Friday, March 31, 2017

Zoe's BIG 2nd week of learning..

We have learned a lot the last two weeks after spending two training sessions with Pree, Sugar, Red and Harley.  I definitely feel that having Zoe spend time with adult dogs that are trained will help her mature and develop much quicker than if we did not have the opportunity to be exposed to these dogs.  They have been great teachers and demo dogs for Zoe!  Zoe was even able to observe Sugar and Pree practicing their scent discrimination with articles and jumping.  A few things we have learned and have been working on...

Socialization: We have learned that socialization is for a puppy to do at a young age and it is also important to put her in areas that have distractions to teach her to focus on us and the exercises even if there are other temptations going on around her. We do not let Zoe go near other dogs when we are walking and we do not take her to dog parks, but we recognize that it is beneficial for us to take her with us whenever we can and for her to get comfortable with family members, friends, children, etc. 

Quiet Time: We have learned about the Quiet Time exercise, which is extremely important to help Zoe understand that it's a peaceful 30 minutes and that it is going to happen on a regular basis.  

Going to New Places: Roxanne mentioned taking Zoe to a playground and going down the slide with her and walking on logs to expose her to as many different surfaces as we can, which will help her posture and her balance.  She also suggested we take the stairs and go up and down hills whenever possible to help build her strength and tire her out. I'm looking forward to taking her to different playgrounds and having her experience other areas and equipment, which will hopefully help her gain the confidence to approach new areas and situations moving forward.  We go to the playground on a regular basis (usually every day after work).  

Commands: Roxanne also taught us the importance of following through on our commands and being there to assist Zoe so she always knows we are always there to help her if she needs us to help her.  We have used the learning string to assist us and Zoe in this process and to help Zoe build trust and confidence in us.  So far we have learned/are learning Get It, Sit, Come/Here, Touch, Place, Step, Stand/Pose, Off, Phooey/No.  Zoe usually responds to either No or Phooey, but I know we should probably stick with one of those words to be consistent.

Exercises: We also learned the "German Shepherd Stacked Stand" at Roxanne's last weekend, which Zoe did a good job with, but I know this (and everything else we are learning) requires a lot of practice. Roxanne mentioned only having Zoe stand in the correct pose for a second as long as it is done correctly.  This is a challenging exercise for both of us and is definitely harder than it looks!  It is exhausting for Zoe to do a Stand and to climb up stairs and shape her into a sit on the stairs.  We also helped Zoe with her learning the Place command which allowed us to hold the leash properly and put her back on the Place board if she decided to step off the board. 

It is important to quickly make the leash loose when she remains on the place board so she knows she is doing it correctly.  This will teach her to remain on her place until we tell her to come off. It is also good to praise Zoe quietly when she remains on her place and pet her under her chin so she looks up and sees who is praising her.  Roxanne taught us that we should be practicing Place on an elevated surface to help Zoe distinguish that this is a different area than the rest of her surroundings.  It is also important to always end an exercise on a positive note to reward her concentration.  

Here are a few pictures from our week, but I know we have a lot of work to do...

Zoe was exhausted after her Saturday session. She slept the whole way home.

Zoe needed a few toys before she was able to fall asleep in her new boundary.

She is getting better at walking on my left side.
We were tired after practicing our recalls on the tennis court.

Tennis court love <3

Shaping Zoe into a Sit on the curb.

Zoe loves going to the park.

She is getting used to her new table to practice her stands.

We are attempting to put Zoe in a GSD Stacked Stand. 

I think we could have brought her closer to the front of the table..

Our best attempt at the GSD Stacked Stand.
Zoe's step stool and table to practice her exercises.

Zoe's BIG first day with the Pack

Today we had the pleasure of introducing Zoe, our 16-week-old female German Shepherd, to "The Pack".  She had an eventful 90 minute session and learned some valuable life lessons along the way (like don't pick a fight with a yellow lab ;) )!  We too learned many lessons and tips from the whole group.  She is our first dog and so we are a bit overwhelmed, but we feel very fortunate having the opportunity to join such a great training program with a proven track record of success.  

Today Zoe was able to run, play, and even eat snow with The Pack and after we left, she had a difficult time keeping her eyes open (we were not complaining)!  It quickly became obvious that we found the perfect program for Zoe and she fit right in. We are thrilled for the challenges to come and can't wait to share our journey with everyone along the way! 

Zoe hit it off with the pack...

...especially with Harley...

First step - hang note cards on the fridge as a reminder of important informal commands :)
We had one tired puppy on our hands

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dave and Judah - his 13 week old GSD puppy.

An outstanding Tuck Sit

Judah striding out and on a mission

Dogs DO learn watching other dogs. Notice Pree's eyes? She is checking in to make sure Judah is following her - and he is - exactly mirroring her movements and feet placements. Cool!

A lovely GSD Stacked Stand~!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Welcome to The Mannerly Puppy Blog

This blog is a fun compilation of pictures, videos and slideshows of the various Mannerly Puppies. Enjoy.