Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My birthday, training continuing, floor sharks

11 weeks 2 days old

So, last week it was my birthday, my dreaded 30th birthday in fact. Ugghhh. Where on earth has time gone? I find it somewhat hard to believe I have lived 30 years, although some days I physically feel like I've lived 80! Well, at least I'm guessing a bit there obviously.

A closeup of Knightley asleep in his ex pen with
the new camera I got for my birthday!
I did have a nice birthday though. I spent the evening before with my immediate family, my parents, brother, husband and Knightley - at my parents house. We spent quite a few hours there and Knightley was actually very well behaved. He was so interested in exploring everything he didn't fall into his normal 'eat everything in sight' pattern. He was too excited and distracted to respond to his sit cue whilst in exploring mode, but he did some nice hand targets with an audience later.... which was good to see as it was a new place and had I leapt straight in and used the cue straight away (dogs are such poor generalisers, often when you take a previously learnt cue to a new place/room, it won't make sense to them at all and will fall upon deaf ears... the process of teaching the cue over and over again in many places with different levels of distraction is called proofing).

Knightley using my husbands foot as a very handy
chin rest.
I got an amazing digital slr camera from my husband, my brother and in laws for my birthday. It also does very good video, so I can make training videos of Knightley. I should really get one made before he goes much further. I am taking quite a few photos!! I was given a zoom lens as well as the stock lens, and the zoom is pretty awesome. Prepare for LOTS of Knightley closeups.

Since my birthday he has had his second parvo/everything else shot, for which he was fairly well behaved.... just wanted to wag and chew all over the vet - oh, and sneeze the kennel cough vaccine back onto him. Knightley wasn't too impressed about having a whole lot of fluid going up his nose, but he got a clean bill of health so I was happy. We have  started more public exposure after this second shot, as it should give him 99% coverage against parvo, and getting socialised is more important at this stage than wrapping him in cotton wool.

Playing tug with a stick with my mum about a week ago.
We've been doing small walks around the streets - still avoiding other dogs of course.. but getting him used to seeing new things and meeting people (he has a please pat me sign on his harness). He gets through everything with flying colours, every time. When he meets people, he does so with joy and no hesitation. Recovery from any fright with unusual objects he has never seen before is SO fast, it is great to see. In terms of his reactions to environmental stimuli, so far he is spot on for what I want. He is also obeying sit/down/touch with a lot of distractions around him (outside our local shops), so I am very pleased with that! He just turned 11 weeks old, and is going very well indeed. Zen is going quite well although he isn't generalising it yet, and our recall needs significantly more work - he has selective hearing on that one!! I started "on your mat" this morning, and it was the first strictly shaped behaviour I have done so far, and Knightley got kind of stressed about it - didn't get it for a while... but I think he has grasped the basics. Time to let him sleep on it. Other that that he is close to passing Sue Ailsby's Training Levels, Level 1 (old)! I have just put in an order, once again, for her new levels that she has published in two brand new books. I look forward to following that program to the letter, to train Knightley.

He has been quite the floor shark since we got him.... nippy nippy nippy. We all have holes in our clothes, as he looooves tug and nothing gives him greater pleasure than to use our clothes as his tug toys. My brother especially has a pair of lambswool slippers that he adores and that if they were left alone wouldn't survive for a second. I had tried quite a few different techniques with his nipping... which was becoming quite annoying, and certainly needed to be dealt with. It isn't perfect now - but I have greatly improved it by the tethering technique... which I will attempt to do an entry on alone because it worked so well for us.

He is growing up so fast, it is almost scary! He was 6.4kg when we got him, he was 8.5kg at the vets last weekend, and must be just about 10kg now. He is staying nicely lean, but still - wow.... I see most of the change in his face actually. It is becoming less babyish. I really hope he shapes up to be the dog I want and need him to be.

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