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.

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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.

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.

Science Puppy

Headed outside for a science project with the boys.  Grimm decided to tag along and help out.  Science is a lot of fun.

We also took a trip to Petsmart.  This was Grimm’s first time at a Pet store.  He has completed his puppy shots (still need to finish canine influenza) so I felt it was safe to make the trip.  Pet stores are pretty chaotic, particularly Petsmart being so large and having a boarding facility, groomer, and training classes inside.  Overall Grimm did great.  Lots of small dogs barking at him, he did some excited whining but nothing big.  He was a little distracted but overall he walked nicely and was able to refocus.  He showed no interest in the small animals in the cages, perhaps because they are in cages.  According to the scale he is now 30.2lbs, we’ll see if the scale at the vet’s office agrees.

 

Since he was such a good boy we picked up a new toy (a fuzzy candy corn, think we’ll get the matching pumpkin next time) and some new training treats.  We decided to give Pet Botanics Minis in Bacon flavor a try.  I like small treats, easier for me than having to break things up.

What color am I?

We were having an interesting conversation in a poodle group about poodle colors.  I hadn’t really given much thought to Grimm’s color, he’s a black poodle after all.

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wee puppy picture I have of Grimm from his breeder.  All black right?

 

From the first shave he has had this silver on his face.  It is inching further up his snout now.  He has two white toes and a reddish tint in the sun (that wasn’t there as a younger puppy).  So, what color is he?  We don’t know yet.  Maybe silver or blue.  I guess we’ll know better when he is mature.   While out with him today someone asked me if he was a blue.  He is definitely changing colors.

Brag on Puppy Boy

Last night we made another trip to Lowe’s for some training.  Grimm is doing so well with his basics and even some beginning task work.  Obviously he is still a puppy, I don’t expect anything close to perfect.  I expect puppy behavior, and goofy.  I’ve been very impressed with how well he is taking to riding in the car, he now loads up when asked and rides in the back with me.  Hoping he will learn to either ride in the floorboards with me or on the back seat politely with a little more time.

Today we worked on walking politely on a loose leash.  He is doing so much better not forging ahead when excited in the store.  He still gets excited seeing people, but that is ok.  No fear of the big Halloween displays, not even the talking zombies or skeletons.  We took a tour through the kitchen department to check out the different flooring samples.  I even sat down on the polished concrete and let Grimm try out some tasking, he did excellent with paw disruptions and laid in my lap when asked (though was unable to stay still for long, we’ll work on duration in new situations, he is 4months old after all).  Then back to find Tim and he was able to locate Tim though we have not worked on it and sit in front of him which is nice.  He was also able to retrieve small PVC connectors (huge deal here, retrieval has been difficult and he has only retrieved a pill bottle and his leash at home) and his leash when I “dropped” it.  Really super work.  He did forge ahead as we were leaving.  Not a big deal, we worked for quite a while and we will get it.