Chuck is 6 months!

I can't believe that Chuck is now 6 months old.  He's also 50lbs with a huge dinosaur head.  At home he's still very laid back and easy going.  He likes wresting with Lance and stealing toys from Vito.  Occasionally he and Vito will play some tug of war.  Chuck also enjoys wrestling the kitty and grabbing the ferrets by their heads.  Naughty puppy!  We're still working on teaching him what objects are appropriate toys and what are not.  He just loves carrying something around in his mouth at all times and gets in trouble quite a bit.

Not much new has been happening on the training front.  Chuck has been introduced to all of the service dog behaviors and basically just needs continued practice and fine tuning.

New things from the 4.5months update include:
- Pretty good pivoting in heel and side stepping in heel
- Tugging heavier objects and putting the rope in my hand
- A very solid hold without mouthing.  Gorgeous actually.
- "cleaning up" objects to a basket while I am standing near it.

We are redesigning the puppy raiser classes to hopefully get some more structure and better basic obedience out of the dogs.  Every dog is being tested through the levels and has to pass every single item in each setting in order to move up a level.  Well Chuck failed level two twice because he didn't want to do a "settle" for 1 minute by another person.  Just fine with me, but some playful nipping while on his side with another person, although he wasn't really struggling to get up.  Finally he passed when I requested Chuck do a settle on his back as that is how I clip his nails.  Silly puppy.  So far not enough people have passed to get a level 3 test going but Chuck shouldn't have any problems.  The tough items for level 3 include lots of walking by various distractions, sits and downs at a distance, and a "visit" (chin rest on thigh) to another person 3ft away.

Because he is doing so great with all of his service dog tasks and basic obedience, most of my training is focusing on tricks.  I'm not that motivated to really work with him, but I have been working on crossing his paws, cop cop (walking on my feet), backing up, and occasionally a hind leg lift.  Actually I am reconsidering cop cop as a 50lb dog on your feet is not quite the same as a little corgi and my toes are not happy!

Watch 'em RUN  – ( September 22, 2010 at 8:44 AM )  

Awww! Chuck looks so grown up! Dear me, he grabs the ferrets by their heads?! Chuckster, the ferret certainly isn't a toy. He looks pawsitively gorgeous. I wanted to be part of a service dog puppy raising program down here that my boss is involved with, but I'd have to wait until time allows me. Keep up the good work with Chuck!

Honey the Great Dane  – ( September 22, 2010 at 7:04 PM )  

Ha! HA! I had to laught at your comment about "cop cop" - try 150lbs!!! :-) That is one trick I always see them teaching and urging people to learn at dance workshops and they can't understand why I'm reluctant to do it with Honey (aside from the fact that it's probably a physical impossibility unless my legs were 2 metres longer to go over her back!)

Chuck sounds gorgeous - what wonderful work you've been doing with him.

Hey - come check out the video in our latest post when you've got time (it's about the dogs we saw in Taipei) - I'd love to hear what you think of how the dogs are treated there. One the one hand, I think it's ridiculous and a bit disgusting but on the other hand, I can see that it allows them to go more places with their humans which is a nice thing...although it is very double standards as bigger dogs wouldn't be able to do it!


Rose  – ( September 24, 2010 at 12:28 AM )  

Chuck is a lovely dog and huge compared to my 14 lb shih-tzus.

achieve1dream  – ( January 10, 2011 at 8:24 AM )  

It sounds like he's doing well. I think puppy raising would be so much fun. I can't remember how long the puppy raisers keep them . . . it doesn't really matter I guess because there is no place around here that does it. :)

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