Sunday, August 4, 2013

Training and Shows and Fun, Oh My!

Rundle and I have been keeping very busy over the past few weeks.  Rundle started puppy kindergarden and a puppy agility class.  Puppy K is lots of fun - we get to practice all the basic behaviours he already knows, such as sit and down.  He gets more practice with loose leash walking with the distractions of other puppies.  We will also get to work on some manner like not jumping on people - Rundle loves to jump and is happy to greet new people, so this is something that we need to work lots on and it is something that we cannot work on at home.  Puppy agility class is fun too.  Rundle is much too young to start any real agility work but puppy class is geared towards setting up a good agility foundation.  We work on recalls, lots of body awareness and having our puppies read our body cues.  Although we have already been working on some of this at home, having a puppy that is used to working in an agility-type environment (dogs running and barking) is important.  This type of environment can be very stimulating for a dog so if a puppy grows up training and working in that type of environment it should be "normal" for them.

We have also started an online class through the Fenzi Academy of Dog Sports.  It is a Performance Puppy class taught by Deborah Jones.  I have lots of things that I know I need to fix in my training and I hope this class gives me the boost I need to change some of the things I have been doing.  It will also be fun to take a class from someone who is very well known in the world of +R training.  The purpose of the class is to build a solid foundation in which your puppy will learn to love to work.  I really want to develop the enthusiasm need to have a successful performance dog.  Teaching behaviours is the easy part - developing a dog that loves to work for the joy of working is much more difficult.  Puppies are born with such enthusiasm and joy for the littlest things and I want to foster that and mold it into a love of working.

Getting Rundle out and seeing the world is still a big part of his puppyhood.  We try to go somewhere everyday, even if it is just a walk to the park at the end of the street.  Yesterday Rundle had his biggest day yet in terms of being out and socializing.  We went to the dog show.  Dogs shows are busy places and a great place to meet people who love dogs.  I was helping out in our Breed Club information booth and Rundle got to hang out all day and meet and greet all the visitors to the booth.  He was amazing!  He walked in full of confidence - you would think he goes to dog shows every day.  He met lots of people and was friendly with everyone who stopped to say hi.  He especially loved the kids and would play bow and try to get them to chase him or would give them gentle kisses on the chin.  What a great little puppy he is.