Overdue Chispa Update

Well, getting back in to “regular” training has taken longer than I would have hoped, when it comes to Chispa. When I got her home from the puppy watcher that had her when I was in Spain, she was FAT. Roly poly puppy! I wasn't clear enough with my feeding instructions; I shouldn't have specified a set amount per day, but rather, instructed the babysitter to feel her ribs every day and play it accordingly. I really want my puppies to have enough calories to survive and grow, but JUST enough. My fault. She came home fat, and also with a vague, hard to pinpoint front end lameness. I think. I had to squint, but I'm pretty sure it was there. She spends a lot of time sliding around the house on the floors on her side (and looking like she's having a blast doing it), so I figured maybe she bruised something, but really, she hadn't been any more vigorous around the house. And, given that she looks REALLY stubby and ready to POP (grow baby grow!), I'm guessing she's got some growing pains.

So, I put really active training on hold til I could take some weight off of her and see what a few days of reduced rations and reduced activity would do for her. And, what do you know, she seems fine now. And, thinner.

I have continued to work on the behaviors we were working on last Friday – I continued working on having her put one object in to another, and switched to more difficult objects: a set of keys in to a metal bowl. The keys themselves aren't as pleasant to pick up as a toy, and dropping them in to a metal bowl makes noise. So, it's a little more difficult for her, but, she picked it up easily. It was actually a little easier for ME, because the keys jingled every time she touched them, and picking them up progressed smoothly after just a couple treats given for mouthing at them or touching them with her nose to make them jingle.

We also continued working on perchwork with her front feet, and transferred it to a bit of heeling, where she stays pretty well plastered to my side.

(yes, I will put video of both of the above videos up here on the blog, this weekend, even though I promised it LAST weekend…sigh)

And, just yesterday, I finally picked up running contact training again with Chispa. Oh, and she bit me in the butt a couple days ago as well, when I was trying to get her from one tunnel to another. She went in the one tunnel, and I took off, did a blind cross, intending to have her grab a toy I was holding. Well….the toy was kind of behind me and not yet to my side, and so she launched right in to it, and to my backside. Yeeeouch! I need to run faster. Already. And she's barely 18.5″ tall. This is going to be a wild ride 🙂

Anyway, the running contact training. I'm taking a couple of online classes to see if the information has changed much since I taught Solar, and really, it hasn't. But, I'm enjoying revisiting the information myself, and the ORDER of things I teach this time around is a bit different. First things first, though, getting her to LEAVE me. She's REALLY interested in me. Running toward me, launching toward me, bringing me a toy, grabbing my ankles with her feet while she's got a toy in her mouth, licking me, looking at me…and so, not surprisingly, running AWAY from me to a remote controlled treat dispenser that is a few feet away is not her strong suit….YET.

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