Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zenzi's 7th Puppy Class

Today was a really good day for Zenzi's socialization experiences.  Here's what she was exposed to:

  • Someone walking
  • Someone walking while clapping
  • Someone walking with a walker
  • Someone limping on crutches
  • A shopping cart
  • A wobble board
  • A PVC ladder
  • Upside-down skateboard
  • A PVC obstacle course thingy
  • An agility tunnel of various lengths
  • 3 other puppies:  Princess (papillon), Dino (mini-schnauzer mix?), and Jameson (dachshund); and their owners
  • Puppy play time
  • Retrieve/fetch among distractions in a new location
  • Tug/chase the toy among distractions
She didn't mind the person walking, and looked at the clapping.

She was VERY worried about the person with a walker.  Is that a torture device?  Why is this human broken?  Mom, go fix it, NOW!  I keep getting treats for looking at this, so I'll look, but seriously, this person needs HELP.  When she was allowed to investigate the walker without the person, she was pretty fearless.  She walked right up to it, and readily did her "Paws Up" trick on its bars.  I use that trick to interact with things she's the least bit frightened of in a fun way.

She was also very worried about the person on crutches.  Why are they broken?  They need help!  Should I herd them to the hospital?  Again, completely fearless about interacting with the crutches -- she just wants to make sure this person is ok!

The shopping cart was no big deal.  She didn't like the sound its squeaky wheels made, but that was about it.  She put her paws up on it, no problem.

She's done the wobble board, PVC ladder, PVC obstacle course thingies, skateboard, and tunnel before.  She was all about showing what she knew there.

The other puppies were kind of a mix.  Princess and Dino she's met before, but Jameson was new to the class.  Zenzi greeted Dino, though Dino is shyer than Zenzi so that was as far as that went for Dino's sake.  Princess was rowdy, pushy, and growly as ever.  During puppy play time, Zenzi did interact with Princess and play briefly -- but true to her nature, Princess got over-the-top in short order what with jumping on, growling, barking and nipping at my poor puppy girl; but instead of shying away like before, guess what Zenzi did?  She growled right back and told Princess to cut that nonsense out!  I was so proud. :) We, of course, promptly split the puppies up at that point -- but Zenzi's getting tougher and more willing to interact rather than just run away.  It was a good social skills lesson for both puppies -- even trainer Sherry was impressed.

Since Zenzi has no use for puppy play time with the other puppies, we tried our fetch games with their toys and you know what?  Zenzi retrieve like a pro!  I was so proud.  Having a ball-dog is so much fun!  Since the training room is much bigger than our little apartment, we got to run more, and Zenzi enjoyed that aspect very much.  If another puppy approached (Jameson likes to steal toys, and Princess wants in on all action) Zenzi immediately dropped her ball for them and came to sit in front of me for her treat.  No worries, just a slight change in plan. ;)

When class was over, it was announced that in observance of Thanksgiving, there is no class next week. :( As we left the facility, I offered to have Zenzi go "Say bye" to Sherry.  She approached, but had no interest in Sherry's outstretched hand, and followed me eagerly out into the parking lot... where she promptly pooped.  She held it the whole class!  Wow!  By the way, this week, Zenzi had her first 2 days in a row of no accidents in the house... We're getting there!  Having a first floor with a decent patio and potty patch has made house-training so much easier.

Today marks 9 weeks we've had her, and she turns 15 weeks old on Monday.  She weighed in at 14.4 pounds yesterday when we had our first outing to PetsMart.  It's funny to think back to how little she was when we first brought her home -- how wobbly and uncoordinated, how sleepy and calm.  Now she's a world class snuggler, she sleeps in bed with us at night (spoiled, I know, but I like it and so does she!), knows dozens of cues, is always looking to work with me, and does a million and one things for 1 piece of kibble.  She's the greatest puppy ever, and I'm so blessed to have her.

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