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Showing posts from October, 2013

APDT Confrence

A fantastic opportunity came my direction when Carol owner of Diamonds in the Ruff contacted me and let me know that Grisha Stewart, one of the top trainers and authors in the world, wanted 10 puppies for a lecture she was hosting.  I of course volunteered Malcolm who was in that perfect age for socializing with new people and going to new places.

Two new trainers were assigned to each puppy and were instructed on how to do a certain type of training technique with the puppy to keep them engaged and teach them basics such as Zen, Sit and Recall.  It was an amazing experience!

I was so excited I left an hour early and took Malcolm to the vet office to weigh him.  He weighed in at 21.2 pounds!  It was a typical Saturday at the office (busier than any other time I have taken him) and Malcolm was a bit taken aback by all of the dogs he was not allowed to interact with.  I had stuffed my pockets with about half of his lunch.  He walked to the potty area outside of the clinic with little t…

10 Weeks: Training - Days 11 - 14

I feel like a first time mom again.  Sleepless nights, endless hours of ALMOST getting something done and constantly splitting my attention on the newborn and what I need to get done.  It's an adjustment period between the newborn and the mother - a learning of each other's routines and methods of communication - and I think I am moving back into experienced mom mode.

Malcolm is a shock to the system after soft Emma.  Emma came to me weeks older (she was 14 weeks old when she arrived) and 90% house broken.  She was soft natured and loving and people oriented.  She was playful and constantly chewing on something, but unlike Malcolm, she could easily be redirected and respected the adult dogs body space.  She was easy to tether to me and lead about and paid attention to me more than what she could get into her mouth.  Malcolm is nothing like her - which I love and sometimes miss that easier puppy that I raised last winter.  I am so glad Attitude is not here to deal with Malcolm…

Continued Socialization

Its hard to believe how fast he's growing.  Between the October 10th, 2013 when I adopted him and October 19th, 2013 he went from 14 pounds to 17.4 pounds!  What an increase in weight and height.  His nose is longer and he's looking more and more like a German Shepherd each day.  His back end is growing stronger and he's walking more upright and showing that typical young Shepherd knock kneed stride as he bullets around.  He's sleeping less and playing more and his curiosity increases day by day, which means he's constantly on the outlook for more input.

On our second weekend together We had a load of planned events for him.  Saturday was primarily my catching up and getting a better rhythm with him regarding his going out.  On Friday night he clawed the door and vocalized he needed to go outside.  I quickly let him out and he promptly pooped.  We are well on our way to house breaking at this point.  He's still in the "ooops, I was playing and forgot to a…

9 weeks: Training - Days 6 - 10

Training a service dog puppy starts with building a solid foundation.  Not only in the basic skills needed for good obedience, but in the social skills to handle the stress of the job.  I could train Malcolm everything he needs to know in my living room.  He can learn sit, down, stay and come in my home.  He can learn to walk by my side, work with the wheelchair and even retrieve items for me in my home, but unless I have given him a chance to work those same skills out of my home he will be of little use to me.

Even more, if all of his early training happens in my home he will not know how to behave or deal with the world outside of it and may become fearful.  In a service dog the last thing we want is a dog who is fearful of his working environment.  Thus, I have started and will continue early education with him both in and out of the home.  This is week two of his training and socialization.


He's a smart tat, but so full of energy.  He plays hard and sleeps hard right n…