Weekend Fun

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Riggs had a fun day at daycare on Friday, so Tess got a special stuffy toy all to herself, and some mum time. Which I think she thoroughly enjoyed. The house was sure quiet without the pupster though.

Today I booked the dogs to go out to Wet Noses again, I haven’t had them out since the spring. There was a coyote hanging out a few feet off the fence last time, and Riggs was pretty little then. With the roads being a little worse this last week or so, it was nicer to drive a little closer to home rather than head out to Water Valley.

Great time had by all!

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9 Month Pupdate

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A quick update on some of our challenges of puppyhood.

Riggs training is going pretty well, in classes he is doing excellent. At home I can see a big difference too, he is much calmer when I prep his food. He is dealing with his frustration levels better, not trying to eat cabinet door knobs, the floor or jump up as much. Jumping on counters is still an issue, but he’s doing it less and less.

He is still jumping on people to say hi, I’m pleased he is such a social butterfly, so I don’t want to punish him for do it. Just show him what he should be doing. It’s improving, but a slow process.

He’s gotten better when leash walking with Tess, he’s trying not to play as much on the leash or antagonize Tess. He’s still walking pretty well on his own in the city. I took him out to Bragg Creek for a muddy walk down an old fire road, and he was a nightmare! I came back with paw prints up the back and front of my jacket. All the excitement and smells were a little much for him. I took him off leash for a short stretch (I’m not 100% confident in our recall if someone were to come running or biking down the trail) he had a blast, and is perfecting his full body slam!

He’s been about the same in the car. He’s a bit better to stay in the back seat now, still fairly vocal in his displeasure of being relegated to the back seat (not that he fits in the front anymore!). I’ve been working on having him get in the car more willingly, that’s one area I have seen some improvement. I think a big part is still his hind end awareness, he’s pretty willing to get the front feet on the bench seat in the back, but not sure enough in where his back feet are to hop in on his own. At least with the front feet in, I can lift the back end up. Seems silly, when he is more than capable of jumping that height when it’s his own choosing. But I don’t want to force him if he isn’t comfortable.

He’s still acting as my back up alarm clock in the mornings, making sure I don’t hit snooze when he hears it go off! No progress there.

He’s had a couple scratches and scabs on one of his elbows, so I’ve been treating that for a couple weeks. The first one is basically better now, but a few other spots have appeared. Initially I thought it was pressure sores, but they aren’t quite in the right spot for that. We popped into the vets this morning, so a new plan with a special shampoo and some topical cream. Hope that does the trick and he can quit wearing his t-shirt soon. I’ll be happy to quit the doctoring in the morning too!

Back to School

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After some “time off” in the summer, it’s back to classes. I can’t believe we’ve already been through one session of classes. Tess is already in her second round of agility; she’s feeling much better and we’re getting some speed back in class. We have a different instructor this fall, and Tess it’s giving me some different things to work on, and really helping Tess with her motivation.

Riggs just wrapped up his Agility Level 1 class, after doing pre-agility earlier in the spring/summer. He did really well, is super confident, loves his hot dogs in class! And I really enjoyed the classes the instructor has put together. We’ve been using really low jumps and equipment to introduce the dogs, and working on some foundational work for front and rear crosses, etc. Last weekend was the last class for him. He’s still figuring out where his back feet are, so I don’t want to push him up into the next level yet. So we’re going to jump streams and join a disc dog class. We did a drop in class in June (I think) and he really seems to enjoy disk, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Hope we can enter a few trials once I remember what it’s all about!

Riggs also just finished his first Rally Obedience class (me too!). I was hoping to alternate dogs each week for this class, but the format worked out a little better to bring him, it was a little too many dogs working at the same time for Tess to thrive. I can’t believe how much I have enjoyed this class, and Riggs is super attentive when we’re working, he still thinks class time should be play time, so keeping focus in between exercises is still a challenge! I’m not sure we’re ready but I’ve signed both dogs up for a Rally trial in a couple weeks, so we’ll see how we do. We’ve signed up for the next level of classes, so I hope to alternate dogs for this one.

It sounds like there is also the possibility of continuing with our barn hunt classes, with an indoor venue. Hoping that that works out and we can keep playing with that as well. Tess has really been enjoying and excelling at it, it’s so great to see her having fun and working on her own. It’s been interesting seeing Riggs’ reaction, he’s doing really well with it, but with all the obedience and sport type classes he’s really looking for me to tell him what to do. With some more exposure to it, I’m sure we’ll see him start to work more on his own. For the other sports it’s a good thing and something I’ve really tried to reinforce since bringing him home, but it’s not working out great for barn hunt!

Barn Hunt Trial

No photos sadly, but the dogs and I attended our first barn hunt this year. We’ve been very fortunate to be able to practice at Crane Acres Dog Sports this summer and fall, and the dogs have both been doing awesome.

Riggs had only had two practices before the trial so I wasn’t expecting very much from him. Mostly I just wanted to get him out and about, but he did really well. He passed his Instinct class, with the 4th best time. Even did really well in his Novice class. He seems quite happy to do the tunnel on his own terms, but not when it is my suggestion. So we didn’t complete that test, but I couldn’t believe how close he came! Such a good boy!

Tess has really been having a ball with barn hunt lately. She’s always been pretty eager to hunt them, but less good to stop hunting and tell me when she’s found them. We’ve had a couple excellent practices the last few weeks and she did great at the trial. She received her first novice leg, and did just a great job! Couldn’t have been more pleased. She also placed fourth in her class, so a weekend of lucky #4!

7 Months Old

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Just thought I’d give a quick update on the “puppy problems” stuff and where he is today.

Potty Training – I would say done, no accidents in the house for many many weeks. Yay!

Chewing on things not allowed – good maybe 95% of the time, still having some trouble with garden things. But he has stopped trying to chew cupboard handles and the floor when he’s frustrated. So I’m pretty pleased with that. Also, hasn’t tried to chew the furniture for some time. Shoes still aren’t left out, anything valuable is still stowed away.

Rooms allowed in – All at various times, I still watch the bathroom door in case he thinks about getting into the garbage in there

Where does he sleep – Kennel at night and when I’m at work.

Leash Training – Still a work in progress, but pretty good on his own

Off-Leash Recall – Work in progress, pretty good with low level distraction

Basic Obedience – Good at normal / low level distraction

Impressed with:

While I don’t trust him out in the house (yet) when I’m not home, he is pretty good now. I don’t have to watch him 24/7 anymore. He does still do things that aren’t allowed, but they are much fewer and further between. Leash walking, paying attention to me, good to play with his toys, and will settle down and hang out for short periods.

Puppy Things Still In Progress:

Dealing with his frustration has probably been the biggest hurtle through his puppyhood, he’s getting better at dealing with it, but still gets frustrated when he doesn’t get what he wants as fast as he wants it. This has improved, but he’ll still jump on the counter when he thinks I’m taking too long to prepare his breakfast. Impulse control is another related one, he’ll get excited on a walk or when we are training and jump on me, visitors who come to the house, or Tess when I walk the together. It’s hard to remember how much he has improved, but it still needs some work & time to sink in.

After coming back from my holiday, he has been more vocal about going in his kennel. He’s gotten better this last week, but it’s taken him a bit to get back in the groove of things. One related (sort of funny) thing he does is whine / woof at my alarm in the morning. He doesn’t do it when I sleep in on the weekends, doesn’t make a peep. So it’s something to do with the alarm itself I think, I’m not quite sure what to do about this one, but it does help me get my butt out of bed in the morning!

He’s still not sure about getting into the car on his own, so we’re working on that. But he’s pretty good in the car itself.

Overall, if that’s all I have to complain about he’s doing great! I’m really impressed with his progress, and he seems more settled and better at controlling his excitement than Tess was at his age. I think having the second dog has really helped with that. As much as it might be frustrating for me to deal with trying to walk them both, with him tugging on Tess’ leash, or trying to entice her to play while we walk…getting all of us quite impressively tangled, he is learning to settle himself a little faster than Tess did at his age.

I’m so excited to see the lovely grown up dog he seems to be growing into!