Friday, January 21, 2011

Ziggy update-5 months

So, Zig has so far successfully completed puppy kindergarten, puppy intermediate, and is in puppy agility foundations. He's a good little worker. He was way more distracted in puppy intermediate than in pk or at agility class, I think because he knew playtime was imminent, or because there was a super-sketch puppy (8 months) in  that class that jumped him twice (the second time was totally due to the trainer's bad judgement and my own, damn). He's the picture of focus at agility foundations. So cute.

So far, he's the kind of pup who can work for an hour straight. He prefers food rewards but will work for special toys or play time with mom more and more. He is a bit inhibited at first to play so we work on it in short spurts (this is out and about, at home play is no problem).

He's finally figuring out shaping-am working on him lowering his head in between his paws and he's getting it quickly. He got two on two off on the contact object quickly. He will throw behaviors at me if he's not sure what I want, which is cute, but need to work on thinking more and not just going thru his repertoire.

My main concerns at this point are: a bit of insecurity around groups of new dogs (he defaults to herding type behavior if he gets stressed). A tendency to food-guard against the other dogs (with chewies in kennel, not if training in groups). A tendency to focus a lot on playtime with his siblings and less with me (my fault). Ongoing socialization with strangers-just need to keep it up. A tendency to startle at sudden environmental changes-the garbage can at class spooked him but we worked through it. He's still obsessed with plastic objects and trading happens multiple times a day.

He's still a shrimp but is up to about 30 lbs, I am happy for him to get his weight slowly and stay rangey, less stress on growing joints.

Would like to start him in a rally class but having trouble finding one...the only one at HGL where we have been training is on a night I work late. Maybe at his agility basics facility?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011