Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dave's Guest Post

Today I took Nika to her third week of beginner obedience. It was also her first day at home while Katie was at work. I'm sure she was bored, but it's tough to tell how much that's affecting her right now. She's been removing yogurt cans from the recycling and searching the room for the best chews, with an occasional bark thrown in. Of course, none of this is unusual, but I think Katie and I both feel bad when we don't get to do something with her where we can say, "OK, she's definitely going to be tired tonight."

Anyway, her second week of class, last week, was really awesome. She paid great attention for the whole hour and aced everything she was supposed to do. I often only half listen to what Grace is saying because it seems more important to keep the puppy working the whole time, and because Katie has probably already taught her what she needs to know. (Thanks Katie!)

This week wasn't quite as good. There were more big dogs doing obedience in the ring next to us. Nika never totally lost it, but she did spend a lot of time looking at them. It would usually be a short glance and then back to me, but still. All the tricks went pretty well except for down. She couldn't do the raised arm down at all, and she was even slow with the lure. Oh, and it was also taking two "comes" after a stay to get her.

But distraction isn't really that bad, especially considering how much her focus is increasing as she's getting older. The more frustrating thing is when she does things she knows she's not supposed to. Lately, this has been pushing open the gate at the top of our stairs and running downstairs. I can hear the getaway, and when I go out, she's always close enough to look at me and decide it will be way better to ignore me and make a break for it. I know I'm not supposed to chase her in this situation, but it's also not good to have her wandering the house. Not really sure what the best thing to do is.

To end on a positive note, she's really cute. One of our favorite pastimes is to go out back and sit down together and just watch Jonah run around. She's really good at focusing on him, but I guess she still likes to have a friend to watch with.

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