Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zenzi's 3rd Puppy Class

Today was sort of a repeat of stuff we've already done/been doing at home.  Zenzi is 10 weeks, 5 days old.

Upon first entering, I was surprised how off-put she seemed by the environment.  You'd think that for her 3rd class, she'd be used to it all by now.  Not yet, anyway.

We first explored an object with wheels... a baby skateboard.  At first, Zenzi was skeptical of this new, strange thing.  But when the kibble came out, oh man!  She was all in.  She touched it, stood on it, walked over it, pushed it herself, let me bounce her a bit with my foot on the bottom.  Then we graduated to the bigger skateboard with smoother wheels... good times!

Second, we played bendy around a standard orange cone.  I took it a step further, and got her to weave between my legs and then the cone (3 weaves total).  No problem.

Third, we explored sits, stands, and down on a blow-up egg-shaped exercise ball.  Also, easy peesy.

Fourth, recalls.  She was 100% the whole time.  Love this girl.  I had to do was say her name, then make a kissy noise when her head whipped around to look at me, and she'd come scampering to my feet for her piece of kibble.

I would like to note that any time we took a break -- because you know, puppy attention spans and all that -- Zenzi whined for more work.

Fifth, we worked on Leave It.  Zenzi is already pretty much an old hat, but we were asked to incorporate a Look at Me, which took a little bit of doing.  We got the job done, though, and faster than anyone else, AND progressed to open hand temptations.

Finally, we did get to have puppy play time at the end of class today.  Zenzi was much bolder, especially at first, but still cautious and a little worried.  She never did do any actual playing; got greeted by two over-exuberant puppies and said "Nope! No thank you, you're just too much for little ol' me." She ran away, tail tucked a little, and hid behind me or trainer, Amanda.  She recovered quickly, and happily played with toys alongside the other puppies who were rough-housing.  Honestly, a new papillon puppy was in the mix, play-growling up a storm, and the new maltese puppy was right in there with her.  We also had a brindle pit mix of some sort, who was bigger, and so it really was quite intimidating for a youngster like Zenzi.  Certainly not out of her depth with Dolce, but she knows and trusts him already.

When we're on Zenzi's turf, she's much more confident.  I can't wait for her final round of shots to really 'let her loose.' She's brilliant with my adult students who come to the house, or my MIL and her friend who visited briefly this week.  We'll just keep at it, and when she gets her 3rd round of shots November 2nd, we'll go to town (literally) on socializing in new places.  She'll still have 4 weeks left of "critical socialization period" after those shots.

I've been planning to get her enrolled in PetSmart & PetCo puppy classes once she gets her final vaccinations, too.  More new places, more new trainers, more new puppies... but I think I might just take her to the pet stores when the classes are going on and let her see everything and just stick with classes at Wags & Wiggles.  Not sure yet, but I really don't think she needs more training, just exposure.  We can do that on our own.

Still need to set up play dates with Irvine Pam's doggies.  Lily wasn't too receptive at IDOGS last week, but I'm not surprised.  She was pretty upset already by the 3 newcomers Pam was pet-sitting, so it probably had nothing to do with Zenzi.  Bella, of course, was great with Zenzi -- not overwhelming, and just peaceful.  And Zenzi did meet Coco (the pom puppy from my GWK9 class) and they got along swimmingly.

I've decided when she gets her 3rd round of shots, crackdown on house-training will commence.  Until then, she just gets to spend unsupervised time in her crate/ex-pen/potty patch room.

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