How quickly they become a part of our lives. I adore Asher, he just has that special quality that ‘fits’ with me, I can’t explain it, he’s definitely my dog. That doesn’t mean that he’s perfect or easy, but he’s a fabulous boy. I’m really excited to see who he grows up to be, he’s changed so much just in the time he’s been with me. It’s crazy how quickly dogs grow up, just a week’s difference and they’re like a whole new dog.
Asher continues to have no friends, he continues to push with my dogs and gets himself into trouble all the time. Thankfully Bright is there to police him, if Haku tells him to bugger off, Bright is right there to make sure Asher actually listens. And if he doesn’t she will correct him, and he does run off crying … and is back at it within a minute or two. So we can say that he’s a resilient little shit. Asher continues to be stiff and postures with new dogs, though he does tend to slowly relax once he gets to know them a bit better. He’s definitely not making friends, but he can become less of an ass with exposure. Thankfully he also chilled out with his siblings, they had a get together and they all did well together for the most part, and actually had some normal play interactions. As I thought he’d be the worst with them, that’s encouraging.
I don’t care if Asher is not interested in meeting other dogs, it’s not a requirement – but he does need to learn how to not be an ass around them (my dogs in particular). Right now I just assume he’ll chill as he gets older assuming he does continue to get some positive experiences – or Bright beats him into being polite, one of the two. It’s his biggest flaw at the moment, and I’m not sure how much he’ll just grow out of. At the same time he is now getting more bold and interested in chasing and biting my dogs when they’re running, which is so not helping things either.
Asher likes people, and he’s very soft and sweet around them. He likes everyone but isn’t frantic or obnoxious about it (yet, anyway). He’s still very aware of where I am even with other people around and continues to have a good recall away from people as well. He’s very popular with the public, I find it interesting that different puppies seem to get more public approval than others – Asher gets a lot. Maybe because he looks like a giant aussie puppy. Oh, which reminds me – there is a 10 week old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy in one of my classes – weighs less than Asher. Good lord that’s a big puppy, and he’s not slowing down, that’s for sure. He is getting more coordinated, though he still moves like a sack of potatoes. Being such a big puppy, he could get up on the couch from day one though. So, benefits? Thankfully, he has been thoughtful about his body and doesn’t do anything too crazy. Dove and Navarre were WAY nuttier at this age. I’m really glad Asher is taking it easy.
We’ve made a lot of strides in our communication this week. He has really turned on to training and the lightbulb has switched on – that is one operant puppy. He loves to offer behavior and can learn and problem solve very quickly … when you can get his attention. He’s a smart little thing, and generalizes and progresses quickly once he’s caught on. It’s always so amazing when they go from knowing nothing to knowing so much in such a short period of time.
Asher likes training and he’s getting better all the time at being less frustrated and more problem solving. OMG, getting his giant butt on a platform was the hardest thing, he is definitely not ‘in’ his body, so getting him to actually have to think about doing something even vaguely precise with it was super hard. He definitely prefers to ‘throw’ himself at things instead. He can now get onto a SMALL platform, though he’s not so good at sitting up there yet. I do think that it made a world of difference with Navarre to do a lot of coordination behaviors from a young age, so the hope is that it will help with Asher too.
I don’t really remember what he knew last week, but this week have worked on:
- Back (he can go about 10 feet!)
- Platform Pivot (only one direction with one rotation)
- Four feet on a small platform
- Get in a box – big box
- Recall through legs
- Hand touch
- Paw target
- Wave with both paws
- Spin in both directions
We needed to do nails, so we did a crash course in ‘hey-hey, shhhh’ which is pretty much just being soft and rewarding him for going soft as well and then marking that stillness. And that let us get through his nails, rewarding each one. He wasn’t overly concerned about the actual nail trimming, but being still is a new one to him. We also just started working on introducing the stay, which I do with some reverse luring, he’s kind of got it in the living room. We’ll test it out hiking tomorrow and see if we can get some posed pictures.
So far, he’s fun to train, really enjoys the process and doesn’t get sensitive or worried. He’s not as much of a nerd about it as Navarre, but he’s still fairly serious and thoughtful about it all.
He still enjoys playing, he also really likes frisbee rollers, but still his favorite is probably small round fuzzy squeak toys. He loves to chase and run, though not always to the side of my body that I want. We have been doing less toys when he comes in briefly during classes, as it’s so convenient to use food to make sure he’s eating enough. He very much enjoys the freeze dried raw and that makes up the majority of his food at the moment. I haven’t attempted actual raw food since he was so horrified about it when I tried it initially. We played around with some different kibbles, yet came back to Victor again. My dogs just do well on it, from puppy to adult.
The cats have remained fairly standoffish with him, but he’s being pretty well behaved around them, especially Fizban who doesn’t tend to hide from him. Fizban will also sleep on the bed when he does, which the other dogs mostly won’t – ha! I don’t know why, as they will let him cuddle up with them on the outside beds. Sometimes he won’t stop partying though, so he gets the crate next to the bed – but he doesn’t mind too much. He can be sweet and cuddly in the morning, but I always assume he needs to go out at that point. Oh, and he can get on the bed! I have a tall bed, so I got the dogs a bench at the foot of the bed to make it easier for them to get off and on – and he just climbs right up. That is one large puppy …
We have been on a leash a few times, but he still really has no clue about it. I took him to the big dog show when Navarre was showing over the weekend, but I didn’t want him walking around with all those dogs. I carried that giant puppy all over the place. He seemed to find it interesting, I tried to let him watch all the ‘weird’ dogs, the hairy ones, the big ones, the ones with no noses or sound weird. He just took it all in, no worries. I did let him walk around in the obedience area (as no one goes there!). He did great and loved to train and play and visit. He remains pretty solid, though he was a little weird today with people in hats for whatever reason.
He also remains pretty cute, but getting gradually more and more fugly. Both of his ears have rosed and they’re very cute. I don’t expect a lot of ear adventures, but I think his earset is perfect for him. I’m finding the whole red thing to be cuter all the time. At least, when it’s Asher.
As for the other dogs, I think they’re at least getting more resigned to Asher, if not particularly friendly. Navarre seemed to be acting out by getting in trouble all week. One day I left the arena to go get something out of my car and I come back and he had left the arena and broken into someone’s bag and was eating their treats! So I rescue what was left of the treats and put him back in the arena, and he managed to get the treats AGAIN. Bad dog! And anything we attempted to work on he was not really listening. Oh, the drama. Didn’t help we had thunderstorms this week, which he’s not super phobic about, but he doesn’t like them. So more sensitive Navarre. Next week we’re going to spend the 4th at the arena to try to stay away from a lot of fireworks, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing them for weeks anyway.
I pulled Haku from the USBCHA trial in July, I just don’t feel like it’s fair to him. He may be able to do it, but he just seems like he’s lost confidence. He’s still super happy to do it, and today we just drove sheep all around the field with me right behind him, and that helped him out. I could fade off a bit, but it didn’t take much before he started slowing down and checking back with me again. Just weird he’s regressed so much. It’s official, he’s not retired, but we no longer have goals, we’re working with what we’ve got – and what we’ve got is not always consistent. I feel okay with it though, and I think it’s the right choice.
Because I had already paid for the entry I told Ian he could run Navarre in Haku’s place, so we’ll see how that goes. I assume they’ll run in Ranch and he SHOULD be able to do it, if not smoothly. I swear every week Ian tells me that Navarre is in a ‘difficult training stage’. Yeah, I think that’s been happening for four years. Ian remains confident that by this winter Navarre will be ready for prime time. Today though … so much arguing. Navarre most definitely thinks he knows best, no matter who is running him. Yet he still thinks it’s just the best, so, hey we’ll continue. Dave is gone until later this summer, so that’s a good thing. I don’t know if I need to spend this much money to have people yell at Navarre around sheep, yet I really don’t want to start working with him. So, we’ll see. Asher is my great hope for herding now.
Agility trial next weekend, just one day, I think Robert is running Navarre, or at least we talked about it. He’s entered at 24, and Robert is running him in class these days since his older guy has some health issues. Bright will be SO HAPPY to run, I think. Then I need to enter Navarre in another obedience trial and start working on his go-outs.