Month 1: 8-12 weeks old
My goals for the first month of living and working with Beckett include:
- Having the puppy want to work with me and know that I am the source of his fun
- Upside down puppy.
- Puppy kisses
- Be focused on our work since it is so much fun
- Be able to work with me with distractions
- SOCIALIZATION --- SOCIALIZATION --- SOCIALIZATION: I don't want to loose all that Carolyn has done with Beckett's love for meeting, interacting and enjoying people.While the first 8-16 weeks are a critical period where confidence is developed or fear can take over. Socialization must be carefully planned and incorporated into daily or weekly training. The main focus for socialization is people, places and things. For his first week with me (8 weeks) he learned to ride in the car and go places to meet people. Since he has not finished his immunizations he has to be held and not put on the ground. This week we meet several children and new adults (some pictures below).
- Week 9 SOCIALIZATION: he went with us to Kaffee and Myst's herding lesson to watch. Again being held and not on the ground. We sat next to the arena and he was very interested in watching Kaffee work the geese and sheep. The pictures below are him meeting Dawna and getting a little closer to the sheep. He had not fear and was just very interested in watching them.
- Our next socialization was visiting our friend Eve in Flagstaff who has a lovely fenced yard and a wonderful miniature Aussie that Beckett could meet and follow around.
- LOVE MY CRATE: It is so important that dog be able to be in a crate and be comfortable with being in it. Our dogs sleep in the crate for at least a year; stay in crates when we are not home; and travel in a crate when riding in the car. All my dogs have done very well with their crates since the crate has always been associate with something POSITIVE - treats when they enter. The very first association must be positive. Susan Garett's crate games is perfect for not only learning to love the crate but also develop other desirable behaviors.
- RECALL: I have been apart of Susan Garrett's recaller classes several times and have seen amazing results with my last Border Collie, Myst. Myst has become my best hiking partner due to our work in recallers.
- Play learning: My Border Collies all have loved tugging. It is wonderful way to be interactive with them and no disconnected such as just throwing a ball.
- Respect for other dogs: other dogs might be fun to visit and play with but only when we allow them to do so. Older dogs are wonderful at helping them understand that all dogs do not want them in their faces.
Added to this initial list are the following behaviors:
- Sit for reward
- Sit at the door before going out
- Sit and wait for a release word for your meals
- It's Yer Choice
- Quite and happy in the crate.
- Building value for the crate and x-pen
- Hide and Seek - recalls
- Recalls outside
- Potty training on a leash
- Shaping games
VIDEO 1: Day 3 of our play-work together. Focusing on some of the above goals
VIDEO 2: Day 6 of Beckett's arrival and 3rd day of shaping behaviors and learning. We are following Silvia Trkman's spring puppy class. One of the early behaviors she does is a stretching exercise that she calls the "frog." This excellent stretching exercise is easy to teach puppies who often do it naturally but not as easy to teach an adult dog. I noticed Beckett stretching his legs behind him and decided this would be a fun time to introduce the clicker. Usually I try to just click for the behavior when the dog offers something close to what I am looking for but in this video there was more clicking than I would or should normally do since I wanted to introduce him to the click rewarding what I was looking for with an immediate treat. In teaching this position a click would be done for moving hind legs back or out but NOT crawling. Beckett was very good at picking this up and by the last time he seemed to offer this quickly. Soon this position will be named.
VIDEO 3: Beckett is 9 weeks old and is learning the "in a box" trick. This is a great exercise for balance and rear legs awareness.
VIDEO 4: Beckett was introduced to balance discs and the wobble board when he was 8 weeks old through tugging around and near the discs (see Video 1). This is his second time with the discs and no toys and making the choices to get on the discs. Great exercises for balance and proprioception development.
VIDEO 5: Beckett is just 10 weeks old when this video was taken (8/5/16). We play on the discs every other day. I was not going to introduce him to the donut since I thought was too high and a little unstable, but he just jumped up on it with great confidence. Also a wonderful surprise to see how he just stepped on that paw pod.
VIDEO 6: Beckett's fun tricks: FROG position progression for stretching; perch work/pivot; 4 feet in a box progression and adding a bowl; 2 paw pods.
VIDEO 7: Beckett learning how to stay focused on interacting and playing with me outside. Most of his work has been inside.