Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"He weighs how much?!"

Picture #1
Me at 10 weeks

Picture #2
Me at 18 weeks

Apparently, I'm over 35 lbs now, which is a bit more than anyone was anticipating. So I've gained 20 lbs in 8 weeks? Honestly, I don't see the big deal. Jenn says I've grown out of my collar, my harness, all my beds and I can barely fit into my crate that I sleep in at night. This could be a problem. Jenn says that sleeping in the crate at night is very important. She can't watch me when she is asleep and I could decide to take a potty break in Eric's slipper. That's ridicuous! I could also decide to eat said slipper in my boredom in waiting for them to wake up. Hmm, that is actually likely to happen. So they better get a bigger crate for me (and soon). The crate keeps me safe and Jenn and Eric can sleep knowing their slippers are safe. At least at night...

The Pursuit of Higher Education

Last night I started Senior Puppy Kindergarten at the Animal Protection Society. At first I thought, why do I have to go to school? I live with a dog trainer after all. Can't I just be "home schooled"? Jenn said that taking me to other instructor's classes is helpful to her as a trainer. She can concentrate on me and it gives me opportunities to meet many other puppies and their people in a safe environment. The subjects we are going to learn includes "social studies" and we even get "recess".

It was just about the most exciting night I've had so far. There were many other puppies there that had different colored fur, different shaped ears, and different types of tails. We walked into the classroom, sat down, and worked on attention and sits. Jenn kept saying my name and rewarding me for looking at her. That part was easy. Anytime I started to feel a little uncomfortable, Jenn got me thinking about doing sits and giving her attention. Then we had "recess" and got to run around and play which was pretty exciting for everyone. I chased a few pups and got lots of useful personal information about the other puppies from sniffing.

All in all, I think getting a proper education is going to be fun!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I have found my voice!

I have a voice! It's quite delightful. I've just discovered my bark and it seems to come in quite handy. I started using my bark to make Big Sandy play with me. If I bark enough, she'll play. Quite effective! Now I just need to figure out how to use this technique with Jenn and Eric. It's strange because when I bark at them, they turn their backs and walk away. Hmph! Not effective at all. I heard Jenn say that ignoring my barky demands helps me to learn that it turns attention off. If they yelled at me for barking, then that would let me know that barking works. It seems that the one thing that always gets me attention from them is sitting and being calm. Guess I'll have to do those things a little more often.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My First Snow

This was an exciting weekend! I saw and played in my first snow. During the day on Saturday everything turned white. At first, I didn't quite know what happened, but once I walked around a bit and squished the snow between my toes, it was nothing to be concerned about. I got to romp with Bernie and Big Sandy and chase them around the yard, trying not to slip around. It's been so cold outside and it's nice to come in after playing, get warm, and take a nap.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Socializing with Little Ones

Today was so much fun! Jenn's niece and nephew were here all day. They are moving nearby, so I will get to see them more often. I like playing with them and they are always gentle and kind to me.

Jenn keeps saying that it is very important that I enjoy being with children of all ages. Over the past few weeks, she's invited her friends over that have tiny babies and toddlers too. I've said hi to children in strollers and any child I see on our field trips, Jenn encourages me to say hello. I usually get a treat too when I sit and that's always good.

Jenn's mom and dad are here too and they are very nice to me. They have a tiny poodle named Bailey that I remember meeting before. He barks at me when I try to play with him which I don't understand. Jenn said that he's a bit scared of me and I need to learn to give him space when he asks for it. I'm doing a better job of that now and Bailey may begin to like me.

Everyone in Jenn's human family seems to like dogs. Jenn tells me that not everyone is like that. That some people and children are afraid of dogs and that I have to learn to respect that. It's important that I approach people without jumping or overwhelming them. They will like me more if I'm polite and maybe I can get them to think that dogs are OK.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I can't phone home

Jenn keeps saying how smart I am. That I'm going to learn how to do important things one day. But one of the things I can't do is phone home if I get lost. I heard Jenn talking about the neighbor's dog that ran away and didn't come back for two days. She didn't have any tags on her collar and her people were so worried. Jenn says that it's important to have a tag on my collar to let people know how to get me home. I have a shiny tag that has words and numbers on it. Apparently, it tells people where to call if they find me. Please make sure that your puppy has a tag.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Walk This Way (in balance)

I'm learning to walk with a leash. Jenn fitted me a special green harness called a step-in harness and attached her double ended leash to me in not one but two places. I've seen other dogs on leash, but never attached at two places. Jenn says this is an easier way to teach me to walk without pulling. When I pull forward, she gives me gentle, pulsing signals on my shoulders that encourage me to walk in balance. It's really simple for me to understand and I'm walking great now. I see lots of other dogs walking on leash that just look miserable being choked and yelled at. I wish they could have a chance to learn this way. Jenn says that this is a TTouch technique and that step-in harnesses and double ended leashes are starting to be available everywhere. If you can't find them, check out Jenn's "Recommended Products" page at I've also learned that paying attention to Jenn when she asks is a good thing. She says my name in a happy way, I look at her face, and she rewards me with a treat, a pat on the chest, or using her voice to let me know I'm awesome.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No Horsin' Around

This morning was my first experience on a farm! Jenn's friend Shannon invited us out to meet her horse Jack and several other horses and cows. The smells were amazing as I jumped out of the car. Grass, hay, leather, horse patties, and then I saw a horse. The horse was in a huge "crate" inside a barn. I was cautious approaching slowly, since it was incredibly big. Jenn calmly held my leash and said it was all OK, so I felt safe and went up and sniffed the nice horse from a few feet away. Jenn gave me a piece of cheese for being brave. Then we went on a stroll with another horse and his rider Elizabeth walking beside us. Jenn kept me at a safe distance so I didn't get near the horse's feet (which were loud). I got more cheese each time I did something new. The real excitement happened on our walk around the pastures when I saw the cows. Something came over me and I just stared at them and they stared back. I barked one little "Perf" sound and they all moved into a group in the center of the pasture. Like magic! Jenn told Shannon that I have natural herding ability. Whatever that means. Anyway, this morning was fun and gave me tons of confidence about being around farm animals. Jenn said that puppies need to experience all sorts of people, places, and things while we are young so we don't develop fears later in life. I wonder where Jenn will take me next?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Growing Pains-Why can't I fit in my bed anymore?

It's a problem to no longer fit in your own bed. I can't quite figure out how this has happened. Perhaps the bed has shrunk? Anyway, I'm nearly 30 lbs now, which is a lot more than I think Jenn was expecting. The general rule is that you double a pup's weight at 16 weeks, and that's the minimum they will weigh as an adult. Could I possibly end up over 60 lbs? All I can say is that I love the wonderful, fresh foods that Jenn gives me. She says this type of home prepared diet is very different that how she's been feeding her other companions in the past. If my growth, silky coat, and overall moxie are due in part to what she is feeding me, well I think that she must be doing something right. She read this book by Dr. Richard Pitcairn that got her started on new ways of thinking about canine diets. Check out Jenn's "Nutrition" page at

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Chewing-My Latest Box Project

Cardboard is an amazing thing. It comes in different shaped boxes and sizes and is perfect for tearing apart. I can sit on it, sit in it, then deconstruct it. Jenn has obviously spent quite a bit of time and money accumulating all sorts of toys for my mental energy. There are Kongs and Nylabones and Busy Buddies and ropes and tugs, etc. But there is just something about this cardboard that continues to hold my interest more than other things.

I do appreciate the variety of things that I can put my teeth on. I'm still learning the difference between my stuff and Jenn and Eric's stuff. I pretty much assume that everything on my level is fair game. So many things in the house taste horrible now and seem to be off limits! Everytime I find something interesting, it gets sprayed with this bitter stuff and then its no good to me at all. Even the drapes which were once so tasty are now unpalatable. At least I still have my cardboard.

Tired Puppy = Good Puppy

This is what I look like when I'm tired. Tiring me out involves lots of games, running in my yard, playing with my housemates Big Sandy and Bernie, play dates with other fun loving dogs, and going on field trips to new places. My days are active with Jenn and she keeps me busy throughout the day. My favorite time is when dog friends come over to run and play in my yard. Yesterday, Sky came over with her person Jesse. Sky is a Goldendoodle (she has long flowing blond hair like a movie star) and we ran and wrestled for about an hour. It was so much fun and I just had to take a big nap in the afternoon.

Without playtime and activities, I have to get more creative to alleviate my pent up energy and boredom. After all, my DNA indicates that I could run and herd all day long. What's a puppy supposed to do if I can't get that energy out? Well, I could pull the drapes down, chew the steps, try to dislodge the mortar around the fireplace, play tug with the bottom of Jenn's robe, bounce on the furniture, and bark, bark, bark.

Jenn and Eric are doing a good job so far in providing me with stuff to do. If they keep this up, we're going to have a great life together.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008-Here I come!!

Today I am 15 weeks old! I began my 15th week of life by peeing next to the door this morning. Obviously, Jenn (my guardian) was not aware that I was hinting to go out while she was preoccupied with her oatmeal. She knows that I need to be supervised while I am learning all these housetraining rules. She always needs to be watching for my subtle signals (like standing or sitting next to the door, soft whining, and sniffing the ground near the door). How much more obvious can I get?? It's times like this that I just have to go and anyplace inside is just as good as outside to me. Jenn is a dog trainer after all and is supposed to know all this stuff. She better get on the ball and pay attention.

She is pretty good about putting me in my crate when she can't watch me. This keeps me from making not so good choices (like peeing on the rug or chewing the drapes-we'll talk about that later).

She also cleans everything up right away with a special cleaner for pet stains and doesn't make a big deal if I have a mistake. After all, if she yelled and scolded me, I might become afraid of her.

All in all, this new life with Jenn and Eric (my other guardian) is pretty sweet. I have two new friends, Big Sandy and Bernie that are teaching me all the ins and outs of good puppy play. They let me know when I start to play to rough and help to calm me down if I'm out of line. I also have a fenced yard to give me place to run and protect me.