Bye Bye Puppy Fluff

Here he is, all clipped down.  He looks older now.  I need new blades for my clippers, I don’t like having to use the comb attachments to groom him.

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Starbucks anyone?

The weather is getting cooler, houses are decorated, haunted houses are open.  Did I mention it is Pumpkin Spice Latte Season (if you don’t like PSL that is fine, I happen to love it and don’t want to hear how bad it is for me)?  It is still pretty warm here in TX, not that shocking to those of us who have lived here for years.  However it is cool enough to make it nice enough to sit outside on the patio at Starbucks, which means it is time to start practicing Grimm’s under table settle.  Someday he will use these skills at restaurants, but for now he can’t stay still long enough for a full meal.

Bath Time

Some one desperately needed a bath, so we took a trip to Blissful Bark and had his first experience in the dog tubs and with the force dryer.  He is soooo fluffy now and smells amazing.  He wasn’t a fan of the dryer, he’ll get used to it.  He doesn’t even look like the same puppy now.  He is definitely due for a clipping.  I think I may pay the $10 to use their tables and tools and clip him down there.

22weeks

22weeks old now.  Grimm is doing so well with his training.  We took a big step and had our first vested outing (I love him in the Goody Shack vest) at Home Depot.  Home Depot is not pet friendly here which means we have stepped up to actual PA training.  Well, baby steps anyway as Home Depot is not much different than Lowe’s.  I wanted to try it out because it is similar but also because they have a very large Halloween display and I wanted to get a chance to expose him to all of the sights and sounds before they were gone.  He did a phenomenal job.  Honestly better than I could have imagined he would.  He is still working on a flat collar and while his heel isn’t perfect he is far and away better than I would have hoped.  I think we will do Home Depot one more time before the Halloween decor comes down, but I’m excited to branch out into other types of stores as well.  Just lots of short trips for now.

Dog Days

What is more fun than a day at the fair ground with dogs?  Not much that I can think of.  Grimm didn’t make this outing alone, his buddies Freyja and Blue got to come along.  After all, they call it “Dog Days” and they wanted in on the fun.  My youngest son has been putting a lot of work into his dog (that is Freyja the husky x GSD) and I am quite proud of the two of them.  She was actually fully trained and well behaved at one time but we sort of let her slip a little in the leash manners and greeting behaviors department so she tends to pull a bit and believes everyone wants bounced.  They did pretty well though, he kept her reigned in and she didn’t bounce anyone.  Little Blue stole the show enjoying all the small children who flock to her.  She just enjoys cruising around and snagging treats from the booths.  Grimm got to meet many poodles of all sizes and had a grand time in the puppy pools.  Maybe next year he can compete in the dance off or singing competitions?  Well, maybe not.  Freyja was sad we didn’t stay for the “dog singing” we’re pretty sure she can win that one.

Night Walks

Really just adding this picture because I love this boy so much.  He has been working so so hard on this particular skill “mat”.  Here he is waiting for his turn to eat.  He’s doing a wonderful job and is incredibly patient for a just turned 5month old puppy.  He blows me away every day.

When we are well we take things for granted.  I cannot do the things I could do even 4 or 5 years ago.  Going for a simple walk with my dog is difficult now.  However Grimm needs walks, they are important exercise, but more than that they are important for his development and training.  So late at night (around 11pm when it is cooler and dark because I am heat intolerant and photosensitive) I leash him and take him out.  We don’t walk far, sometimes just a little circle around our neighborhood, but we walk.  We work on leash manners, and distractions.   These walks are hard for me sometimes, I’m tired and my joints hurt.  But they are good for me.  I need to move and just getting out of the house is good for my mind.  We see neighbors have put up Halloween Decorations (ours went up the first of September but most people aren’t so obsessed as I am).  These don’t phase Grimm at all, but he is distracted by the barking of the neighbor’s dog or a low flying plane.  Sometimes we see rabbits or large frogs and we work around them.   He looks forward to our night walks, waits for me to put the kids to bed so we can go.  So even when it is hard I take him.  We are partners.

21weeks

Well well look who is 21weeks old.  That’s right, Grimm is officially 5months as of October 2nd.  He decided to give his big boy vest a try.  We are going to try an trip to Home Depot very soon to check out the Halloween Decorations there.

 

Grimm took another big step today, he made the trip to Lone Star Indoor Sports and Events Center (the skating rink/hockey rink where my youngest son plays roller derby).  This was his first ever derby practice.  There is a lot going on, noise (there is an open hockey skate before our practice which is pretty loud, and a hockey scrimmage after which is even louder, but junior derby is loud in its own right), so many smells (derby kids stink ha ha), kids on wheels, skates and gear and other strange items tossed around the floor, kids running.  It is a lot for a puppy to take in.  Grimm did very well.  He was surprised at first and a little uncertain about the people with hockey sticks, he took it all in stride.  He was obviously distracted which is fine for his first time.  He was able to do tricks for the kids (he showed off his retrieval, sit, shake, down, and head down which was nice).  We were also able to work on some focus and desensitization around small, fast moving children.  One of the younger kids is a bit afraid of dogs, he wants to like them, but not if they sniff or lick him.  He would approach Grimm and dart away squealing as soon as Grimm moved towards him.  So I was able to work on Grimm sitting watching me while he came up behind and patted him then ran.  It went perfectly, to the point that Grimm would look at him then look to me for a treat.  I think we would have been a touch better off if he could have run a bit before our outing, unfortunately it has been rainy and the yard is muddy.  In fact we were all sitting outside talking after practice and it just started pouring suddenly, we had to run for the car.  Grimm was so tired from his excitement at the rink he slept the whole way home.  Don’t worry though, he was still able to run amok with his toys at midnight.

Books Anyone?

In our on going quest to socialize Grimm in a multitude of different places Saturday found us at Half Price Books.  Now this is one of my favorite places.  I grew up loving libraries, and then book stores sort of took over as I just love books.  So really it is important that Grimm learn to not just tolerate but enjoy long periods of time in book stores.  There are times we spend whole days visiting the multiple Half Price Books stores in our area.  Luckily Half Price Books is dog friendly (leashed, house trained, and well behaved dogs only of course).

This is a fun place to work on socialization.  As far as training goes it is not a particularly distracting environment.  After all, how exciting are books for a dog.  However I find that the people in the book store are far more interested in dogs than those shopping at Lowe’s.   There are also far more “tiny humans” running about than one finds in the typical hardware store.  So while there are fewer interesting smells there are more humans to interact with.

So away we went to Half Price Books for a new type of socialization.  One thing I’ve noticed in training Grimm is that people are very eager to approach, talk to, and pet him.  He is far more attractive to people than my other dogs have been.  Even Freyja does not attract so much attention.  At this point in our training I do not mind, he is a puppy and so long as people do not rush him and overwhelm him it is wonderful for him to experience many different people in a positive way.  However in the future I know it will become a struggle.  We were stopped many times at Half Price Books by people who wanted to meet Grimm, everyone was very polite and it went well.  He got compliments on how well behaved he is, which always feels good.  We will continue to work on short positive outings.