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I just signed Maggie up for a class in scent work that starts next month and I'm super excited. This is something I've never experienced. I hope she likes it. We might be getting the tiniest bit tired of walking around in circles, though she loves class. Something different might be fun. 

I also signed Willow up for puppy class. She will be 5 months when it starts. It's later than I would like - I would like to start today. But that's when the next class starts. She has a solid sit and down already. And today I taught her to sit from standing. And she's learning stand. She also has half of a roll over and comes nicely when called. I've put her on leash a tiny bit. Of course she wants to eat it. And sitting beside me instead of in front of me is new and different. 

So my question, if you've made it this far, is should I just keep doing what I'm doing and wait for the class or have the private trainer come out for a couple sessions before? I'm not a great trainer, but I know a couple things. I'm not sure if it would be helpful to still have him come out. 

The second part of this is, what else should we be working on in the meantime? I got out the Nina Ottoson puzzle and she got it. I also put some kibble in one of the square kong toys and she had fun with that. But I want her to have all the experiences and really expand her brain while she's still young. I was thinking maybe work on touch. And there used to be a game called 101 things to do with a box (or something like that.) Where they offer behaviors and you treat for that. 

I have such big plans for this little girl! I would like to see her be one of those dogs that gets her CGC at 6 months old. 

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I would never hate you, Nancy. 
I hate e-collars. I can't conceive of ever wanting to shock my dog for any reason, whether it hurts or not. A little slap doesn't really hurt either. What's the difference? That the dog doesn't know the "unpleasant sensation" is coming from you? To me, a shock collar seems like a way to avoid putting in the work to teach the dog not to do something; just zap him instead. And even when it's used right, it really isn't a very effective training tool. It did not take Jane's Murphy very long to get collar wise. I don't think it's anything at all like "nothing in life is free". In NILIF, the dog has to behave to earn privileges, not behave to avoid getting punished/shocked. 
I think a prong collar is a whole other ball game; used correctly, it just pinches when it tightens. I don't see a big difference between that and a martingale or a slip lead. The dog totally controls his collar tightening or not. 
Putting up a knee is just blocking, and there is nothing wrong with that...it's your knee making contact with the dog's ribcage that is dangerous. And people will do that forcefully, and even kick the dog. I'd rather have my dog learn not to jump up than risk someone doing that to him at a dog park or elsewhere. We are teaching him to sit when he greets people, instead of jumping. 

So, I wasn't overly impressed with this puppy class. I kind of felt like I know more than the trainer. But I still think it's good for her to go and that we will get something out of it. I wonder if maybe puppy classes are just never what I think they will be. I've never taken a puppy class that I loved. There are four dogs. Another doodle named Maggie - she's 22 weeks and huge. I wonder if Willow will be that big when she's 22 weeks. I'm so excited to see her grow. An Irish Setter named Finn. They said he was 25 pounds, but he looks tiny next to the fluffy dogs. And a 12 week old Great Pyranees puppy named Daisy. She's going to be enormous. I love her. I have no clue what any of the people names are. It was great though. At the end we took them off leash and let them play like little wild children. They had so much fun! And it was in the middle of a thunder storm and no one seemed the least bit fazed by the thunder. 

Willow drools like a fountain in the car. She hasn't vomited, but I know she's nervous. We need to go on more car rides. She also pooped in the car on the drive. Then she stepped in it. I think she was nervous! Overall a really good night. I wonder what we should do today!

I feel like the only useful part of puppy class is the socialization if you've had a dog before.  Sounds like Willow and the other pups had fun!  Riley didn't go to puppy class as there are lots of dogs in our neighborhood and she seems well socialized enough, people we run into are always saying how nicely she greets other dogs (especially little ones).

At Willow's age Riley was gaining a pound or two a week.  She started to slow down at around 6 months.

The socialization is really what I'm after. Not even so much with the other dogs though. I want her to meet other people and experience different places. Living alone there aren't a lot of strangers who come to the house. I want her to see men and kids and all of that. I'm hoping that she will be comfortable in all sorts of social situations so she can take advantage of the dog friendly places out there. And she doesn't even have to be super social with strangers. I just don't want her to lose her mind if we see a man in a hat and sunglasses for the first time. She seems pretty outgoing. I didn't have the opportunity to take her to the post office and have strangers pet my dog. But hopefully she'll be okay anyway.

Riley gets very excited seeing anyone on the street which we need to work on.  It's problematic because of all the kids around and we also have a lot of Muslim neighbors who are terrified of her.  I am working on stepping on her leash and rewarding  her focusing on me instead of whoever is walking nearby even if they approach to pet her.

You guys, I have to brag on Willow for a minute, and it doesn't need its own discussion. She is just the best puppy. I can't believe there's someone out in the world who had her and didn't want her. She's got the sweetest little personality. So balanced. She can be crazy puppy, but she has an off switch too. We were at the vet and I was paying and the other dogs lose their minds, but Willow just laid down beside me and waited until I was finished. And she is so smart. Sit, down, stand, touch, leave it, come, potty outside (that's a big one!) It's all easy. She likes to go in the car, she's not drooling anymore. She's not afraid of the vacuum. She eats her probiotic like it's a treat.

My only "complaint" if you can even call it that is that she's obsessed with pulling on Maggie's ears, face, chest, neck... And Maggie won't tell her no. I know I'm overthinking it and that Maggie will make her stop when she has enough, but she just looks so pathetic standing there with a puppy hanging off her beard, and I think I should protect her somehow. 

The big girls are at the groomer this morning so we were practicing leave it in the kitchen and I'm throwing treats all over the room and rewarding her with the treat in my hand when she redirected. She didn't even look at the other treats. I swear she just understands the game. 

I just needed to share my puppy love. Every time I look at her I think I couldn't have picked better if I had gotten to choose between all the puppies. I can't wait for the training club people to see her and be so impressed with how much we already know. I'm just having such a good time with all three of them. I had my moments of doubt about a third dog, but it turns out I really did need just one more!

Can you show me Riley's off switch? It might be broken today lol.  Or maybe I can just borrow a dog or two to wear her out :p  

She has attempted to steal so many of DD's toys this morning (and my housecoat...which I am wearing) and she has only been loose an hour! She usually settles down around 10 am, almost there :p

Glad Willow is doing so well it sounds like you are enjoying her a lot!

To be totally fair, I give the big girls a lot of credit for how easy Willow has been. It's like full time doggy daycare over here. They play hard. I always talk about how challenging Katie was as a puppy. it might have been different if she'd had someone to wear her out better than I could. Although, Willow is over here by herself now and she's just lying on her back playing with her toy, so maybe part of it is her. It's hard to say. I am also different. I know a lot more. She doesn't get away with everything just because she's a baby. I didn't do anyone any favors with that attitude. 

Having my mom close to come let her out on days I work is also a game changer. When Katie was a puppy we lived out in the boonies and I was on my own. It took some real creativity to keep from losing my mind. 

It's too bad you can't just bring Riley for a playdate. I bet we could find that off switch! Everyone would be tired and well behaved. 

I am enjoying her. I love and enjoy all of them in their own special ways. And I feel like my heart and bed are closer to full than they have been in a long time. I think Willow is going to be really good for all of us.

I already shared this didn’t I?  Babette is 2 1/2 now and is still obsessed with Charlie and his  ears. When she visits he ends up becoming VERY quiet and hiding in unobtrusive places. LOL   He never tells her NO  

You did! I'm still hoping she will grow out of it or Maggie will tell her no, or we'll train it out of her. It's not very nice behavior! Maggie doesn't seem intimidated by her, she had Willow on her back earlier this morning. But in addition to the ears Willow grabs her by the collar... Maggie is my dog, not her dog. She needs to be nice to her big sister!

Babette is doing the collar grab too. Luckily she’s only a visitor in his life so we don’t have this on a 24/7 basis. 

I really have hope that since she's not a visitor that it is something that will resolve. I mean, it's one thing for your bratty niece to pick on you when she visits, it's another thing for your sibling to pick on you all the time. Willow's never going away! 

It's so fun to watch them grow. Yesterday and today Willow decided that Katie is pretty fun to play with. Or maybe Katie decided that Willow's not so bad. Those two have been wrestling and playing tug with each other. It was the first time I've really seen Willow hang on and tug. So cute.

But Katie has much better boundaries than Maggie does. She's not mean, she just isn't a total pushover and she told Willow to knock it off. I think they will all figure it out. Now, if I can just convince her that digging in the mud is not fun...

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