Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Glimpse of Teenager

Stella will be six months old at the end of this month and I have noticed a few episodes of "I don't hear you" happening.   The world is quite interesting to her at the moment and she is asserting some independance.  Riley is much more playful with her these days so this is also an attraction for her.  Currently her favourite game on a walk is to try to steal something Riley wants and get him to chase her for it.  She is already faster than he is at the tight turns etc. but he still wins (for now) in a full out sprint.  Yesterday at puppy class she had moments where she worked very well for me but there were also more moments (when compared to past classes) when she was more interested in other happenings then she was in working.

It isn't something I am worried about but it is information that I need to notice and adjust for in training.  In all fairness to her an hour long training class is a long time for a puppy to concentrate.  I make sure to break up the training with some fun tugging or chase games but it is still a long time.  When we are out on walks and she is interested in something I need to make sure that I don't set her up for "failure" by asking for a recall that she won't want to do.  Instead I need to make sure I increase the reinforcement for good choices by using better treats and fun actions like chasing, tug etc.  which will increase her value for working with me.  I need to make sure I work short fun sessions in lots of different habitats so she understands that she needs to pay attention in all sorts of places. 

Riley also needs to get more work than I have been giving him these days as he has a tendancy to revert back to bratty teenage ways.  Working two dogs is a whole new set of challenges for me.  I did have Lucy with Riley but she was ten when he was a pup and easily satisfied with a few extra treats.  Riley would prefer to work so I need some creative ways to work that to my advantage.  More on that topic to come later.

Outgrowing her jacket but not quite big enough for the next sizes I have available.

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