Thursday, May 26, 2011

The past few days have been a bit of a blur.  "Cold" turned "chest infection" along with "totally lost my voice".  Poor Lily and Nic also had it as did La, so we all pretty well curled into balls, took ample amounts of  medicine and bonded over seeing who could hack up a lung first.

Unfortunately 7-8 week old puppies (age per the vets opinion) have little respect for wishing to quietly hide under the covers till the nasty bugs are gone so we've mainly been working on stuff at home.  We have gotten out to socialize some more today (finally!) and visited Paky and Gembrook as well as visited the vets to practice having a once over and standing on scales.  We've discovered the secret to socializing with men - go in the morning when all the tradies are getting their coffee!  GOBS of socialization to guys today! 

Our coolest socialization moment this week goes to this great big fella in full bikie kit - the jacket, the liberal use of chains, the tatts, headgear, sunglasses and massssivveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee beard, muttonchops and mustache.  He looked like someone you'd NOT want to meet in a dark alley but instead crouched down and cooed at her softly while asking to give some treats, telling me he'd just lost his dog this week and we'd made his day watching her be so clever and sweet.

She is becoming a lot more active and into everything, so the real fun begins!  She reminds me a lot of Cade actually - a bit of an old soul in that little fur jacket and similar traits.  Watching her as she checks out the cows echoed Cade's reactions to the young and curious horses we had around our place in Michigan.  When she is wild she is willlldddd and when she has had her fill of running she sits with me soft and serious-eyed as she considers the world.  She is a comfort seeker - give her a cozy blanket or a lap and she's curled up under your jacket.  She seems very paw oriented as well - loves to whack things, scuttle them and bat them before taking a massive pounce.  She seems deeply loathe of all things cold and wet and detests her poor princess paws getting wet.

Skill-set stuff:
  • sit and down at about 30 seconds duration (assuming quiet area, that goes to about 15 seconds out and about reliably.... though I was very tickled when she offered +30 seconds holding while very intently watching a tempting fluttering candy wrapper in town today before I decided to mark it while the marking opportunity was still good!
  • stand at about 5 seconds reliably (without shifting feet or offering targeting behaviours)
  • touch - now includes 'hit' (feet targeting), nose-to-palm and touch plates.  Touch plates are on the floor and at a short distance pretty well! (1 meter) 
  • watch me - about 14 seconds, a bit more in a non-distracting setting
  • tuggy - bite is still wanting to be very regrippy when she's very excited... I think it's the size of the bite surface though - hard for her to get back into a good grip position so I'm looking for a thin but softly braided one.
  • picking up an item (keys, rubber kids toy, tiny ball)
  • bringing back a thrown item
  • polite release (let go when requested and pop yerself into a sit kid) even while highly excited (aka in feral SHARK PUPPY MODE... dundun dundun dun dunnnnnnn....)
Manners stuff:
  • zen work
  • jaw/tooth grip moderation (iow jaw-wrestle games, very softly with mums hand thanks!)
  • body handling - focusing on head (reaching down toward, tugging lightly on the collar, putting head through things like the collar or circled fingers and examining teeth/eyes/ears etc)
  • LAT on the kittens (wrestling mobs of kittens are just SO TEMPTING to join... and then sit and yap at when they fail to respond to play bows and offers of tuggy)
  • environmentally cued sits while walking on lead when mum stops (pretty good unless there is something fairly distracting)
  • environmentally cued sits when people reach down to pet (about 60% of the time un-cued so obviously still plenty of work to do - made harder by the fact I'm usually trying to keep tabs on a free-roving 2 year old while teaching this!

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