So this week Knightley had his last puppy shots, which should now make him safe from parvo. While I have been socialising him that has been the big one I have been scared of, but now this shot is done, and give it a few more days to work completely.... then I can relax about it. A friends dog was very close to dying from parvo when he was a pup, I was pretty scared that it would happy to Knightley. The memories of my previous dog, Clipsy, are still surprisingly fresh. He died in 2000 from a long and protracted battle with a progressive heart murmur like so many poor Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. By the end of his life he was taking almost as much medication as I do!! So I guess I am just scared of having a very sick dog on my hands again.
|Knightley's paws compared to my palm. They are so huge,|
and even bigger when he is standing on them, then they truly
are the same size as my palm. Doing paw targeting with such
big paws on still what is only just a medium sized dog is kind
I have started to teach the "bang you're dead" trick, where when you say "bang!" with the fake 'gun' hand movement, and the dog flops into a down on its side with its head on the ground. Knightley is getting the on the side bit, but only sometimes manages to put him head right down. Also the speed isn't quite what I would expect from something getting shot.... more like a stoned turtle....... Still it's a start, and it's very cute when he gets it right. I throw a party and he gets a treat jackpot.
We are doing lots of Loose/Lazy Leash Walking (LLW) training, but damn it is going slowly. Barely perceptively moving, one might say. Instead of taking Knightley out the back to do his business, I take him out the front on a leash, so that he doesn't get as excited by going out the front anyone. I'm also handfeeding him his meals occasionally out the front, and making them extra yummy so that he can't resist. So he is definitely taking food better in close proximity to the house, and there has been some improvement on walks too I think, which will help with the ability to train outdoors and eventually master LLW.
|This is the Freedom Harness, by|
Wiggles. Wags and Whiskers. It is
considered the best harness in terms
of letting the shoulder move freely.
Anyway, I had a great chat to the trainer about all sorts of dog trainer type stuff. She had done the dog training course I am interested in, so that was good for some insights. She says that I should feel free to 'use and abuse her' for the training of Knightley, eg if he needs some distraction training that week, come and use her class as the distraction. Or if I just want him to have some socialisation, I can bring him along for that. Her class is being held in a field, so I don't think I would find walking around in it, doing heel work etc all that easy or good for me, but she said I could sit that out. Apparently they let the dogs off to just run around, so that sounds great for Knightley. I am volunteering today, so won't be able to go to this session - but maybe next weekend. I look forward to it. From my rather lengthy chat to the trainer, we are on the same page on quite a few things - although not haltis - and it was good to talk to someone who knew her stuff. The previous guy at puppy class was just a little clueless and stuck in his ways.
I went a bit nuts and took a huge series of photos with my new camera yesterday, so here is one of the best of them after tiring him out playing with the flirt pole. My Knightley a touch over 15 weeks, 13.5kg (29.7lbs) and a full 43cm (17 inches) at the withers. He has also lost several teeth now, possibly helped by the amount of tug he loves to play!
|Knightley, chewing on the ball attached to the flirt pole. His accuracy|
in chasing and speed has improved hugely over the last couple of weeks.
Gone is that baby puppy clumsiness, he is on his way to becoming an