Still Going

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I am continuing to pick away at some socialization items that I missed earlier. Have a few more on my hit list I would like to do soon, but time keeps sailing by.

I enjoyed taking the dogs to Wet Noses last Saturday to play off leash. So far I have only taken them out together on leash, which is a bit of a gong show for all involved! So I wanted them to have a chance off leash to figure things out on their own. Mostly Tess ignored Riggs and enjoyed trying to catch gophers. Riggs tried to chase her and play a bit at first, but then got hot and tired and settled for exploring within about a 5 foot radius of me. All in all it was a great walk and they did better in the car together than I expected. Nice to get good surprises!

Sunday I took Riggs to check out the lagoon area of Bowness park; I had Tess there last weekend – I think – and it seemed like there was lots of people and the train had started up for the season. So I thought it would be good exposure for Riggs. He did pretty well; great with the people and dogs. It’s still a bit of a struggle with the dogs, I don’t particularly want him to visit other dogs while on leash (just my preference after dealing with some issues with Tess), but I also want to be mindful of not causing him frustration because I do want to encourage him to be friendly and enjoy their company. So it’s a bit of a balance on my part to encourage him to look at – and be friendly towards – the other dogs, but also teach him to focus on me when around them. More work to do on my part! We are also working on sitting when people or bikes go by us. He’s not too focused right now, but is getting better and better. He struggled a bit with the weird train thing at Bowness, I should have had a little more distance from it to start. It came at us side on, and he was a little scared of the noise it made. He seemed to warm up to it a bit and didn’t mind following it from a distance, so we’ll work on that a bit more.

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I’ll do anything for treats mom!

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I have no idea what we got up to Monday night, but I’m continuing to try to take Riggs to new places, just to experience different locations and the weird things people do. Sometime this week I took him to the east side of Confederation Park. He got to see some skateboarders, more than I would have liked and closer and noisy-er. But he handled it really well. More work on sitting while people pass, and focusing on me when dogs go by. We also had a fun game of tug back at the car!

Tuesday Riggs had another Show Confidence handling class. He did pretty well. There were a lot more dogs than the last drop in class we attended, so that was good for him to experience. It was hotter than heck in the room so all the dogs got pretty tired and lazy as class went on. He’s such a goofball when doing his jog around the ring!

 

Wednesday I took the afternoon off so I could attend an evening mountain biking course, so I took advantage of the time to book another nail trim with Riggs. Originally Tess was supposed to go for a haircut, but her allergies have been very bad lately and I didn’t want to introduce anything new, or stress her any further than she already was. So Riggs took over. He was very good for them. They are slowly starting to do a little more, trimmed his nails, worked a little with getting him used to the sound of the clippers (which I have been working on as well), trimmed the hair under this feet, and just having different people handle him. He was a champ! Tess got a good walk in as well, can’t remember where we went either!

Thursday was Tess’ flyball class, we had a great time! Love our trainer! Tess is doing pretty well at all the pieces individually, but we are still struggling putting them all together; so we’re just plugging away at it.

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For the summer work gives us Friday afternoons off, which is so nice to have! Some of my coworkers arranged a mountain biking trip, so it was a spoil ME day! Took Tess for a walk around the neighbourhood since it was a little late after I made Tess’ dinner and my own. I took Riggs to a new park, Canmore park, which can be a great place to train. But last night we just did the quick (15/20 minute) loop walk and headed home. I’m really happy with how his leash walking is (when he’s by himself), it’s certainly not a formal heel and still requires my full attention…making sure I don’t let him pull me, don’t trip on him, give him time to stop and sniff if he wants to. We also walked right next to a busy-ish road, which is the closest he’s been to traffic. He was a little unsure about a few of the cars whizzing by but got more comfortable as time went on.

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This morning Riggs got to attend his first day care visit. The girls said he did very well, looks like he got two individual play sessions with different dogs, and was in a bigger play group with the little dogs when I picked him up. They had glowing reports on how well he did so I was pretty pleased with that! Since Tess isn’t too thrilled to play with him yet (I think she will come around more once he stops hanging off her neck and jumping on her head) it was nice for him to get a chance to play with some dogs who have good doggie manners and who want to play with him. All in all a good day for him, I’ll have to book some more. I think the morning was a good test and good length of time for him, I’ll probably do a few more half days before sending him for the full day. Tess got a manicure at home after I dropped Riggs off at daycare, then we headed off to check out a new walk at Glenmore park. Really enjoyed some of the dirt trails in the Weaselhead, definitely have to go back! Hope to take the dogs out to a lake to swim tonight; hoping it’ll be a little less busy this evening, and give me a chance to get a few things done at home first!

At this point most of my training seems to be on walks, or when I visit them at lunch during the work week. We work on little things during everyday life – like sitting before exiting the car – but really I’m not doing too much with him training wise. Still trying to take him new places and work on things in many different environments. Nothing earth shattering training wise, just simple things like sit, touch, down, hand targeting, OFF, or leave it.

I think Riggs is ready to take his novice trick dog test, so I might see if I can get my sister to test us this week. Fingers crossed it goes well!

A Day In The Life – 1 Adult & 1 Pup

Here’s pretty much my life in a nutshell at the moment, this part does pass right?

5:00 am Riggs: MOM WAKE UP I HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE NOW!
5:15 am Riggs: BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!! *Jumpy jumpy* Can’t you hurry up?

Me: Ok, Riggs Kennel

Tess: Oh don’t mind me I’m just sitting here…

Me: Oh, right sorry Tess. Extra goodies for you. I love my good dog!

6:00-6:30am Me: Maybe I can have some breakfast too

Tess: I’ll go have a nap on the couch I think

Riggs: This seems like a good idea to go jump on Tess’s head. I mean look how bored she must be just laying up there. Maybe if I bite her neck she’ll play with me!

6:45am Riggs: Well that didn’t work, how did I end up in this wire contraption again? At least I have my Busy Buddy Barnacle toy to keep me occupied

Me: Maybe I can get ready for work now

7:00am Me: Running late, again!!!

Curlies: Yay! Bathroom walk!!!

Riggs: This seems like a good time to tackle Tess

Me: How did I get so tied up? I think we are providing free entertainment for the neighbourhood.

Me: Whew, made it back home, Riggs do you have to go?

Riggs: NO! But these bugs look edible…

7:15 am Me: Kong ready for Tess, Squirrel Dude ready for Riggs, anything else I’m forgetting…

Me: Riggs are you sure you don’t have to go out?

Riggs: No, I don’t have to go

Me: Ok, I’ll just start the wash machine before I leave

Riggs: Oops…I was so distracted by my Squirrel Dude just sitting up there on the counter, I forgot I had to go…sorry mom

Me: Cleaning up

Me: Ok Curlies, kennel for your goodies

7:30 am Me: Bye guys

Riggs: Tess did you hear something?

Tess: Huh?

8:00 am Curlies: Think I’ll just have quick a nap…zzz
12:00 pm Curlies: Mom’s home!

Riggs: Let me out I gotta pee!

12:30 pm Me: Ok guys, play time’s over time to get in your kennels for your…

Riggs: ME FIRST!!!

Tess: Me too!

Me: Ok, here you go, see you tonight!

2:00 pm Tess: Wake up, protect the house from the mailman

Riggs: Huh? I was sleeping

6:00 pm Tess: Mom’s home!

Riggs: Mom is that you? I’m sleepy

Me: Sorry bud you gotta go outside

Riggs: Ok, but just let me stretch first…

Riggs: Ok, business done, play time???

Me: Nope, dinner!

Curlies: Yay!!!

6:30 pm Me: Alright Riggs time for your walk before I head out with Tess

Riggs: Ok, I love walking!

7:00 pm Me: Ok, Tess time for Flyball class! Riggs get in your kennel for your Squirrel Dude!

Riggs: I’m in Mom! Hurry, faster, faster!

Me: Ok, here you are

Me: Tess, leash up and lets go!

7:30 pm Flyball class – Fun fun!
9:30 pm Me & Tess: Hi Riggs

Riggs: Huh? Who’s there? You interrupted my sleep

Me: Outside?

Riggs: Ok

Riggs: Oh, that feels better!

Riggs: Maybe if I go steal Tess’ toy she’ll play with me?

Tess: Can’t I just nap on the couch?

Riggs: NEVER!!!

Me: I need a glass of wine!

10:00 pm Me: Ok guys, bed time – kennel & Kongs!

Curlies: Yay, night Mom!

Wet Noses

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Riggs got the ok from the vet to start to venture out into the doggie world, so I took him to the private off leash park at Wet Noses this morning with Tess. Both dogs had a great time, and it was nice for them to get to hang out together with a little more space to do their own thing.

I wasn’t sure how they’d do in the back of the car together (there isn’t room for Tess & Rigg’s kennel back there). I tried putting Riggs in the passenger seat but he wanted to be with his big sister so I let him choose. He was pretty good not to badger her back there; so it went much better than I expected. Now I have the confidence to take them to a few other places together without worrying so much.

Just some fun pictures from this morning

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Riggs Photo Session

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Riggs and I enjoyed a wonderful photo session with Jennifer Dooley of Heads and Tails Photography a few weeks ago. I loved so many of the photographs that Jennifer captured, it was such a challenge to pick just a few (so I needed to buy a couple more!). After seeing the proofs shortly after the shoot, Jennifer just sent me the final edited versions; and I LOVE THEM!!!

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It would have been too much (for my patience) to try to do this with both dogs, so I hope we can do a “family” shoot later in the year with both of them.

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Thanks so much Jennifer, I will treasure these photographs forever!

 

End of the 8-12 Week Socialization Period

Today marks the official end of the 8-12 week socialization period for little Riggs; which means I survived my first month at home with him. He’s certainly still a troublesome puppy but I’m loving what I’ve seen so far and think he is going to be lots of fun to train in all my various doggie sports. With the end of the critical socialization period we are going to start to do a little more balanced sessions; maybe 50/50 socialization and training now. While it isn’t the “best” time to do the socialization work, it’s still very good, so I will keep dragging him to new places, and get to a few last things on my socialization list that never quite happened. But now (for me) the real fun begins, training! Right now I’ve really done very little, just little sessions here and there when we’ve been out and about. So I’ll start to put a little more forethought into what we want to work on.

We have two weeks left in puppy class, and I’m just trying to pick a night for the next obedience level once that ends. We have signed up for puppy agility which will start at the end of June. We’ve booked a drop in class for disc dog which I’m really looking forward to, and I think he will attend the first class of Tess’s next flyball session when it starts. So lots of fun things to look forward to!

Happy 3 month birthday Riggs!

Sunday Fun Day

Another great day with the pups! I was hoping to take Tess out to Canmore today to do the river walk, but by the time we hit the Stoney Trail overpass it was already wall to wall traffic. Not my idea of a nice weekend drive, so we headed to Baker Park instead. Enjoyed the shady parts by the creek on the Bowness side, and definitely enjoyed the nice weather! I’ve never seen the park so busy; the playground I took Riggs to a while back was absolutely crawling with kids, lots of families having picnics and enjoying the sun in the green space between the playgrounds. Tess and I skirted the busy parts and headed towards the lagoon instead, then back around to Baker Park. Love that walk, and my wonderful dog!

My sister was back from the field so after we enjoyed a great lunch – and a chance to catch up – she helped me walk the dogs. It was much easier walking both of them with a second set of hands! Then it was time to rush off to puppy class with Riggs. He did great in class today, he’s really starting to figure out what all these “commands” mean. He couldn’t wait for play time, was really outgoing and wanted to play! A big change from the first week of class!

Quick Puppy Play Time Video

Now I have a wonderful napping puppy!

Saturday Fun

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I had a great Saturday with the dogs, Tess and I enjoyed my favourite city walk at Griffith Woods in the morning before it got too hot for her. I love this walk, feels like you are out in the mountains without leaving the city. Quite a few dogs off leash though this is an on-leash park. We had a chance to stop by the river midway so she was able to walk in, find a large stick, and cool off a bit before walking back. Loving this sunny weather!

Riggs had his first grooming session in the afternoon, we arrived a little early so while we waited we got to walk out in the ditch near the pastures, and see some cows. He didn’t like those hairy beasts very much but enjoyed the romp in the long grass. He was very good for the groomers, though this was more of a meet and greet than actual grooming session. Just more socialization to get used to being handled and in that environment. They said he did pretty well, wasn’t sure about the clippers, so I’ll do some work on that at home; and keep trying to get him used to the dremel.

I even got out for a little non dog fun, a great bike ride at Nose Hill park!

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