Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winter is Finally Over & Making Progress with Puppy Training

I officially survived a New England winter. There were certainly some depressing points. When the thought of going outside at 5 pm after working gave me chills. The evenings are very dark, bone chilling cold and there is no sign of life.

I entertained Indigo inside most of the time with new tricks and flyball drills. Im working on teaching to to pretend she is injured with a limping trick and a headache trick.

The past few days have been a different story. Its been warm, clear and sunny. I am elated to wake up to singing birds and see the crocuses blooming. The streets of downtown have populated again by musicians, people with dogs and strollers, and the quirky students from the 5 colleges.

Socializing Teal with Kids

It was great to have Ben here for some of these nice days. Hopefully he will remember this place as fondly as I do and will consider moving here someday. We did not have a lot of time to take a long trip so we went to a town called Turners Falls, MA. There was a nice grassy area near the Connecticut river to let the dogs run, but the town itself was mostly desolate and sad.

Connecticut River

Unity Park

We made the decision to have Teal stay with me. She will have her own personal dog walker everyday for a 1/2 hr walk. I have been taking Teal and Indigo to the dog park everyday and rewarding Teal for good behavior when interacting with other dogs. Today she only went crazy on one dog, who gladly reminded her that she is only a tiny puppy and needs to learn her manners. She also bravely ran up to an English Mastiff, who, with one paw smack had her pinned.

I am beginning to feel better about her progress with car chasing as well. We sat on a street corner and worked on "leave it", which she learned quickly. Now we just need figure out how to get her to stop herding cars while she is in the back of my car.

She has an excellent recall for a puppy her age and learns new things much faster than Indigo does. I just signed her up for Level 1 Obedience class and she will be spending a weekend with a friend with lots of training experience and 11 dogs.

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