Archive for March, 2010

Professor’s Classes, week 3

March 31, 2010

We had our usual Monday and Tuesday classes this week. Professor really likes going to school! Monday we played with getting sit on cue (I’m using Plop as the cue, because the sit isn’t what I want for competition yet), luring downs, attention, and targeting. Then we played with the agility equipment–Professor is a star in the tunnel! he loves it so much he kept running back and forth between me and Holly. He also likes the table and the ladder. He remains the youngest and smallest in the class, but the assistant instructor has just gotten an aussie puppy who’s a little bit younger than Professor. She’s just about his size, though.

We did have a little trauma. I took him out about halfway through class (he really can’t go more than about half an hour in all the excitement without needing to pee). As we came back in I ran with him, to keep him interested in staying with me and to get back to class to do the TUNNEL!!! I thought the lady sitting on the sidelines was just watching the class. I didn’t realize that she had a dog in the soft crate next to her, or that the door of the crate was open, or that the dog was GSD that would ERUPT out of the crate roaring at Professor. Who screamed as if he were being skinned alive. I don’t blame him, I almost screamed too. There was no contact, and he bounced right back and went back to class and did his tunnels with no ill effects.

Tuesday night we went to his other class. We were early, so Professor got to play a bit outside with Sprocket, a french bulldog puppy belonging to the instructor. They had a wonderful time romping in the grass and leaves. There was a woman set up in the building who was doing chiro adjustments to various dogs, and she graciously let Professor explore her table, and did a little handling of him. He was too interested in exploring every single dog hair on the table to pay much attention, though. But it was something new for him to experience, and he got to see some dogs coming in for treatments that he doesn’t know.

We worked on mat work, perch work with his balance disk, plops, and luring downs. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s a baby; the older dogs in the class stay in training mode so much longer than Professor does. But he’s still only 11 weeks, and needs almost constant change to keep him engaged.

His buddy the JRT was there, and they had a spirited play session in mid-class in the playground. Professor is very willing to run over the buja boards, much more so than the JRT. And there were TWO tunnels, so they had a lot of fun with that.

Amelia and the Professor at Rally

March 29, 2010

Well, today Amelia busted Level 1 (LEVEL 1, for heaven’s sake!) in the morning trial, but got 3 scores of 209 (out of a possible 210) in the afternoon. Whattagirl! Professor spent most of the morning in the building, socializing with dogs and people and watching the trial. Then while Amelia was showing and I was doing paperwork he had to stay in the car with Uncle Joey. He was still pretty tired from yesterday, so he just slept. At least, he was sleeping every time I looked in at him.

This is what it looked like at our house yesterday night, as Professor and Amelia snuggled up and slept real hard:

Snuggling up

Friday night I went to the building to help set up; I got a friend to help me get this photo of Professor in his now-much-too-small coat. It fit him perfectly a month ago! He must be growing!

Professor's growing right out of his coat!

After the trial today, with everything put away, Professor got to romp off-leash with a sheltie/eskie belonging to a friend of mine. Most of the photos didn’t come out–they were too blurred by the motion, which was pretty non-stop.

Professor and Twist

Professor’s first rally trial

March 27, 2010

Professor went to an APDT rally trial today! At 11 weeks, he’s not really up to competing, but I was secretary (he’d already helped me a lot with entering the runs in the computer) and Amelia was entered, so along he came. He spent the morning in a crate at the secretary’s desk, listening to me and assorted helpers cussing at the computer, which was fine, and the printer, which adamantly refused to accept my computer as something it should listen to. Finally, a friend ran home and got her printer, which fortunately decided to respond as needed and print out all the paperwork associated with a trial. As usual, rally folks rallied around and helped out and put up with handwritten gate sheets and late scores.

Professor was very good in his crate, whining only when I moved out of his sight, and not always then. He peed and pooped outdoors, which was nice, met a lot of friendly people and dogs, and was much admired by all. Especially me! His gracious offer to help with the paperwork was unreasonably refused by the folks at the table, so he just sat and chewed his chewie. So there.

Amelia’s runs are best left undescribed. She totally blew level 3, was weird in level 2, and pulled a 209 in level 1. Since she needs to Q in all three levels, that means it was a bust. But we still love her. She played nicely with a wound-up Professor when we got home, and now all three dogs are soundly (very soundly) sleeping on the couch.

Designer Dog Breed

March 25, 2010

First,there was the labradoodle.

Then the shihpoo.

Then the puggle.

Now, there’s the

BASENJIGATOR!

Professor’s Class Report

March 24, 2010

We went to S.T.A.R. puppy class Monday night. They introduced some baby agility obstacles: jump (with no bar, just running through the standards over the bottom bar), tunnel, table (flat on the ground), and a ladder. Professor was a star! You can certainly tell if a breeder has introduced new stuff and tunnels and things to the puppies! He was the only pup who didn’t hesitate at the tunnel, even though it was an agility tunnel scrunched up, so the footing was different than what he’s used to. But the idea of going through something didn’t phase him at all (of course not, he loves tunnels! just what I need, another tunnel suck!) He was perfectly happy to get up on the table, and off the table, and on the table, and off the table, and on and on. With the ladder, it took a couple of tries to get him to go straight, he wanted to step over the bar, step out on the right, step back in, step over a bar, step out on the left… But he picked it up pretty quickly.

That was the first half of the class, then I settled him on his mat to do a little chewing and regroup. Then our group started working on targeting and leash walking. Unfortunately, Professor’s getting very adept at macrame with leashes, and keeps tying me up. But we’ll get there. He did do his targeting pretty nicely, considering it was a new place full of exciting puppies! And, he let me know when he needed to go out.

Tuesday night is our other puppy class. He did targeting here, too, and started to learn how to work a “That’s easy” button from Staples. He got it a couple of times, but was very distracted by his buddy Mouse the JRT. So we let them play for a bit in the puppy playground, where they wrestled in the tunnel, and ran over the various surfaces, and tipped the baby buja boards. Once they’d moved the tunnel out of place, they had a lot of fun jumping over the sandbag handles on the ground. Professor was a very tired boy after two nights of classes.

Professor Update

March 21, 2010

Professor spent Saturday morning at work with me, and after about 5 minutes of whining settled down very nicely. He even let me walk briefly out of his sight! He was very interested in seeing all the dogs and cats, and very tolerant of the folks who loomed over him going “ooooooooh isn’t he CUUUUUTE!” After that, we had another successful visit to my mom in the nursing home. She really seems to like seeing him bouncing around.

He’s been working on targeting a target stick (actually, it’s a long plastic spoon, but the idea’s the same), interacting with the balance disk, and staying inside a hula hoop. He’s got a bit of barrier frustration, so I’m hoping learning to stay inside a barrier he can easily step over will help. He also gets rewarded for putting his paws on Amelia’s egg. I don’t think this guy will have any trouble when it comes time to teach him the teeter!

I’ve been taking him to the dog yard with Amelia, and he’s enjoying getting to run around off-leash. Don’t know how long this will last, since he can get out under the gate. So far, he really wants to stay with me and Amelia, but… Today I introduced him to the chase-it, a toy like a lunge whip with a stuffed toy attached. He really liked chasing the stuffy, and catching it, and chewing the toy and the rope. Now he’s totally sacked out on the couch with the big dogs.

Professor goes to school

March 18, 2010

 

We had our first S.T.A.R. puppy class Monday night. There are 10 puppies in the class; Professor is the youngest and smallest of the puppies, but he’s such a good, confident boy. It was at my training club, so several folks outside the class wanted to see him, pet him, talk to him, and he accepted them all. He was interested in the other puppies, greeted them very appropriately, but wasn’t so enthralled he couldn’t pay attention to me when asked. As in all first nights, there was a lot of sitting and listening, and he sat happily on my lap and chewed his toy very patiently. He let me know when he needed to go out, so no accidents! I was very proud of him.
 
And more than one of my dog friends commented on how well-bred he is! He’s not only gorgeous, but mentally sound as well. Yay Toni, you do good work!
 
S.T.A.R. puppy is an outgrowth of the AKC CGC program, sort of a pre-CGC. S.T.A.R. stands for Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility. By the end of the class, the puppies should be able to allow petting by a person other than the owner, allow owner to handle the ears and feet, walk on a leash in a straight line, walk past other people (5 feet away), sit and down on command (food lures allowed), come to owner from 5 feet away when called, and stay on leash with another person while the owner walks 10 steps away and returns. They are also tested on their reactions to distractions presented 15 feet away. At the end of the class series, the puppy can be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy program, and will get a certificate and medal from AKC, and discounts on AKC services and so on. It leads very naturally into a CGC class; since I’m an evaluator, I make it a point to put CGCs on my dogs.
We went to our other puppy class Tuesday night. This is a combined tricks (for older dogs) and puppy class. It’s a bit of a haul for me, about an hour’s drive each way, but so worth it. Kitty and Lori had set up a puppy playground with tiny buja boards, a ladder, some different footing areas, and a baby tunnel. The whole was surrounded by gates so the puppies could be off-leash. We took the puppies to the playground when they needed to burn off some energy during the class.
 
In class, we worked on mat work (Professor is very good about his mat, and will run back to it if he needs to calm himself!) and perch work. It’s the first time he’s seen a perch, and he had no trouble with it at all. But he does have the attention span of a gnat, so we did a little mat work, went to the playground, did a little perch work, went back to the playground, went outdoors, went back to the playground.
 
He played in the playground with two other puppies. One’s a french bulldog, the other a JRT. Both are about 15 weeks, so about twice Professor’s age, although the JRT is not much larger than he is. They have similar play styles and had a wonderful time chasingchasingchasingwrestlingwrestlingchasingwrestling. I’m proud to report that Professor is the ONLY puppy that did not piddle in the playground! He’s very good about letting me know when he needs to go out, although sometimes by the time we get out he’s forgotten what he came for, especially if another dog comes into the potty area.
 
This puppy’s temperament is just amazing. We did a little on-leash play with a very exuberant 7-month old beardie. We didn’t want to let them off-leash because of the size difference, it would just have been too easy for the beardie to trample the Professor. He was very good with this big, strange, hairy creature. He retreated to his mat a couple of times, regrouped, and bounced right back. We kept it very short, for both dogs’ sakes.
 
I’d rather have the classes spread out through the week, rather than Monday and Tuesday, but that’s when they’re offered so that’s when we go. Fortunately, Professor’s very good in the car, although he’s still a bit clingy and doesn’t like to be left alone. Oh well, he’s still a baby.

More basenji pix

March 15, 2010

Why I don't own an ex-pen

Nine weeks old and up he goes. Actually, he’d gotten to the top just before this (of course I didn’t have the camera ready) so I put him back. And up he went again:

Oh goody, she forgot to fasten the top snap!

Professor and Amelia are still getting along like a house afire, although the rules are still being written:

Talk to the paw!

Pleeeeeeeease let me have the chewy!

Pretty, pretty please with sugar on top!

Life as the big dogs know it has come to an end; Professor can get up on the couch:

Professor, Joey, Amelia

Exciting Saturday

March 14, 2010

Professor came to work with me today at the vet’s. I put his crate behind the front desk, and he was very good all morning. I dropped kibbles and bits of chicken in at random, and he just sat and watched the dogs and cats coming and going.  He only whined when I went out of sight, so I pretty much stayed with him. Luckily, it was a fairly quiet morning. He got to see a standard poodle, and a weimeraner, and a hound, and a beagle cross. And he heard the kitty-cats meowing in their carriers. He was very interested, but content to sit and watch, not screaming to get at them or fearful of them walking by. He got his second vaccines and his microchip with no problems. The vet palpated two testicles, so we’re good there.

Then we went and visited my mom in the nursing home. Professor was on his best behavior, and very gentle. He licked her hand, gently, and she seemed to be pleased to see him. He just got on the bed with her for a few minutes, since he’s got sharp little puppy claws and sharp little puppy teeth, and she has skin like tissue. But he wandered around the room on his leash and she watched him. She seemed amused when he wrapped his leash around my legs!

He’s such a good puppy, so accepting of new things and new places.

Puppy class, first night

March 10, 2010

Professor and I went to puppy class last night at Kamp Kitty. We did a little mat work, and Professor got to work on paying attention in the presence of people! and puppies! and a strange place! He was very good. At the end of the class he got to play with a JRT, a french bulldog, and a shih tzu cross. They are all older than he is, but they played very nicely together. He and the JRT in particular like the same style of chase games. He slept like a log all the way home, then played with Amelia for a while. He’s snoozing on my lap now.