Notes to self:
- Your puppy is very young. When you play with him for 20 minutes and then he gets less interested in playing with you, this isn’t because he hates playing with you, it’s because he’s a puppy. That he played for so long already is impressive. Stop playing when he’s still keen.
- You cannot spend all day playing with and training your puppy like Silvia, therefore, your puppy will not be at the same level/have the same focus as Silvia’s, will not be able to ignore Lu playing like Silvia’s, because she spends a lot more time with her dogs than you can. It’s ok, it will come.
- Crate your puppy more often. He is tired, he just doesn’t know it.
I have never met a puppy who is so ‘on’ all the time. We did a long forest walk today, heaps of running, tree roots, all sorts of stuff, after we’d done some people socialisation at a market… And yet, after an hour’s car ride? He’s good to go! Let’s run around! Let’s destroy stuff!
I remember when Lu was a baby and she had trouble settling down (though nothing like Loki, he quite literally won’t sleep until he’s crated), I watched this video and I thought: wow, I’m glad she’s not that bad.
Loki is basically this puppy.
I’d love to do more shaping and training with him for that mental stimulation but his meals are so little that I run out of food too quickly! Maybe for things like recalls in the yard, leaving the cat alone, making good decisions about not chewing rugs, etc, I need to use more toy rewards than food. Which is basically what I’m doing, just sometimes it’s easier to give him a biscuit and be done with it. Anyway, I’m feeling all a bit overwhelmed at the moment. He’s so full on – Penny told me that border collies were easy to live with, and that they didn’t bark and that they didn’t chase things! My border collie does all this! I think Penny lied to me. LIES. Meanwhile I’m getting lots of information about OCD and Hip Displaysia and other scary things and I don’t know how much or how little do to and to feed this or that, and no running, but running is good. I suppose it’s like when someone has a baby- everybody has opinions on what to do/not to do, and it’s often conflicting and confusing.
Still working on a retrieve. Think I might try the old hallway trick and reward with food for bringing it back (since he’ll have no other option). I’ve been getting things brought about halfway back outside but it’s pretty hit and miss so maybe I need something a bit easier first. He did LOTS of recalls today though and they were all fantastic, except that he’s very cute because he’s never sure which set of legs called him, so he goes to the closest legs and looks up: “Was it you?! No… how about you?! No… You!? YAY!!!”
Also, I’ve set up my dogwalk at an agility lady’s property around the corner. I’ve dropped it down to 700mm because she’s looking very uncertain on the top plank even when she just walks up there to do Get That Contact game, and I can’t expect her to get her confidence back if she’s always feeling frightened. So hopefully a bit of running on the lower heights will remind her that it’s all ok and we can get back to full height quickly. It’ll be very nice to be able to train more often – I think that’s part of the reason she’s lost her confidence, too – we just aren’t doing it enough.
Weaves are looking very nice – she’s really beginning to find her footwork and tonight I did some entries that I was sure were going to trick her, and she’s really beginning to understand how to get herself in and around the poles for the entrances, even when coming with a bit more speed. They’re closed to about 6cm right now, so I’ll stay here for 3-4 sessions, then close by 1cm at a time… At some point very soon I’ll need to take them to my new field because I’ll need more space to get her entering with ‘real speed’, and entering from tunnels etc. We just don’t have enough room in our yard and while there’s a few ways I can get her entering a bit quicker, it’s nothing like coming in from a tunnel or a couple of jumps. I promise I’ll try and get a video soon. I love her attitude at the moment with them, too. They must be starting to make sense to her brain as well because she’s much more keen.
We’re having a puppy party next Sunday, with hopefully a few people coming around to visit and cuddle. Not that he has any issues with people or kids, he thinks they’re all wonderful and will be his best friend. Some children were out of reach today and he screamed that he wanted to go meet them. Looks like I might have some work to do there, too. Might do some good playing and stuff during the puppy party. Yes, people are fun…. Em is more fun! Look at her cool toys.