the puppies have come a long way. I no longer have to train in “the classroom” (the kitchenette in the guest quarters) because the puppies’ attention spans have increased. Accidents in the house are a thing of the past, but I continue to be vigilent. Now that I am on Christmas vacation, the puppies get more time in the house. So it is vital that I follow the Housetraining Tip of the Day # 4 (I think it is) and be sure to take them outside during play time and after naps, and of course after meals.
Tuvok and Gretchen know a bunch of behaviors, but I’m still shaping quite a few, like the downs and stands. We began the stands yesterday, and I have just put the down on cue with them. Sits are quite fluent and will happen in most situations.
I’m particularly proud of my star puppy, Tuvok. He went to his first dog show on Sunday and behaved most admirably, and did a few cute things. For instance at the entrance to the grounds he found a discarded empty water bottle. He picked it up and walked around with it in his mouth for a bit. He never growled or barked at anyone, and allowed people to pet him. He stook still and didn’t complain when a vet checked to see that his testicles had descended.
I will use this vacation time to do intense work with the puppies and Athena. The latter will be doing obedience trials in 2010. I’m hoping that maybe the puppies will be able to do Novice at the end of the year. I’m not pushing them, however, they are puppies and training right now is a lot of fun for them. It is too, for Athena, who will gets excited when I pick up the clicker, and follow me around the house offering me behaviors just to see which one will earn the click. I really must come up with a cue that tells the dog “we aren’t training right now.”