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Monthly Archives: July 2016

16 weeks old!

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From 7-17-16

16 weeks old today! Photo taken in Devou park, KY. Had to wait for a wedding party to finish and then get him in there before several other people moved in to sit on the benches. I would have preferred his weight be shifted a bit more forward, but considering I only got a few shots to get this done, I’m really pleased I got a shot this nice! Enlisted a stranger to get his attention off me 🙂

7-16-16 Sixteen weeks old 5x7 sm

Gun Range

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From 7-12-16

Took Voodoo to the nearest outdoor gun range today to ensure he continues to do well with gun shots (so he can do gun dog sports). I parked a few streets away and we walked up and down the street for a bit (parallel to the range) with the shots at a distance. There were more people shooting as we did this, so the shots were frequent. Then I moved my vehicle a bit closer and walked to the range entrance from there as the shooting died down a bit. We didn’t get any closer than the entrance because the shots were quite loud there and when they got a bit louder, I realized (right before we left) that they were now shooting TOWARD us! Just bird shot, so it couldn’t reach us, but still a bit unnerving to have 3 guys pointing their shotguns your direction and I could hear the shot falling through the trees across the driveway.

There were some nearby construction noises on the other side of the road, including nail guns. And we were right next to the road where light traffic was whizzing by. He had no issues with any of it. We had to walk along the narrow country road to get to the range, so when I first parked, I was off on a side road and we walked toward the main road so he could see/hear the vehicles before we had to walk right next to them (no shoulder to walk on, since it was either a ditch or a hill).

I purposely didn’t work on anything that required rapid fire treats because I wanted to see what his body language was when he wasn’t focused on treats. That way I could ensure that if he got nervous, we could get out of there quickly. But he was happy to pull me toward the gun range to follow a scent and (not on video) he got bored with walking back and forth so he laid down and chewed on a stick for awhile (till I realized we had become “down range”).

Sorry if this video makes anyone dizzy. It’s really hard to get video when he’s walking right next to me!

Water play and cousins

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From 7-11-16

I took Voodoo to the park to play in some moving water.  I took along his life vest, but he didn’t need it.  I had his bumper toy attached to the end of a lunge whip so I could move it around and most importantly, get it back if he decided not to retrieve from the water 🙂  But he did GREAT!  I started in the shallow water and gradually built him up to deeper and deeper retrieves. Also moved the toy around for him to chase in and out of the water at a variety of depths. When I was tired, I sat on the pavement ledge and tossed a stick into the water for him to get, which he did several times. SO happy with how his retrieve is progressing! Especially since a few weeks ago it seemed like he didn’t see any point in multiple retrieves. I’d get one, maybe two short throws and then he would ignore the thrown item. So we worked on it in short sessions and I did everything I could to make it as fun and rewarding as possible and now he loves to retrieve!

After the water session, I went to my Sister-in-law’s house for dinner and took Voodoo along to play with her two 8 month old mixed breed puppies. They are about the same size as Voodoo right now, but they haven’t had as much opportunity to play with other dogs.  They were a bit over whelmed by him at first, so we moved outside and they had some really good play sessions. But then they got over confident and started getting too assertive so we stopped the play. Might try again once Voodoo is a bit bigger 🙂

Playing with Dazzle

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Dazzle and Voodoo have gotten even more comfortable with playing and have a better understanding of what the other likes and doesn’t like. Dazzle likes to hold Voodoo’s back leg and Voodoo seems to set himself up for it, so I don’t think he minds and might even like it. Dazzle has a very gentle hold. I have had to stop Dazzle from getting Voodoo’s collar in his teeth and he’s stopped doing that now. I’m very happy with how their play is progressing and just hope and pray it continues once Voodoo matures, gets bigger/stronger and loses his “puppy license”.

Barn hunt, flea market, visiting, etc.

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From 7-11-16

Voodoo had a busy day today! First we stopped by QC to visit the agility trial, but they had been without power since the morning and it was getting rather hot in the building without A/C. He seemed to enjoy watching the dogs running the course in the dim light from the windows, but was panting and fussy because he was hot, so we moved on.

From there, we went to Dayton to a “Rat n’ Go” Barn Hunt practice at Gem City Dog Training. A place he’s never been before yet he walked into the ring and started searching right away! His ability to search independently is great! Still need work on his indication, but I think he will understand very soon. We’ve only had 3 or 4 training sessions with the rats (in my basement), so my goal today was just to get him to a new place where he could have fun. But his behavior here wasn’t any different from what we do at home, so I’m THRILLED with that! With encouragement, he’s able to stay with the tube and will scratch and bite at it to get a treat, so it’s only a matter of practice to get that behavior linked with his initial find of the rat. He likes when I move the tube and he can chase it, so that can be used as a reward during training as well. Here is a short video clip:

On the way home from Dayton, we stopped off at a big indoor “flea market” off I-75. Lots of people in the isles as well as lots of dropped crumbs and other interesting items on the floor. At first, he wanted to clean the floor, but I would stop and wait for him to realize he couldn’t reach the item and then reward him for looking at me. By the second half of our visit, he was ignoring the stuff on the floor, but had started to pull on leash, so we worked on that for the second half. 🙂 We only stayed about 30 min. but got in a LOT of training! Biggest distraction was a person squeaking a toy. He was totally focused on that and finding out where the sound was coming from. But once the guy moved away, I was able to get his attention back. So I know something we’ll need to work on.

Before I headed home we stopped by a friend’s house where he played with her Lab and her fun toys. He worked on her Tug-a-Jug for a bit and got it to give up some of it’s food contents. Then he “stole” a pig toy from her and had us both laughing at his antics with it. He was rolling on it more often before I started the camera, but I still caught a bit of that. The funniest part was the sounds the toy was making 🙂 Funny video:

You would think he would be tired once we got home, but he’s been playing/wrestling with Dazzle for the past hour and a half in between trying to get me to play tug with various toys he brings me. 🙂

Uncut training session

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15 weeks old today- Working on Pivoting for heel position, nose touching a raised target, dumbbell hold/retrieve, and stay with distractions.

The pivots will help him move his rear end when turns are made during rally and obedience competitions. It helps teach him where heel (and right side heel) positions are located and how to remain in the proper position as I move and no matter which direction I move.

The nose touching a raised target can be used for send outs (in obedience or any other sport) or as a way to reposition the dog while working on other behaviors.  For example, I can send him to nose touch and then ask him to find heel position or front position at an odd angle, or send him to a nose target while I move around scent articles. Or send him to the target and then ask for position changes (sit, down, stand, etc.)

The dumbbell hold/retrieve is for obedience, but the skills carry over to any retrieving skills, like for service dog tasks or gun dog sports.

And this stay with a target bowl is VERY useful for lots of distance exercises.  It can be used to teach the send outs for obedience, or used at much longer distances to teach the send out for gun dog sports where the bowl may not even be visible to the dog when he is positioned and sent from the handler’s side. Helps teach him to follow a straight line in the direction he was sent, sometimes for a few hundred yards over a variety of terrain and even across a body of water! Of course working on a solid stay, even when the dog really wants to go, is useful for SO many situations and sports!


Demanding nail trims

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I was using the dremel on Dazzle’s nails today and for almost the entire time, Voodoo was barking and whining and trying to get on the counter so I would do HIS nails! He also tried sitting quietly and laying down near me in hopes that that would get him his turn, but it didn’t. His nails are already short from our dremel session earlier this week.

Also, he might be broken 🙂 Not sure HOW this can be comfortable?! His butt was up on the base board while the rest of him was completely twisted. Puppies are so pliable!

7-7-16 broken pup Sm