The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

24 July 2012

He's enormous

I took Kaline's 13-week photo yesterday, finally remembering that maybe I should take these things from the same angle every week. Check this out! A comparison of Kaline at 9 weeks and at 13 weeks:

He's so huge! Look at those crazy long legs.

He used to fit on one step.
Yesterday Kaline got his first little taste of crowd work. It wasn't intentional, but it ended up being a great beginner crowd for a pup. This pup anyway! Mom had this brilliant idea to go to a small gathering of food trucks over by Willows Market. The gathering itself ended up being disappointing: cramped, my favorite food truck wasn't there, the ones that were there were subpar, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised with Kaline!

There weren't that many people, but they were all packed in the long, narrow space between the trucks and the market. So it was kind of a baby crowd. Kaline handled it superbly. (I hated being in it, baby crowd or not. I hate crowds, and unfortunately Kaline is not big enough or trained enough to really help me in one.) But at least he was cool—if he hadn't been, we'd have had to hang on the periphery for more than one reason.

Kaline met a baby, and was great with her, super gentle. The way the dad introduced the two of them annoyed me a little, and reminded me of an article I read once, on the crazy crap people let their kids do to their dogs, and proudly say, “He'll let them do anything with him.” (And then eventually the dog has enough of it and bites someone. Here is a similar article.)

This man just plopped his child down in front of my puppy, who he'd never met before, without asking. (Luckily I was paying attention.) And then, when Kaline was licking the baby's face and she clearly didn't want him to, I redirected him and put him in a sit; yet the dad kept insisting the baby was fine with being slurped. She clearly liked having her hand kissed better than her face. Like many dog people, I don't get why people think it's acceptable either for dogs to invade children's space, or children to invade dogs' space, willy nilly.

Kaline also met a bunch of adult men who were very lovely to him and complimented his ears. (I have not yet met a person who thinks he'd look better cropped. Everyone says, “Oh, I'm so glad you left his ears alone!”) When we were in line for food, he just downed by my feet and dozed there, oblivious to all the big feet around him. At our table, he again lay down, with Juno this time, and calmly chilled under the table. Good puppy.

Juno and Kaline under the table.
Both dogs did well at training today, though Juno's down-stay-breaking continues. How can you get mad at her, though, when after she breaks she comes over and squeezes her head between your legs? She's so damn cute.

With Kaline, I worked on heeling and recalls, his two weaker areas, as well as attention, which he's good at. It was hot and we were doing recalls partially in the sun; after three pretty decent ones, he'd had it. Freddie could tell, and just told me to give him water and put him up. I really need to work on knowing when to work through something, and when to just stop for a bit, with Kaline. (With Juno, the answer is almost always “work through it,” because she's an experienced adult.) I always tell people, and now I have to take my own advice: You have to have different, and reasonable, expectations for young puppies.

Heeling went okay, and will definitely get easier as Kaline gets taller. Which he's doing at an alarming rate, of course. I have to make sure I don't turn into the puppy as we're halting, and try to get him to sit up with me, rather than rocking back into his sit (same problem as we have on the recalls).

His attention was excellent, especially for a baby as young as he is. At training, there are lots of distractions—dogs, both silent and annoyingly whiny/barky; grass; trees; leaves; the wind; sounds of kids playing on the playground nearby; multiple people with bait bags; the list goes on. But when we worked on sit and down stays, Kaline was pretty darn focused for a pup! I can go the length of the leash away from him when facing him; I can go in a complete circle around him, both directions; and I can stand behind him without him breaking his stay, either kind. Little smarty pants!

Juno and I did a lot of heeling work, along with Kristin and Ben. Juno is actually better at left about turns, which at least in my view require tougher footwork from the dog, than she is at regular about turns, where she always lags. She did well at transitions and at the moving stand. Remote sits and downs, with verbal and without, went pretty well too. One of Juno's favorite games, haha.

Both dogs got to have playtime in the sprinklers with Ben and Phi. Kaline is smitten with Phi and was chasing her all over the place. Juno just chased whoever was moving at that particular time. Both dogs also did really well in our abnormally crowded car—they were in the front, Juno on the seat and Kaline in the footspace, while on the backseat we had two poodle-mixes and a Golden, and in the backseat footspace we had Baxter. (Kaline had a grand play session with him in the afternoon; see video below.) I thought six dogs in the car would be utter chaos but we really didn't have any issues.

Terrifying thought of the day: Things like training really used to tire Kaline out, to the point where he'd need a couple-hour nap. Now he sleeps for maybe an hour, if you're lucky, and then he's raring to go again. He recovers way too fast! Thank goodness for bully sticks and pressed rawhide chews.

Asleep in the car.

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