Thursday, May 6, 2010

Puppies are hard!

It's a lot of pressure to raise a puppy. I'm very glad I won't have a puppy of my own for a very long time.

This puppy is with me for training. He is learning about house training, walking in the woods, in town, and meeting people. He's learning about dogs, and plants and animals, the things that are foods and what isn't. He's learning how to use food toys and solve problems and get attention. He's learning self control and enthusiasm. He is learning to run really fast and ride in a car and be quiet in a crate. He's learning to offer behaviors and what cues are. He's learning to fetch and play and tug.

Sit, Down, Stay, etc are what people really want for their puppies. Those things can be important, but all of these other things are so very important.

Meanwhile, Griffin seems so grown up. I was intending to take him to agility lessons every other week but I just can't do it right now, tomorrow is two weeks from our last lesson and I haven't practiced enough for it to feel worthwhile. This week we did work on contacts and weaves, he only had 1 weaving error (not collecting to get the third pole) and had too many jumps on the dogwalk after being so perfect last week. He was running slower this week, and had better hits on his faster/less stride times across. Data tables are fun. I've been using them for about six months to look at speed over time. We made one looking at his time across, number of strides, and a column to note jumps or trotting. His best time was about 2.13 seconds using a video editing progam and playing in slow motion... he went five strides and may have jumped at the end, or was very close. His jumps looked like his "I don't want the teeter to hit me" jump. Working on our 4 on teeter behavior theoretically will help.


Crystal said...

I agree that the really important things- like self control- are not the things that are emphasized in many puppy classes. A shame, that.

Megan said...

I love that picture of Rocket-sprocket!

And, agreed--you need to design and develop the perfect puppy class, utilizing, of course, Gayle's puppy raising protocol... :)

Kristen said...

I don't have to design a puppy class, the perfect one already exists! It doesn't get better than that!

But I always think classes can use more appropriate self control activities, esp with young dogs. People want to make the choices for the dogs and puppies instead of teaching the dog to do it himself. Way less work in the long run if squirrels are the cue to leave it and a tight leash is a cue to come closer.