9 Weeks – 6 December 2011

Dash is now 9 weeks and is a brilliant little pup.  Full of mischief, loves to play and is proving an apt little pupil.  We are doing the odd fun retrieve with her little stuffed duck which she loves.  She charges out to collect it and runs straight back to me.  I’m letting her hold on to it while I make a fuss of her.  Her recall is wonderful.  She is responding very well to her name and no matter what she’s doing she comes when she’s called.

I’ve been working with the clicker and she’s offering very nice neat sits.  I’m also teaching her to sit on a “place” box.  This is something new which I haven’t tried before with my other dogs, but I believe it will be a great aid when working on steadiness in the presence of distractions.  I believe it will work as the box provides a very clear boundary.  I can then also use the “box” as a target for “send-aways” or as an introduction to blind retrieves.

She has had her collar on virtually the whole afternoon today and doesn’t seem worried by it at all.  The next hurdle is the lead.  I’ll clip it on her collar when she’s eating and on and off during the course of the day.  While she is off lead with me I’m clicking and treating her for being on my left hand side whenever the opportunity presents itself.

She’s been for two outings to our training venue and has taken to the great outdoors like the proverbial duck to water!  Her following behaviour is great and she follows all of us, her mom, her granddam and her grandsire and me through long grass and short, through marshy ground, up hills and down – all at a half-run to keep up.  She’s been exposed to starter pistol shot and did not turn a hair, even at close quarters.  She has watched the older dogs training with intensity and seems fascinated by everything.  Completely passed out in the car and didn’t move a muscle or blink an eye for the full three-quarter of an hour drive home.  Of course, the car is now a very special part of her daily round and she has completely got over her initial wariness of this large, noisy, smelly beast.

We have scheduled for this week another adventure walk, exposure to horses, another fun visit to the vet and a trip to the shopping mall.

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