Friday, March 1, 2013

Darby Update

Heard about Darby today!

Chris said she has been worried because he has had a hard time transferring to other people.  This is mostly my fault because I am super excited and cheerful and am really high energy when rewarding something the dogs do.  Darby was used to that and when he didn't get the super high energy he didn't want to work.  I need to learn from this and remember to tone down my praise especially when the dogs get closer to going into final training.

A man who suffered a stroke came to MAWP to meet another dog and it went well but for shits and giggles Chris brought out Darby to meet him too.  Darby went nuts barking at the guy and was super freaked out at first.  He even tried to crawl into Chris's lap to "hide" from him.  Not how you want an introduction to go. Then Darby tentatively sniffed the guy and all of a sudden was the guy's best friend.  Complete 180 from how he was.

Chris tried a brace harness on Darby for the first time and even had the guy walk Darby and use the brace.  She said it went really well.  Then afterwards the dogs were all running around loose and Darby came over and lay down at the guy's feet.  This is a biggie!  If a dog chooses to be by a person when they could be running around with their friends it is a very good sign.

If Darby is going to be placed with this guy he has to NEVER pull EVER.  Chris is going to work with Darby and see how it goes.  The man will come out again at some point and they will see if Darby still likes him.  This is not final in anyway but I am just super excited that Darby got to meet a possible person.  The man and his brother who came with him thought Darby was awesome.  I am completely biased but I agree ;-).

Having a dog in final training is a completely new experience for me and a huge learning experience.  Chris has the extremely tough job of getting dogs with all different skills and personalities.  Sometimes, depending on their puppy raiser, the dog will have certain gaps in their training.  With Chris handling Darby she can tell me what his gaps are and I can work really hard to make those gaps not happen with the next dog.  So far I know I need to work on bringing down my energy level, not using the leash so much to correct the dog (put the leash in my pocket and let my body language to the job instead of my arms), and making sure each puppy I have gets a super solid base in obedience.  The last one I have known and thought I did that with Darby but I feel I can make it even better after raising Darby from a puppy and seeing what he grew up to act like.

In other news... MY PUPPY HAS BEEN PICKED!  The MAWP server is down so they haven't been able to send me pictures but I will let you all know as soon as I get pictures and we make it 'official'.

Family Photo back in October

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