One Third of a Dog

I realized I didn't get a chance to announce here that Grace is part of the family!  Well a third of her is at least!


My parents will be co-owning Grace as a potential breeding girl for her breeder!  Due to her puppiness and some complicated family matters, Grace is continuing to live at my house and will be for another few months.  

My optimistic plan is to continue training Grace in obedience and potentially show her in the obedience ring (and possibly agility) when she is older.  I am hoping that her foundations will solid enough by the time she moves in with my parents that the transition to less training time with me won't be much of a setback?!  

Grace has really grown up to a fantastic dog.  Very confident.  Super outgoing.  Eager to work.  Obsessive with cookies!
And so far not quite as gigantic as I had pictured!  Currently, she's 6.5 months old and the exact same weight and height as Zumi.

She is still a very clumsy girl and struggles with body awareness and unconscious drumming of her feet so many things are progressing slowly in her training. But I'm really having fun seeing her mature!

Right now the things I've been paying the most attention to are:

Marker cues: Pretty good with various food reward cues of coming to hand, chase a cookie, and reward from the dish.  We are just introducing a room service marker cue of waiting in place.

Chin rests/sticky targets: Not really on verbal cues, but an understanding of chin rests to my hand in front of her, chin rest to the floor, sticky target of the side of her face to my hand in heel position.  And she's doing well with learning to ignore my hand movements and touches in prep for exam work. 

Pivoting/heelwork:  Great understanding of how to move her body to be parallel.  Mainly working right now on getting her position further back so she's not forging.

Fronts: With a chin rest target she can pivot with me and side step and is working on short tosses.  

Position Changes: Using front and/or rear foot targets and right now all of her understanding is for front foot still criteria.  Of the 6 possible combinations, the only one not introduced is down to sit as I plan to do rear feet still for that.  This area is where we've had a lot of delays due to Grace's foot patters while waiting for cues or even in the offered stage.  But things are coming together and she's starting to get the verbal cues for sit/stand/down.  So far all the work has been in front of me, not yet in heel/side position.

Articles:  She has a fairly good understanding of doing a chin rest alert to a pile of metal lids.  Grace is a bit prone to giving up and guessing if she can't find the correct one quickly but we are seeing improvements. I've just started adding in canning rings as "distractions" and she's had 1 session learning to do a pile of canning rings and going to a retrieve alert.

Newer skills that I've started include:
- Go outs: Teaching a nose touch to the stanchion.  She really wants to arch to face the right side so I'm working against a wall and using reward placement to encourage her to stay straight as she touches.

- Marking: Transitioning from learning the cue/signal to look at food on a lid to marking an empty lid and nose touching it.



And I continue to wait for a puppy of my own!  The litter I was planning on had only boys and I know I do best with girls!  The wait continues for another potential litter but the mom was in a split-heat this February and wasn't able to be bred then...

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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