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Posted on 03-24-2013

This week we started our training classes, I am not sure who was more lost, Rue or me. A lot has changed in the last 12 years since I trained a puppy. I tell all my clients that their puppies should attend training classes whether they have a Chihuahua pup or a Great Dane. It is more to teach the owners how to correctly reward behaviours than to actually train the pups. We learn, our puppies learn, and we strengthen that all important human-animal bond.

Rue has learned to sit to say please. It is based on the idea that she must "learn to earn" and helps create a polite puppy. She is required to sit for food, to be petted, to get her leash on and to go in and out of the door. I think I should say that Rue is learning to sit for these things, it is a work in progress.

Crate games were part of our exercises. Check out the You Tube video on crate games on our Facebook Page. It is a fun game where your dog wants to rush into their crate and stay there until you release them for a game of tug. It really works! No more rushing out of the crate the minute to latch is touched.

Housetraining is something that we often discuss in appointments. If asked, I would have to say that Rumour is doing very well. I realize that it is more me that is well trained, not her. She is either tethered to me, tethered close by where I am working, playing with me or in her crate. There are very few accidents and she has learned to eliminate in a designated area in my yard. I take her out after play, after sleep and every hour or so when she is awake. I will not kid myself though, if I were to let her loose without supervision, she would not hesitate to pee on the floor!

We had a session at the groomers. It only took five minutes. We put treats all over the table, then fed treats while she had her nails clipped and the hair between her eyes trimmed. We will go back next week so that she is comfortable with the process.

Rue visited Ren's Pet Depot this weekend to get a hands-free leash and tug toy for class. I must admit we purchased more than we went for. It is hard to leave that store without buying too much. The great thing about going there is that there are so pet friendly people for your puppy to meet. Remember puppies should meet 100 people in their first 100 days.  We are working on it. She tried on a life jacket but as soon as we closed the clasps, she fell on her side and couldn't move. We stood her up by the handle and she fell over again, unable to get up or move. We laughed so hard we cried. Ever heard of a life jacket that makes it impossible for you to swim? We didn't buy it!

Today we went for a hike in some pretty deep snow, Rue was a trooper and worked very hard to keep up. I must admit I had to carry her some of the way but boy did she sleep well this afternoon.

All in all, I think it was a good week. Her personality is growing day by day. She is determined and sometimes frustrating but she is growing closer to my heart with each day.

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