Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zenzi's 4th Puppy Class

I'm sorry this is late.  It's been really busy!

Zenzi had her 4th puppy class yesterday.  She was still pretty cautious going into the facility.  While we waited in the parking lot, she decided a steel trash bucket for the nearby poop station was scary.  So we did lots of "Go see!" and she got over it.

In class, we did a lot more socializing, this time with strange objects, Halloween decorations in particular.

  • motorized hand wrapped in gauze
  • mechanical walking/yapping small puppy dog
  • Frankenstein head
  • black witch's hat with a feathery brim
  • bubble wrap strip
  • umbrella
  • two dome-shaped exercise ball things that are very small, hand-sized
She was a champ about ALL of these objects!  She nose touched, pawed, and knocked over the hand right away.  I was shocked, you could hear the gears, see the fingers twitching.  She thought the puppy dog was a great toy and had no problems knocking it down, putting a paw on it, and trying to wrestle with it.  The Frankenstein head was no threat, either.  She even tried to tug the string it would hang from.  I got her to put her entire snout IN the witch's hat with no hesitation right from the get-go.  She walked on the bubble wrap, and barely flinched when I popped some of the bubbles.  She had so much fun walking on it, she actually AIMED for it!  The umbrella was awesome, too.  She actually ended up POUNCING on it while it was open!  Open, close, back and forth quickly -- no problem.  The true genius of my puppy showed when she learned to put both front paws up, one on each of the dome-shaped nubby ball things.  And Amanda said it might take some time... Yeah, try 3 minutes tops. :)

Then we had puppy play time.  Zenzi just DOES NOT want to have anything to do with hyper, overactive puppies.  She even growled a meaningful, low, brief growl at them when they tried to gang up on her.  I got her out of there and we went off and played on our own.

Dismayed by her dislike of the hyper puppies, I called up Irvine Pam for a play date.  Technically she'd been to Auntie Pam's before; we took her there the day we brought her home to have Pam help introduce her to Dolce.  But it was night time, and we were only there for 10 minutes.  Anyway... We went out to Pam's place that afternoon, and Zenzi met Bella and Lily, a havanese and a maltese, plus Pam's friend, Marileen's dog, Bailey, a peek-a-pom.  The greetings with Bella and Lily went swimmingly (both young adult dogs, 4 and 3 years old), and Zenzi loved on them both instantly.  I was relieved.  The greeting with Bailey was not quite so smooth.  I had tried using a treat to break the ice (as I like to do), but unbenounced to me, Bailey is a food-guarder, and ended up snapping at Zenzi.  Zenzi, to my chagrin, was slightly affronted, but let it roll off as no big deal.  From there on out, Zenzi and Bailey were completely fine with each other.

Pam got her skateboard, and I demonstrated Zenzi's brilliance wheeling it around, and tolerating being hoisted up while I press down on the end with my foot, then crashing it back down (teeter practice, anyone?) and her scampering off only to get back on and look at me as if to say, "That was fun!  Let's do it again, ready Mom?"  We practiced tricks, did a nosework course with some cardboard boxes, and even a little agility jump box work.  Zenzi, of course, did not jump anything at her young age, but enjoyed going over a pole in the grass all the same.  Her nosework was amazing, too.  She found the treat fastest, and had never played the game before.  Pam even put the tray with the treat in a box, then another box over 2/3 of that box.  No problem, Zenzi stuck her snout right in there, bumped the top box off, and ate the treat.

I was amazed by Zenzi's boldness in this interaction at Auntie Pam's.  I had Dolce along, and thought perhaps that gave her some extra confidence.  Though, I really think the environment at Wags & Wiggles, with the daycare right beyond the training room, intimidates her.  Oh, Auntie Pam got out her Ikea tunnel when we were practicing agility, and Zenzi was SUCKED IN right away!  I could believe it!  She waltzed right up to it, then ran through at top speed, turned around to look at me with a big smile on her face before going through it the other way.

Pam keeps saying she's met a lot of smart dogs -- she's raised GSDs all her life, met several of her trainer friends' border collies... Zenzi is the smartest dog she's ever met.

Did I mention Zenzi pooped in class?  She also peed and pooped while playing outside at Auntie Pam's?  She pooped on the pack walk, and peed during IDOGS today, too. What a good girl!  Peeing and pooping in new places, outside, on-leash.  YES.

I got a new camera, and Zenzi LOVES JoJo.
JoJo has actually instigated play a few times with Zenzi. O.o

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zenzi's List of Accomplishments Already

  • Youngest pup to ever get a Novice Trick Dog title.
  • Learned how to go up stairs in 2 tries.
  • Was brave socializing with Coco, the 8 month old pomeranian puppy girl from my Granted Wishes Super K9 class today.
  • Peed outside on-leash on her second walk ever.
  • Only barks to demand something -- isn't reactive to anything or fearful of much.
  • Overcomes shyness quickly, and is becoming bolder and bolder.
  • Has excellent social manners with people and dogs.
  • Has an "all work is play" attitude regardless of distractions and location.  Her attention span is unstoppable and incredible.
  • Zenzi and I did my class' graduation "rally course" in 1 minute, 30 seconds -- the fastest time by far, half the time of the winner today. :)  It goes like this:  begin at start cone 1, loose-leash walk to cone 2; perform sit, down, stand, and loose-leash walk to 3; then front and finish before walking to 4; perform get it, give it or drop it, and leave it for 3 seconds before going to cone 5; the dog must sit or down-stay while the owner walks over the finish; the owner then recalls the dog to perform a go-to-mat.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Second Puppy Class for Zenzi

Here's quick summary:

  • Review touch and name recognition
  • Sit to greet a friendly stranger (and me!)
  • Off (which turned into on/off for us)
  • Explore an agility target loopy thing
  • Explore a workout blow up bean-shaped ball thingy
  • Explore a PVC ladder (laid upside down)
  • Explore an agility tunnel
  • Calming massage
She was much bolder about seeing other puppies, greeting people, etc. today.  She was a little overwhelmed right at first, but overcame it much faster.  The trainer's dog was working on a down-stay on a tie down on the other end of the room, but started barking frustratedly shortly thereafter, and it put all the puppies on edge, so that was the end of that.

When we reviewed touch and name, it was super easy.  Zenzi doesn't mind distractions AT ALL if you possess treats and praise and a happy attitude.

When we did sit to greet with me, she was superb instantly.  I haven't formally worked on greeting, but her auto-sit kicked in and she knew the game right away.  Then we all traded puppies (there was a total of 4 of us today).  Zenzi was a little anxious about me leaving and playing with another puppy, but cheered right up when the strangers had clicks and treats and happy faces.  When I could sneak a glance, she was very happily engaged with whomever was working with her. :) The other puppies were, of course, adorable, smart, and fun for me to work with.  I did notice that there was a child in the room, who was not allowed to greet the puppies out of safety for the child, and Zenzi really wanted to go visit the little girl.  I'm glad of that, and can't wait til her 3rd round of shots to go to pet stores and meet kids lots and lots.

Off was so interesting.  Zenzi only lured her front paws up onto the chair maybe 3x before figuring out I was just going to ask her to get off and wouldn't lure up anymore.  We used another novel treat, but that only lasted twice.  So I taught her On first, then Off.  After three reps of that, she offered On, Off, then looked at me for her treat.  Our classmates looked over in awe and amazement.  One lady actually poked her husband while we were doing it and she said, "Honey, watch this!" and pointed in my direction.

Going through the target loop for agility was a piece of cake.  She loved having praise/pets parties afterward, and would offer to go through it at that point.

Getting up onto the bean was impossible for little Zenzi, so I had her do On from both sides before lifting her up from that position and onto the bean.  She was wobbly, but curious, and smelled and walked around on it before offering sits and downs.  When she was about to jump off, I hoisted her up and placed her on the ground to practice On again.

When we got to the ladder, she loved that thing.  Very first exposure to it, she walked all up in it and around the legs.  Running through it was a breeze with luring, and we got to the point where she would actually run through it if I just pointed her at it and ran alongside.

The tunnel was a little scary at first, but she came right to me.  Amanda, our trainer, called her back through to the other side, and that was it.  Zenzi knew the name of this game.  She ran through to Amanda, ran back to me, turned right back around to go through the tunnel again to Amanda, repeat.

We didn't get any actual puppy playtime today, but that's fine.  She worked around other puppies, and throughout the activities of the class, actually pulled to go greet a few of them.  Definitely more confident in that department, so it's nice to leave her wanting way more interaction for next time. :)

The massage was HILARIOUS for Zenzi.  All the puppies were really hyped from doing the exploring of equipment, so it was hard for everyone else's puppy to calm down.  I say everyone else, because Zenzi took literally 3 strokes from me while she was hyper/happy, and laid down frog-leg style to snooze with her chin on her front paws.

It was a really good class.  I'm so proud of Zenzi's progress already!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dolce & Zenzi Play Photoshoot

I can't wait til I can get photos of them OUTSIDE. Ugh.  Vaccines, would you PLEASE hurry up?

Seriously, though, she IS growing up quickly.  Can you tell?


Dolce is an EXCEPTIONAL big brother.  I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am with him.

I never EVER would have imagined he'd roll over for her, especially not as a puppy.  But clearly, he loves her.

They wrestle incessantly.  It's adorable and sometimes annoying, but SO GOOD for both of them!

He's very careful with her... for the most part.

For the first time ever in my house, there is the "bitey face" game! :)

So fierce...

But there are also hugs.

...and kisses.

There is also tugging.  Much tugging.

I am just so happy with the new pack, and so happy it's going this well so soon.  Dolce is the rough n tumble guy, JoJo is the rules enforcer -- a great combination for raising a puppy.  

I love watching her grow up everyday.  It's always a fun adventure for her, and so it is for me, too.  I can't wait to see what she's like grown up, but I'm also really enjoying these adorable puppy days.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zenzi's First Puppy Class!

We went to Wags & Wiggles for Zenzi's first ever puppy class this morning.  We dropped off her paperwork for shots and clean stools, and headed off to the training room.  Once in the room, Zenzi observed from my lap, and took in the sights, sounds, and smells.  She was very thoughtful, though not quite overwhelmed.  Amanda taught the class, along with another lady whose name I didn't catch.  Both are very nice.

We had a little talk about the basics of training, housetraining, play, socialization, etc.  They wanted to make sure we were up to snuff with the basic training and methods, which we are, of course.  We demonstrated name recognition, sit, down, go-to-mat, and touch.  We were then allowed to participate in the curriculum with the rest of the class.

We worked on loose leash walking.  Their method is to walk backwards, and C/T the puppy for giving in to the pressure and walking to you.  It's not my method, but hey, it was fun and Zenzi did really well in a very distracting environment.  She was all about the treats and working. :) There was a small raccoon stuffy, but she wanted nothing to do with it.  Seems like she'll be more treat motivated than toy motivated in stimulating environments, unfortunately.  Hopefully, we can turn that around at least a little bit so they're even.

We then got to interact with 3 different types of exercise balls.  There were 2 smaller ones with a base, and one that was pretty large and sort of oval shaped.  Zenzi was fearless.  Interacted with those like a super star.  Walked on, over, whatever -- just gimme that treat!

When we had recess to play with other puppies, she got shy.  There was a papillon puppy and a beagle puppy in the class, who evidently already knew each other.  The beagle puppy and Zenzi never actually met, but the papillon walked right up to her and they sniffed politely.  That wasn't so bad.  But then the papillon did what toy breeds do, and put his two front paws up in the air and booped her.  That was quite rude, and Zenzi wanted nothing to do with her anymore.  She was a little scared after that, to the point that she tried to go and hide behind our chair, so I held her in my arms and let her observe the papillon and beagle playing.  That wasn't so bad, and quickly she wanted to be down on the ground to observe instead.  We ended the class with a pass the puppy game (she went to each member of the class to be given treats and hugs and pets) in a small-ish circle.  Zenzi felt it was stupid to leave me, and wasn't sure why all these other people were so interested in her, but she got treats; so hey, that's pretty nifty.  To cool down, everyone gave their puppies a massage, and that was it.  We ended class with Zenzi not being worried about being in close proximity to the other puppies at least.

Given how roughly she can play with Dolce, and how confidently, I think she just needs time to get used to this whole other breeds, other puppies, how to greet thing.