Dylan's Journey 12-16 Weeks Old
Where are we?
Where are we going in these coming weeks - GOALS
- Socialization: Perhaps one of the most important things we need to do with our puppies since the foundation is laid from birth - 12 then 16 weeks. Karen did great socialization with the puppies with frequent visits by children and adults. When Dylan arrived we had 9 people for Thanksgiving and that was great. Otherwise without his 12 weeks shots we were limited and I would not take him to big stores in a wagon for reasons I do not need to share. He did however get to me individual people and children without being on the ground very frequently.
- Great work so far on coming to reinforcement zone - the starting place for all performance sports and support for no pull leash walking.
- Balance disc work for body awareness
- Hand touches and target touches
- It's Your Choice including from crate games
- Crate games: likes his crate and seems to know this is where he gets good things
- Collar grab
- RECALLS are awesome so far in house and outside in side yard with another person; also restrained recalls. We do at least 12 recalls a day both inside and outside. Today at new place with new person.
- Sit at door and waiting for meals until released
- To HOT ZONE chair (called "spot"); Seek game from HOT ZONE; and quiet at front door.
- Looking at me
- Starting scent work with intro to odor "birch". Just introduced odor in boxes. Working with 2 boxes. No word connected to the search yet.
- Has not gotten the idea of the retrieve but coming along
- Loves the pivot dish and moves freely around it following my lead; just started being able to come to my right and left side (names both -- "place" for the right; "side" for the left. He seems to almost understand "Place". He also seems to know that any time he comes to me he is to come to either side.
- Loose leash walking coming along but cannot walk with me when we try to include Beckett in a walk.
- Grooming (especially dremmel) not great. Started feeding his food and now going to try this with his lunch so positive associate with dremmel; not afraid of noise but does not like feet touched. MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE.
- Working away from me at small distances: cone and plank
- Lovely square sit on his own; does it nicely on plank
- Potty training mostly good especially if we listen to him.
- Just started working on him taking afternoon nap in a crate in another room so he becomes accustom to being alone for time knowing we will return.
Where are we going in these coming weeks - GOALS
- First and foremost is our relationship..... fostering his love to work, play and trust me. He currently seems to be very good with his focus of me and loving to work with me, trying to do exactly what is asked. Often he does the correct behavior on the 2nd day. :)
- Recalls are critical and will remain a focus of our work. We are currently on Day 7 of the Susan Garrett's recall program. The goal of this week is to continue to build lots of value for not only whomever calls but coming when called even if distractions and not seeing the person calling. Have increased the value of the treat being given for harder recalls to be cooked chicken.
- We have built great value for the crate and will continue to advance the it's your choice with the crate and being a gambler. Dylan loves these crate games and knows there are several crates and the x-pen that are called "HOME".
- Continuing to build work on the "PLACE" .. at my left side when called for recalls or on pivot dish when the word "place is used".. Place is the STARTING POINT for all set-ups and when done on the pivot dish also is the correct heel position is. To remain balanced we also do recalls and teach on the pivot returning to the right side and call this "SIDE."
- Supporting and building value with a treat for the quiet SIT when going out a door. When the front door is used this is done with the SPOT chair.
- Scent Work: Since this is so important due to the eventual transition to the scent articles we do this twice a day. Dylan is now working on identifying odor in one of 2 containers and we practice this from a relax bagel.
- Working on retrieve with a ball for fun at while waiting for breakfast.
- Working daily on his dremmel skills along with brushing, grooming and picking up feet. He will relax and let me now dremmel if I hold him close and feed on the grooming areas.
- Potty training is coming along well.
- Just started working on and supporting correct positions: SIT...he has had a tight sit and used it when he arrived at 8 weeks. No concept of DOWN so working on that with the goal of no forward movement and having it be a FOLD-BACK DOWN.... mostly his legs are not correct and he is sitting on his hip but now we are working on the down and no forward movement. Sometimes his hind legs are correct. When I put the jump bar in front of him he will now just on his own go down... highly rewarded so he does what he things we are going to do. Also working on the STAND.
- Introducing the dumbbell with play and just holding the bar correctly rather than the bell. No serious work.. just play when DB offered.
- Since he is bigger now I just expanded the outside area he can be in: Today (12/20/23) he was allowed out on the large front porch with Beckett on a long line. Went well. For the first time did recalls in our courtyard off leash.. Both went very well as long as we were involved.
- Continue work with "focus on me", hand touches which he loves.
- LOTS OF PLAY ... plays with Beckett several times a day including in the doggie gym before bedtime. I play with him with tugs and lots of praise. Play in doggie gym.
- Play with balance discs offering new configurations for his balance, fitness and proprioception. He loves the play in the doggie gym. Now pushes a ball and has progressed on this so well where other BCs have had trouble..... of course this was offered with they were much older.
- SOCIALIZATION whenever possible due to only having had his 2nd group of shots. Third will be January 22nd, 2024.
- AND so important is good behavior in the house...no destroying anything. I do not believe in the "naughty dog" phrase....like it is the dog's fault for destroying or chewing something he should not have. As Susan Garrett always has said, "there are no bad dogs, just bad trainers and puppies with tons of energy." My dogs live in our house and have NEVER destroyed or chewed something that was ours. The worse was Myst loved to pull toilet paper and run with it.
VIDEO 1: This is Dylan's 5th day on odor and the AKC birch. Each time we warm up with an individual tin with odor then one tin with odor and one without. Yesterday he was introduced to containers. Started with smaller ones and since they are so unstable on the ground held then and quickly showed him the larger containers. This is the size he will be using for scent articles only taller however articles will not be introduced for some time. The container game will be played with many variations and more containers.
Picture of containers used: tins for the scented Q-tip which has one drop of birch on 1 Q-tip. Containers need to be marked as Hot or with scent name after used and only used for the odor. Other containers never having odor are used as comparison. Q-tip must be stored in container when no used.
Containers need to have holes in them for the odor to escape. Again once used they can only be used for that odor and must be marked. The larger container is the one that will eventually be used for the scent articles. Usually I get a package of them so as the dog progresses more containers are used.
VIDEO 2: Dylan visits 2 friends (Vibe and Joy) who have great fenced yard in the Flagstaff woods. First time off leash or long line in big open space... Did Great recalls and had fun running and playing with these new friends that someday will be hiking friends.
VIDEO 3: Dylan helps develop balance and proprioception in his doggie gym. He is 13 months old.
VIDEO 4: Outdoor Fun Combo: Could not resist making this video in our amazing 65 degree winter weather which in a few days will become cold and rainy. Started working on this fun sequence yesterday combining: working on crate games outside; it's. your choice; going to a spot or place to stay and settle; around a cone for away from me work; wait; recall to my correct side position called "place" and ending with hand touches.
VIDEO 5: Dylan meets the slack line. The slack line is always for fun and balance. Since Dylan has loved all the discs and things in the doggie gym and runs and enjoys them on his own I thought I would introduce one of the two slack lines. Both lines are used for the dog to use all 4 feet on and Dylan is not quite ready for this since he still has very little hind end awareness. This video shows his first introduction to one line.
VIDEO 6:Walking Peanut. This exercise is one of Chris Zink's STRENGTH AND PROPRIOCEPTION EXERCISES for hind legs. Many of these videos. I put up as my record of where puppy Dylan is and what he offers to do or trains at his age. The once called "circus dog trick" is fun and Dylan often looks for it to roll and move on when he is free playing in the doggie gym so it was moved outside to see how he would do with any distractions namely the courtyard where he is not allowed to run free due to all the plants.
VIDEO 7: Puppy Scent Work 3: Again, I am keeping a record of our progress since with the previous 2 BCs using these containers I have no record of their very early progress and the most active web page I have is how I taught scent articles. Now I can refer those people to how to start with a puppy. We were using 2 containers and after a few days it looked like he was finally beginning to recognize oder by going to one box and smelling and then moving on to the correct one. He did try early on to use his feet but picked. up the box so he had to indicate with his nose. When we was doing this correctly added a 3rd box which he has done well with using 3 home locations. Today we tried a new place at a Sedona tennis court with distractions of my friend and then tennis players coming... you will see the car passing by. He did well but our time was cut short by the tennis players now needing the courts.
VIDEO 8: Dylan and Beckett Playing. I worried that Beckett might not like the puppy especially since he was a male. I considered a slow introduction after a few weeks as recommended but Beckett wanted to meet and interact with Dylan right away and on Day 3 they were starting to tug. This is a recent video of their floor play which is my favorite to watch. Beckett is such a good and kind big brother.
VIDEO 9: Advancing Scent Work Now that Dylan Clearly Understands Odor: Dylan is 15 weeks old and was introduced to odor at 10 weeks. We have progressed adding boxes as his recognition of the birch odor grew stronger. He now starts with 4 containers and goes to 6 with different configurations: circle, straight line, double line and horizontal line. He really enjoys scent work and is now doing single box searches.
The purpose of scent work is the recognition of odor for in the near future adding an article. He learns to recognize odor and I have found that the dogs easily transition to their article I have scented. We stay with articles for a long time as a fun indoor game.
Also, scent work makes a good opportunity to introduce the puppy to the competition environment without pushing him. We could choose just containers to enter since they are very familiar with him using them as fun for so long.
CLOSING OUT 2023 with a few special videos. Dylan is 15 week old and loves to interact, play and learn with me. What a joy and tribute to Karen Herceg for this special amazing breeding.
VIDEO 10: MY FAVORITE VIDEO - DYLAN'S FIRST DUMBBELL RETRIEVES
What I like most about this video is Dylan's enthusiasm for the dumbbell retrieve. Secondly he automatically does tight turns and wants to do more even when I had thought we were finished. This courtyard area is a new off leash area where I thought he might be distracted but he was totally into interacting with me. This closes out one of our final videos documenting what fun and interaction we did in his first year with me at age 15 weeks.
Never expected the retrieve but only to hold DB correctly and not chew on the bar.
J. Paul Scott (1958) in writing about " the Critical Periods in a Puppies Development" writes that one of the critical periods in a puppies life is 8-12 weeks.The puppies trainability and learning is operating a full capacity. This marks when the puppy will learn fast and furious. He writes that perhaps the most important single response during this period is learning to FETCH. Based on this we focused on simple bring a favorite ball to me with a reward. It was very easy to transition to the dumbbell especially starting with reward for taking it and not chewing on it but hold and drop.
VIDEO 11: POSITIONS: TUCK SIT, FOLD BACK DOWN, STAND. Dylan came with a lovely fairly tight sit thanks to his breeder Karen Herceg. He had never down a down and I had not planned on working on this for some time since I read for the sit and down puppies have to develop strength in their legs to do these correctly. However after watching 2 excellent trainers work with their 8-10 week old puppies on this I decided to try this with Dylan. The goal is to teach it correctly and prevent forward movement... thus the tuck sit and fold back down. Dylan liked to down on one of his hips so after rewarding his initials downs we just repeated the down from the stand until it was correct and tried very hard to use the correct hand position so not to push him over on a hip and then gave huge praise and special treats.
Now that Dylan understands what a STAND is I started teaching him the KICKBACK STAND which he picked up quickly since he has great hand touches and now understands the word "stand".