Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I inadvertently train them to relieve on a very strict two hour schedule. To the point that when Iverson was puppy sat for a week when he was a year old he reliably requested to be taken out for his "business" every two hours and delivered every time. The sitter said you could set your watch by it.
I never noticed. Why? Because it seems that exactly every two hours I think that it's been long enough and take the pup out to relieve himself.
But turned good?
I've been trying very hard to break that habit with Eclipse, but to no avail.
That is, until today. Today he went out at 1 pm and then again after his dinner at 6 pm. Success!!!
I have another post to write and pictures to add... but will do that later. I'm extremely tired today (due to the yet undiagnosed hypothyroidism) and have little energy but wanted to post this before I forgot!
The Good Puppy Raiser & Alex w/ The Good Puppy, Teddy & Kira
Sunday, March 29, 2009
So, we're stopping with the "dress" command for now. When we go on the treadmill he wears his jacket, when he gets a drink of water, he wears his jacket. When I walk around the house with him, I have the jacket in my hand. When we go on "training" walks (just up and down our street working on loose leash walking and about turns along with some other commands, I have the jacket in first the opposite hand then in the same one I'm holding his leash in. We don't use the dress command until Joy gives us the go ahead, probably not for at least a couple weeks.
He'll start wearing his jacket more and more (?) [He already wears it quite a bit] but only once he quits "stress panting" with it on, avoiding it when he sees it, etc. Joy said I can keep taking him on outings, I just have to put the jacket over his head and not request he "dress" himself. However, I think I'll lay off on the outings anyways as he's seeming more and more stressed on outings as well, with or without his GL on.
Does this pup simply not want to work? He's happiest when he's carrying a teddy bear around, grunting and dancing. He's also quite happy "just being a dog" at the park, wether that's walking with us disc golfing or just hanging out.
If he doesn't want to work, he has a home here with us, Joy's aware of the early signs and it's being addressed as much as possibly. I'm not letting this new issue affect the way I interact, train or regard him, albeit it's somewhat saddening/disappointing.
I know there's a number of pups with body sensitivity. Combine that with stress/uneasiness on outings, however, and you get a pup who simply doesn't want to work and is eventually career changed.
Keep the little guy in your thoughts (and his jacket, which is currently in the wash /wink/)
Ally & Eclipse
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I just spent a half hour working with Eclipse on his commands. He was quite excited about the cheese (kibble's hurting his teeth, he lost at least one more tooth today! That's SEVEN in two days!) and Loves his blanket! He's also very enthusiastic about "nudge" and will nudge the target against the wall with his tail wagging the entire time. We also worked on something we've been slacking on, back in a side and heel position. He did well... We particularly focused on "go to (your) blanket" with me sitting down. We worked on his down-stay and puppy push-ups in a heel as well :-D
All done with the boring training information. /grin/
My newest topic; prefering nylon leash or leather service dog style latigo leashes. (GDB issue, CCI and GDA also use them I believe)
I greatly enjoy using nylon leashes for around the house, training inside or in the backyard and for "come" exercises. Why? Because I don't have to worry about harming the leash at all.
When going on a walk/outing/class however, I prefer the leather leash. Especially one that's not in "brand new" condition and has had some wear on it, making it more comfortable on the hands and more pliable. When correcting, no cuts on the hand, no "burns", looks more "professional" and there's less excess leash to keep track on when it's doubled up (as it almost always is with me, unless practicing "come" or free time on leash). The only thing that's bad about the leather, it can turn your hands red in the rain, you have to worry about "protecting" it, they make nice chew toys /wink/ (Iverson chewed through his first one with a sitter and he chewed on the one Coreena currently as only a couple weeks after we got it as a replacement. I still have the O-ring from the first leash hanging on the wall actually :-D) and if you leave the leash long you risk hitting yourself in the eye/eyebrow/cheek/nose/mouth/face and head in general with the hard metal parts (yes, that happened more than a couple times with me. Urgh... slow learner).
Nylon is quick, easy, can be thrown in the washer (albeit being a bit loud), worry free (for the most part), easily replaced and can be matched to other equipment used.
Nylon leash - 3-10 dollars (I get the three dollar ones /wink/)
Leather leash - 25 before shipping (unless through your puppy club or your one with your first pup from GDB)
There's my take on that. They both serve their purposes, but generally, I prefer my leather leash. It's easier on the hands and kind of signals to the public that this is a working dog!
Have a good one! I know Eclipse, Teddy, Kira, Alex and I are going to have a good time sleeping!
Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse, Teddy & Kira
Friday, March 27, 2009
Eclipse lost four teeth this morning before 11 a.m. He lost all four "front" molars. The first one was Very sad! He was playing with his teddy bears as always in the morning and came over kind of biting the air/licking (like he had something stuck) and just looked at me like "make it better, Mom!". Then he put his head down, pawed at the left side of his mouth, stood up and out fell a little molar. Then I got his rawhide and he lost the other three! Poor baby! He got a carrot to try and help soothe him.
Before we did that though we went and hung out at a park. While playing with Eva he then lost Both his bottom canines! Poor boy lost AT LEAST six teeth today! If that's not major teething I don't know what is!
Eclipse laying under the bleachers in the shade, silly sweet boy. Eva's laying right next to him.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Many people in public ask what "kind" of puppy-in-training Eclipse is, or "what" he's in training for.
Many times my response is simply, service dog. If they appear as if they understand and don't have a quizzical look on their face I leave it at that. If they look confused I'll go on to say "he'll help someone with a physical disability other than blindness". Many people simply nod and have a somewhat awkward smile and then generally continue on their way.
Because the most prevalent service dogs in the area are guide dogs. There's anywhere from 5-10+ GDB puppies in training, 1 GDA pup, at least 3 working guide dogs and 1 well known retired guide. There is only one working service dog (was, not sure if he's still working. He was kind of a nuisance). [Oops, forgot to mention there is a little boy getting an autism service dog soon, a great dane service dog (? never met, just heard of) and her housemate an SDIT (another dane) and a chihuahua "SD" who "helps" a woman in a wheelchair. (Not an alert dog, seems more like an ESA)]
Another contributing factor? The ADA didn't come into affect until 1990, although there were "white cane" laws allowing people access with their guide dogs. The most obvious helpmate? The one that's approximately a foot and a half (give or take, depends on length of the dog) in front of the person.
Guide dogs are captivating, they're asked to save their handler's life every time they venture out the door in that beautiful harness. It's amazing to see how fluid they work together.
That being said, I find the partnership of a child with autism, a man with Parkinson's, a person restricted to a wheelchair, a person with balance issues, and a dog is just as amazing, just as captivating and just as awesome!
Do I personally prefer one kind of service dog over the other? Definitely not. That being said, most service dogs I've seen personally (discounting ones in training, generally self-trained dogs) are more unruly/distracted than guide dogs. I suspect because it's much easier in comparison to train your own service dog, not so much training your own guide. I have no preference when it comes to program trained service or guide dogs. They all live up to high standards and pass many tests, who am I to judge?
When it comes to raising, though, I'd like to point out some differences.
Reminder: The things noted about GDB were when I was raising for them, coming up on two years ago. I mean to offend no one by statements I make.
With Guide Dogs it was all very straight forward, cut and dry if you will. Four on the floor at all times, no riding on the seat of the car unless the pup got too big to sit on the back floorboard, no holding pup on your lap, no food out of the hand unless for FIR (and now GTB) or on a specific protocol, head was to be by your leg when walking, we taught around 10/12 commands, had the pup for 12-16 months, meetings were at least twice and a month and 80% attendance was required. No play in jacket, training collar removed unless working. Only toys specifically listed on toy protocol (no double action nylabones, no normal jolly balls, no filled bones, nothing but natural sterilized bones, nylabones, no edibles, kongs, no kong bone, etc.)
With JLAD we have a bit more freedom. Four on the floor unless working on/executing a command such as "up", "lap", "jump" (haven't learned yet), have to learn it's OK to sit on the seat, train with treats, always have treats on hand (had hot dogs in a bag at the doctor's today), head still to be by leg in a "heel" position and when walking, learn more than 50 commands, switch pups every 5-6 months, class twice a month (understanding director, misses meetings are understood), martingales collars only unless GL is needed specifically, pups must be comfortable enough in jacket to relieve, play, work in. Any toy but animal parts, normal rawhide. Stuffies unless pup destroys.
There's a LOT more that goes into training all the things service pups need to learn. When exiting the vehicle they MUST turn and face you every time (something I've slacked on but am working on), must learn to "tug" on command, not just a game, must learn to love their crate, not just tolerate it, must learn to retrieve from all positions/heights, must learn to carefully remove socks, etc.
There's a lot more mental stimulation that these pups receive in training than guide dogs. Iverson got bored so quickly simply because there was nothing more for us to teach him, the rest he simply had to mature. With JLAD they are constantly learning, whether it's adding another aspect to a retrieve, tightening up a heel (very mentally tiring for them), stacking commands (up-push, up-nudge, lap-thank you, up-get it (bring it) lap-thank you, etc) there's constant stimulation.
Which do I prefer? The constant stimulation. When the pups get bored, I get bored... it's a simple equation.
Sorry if this post was offensive to anyone (or confusing).
Just my take on things.
Ally & Eclipse (the deceitful puppy, at less than 30 lbs still he feels so young but our time together is coming to an end quickly)
I LOVE kid's movies! In fact, we have Kung-Fu Panda right now.
This line gets me every time...
"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery but today is a gift, that's why it's called the present"
The line in Eclipse...
Tomorrow warrants two pictures. Below, the tomorrow we hope he achieves (maybe not necessarily working with a wheelchair but it's symbolic). Above, the tomorrow that's always a possibility when raising puppies... he may end up a pet, therapy dog, hunting dog, or maybe a disc golf buddy ;-)
Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse (the three of us just spent three hours at the doctor's. I may have a thyroid problem, supposed to go get it checked out within a week), Teddy & Kira
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I introduce you to the love of my life (in the canine world) Teddy! He's almost 5 years old (April 14th) and I got him when he was 6 weeks. He's my little baby but we're working on putting him in his place and making me alpha without a doubt in his mind... I accidently let him take control to try and get his confidence up when I was younger (yes, I didn't know much at all!). Teddy in a nutshell; a cuddlebug, sensitive, happy, hoppy, sensitive tan Sheltie who I love with every fiber of my being (a bit dramatic?)
Kira is my girl that I got of my "dream breed", an America Eskimo Dog (when I was 15-18, now it's changed of course). I got her when she was three years old, she wasn't walked on a leash, was tied-out for her outside time, didn't have a fenced yard to play in, lived with an overbearing but very loving owner who decided she needed some more time. After much convincing I was able to assure her I would be a good home for Kira and Coreena and I drove up to get her January 5, 2007. We drove 8 hours north in a very bad wind storm and stayed with our biological father. First thing Kira did, threw up in the car! I love her anyways and she turned 5 on November 27th. She's a very laid-back little dog who LOVES popcorn and gets a "happy bark" when playing. Her old Mom and I keep in touch, I send her updates and pictures every now and then and I swear, if we ever go see my father again (he didn't come to my wedding just to give you an idea) we'll take Kira up and let her spend some time with her old family. They got her at 8 weeks and love her dearly to this day.
Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse, Teddy & Kira (the much loved pets)
On October 30, 1988 Stephanie Condon was abducted while babysitting her twin cousins in a town about 20 minutes south of here. She was fourteen. For years we've seen billboards, missing children's reports, new stories about Stephanie Condon. I was ten when she was abducted and I remember it vividly (not that I was there).
On March 13, 2009, they finally found her, the way everyone knew she would be found but everyone hoped wasn't true. Her bones were found off a logging road, in the same town Whistler's Bend (where Alex likes to play disc golf) is. By who other than a man walking his dog. They have a suspect in custody, let's hope they find Stephanie's abducter and subsequent killer to finally give her family some peace!
We only wish this would have ended a different way...
Here's the website her family made for her. http://www.findstephanienow.com/index.htm
Ally & Eclipse
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
We haven't done much today. He's chewing on his rawhide (yes, he still has it and quite a bit of it!) and has played with his baby bears quite a bit today. We also practiced being nice and calm with Teddy and Kira loose in the room. He was also introduced to his new Big Bear! This bear was actually on my bed with my little polar bear when my bedding was red and black, however, I'm not keeping teddy bears on my bed anymore, and it was just sitting in an extra bedroom. Because Eclipse is so very gentle with his stuffed animals I decided he'd get to cuddle with it in the short time we have left together. (6-8 weeks is all)
We are spending around a half hour every day working on cleaning up/solidifying Eclipse's commands for the upcoming pizza "party" meet and greet between the two classes. We'll also be introducing the dogs to one of Joy's clients who doesn't as of yet have a match. Hopefully one of the pups will mesh well with her! Other than that, not too much going on.
Here are a couple pictures from our little "photo shoot" sunday with Eclipse's big boy jacket on.
This color of blue looks very nice on him and he looks so very grown up! There's a ton of things that fit in his jacket, btw! His ID cards for the public, Alex and my trainer ID cards, a collapsable water bowl and four vegetable bag poop bags. I could put his GL in the jacket as well but it makes a little too "puffy". /smile/ He's actually doing well in public (not that he wasn't before, just some slight signs of insecurity/being overwhelmed) and is able to go more and more places (shorter outings generally) without his GL on. I still take it in my pocket but he's doing very well!
I think that's all from here!
Ally w/Eclipse (the OLD man!), Teddy (the Real old man!) & Kira (the old lady! /wink/)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday was fairly uneventful, just working on training with Eclipse, hanging out, feeling wierd that it wasn't Friday yet (since meeting was on Wednesday instead of Thursday it felt like Friday).
Friday, yet again another slow day. Got my Ipod working again, YAY! Worked on Eclipse's commands some and gave him his turn on the treadmill.
Saturday, Fun! I attempted getting up at 7:30. That didn't work and I ended up getting up closer to 8. Alex brought Eclipse down and relieved him, gave him breakfast, relieved him again and put him in his crate (poor baby! I meant to get up earlier to give him some treadmill time) then we took off for service from 9-12. Then the fun began *grin* Coreena and Max got here just before Alex and I got home and Coreena took Eclipse out to relieve for me. Then I changed, gave Eclipse a couple minutes on the treadmill, fed Teddy and Kira, got all Eclipse's things together (I thought) and while we waited for Tab to come to my house we went and filled the car up with gas. We had to come back to the house because Tab was gonna leave her 4-runner at my house and... I forgot treats for the kid, so I had to run and grab the treat bag, kibble and some cheese (thankfully already cut up as we were running late) and jumped back in the car. Then Tab decided she was leaving her rig at her grandma's in green, not at my house, so we followed her down there, she got in and we hit the road. I had already shared on Rockstar with Alex that morning in service and had another so I was on a bit of a "high" and talked/jabbered constantly. We got up to the Salem Center and parked in the parking garage (um... we missed it the first time but made it the second pass) and headed down the block... For some reason Tab and Coreena let me lead (lol) and I of course took us halfway around the block before Tab called Joy and we met up with Joy with Echo and Mary with Fiona right down the sidewalk from where we parked. LOL We stood there talking for a few minutes waiting for everyone else to show up. Mind you, the bus we were supposed to be riding was supposed to leave at 3:15, we barely got there in time, everyone else for the most would have missed it. But, as things go, the busses no longer run on Saturdays in Salem so we improvised (well, Joy did, we just followed instructions) and worked on things in the Salem Center again. It was a fun outing but I won't go into too much detail, just enjoy the pictures.
After we quit practicing our commands he want back and crashed on "his blanket". That's what happens when all the other blankets are picked up. Below is a video of him doing the "go to (your) blanket" command. He's doing well and I'm starting to be able to send him from further and further away. That's all from here for now.
Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse, Teddy & Kira
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We generally have a fairly laid-back, nothing doing day. Yesterday, however, was a bit more fun.
Eclipse went to bed Tuesday night around 10:30 or 11, although I don't remember which
After he went to bed for the night at some point he grabbed the little piece of fleece blanket that was laying by his bed and pulled it in to curl up on. We woke up around 9:30 a.m. and got started with our day. We headed downstairs, pottied all three dogs and let Eclipse play in the den while I checked my e-mail and blogs.
Then Eclipse and I went and walked on the treadmill for ten minutes together. (I figure if he's walking on it and I'm standing there watching I may as well walk with him) After ten minutes he gets let off and I continue on. Eclipse had different ideas and kept trying to jump back on with me, little wierdo.
After that he ate his breakfast and went out to hurry again. Teddy and Kira were fed their breakfast then Alex and I decided it was a good day to go out to Whistler's Bend park and play the disc golf course. Well, Alex would play it, Eclipse and I would tag along. We wanted to see if disc golf caddy would be a good alternate career for Eclipse (as shown in the picture from Tuesday night below) if the whole Service Dog thing doesn't work out.
So we gathered up bottled water, Eclipse's jacket, leashes, GL, long line, the discs and the camera. We hopped in the car and headed out.
It was a beautiful day in Southern Oregon (and Northern as I understand). This picture was accidental but turned out kind of cool.
We stopped on the way at 7-11 to get some chicken strips, tea and a gatorade for Alex and Eclipse enjoyed the cool tile floor. The lady wasn't the brightest and said "Just so you know, unless that is a special needs (?) dog we can't have him in here because..." at which time I interjected "he's a service dog in training" with a smile and she continued on "we have open food..." um... I've taken numerous PITs in there, no worries woman.
Then we got back in the car and headed the half hour-ish out to Whistler's Bend.
Alex made funny noises along the way and got Eclipse to cock his head and make funny faces...
Then we arrived at Whistler's Bend, ate two of the chicken strips between Alex and I, gave Eclipse some water and a chance to hurry, then practiced our sit-stays. Well, Eclipse did anyways.
Then practiced sit-stay despite Dad walking away, on a bridge in a beautiful place.
Practiced down-stay in the mud.
Practiced come on the way to get Mom's errant disc (the reason I don't play disc golf, but to satisfy Alex I had to throw at least one)
Then at 11:30 it was time for bed again.... sweet boy... I love every day with you!
A show of where the basket is. The top of the world shot is 600 ft, Eclipse is wondering if he can throw it that far....
Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse (who thinks his job is to pick up all the stray socks from everywhere), Teddy & Kira