Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week 32 - Chopped Lettuce

Looks sweet, right?  Well, I think Maddie had just been nipped and came running to me for comfort.  At least I get that. 

This is what I usually get.  "Don't touch me, Mom.  I don't want anyone to see us together."  We are definitely deep into the bratty teenager stage.  
 Maddie just wants to hang out with her friends.  We traveled to South Carolina for an agility trial recently and Maddie was quite the pill about doing what I asked...... except recalls.  Recalls were always great!
At this trial especially, Maddie had many opportunities to play with other puppies.  You saw Ziva the Dutch Shepherd in the last post.  There was also Harp the Golden Retriever, Ivy the Doberman we have not seen in several months, and Teg the Border Collie you see in these pictures.
Maddie had a blast.  There was a huge field for her to run full speed.  It was great exercise and very entertaining for the humans.
But I really need to be the most important, interesting, awesome thing in Maddie's life and it is just plain hard to be more wonderful than fun puppies like Teg, Ziva, Harp, and Ivy.  So with daycare ending also, I am going to reduce the amount of play she gets with other dogs as well.  I really need to be her favorite playmate.
At the very least, I want Maddie to earn the puppy play.  It was evident this weekend that she just could not respond to basic requests (like a sit) with her friends around.  I was no better than chopped lettuce.
Hard core trainers, such as my obedience trainer, do not allow their puppies to play with other dogs at all. They would have suggested that Maddie only play with me from the very beginning.  I get the concept, but it just was not going to work logistically.
For example, we attended a seminar back in November and the speaker told us how she would crate her puppy for a few hours and then interact with her puppy for 2 hours.  Then crate the puppy for a few hours and then 2 more hours of intense interaction, play, and training.  And she would continue this routine all day. That must be nice if you do not have to work a full time job away from the house.
I could never do such a schedule justice.  Especially when I have two other dogs to train.  So for the first seven months, I think it made sense for me to utilize daycare and to let her play with other puppies. But time to reel that in a bit.  Time to change my status from chopped lettuce to chopped liver.

Maddie ended Week 32 at 52 pounds and 25 inches tall.  She is now officially bigger than Seven and Riley who are right at 51 pounds and 24 and 24.5 inches tall respectively.