Tuesday, September 25, 2012

11 Weeks

Maddie and I survived her 11th week.  It is more fun now that we are training and she has learned a few things.  It is nice to actually be able to communicate with her on at least a low level.
I think it is also safe to say that Maddie has settled in.  She knows I go to work and does not fret about it anymore.  Housetraining is going well and she often will tell me when she has to go out.  She is eating good and her poop firmed up a lot this week.  And most importantly, we are both getting a good night of sleep every night now.  Maddie can usually go from 10 PM until 5 or 6 AM.
I love the stories that have been left in the comments.  It is good to not be alone out there.  Unfortunately, I have not made it around to any other blogs since getting Maddie, but hopefully soon.... or in a year.  A few answers to questions left in some of the comments... I do not think the ding Seven gave Maddie on her first day will scar.  I think the hair is already filling it in...  I never train recalls off leash.  I always start them on leash so I am never in a position to be ignored and can gently make them recall if the pup fails to respond.  So in the meanwhile when Maddie was off leash and playing, I would just run away, hide from her, or call "puppy, puppy, puppy" to get her attention... Maddie accidentally swam Sunday, but hope to give her a better introduction to swimming next summer.  I hope that she will love it as I miss having a greyhound that loves to swim.
The week started out with a trip to the vet for vaccinations.  I carefully managed Maddie so she would have a good experience and Seven came along for moral support.  I did not bring Maddie in until they were ready to put us into an exam room.  I did not want her to see the nervous, noisy dogs in the waiting area.  Then lots of treats, of course.  She offered sits and eye contact and tugged on her toy.
When Dr. Toby came in, Maddie was very friendly and licked his face.  She did not seem to notice the injection as she ate her treats.  He said she was healthy and was in good weight (16.2 pounds).  She was worm free too.
I introduced Maddie to a balance disc and sit ups.  Both are great for developing core muscles and balance. The balance disc also has the added bonus of getting her used to movement under her feet (i.e. teeter).
Someone likes clicker training.

The goal of the sit ups is to have the puppy sit, sit up (like the begging or sit pretty trick), stand up on her hind feet, and then sit back down in a smooth, deliberate series of motions.  In this video, you see her absolute first attempt so you can see we have a lot more work to do.
One of the things I have noticed is that my yard and agility field are a lot more interesting to a puppy than it is for me or an adult dog.  As Maddie becomes more adventurous and confident, I found that she was exploring areas that never interested anyone before and it is easy for her to just disappear.  While we were fenced in, I was not entirely comfortable with Maddie exploring overgrown vegetation that could be hiding snakes and God knows what.  So we worked very hard on recalls this week.  So after to really well on leash and in a smaller area, here I am testing them out in a tougher situations.
Definitely, not reliable yet, but excellent progress.
Another problem I encountered was Maddie discovering the joys of an agility tunnel.  I did not work on this at all because I do not want it to become her all time favorite obstacle so early and turn her into a tunnel sucker later.  It was fun to watch, but will probably be blocking my tunnel entrances in the meanwhile.
I also forced her to accept having her nails done with a dremel.  I had been working very slowly everyday by dremeling the nails of one of my adults so she could hear it and see that the other dog was not concerned.  I would get the dremel close to her and feed treats.... well, I just finally needed to get this done.
I had Stephen hold Maddie and feed her treats while I touched each nail with the dremel.  She was great, so I have been touching her nails with the dremel every other day or so.  I think we can switch to a normal schedule of once a week now.  I really want to keep them as short as possible.
Another issue I worked on with Maddie is that we were wrestling too much and she was chewing on me all of the time.  This week I wrestled with her a lot less and worked a lot on handling her and not allowing her to chew on me while I stroked her or touched her feet.  I would also interrupt her play to just restrain her momentarily and would release her when she relaxed.  She was much better by the end of the week.
And to keep this from being a novel, here are a few more pictures and I will blog separately about the weekend.  I have a post for everyday this week!
Future Utility Dog?  "I like the tasted of metal."