Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kipling - Day Two

Another good day for Kipling - who continues to fit in around here like he has lived here for much much longer than 48 hours. I pulled out one of the toys Kipling received as a coming home gift - his very first fleece tuggie. After playing tug with me for a little bit (Get it, tug, give, YAY!, get it, tug, give). He had a bit of a retrieve session with another gift a puppy bumper (throw 10', deliver to hand, cookie, repeat). Just a couple of reps on each - lots and lots of praise and party. I'm somewhat concerned that when I return to the office tomorrow I might very well SQUEAK praise at people randomly. So dear co-workers, if you're reading this, please forgive any accidental "Yay for you's". The good news is that I will probably be able to refrain from praising your successful trips to the bathroom though.
Kipling plays tug with daddy Woo.

Today we worked puppy recalls, a bit of hide and seek in the yard and the beginnings of "don't leave the momma" - this all plays into his foundation work. I'm looking forward to letting him BE a puppy - probably the best thing I ever did for Teller as a matter of fact - just BE a puppy. Lots of games here and there, lifeskills too of course, but my plan is to keep training FUN with lots of play, specifically lots of constructive play - puppy lessons that will come in handy if and when he ever plays agility or obedience.

The big one I start with is called "Don't leave the momma". Other people might be fun, other dogs might be fun - but stay with the momma when you are told to do so. Momma is WAY more fun! When he's older this translates to "don't leave the ring", "don't visit the judge" and "don't pants the ring stewards".  Foundation, Foundation, Foundation. It's tempting for people to skip foundation stuff - but over and over again it comes back to bite people. I'd rather bring out a dog later (and older) and know that I can trust them to stay with me and stay in the game (mistakes and all).

Kipling LOVES his water bottles - which we're affectionately
calling "his girlfriend". Do you need your girlfriend Kippie?
Also on the agenda today, I set up his playpen in the den. Puppies in this house (even the boarders), spend a great deal of time tethered to me, but this quickly becomes impractical when there are times when I can't have two eyeballs on the puppy, can't have him tethered to me and yet I don't want or need to put him in his crate. The play-pen expen configuration is perfect for this! The expen is attached to his crate - similar to a horse's stall and corral. He can go in and out of his crate as he pleases, he can interact with the big dogs if he (and they choose) - but mostly this gives him a place to hang out and in some cases, CHILLAX :-)

He's still sleeping in his borrowed baby crate when he's down for naps and overnight. The big crate in the setup is at this point just his clubhouse - I plan to move him into his big crate over night this weekend - my rule of thumb is that I want dry mornings for one full week before he gets bigger quarters (so far he's two for two). For enrichment purposes, every time he goes into the playpen he has different toys to play with, I'm rotating them in and out, two at a time - mostly letting him learn to settle away from the pack regardless of what is going on. I've even caused a bit of a deliberate ruckus with pots and pans just to keep proofing for what he'll hear on the road. Settling is such important skill for a wee lad who will be playing support crew at trials for the next couple of years.

On a humerous note, Kipling offered his first 'fake' pee-pee behavior today in hopes of earning a zuke. Yep, He's outside and there he goes squatting in the grass (over and over again) not actually going potties. That is my cue to stop the food rewards for the 'pee-pees' and cut over to praise only. The problem (at least in my experience) is that the fake pee-pees quickly overtake the real ones and accidents start to happen when puppies are too busy thinking about the position and not the behavior. They come back inside and have accidents because they forgot to go (and of course their people think they DID go!).

Cute little jailbird eh?
Kipling had his first foray into the pool this evening. Of course he was supervised - I was in the pool he started out on the deck. Not swimming per se, but he waded onto the top step while Murphy and Teller swam and retrieved. I wasn't sure if he was not sure about the whole water thing or if it's more that he hasn't mastered "go down the stairs" as well as he can do "up the stairs".

Cute little video clip of Kippie playing with his toys (and tail) this evening. As you can see this is the point in the day when he's getting to the over-tired, hard to focus part of the day. About 10 minutes after this video he passed out in his ex-pen...LOVE a tired puppy. BTW - this is pretty much what he did all morning yesterday in his crate in the van at the dog show. Good puppy Kippie, good puppy.


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