Puppy  Updates



Many people mailed me and asked to regularly update on what we're working on with Bi. It's a hard one as, as always, I don't really have a plan - and, I'm always working on different things at the same time, I guess I have never trained a behaviour from start to finish without starting with some other things in between - so that all the time, I have many things that were started, but are not finished just yet - especially with a puppy! But well, I'll try to write every week or two what was our major focus. Here are the links and topics of the updates: 


Bi, choosing me (choosing a puppy at 7 weeks)

8 to 11 weeks  (playing, socialization, tricks)

3 to 4 months (shaping games, attitude, fear period)

4 to 5 months (starting with running contacts)

5 to 6 months (running contacts - adding angle&turns, heeling)

6 to 7 months (first three weaving sessions, tricks)

7 to 9 months (heeling, tricks, contacts with turns)

9 to 10 months (heeling, tricks, agility, hiking)

12  to 14 months (tricks, weaves, A-frame)


And videos:

Presenting Bi (7 to 10 weeks)

Puppy Tricks (3 months)

Shaping Games  (3.5 months)

More Tricks (4.5 months)

Puppy Agility (5 months)

Running Contacts - adding angle&turns (6 months)

Tricks Again (7 months)

Heeling Video (7 months)

Contacts with Turns (8 months)

Winter Tricks (8 months)

Summer Tricks (12 months)

First agility competition videos (18 months)

LaBuBi Cleaning Team (19 months)



22 months


Guess it's time for some more updates on my puppy who is not really a puppy anymore, but still behaves like one, people never believe she is 22 months.



She is still not a very well behaved dog, but well, I guess we get what we deserve:). Yeah, I still think that a muddy BC with a stick in her month, jumping up to my head is incredibly funny. It is a little dangerous when you try to jog (yeah, just opened our jogging season!), but it's still amusing! She thinks it's very amusing too, will find anything (shoes, slippers and sticks are her favourite) to almost hit you in your head with it. Growling monster with a shoe on her head, she is just too funny! Her favourite toy is still her bowl, she thinks it's cool that she can get so much sound out of it (my boyfriend doesn't agree about that part, though!). She attacks it with her front feet like a cat, pushes it around with her nose, throws it around... Somewhat loud, but just too funny.

She is just as chaotic when it comes to work too, but it's just as much fun too! We still have some work to do regarding agility training, but thanks to this year's looong winter, she is doing pretty well considering the amount of training she has had so far. And even when she isn't, you just have to laugh:). Her only real problem are bars, actually. She has nice jumping style, but when she is in a hurry to get to that tunnel, bars start flying around... So I still have to handle her somewhat "conservative", not running as much as I can with La&Bu. Not my preferred style, but well, we're getting there. I'm very happy with her weaves and contacts, though, and her turns can be even better as Bu's turns - when she is listening. That's not always:).


She still loves the tricks too, but I'm in creative crisis lately, so we don't do as many tricks lately. She simply learns them all too fast. It's really funny how fast she learns, she doesn't look very intelligent with those big ears and long tongue flying all around, but she never cease to amaze me, her conclusions are brilliant. Beginnings are somewhat harder as she has too many ideas of her own and is having too much fun with them, so the process is somewhat longer as with Bu, but it's just so much fun. And after first results, she can do it, she is still a master of generalization. She is terrible when it comes to putting things on verbal cue, though. She is really not much of a listener. Those are not best photos, but they illustrate nicely how little she listens. I wanted a "show teeth" trick here, look how many different things she tried and what faces she was doing while dong so:




She sure makes me laugh all the time!



14 months



This summer was so far more about hiking and swimming as any real training, so I don't have much to report about our training progress. I'm very happy with her dog-walk, A-frame (yes, it did get better on its own!), weaves and turns, but her jumping skills still need some improvement. Our major problem is that when she is really running, her stride is so long that it's just easier for her to go around as over jumps and well - that's exactly what she does when in a hurry! She took it somewhat too seriously that it's about having the fastest and smoothest line possible:). With her length of a stride, she will need to learn to sometimes collect in straight lines too.


But working with her is really so much fun, I love her clown attitude towards everything and her unique way of thinking. I'll try to do agility video of her soon and we also have some new tricks to show off! For now, just some Hiking Photos.




12 months


No matter how much I love their puppyhood, they all grow up eventually... But she is still very much a puppy, just somewhat bigger:). And at her first birthday, I have to conclude that my mission to make her like the water (mentioned already in the first update on her) is most certainly accomplished.

We're not so lucky on a "no-fear" project, she was showing to be somewhat timid already at the test at 7 weeks and while we did successfully overcome some of her fears, she developed some very unexpected fears. For example: even though she lives close to railway since her 9th week on and didn't show any fear as a puppy, she is now very afraid of trains. She also hates the sound of printing and is afraid not only of the sound now but also of the printer itself. It's really strange as she is very confident in some aspects and then very timid in some others... Guess we still have some work to do!

In general, she sure is confident, a quick learner, loves to play and has great sense of humor. The funniest part of it is that she looks like she is laughing at her own jokes too, with her mouth wide open from one big ear to another. Unlike her auntie, she doesn't take life too seriously and therefore fits in our family just perfectly.

She also surprises me over and over again with her ability to generalize, I never saw a dog like that. Whenever we're working on a new trick, she is somewhat behind Bu and La for first two sessions or so: but then she explodes and can do a final version of a trick way before the others. It was the same with contacts and the same with weaves that we just re-started again - as soon as she got the idea of running down the channel (for everybody asking: I use channel method, no wires/guides), I could put it as close as I wanted, nothing confused her anymore. She learned weaves (meaning all the entries, staying in till the end etc.) in less than 10 sessions!

We also did some A-frames by now and as expected, she never misses the contact. My only concern is that she transferred the behaviour from the dog-walk somewhat too well and goes really ALL the way down. I think going that deep is contra-productive and I hope she starts taking off somewhat earlier, so I never reward her for an A-frame, I just keep going and hope she doesn't plan to go that deep all the time. Depending on the approach, she either does one or more strides A-frame, but no matter how many, she makes sure to take the last one from the very end, even when it means she just came flying over the top, landing directly at the very end of the contact... Not very safe, but I believe it will go away, I just don't want to use much of an A-frames just yet.

I'll try to do another agility video of her soon - for now, here comes Summer Tricks Video. We were learning many new tricks recently as I just started "Circus Dog" class with the most enthusiastic of my ex puppy students (and yes, I promise we'll do the video!) and I needed to test all the tricks on my dogs first. "Pick out my shoes from many others" trick was very interesting for me as that was the first time I was asking them to use their noses. Bi was again the first one to get the idea and is very reliable now, no matter how many other shoes there are.