Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Puppy Foundation Preparation

I've been studying the Kennel Club Good Citizen - Puppy Foundation course, in an effort to get Ellie prepared for it. This is the training course we will be starting as soon as we've finished the training course we're on now.

Exercise 1 - Reponsibility and Care
We are unable to practise for that.

Exercise 2 - Cleanliness and Identification
I always carry poop bags out with me, though I've only ever needed them once, and that was yesterday, after Ellie's usual feeding routine was interrupted by Sunday's trip 'Up Norf'. Usually, she toilets at home, as regular as clockwork.

Exercise 3 - Attentive Response to Name
I'm 100% confident of this already.

Exercise 4 - Play With the Puppy
I'm 98% confident of this aready. My 1% of doubt is only brought about because she sometimes gets over-excited still and accidentally mouths. We also haven't taught a release command for anything other than her tennis ball, for which we use "out" and she is 100% reliable.

Exercise 5 - Socialisation
I grow more confident of this by the day. (See end of post.)

Exercise 6 - Handling and Inspection to Maintain Health
We can pracfise more on this, particuarly with brushing, as she likes to mouth the brush all the time. But other than that, quite confident. She's certainly happy to have any body part handled.

Exercise 7 - Puppy Recall
100% confident. Her recall is spectacular - especially for her age. I can't remember the last time she failed to come back to me when called.

Exercise 8 - Basic Puppy Positions
100% confident of success.

Exercise 9 - Walking in a Controlled Manner
100% confident of success.

Exercise 10 - Stay for Approximately Ten Seconds
I've been practising this out on the playing field. She will currently stay for seven backward paces. Not sure how long that is, but I'm sure it's about ten seconds.

Exercise 11 - Take Article Away from the Puppy
Practise needed on this.

Exercise 12 - Food Manners
Practise needed on this.

Her socialising is improving. When I walked her today, we first had to pass a curious Poodle which was off-leash. The Poodle approached her while she was on-leash. It seemed quite well-mannered, and so I continued to walk past with Ellie. No growl or bark.

As we then turned the corner, a lady was walking what looked like a Staffordshire cross, off leash. Ellie began to pull forward, in an effort to catch it up for play I think. I turned around, which is what I always do if she walks in front of me. I then regained control and we went onto the field. The Staffie was quite ahead of us by that time.

As we started playing ball, the Staffie had walked around and approached Ellie. Ellie stood still and let it sniff her. I then gave a "let's play", and she instantly focused back on me, leaving the Staffie behind her. Again, there was no growling or barking. I really do think that she's getting more confident now.

The above photos were taken today, as we played ball. The second is where she's eagerly waiting for the ball to be thrown. Bless her, she'd sell her soul for that ball, I'm sure of it.

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