If you do not enjoy someone bragging on and on about how brilliant their new puppy is, this is not the blog post for you. If you DO enjoy puppy brags AND enjoy watching some training moments, this could be the blog post for you. Carry on.
Shrek (Jacks Wild Naughty by Nature) is my new Parson Russell Terrier puppy. He is nearly 15 weeks now. Liz Carter, Bill Carter, Carol Snee, Greg Snee, and Laura Frizzell all have played a role in this dog’s breeding, and in making sure that we found each other. (Carla McAlister also played a role in that!)
He was absolutely perfect at the airport. Greeted everyone that wanted to say “Hi!” to him with a happy face and wagging tail. (It is a nice tail!)
The next morning, I put all of the other dogs away with their breakfasts and had some alone time with him. I (hand) fed him half of his meal. He is very gentle with food, but definitely wants it. Then, we played a little bit of tug. He is not as gentle with toys as he is with food. I was using a very low value tug toy, in the kitchen, and did some close range retrieves. He was so great already! When he started to get “tired,” I fed him the other half of his breakfast before going outside in our yard.
He is super snuggly. I love that!
He is (mostly) happy to entertain himself in an ex-pen while I tend to the other dogs. When he had trouble relaxing, Shock was there to help him out.
At about 11AM, Shrek & I went out on a little road trip to two other yards (family members) and a walk in the woods. I spent some time just letting him be in the new surroundings. It never took him long to check in with me to see what was going on. Acclimation periods were short and his level of engagement was spectacular for such a young pup that I’ve had for less than a day! His engagement behaviors included: 1) A play bow, 2) Pouncing into my lap or arms, and 3) Offering “say please” (a calm sit that his breeder, Liz Carter, taught him)
In both of the new locations, he was able to engage and play tug and chase games. If a noise or smell distracted him, it was always for less than 10 seconds, and he was back to engaging me for more interaction. Did I mention that this puppy is brilliant?!
He could easily swap between tug – treats – petting – break – treats – petting – break – petting – tug – play… it was awesome!
We went to our local Country Store after this. He is great in the car. Quickly settles down and enjoys the ride 🙂 He was ecstatic to meet the girls working the front of the store and take cookies from them and give kisses. Another shopper with her small dog on a flexi-lead came marching in and he looked at the dog, but did not bolt over the say hi. I took that as a good sign and picked him up 🙂
We visited out Vet’s office as well (Aunt Bonnie). He was so happy to meet everyone there. He weighed in at 10Lbs 8oz and was totally chill being checked over and having his toe-nails trimmed.
He went on another walk (about 1 mile) later in the afternoon and he was great! He is really getting used to his collar and leash. He does not enjoy puddles of standing water. This will have to change.
For dinner, we played our first session of Crate Games and he was super great! He caught on to the game rather quickly and was offering to get into the crate and sit, and release on a verbal “okay.”
He only took about 10 minutes to settle down into his crate when we all went to bed and he slept all night again. Good ogre puppy!
Today, was another big day! We played Crate Games again for breakfast. Here is the video of our 3 minute session. No editing. This is a different location than our first session. He checks out his food bowl a couple of times, but never attempts to take the food. I let him do this (I *want* him interested in food bowls for agility) but reward him for ignoring the food and returning to me. The first time got a food reward, the second time earned a praise reward. I am (trying) to vary how many food rewards he gets in either location (in the crate and out of the crate) and also the length of time between each reward.
We hiked up Little Mountain in the afternoon, and he did really well! I carried him up and down and steepest parts (no extra stress on his rubbery growing body), but he handled it all like a pro. He’s already a way better (and faster) hiker than I am! If he got ahead of me (which he did) he would always check back in with me instead of running off with Graham and Skrik. 🙂
Since then, we’ve had a pretty laid back evening. Some playing, some chewing (on bones!) and some sleeping. Like now, while I type this post and answer some e-mails. I am over the moon happy with Shrek.