Tuesday, February 9, 2010

6 Months Old!

Going with the new birthday I picked for her last week, Secret is six months old today! Hard to believe, considering that this time last week I thought she was 4 1/2 months old...

Both of her puppy canines have fallen out now and the adult teeth are quickly moving into place. I continue to push & pull on those awful bottom teeth in hopes that they will migrate outwards. Hopefully we see improvement at our vet appointment in ten days!

Secret had a really good night at the dog center last night! I dismantled my course after class and put together a "speed circle" of sorts using three tunnels and several jump standards.

Secret was having a "not really into toys" kind of night, so I decided to use treats & the clicker. I did a little work on increasing distance in sending to individual obstacles (both the jump standards & the tunnels) and then started to string obstacles together. She was doing great at driving between the standards and we were able to successfully string together four to five obstacles at a time!

The contacts were out, so I decided to have her work on her "bottom" 2o/2o position in a new location on new equipment. Secret impressed me with how well she transitioned this behavior on the first try. She doesn't seem to have a fear of heights, as there were several times that I had to stop her from going up & across the whole dog walk! We worked her bottom behavior from both sides on both ends of the dog walk and then went and did it a couple of times on the a-frame just for practice. I haven't fully decided between running & 2o/2o for the a-frame, but at this point it doesn't hurt for her to practice the position.

I had asked my friend, Holly, to stick around for a bit to see if Secret would show any interest in playing with Holly's Border Collie, Ailie. Ailie is one of the sweetest, most friendly dogs I know and I thought it would be a good experience for Secret to have some socialization time with her.

From the get-go, Secret was a snarky bitch to Ailie and snapped at her every time Ailie came towards us. I ended up sitting on the floor with them and took turns giving each of them treats -- Both to build up a positive association in Secret's mind and to show her that I'm "allowed" to give attention to other dogs.

Secret stopped snarking, but still showed no interest in leaving my side to play with Ailie. I decided to get the boys out of their pen to see if their presence would help Secret come out of her shell.

This experiment was a huge success! The boys went straight to Ailie to check her out and Secret followed right along. Having the boys there gave her the confidence to do a proper introduction with Ailie and after that the fun began!

The four dogs (even Luke got into the fun!) spent quite some time zipping laps around the arena. There were several times when Secret would play bow to Ailie to instigate play, so that was fantastic to see. She plowed into jump standards a few times when she wasn't watching where she was going (oops!) and ran through the tunnels several times as they played.

The photo above was taken after all of their romping. It takes a lot to get Secret panting this hard! :o) We had a very quiet ride home and all three dogs immediately crashed on the couch as soon as we walked through the door. Yay for tired puppies! Hopefully we can have several more of these play dates -- they are so good for Secret!

Trick training has been going well. Secret has really clicked with the stationary leg weave. The walking leg weave will take a bit more work, but we haven't really been touching on that yet. Bang is almost confirmed and we started working on "leave it" at the end of last week. I'm going to have to figure out what we will work on next! I definitely need to do a video update...

The photo below was taken to show Secret's latest quirk. She has decided that she really likes to sit in this chair and will often pop herself up there upon coming in from outside. She has also sat there while I'm making dinner and at other random times. I'm not sure if she's figured out that food is on the table when I sit there and she hopes for the same or what. lol She seems quite happy to sit there for some time, though!

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