Fiona 6 months

Fiona seems to be turning around these last two weeks to the point that I actually think she might make it through the program.  For a month she was going back and forth between sassy/confident to submissive wuss.  Fi would submissive pee for people at times or would melt into the ground and even at home she would suddenly go and hide in a crate, refusing to come out.  Thankfully she has had very few "bad days" recently so I'm hoping she's done with that silly phase!  I really wasn't sure that she was going to make it as a service dog before.

Tricks!  I've been feeling motivated recently (coincidence!!!) and we're playing around with our trick training again.  Backward circles came really quick so we started on backward figure 8's.  Rolling up in a blanket has proven to be hilarious!  She is trying so hard and it's looking like she's drunk as she throws the blanket in the air, spins around in a circle and then somersaults around.  And I'm finally getting around to teaching her bow and crossing her paws.

I suppose more importantly I've actually started taking her out in public to places other than agility/obedience/disc trials.  I'm a really bad puppy raiser when it comes to public outings.  Thankfully she's never pulled the submissive crap out in public anywhere as she's too busy focused on me.  That's what I love about treating socialization as attention exercises.  She's getting to see lots of weird things and people of all ages that she is free to look at and check out if she wants to, but is heavily rewarded for eye contact.

Proof that she's been out at least once!

Fiona will be 6 months old one week from now.  She's a tiny 34lbs which makes me wonder if she'll even reach 50lbs fully grown.  I'm going to guess 46.

Mango  – ( October 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM )  

I am bad at puppy socializing too, mainly because I don't go anywhere myself except the grocery store unless it is agility or obedience or similar. I'm glad she is coming into her own a little bit. Hope she makes it.

Mango Momma

Honey the Great Dane  – ( October 16, 2011 at 11:46 PM )  

Fiona sounds like she is making progress! Glad to hear that she is coming out of her shell more and she sounds so cute learning all those tricks! (Wish you lived closer - maybe YOU could teach Honey that roll-in-blanket trick...I've given up! Honey doesn't keep trying if she doesn't "get it" and get rewarded quickly - she just gives up and lies down & goes to sleep! GRrrrr!! It's great when you have a dog that gives up easily for everyday life stuff (like she doesn't persist in trying to steal food if told off for it once) but it's really frustrating when it comes to training - especially when it comes to shaping stuff where you're waiting for the dog to offer the need a dog that WILL keep offering behaviours & trying, instead of one that just gives up!! :-) )

Gosh - I would probably make a great puppy socialiser - well, not from the training aspect as I doubt I have enough experience - but from the "outings" aspect as I LOVE taking dogs out & about in public. Even with Honey now as a "senior dog" and no longer really needing any socialisaing, I'm still always constantly thinking up new places I can take her. Even if I don't go there myself reguarly, I will make a special trip just to take the dog! Shame they can't divide the puppies' time between people like you (who give the excellent training) and people like me (who love doing the socialising!) :-)


Ninso  – ( October 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM )  

Wow, six months already? Time flies!

Kathy  – ( October 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM )  

happy 6 month bday!!! Amazing how much she has done in her little life and how much she has learned, a few fear periods are to be expected.

Donna and the Dogs  – ( October 19, 2011 at 8:32 AM )  

So happy to hear she is coming out of that submissive phase for you, and that she does so well on public outings! What a wonderful, selfless thing you are doing by raising her. :-)

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