21 Weeks 2 Days- Getting Our Groove Back

Dec 4, 2004 | Stitch's Story

This week she’s going to get a regrown rear dewclaw removed. We’re planning on doing this without a general anaesthetic, so I need her shaved and well-behaved. We spend breakfast shaving her and working on lying on the table. Considered both our behaviours yesterday, she’s wonderful. She doesn’t try to get up at all when I put her on her side on the grooming table. I reward her every minute or so, and she stays very well. When I get to shaving her back feet, she whimpers a bit, but still stays. Since I’ve got her back end shaved, I do her muzzle as well, then brush out her pack and do a little stack-on-the-table work. She’s brilliant. I think there’s a photo of her dad at this age on a website, I should take one of her and send it to him. And I’m going to hunt her down and hold her to do her eye drops from now on, rather than calling her and asking her to sit. Duh.

We have an afternoon nap. She’s just as noisy this time, but doesn’t struggle as much. I finally turn her upside down again, and again she falls asleep right away. Interesting mental glitch on my part – I KNOW she’s a big brave puppy, that’s what I wanted, and that’s what I picked from the litter, but I haven’t before thought to deal with that on any but a strictly training/behaviour level. Now I’m hearing a lot of people over the years complaining that their big brave dogs “aren’t cuddly except on their own terms” and I’m thinking I need to spend a little more effort teaching her to accept things she doesn’t want to accept.

For supper we work on Eye Contact. Very good. Then I start doing about turns with her watching all the way around. She’s pretty darn good at it. We practise it X20 and she’s working about 14 right on a 360-degree turn. Tomorrow we’ll test it.

Then we do some front-rays and bullseyes. She’s not quite as good as when we stopped a couple of weeks ago, but pretty darn good nevertheless.

I start walking slowly around the kitchen, clicking and dropping a kibble every time she finds my eyes. Pretty soon she’s really into this new game. She spends a bit too much time searching for one final kibble each time I drop one, but soon remembers what made it drop and comes to find my eyes again. Between the counters and the island, she can’t quite find me, but as soon as we approach a wider space, she spurts out ahead of me so she can find my eyes from the front. A very good start. We’re getting back in the training groove.

And just before bedtime, Miss Independence comes to the couch and asks to come up for a cuddle.