Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tess Turns One

Happy Birthday to Tessie.  Salmon Doggie Birthday Cake all around.

And the shocking truth of no 'sit stay' at a year old.  I know.  She was so shut down as a pup that I wanted to focus more on encouraging behaviors rather than working on impulse control.  Because you have to have some impulses before you can control them.  It is becoming an issue at agility class because there are some exercises where it would be good to have a lead out.  My agility instructor gave me a month so I have a solid goal to shoot for.  That was 2 weeks ago and we're getting there.  Tess is doing much better than Ruby but Ruby is doing o.k.  We'll all get there.

Tess' birthday was actually December 28 according to the rescue but I'm not sure if that's her fake birthday that they had to give her to get her out of Texas because in Texas your 4th grader can take an AK47 to school but you can't take a dog over state lines unless it's vaccinated and the pups were too young so the rescue kind of fudged it.  And who really knows for sure anyway.  The pups were pulled out from under the house on February 4th and I think the guess was that they were around 4 weeks old.  So I'm going to put Tess' official birthday and Jan. 3rd, 2017.  Because why not.  Lola's birthday was the end of December and it was always so confusing to remember what year she was born since it was so close to the year turning over so January will make things easier to remember.

She's doing really well, she's come so far.  She loves going for walks and is very confident.  She still wants nothing to do with other dogs but so far is not reactive to them.  She ignores them and will try to get away if they get too close.  This can still change so I'm forever working on this.  I've taken her to a quiet DOCNA trial and a busy USDAA trial, both indoors at the same place, and she did great walking around.  She won't go in the bleachers which is not a huge deal.  I was mostly working on shaping her to do it since she seemed o.k. with all the other hub bub going on around her.  I got her to walk under the measuring stanchion on the ground with the measure part up high.  She took treats from some strangers.  She was excited and confident outside around the grounds, there was lots of yummy goose and horse poop.  I don't mind the horse poop but too much goose poop can be toxic so I had to limit her time in those areas where it was bad.

She's doing well at agility, still sometimes alarm barking at people but it's easier now to stop her.  This week we worked on front crosses and the teeter and I've got some video footage of her.  She looks so very slow to me, even trotting at times but the exercise had so many turns.  It felt like it was more about me learning the handling and timing than her getting to run.  She's so handler focused in part because of the type of handling work we've been doing.  I need to get her out to the practice field and let her go on some extension type exercises.  But I haven't been to the field in over a year, maybe two because I can't reserve it just for myself and Tess will be scared if another dog comes, no way she'll do anything.  I'm always taking a chance that I'll get something set up then have to leave.  I was so sure I'd have my own place by now.  Maybe I'll take some jumps to the dog park super early, that way if someone comes and I have to leave at least I didn't waste any money.  Hmmm.  I did have an agility friend offer for me to come over to practice.  She's almost an hour's drive away but I think it'll be worth it.  Now if only I can remember to contact her to set something up.

A short clip from Wednesday's class.  There's an example of her alarm barking at the start.  She's doing it more to get my attention than because she's scared.  She knows the guy she's barking at and he's given her zillions of treats over the past few months.


I was super pleased with the teeter.  She doesn't like putting her back feet on the planks but we've been practicing 2 on/2 off on a short plank in the living room propped against the couch and she thinks that's a great game.  Now to get her over her fear of heights.

Overall Tess is doing well at her one year mark.  She's always going to be afraid of new things but at least she's happy, comfortable, confident in her normal routine. 

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