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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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You are doing great so far. I'd keep working with her as well as taking the class.  I really think she needs a group class as part of the socialization. but if you want to have a trainer come to give you some pointers and suggestions to tide you over, that would be nice also.  I would work on 'Leave It and Off' (as in off a piece of furniture (like when you want to sit there).

Oh, I completely agree she needs a group class. It's just that they are in the middle of a session so we can't start until the next session. Even the drop in place doesn't have an opening until 4/29, and by that time she's too old for their puppy class. We can take surviving adolescence then. But it's like it's puppy season or something LOL. And if I had planned to get her I would have pre-planned the classes. But now we're sort of stuck working with what is available. I wonder if maybe a Petsmart puppy class would be better than nothing. I'm not a huge fan of their training, but it's just puppy. And just the first puppy class! 

Leave it and off are both good things to work on. One area I really struggle with is the command names. I use off for feet off. Feet off the counter, feet off me. But then I also use off when I want her to give me something that she picked up and I wonder if those should be separate commands. Maybe an off and an out? I use scoot over when she's sitting where I want to sit. I could also use some help with hand signals. I know there's no one absolute standard, but what most people use for signals, I guess. 

I know one mistake I made with Katie was not taking her for rides enough as a puppy. She doesn't really enjoy going. It was always easier to just leave her home when I was running out for 5 minutes. I made her a homebody. But then Ava and Maggie I took everywhere with me from the time I got them. They like to go. So tonight Willow got her first adventure to the hardware store (for carpet cleaner of course!) and then through the car wash. She was a little nervous about the car wash but she did great. Maggie loves going there. We have a car wash subscription so we go a couple times a week. Sometimes it's just an excuse to take her for a little ride. 

I would use "drop it" for when you want her to give you something she picked up. I only use "off" when I really do want them off something. 

You mean please give that back, isn't the right cue? Tee hee

Drop it is a never ending battle around here.  Lego, stuffed toys, mangoes and other fruit, artwork, markers, children's clothing....and off is 90% for her to get her paws off the counter.   Last week I had a casserole soaking in the sink and she wouldn't leave it alone so I boobie trapped it with a small bead of dish soap around the edge... she didn't bug the casserole again lol.  I'm usually about 100% positive reinforcement but sometimes a little deterrent is necessary ;)  (yes she is tall enough now to stick her head INTO the bottom of the sink...)

The challenges of having a puppy and children! I don't have that battle with other stuff around the house. But paws on the counter is so self-reinforcing. And I don't think a consequence for bad behavior is a bad thing once in a while. 

I can't believe how big Riley has gotten! I bet you're having so much fun with her!

DH keeps saying he doesn't remember Luna being this bad.. yeah we didn't have kids yet! Lol.  We had more time for her training and to tire her out, there wasn't as much stuff around for her to get into and Riley is much larger so she can get into more stuff.  

She is a lot of fun, she is generally a good girl but 100% mischief :p

I think we just forget how hard that initial puppy stage is. If you didn't, you'd never have another puppy. People say that women forget the pain of childbirth. (I wouldn't know.) And certainly some puppies are harder than others. Katie was a tough puppy. I never made her mind. My refrain was, she's just a baby. But then she was 1 and she was out of control. The dog trainer who came to help me brought his 1 year old demo dog who was amazing, and I thought, this is where we should be at 1? So I blame myself for that and this time I am different. But really Willow seems completely different. I know she's 17 weeks and not 8, but she is teething (lost two teeth this week!) and she's not nearly as much of a shark. She isn't dangling off my pant leg, she isn't trying to eat everything that isn't hers. So maybe it really is personality. I deserve an easy one after Katie's puppyhood!

Jasper was a really easy puppy. He's gotten much harder as he's gotten older. I guess he came to me perfect and I messed him up. :(

I don't for one second think you messed him up. He's a teenager now. That's just a new stage of naughty. Let's get him a friend! Two naughty dogs are better than one. 

Thank you, Stacy.
He does need a friend. Problem is, none of the breeders I would buy a puppy from will sell me one if I don't get some letters after Jasper's name, and the right rescue dog has not appeared. :( 

Totally what Nancy said.  Working in different situations: pet stores, Home Depot, and in a group of other dogs of different ages, sizes and temperaments.  Work on different surfaces: cocrete, grass, AstroTurf etc.

i think you might enjoy a Rally class.  It is really fun and not moving in circles.  Go on the AKC website to learn more, find trials etc.  At a local trial you can find a local trainer if you cannot find one on the internet.

Sounds like you are really enjoying your puppies.

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