Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Day ... I have no idea!

I stopped posting here for a couple of reasons. 1) Life has become SO busy, that I honestly don't have a lot of time to sit down and detail what we do every day in terms of training. And 2) Bennett has been fantastically NOT challenging! It was getting boring to write "I wanted to teach her X. She learned it quickly."

So, now maybe it is time for an update of where we are and where we are heading!

Bennett is about 4.5 months old now. She's as tall as Romeo (about 14") and has started losing her baby teeth. All of the front incisors are replaced with adult teeth, and her lower two canines have fallen out, with tiny nubs of "big girl" canines showing through the gums. Her hair is awkward and tufty, not deciding if it is going to be long or short just yet, and sticking out in every direction! Based on the first guard hairs and the overall thickness of her coat, it is going to be lovely when it decides to kick it into gear!

Bennett graduated her puppy class (like they would really fail a puppy!), and has moved on to a Rally 1 class. She is the youngest dog there by at least 6 months, and is keeping up with (and, dare I say, in some cases exceeding!) all of the big dogs in terms of obedience skills.

Lately, she has reverted a teeny bit to the world of "OMG everything is so interesting!" and ground sniffing to look for stray crumbs. We're powering through, reinforcing head-up eye contact and attention amid distractions. She is well on pace to being trial ready by mid-January when she turns 6 months old.

Last weekend I had Romeo entered in an AKC Rally-O trial at the Catoctin Kennel Club in Point of Rocks, MD. I took Bennett along to take in some of the trial atmosphere. On the day of the Rally-O trials, there were three rings set up and only one was in use, so competitors were using the other two rings to warm up and practice their dogs. I dared to take Bennett in for some distraction training, and no one complained or kicked us out, so we got in some fantastic practice time! I took a bit of video HERE. From the video, I was able to snag a couple of really nice heel pictures. Notice the off-leash work in the first photo?! Good girlie!!

Our primary goal at this point is repetition, precision, attention with distractions, and duration. So we're playing Rally-O EVERYWHERE we go! She is an exceptionally happy worker, full of sass and backtalk, which is always fun. I have received so many lovely compliments from people about how she is coming along, and most people are amazed at how young she is for having the skill set that she does. 

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