Friday, August 27, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Rock and Roll Stars Puppies?

Where are the Rock and Roll Stars puppies now?

Jagger, Hendrix, Dylan, Grace and Zappa are almost 14 weeks old, and they're happily learning everything they can about the world with their puppy raisers.

On Wednesday, they had their last early socialization puppy class. When puppies first join their puppy raisers, they attend early socialization classes with their littermates. These classes are as much for the puppy raisers as they are for the dogs. Puppy raisers have the opportunity to ask questions and learn tips and tricks for training the dogs.

In this last class, we practiced loose leash walking, where the dog walks calmly next to its handler without pulling. The leash must be nice and loose. Loose leash walking involves a lot of self control, which is one of the most important things a puppy raiser can teach the dogs-in-training.

Why is self control so important? Imagine a balance dog assisting his partner to walk through a parking lot. The partner is holding on to the leash and the balance harness that the dog is wearing. Suddenly, the dog smells something wonderful in the grass three feet away. He dashes over and plasters his nose to the spot. His partner is yanked sideways and falls to the pavement. At the very least, she is bruised and may have difficulty getting back up, especially because she now needs to convince her dog to abandon the interesting smell and return to her side. She could also have a broken bone, or worse.

A dog with self control would have ignored the wonderful smell in the grass. He would continue to walk calmly beside his partner, assisting her safely across the parking lot.

Self control extends to more areas than just loose leash walking. Dogs must have self control around food, at doors (waiting calmly and not dashing through), around other people and animals, etc. In this last early socialization class, however, we focused on just loose leash walking.

First, we had each puppy demonstrate loose leash walking with their puppy raiser. The pups all did very well!

In this video, SSD Grace walks next to her puppy raiser on a nice, loose leash. Notice how she focuses on her puppy raiser. At one point, she turns and looks at one of her littermates, but instead of lunging toward him, she demonstrates wonderful self control and looks back at her puppy raiser.

Here, SSD Jagger walks on a loose leash. Look at that attention! He doesn't take his eyes off his puppy raiser.

While one puppy was demonstrating loose leash walking, the other puppies had the opportunity to practice down-stays, meaning they relax in a down. SSD Dylan gives a nice down-stay while he waits his turn to demonstrate his loose leash walking skills. To keep him focused and to reward him for such good attention, his puppy raiser gives him treats.

After each puppy demonstrated loose lease walking, we had the puppy raisers exchange puppies. Now the puppies had to do loose leash walking with an unfamiliar person! The reason we had them swap puppies is because the pups will eventually have someone else training them. When they go to advanced training, they'll have a new trainer, and eventually, they'll be paired with a partner when they become service dogs - all different handlers who will have slightly different ways of asking the puppies to do the same thing. The puppies need to be able to adapt to different handlers.

The Rock and Roll puppies did a great job! In this video, SSD Zappa walks nicely on a loose leash. His attention is on his handler, even though she's not his usual puppy raiser. Notice how Zappa gets a little excited near the end of their loop around the room and jumps on his handler. She does a great job resetting him. She simple backs up until Zappa is back in position for loose leash walking, and then they move forward again. After they've taken a few steps, she clicks and treats. We call this the "penalty yards" method of training loose leash walking. As soon as the dog starts to pull, or in this case, jump, the handler backs up until the dog returns to its place at the handler's side. Once they've taken a few forward steps on a loose leash, the dogs gets clicked and treated.

SSD Hendrix settles right in with his new handler. He walks on a loose leash right past his brothers and sister and completely ignores them.

The next time the puppies come to puppy class, they'll be joining the rest of the dogs in training. We're sure that both puppies and their puppy raisers will be well prepared to join the regular classes. Send them some good wishes in the comments!


  1. Way to go, Rock and Roll Stars! We're proud of you and look forward to watching you continue to grow into the amazing lives that await you and your future partners.

  2. hmmm Amazing video!!!!!
    creativity can help to survive in this competitive market.well done keep continue.....
    Puppies in Georgia

  3. Very nice! If any of the raisers of the Rock 'n Roll litter would like to join the yahoo group of their pup's daddy (CCI's Paxton III), we would love to hear how they are doing. I am raising Kaz II from one of Paxton's CCI litters. Here is the link to the yahoo group.