Puppy Shots

Big outing day today.  Yarrow got her last set of puppy vaccines.  She is a big girl now.  Well, figuratively as well as literally.  We drove to TCaP in Denton, then realized we were at the wrong place and had to drive to the shelter where the clinic was actually taking place.  Everyone was along for the trip, Blue, Freyja and both of the boys (to help out).  Yarrow is still having a hard time in the car but she is doing better, no vomiting and she only actually fussed for the first 10minutes.

We waited in line for about 20minutes with many other dogs, Dad held Yarrow (just in case, don’t want to risk germies for the puppy) then we got our vaccinations.  Yarrow was a hit with all of the people in line and the staff, of course.  Everyone commented on how cute, and how large, she is.  Freyja and Yarrow seemed completely unphased by their shots but Blue definitely noticed.  She didn’t pee though so, all in all a success.  Also a really great deal on the vaccination package, the shelter was sponsoring the rabies shots so everyone was covered for $65.  Great day.  They are all ready for boarding while we are away (going to miss my puppy though).

On the way home we stopped at Starbucks and the Barista noticed our furry passengers.  The girlies came home with Pupacinos to ease the sting of the injections.  Not a bad bargain.  Everyone was pretty tuckered out from the car trip and the vaccinations.  After their Pupacinos they took a nap.


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Level 1 Test

Today we tested!!!


It was a little shaky, I was anxious, but I think she did great.


So here is the girl performing all of her Level 1 behaviors.  As I am headed on a short trip to Florida (which means 4 days in a kennel for Miss Yarrow) we will start Level 2 when I get home.  Next week we will continue with Level 1 behaviors, adding duration to “down” and “sit”, and all of the extras we have been working on like “mat”, “chin”, “wipe your paws”, and “here” for walking in heel position.


I ran through the Level 1 test today to see where we are and if we were ready to “test” and move on to Level 2.

“Come” check, we are ready.

“Sit” check, ready.

“Down” check, ready.

“Touch” she has this.

“Zen” not quite there.  So close but we still need a little work.  Looks like we can probably test it this week or early next week.  Hoping to have hubby video with his phone so I can post it.


Other than that we continued work on “wipe your paws”,  “crate” , “mat” and heeling position training.  She is doing well with these commands.

Level 1

I have posted before about The Levels.  I use this program for training all of my dogs, I find them to be a great starting point, a way to know if we are heading in the right direction and staying on target as we go along.  Today during our training time we did a little check list of Level 1.  I wanted to see how we are doing and what still needs work.

“Come” Yarrow has this one down as far as the first level of training.  We are going to try changing it up, maybe some hide-and-seek style games to make sure she really has it but she is looking good for Level 1 “come”.

“Sit” I taught this to stop her from jumping on me constantly.  Her sit is solid and we are working on prolonged sit/stay (I do not use “stay” as a command, I expect sit, down, stand, to last until a release is given).  Slow progress with that.

“Down” this one is a little iffy.  She likes to slap with her paws and will sometimes bounce back up as soon as I click.  We are working and it looks better each day.  We are also working on progressing the amount of time she stays in the down before I release.

“Zen” her zen or “leave it” is looking pretty good.  She still goes for my hand when I first hold out treats but she is onto the idea of the game and looks at me immediately waiting for rewards.  She doesn’t go back to trying to maul my hand and I can hold my hand open with the food out so I think we are making progress.  I added in the “leave it” cue but obviously it is still a work in progress.

“Touch” is one of her more solid cues.  She can “touch” my fingers or a target stick.  Hoping to use that for some heel work and distance training (hoping to save my back when I teach tricks like around).


So those are the basics for Level 1.  She is looking pretty good on them and probably ready to move to Level 2 where we will continue to work more on those, adding difficulty.  I think we will continue work this week before progressing though.  Not too bad for 3 weeks of work.  She is very eager to please.

We also spent some time working on “mat”, “target”, “wipe your paws”, and a new command “chin” which I thought went really well.  We didn’t do much with heeling work today but she looked good the few times we touched on it.  I have dropped retrieval and “paws” entirely for now.  We will bring them back later when I have these things more solid.  I have a retrieval dumbbell on the way.

Wipe Your Paws

Working on training today, going over the basics and adding some new things.  “Paws” doesn’t seem to be happening.  Sometimes she will put both paws on the pod, other times she just stands there (or sits) with one paw on it and stares at me.  I don’t think she is connecting the behavior with the word at all and we aren’t getting anywhere with it right now as she just tries to hit my hands if I point or encourage her at all.  Targeting is going very well, she will paw the target or walk several feet to hit it.  Nose touching is also going reasonably well.  Retrieving is unfortunately not going anywhere, she tries to use her paws instead of mouth so we are shelving that until I get a retrieval dumbbell to try with.


Today we introduced “mat” and “wipe your paws”.  She was very keen on standing and sitting on the mat so that went well.  I think she will have “go to mat” down quickly and we can start using the mat for extending down stays and other place commands from there.  I have a second piece of foam that I can use to send her between for place training.


As we are not using the towel for retrieval I decided to introduce a fun trick with it, “wipe your paws”.  Naturally as a paw based behavior she picked it up quickly.  She is still a bit shaky, the behavior isn’t clean yet but we are getting there.  I think it will be a cute trick (and useful for wet weather) when we work on it a bit longer.


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Yarrow is 15weeks old.  She is getting bigger.  We are working on the focus command so she will look at me when I take her picture.  She does well with “focus” but doesn’t like the camera so putting those two things together is still a work in progress.  She is also doing well with the “bed” command but again, doesn’t love the camera so getting her to say in bed while I take her pic is hard.


Yesterday I introduced paw targeting.  As I expected Yarrow took to it quickly, she is very paw oriented.  Today she was able to “target” on command and go to the target from a few feet away.  Huge progress on that.  We also saw progress on “paws” with keeping both paws on the pod and standing with paws on the pod.  I think she is finally starting to connect the behavior I am asking for.  “Down” has been a slow command to come, she sort of lunges out at me and tends to be quick to try to jump back up.  A down stay may be hard for her but I am hopeful, we just keep working at it.  We had some more improvement with both standing and walking in the heel position, until she became excited.  She isn’t breaking to front as frequently anymore anyway.  Today I clipped a leash to her collar, just let her walk in heel position with it attached, no tension at all.  She had more difficulty but it may have been related to excitement vs the leash.  We will continue to work on that.  She has been having more success with the “go potty” command as well as “come” and sitting and waiting for her dinner.  Her impulse control is improving daily which is impressive.  I also think we are starting to bond.  I was worried I wouldn’t bond with her, between having to wash two SDiTs in two years and her being female it is a lot.  She is starting to win me over.

First Trip to Denia

Today Yarrow took her first trip to Denia.  She was nervous in the car but did not get sick.  I was concerned she would have a hard time settling at the park but she was amazing.  She laid at my feet, greeted the kids and parents politely (a little shy but not nervous which is great), and no fear of the skates or kids playing basketball behind us.  She was able to spend a good bit of time working on her focus, we worked on “shake” and we took a short walk so she could go pee (no accidents on the court).  She did much better on the ride home, even fell asleep.  It was a great trip.


Yarrow has been working hard, and I think she is growing.  She is learning to “go to bed,” “paws”, “sit”, “down”, “focus”, “shake”, “touch”, “crate”, and “release”.  So much to learn, but she is doing very well.


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Puppy training is hard work.  Lots of repetition, just working on the basics and nothing really exciting.  Yarrow is making great progress in house training, and using the pen, which may not be exciting but at least she isn’t peeing in the house.  Her “sit” is pretty solid now and her “down” is also coming along.  Her focus is quite exceptional, without any cue, which I am excited about.  She is well on her way to a solid recall.  Things are looking very promising, slow is fast and she is doing very well.


Yesterday I introduced “puppy zen” which of course is the basis for self control and “leave it” which will be important not only for a nice home companion but also if she is to do PA (public access training) later.  I was a little apprehensive, she is super food motivated and doesn’t have a lot of what I would consider self control, but clearly I was underestimating my little firecracker.  All of that focus work and sit don’t jump work must have paid off because she caught on super quickly.  It didn’t take her long at all to reason out that trying to maul the food out of my hand wasn’t going to pay off and she would need another tactic.  So she looked at me, “Click” we had food.  Well she knew how this worked, we were off to Zen.  Today she is doing even better, open palm, no problem.  We even managed food on the floor.  Doesn’t look like Zen will be an issue for her.  Just have to remember not to move too fast, build it slow so she doesn’t become frustrated.  This little girl is really wowing me.


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Not necessarily a calm puppy.  Chaos might have been a better name for her.