Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rigby at 18 Weeks Old

Hard to believe my little girl is 18 weeks old -- and she's not so little anymore!  Rigby is growing up in more ways than one, she is maturing and becoming even more of a sweet pup, loving and so friendly to everyone she meets.

Since my last blog post about her first night of puppy kindergarten we have continued to work on her many skills and she advances quickly with every new challenge put to her.  We usually train once a day for 15 minutes and it is amazing to me the progress she shows with only that much work.  I've tried to keep her training fun and varied, always introducing new and different exercises.

Friday evening I took Rigby to the training building of the Westmoreland County Obedience Training Club for the first time and we did some training with my friend Karen Schroeder and her Golden Retriever pup Skye.  This was the first time the two pups had met and they got along well and I think they had fun working together.

One exercise we did with the two pups was to allow them to engage in some light play with both of them on leash and then Karen or I would call our pup away from the fun, teaching them to come to us even when they might prefer to continue to play.  Both pups did well with this exercise.  There was also a tunnel that both pups got to run through and, when given some free time, Rigby chose to carry a toy through the tunnel numerous times as she made a circuit around the training building.

Following the Basic Obedience class I'm teaching on Saturdays I brought Rigby into the training building and she had a play session with Jake the Corgi.  Rigby enjoyed her play time with Jake, but was surprised to find that, unlike her Corgi friend Jackson, Jake had a tail!  Then she met the very un-Sheltie-like Sheltie Hoover and was not sure of what to make of all that hair and energy.  We told her she better get used to Shelties, they're everywhere!!

In our morning training sessions this week we worked on Rigby's retrieve of a glove, since she'll need to locate and indicate a glove at the end of her tracking tests.  For this exercise I used clicker training and, spending about 5 minutes a morning for three mornings, she quickly learned to pick up the glove and deliver it to my hand very consistently.

On Wednesday Rigby surprised me by getting a dumbbell off the kitchen table and carrying it into the living room where we had been playing.  Weeks earlier I had tried to work with her to carry/retrieve the dumbbell, but she just wanted to chew the ends of it, so I put it away.  When I saw her carrying the dumbbell by her own choice and with her mouth on the bar, as it should be carried, I thought, well, why not, let's try this again.  Using the same method we had worked with the glove, by Friday morning she was delivering the dumbbell to my hand consistently, and when I took her to the training building on Friday evening she also performed in the same manner.  

So Saturday morning I asked a friend to take a video of Rigby doing her dumbbell retrieve and, once again, she didn't disappoint...

Here's another short video of Rigby from Saturday morning doing a few of her training exercises, a front and a finish; the spin and the twist; a bit of heeling, with some sits; and a down.  In this video you can see how tall she has become and what a happy worker she is.

I'm glad to have these videos to show Rigby at 18 weeks, as I've not taken many pictures the last couple weeks and I don't want any of this precious puppy time to fade from my memory too quickly.  I'm having a blast with Rigby and learning so much!

Rigby at 18 weeks old.

If you noticed the tag hanging from her collar, it's her new I.D. tag,
 perfect for the purple puppy!

A Little Sunday Morning Fun!

This morning I thought I'd introduce you to a couple of Rigby's favorite toys.  They all have names and I swear she knows them by name!

This is Lion Kracklehead, his head has plastic bottle material shapped into a ball and it makes a crackling sound.  Sometimes he is call Lion Knucklehead by mistake!

This is Rigby trying to steal Lion Kracklehead during his photo shoot!

This is Flat Stanley!  His head was stuffed and plump, but when the stuffing started to show I took all the material out and he became rather flat.  All the little compartments on his body have a squeaker in them.

This is Purple Monkey, a fun chew toy who travels almost everywhere with Rigby.  He can tug, cuddle or be chewed, great toy!

Happy Sunday to you all.  Rigby wants to go have some fun, so we're off for a walk before it gets too cold!

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