Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nubble's Summer Fun

July may have been extremely hot, but Nubble has a way to cool off. His puppy raisers got him a kiddie pool, and he has been having a blast playing in it! He runs around, runs through the pool, and lays down in the water.

He has been having even more fun since Donna and her family fenced in part of their yard for the dogs. Nubble can now run free without Donna worrying about him running away. They've been working on his recall outside, especially now that they have the fence, and he has been doing great! He has also been improving on stairs. Donna has several steps leading from the back door, and at first, Nubble wouldn't go up them. However, after a little work, those stairs are no problem!

The Northeast Division had another puppy outing. This time, they went to a Wilkes-Barre Yankees game, the local minor league baseball team. Even though Nubble is a Phillies fan, he seemed happy to wear the Yankees' hat for the evening. As the ball game, the dogs-in-training practied up on the chairs. The cue up asks the dogs to put their front feet on an object. Even though the chairs were slippery and the dogs couldn't get a very good grip, they still did a great job with up! They also practiced on a glass fence.

Nubble and the other dogs met the Yankees' mascot, Champ, and Nubble had no fear of him. Sometimes, when a dog encounters a mascot or someone in costume, he will be very hesitant or even fearful. The handler then needs to work with the dog, using the clicker and lots of treats, to help him learn that costumes aren't something to be afraid of. But Nubble had no fear of the mascot.

Later, Nubble enjoyed his first ice cream cone. Boy, did he love it! It was a very successful outing for him. He seemed to take everything in stride. Even when it started to rain and people swarmed the exits, he was still able to focus and sit.

This past weekend, he got to play with a five-month-old German shepherd. They had a wonderful time running in the yard from the kiddie pool to the dirt pile to a leaf pile and back to the pool. They then chased each other round and round the pool. There were two other dogs visiting as well, and Nubble quickly learned which dogs wanted to be his playmate and which ones would rather be left alone. It was good experience in dog manners for him.

Nubble did get into a bit of mischief this weekend. He picked peppers out of Donna's friend's garden! He would run by and just grab a pepper and bring it to her friend! Needless to say, after all this running, he was exhausted by the end of the weekend. He slept from 7:30 p.m. on Sunday to 9 a.m. Monday!

Donna has been working on go to bed with Nubble. He seems to need constant refreshing. He does great by the end of the training session. Donna is using shaping to teach the behavior. The next day, however, she finds that she needs to back up a few steps to remind him what she wants him to do. That's the nice thing about shaping - it's so easy to back to up where the dog can be successful and move forward from there.

Next week, Nubble is going on his first camping trip with his puppy raisers! It should be quite an adventure for everyone. They're staying by a lake, so Nubble will be able to do one of his favorite things - swim! We'll share the tale of his camping adventures next time.

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