Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lots of Dog Socialization, Manners Minder, and People Update

It has been a bit since I've updated...seems like eons!  Sagan is 28 lbs., has 8 adult teeth, and lost 2 more baby teeth since the last entry.  He seemed to have regressed a bit this week with the people thing.  I've determined the hallway at my school is scary for him....  totally quiet, then one person walks out a door.  He is not being super reactive, but taken to doing a "bark, bark...  oh, you're OK, model".  We did, however, have a great experience at the Fred Meyer parking lot playing "Look at that."  We parked in a far corner of the parking lot so he could see lots of people, but get passed by very few in close proximity.  He did not startle or snarfle or bark at anyone, including a very large man who limped.... VERY close by and taking forever to get out of eye range. YAY for Sagan.  I sat in the back of the CRV with him and clicked and treated for proper behavior.

Sagan got to meet Kane, belonging to Nancy and Scott, on Sunday.  We met up at a mostly fenced, unnamed park in Hobart.  After some initial barking, Look at that, and calm behavior, (about 4-5 minutes to do the intro), they were off chasing sticks together and generally having fun.  They did get into some play bowing and such once they had been together awhile.  Kane introduced Sagan to the water....Sagan wasn't so sure.  Great outing.

Kane and Sagan showing their SKEELS. :-)
Puppy class was a mixed bag this week.  Sagan really pegged on people before class started, BUT, REALLY played with the pups this week.  (Week 6 of 12 week class).  He wrestled with the Rhodesian Ridgeback pup, Athena, and investigated all of the other dogs.  He likes the calm Shih Tzu, Sugar.... :-)  Also a major plus....during puppy play, Sagan went up to EVERYONE in class and did a polite, non-jumping plea for hunkering away from hands or men or anything.  GREAT!

Thursday night, we met Cody and his dog Tipsey, and Tracy, and her dogs Kimber and Nugget for a playdate at the Edgemont track.  Sagan had met these dogs before (Cody is one of our housesitters).  He got to play run and chase while the other 3 played Chuck it.  Sagan FINALLY didn't always get the ball, like he does at home.  He loves these dogs...great experience for him.
Two majorly ball-obsessed dogs.  Notice immense focus on Chuck It. :-)

Clockwise...Sagan at Cody's feet, Nugget, Tipsey, and Kimber

On Friday night, we got our Manners Minder, which is basically like a dog training robot on steroids.  WOW, am I impressed with this thing.  It is sturdy, and the perfect level of scaffolding to teach a lot of things.  YES, I paid almost $90 for this thing, but it will be soooo helpful.  We have already taught him to target a stick, and to down stay for a full minute, with treats dispensed every 7 seconds.  Go Sagan.  I only wish there was a Manners Minder that dispensed people of different varieties in such a consistent manner to deal with his fear of people. :-)

Saturday, we went down to Argus Ranch.  We watched Nancy run with Kane in agility (and he did well, go Kane!).  Then, we got Sagan out to meet Rye, his brother.  Sagan was really overwhelmed with Argus Ranch.  I knew this would be the case (stacking stressors and all), but he was able to recover once I provided visual barriers.  He also was able to turn to me and "touch" twice while he was slightly agitated.  The best came with the crazy play with Rye in an off-leash, unmowed area.  Here is the cute shot of the day with the two of them sharing a frisbee.  Thanks to Monique for sharing the pup for a bit. :-)

Nice of them to share, no?  Two peas in a pod!!!!

Sagan is growing up!  When I posted the following picture on my Facebook, someone commented on his very adult eyes.  He is 4.5 months old!!!  And what fun it has been to train a smart dog.  He is also really fairly calm for a puppy of this age.  He has his spastic moments, but is also a very gentle, lovey guy.  We just need to keep working on his confidence.  This week, I'm feeling like the more things we teach him, the more things we can ask him to do in distracting environments (like touch, etc.) get him to focus on other things.  This week we worked on targeting with a plate, puppy burpees, bow ("do your Yoga"), and leave it.

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