|Barked: Thu Oct 23, '08 3:00pm PST |
I'll be 6 months old this weekend and my mommy has taken me to Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Obedience.
We haven't done everything you are asking, yet, but maybe some of our experience might help you and Samson.
I can't tell you about playing with the pack... I'm an only dog. But mommy might be asking a similar question when she finds the right sister for me next year. But she does take me to doggie daycare and the dog park. Even though I'm little, I hold my own with the big dogs. I usually find one or two that are about my size and I ask them if they want to run and play. If they do, I can get a little rough with them, too. I like to nip at their hind-quarters when they run ahead of me.
Mommy has started looking into agility for me. There's a lady that lives 3 hours away and has a Puppy Agility and Confidence class. No jumping... just getting familiar with some of the commands and some of the equipment. So she looked for more classes closer to home and didn't find any. But she did find one trainer that might work with her to create a puppy agility program. Mommy doesn't know anything about flyball, yet.
When we're outside, I'm always on a leash (unless we're at the dog park) so when she calls me, she gives a light tug on my leash to redirect me in her direction. She learned at my classes that she's supposed to give me treats and have a, um, I think they called it a "Puppy Party" when I came to her. She uses a really high, excited voice to call my name and it's usually appealing to me. When I'm at the dog park, and I'm off-leash, she usually lets me run until I'm pretty tired. Then when she calls me, I'm pretty ready to get back in the car and go home.
Oh, the pulling... I just have to see or sniff or get to something that's just a little bit further than my leash will reach. I'm tellin' ya! She just won't let me at it though. The trainers gave her three options to try to find the best thing. The first one is that mommy just stops in place and waits for me to come back to her. Sometimes she calls me back and tugs on the leash. The second thing is that when I pull, she stops and takes two or three steps backward. I run back to her but I get really excited and start jumping. The third thing mommy is supposed to try is when I pull, she just changes direction and we go the other way. Sometimes it's like we're walking in circles, though. Mommy says we just need to keep practicing. Oh, and the trainer said that sometimes mommy just needs to walk a little faster.
And feeding... I'd like to try my kitty-brothers' food, but mommy has it back behind a gate where the kitties can get to it, but I can't. In the morning, mommy likes to hand feed me. The trainer said it helps me learn who is the Alpha dog in the family. The Alpha dog controls all things. Mommy and I are often challenging each other for that position... but she usually wins. Anyway, as I said, in the morning, she hand feeds me. She makes me sit, down, roll over, paw, high five, stand, gentle and each time I do what she says, she gives me a few pieces of kibble. If I don't do the things she asks, or I do it wrong, I don't get the kibble. But she always make sure I do enough stuff right that I can get my tummy full. She feeds me two different foods each day... my previous mommy (breeder) makes her do that so she can offer a health guarantee. So during the day, I eat Life's Abundance and for dinner I get a puppy mush made with Flint River Ranch Lamb Millet and Rice (she also mixes in some water, vitamin supplement, salmon, pedigree puppy and yogurt.)
Mommy wasn't planning on showing me even though she thinks I'm gorgeous. She just wanted me to be a companion and watch dog. Hahaha... little did she know how much I love EVERYBODY and won't even bark at the doorbell. She had me fixed about a month ago. That went well... I was sleepy the day I went to the doctor, but the next morning, I was up and ready to herd the kitties again like nothing happened.
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