Monday, June 29, 2009

Dog Tired!

I had quite the little scare last night. I put Marshall in his crate, spent a few minutes tidying up the house before bed. When I looked in the crate, he wasn't moving. Poking his ribs didn't move him. Tickling his toes didn't move him. Even the flash of the camera didn't phase him.

I guess he must have had a busy day.

(It's kind of hard to see a black dog on a black crate tray, but he is belly up, shoulders turning the corner and back feet tucked against the wires! Kind of like how you and I sleep and wake up complaining about back problems!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lazy Summer Evenings

What is a creative way to spend a hot summer evening?

Training your DFA puppy (Marshall) to catch a cookie (kibble or puppy size dog bisquit) off his nose!

Certainly not very practical for future "work" but it helps him learn to sit still, focus, and wait for a command. He's not always successful, but more and more, he has the reflexes to move his head and catch the cookie before it reaches the ground.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Settling Back In

After Marshall's "water vacation" he has been back in my home about a week. He was at Camp Julies for about two weeks, where he got to experience running in fields, and lots of exciting things; that both good and bad got him out of his routine, which meant some adjusting when he returned back into my home.

He is now staying in a very large wire crate, versus being gated in a bathroom. Truthfully the size is probably about the same, but the crate affords more restriction from adventure--unless he learns to pick the lock--you never know!

Although it wasn't fun to come home to, he had to get reacquanted with his restroom habits to match my work day. Thankfully by Wednesday (only two days being crated) I came home to a clean crate.

One funny thing to report. Marshall has two separate crates, in two separate rooms. One for night and one for day. Whether it be day or night, when we come in from outside for the last time, I can say (while still in the kitchen) "Get In" and most of the time he picks the right room and the right crate where he is schedule to stay.

One other adjustment we need to work through is his "proudful" attitude when walking and meeting other dogs. Before camp he wasn't as vocal when approaching other dogs. But I'm told that he's turned into somewhat of a teenager while he was away and is trying to make himself bigger than he is. For me, this means backing off walking Marshall and my own dog at the same time for my own convenience, and stepping up focusing on Marshall's attitude on training walks with only him.

As I stood visiting with neighbors last night while several dogs passed by and the visiting neighbors also had their dogs on a leash visiting with me, I think I can say Marshall showed some progress on calming down when asked (well...TOLD to do so), so there is hope that this "rebellious teenager" will become a well mannered "adult" ready to work.

This evening, he layed by my feet in the kitchen while I cooked...something he hasn't seen in months!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Puppy classes go on!

DFA trainee, Nelson, 7 months old, takes a break at puppy class. He's observing his co-worker canines who are studying directed jumping and go-outs.