Gracie- 8 months with video!

The Labrador is 8 months last week.  39lbs and looking to be just barely over Vito's 19in.

She's getting a bit better with not launching herself at people.  But she's also working on mastering the new skill of climbing gates.  Gracie likes to boing when kept in the kennel runs at work and has been steadily evolving her abilities.  First it became jumping up and touching the gates with front paws for some oomph. Then jumping and letting all 4 paws hit the gate like one of those Garfield dolls.  And now she's actually pushing upward with all 4 feet on the gate so that she soars into outer space.  I curse at her when she does it in front of me so that's pretty rare now.  But one person is notorious for talking to all the doggies(!) and getting them all amped up whenever entering the kennels.

Gracie also had her introduction to the Gentle Leader a few times this month.  I don't use one with the dogs I raise as I can be patient and consistent enough to train without a tool.  But even if Gracie ends up being a perfect walker 99% of the time, without knowing what her future person has as a disability I can't say that they'll be safe if she does pull 1% of the time.  Thus the Gentle Leader introduction.  I didn't take it slowly, sorry Gracie.  Thankfully she's a fast learner and after her tantrums were done on that first walk, she hasn't had any the other few times she's worn it.

Bad news: Gracie has officially lost blanket privileges in her kennel.  She started pooping in her crate again like she randomly started doing a few months ago.  Not every night, but she's done it 3 times this last month.  Each time I took away her blanket for a week (as seemed to solve the problem the last phase), but within a few days of having it back she would poop again.  Completely solid.  So blanket will now be taken away for at least a month and fingers crossed she won't do it again.  This makes Gracie angry though.  she wakes me up in the middle of the night now as she clunks around her crate.  Abuse!

Training done:
1. Tugging heavier items- opening the fridge, sliding doors.  Gracie is doing great with sustained strength
and is just learning how to maneuver to be at the correct angle.

2. Nudging close-  Shaping nose touches to cabinets.  She prefers paw whacking, but we're getting there!

3. Backward circles- working on counter clockwise.  2/3rds of the way is pretty consistent, just trying to get a full 360 without help.

4. "Agility" fun- running through tunnels and jump standards just because.  And jumping into a 2o2o on the bottom of the aframe and dogwalk.  Gracie really seems to love running.

5.  Frog legs- officially calling this splat with her as she combines it with her sad trick.

Video from a few weeks ago:

Kim  – ( August 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM )  

Gah what a cutie. That tail never stops wagging, does it? Love the "splat"!

Ruby The Whippet  – ( August 17, 2013 at 2:58 AM )  

What a wonderful girl! *squish*
Somebody is going to be very lucky to have her in their life.
I love seeing all the work you're doing with her, it makes me want to find a revolving chair and have some fun with doggies :)

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( August 17, 2013 at 2:50 PM )  

I've stumbled upon the swivel chair as a wonderful way of introducing wheel chair work! The dog's learn to pivot nicely while I'm sitting down and then don't get run over on tight turns from the wheelchair :) Of course it's pretty easy to teach if the dog already has good pivot skills.

Watch 'em RUN  – ( August 18, 2013 at 8:22 AM )  

Good girl, Graci!! She's such an awesome young dog! I think you're an amazing puppy raiser.

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