independently, I let her go. I think I’ll try her again on the weekend in the morning when she may be less tired and less likely to crawl-track.

10 Weeks, 5 Days

One of the things I added to our training earlier this week is the FitPAWS donut. it’s a PVC exercise ball in the shape of…you guessed it, a donut! For now I have been luring her up onto the donut and she can get her front feet up on her own an keep it stable. More difficult are the back feet but she can usually get it once or twice a session before she tires.

I went to get a coffee after today’s mini session and when I returned, I found Epic making up her own FitPAWS exercise routines!

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And then there were 2….

As many of you know by now, we have added a second rotten dog to our family. Her name is Epic and she may just be the cutest thing……EVER!

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I spent years (NOT kidding) researching breeders and dogs and eventually decided to wait for a puppy from Perri Yinger of JungerSohn Rottweilers in Dundee, Oregon. Perri’s dogs are health tested and titled and she spends an incredible amount of time rearing her puppies. Perri has competed in various working venues with her dogs and has an idea of what a person would be looking for in a sport prospect. Most importantly, Perri sells her dogs on an excellent contract and supports her puppies and owners in whatever way she can.

Epic’s litter is a co breeding between JungerSohn Rottweilers and Esmond Rottweilers of Little Britain, Ontario. Her sire, Gable has many working titles and her dam, Clover has some basic working titles and is working towards more now that she has been a wonderful mom to two litters.

So far, I am incredibly pleased with baby Epic. She is incredibly well-coordinated for a puppy her age, she’s curious, she’s brave and she loves her food!

Epic has her own page now and I am going to try to post weekly “Pupdates” on the blog to track our adventures during these first few months together.

Rally Course of the Week – September 6, 2013

CAROlogoEXCELLENTCourse Details

Level: Excellent (CARO)

Space Required: 50’x50′

Designer: Ayoka Bubar

Download this Course: CARO 50′x 50′ Course – Excellent (T13-001)

CARO Rally Seminar in Red Deer, Alberta (October 19-20, 2013)

I am so thrilled to announce that I will be delivering a CARO Rally Obedience Seminar hosted by the Wicked Canine Dog Sport Company next month!

The seminar will take place in a riding arena (TONS of space for dogs) and will cover all levels (Novice-Versatility) – and a fun match!

All are welcome, mixed breeds, pure bred, new handlers and experienced handlers.

The seminar flyer and registration form can be downloaded here and you can contact Audra Sinclair (audrasplanet@gmail.com) for more details.

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