Monday, February 28, 2011

Cuz I'm T.N.T.

"I'm Dynamite!"

Making herself at home within milliseconds. 

Haha, I've been waiting awhile for that intro to prove useful. If you don't get it...AC/DC. Also, please get out from under that rock you must have been under since the 70's.

Anyways, yes, her name is definitely Dynamite (On Target's T.N.T.). I FINALLY decided after I FINALLY got to meet her yesterday. Big name for a tiny girl, but she should grow into it. (But not too much so, I hope!)

With all my worries over the day, it went pretty well.  Minor plane issues, just enough to make me extremely uncomfortable about whether we would survive and/or arrive at our destination.  I did NOT however have any puppy issues. We managed to tire her out before we went back to the airport and she pretty much slept for the three hour wait and two hour plane ride. She did get to meet several friendly DFW staffers and also several restroom patrons (as she horked in her kennel a little and needed a quick clean up. I guess my walking pace made her a bit nauseous? And I was trying so hard not to have that happen! I even practiced...).

Sleeping angel despite my attempts to keep her up before the flight.
At any rate, we got her home in one piece and proceeded to plop her in the snow to finally get a chance to go to the bathroom. However, she wasn't having thatSnow is Evil.  She preferred to hold it. Until one in the morning. And then three. And five. But hey, at least she was as against going inside as outside! I just felt bad for her. ModeratelyLess so at three in the morning. 

This morning I tried all manor of things to make it easier- I put booties on her and fashioned a 'coat' for the time being:
Washcloth? Or super high fashion dog coat??
Limited success. But on the plus side, she certainly doesn't try to linger outside. 

As for the Boyfriend and The Dog, well, reviews are mixed. I think Boyfriend was sufficiently charmed.  I do not think The Dog was. But she was a bit kinder today. I would put her on the scale as 'tolerant' today. And she did finally look at me again (last night I felt the icy cold sting of The Dog's disdain. Brrrr...) 

Here is a small snippet of the two girls playing together. (And when I say together, I of course mean, the pup is playing and The Dog is in the vicinity playing simultaneously but absolutely not "with" as how can you play with that which does not exist.)

video

Overall, I too feel very charmed. She is quite a sweet little thing.  She is absolutely undiscriminating in her like for people. I've been calling her a narcissist's dream; she has this thing where she targets you and gives you a direct assault of infatuated love and amazement at your awesomeness. I am also amazed at how much sense she seems to have for such a baby. Not overly 'death wish' bold, but seems to asses things and makes a clever decision about how to act. She was a bit scared of the shadows and of going downstairs, but other than that confident and has been great with the transition. Proper social skills with The Dog too (not that it helped). I'm not sure I would call her agreeable as she has her opinions (on the snow and about going  down stairs) from which she is not easily swayed but she is certainly amicable and will no doubt be easy to live with.

As long as all food is hidden. Holy cow is she a chow hound. This is the one area she lost her little baby head. She could moonlight as the Cookie Monster. But we were able to start with clicker work right away so works for me!


So glad she is here.  Now the fun begins. Hope the snow melts soon for both our sakes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Hot 100

I am no Susan Garrett, who can come up with 135 basic (relevant) foundation items to complete with your agility dog before you even actually do any agility, as well as an entirely separate and equally long list of tricks. But I can make a list too!

So here is my list of foundation-y STUFF that I want to be sure to do with puppy before actually moving on to any real equipment. Even though it falls far short of 135 (235 when you count her shaping ideas!), it was long enough that I had to write it down. Can you imagine the horror of running through what I thought was all the basic foundation I think is important, only to come to find that I forgot to teach a STAY when I go to do jump grids or whatever for the first time? I know, not very likely but again, I don't do this puppy thing but once in a coon's age (felt like an appropriate moment to bring out an ol' timey phrase) so I really want to approach this with some organization.


1
Um, the dog's name. Good thing to learn.
2
Sit
3
Down
4
Stand
5
Wait- temporary (lead outs)
6
Stay- For.ev.er.
7
"Okay"
8
"Put yer collar/leash/harness on"
9
Potty on command
10
"Get in Jail" (go in the crate)
11
"Get inside" (Useful in winter…)
12
"Get a Drink" (So helpful to have a dog hydrate on command)
13
Chase me, I have yer toy
14
Chase The Dog, she has the toy
15
Tug with your toy
16
Race to toy- "Let's Go"
17
Alternate taking toys/food for reward
18
Retrieve thing- "Get it"
19
Release toy
20
Put toy in my hand
21
"Bring" me that thing you have (eg that dead animal you're hiding)
22
"Take it" take toy from hand
23
"Leave it" toy or food
24
"Clean up" (Dogs ONLY eat food that falls on ground when I say)
25
"Watch"- look me in the eye
26
"Where is___?" Learn to look for what I say
27
"Find it" You lost it, you find it
28
"Put toys away"
29
"Nose Kisses" (Avoids unsavory french kiss with dog)
30
Back up
31
Nose-Hand touches
32
Shake, both paws
33
"High Five"
34
"Hug" or "grab it" with front foot/arm
35
Touch back foot to hand
36
Back up stairs
37
Back up onto wall
38
Headstand
39
Sit up
40
Sit up and scootch forward/back
41
"Bow" (for stretching)
42
Roll over
43
Lay on side
44
4 Feet IN a container
45
4 Feet ON a container
46
Push game with front feet- shut door
47
Walk forward balanced on my feet
48
Skateboard
49
"Between" start line line up between legs
50
Figure eights with legs
51
Back up through legs
52
"Pop up" onto object
53
"Off" jump down from object
54
Front feet up on the wall
55
Jump up w/Front feet on me at my invite
56
Jump into arms on invite
57
Low balance disk
58
Wobble board
59
Balance Ball
60
Retrieve toy running over wide plank
61
Restrained Recalls
62
Front facing recall, throw toy through legs, retrieve
63
Recall to front (informal)
64
Front position (formal)
65
Perch work (as precursor to heeling)
66
Line up on either side (swing finish)
67
Recall to side/heel
68
Around (R to L side)
69
Behind (L to R side)
70
Walk/Run side/heel
71
Send straight to toy- "go"
72
Send to toy at wall
73
Recall to side or heel, accelerated send to toy
74
Running into decel
75
Walk/Run outside circles
76
Walk/Run inside circles
77
Circles into accelerated send to toy
78
Direction change- FC, turn in
79
Directional- turn away to right
80
Directional- turn away to left
81
Direction changes at walk/run
82
Moving drop/full stop
83
Post turn on flat
84
Recall into post turn, either side.
85
Recall through Mine Field (toys, food, etc)
86
Walk/Run with me through Mine Field
87
Play with minor distraction
88
Stay with minor distraction
89
Focus work through minor distraction
90
Auto drop on low table top only
91
"Out" backside approach (use with jump wings only)
92
Circle cone to left
93
Circle cone to right
94
Multiple circles each way
95
Send to cone (distance) to complete circle
96
Send to cone and accel out of complete circle
97
FC on cone (wrap)
98
Post turn on cone
99
Multiple cones, change to jump post
100
Stay while The Dog works


There you have it. I love this complete mishmash of systems. The best of any one world I think. (But dear god, if I have forgotten something quintessential, LET ME KNOW!)

While it isn't in an exact order, it is sort of grouped by items that logically go together and is in some semblance of progression.  I want to get the basics covered first, and then spend a long time on drive and building the idea of play and reward, with the goal of ME being the Most Fun Thing Ever. Then we will move into Tricks With Ulterior Motive. I love teaching tricks and the ones listed as the ones I have found most beneficial to The Dog as far as teaching good manners, safety, and future applicable agility skilz.  Plus they do the job of teaching puppy to learn.  Then everything else pretty much falls into the obedience and agility flat work world.  I have set one firm rule- no moving on to the latter control exercises until I have a dog with tons of drive to work (play) and confidence, thinking of course of the phrase of the year "Don't worry about control until you actually have something that needs controlling."
***
A puppy is such an amazing thing.  There is a philosophical idea of Tabula Rasa, or translated, Blank Slate. The belief here is that we are all born with a blank mind, free of built-in content, and that all knowledge and personality (the 'soul' to Locke) comes from experience and perception. Think about it. Your dog will be exactly what you make it.

Heck... she could be an Astronaut! Or even... The first Mixed Female President!