The dogs survived our trip away very well and obviously were loved by the dog sitter. When I came home I looked at Stella and I'm sure she grew while I was away. She has also had a few days where she stretched a lot when she woke up so I'm thinking she is having a growth spurt. She still only weighs in just over 33 pounds and her brother Bodi just weighed in close to 44 pounds so I'm beginning to think she will end up on the smaller side of things. However Riley continued to grow until he was almost three so who knows what will happen!
One of the things we have been training recently is having one dog hold a quiet position while I work the other dog. I do very short (1-2 minute) sessions before switching to the other dog and also treat the other dog in the holding spot when possible. Riley stays on the dog bed and I have Stella sitting on a chair. The chair gives much clearer boundaries then the dog bed so is easier criteria for her to maintain. I hope to transfer that later to having her sit in a camping chair that I will use at trials or other adventures. I have been pleased with how both dogs are doing with this.
Today I took that one step further and took a tug toy on our walk. Riley is totally nuts for tugging and when he starts tugging Stella tends to want in on the action. I tugged some with Riley and then held his collar while we walked along and did a bit of tugging with Stella. I then asked him to hold his sit stay and after one false start he held position beautifully so I was thrilled. His reward was lots more turns at tugging. We will obviously need to work up to higher levels of arousal and longer sessions but this shows very good progress.
Here are a few pics of the dogs from our frosty monday before mom & Sam headed home. I love that the three dogs together have settled into a wonderful combination that gets along great.