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!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Photos for comparison, 8 weeks to nearly 14 weeks

13 weeks 5 days old

I took a few new photos of Knightley today, two of which happened to match fairly closely two early photos of Knightley in pose. It's amazing to see how his face has changed in appearance... that is the huge change I notice - and of course in size, but I actually find that hard to see day to day.

He is still a baby of course, but nothing like the ultra high maintenance infant dog that we brought home nearly six weeks ago. I wonder if the next six weeks will bring as big a change, less, or even more?

8 weeks - sit.
Nearly 14 weeks - sit.

8 weeks - down.

Nearly 14 weeks - down.

A fascinating object to bark and wag at. The BROOM.
Even though he can barely see it, he knows it's there so
he's letting it know who's boss..... just in case. So cute.
Recently his mental maturity has really come along as well, perhaps it has been helped by my change in training techniques. I am happy about where his training is at, he grasps new concepts pretty easily. For a puppy I think he is quite intelligent but I know he is intensely curious about the entire world and every leaf, stick, scent and sound in it and that is going to make training outside the home very hard. Oh well - baby steps! His fascination with the world is part of his intelligence. So far in his development I remain happy with my choice. He recovers excellently from any frights. He doesn't really get truly scared much at all. He loves people of all shapes and sizes, and shows no issues with men or children. Strange sounds and strange objects, like a very loud motorbike or an umbrella don't bother him - he is just interested!

This curiosity and enthusiasm sometimes works really well for me. When I hit upon a training exercise that he enjoys he throws himself into it 100%. We are currently working on paw targeting, and he is just loving it. He sees it as a game, but he gets really yummy food for it. His tail doesn't stop wagging. We are also starting to work on eye contact (from the Training Levels, named "watch"), which he is getting really really well. We can get up to 5 seconds reliably, after two days working on it. I would like to get eye contact as a good default behaviour - except for public access work in harness. Everything other than that, I'd really love to have frequent eye contact. When training behaviours that he sees as games, excitement often overwhelms him, and he can be very insistent upon playing. If it wasn't for our crate and pen setup, I would have long gone quite quite mad!!! This is how we have it set up. I have fastened the pen to the crate with carabiners, which has worked wonderfully (click on photos to enlarge). I added the mat the set up a couple of weeks ago.

It was our last puppy class on Sunday, and there were more puppies than usual, due to a cancellation of a weekday class. Knightley had a wonderful time, mostly playing with Riot, as per usual. We have swapped contact details with Riot's owner, so hopefully they will stay friends for a good while to come. They just *clicked* and had eyes really only for each other throughout all the classes. So cute. I got some good focus from Knightley for short bursts during the class for the first time ever, but he soon got tired. Riot wore him out quickly though, and soon he was once again flopped on the floor with him legs splayed out behind him (see the entry "Puppy class, Knightley's new best friend, a very very tired pup" for an example photo!). He wouldn't move for me at all, the only thing he would muster up some dregs of energy for was more play with Riot. Crazy puppy. Mummy was a sucker and allowed little (!!!! not!!! 11.7kg - 25.75lb) baby Knightley to sleep on her lap on the way home.... just too too cute.... heart melt.

Going to leave this entry with a photo I took today that I really like. Knightley is looking all soft and cuddly and not at all evil devil puppy from hell. I really am smitten with this dog, every day I hope so damn hard that he and I will have the stuff to make it as an Assistance Dog team.

Knightley, my nearly 14 week old Golden Retriever puppy.

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