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

31 August 2012

Training games and outings

Kaline got quite the workout yesterday—lots of individual attention at training, because I am already trying to cram him for the CGC on September 17.
Kaline and Juno with our addition for the day, Rocky. He is the only designer poodle-mix I actually enjoy working. Such a love!!

Before training, we had a fairly amusing encounter on our big Palo Alto pack walk. Amusing to me, anyway. We were about to cross the street (me and five dogs) when we saw two people, each getting yanked along by a Boxer in a harness. Each human had the leash wrapped several times around his or her fist, which is unsafe in general but seemed like a supremely bad idea in this case. Clearly the Boxers were not under control, so we remained a safe distance behind and I treated Kaline frequently for looking to me, instead of the dogs.

Then we heard a commotion up ahead—a white fluffy purse rat, at the end of its leash and also in a completely ineffective harness, was yapping and lunging at the two Boxers, whose owners were still a leash-length away and trying to hold their dogs back. Finally, the dogs were all extricated; the yapper was silenced momentarily. Then the puntable turned and saw my five dogs, waiting beside me (I sure wasn't wading into that mess).

It looked at us consideringly, taking in a breath. I looked at the dog (not the owners, so they'd take it as a semi-joke) and said, "Don't even THINK about it." The owners pulled the tiny reactive beast to the side and we passed unscathed. I was just amused that this dog was willing to take on the Boxers but not my guys. Hehe.

I ran Kaline through most of his paces at training, with a lot of emphasis on loose-leash walking. To some people that implies the dog can have all six feet of leash, as long as he's not pulling. To me, it means Kaline needs to walk beside me, but doesn't have to have precise positioning or watch my face constantly, just check in periodically. I made lots of turns and zigzagged all over the place, which usually seems to get him in the rhythm.

We also worked on his retrieving; he's picking up the objects and (mostly) bringing them back reliably, so now Freddie has me walking off while he has the toy, and trying to get him to walk with me while holding on to it. Not much of a problem so far for the Doberman Retriever! Hurrah. Other areas we focused on were: spontaneous eye contact; remote sits and down; flip finishes; and turns in place (also known as the Finding Heel Game).

I came home to find that San Mateo County hadn't issued Kaline's SD tag (they don't differentiate between SDs and SDITs) because I was not specific enough about how he does his tasks (or will do them). I don't know how much more specific than "retrieves dropped items" they really need, but I was pretty angry, since I had sent in Juno's paperwork the same way and gotten the tag without issues. So I typed up two full pages in condescending detail of how each task is performed, and sent it off. Then to cool down, Kaline and I accompanied Mom to two grocery stores.

Again, we were working a lot on walking nicely and on spontaneous attention. I didn't try to stop him from air scenting or looking around, because unlike Juno, it's not like he's been in a bunch of grocery stores before. It's all pretty new to him, so it's understandable he would do that. We just were quick and positive, lots of treats for looking at me and keeping pace with me.

At the first store, we got one of those people who ask prying questions. I now have stock answers for most of those. We got to the one that is so annoying: "You don't look disabled." I replied, "Not all disabilities are visible." She responded by patting me as if I were a small child and cooing, "It's okay, you're doing just fiiiiiiiine." I restrained myself from smacking her.

Next store we got an absolutely lovely woman who couldn't stop complimenting Kaline on his handsomeness and his lovely manners. She had never seen a Doberman with natural ears before and though he looked so nice. Win.
Kaline not sniffing candy at Draeger's.

Today we worked more on the remote down, and Kaline didn't realize it, but we were really working on a foundation for his drop on recall!

Juno and I couldn't play the game properly at the special class, because I didn't have a toy for her (we just used a marker word and treats). But tonight Kaline was all rambunctious, so we went down to play fetch, and I got the marvelous idea of playing the drop game with him.

He caught on really fast that raising my hand means I want him to lie down (he's also pretty much got it that the verbal cue, regardless of hand signal, means down). So I'd pretend to throw the toy, then shoot my hand in the air, give the verbal cue, and he'd drop. And then you throw the toy behind them, they fetch it, and you start the game again. It worked like a charm! We had a great time and he got re-tired out. (Re-tired because they had three pack walks in the morning.)
On our third pack walk, a pretty one.

The pups have basically been chilling today since the walks, except for the fetch session with Kaline. He was awesome at our tdoc appointment, settling nearly as fast as Juno!
At our tdoc appointment (the office is dog friendly, so they only wear vests occasionally).

Oh, and I will post a video of this at some point: Kaline chews hard things like an old man with bad dentures, and it is hilarious. It's because he's losing and growing teeth all the time. His lower jaw does this funny quivering thing as he tries to get the food between whatever teeth are available. My mom does an excellent impression of it.

29 August 2012

Open Foundation Class

Dog of supreme awesomeness.

Tonight Juno got some quality alone fun time! An obedience club was having an Open Foundation Class (i.e. a class where you get advice and get to work on various aspects of Open-level obedience) in Santa Clara and I got invited. Junebug and I met this lady who is involved in running the club when we were at a match once, and she's really into mixed-breed competition, so obviously we had stuff in common.

We were a bit late getting there due to traffic, but we still got to be there for all the important stuff. We didn't get to hear all the tips on heeling—about five minutes after we arrived, we got sent into the ring along with a bulldog (for the rest of the evening, we were known as "the odd couple") to show our skillz to the instructor. Juno was predictably not so awesome at that. First of all, obedience heeling (where they keep perfect pace with you and stare lovingly into your eyes at all times) is not one of her best areas to begin with. Add to that we had not warmed up, I wasn't sure if we were supposed to use bait (so I didn't), and I had just switched from her prong to her flat collar ... and yeah, we kinda sucked. Enough that the instructor asked if Juno had ever been worked off leash. Oh the shame. (Not really.)

Between exercises, Juno gleefully lay on her back for belly rubs and attempted to mooch food off our neighbors. Training classes are the only places where she actively solicits attention from strangers, because she knows everyone has food.

Our next focus was the drop on recall and Juno was awesome at that one! First we did random drops; on the first one, she was like, "Wait, are you sure?" Then she got a treat and was on. Any time I raised my hand, she threw herself into a down and lashed her tail eagerly. The only challenge was trying to get her to stay far enough away from me to start getting some distance. (Anytime I released her, she came bounding up to me, like, "I did so good, didn't I, Mom?")

Then we did drops behind barriers; again, Juno just needed to be shown what to do, and then she got it. I love watching the little gears turning in her brain. She is always so up for learning new stuff and she wants to know exactly how it's done. She flopped on the barrier at one point, and I moved her back off it; the next time, she dropped with her front paws about an inch from the barrier. For that, we need to work on the folding-back style of down; perhaps I'll put a new word on it other than down.

The instructor then talked to us a ton about proofing stays for the out-of-sight sits and downs. The exercises to try were hilarious, and sounded just like the kinds of things you'd do to proof a service dog in training. Throwing balls past them, having random people come up and talk to them or offer food, letting another dog play near them, etc. I can't wait to try all this stuff with Juno and Kaline, it sounds like a blast.

At the very end—we'd run over time—those who decided to stay got to practice short out-of-sight group stays. Juno broke once, when I first left her on the sit-stay, and after that was good. The instructor had me go outside but keep talking continually to Juno, which really seemed to help. It was interesting, because when we practiced the same thing Tuesday at the park, Juno did a perfect three-minute sit-stay, but then popped up into a sit when she was doing her long down. Tonight the down was good.

I wish this kind of stuff happened more often! Juno loved it, you could just tell she was having a blast. I can't wait till we can start trialing again.

Kaline update: He worked more on retrieving at the park, and I worked on his loose-leash walking with him on his own at night. That actually went really well. More individual work on that is in order, possibly in a different collar, since he can't wear the prong for the CGC. I just don't want to rub the fur off his neck, cause I think it's looking better.
Juno and Kaline sacked out at Red Robin yesterday.

We ran into a woman on our middle walk today who saw Kaline and went, "A baby Dobie!" I practically hugged her for knowing without asking what Kaline is. He was kind of a pill on that walk (he, Xena and Jett all amp each other up) but then he was excellent with Juno, her boyfriend Ellis, and Teddy. Woohoo.

Life update: My beloved 21-year-old Honda Accord, affectionately known as Faithful Little Tygs On Top, has just had what I assume will be his last very expensive appointment with the mechanic. Dad and I are planning outings to showrooms this weekend just to get more information on my main options, a Honda CRV and a Toyota Rav4. I'm thinking of taking Juno to one showroom, doing a recharge at home, then taking Kaline to the other. Hopefully it'll go well ... maybe by October or so I will have a new (to me) car more suited to my dog profession. I will sorely miss my little Honda though. My faithful dog-nail-scarred Tigermobile.

27 August 2012

Big man retrieving

Eighteen-week-old Kaline.

We had a pretty low-key day; I noted in photographic and numeric form just how big Kaline is getting (!!); and I am newly reassured that Kaline will be able to learn a directed retrieve. I worry about these things.

I'm going through what I term a "funk," sort of a really unfortunate combo of fibro fatigue symptoms and depression symptoms. So basically other than the pack walks all I wanted to do today, and all I did, was lie around. Amazingly, Kaline was happy to oblige. Who is this puppy and what did he do with my actual puppy?

I had Juno and Kaline out for a walk in the park in the evening, and we worked on double-dog training. I used to work Juno and her boyfriend Ellis in a brace, and I have this pipe dream of working her and Kaline the same way. We were doing double-dog remote sits and downs, and I had the bright idea of doing a stand as well. Here is the pic—when you see Kaline next to Juno you can really tell how much he's grown!
Only 5 inches shorter than Big Sister.

Then tonight, Kaline was having a grand time fetching his blue squeaky bone. It was a really good fetch night; I hardly had to move. He'd go get his bone, prance around with it, then come nudge my leg like, "Okay, you can throw this again for me now." He's getting pretty nice with his "out" command, letting go of his prize pretty readily. Anyway, he was so amped about the bone that I decided to have an impromptu directed retrieve session.

Our first one, if you don't remember, went pretty crappily, with him becoming less and less interested in even so much as looking at the object (a bandanna) we were working with. But after comparing his retrieving drive to other pups in the last week, I figured we could try again.

First, I dropped the bone instead of throwing it. Kaline was on it. He was just as excited to get it when I dropped it as when I threw it. We did that a few times, and then I decided to up it a little. I took the bone, put Kaline in a sit-stay, then placed the bone on the floor. I stood up and backed away, and only then gave him the enthusiastic cue, "Get it!" For now the word(s) don't really matter, it's more about the tone and body language. And despite the fact that the bone wasn't flying and hadn't been recently flying, Kaline jumped on it and fetched it up with great glee! I was full of glee myself. I know I shouldn't have worried in the first place, but hey, that's what I do.

Yay, I am full of YAY. Good little Doberman Retriever.

Also, Kaline weighs 38 pounds now (we weighed him tonight, thanks Dad). Thanks to Dad, I have also been enlightened that 16 weeks does not actually count as four months. So technically, Kaline is more "on track" with his weight than I thought! Technically, he just turned four months old four days ago, and he is nearly forty pounds, right where he's supposed to be.

More yay.

26 August 2012

Palo Alto Craft Fair

The work on walking nicely and being attentive continues—Kaline was really good today! Our first order of business was the Farmer's Market, which is difficult because I have to work him and Juno together. It's always crowded, so it's hard to make your way through when you're walking three abreast; plus two dogs attract exponentially more attention than one, so you get stopped more often.

Nonetheless, it was quite productive! We worked on Kaline's stand/block with all those people around, as well as his attention. I spotted two cops, and they were happy to say hi to Kaline. I want him to be totally comfortable with people in uniform, and he quite liked these two. When we went to get our berries, Mikey (the guy who runs the stand) obliged me by doing his funky whistle repeatedly while I rewarded Kaline for ignoring it and watching me.

Then as we were walking through we ended up talking to a woman who had recently lost her dog, who she called her life companion. I did my usual recommendation of Peninsula Humane Society, and the woman said she was wary of going to a shelter because so many of the dogs might have "pit bull blood" and she didn't want a dog who was so "unpredictable."

I can't hear that kind of nonsense without trying to educate, so I went into my spiel about the true, wonderful nature of pit bulls. How cuddly and sweet and smart they are, and what great friends they make. I of course mentioned my various friends who have pit bulls or pit mixes as service dogs, and recommended exploring the website, StubbyDog. I think I at least made something of an impression. Gotta try. She was definitely surprised and impressed to learn that Stubby was a pit bull and a war hero, and that pit bulls used to be nicknamed the Nanny Dog. People used to think those stupid things about Dobermans; they're just as stupid when applied to pit bulls.

After the market we went to Borrone's for our Sunday breakfast; once I set up Kaline's mat properly (this took a little bit of experimenting) he did a fantastic under and stayed there, all curled up and adorable. The bustling cafe with all its people and dogs and food is becoming old hat to him.

We came home for a bit, had naps and all. We had a lot of cleaning up to do, since the house basically got taken apart yesterday for the rug cleaning. Once everyone was sufficiently recharged, we headed out to the Palo Alto Craft Fair.

The fair was way more dog friendly than the Menlo Park one simply because of its location and today's weather. University Avenue is very shaded, and is fine for walking dogs on all but the very hottest of days. Plus, today was pleasantly cool. No hot pavement to burn dogs' feet, and no scorching sun to heat them up and make them pant unhappily.

Dad took Juno and I worked Kaline, totally focused on attention and walking with a loose leash. Obviously this will be a work in progress for some time, but we definitely had stretches where Kaline was brilliant, walking along at exactly my pace and looking up at my face very attentively. There were tons of dogs and he did as good a job at ignoring them as you can expect from a baby; Juno also did very well at ignoring other dogs, and we ran into a bunch of shepherds, which she tends not to like.

We also ended up talking to a lot of different people about service dogs, including a woman who, like me, has fibromyalgia. She also has diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis (major drag!). So we definitely had a lot to talk about when it came to how a service dog might be able to help her. That stuff was fun.

Less fun: People who insisted that Juno and Kaline must both be part Rottweiler, which is ridiculous. Juno is 26 inches tall and weighs only 60-65 pounds, there's no way she's part Rottie. And Kaline is a Doberman, end of story. His ears confuse people so much. But I wouldn't have them any other way, because they're beautiful.

There were also people who would say something nice about Kaline's behavior and then go, "And, he's a Doberman!" As if you wouldn't ever expect to see a Doberman be focused and calm. I don't think I'd even say that to a poodle-mix owner (at least, not to their face!). All these people kept telling me how Dobermans are ADD, how they're crazy, etc. I was kind of like, How many Dobermans have you met? I could understand if they said something referencing his age, but not his breed. Oh yeah, one person asked if Kaline was nine months old, because he's big. Ha! (Side note: Kaline's brother Montgomery is 45 pounds already! Way bigger than Kaline.)

Back to good stuff. There was a guy playing an accordion at one of the intersections, and he was in a full body suit! Even covered his face. It was bright pink and black, with little puffballs attached at various places and just crazily designed. He was kind enough to let me bring Kaline up to sniff his hand; the pup didn't seem all that impressed by the getup. I thought it might at least give him a bit of pause or something. When I first saw him, I jumped, not gonna lie. But no, apparently Kaline got that it was a person and no big deal.

Kaline also had to deal with golf carts passing really close by, and of course smothering crowds when we'd hit one of the many bottlenecks. The only issues we had were nearly running into lots of different people, because we were both working on eye contact, haha.

Just measured him tonight—as best I could, using a miniature flag as a ruler on his back with him wriggling in a stand next to the wall—and he is approximately 21 inches tall already! Woohoo!

25 August 2012

Saturday Class No. 4 and a San Francisco trip for Juno

Used up all my spoons for the day, oh boy. We got up early because the parents were having the carpets cleaned. Dad, the pups, and I went to Borrone's to grab breakfast before class. Kaline worked on under and attention with other dogs around; I tried to follow Sonja's advice but sometimes it's hard, when Kaline is just staring away at other dogs. I'll work on myself.
Kaline on the way to class. He looked like an alien.
Class was great fun. We did retrieving stuff at the beginning; Juno got to demo hold and out, and then I got to play with Kaline. He's too little to really do hold and out yet, but I had a stuffed anteater for him that he could work on fetching. He had an excellent time.

Heeling didn't go as well as it has been, for some reason—I worked with him on informal loose-leash walking after class though, with the clicker. We gotta get cracking on that for the CGC in mid-September! We did a ton of different recall stuff and Kaline did pretty well. Still working on coming in straight, but his sit-stay was rock solid and at least he came gleefully in my direction. One time Percy, the young colored bull terrier, practically sat on Kaline and my guy didn't get up, just shifted a little. He got compliments on his confidence—we had the dogs in really close quarters, in down-stays, and Kaline just rested his head on his paws, chilling out. Not a lot really bothers him.

All through class, whatever we were doing, I had my clicker in my hand and was c/t-ing Kaline for choosing to give me attention. It was really fun, it was like our own little class within a class. And our loose-leash work was cool too, he really seemed to be having a good time and understanding what I wanted. We'll get it in time for the CGC!

We came home, everyone's brain fried, and had naptime, Kaline in his crate and Juno snuggling with me on my bed. Then I did grooming for both dogs—I got their nails so short, what a great triumph! (Yeah, I know, my life is super exciting.)

There was a San Francisco Atheists event in the city at 4:30, so Juno and I took BART there. I was already getting hyper-anxious; Juno had to do a lap-up before we even got on the train.
Juno keeping watch before BART scared the crap out of her.
Juno had only been on BART one time before, and she did not at all enjoy her second trip. She does fine on trains, in cars, and on airplanes, but something about the BART train's noise and movement really bothered her. It makes kind of a high-pitched noise at some points, and then you'll go through tunnels and the crashing noise of the train on its rails reverberates all around. Juno's head was up, her ears were at attention, her eyes were wide, and she even whined a little, all very out of character for her.

Luckily, I had brought her dinner in a baggie, and Juno is about the most food-motivated dog int he whole world. I treated her whenever the weird noises happened and whenever she looked at me. Right at the end of our 40-minute ride, she finally sighed and put her head on her paws. Grin.

She was so stoked to leave the BART station that she did some of the best momentum-pulling she's ever done! Juno was excellent going to the pub, pulling steadily and following my directionals. Being in the city on our own ratcheted up my anxiety, but Juno kept me moving. We found the pub without too much trouble, but it was really crowded when we got in. Another lap-up. Then we settled in at a group table and listened to Greta Christina's excellent talk on Atheism and Sexuality. Juno curled up cozily on her mat and slept through the whole thing.
Chilling out at Schroeder's with the SF Atheists.
Greta Christina!
Juno on the way back to BART.
Getting back on BART was the absolute worst part. After sitting through the talk, I was having flareups in pretty much every joint I could think of, and I was basically out of spoons. I was anxious about how Juno would be on the train, anxious about going underground, riding in the toilet-smelling elevators ... And then the train arrived, crammed to the windows with people. It was all I could do just to get on.

Of course, did anyone sitting in the disabled seats get up for us—a clearly marked service dog team? Nope, not a chance. I couldn't grab any of poles or straps, cause my hands hurt. We were pressed in on all sides by people. Juno was doing touch, over and over, hard, on my open right hand because I was about to have a panic attack. The train lurched and to save myself from falling I went on my knees on the floor next to Juno, trying to ground myself by stroking her and concentrating on keeping her from sliding around. After one stop, when a couple people got off and we could get next to a wall, I moved us there, Juno blocking in front of me. The guy whose bike was behind me against the wall started yelling not to bend his spokes, and I almost just melted down. It was just really bad.
Juno doing grounding work on BART.
Finally we got an actual seat, and Juno laid down behind my legs and put her head on my feet—more grounding. This third time on BART, she was the cool, collected one. It was like she'd gotten all her scared-ness out on the previous ride, and she was back to normal for the ride home. I was really proud of her. She did an awesome job today. Best dog ever.
Cuddling to keep warm waiting to get picked up at the BART station.

24 August 2012


Let's begin with a disclaimer: I dislike IKEA. You might even say I loathe IKEA. So easy to get lost (getting there, in there, getting out of there ... ), clogged with people, too many tempting smells of cinnamon buns ... I avoid the place.

But there is one thing that must be said for IKEA. If you are looking for a training ground for future service dogs, there is absolutely no better place. (All photos courtesy of Sonja)
Chief and Kaline playing in the car ... shhhh.
This afternoon Sonja and I took Chief and Kaline to IKEA for the first time. Well, it was Kaline's first time anyway. I think both Kaline's and my brains were on fire by the end! We both worked hard. Sonja is an amazing person to do outings with. (I know, should be "with whom to do outings," but it sounds so stilted!) She is incredibly creative about training and creating opportunities for training. Unlike me, she has no qualms about asking strangers to participate in our training. Kaline and I really got a workout being with her and Chief! And it was lots of fun to use the clicker so much, though I ended up having to mooch treats off Sonja after I ran out. (Oops!)

Right as we got in, Sonja noticed a pair of people checking out some furniture. She asked them to call to each of our puppies in turn, after telling them their names; then we rewarded our boys for maintaining their focus on us, not the strangers. I kind of wait for real life situations to happen and then respond; Sonja creates them on her own terms so Chief can always be practicing. Awesome. She also helped me with getting and rewarding Kaline's attention: Instead of immediately trying to get his focus back when he looks at something, I should let him look, and then reward when he looks back to me on his own. Clearly it's a method that works, because Chief is constantly looking to Sonja for direction. I think I got the hang of it as we moved through the store.
Pups in IKEA!
More things we did with strangers: Multiple times, we got people to pet the dogs in vest and rewarded the boys for maintaining their focus (yeah, that's gonna be a theme). We set up the dogs about one stride apart, in downs, and after we stepped over them repeatedly, we had a stranger do it. (They were great.) When we came across three little boys with their parents, Sonja got the boys to come up near the dogs and wave their stuffed animals. Other times we had kids run past and make noises.

Sonja also worked on other scenarios that might happen. She and I made weird noises at the dogs, trying to be a little scary, waved our hands around their faces, pretended to scold them, all kinds of things that grouchy and/or drunk people might do when they see them. We stomped, we jumped around, we made sudden movements. Chief and Kaline mostly just sat there and looked at us like we were crazy, utterly nonplussed. The whole time, amusingly, Kaline kept slithering into downs, both because he was tired from the morning (three pack walks, running around with Juno, short outing to Jan's Deli) and because he had little to no traction on the floor. Poor guy, those cat feet are freaking cute but the lack of hair doesn't help him much.
This happened a lot.
Another thing we did, which sounds bad when you type it, was knock stuff off shelves onto the floor to "surprise" the boys. Obviously, we never did it with anything breakable or that would get scratched up. We're talking mousepads, wicker baskets, plastic baskets, plastic-wrapped whisks. We also banged some metal canisters together. If the pups did startle, it was pretty minimal, and they were quickly able to focus again.

We did "under" at different tables, let the dogs explore the multitudinous surfaces and objects all over IKEA. In various places, we had them practice their actual tasks. Chief retrieved a pouch and returned to settle on Sonja's chest as she lay on the floor; Kaline did lap-ups and even an on-me when I found a long chair just perfect for stretching out on. He worked on touch and leave it as well.
"lap up"

"on me"
My only gripe with the little man, who did a fantastic job today, was the pulling. Obviously in IKEA, when you are searching out training opps, you don't walk at the nice brisk pack-walking pace. Plus Chief was usually ahead of Kaline. Just for shits and giggles, I might review the Kikopup videos on no pulling and try to do a couple training sessions like that. I have to take my own advice—if what I'm doing (corrections on the prong and rewards for slowing down and giving me attention) isn't accomplishing what I want, and I have given it a good chance, it's time to try another tactic.

In the middle of our outing, Sonja found a secluded corner and we took the boys' vests off so they could have a little wrestle. Sonja thinks it's really important that SDs be able to play and then return to working mode quickly, and I couldn't agree more. They did pretty well, although Kaline can never pass up a chance to take a swipe at Chief with one of his massive paws. I figure when they can finally work side-by-side without losing their focus on their humans, they'll be able to work through any situation! It's so cute how much they like each other though.

The outing was wonderful and we need to do it more ... but oh man, was it a pleasure to put Kaline down for a nap in his crate and grab Juno so we could go to dinner with the parents. I'm sure this will come as a huge amazing revelation to everyone in the world, but puppies are a LOT of work! My brain could kind of turn off once I was with Juno—she knows her job and we just know how to work together. I know someday it will be like that with Kaline but I am so glad that Juno didn't have to retire, and will be here to get me through Kaline's training! Fabulous girl. She looked so pretty in her wide collar with its brand new DogTagArt ID tag.

22 August 2012

Retrieving and other adventures

The pups had a good day of training yesterday, and are now zonked from three successive pack walks today. The first thing we did at training was try to start all the dogs on retrieving: getting them excited about one of a variety of toys, then throwing it for them and calling them back. Didn't matter if they brought the toy back, but the recall was paramount.

Before working Juno (who knows the retrieve already), I worked Kaline, two Labs, a Golden Retriever-poodle mix and I think one other dog. One of the Labs had already had a bunch of retrieving work—her dad eventually wants her to be able to go hunting with him. So, I was pretty stoked about Kaline when he showed absolutely the strongest retrieving drive of the dogs who really don't have retriever training. My little Doberman retriever! He was on that stuffed lobster every time I tossed it; the coming back was questionable, but that's why everyone was on leash, haha. Juno was the most fun, of course, because she knows her stuff, but I was very encouraged about Kaline.

Big props to Maura, Kaline's breeder—one of the most important tests to see if a puppy will end up being a good service prospect is the retrieving test. If you throw a ball of paper and the puppy goes for it, then at least makes the attempt to bring it back, that's a great sign. She picked me a great one!

Later, Juno got to work in the "big dog" group, as usual. At training, "big dog" refers to our personal dogs. We did lots of heeling, with moving stands and moving downs. I worked Juno on either her shark line or completely off leash, and she did pretty well! Gotta love those moving stands; we had so much fun working on those when she was first learning how to do it. Then we did remote sits and downs, and Juno was held up as the example of how to go properly from a down to a sit (push up, no picking up the butt and creeping forward). Woohoo!

Kaline got to do a bit of heeling and weaving through the advanced dogs on down-stays. He was a bit ADD—Look! There's Chief! Oh, hi Mom, yes, I'm watching. CHIEF! Hi! Oooh, leaves. Right, right, I'm watching ... We have been working a lot though on him responding to his name with eye contact while we're walking, so I think eventually that'll pay off. He's been doing great at that on pack walks, even when he's in the middle of the pack.

We had a bunch of training opportunities on our walks today—seriously, everything feels totally manageable when I'm wearing a bait bag! Multiple times, we either had to pass or got passed by dogs who were growling and/or showing other reactive behaviors. Every time, I was like, "Oooh, yay! Time to reinforce proper behaviors!"

In my first pack, I have a lovely but somewhat reactive dog—he won't start crap, but he will definitely respond if the other dog keeps on long enough. At one point, we got passed by a pack of four dogs, way out in front of the woman walking them, growling and straining toward my guys. Well, my guys were all sitting and staring at me, getting little yummy morsels popped into their mouths. Definitely the message I want to get across: See a reactive dog, look at human, get food—nothing bad will happen and the human will handle it.

On the second pack walk, the one that goes to downtown Palo Alto, we got passed by lots of loud buses and trucks; Kaline's reaction to them is getting more and more muted. We didn't even run into any idiots on that route today, it was fantastic!

We did get an idiot, I think, on the third walk, which was the most relaxing one: just Juno, her boyfriend Ellis, and wee Kaline. Some guy kept asking me which dog was the MGM Lion, and when I was confused, he assumed I didn't know what MGM was, or that a roaring lion is their symbol. Let me assure you that that's untrue, I don't live under a rock! If anyone reading this happens to know what three dogs have to do with the MGM Lion, please tell me so I can retract my statement that this guy was an idiot. (One other idiot: Saw me passing with three dogs trotting at my heels—they were all tired—and said, "Who's walking who?" Um, I think that should be pretty clear.)

20 August 2012

Sneaky puppy

It's been kind of a long day, so here's a funny from yesterday. We did our hopefully-to-become-routine walk with Dad to Borrone's for Sunday breakfast. I worked on not pulling with Kaline there and back. He was a ton better today, but we'll have to see if it really sticks.

Anyway, Kaline was under my chair, Juno under the table outside at Borrone's. Kaline kept popping up, because there were Dachshunds under the next table. I kept replacing him in the down. This happened enough that by the time we were almost done, he had no illusions about me wanting him to hold the down.

But now he was cold. I think Lizard (shortened from Lizard Sounds) will be an excellent nickname for Kaline. With his very shiny but not very warm Doberman coat, he's like some cold-blooded reptile. It's August, for crying out loud, and he's shivering in the shade.

I wanna go in the sun. But Mommy told me not to break my down. But I'm cooooolllld! 
Ahhh, warmth.
So my clever little man compromised. I watched the whole process and for some reason it did not occur to me to take video. He'd push his little but up very close to his front legs (not up enough to be considered breaking the down), then crawl forward on the front legs, then repeat. Finally, he was completely in the sun. Also completely in the aisle that servers were using to bring food to people, and people were using to get to their tables. He'd worked so hard though that I let him stay there for a bit while I giggled and marveled at him. Then we worked out a compromise where he got to lie in the sun but was right behind my chair, where there was less chance of him getting stepped on.

Today, Kaline's been on four freaking walks and still had energy up to about ten minutes ago. One walk was just with Juno, and we did some training in the park, like double-dog recall drills. (One dog has to hold a sit stay while the other dog does a recall past him/her; then the positions are reversed.) Kaline seems to have lifted his limit on recalls and is doing more than three, hooray! Sometimes he gets up speed though and chooses to do a drive-by rather than crash into my legs ... While I appreciate the consideration, it's definitely not a habit I want him to get into!
Juno, Teddy and Kaline after pack walk No. 2 (Bentley not pictured).
He then did two pack walks with the different groups, had crate time, snuggle time, more crate time while Juno got her snuggle time, then went on a training walk all by himself back to the park. We worked on "here" aka the informal recall—he doesn't have to sit in front of me, he just has to come back and put his nose in my right hand, and then he can go play again. We did a couple formal recalls too. Remote sits and downs, leave its, walking nicely next to me. In the right situation (i.e. low to medium distraction), he has such fabulous eye contact while walking next to me! We just have to work on him remembering to look out as well, so he doesn't faceplant.

The 'rents babysat Kaline while Juno and I met my buddy Danny for dinner at the Goose. I had briefly considered taking both, because Danny hadn't met Kaline, but I wanted to talk to Danny and find out what's been going on with him, not spend half the time under the table keeping Kaline in a down and peace between the babies. It was a good choice. Got a smart-ass in line who was like, "Didn't I just see you drive into the parking lot?" (As in, how can you be blind and need a guide dog if you can drive?) Other than that, it was great. Juno even managed to resist the peanut shells under the table. (That is one of the charms of the Goose, you can toss your peanut shells on the floor. But Juno really likes to eat peanut shells.)

Danny got to meet Kaline after dinner and my little man was kind of a pest. Okay, he was REALLY a pest. Sigh. But now both dogs are asleep. And I still have to take Kaline's 17-week picture. Oops.

ETA: Here is the 17-week picture!

Oh yeah! Milestone of the Day: It has now been THREE WHOLE WEEKS since Kaline had an accident in the house. Rejoice. And Juno's new pretty dog tag came!

18 August 2012

Mutt Strutt!

Kaline, Juno and I went to Mutt Strutt this morning, and we had a marvelous time! This is an annual event at Coyote Point, put on by Peninsula Humane Society (where I got Juno), and yet I had never been before this year. I took the website literally when it said 9-1pm, so I got to the park at 9:00. Way too early. The walk, it turned out, didn't start until 11:00!
Mutt Strutt base camp.
There were a ton of dogs and people all around. I had decided beforehand to take the dogs unvested, mostly for Kaline's sake. Juno couldn't care less, really, about socializing with dogs and people she doesn't know, but Kaline does. And at four months old, I want him to do a lot of socializing! Just not in his vest.
The pups in their super awesome Michigan bandannas. Lots of people think bright bandannas make Big Black Dogs look friendlier and more approachable.
Everyone, I think, follows a different vest protocol. Heck, I have different protocols for each of my dogs! For Kaline, I want the vest to mean that absolutely NO socializing happens with anyone but me (and Juno, naturally). For Juno, the vest means she has to be on her best behavior, but I definitely have let her say hi to people in her vest, and she's even eliminated in her vest (now a big no-no!).

Both dogs did amazing, and I was especially proud of Junebug. When I first got her as an eighteen-month-old, she would have had a massive meltdown at an event like this. (Now that she's good, I really wish I had some video of the crap she used to do when in the presence of other dogs.) Even today, when she's unvested she's not above saying something nasty to a dog she thinks is stepping out of line. So I was a little apprehensive about having her in the crowds where people would let their dogs run up toward her face.

She was a star all day. Not one cross word, not one incident of stink-eye. I think it really helps when she's in an environment of nearly all happy-go-lucky dogs, where everyone is just chill. Same thing happens at obedience trials, she's just cool as a cucumber because everyone else is too. Tons of other dogs were in Juno and Kaline's personal space, but not in an aggressive way, and they were completely fine with it. It was just a wonderful experience for all of us.
My rock star.
After we made a first circuit of the booths set up around the field, we hung out on these hay bales set up on one side. We met an adorable pit bull-mix named Kona who was wearing fabulous pink doggles. She's ten months old, and what a face! I was in heaven getting to see all these happy beautiful pit bulls everywhere. Had I the money, space and time, I would run out and rescue a pit bull yesterday. As you might have noticed, though, my hands are currently a tad full, what with the baby Doberman and all.

There was a great disc dog demonstration and then a costume and tricks contest. Kaline's one major transgression during this portion of the day was continually trying to scarf down the plentiful goose poop. So gross. He kept looking at me, affronted, when I'd pry his little mouth open and remove the stuff. "But Mom, everyone else is doing it!" And they were, except for Juno. Evidently goose poop is a doggy delicacy.
Chilling in the grass, NOT eating goose turds.
But he was great with all the dogs passing by. He'd either remain in his down, or politely go and sniff noses. I freaking love his dog manners! Juno and Angel both had to learn such manners, over months (years!). And Kaline just knows. Love. There were tons of gorgeous dogs up for adoption, including what looked like a pint-size version of Juno and this striking black-and-white pit bull who rolled over for everyone who approached. "Rub my belly?"
Vinny, a pit mix who is currently available for adoption at PHS! This was how he greeted everyone.
A little before 11:00, our friends Amie and Matt, and their dogs, guide dog puppy-in-training Pilaf and little terrier mix Ozzy, arrived! They are still shooting their show, Growing Up Guide Pup, even though for now they can't actually put together the episodes. So today Juno, Kaline and I got to be filmed! It was pretty sweet.

The dogs did well on the walk, though Kaline continued his annoying new habit of pulling. It's not like he gets out ahead and yanks me around, but despite pop-and-release corrections he keeps a constant tension on the leash when we are out with dogs he finds exciting (like a ton of brand-new dogs). Which hurts, yuck. And it makes me worry more about his little thinly furred neck. Juno was fantastic, pacing along steadily right at my side and keeping Kaline between us. At one point her Michigan bandanna fell off, and when we went back to get it she picked it up ever so nicely when I asked her to. We made a couple Michigan friends, and I was overjoyed when Matt actually knew where Kaline's name came from!

The walk was absolutely gorgeous, tree-lined and curving along the Bay. We could see planes coming in super low to land at SFO, and there were all different views of the Bay. Matt got tons of great shots. Little Ozzy is even more of a social butterfly than Kaline, and people and dogs both are so drawn to his adorable little mug. Pilaf was just cool, doing everything she was supposed to. She and Ozzy together are so cute!
Amie with Pilaf and Ozzy!
My awesome girl after the long walk.
By the time we got back, Kaline was wiped. It was like at the street fair, he collapsed every time I stopped. Still, we went around the booths again, and met more people and dogs, and hung out more with Amie and Matt. And right at the end, we met a pair of mascots!

Some dogs, understandably, are frightened of mascots, because if you didn't know there was a person in there (and how should they know?), those things are kind of freaky. Kaline took one look and thought: An enormous stuffie! When one of the mascots held out a paw for Kaline to sniff, my little guy opened his mouth and went munchmunchmunch. Didn't get a squeak, but still seemed satisfied. The mascots were charmed (thank goodness). If possible, I'd definitely like to figure out a way to work on mascots some more, since when Kaline is 80+ pounds it won't be nearly as cute if he munches on a paw. But I'm very pleased that yet another weird thing (in dog terms) happened and Kaline showed no trepidation. I love his confidence!

Hopefully we can do more outings with Amie and Matt and their gang soon!
Kaline for the rest of the day, post-walk.

17 August 2012

Outings with Chief

Kaline and Chief are fast becoming best friends. They will play with each other until one or both basically collapses from exhaustion. Yesterday, Chief and Sonja came out to training in the park. Kaline's face when he saw Chief arrive was priceless. He was stoked.

Juno and Kaline didn't get a ton of work in yesterday—we had a lot of dogs. Kaline did a pretty good job doing figure eights for the first time, though. It's a great heeling exercise, because the human has to work very hard on keeping a smooth, steady pace regardless of the turns (I usually hum "Do You Remember" in my head because it has a good beat to match my pace to), and the dog has to work on maintaining the heel position through an inside turn (slow down) and an outside turn (speed up). So Kaline got to do figure eights, and Juno got to do jumping and recalls and down-stays. We say it lovingly and jokingly, but her nickname, from all the broken down-stays, is Goddammit Juno. (Just like Peter is Jesus Peter.) We have a little too much fun cracking up and joking about at training.

We left training at exactly 4:30 to get home and be ready for our Animal Control appointment. They were scheduled to come between 5:00 and 8:00. Because Kaline is Canadian, there were all kinds of incredibly preposterous restrictions on him from Customs. Apparently rabies is just rampant there, and all puppies, even from great breeders, are exposed. (That's sarcasm.) Seriously, the restrictions on Kaline were identical to those he'd have had if he were an unvaccinated dog who'd been in contact with a confirmed rabid animal. If one actually followed those rules with a puppy from 9-17 weeks old, you'd have the most maladjusted, antisocial dog ever. Basically no going outside except to pee in the backyard, no contact with any humans or dogs outside the immediate family.

Anyway, yesterday was the day we got our figurative walking papers. The lovely man from Peninsula Humane Society came, I opened the door, he cooed over Kaline, and then said, "Okay, you're all set!" I was a little confused and said, "Um, don't you want to see his rabies certificate?" He shrugged and said, "Sure, if you have it." Clearly enforcing these insane rules is not a huge priority for them (he asked if Kaline had been through puppy classes yet, even though he wasn't ever supposed to set foot outside the house). And that's as it should be, because there are a lot of dogs actually in need of their attention! We had a great time chatting with the Animal Control officer about the improvements made at PHS (Juno is an alum) and about the two wonderful dogs he adopted from there. He just loved Kaline. Of course.

Today we had our pack walks in the morning, then came home for lunch and a lovely snuggly nap. Our tdoc appointment got cancelled, so we went on adventures. First we stopped by Mr. Choo's, the tailor, to introduce Kaline to him (he's crazy about Juno and has been asking my mom to get me to bring Kaline by). He loved the puppy and made sure to lavish attention on Juno too. Kaline was a little more distracted than normal because there was a big mirror; he still doesn't trust that strange dog who looks just like him and keeps copying him without fail!

After that, we went to meet Sonja, Hendrik and Chief over in Burgess Park. We let the puppies play off leash—they ran each other ragged and had a brilliant time. There was one point where their play drifted into a little soccer area for the kids, and one of the kids took off and Kaline took off after him ... I was of course a bit horrified and ran after Kaline to get him. No one seemed worried but me! Turned out, the kid's mom was laughing the whole time because they have two German Shorthaired Pointers, and the kid loves having them chase him. Other than that they did pretty well. Ate some mud, but hey, what are you going to do.

Sonja, who is a dog training genius, taught Juno to bark on command in about two minutes. I have been trying to figure out how to teach her that for years, and could never do it! It was no trouble getting the Labs to do it, but Juno, no way. Apparently you have to make woofie noises (I was doing that) while showing lots of open mouth and teeth (I wasn't doing that). Then they think you're playing and get excited and eventually bark back at you. It was so awesome!

Our last big adventure was going to the Stanford campus, which I've never taken much advantage of despite living here my whole life. It's almost as pretty as Michigan! And it's super service-dog/handicapped friendly. Every building not only has at least one door with a handicap button; there are always two buttons, one at the normal level and one almost at ground level, for people who either use their feet to push the buttons or who have short/small service dogs.

We walked around campus a bunch, then found a set of buttons to practice on. Juno was freaking awesome. I got her to push the button with both her paw and her nose. And since I was using the clicker, she'd get her treat and immediately bounce back to hit the button again (her cue is "Hit that"). Fabulous girl. Chief worked on the low button and did great, and I tried Kaline on both. He actually had a much easier time with the higher button; he's already tall enough that when he puts his paws on the wall, he can either hit that high button with his paw or his nose. He got the door to open once and I jackpotted him. It was a lot of fun.

We went to another courtyard and sat on the ground while the little boys wrestled some more. Damn, they're cute. Kaline is so clumsy and yet gentle with Chief, and they do tons of bitey face. And of course they really didn't have much traction on the smooth cement, so if they got up any speed chasing, they'd slide for a while if they tried to stop. Chief finally decided he was done, so we made our way back to our cars with our very tired babies. We're going to make a weekly thing of this—it's going to be great for the dogs!

Pictures hopefully to come ... Next week I'm gonna try and remember to take my Real Camera™, not my little phone.

15 August 2012

Concert in the park

I wish Kaline was as exhausted as Juno and I are! We just got back from his first-ever concert. Not some big horrendously loud thing in a stadium or arena, of course, but the last in the Summer Concert Series put on by our town. The last concert of the summer is always the Sun Kings, an incredibly awesome Beatles cover band. They sound just like the Beatles, plus they use the right guitars! And whoever is playing, say, the John Lennon guitar, will also do the John Lennon part in whatever song they're playing.
Concert in the park!
Two years ago, we did the Sun Kings concert with my semi-foster-dog, a beautiful light brindle pit bull named Dougie. (Semi-foster because he lived in the shelter, but I did take him home for sleepovers and to obedience classes at any opportunity.) We were stupid then and sat in the front row, which was pretty loud for Dougie at first. Of course, being an incredibly affable little dog, Dougie soon realized that the insanely loud sounds weren't actually going to hurt him, and curled up next to me for a nap.
Beautiful Dougie. I miss that dog! (Don't worry, he was adopted by a wonderful veterinarian with three other dogs.)
Anyway, I tried to do it better with Kaline. Dad and I got a pair of beer chairs in what was at the time the back most row, and set Juno and Kaline up on a blankie. Kaline, we discovered, really couldn't have cared less about the noise from the concert. He thought I was quite odd for singing so continually. Sometimes he settled nicely, but there was a lot going on. Max the Puppy Wrangler's parents were right behind us (sans Max, sadly) so Kaline needed to socialize a bunch with them and their friends. He also was indecisive about possibly occupying my lap, so he was up and down and all around.
Temporarily settled.
Lying on Juno's foot.
Check me out. I can settle for a whole concert. Psh, puppies.

Once it was exceedingly obvious that the songs weren't bothering Kaline, I walked him up near the stage where it was a little more chaotic, to work briefly on attention in chaos. I thought at first he was startled by the kids running around; then I realized he was jumping back into a gleeful playbow. Yay. He met a toddler and her father and sat politely for petting. Wasn't scared at all being close to the speakers and all the people dancing happily in front of the stage.

So yeah, Kaline was a little crazy at his first concert, but he was completely comfortable and unfazed by all of it. So I shall count it as a success!

14 August 2012

First solo outing

Tonight Kaline and I went on our first service dog outing sans Juno. I will admit it, it was weird. I think it was good for both me and Kaline, though, because I was able to focus completely on him.
Everyone loves the Stannie!
I tried so hard to tire him out beforehand. We did a pack walk in the morning; I got to borrow Gracie for the afternoon, so he had a nice long wrestling session with her; and then we went to training in the park. He did so well. He did literally the best recalls he has ever done—came galloping in, lovely enthusiasm, and if he didn't sit straight, at least he didn't rock back and away from me at the end. He did good heeling and weaving through dogs too. At the end, he did an awesome down-stay, off leash, next to Juno while I gathered up the other dogs we had to drive home. I even ran him around in the sun trying to basically fry his little brain.

It all seemed to have worked when we arrived at the Stanford Theatre after dropping Juno off at home. Kaline was fantastic in line, standing next to me (not sitting, even though we've worked on auto-sits). He's not really capable of blocking, since he's still pretty small, but it was definitely great behavior to build on. He gave me really nice attention. When we waited on a bench for Sonja and Chief to arrive, Kaline did an automatic settle. He did really nice in the concessions line as well, standing again and watching the whole time. Didn't go for any popcorn or anything!
Auto-settle in the lobby.

Then his buddy Chief arrived, and both the boys were like, "Wait, what? We can't have a play session?" Up in the theatre, they both took a while to settle down. We just had to laugh at them and their adorable puppy-ness. Chief was kinda crawling about on Sonja's lap, and Kaline kept trying to sneak over to Chief's mat. Once Kaline got half on my lap and gave Sonja a very presumptuous poke with his massively oversized paw. He was the first one to go to sleep, and then Chief conked out. I thought we were home free. And then they both woke up again.

Kaline, having done lap-ups at my request out in the lobby, just started doing them over and over once he woke up. Again with the muffled giggling. I cuddled him, and once he got off, put him back in his down on his mat. Over and over and over. Sonja joked that when we want to actually watch a movie, we should bring our girls. And then right as the movie finished up, both boys curled up on their mats and pretended to be model service puppies in training. Gotta love them!

13 August 2012

Training opportunities

Kaline at 16 weeks!
 First things first: Sixteen-week-old Kaline finally got his last set of shots! I am super stoked about this for reasons I don't think I should put on a blog ... If inquiring minds want to know, PM me. He did fine at the vet—was fairly stoic for his DHPP shot, and then wriggled a little about the rabies vaccination. He also (sort of) met Dr. Ulla's beautiful big black and rust Doberman, Anchor. Anchor has some leash reactivity, so they didn't actually get to sniff or anything. Anchor barked, and Kaline got treats for not barking back, and for watching me and ignoring Anchor, and for coming toward me and away from Anchor.

Which leads ever so nicely into what I wanted to write about, training opportunities! I try (unfortunately I don't always succeed!) to view pretty much everything that happens as a training opportunity. It's a lot easier to do when I am carrying my bait bag, so I've been putting that on pretty much every time we go outside. It really helps to see the world in general in a more positive way.

I actually got excited today when I was out with a four-pack in Palo Alto, and saw a woman coming along the sidewalk with what looked like two Chow mixes (or full Chows, I don't know). Clearly they were walking her, and they were staring daggers at my dogs. She saw my dogs and took an extra few wraps of leash around each of her hands.

Practically grinning with delight, I sidled my four off the main part of the sidewalk and right up next to a store's front window. I was ready with the bait bag, all four were maintaining excellent eye contact, and I was just thinking, YES! We are going to have a great reinforcement of how we don't interact with this kind of energy!

Then I realized I'd been standing there for much longer than it should've taken for the dogs to pass us. They'd crossed the street. Drat.

It's so confidence-building to see everything as an opportunity to reinforce what you want from your dog(s). I get happy when we come across barking dogs in cars or behind fences, skateboards on the sidewalk, hissing garbage trucks, creaking buses (or is it busses?), or people using various potentially scary (to dogs) mobility aids. Instead of seeing these things as things to avoid and protect the dogs from, I can see them as a chance to show them how I want them to react—and to show them that when such scary things happen, they're not actually scary, because they mean cookies.

A side note: You may remember that Juno and I won a super-awesome tag from Jen and Elka! Well, I finally got around to doing a wee photoshoot with Juno today. If you like one of the photos more than the others, let me know! I'll probably choose one for the custom tag by Wednesday or Thursday. And yes, the tag will be going on the wide 2HoundsDesigns collar Juno is wearing in the photos.

Some of the photoshoot contenders:

12 August 2012

First trip to Costco!

The pups had a nice full day today. We had a long walk in the morning with Dad. Our first stop was Borrone's—if you're not familiar with it, it is a delicious cafe which is almost constantly packed. You can go by at 10 on a Saturday night and the place is hopping. It's very dog-friendly outside, so it's a great place to take the baby for socializing.

We practiced "under," Kaline's newest command, today. Basically, when I give him that cue I want him to lie quietly behind my legs. He did fairly well with it, much better than I did! Since he's a puppy, I always get nervous if I can't see his head. Most of the time when I couldn't see his head, it was because he had curled up completely and was using his flank as a pillow. Chill out, Mom.
Tons of different dogs went by, and Kaline either ignored them or was politely interested. Juno, of course, was crashed out under the table. Only one owner actually let his dog come up to Kaline, yay. We spotted another service dog, a Border Collie, several tables away, which was pretty cool. The dogs also got to meet a little boy, maybe five years old, who had very nice dog manners. Kaline quite liked him; Junebug suffered his attentions with good grace but when he left, she was not disappointed. She is a snobby girl sometimes, but it works to my advantage. Someday Kaline too will be a snobby boy. A little bit, anyway.

After breakfast at Borrone's, we walked all the way down to Fremont Park, then turned around and came home. I want to expose Kaline to downtown Menlo Park and Palo Alto as much as possible, so a bit of bustle is just normal for him. Soon, I want to take the pups on a San Francisco day! That'll be great fun but probably really tiring. Sometime in the next month or two.

When we came home, each dog got bathed. Kaline still is not a fan, but he's not catatonic about it or anything. Once he is tall enough to get in and out by himself, we're going to work on jumping into the tub a couple times a day so he gets cooler about it. He got adorable bath zoomies afterward. Both dogs smell awesome.

We also worked on Juno's reactions to Kaline. In addition to the removal when there's unnecessary barking, I'm starting to try rewarding Juno for not reacting with a bark or growl when Kaline passes her, or licks her face, or runs around, etc. This is going to be an ongoing thing, though everyone assures me they will be better friends once Kaline gets older.

In the late afternoon, we did some errands with Dad—Pet Food Express, the car wash, and the big finale, Costco! Kaline settled super nicely with Junebug while we were waiting at the car wash; I'm a huge fan, unsurprisingly, of the automatic settle.
Settled at the car wash.
He also did shockingly well at Costco. It can be a scary place for a small guy, with the huge carts rattling about, the forklifts, clattering dollies, crowds of people. I think it helped that Juno was on his left and I was on his right, so he was buffered. But his attention was fantastic, and he really didn't startle at anything. The most he did was show intense interest, but not so intense that he didn't immediately respond to the "watch" cue. Anytime I asked him to watch, even while walking, he immediately did. It was so awesome. He did just fine standing in line; his stand-stay may not be anywhere near Juno's yet, but he sure knows how to "wait" in a stand. Thank goodness.

After we'd checked out, we sat at a table to have hot dogs and pop. Juno went all the way under on her "hide" command and sacked out; Kaline got to practice "under" again. There was a lot of clattering going on again, but Kaline wasn't bothered, just wanted to look. Hurrah, the pups did great!

Around With the Hound

Slightly late on posting this, but Juno and I (and Kaline, a little) got on my friend Brooke's blog, Around With the Hound, for International Assistance Dog Week!

Going to the horse show (and Saturday Class No. 4)

I think Kaline and I were both a bit tired for Saturday morning class—we stayed up really late watching the Olympics! So I was not too surprised when 10:45 hit and he couldn't concentrate very well anymore. He did a lot better on his heeling! I'm trying to use "let's go" for when I want him to just walk with me informally (i.e. not looking directly into my face 95% of the time) and "heel" for the formal heel we'll use in (hopefully) obedience competitions. I've been having to lure his face back up a lot, but at class he pretty much stayed locked on that treat and kept his head up! Hurrah.

Recalls went okay. He's not breaking when the other dogs go, which is really nice. He still has issues coming in though. We're working on it! Every time he did kind of a half-assed front, I'd back up little steps (sometimes repeatedly) until he was in straight and close, where he was supposed to be. Meet and greets went pretty well; long sit-stays and down-stays at the end of class were kind of beyond him.

After class, Kristin got out the dokken she just got (a pair of fake ducks with floppy heads) and Freddie tossed one for Kaline. He was so intrigued! He would chase it down with great enthusiasm and then bark and playbow to see if it might be alive. On the last throw, he finally mouthed the duck and we all cheered for him.

In the afternoon, Sonja and Chief came and she, Dad, Juno, Kaline and I all went over to the Circus Club to see a bit of the horse show. I was amazed at the number of people who came over to me and said they had Dobermans at home! They're just not real common here. Sounded like everyone had reds though, haha.

Kaline was already tired, so he did pretty well at the show. I'd woken him up from a nap to go, and then the walk there was pretty hot, so he was perfectly content to lie down anywhere, pretty much whenever I stopped moving. We met some lovely people and dogs at the Muttville booth—Muttville is a rescue for senior dogs, how wonderful!

We took a stroll down the aisle of booths, most filled with insanely expensive horse stuff, and met tons of nice dogs. There was a baby black Lab about Kaline's age who was adorably asleep in his ex-pen; there was a very handsome Corgi with actual legs; and a nine-month-old stunning black Great Dane named Bella, who Kaline was a little unsure about. He'd go up and smell her, then kind of dive back under the table—"She's really big!" I joked with the owner that Bella could take some of the attention off of Kaline's enormous paws.

We had lunch from one of the stands, and all the dogs chilled out under the table. Chief had been a little unsure about Kaline at first, but soon they were great friends and Kaline was rudely swatting Chief's face with his paw under there. When he could find the energy, that is. Kaline handled all the people and dog attention with no problems.
Miss Junebug
Adorable Chief.
I am so used to protecting Juno's space that I kind of have to remind myself I don't need to protect Kaline's in the same way. Juno does not appreciate strange dogs coming up in her face; Kaline really doesn't care, as long as they're nice, obviously. And pretty much all the dogs we met were nice—something about horsey dogs, Sonja says.

We went to watch the hunter-jumpers for a while, which was fun, and then we walked down past the ends of all the aisles of temporary stables. All the dogs did just fine with the horses, which seemed way larger than I remember (I used to do horsey things forever ago). The endcaps of these aisles were fascinating—they were like portable living rooms, from really nice houses. Nice couches, nice chairs, usually with bright green grass/sod underneath and possibly some nicely arranged bricks. There'd be tables and framed photographs and ribbons and usually a dog lounging on one of the very nice couches. One place had an actual fountain! Yes, we were among the 1%. The dogs had a good time, though they were definitely hot.
Portable living room with cute dog.
Kaline in the small-dog-sized judge's booth outside one of the endcaps. Soon he won't be able to masquerade as a small dog anymore!
Chief got to be carried most of the way home, because he was so tired (nothing better than a tired puppy). Somehow though, he and Kaline found the energy for a really long play session once we let them go on the grass in front of the apartments down the street! They were so cute together. I don't think Kaline's ever really gotten to play with a dog significantly smaller than himself, and it was nice to see that he didn't play overly roughly with Chief. He'd practically flatten himself into the ground (yes, there were many faceplants, not all of them intentional!). They chased each other around, but interestingly they confined themselves mostly to the grass right in front of me and Sonja. We have to make sure they keep having playdates—I want Kaline to stay very gentle, and to stay anything, you have to practice!
Post-play session.
After we finally separated the puppies (they would've kept going, I'm sure, until they collapsed) we both went home. Kaline basically slept away the evening, which Juno certainly appreciated. There was much cuddling, which is also practice for Kaline's eventual deep pressure tasks. I figure the more he sleeps on top of me, and enjoys it, the more he'll enjoy doing tasks like "on me" (lie completely on top of me, head under my chin), "cuddle" (lie next to me with your back pressed into my chest/stomach), and "across" (lie across my lap and lean into my chest while I sit on the floor). There's totally a method to my madness. Promise.