Monday, March 27, 2006

Penny & I missed class b/c I have a freaking cold. Ugh!!! I'm so sick of being sick!! Our new office seems to be a germ factory and viruses spread like wild fire. Just as well...Penny & I didn't do any work on our sit stays this week.

I talked to Annette and in addition to the stays, they also did supervised separation...small time pds of 20-30 seconds. I was sooo mad we missed this b/c this is what Penny failed on the TDI test. I was informed, however, that this will be a regular part of class. Good. So I need to lick this cold & Penny & I need to get back to work.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

We had a play date at Debby's house today. I took Penny & Lola as Sherman is such a brat w/ Trent. We went for a nice hike in the cemetary and then went back to Debby's for a little romping. Penny & Kera got into a little scuffle, but it was short lived. I think the girls will remain friends.

Lola hiding from Siri on the porch...

Trent saying Hi to Lola...

Everyone wants to say Hi to Penny...

Keeping watch on the porch...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My mom & I went to the WPKA dog show today. I wanted to get there a little early as the Boxers were at 10. The place was insane. Parking was a nightmare (b/c people are stupid...that's a whole other story). But the show was fun...there were lots of vendors and Grandma bought Lola a new collar. We watched some agility stuff, but didn't get to see any of the obedience. I'm planning on going to a couple events this summer...just to watch.

Scott took Lola w/ him to see his Mom for her birthday. I'm sorry I missed it. DJ & Kim brought their two dogs Hannah & Dylon & Lola was introduced to Baron & Panzer. Scott said it was a zoo!

Hannah & Dylon

Baron & Lola lounging

"I'll get you Hannah!"
Panzer & Lola
Baron taking Lola for a walk!

"You can't catch me!!!"

Monday, March 20, 2006

Penny is SO happy to be back in class!! We started Annette's Advanced Basic class tonight. I was a little nervous that Penny would be outta practice & rusty, as we really haven't worked much in the last few months. But I just love my girl! She did super.

We've taken Shelley's AB class at least 3 times. I love it b/c she changes it everytime based on the level of the dogs in class. This is the first time I've actually taken class from Annette. The class was really good too. Annette's approach to training is different than Shelley's. Shelley is a clicker trainer & her class is, for the most part, purely positive...Annette is what I call balanced positive. She does use training collars and leash corrections, but 80-85% of the training is based around a positive approach, using lots of praise & food/toy rewards. I've been working w/ her for a year & have never felt uncomfortable with her methods. She has quite a way with dogs and is an excellent trainer. The same can be said about Shelley. They just have different styles.

Anyway, we did lots of heeling. Penny did pretty well with that...her fantastic attention hasn't changed one bit. She doesn't take her eyes off me. She does get a bit distracted when another dog is up her butt but recovers quickly. We did 'round the room and heeling toward other problem there. She also had us all practice attention while a single dog heeled around the room...good with that. We worked on automatic sits & here lies the rusty part. Penny loves to swing out on the sit to face me. Probably from all of our attention work. But she has always done this. So I worked her against a wall & it worked like a charm. Now we just have to practice more at home. Next week is sit stays...oh yeah! (roll eyes). I hate stays...they're so boring! But necessary & we could use the practice. That's what we'll be working on this week.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Puppy class graduation day!!! Lola has come so far since our first class at AF. I am really very proud of her. We did a review of a lot of stuff we learned in the first 5 classes and worked some more on heeling & stays. Lola is really doing well. She's got a ton of potential. She & Penny are very, very similar in how they learn and want to work.

This whole "Down" thing is a piece of cake!

Puppy playtime is still her favorite!

We also did fun play stuff...Marsha had a tunnel & all the dogs had a chance to try it out. Lola went right in & was happy to clean up the trail of goodies the other puppies had left behind!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Back to Camp Bow Wow for Lola today. I love this place. I've signed Penny up for an interview on the 31st. She & Lola will go together but I asked them to keep them in different play groups. I'm trying very hard to keep Lola independent. I've noticed she is doing more things by herself. Snuggling on the couch by herself (rather than laying all over Penny), running outside by herself, wandering around the house alone.

"But I still love hanging out w/ my big sister Penny!"

She is also doing wonderfully on housetraining. Scott & I have been really diligent about taking her out least every hour, after playing, after chewing, 15 minutes after eating. We make her go out alone and she's learned the cue "Go Potty". She's also asking to go out. If she's upstairs, she'll run downstairs if she has to go. I have to be really careful about watching her if Scott is on the 3rd floor and talk to her on the way down. But if she does go down alone, she goes to her papers and goes. We have 2 pee pads that we still keep down in the DR. But that's it. We're about 90% there. I'm thrilled.

Saturday night consisted of laying around & snuggling. My favorite activity w/ the pups!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wow, have I been slacking!! TBH, too much really hasn't been going on. Just everyday normal stuff.

But Happy St. Patricks Day! Scott & I had a little happy hour w/ some friends from work (and former co-workers). One thing that is very apparent is we need to work on Lola's greeting skills. When your standing, she fligs herself at you and nips at your clothes...If your sitting, she dive bombs your head. Not acceptable. I'll have to recruit some neighbors & dog savvy friends to help me stop this crazy behavior.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I am a terrible Dog Mommy. Truly...and I'm quite angry with myself. I didn't even realize how much I've neglected Sherman. He really needed me over the last 2 1/2 months & I really let him down. I've been so consumed with the puppy and so annoyed w/ Sherman (for just being Sherman) that I've lost sight of the bond we've always had. Sherm's always been a Momma's boy...always wants to be with Jenny. He's the perfect Shadow in that he always follows me, where ever I go, but stays out of my way. He's always close, but not intrusive. He just wants to be able to see me. And then he lays down & "rests". And I've forgotten how comforting that is...that's why I got a dog. I wanted a companion. And Sherman is the BEST at that. He's loyal, loving & quirky...kinda like me. And then came Penny & then came Lola. I wanted Penny for him (OK...TBH, I wanted her for me too) would be nice for him to have a playmate. The first couple of months were touch & go, but they settled into a nice friendship. I got Lola for me. I wanted another dog...can't explain it. I had this weird void that I could only fill with a puppy (Yes, I'm one of those crazy dog people & normal people wouldn't understand all). So we got Lola and I love her dearly. I hope to do great things with that dog. But Sherman has obviously felt threatened. That's the type of dog he is...I accept that in him. He doesn't want to share... his stuff, his bed, his food, (and what I've been missing), his Mommy!

But lucky for me...he's very, VERY forgiving. Our 40 minute hike...just me & him, was all it took. He needs to know that he doesn't have to fight to share me. I will always make time for him. A walk with him & Penny is not gonna do it. The 3+ walks down the street he gets to do his thing, ain't gonna do it. Me+him+things we both love=happy Sherman.

Last night we all settled in on the bed and normally, one light as a feather...from Lola, puts him into a growling, snarling, spitting display. But she was pressed up against him & having a dream...thrashing her legs and kicking & grunting in her sleep. He opened his eyes...looked at me, looked at her & went back to sleep. Since Lola's arrived...Sherman finally feels safe.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What a wonderful, marvelous day! Spring is right around the corner! I'm ssoooo excited. Not that I despise winter, but I love the longer days & the sunshine.

Lola had her interview scheduled for Camp Bow Wow at 7:15. So I fed the pups breakfast at 5:30 so she'd be good to go for playtime. My brother told me about this place as he's taken Shamus for daycare & boarding. He loved it. The interview is basically to make sure the dog isn't aggressive and obviously Lola is not. She passed w/ flying colors & I was instructed to pick her up at least 3 hours later (but preferably in the afternoon). So I left her in their capable hands and went home to spend time w/ the other pups.

Penny & I took a nice stroll around the neighborhood. The day was *gorgeous* and we both enjoyed every second of the time together!! When I came home, I checked on Lola's progress on the Camper Cam and she was having a ball!!

Sherman & I then headed for the park. It's been a while & be both needed a dose of nature. Sherm was in his element...

Hunting in the forest...

Taking a break and doing his best Rottweiler impersonation...

"Awwww...come on! There's huntin' to do!!"

Taking a post hike break...well deserved Shermie!

I spent the rest of the day 3 rooms in tip-top shape & then went to pick up the little one. My little white puppy was now brown...and exhausted. She passed out on her blanket on the way home and this is what she looked like after 5 minutes in the house:

I signed us up for the 10 session package. Lola loves Camp Bow Wow!!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Nice weather means Lola is introduced to patroling the neighborhood.

Sherman & Penny have mastered this skill...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

As our little Sprout gets older, I've been reviewing how things are progressing...

Cratetraining - Lola still needs to have the crate next to me at night when she sleeps. She is crated through the night but will get up around 1:30 (like clockwork) and start yapping. I don't even bother ignoring her anymore. I just pull the crate next to me and put my finger through the bars. Instant sleep. I've developed a bad habit (bad Jenny!) of letting her out at 5:00 to snuggle in bed w/ me. Little Iron Bladder doesn't have to pee, she just hops up in the bed and crawls under the covers. Gives me 1/2 hour longer to sleep. Bad habit yes...but I'm good at breaking habits too! As for being crated during the day...she runs to the crate in the morning for Scotty, just like Penny did. It's all about the peanut butter. She was still running from me in the afternoon, but we had our first day of..."PB! I'll get in my house for PB!!!" I don't think she'll have to be crated nearly as long as we did Penny (till she was 3), but we may have to separate Sherman from the girls. Fine by him!

Housetraining - we've had some setbacks, but some progress too. She can hold it much longer and I've been much better about taking her outside more often. She did pee on Penny's bed and a pillow upstairs, but I'm hopeful!

Training - This little puppy is the smartest puppy in the history of the world. I'm serious. She doesn't pull on leash, she knows Down, Sit, Stand, Touch, Go to Mat, Leave it, Take it, Cookie Time!! (Come), NO! and Ahhh!!!!!

Sherman - he STILL asks me when she's leaving! Sherman may never like Lola. But she loves him & keeps trying. She may win him over one day.

Handling - I actually cut her toenails! I was more afraid than she was. She got a treat after each nail & it ended up being no big deal. I was so thrilled...I went & cut S&P's nails! She still has trouble w/ tear stains, but we've minimized them w/ the cottage cheese & yogurt she eats everyday & I clean her eyes 2x per day. I looked on the internet under "tear stain removal" and got all kinds of stuff...pastes made of 18 different things that had to be left on for 10 minutes...yeah right! I use sensitive eye makeup pain, no waiting, minimal tear stains. Her ears have ceased at being as funky as they were for a while...I suppose she's gonna be like Penny & have to have her ears cleaned once a week & will hate every minute of it. Right now...her ears are too big for her body & she's now referred to as Dumbo.

Chewing - As she is teething, she's putting everything in her mouth. Poor thing was chewing on a retriever roll and the thing was all bloody when she was done. I'm sure it feels good though. I keep her PB bones in the freezer so they're good & cold for her mornign chew. She has a bunch of Kong teething sticks & a Premier one, but she's not really interested in chewing on them. She is very good about leaving something if I catch her. She taken a liking to raiding the garbage cans & I've handled that by simply moving them out of her reach. Novel idea, I know. Her little teeth can't do too much damage now, but wait a couple months. I'll need to get my head back in the game.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I've been home for 2 days w/ the flu and have made some very interesting observations. We had a discussion in Sunday's class about puppies hitting that age when the adults feel they are old enough to know better & stop putting up with all of the nonsense. Maddie demonstrated this beautifully with Sadie, the yellow Lab who is the oldest puppy in the class. It was truly amazing to watch Maddie "tell" Sadie that enough was enough. Sadie had outgrown her puppy privledges.

Well...apparently Penny now feels the honeymoon is over. My dear, sweet Penny has been as patient & tolerant as possible. I've often felt she isn't firm enough w/ Lola chomps on her legs & hangs off her ears. I've put my arm in the middle of their play to see just how much pressure is applied & there really is none. Penny is a fantastic teacher. But I suppose she now feels Lola is reaching the age where all of this is no longer cute. Penny tolerates play until Lola turns it up...then she puts an end to it. "My...what big teeth you have!!" Princess Penny Wiggles can put on quite a show. If I were a puppy, I'd back away too!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Class #5 at WPHS. This week we worked on LLW, Stand & more on Down. I've really been working a lot w/ Lola to distinguish Sit & Down as two commands. I've been cueing each in random order and only rewarding her if she does the cued command. This week I'll add Stand to the whole thing. She picked up Stand really fast. I've always lured Penny into a Stand but I don't really think she knows what it means. I've been using lots more rapid reinforcement than I did Penny and it's obviously working w/ Lola. Now I have a new approach to use with the other dogs.

Funny thing happened w/ Sherman today. I don't give him a lot of credit for being smart, but he is constantly reminding's not's stubborn! I've been doing group recalls from outside & then giving all dogs a treat. Since they're in the "Zone", once they come in, I have them do a few things I know each of them can do to really enforce "Come to Mommy...have some fun!" They always line up in the same order (from L to R), Sherman, Lola, Penny. I have Lola - Sit or Down, Penny - Down or Target, Sherman - Down or Speak. Well...I put my hand out for Penny and said "Penny, Touch"...wouldn't ya know Sherman shot across both Lola & Penny and hit my hand w/ his nose!! Not stupid...stubborn!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Just b/c I haven't posted about our training doesn't mean we haven't been doing any. Lola is still working on Down, Attention, Targeting & Zen. I've officially passed her on Level 1. I'm not really worried about a 3rd party "passing" her...I'd be cheating myself if I progressed faster than I should. The only thing I really haven't done is the Come Game. But I have called her away from playing with Penny & she shoots to me like a bullet. That's good enough for me.

I was reviewing the Level 2 behaviors and we've got a lot of work to do. I also made the decision to enroll Sherman in the CGC class & get his cert. Won't be till the summer b/c I'm assisting in a LOT of classes now, but I really think he can do it. We'll see.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lola got her AKC registration papers today. TBH, I could care less that I have a purebred registered dog. Doesn't make her any more special than Sherman or Penny. But it is fun picking out her "formal" name.

So...I decided that S&P deserved "formal" names too. They'll be registered under DOJA (Dogs of Jackman Ave). I like using SteelCity as I love Pittsburgh. So my dogs "formally" are:

BCHS's SteelCity Nutty Professor (Sherman)
Rizzo's SteelCity Lincoln Lady (Penny)
K&L's SteelCity Copacabana (Lola)

So there! They are all equal.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lola lost her first puppy tooth! I noticed that one of the toys, a white stuffed cow/pig thing had bloody ears. I checked in her mouth & sure of her teeth had fallen out and the new one was pushing it's way through. I put a bunch of bones and stuff in the freezer to help ease the pain from teething. She's on her way to becoming a big girl!

We've continued our training this week working on down, targeting & eye contact (attention). She's getting really good at Down & is now offering it as much as sit. I haven't cued the attention w/ anything other than her name yet, but will start using that's what S&P know. It's nice to say Watch & have all the dogs whip around to look at you. If I'm ever gonna walk all 3 at once (no time soon), I'll need this behavior to be very strong.