Archive for July, 2013

Today we achieved a milestone. We’ve been practicing our dumbbell retrieve daily at the house. Holds are usually done at least three times a day either in the living room, dining room or out back. We’ve done several sessions of retrieve over jump in the backyard.

Today we took it to the park. I set up the ring gates, set up the bar jump and for the first time we did a retrieve over jump off property! So very proud of the Labrador who went over, got the dumbbell, returned over the jump into a very nice front and held until I told her to give! She even returned to heel after!

New place, new distractions! Time to take this training on the road so that maybe, eventually we can do it at a show. Of course, we have our CD to get first and we had a stranger at the local pet supply store do a stand for exam today. The Labrador didn’t break her stay at all!


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What a week. The weather has been all over the place, with rain and storms that triggered a migraine that lasted several days. Even with the migraine we still managed to train though. What can I say? Priorities!

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, we went to Tractor Supply. While there it started raining so hard you couldn’t see across the parking lot. So, what’s a girl with a puppy to do? Train of course! We practiced our sits and downs, and comes, and then did our very first retrieves some place other than home. The Golden picked out a toy while walking through the aisles, so we played with that in a store with lots of distractions. He did fantastic, always bringing the toy back to me for which he received lots of praise.

Other places we visited this week:

  1. Vet’s office for some training in the lobby to show him that it can be fun to go to the Vet! We also weighted while there – the Golden is now 22.2 lbs!
  2. Class (of course)
  3. Local Pet Supply store (not new, but any exposure is good!)
  4. Lowes (a different Lowes so I count this as new)
  5. Three different parks (one new)
  6. Car wash (new)

We’ve been working more on loose leash walking, and he’s getting better without distractions. Distractions are still hard, so we’ll keep working on it. Stays are improving. In fact today at the park I managed several steps away while he held his position. Such a good puppy!

Shake has been achieved! I kept working on it, and finally he’s doing it! Actually his very first time with a paw lift was even while we were at the local pet supply store! Fantastic! We’ve now gotten shake just about everywhere. We should be good for Puppy Class graduation where a trick is displayed!

The other milestone this week is he rang his bell! Every time we take him out to use the bathroom we make him ring a bell. So far it’s been us pointing to the bell until he touches it, then taking him out. The other day I had the gate up so he was in the kitchen with me while I was making dinner. I heard the bell ring. It actually took a moment to register in my brain what I was hearing and what that meant I should do! Sometimes you wonder who is training who. But after a second I raced over and opened the back door. The Golden raced out, peed and came running back in. So very proud of my boy!

Then there are times when you pretend to be proud, when you really don’t feel it. On one of our walks this week in the woods, he comes prancing up to me with a bone in his mouth, attached to a joint. He was so very proud of his find! I smiled, and told him what a good boy he was as I traded it for a treat and managed to kick the bone off deeper into the woods all the while fighting down my ick reaction. Lovely puppy found me a nice, dead thing. Wasn’t that sweet of him? He certainly thought so!

And this week I finally got a family photo! Here are the Beagle, Labrador and Golden!


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Just so it doesn’t seem like I’m a complete slacker and ignoring the other dogs, I figured I’d mention that yesterday the Labrador and I traveled to a Show N Go and did two Novice run throughs.

I was very pleased with the Labrador’s performance. I could tell that some of our attention work has been paying off during our on and off leash heeling. I still need to practice more with someone walking behind us as we heel. We did a little of that today at the park and she did much better.

Her figure eights weren’t bad, but need more work when she’s on the inside. She did fantastic on the right side speeding up to keep up nicely!

She surprised me in a good way on her stand for exams, not moving at all not even to sniff the “judge”! I was very happy with her!! She’s usually so friendly that not greeting someone approaching her is just hard for her!

Her recall was nice, though her front was crooked, so we keep working on that.

And she rocked her long sit and long down even with the dog to her left breaking several times and that handler returning to reposition the dog each time. I was so very proud of my Labrador! I think it’s time to seriously start looking at the shows coming up this fall!

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It feels like we didn’t do anything this week. Or at least not much. We’ve continued to work on sits, downs, stands, wait and come. We did a little with leave it and take it. We’ve added stay and shake. Stay is going well. Shake not so much. We’ll just keep working on it! He also went through is first tunnel this week! It’s a big tunnel, but we made it smaller for him. We should try that again this week.

One thing I’ve been slacking on is walking on a loose leash. I’ve been having so much fun taking him for walks in the woods off leash that I haven’t done much on leash. We’ve started to rectify that some this week and will continue to practice.

We’ve started playing ball in small places. This week we were in the kitchen with three balls. He’s a good little retriever!

I also refilled the kiddie pool this week. He loves it. So does the Labrador. I currently have wet dogs. The Beagle stays as far from it as possible. Nails were done this week, and some grooming of his feet. I need to start working more with his ears. “Show teeth” is going well, which is my command for him to let me look in his mouth.

We only visited one new place this week. I’ll need to rectify that next week. Today we went to a new park to practice. He got to visit with his older full brother. I wish I’d gotten a picture of that! I’ll have to remember for next time.

So even after going over all my notes, I still feel like I was a bit of a slacker this week. Goals for next week:

        1.Practice loose leash walking at least once a day

        2.Work on Stay and Wait

        3.Visit more new places! Perhaps we’ll even go to Tractor Supply today.

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Today the Golden is 3 months old. Time is flying by. Tomorrow Puppy class will be more than half over, and I’ll have to start looking for signing up for Beginner.

This week we went to new locations, include the local Pet Supply store, my work place, a new park and Lowes. The Golden got to ride in the cart as I shopped at Lowes, greeting everyone and getting lots of socialization. He also got to ride in an elevator and took it in stride.

We’ve worked more with the FitPaw Peanut, playing with getting all four paws up, as well as continuing with some crate games. Sometimes now the treat comes after he goes in, rather than being tossed in to convince him to go in.

This week we also had the excitement of learning how to make a puppy vomit when he manages to swallow something he shouldn’t. I’ve learned not only how to do that, but to be more vigilant in scanning the area for things he could swallow that he shouldn’t!

Progress is being made!

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Another Toy Mishap

Today I had to put my hand down the Golden’s throat.  And it almost worked.  He managed to swallow a toy whole.  Two swallows got it stuck in his throat, which is what prompted me to reach down his throat in an attempt to dislodge the toy.  I could feel it, but I was unable to get a good enough grip to pull it back out.  After my second attempt, he managed to swallow again moving it down past where I could reach, but also past where it was causing him any problems. He stood there and grinned up at me.

Then my concern turned from choking to blockage.  He’d swallowed the toy whole.  I called my vet and we discussed our options.  First we could wait and see if it passed through him.  The problem with this approach was what would happen if it didn’t.  It could cause a blockage, which would lead to surgery.  The other option was to induce vomiting.  At first my Vet wanted me to bring him in since there was a risk of him choking on the toy as he tried bringing it back up, but after discussing timing and such we realized I didn’t have time to get him there.  The Vet’s office was a good 35 minutes from my current location.  If we waited the toy could pass the point where vomiting would bring it up.  It had to be quick.

I loaded the Golden into the car and raced to the store.  They probably thought I was a mad woman as I walked in demanding to know where they kept what I needed.  I grabbed it, almost threw it at the cashier and yelled “credit” back over my shoulder after I swiped my card and headed toward the door with my prize.

I took the Golden to the grass right there at the store, and dosed him.  It did not take much, and the effect was rather quick.  Only there was no toy.  He vomited again.  Still no toy.  I began to fear I’d have to race him to the vet and called again, but luckily as I was being transferred back to the Vet it came out.

My question changed from “What do we do, it’s not working?” to “Now how do I soothe my poor boy’s stomach?”  He’s not real happy with this no dinner rule for tonight, but he’s getting plenty of water.

It was scary, and frightening.  And luckily it ended well.  I’ve been considering for some time putting together a Dog First Aid kit — one for home and one for the car.  It’s time to do it.

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The Golden is 11 weeks old today and growing like a weed. His sits, downs and stands are gaining in duration where 10 seconds is not unreasonable to ask. We’ve upped our work on “come” and his name trying to make sure he knows what he name is. He did very well with attention and his name on our last walk. Sometime we play with heeling, circle, and spin.

We’ve been working more with the dremel (I got all his toes done yesterday!), and the blowdryer. For the blowdryer we’re working up his body, practicing mostly while he eats. He’s been sitting on his balance disc and we started checking out the FitPaws peanut, just putting our front legs on it for treats.

This week we also discovered mud! Mud is a great deal of fun, but it led us to our first bath, which wasn’t as much fun. After that we went to the Fourth of July festival mentioned in the earlier post where we met lots of children, men in uniform and a working dog.

A scheduled play date went well, and it was interesting to watch how differently my puppy responded to two different dogs. One dog was very confident and sure of himself, which made the Golden act very deferential. The other dog wasn’t as confident, which changed the dynamic so that the Golden acted more demanding (play with me!). The non-confident dog was never sure of the situation, clearly appearing conflicted, play bowing once, wanting to sniff, but then not liking the puppy pounces. We walked them together for a bit, but never let them off leash to play.

This week was also his first swim! He’s been in the puppy pool, but that’s not deep enough to swim. And we went to the lake one day, but he didn’t go in past where he could stand. Finally on Saturday he ventured out, clearly swimming!!

It’s been raining all afternoon. Luckily we got our walks and training done in the morning, so we’ve spent the afternoon with the Labrador on my left, Golden on my lap (I’m going to miss him being this little!) and the Beagle curled up on a blanket on the big couch. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

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