Sunday, June 12, 2011

Splash Dog

Yes, she still gets through the fence - new fence coming soon!

A little rest in the shade after playing hard this morning.
Well, she isn't ready for Splash Dog competition, but she is doing her own style of training!  I can't wait till the rivers calm down enough to take her  for some swimming lessons!

We have been busy the past month with the new job in Fresno.  But it is sure a lot of fun and having a training  place indoors is very cool!  Sunny loves training on the  mats too!  We had a small fun run at the center, just for my Star Dogs students,  and when Sunny had her turn she did awesome!!  Of course she can't do too much, but she played with me, stayed with me and did what she knows how to do.  REALLY FAST TUNNELS LOL!!!  She runs through the low tire and can do front crosses.  But she also played teeter bang games and did her touches on the contact training board.  She showed off her perchwork in public!  She is coming to the left fluidly now and will follow me staying close to my left leg as I move away from her.  I just love perchwork!!  Her heeling on both the right and left side is really good.  She can stay - OMG - my puppy can stay :-)

We are going to start an obedience class on Tuesday.  I am doing it for the exposure and socialization - it will be so good for her.  Now we will see if she can do all her behaviors some place besides at home!  Her ears are still in and out of tape and I am still determined that the right ear will match the left ear :-)

Oh, and we did go to Cayucos for the ASCA trial.  The weather was terribly windy, Flint got blown off the dogwalk and then I left!  The conditions were just too unsafe.  So we went to the windy beach instead!   That was fun.  Of course Sunny still has to be on a flexi.  But she  had a blast chasing blowing seaweed and the foam coming off the waves.  It was a good day trip - despite the wind!  It was Sunny's second time at the beach.  I didn't take my camera, but I am hoping to make a day trip down there this summer and pack the camera for some fun beach shots.

Friday, May 27, 2011

6 Months Old

Sunny at 6 months old

What a character she is - quite the supermodel!

This was the hardest shot to get!

Wow, time is just flying by and Sunny is growing so fast.  She doesn't look like a puppy anymore! she looks like a little dog.  Of course she sure acts like a puppy, but a very good one :-)  I have taken on a new job helping to start a new indoor agility center in Fresno and it is taking a lot of my spare time.  Yeah, that time where I would get out with my camera and then sit at the computer in the evening and process the images.  Oh well, the new job is exciting and I get to take Sunny and Flint with me when I go up twice a week to teach classes.  They both love the indoor facility.  I love to hear Sunny running on the mats - you can hear every footfall.  I think she likes to hear herself run on the mats too LOL!!!

Sunny is doing great in her training.  We are still doing all the things she was doing and more.  Let's see....I started perch work with her a couple weeks ago and she is starting to figure out to move that rear end around.  I love shaping behaviors.  Each day I get out the phone book and clicker and treats and work in really short sessions.  It started with getting the front feet on the book and then progressed,  getting her to understand to keep the front feet on and move the rest of the body around.  There were all sorts of contortions going on for several days. Then I captured some rear end movement and gradually she caught on.  The big moment was a couple days ago, I put the phone book down and she jumped up there and swung that butt around about 6 or 7 steps toward my left side!  Yahoo!!!  She is getting it!

Today she did her first sit stay in front of a jump (the 4 inch kind) and got released over the jump!  WOW - is this my puppy?  She continues to blast through tunnels but is also very responsive to front crosses.  I started teaching her how to rear cross a couple days ago too.  And of course she is catching on fast.  She can sequence a curved line, something like.....tunnel jump, jump, chute, jump and to the table.  She loves to do the fast and fun stuff!

Hand touches are okay - I started her touching a target and have it on the ground.  She can stand straight by my side and touch the target.  It is a new trick and she gets bored pretty quick with this one.  Also started teeter bang games this week.  No problem!  She has been jumping on the wobble board since she was 9 weeks old.  She thought teeter bang was a lot of fun - something new to do.

I have even gotten her out and done demos with her in class.  Sunny stays pretty focused even with distractions.  Oh, and her tugging is back to shark attack style.  She was like that before she started teething but got weaker on tugging for a while.  She did tug while teething - just not shark style, but that part is back!  I am using a lot of toy rewards, but now I need that second toy to get her to come back.  But two toy game works great with her and she comes flying back to grab the second toy.  Sometimes it is my hand - but that part has gotten a lot better too LOL!!! 

She continues to be super friendly with all dogs and people.  I just love that about her!  We are going down to Cayucos on Sunday for an ASCA trial.  Sunny hasn't been to this place before so there will be lots of new things to see and do.  The trial is on a ranch and the weather is supposed to be cold.  I still have Flint in open.  He is ready to move up, but I decided to stay in open till next year.  No rush, I just quit calling him a dweeb a couple months ago LOL!!  Boys take forever to grow up - he will be 4 in August.  Time goes on and they grow up so fast.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Funny Sunny

Sunny is so balanced and athletic, I love to watch her run.

Sunny loves to play in the water - good thing because the hot weather will be here soon!


I got the camera out this evening and Sunny was happy to jump on the couch for a photo session.  She's a natural :-)

First the good.........Sunny continues to be an awesome pup!  Training is holding steady.  I have been super busy getting ready for an ASCA trial that will be at my place in just one more week - so we are maintaining skills right now.  I just haven't had the time to start any new projects with her.  She is growing so fast and has changed a lot in the past two weeks.  She has lost most of her puppy fur.  She had a bunch of long hair about her head and I trimmed that off yesterday.  That wasn't easy LOL!!!  Sunny wasn't very still for the ear trimming, but it at least looks better than before.  Ears have been in and out of tape and tomorrow they will go back as the right ear kinked up again today.   They are staying down several days after I take the tape off so I am hopeful she will have those perfect ears her mom has :-)  Teeth continue to fall out.  She was chewing on a pigs ear in PetCo the other day and a molar fell out.  She doesn't seem to be too bothered by the process. 

Sunny loves to do stuff.  She will follow me around while I am working and try to help :-)  She loves to train all the active exercises and learns super fast.  The quieter exercises, like hand touching, don't hold her interest long.  I have been teaching her perch work and her shaping skills are improving slowly.  It reminds me of how Rita was as a pup.  But things like side walking and running by my side,  Sunny is super good at.  When she is moving she is happiest - all that other stuff - boring LOL!!  I know from experience that training works and she will be more motivated by food as she gets older and her attention span will increase.  I know she is going to be AWESOME!!

Now for some bad..........Potty training...hummmm....I thought it was going so well.  Sunny was ringing the bells to go outside and we hadn't had an accident in the house in a long time.  And I was giving her more freedom in the house because of her good behavior.  Then I found a rug in the bathroom where she had been peeing.  Then she peed on Flint's bed and then one night I crawled into bed and it was wet OMG!!!  She peed on my side of the bed.  Oh boy - I was not happy.  So, back to basics.  No more freedom in the house.  She is back to either being in a crate or on a long line.

Ms. Sunny is an escape artist.  She works hard at it too.  When she first came she would get her head between the gate and the fence.  I put a guard there so she couldn't do that.  As she got older she learned to climb up the fence and squeeze through the boards in the fence.  I put chicken wire there.  But she found more places.  There is a new fence in the future and meanwhile I can't trust her in the back yard, side yard, hell, any yard!.  She escapes to get into the agility field .  She also learned to jump over a 3 foot gate in the breezeway so I added an extension to that gate so she couldn't jump over that.  Sigh...........well, I needed a new fence in the back yard anyway.

Had a little eye opener yesterday.  I had Vino and Sunny out together and was taking some pictures.  I was tossing the toy for them.  Vino has been very good with Sunny and she really needs to be around a dog that will keep her in line - none of my others will do this.  Vino has been more than fair with her.  So we were playing some ball games and Sunny started to grab Vino.  Vino told her many times to knock it off, but Sunny didn't listen.  I could see it was escalating and also thought that Vino needed to settle this so Sunny could learn a lesson.  Finally Vino had enough and went to set her straight and Sunny fought back!  I could see that Vino was not really doing any damage so I let them work it out.  I was surprised that it lasted as long as it did - that little Sunny has a temper and determination that I hadn't seen before! Of course Vino won the argument and Sunny behaved herself after that.  They have gotten along fine since then.

The funny.........Caught in the act.......Sunny does a lot of funny things and she keeps me laughing at her antics.  Today I had her out in the morning playing and doing some training,  but then I had a bunch of work to do.  I was cleaning the dog room and was letting her run in and out while I was in there.  But she kept getting under foot,  in my way, and stealing stuff,  so I put her out in the field  with the retired gang for a while.  But she kept jumping the barrier I had up to get back in with me.  So I put her in a crate where I was working.  A couple hours later I let her out into the back yard and went back to work.  I heard a noise and went to see what she was into.  I had forgotten a gate was open and she had gone into another room where Sam keeps the dog biscuits that he hands out.  She had found his stash before.  Well, Sunny had been in there and taking biscuits and burying them outside in the rose garden!  Her face was back with dirt and the biscuit box had dirt in it and was wet and also had several biscuits missing.  When she got caught she ran out the door with the biscuit and started digging a hole for the one she had in her mouth.  She cracks me up!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Buns of Steel

We haven't worked on much new this past week.  I need to do more leash work with her, so I have been working on that.  I get lazy with leash work because of where I live, and do all my training without a leash.  Then of course when I do have to put her on a leash  she pulls.  After a couple sessions she is better already!  Sunny learns stuff really fast :-)  I have also been working on her stay.  I don't do a lot of stationary exercises in the beginning, preferring to build toy drive first.  Now that she is teething it is the perfect time to work on the obedience, and she is almost five months old too!  So she has the training thing figured out and the attention span is getting better.  She is doing great in all her training and she loves to work for me.

About 10 days ago when I took her in for her last shot she weighed 25.5 lbs.  - growing up so fast.  Right now her rear end is bigger than the front and what a rear end!  I call her my Sunny buns of steel LOL!!!  I am so impressed with how athletic and strong she is for her age.  She doesn't even run like a pup, this girl can move.  There haven't been any potty accidents in the house in a few weeks - yeah! She has quit trying to use the  lamp shades for toys, another yeah!   Taking off with my shoes is her current most fun thing to do.  Oh, and my glasses - she loves those.  She has a favorite stash spot in the geraniums so if something is missing I check there.  She loves to bury stuff - anything.  And she loves the water.  Lately I am glad her ears are hanging right because she dunks her head in the water buckets - so keeping tape on has been a challenge!  She is so much fun and keeps me laughing at her antics.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sneak Peak

Easter Photo Shoot Day!  See the gallery here

Denise and I got together for an Easter photo shoot today.  And yes, complete with outfits :-D  These are just a couple from today.  I am sure it will take me till Easter to get them all processed!  Sunny was a good little model.  

She is 19 weeks old now.  I can never keep track of weeks and have to go back and count them.  Just a little over 4 1/2 months.  And she looks like she has hit that mark.  Her beautiful fluffy puppy  fur is now bleached out and she looks like she is molting.  There is dark shiny hair coming in.  She is getting quite a rear end on her - such a powerful little thing she is too.  Right now her rear end is a little taller than her front end.  The nose grew longer.  Front legs don't look like like tree trunks anymore, she has sprouted long legs, and boy can she ever use them!  She is growing and changing really fast.  I love her more every day and am just having so much fun with her.


Sunny looked like this all week - ears taped with the under the chin method.
She got used to it - I think it was harder on me :-D
After 6 days she was out of bondage today!

Perfect ears


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Teaching Get Out and Go

I started Sunny on a jump grid a couple weeks ago and of course she caught on quickly to the game.  I started with a toy, but she was too wild driving to it.  I wanted her to think about where her feet were and how to negotiate the bumps.  That wasn't happening with the toy!  She was wildly blasting and twisting through the grid instead of being thoughtful.  So I put the table there and a couple cookies on it.  That worked perfect and she started thinking about what she was doing then.  This exercise is so good for a puppy.  It teaches them how to regulate their stride and develop rhythm in their stride also.  It also teaches them to drive ahead and GO.  As she matures and gets confidence with her body I will make the grid more challenging.

The out around a barrel I started just a few days ago.  I am still using a clicker with her on this project, but when she gets really good  and is sending a good distance,  I will start to use a toy reward.  This is a good exercise to get the pup to think about staying on either one hand or the other - not crossing in front of me to go another direction.  The next step will be to add another barrel.  When I get her figure eighting with another barrel I will get another video. This is also a great way to exercise dogs and warm them up at a trial.  Once they learn to get out around an object then you can send them around trees, bushes, chairs - just about anything you can find.  I use this exercise to teach OUT - lateral movement away from me.