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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Full time play buddy!

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Prior to today, Dazzle and Voodoo have only played in short bursts, usually ending in Dazzle telling the puppy to “knock it off”. But this morning, almost exactly 1 month since Voodoo arrived, it was like a light switch was flipped. They played off and on (more on than off) for nearly 2 hours! I think the bonding and friendship are finally complete. Dazzle now sees Voodoo as a good playmate and I am SOOO happy! They have been playing in long stretches throughout the day (& all through the house!) Here are some highlights:

Another first today- Voodoo has gone OUT the dog door on his own several times today!  Before today, he had mastered coming in, but still needed a human to hold the dog door open (at least a little) when he wanted to go out.  But today, he barreled right out after Dazzle!  And then went out on his own again a few times just because he wanted to be outside. He loves being outside, even the past few days that have been really hot. He lays in the shade and entertains himself or plays with the in-ground tug toy or wanders around the yard exploring.

And he’s moved up to a “big boy” crate (medium size) for sleeping at night. The puppy crate was looking a bit cramped and he likes to stretch out when he sleeps. So tonight, the bigger crate will be on the floor instead of on the table by the bed. I don’t expect any issues. <knock on wood> 🙂

Last night we did a little work on the exercise ball.  His balance and core strength are incredible! Especially for his age! I was trying to hold the camera with one hand and do the luring with the other, so the camera work sucks.  But you get the idea. I don’t know if, at this age, he should have the strength and balance to be able to stand on only his hind feet on a balance ball, but as you can see, he wasn’t having any problem.


Voodoo a.k.a. “Stealth”

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I think I should have named Voodoo “Stealth” and might have to put a bell on him! He is a pro at sneaking into/out of a room without being noticed, getting under foot when you think he’s across the room, and sometimes sneaking off to a room where he shouldn’t be (to bark at the cat who annoys him by totally ignoring his desire to play). Either that or my hearing isn’t what it used to be. 🙂

Training is going well, but I haven’t gotten photos/video lately. Mostly because I’m incorporating training more into daily life rather than having formal training sessions.  Taking a few minutes here and there throughout the day to do a short session on whatever I feel needs practice.  Easier for me, but not conducive to getting it captured for sharing. Sorry.



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I have acclimated Voodoo to his swimming vest (same as I did with his harness, but it went really fast) and he’s now been begging to go in the pool to swim!  He puts his front feet on the edge and does little hops and just about pulled himself up. He needs to be bigger before he swims on his own though so he can get out on his own!

So cute in his vest!

6-23-16 life jacket Sm

A couple profile shots (almost 13 weeks old in these shots) I measured him tonight (at exactly 13 weeks) and he grew a full inch last week!  He’s now 15″ tall.

6-23-16 profile1 Sm6-23-16 profile2 Sm

“I have shredded all the tissue boxes you gave me and I’m ready for more mom!”

6-23-16 shredder Sm


Barn Hunt trial

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From 6-26-16

Voodoo did great at the Barn Hunt trial where I was back-up Judging today!  He was quiet in his crate even when I wasn’t by his crate and even took a nap when I ran Dazzle twice. Last night was his first experience there for the Friday evening trial and he was more fussy. Nancy took him outside and walked him around to keep him quiet when I was Judging and running Dazzle.  But today he did great. Hoping for a repeat of today when we go back for the last day of the trial. The dog with the crate that is covered with the white sheet was a Beagle who was baying frequently. At first Voodoo wanted to join in, but he quickly learned that (just like at home) being quiet pays off and barking doesn’t 🙂

6-24-16 CCDTC BH trial Sm

Might be time for a bigger crate though 🙂

6-24-16 need bigger crate Sm

Stay, Directional Control, and Go outs

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I moved to the basement to get more space (because it’s too hot and humid outside!) and Voodoo made great progress!  We worked on stay because he now has a good grasp of the sit target and that made it much easier for him to understand the difficult concept of “don’t move while I move away from you”.

Also got a bit more distance on the directing to the targets. And his go out (around the cone) made huge progress!  He was going a long way for a little pup! And with gusto! He definitely loves that exercise.

Not on camera, but we also did some retrieve work with his toy to try to get more distance. Unfortunately, retrieve isn’t one of his favorite things.  I think he feels like “If you want it, why do you keep throwing it!?” I’m hoping that as he gets older and better able to keep up with Dazzle that he will do less stalking/waiting and more chasing and learn to love it. Just taking it slow and keeping it fun. Hopefully the retriever part of his breed will kick in 🙂 I’ve been rewarding more with tug than food and I think that’s helping.

Size update 9 wks to 12 wks

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Voodoo went to the vet for his shots and a chiropractic adjustment yesterday, so they were able to get his weight accurately.

At his 9 weeks check up, he was 12.5″ tall at the shoulders and 11 lbs.

At 12 weeks, he is 14″ tall and 18.8 lbs. (up to Dazzle’s elbow)

Looking at him and lifting him, it seems like there should be more of a difference 🙂 But that’s what the number are. I did the same thing with Dazzle and by 12 weeks he was 16.5″ tall. So Voodoo might not get as tall as I was hoping without a big growth spurt, but I’ll love him just the same. 🙂

Directional Control, Go outs and Leave it

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Worked on several things yesterday.  The sit target is well understood and is now being used as part of the directional control training. By placing 2 sit targets (one on either side of me) I can direct him to the target that will “pay off”. He picked this up quickly. As the training progresses, I’ll add more distance. I’ll also start close by me with 2 targets to get “move out away from me to a target” and “come in toward me to a target” in addition to the left and right directionals we are currently working on. This will eventually get used in field work when the downed bird was seen by me, but not Voodoo and I need to direct him with visual cues to where it is located if the send out goes bad.

I also started and made excellent progress on the “go out” that will have the cue “fly” (as in fly away). I used luring to get him into a rhythm of circle the cone to the right, then the left, then right, then left. When I stood up to stretch my back, Voodoo went around the cone! So I did less luring at that point and only used it to help him when he got stuck.  In this first session, we went from zero understanding of the behavior, to racing around the cone with joy! I know some people are “anti-luring” or feel the lure should be faded quickly.  But I feel luring is a very useful tool in helping the dog get it right quickly and avoiding the frustration that free shaping a dog that is not advanced, can bring. It also allowed me get speed into the behavior right from the start.

Lastly is a short bit of the start of “leave it” training. Just “hand zen” at this point.  I start by clicking for his nose moving away from the hand with the treat and eventually click for eye contact as well.  Eventually, when I say “leave it”, my goal is to have the dog give me eye contact. If they are looking at my face, they can’t get into much trouble 🙂 I haven’t worked on this behavior much at all, so we aren’t very far into it. But I NEED it on cue because Voodoo likes to pick up all sorts of things off the ground. For now, “release” and trading him a treat for the items seems to be working. but I’d like to prevent the pick up of strange items in the first place. 🙂

Okay, here is the video:

Voodoo vs. Spray bottle

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Since it’s so hot, I decided it was a good day to get Voodoo used to the spray bottle. I want to use it to keep him wet, so he stays cool when it gets this hot. I think he liked it!

He was a bit unsure of it at first, but quickly decided he had to attack it!

My husband: “Do you HAVE to teach all the dog to bark at spray bottles?”

Me: “Yes, yes I do”  LOL

Although once he got over the frustration of it, he didn’t bark as much.  I cut out about a minute of the barking. You’re welcome 🙂

Nail trims

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Short clip of Voodoo’s latest progress with nail trims.

I didn’t get the previous practice steps on video, but it has been mostly desensitization. First to the treat dispensing machine, then paw holding, the dremel sound, then combining them to get to this point.

Pop Con and Celtic Fest

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From 6-20-16

Voodoo continues to blow me away with his confidence and boldness! On Saturday we went to the Indy “Pop Con” and he met and played with all sorts of creatures and people! He met dinosaurs, Storm Troopers, Ninja Turtles, people of all colors (like blue and green and purple), Ghost Busters, a zombie, and people with all sorts of masks and costumes! NONE of it phased him!! He got to practice some mat work (relax on your mat in a distracting environment) and we also walked around downtown a bit (from the convention center to the parking area and on each potty walk). He even rode in a glass elevator a few times. I put him on my walker when he was tired, but mostly he wandered through the crowds of weird sights on his own feet. When he needed to rest, we just parked off to the side and people of all sorts came to him. 🙂 Check out this video!

Today (Sunday) we visited the Celtic Festival, held at the OH Ren Fest grounds. Voodoo met LOTS of people, (and shown in this video) a Highland cow, a not-so-friendly sheep, a 6 mo. old Papillon, and listened to lots of live music.