Sunday, November 25, 2007

Four Months Old

Sonic & Soda

At sixteen weeks Sonic is 42cm at the top of his shoulder so it would appear that he is right on track to be a good mid size border collie. He has passed Secret in height and overall build and is now around about the same size as Billy. It still seems quite bizarre as there is a photo that Sam took of Secret and Sonic when they were about four or five weeks old and she was easily twice his size! How things change.
Once again Sonic has impressed me so much this weekend with his wonderful personality and willingness to please. I took him down the beach both yesterday and today and although there were lots of people around I bravely let him off lead. But I had no need to worry as he was amazing. He stayed with me the whole time and even when other dogs come up to us as we walked down the beach he happily followed along. At one stage when a couple of labs wouldn't leave us alone I called Riot over to come and sit with me so the other dogs would go away. Sure enough Sonic came over too and sat right next to Riot. Everytime I threw the toy into the water for Riot to swim out and retrieve, off Sonic would go, swimming his little heart out to keep up.
Nothing much as changed on the training front. I'm still shaping some different behaviours with him and then working on his sit stays. They are getting pretty good at home but I definately need to spend some time training them when I'm at the training grounds. Plus I need to do some more restrained recalls. I'm pleased that he is getting pretty good at responding to his name now too. At home his toilet training seems to be almost complete with only one accident in the house over the last couple of weeks. He still drives the cat mad but it's interesting to note that rather than just hassling Kenny, Sonic is actually starting to herd him as I've noticed that he always goes around to Kenny's head. I think that's why Kenny gets so annoyed with him as Sonic is always in his way! I've also worked out how to get around the shark teeth when your patting him. The secret seems to be tickling his chest. If you start tickling his chest he will go from crazy arm chewing puppy to dreamy eyed putty in my hands in the blink of an eye!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Legs Eleven

I just walked outside to find Riot and Sonic lying together on the grass systematically shredding a pillow that they stole out of the garage! Talk about partners in crime...As annoyed as I am that they destroyed a pillow (that doesn't actually belong to me) the way they were lying together on the grass totally focused on the job at hand (shredding said pillow) I couldn't find it in me to get cross.
This week we started working on stands and sit stays. Lets face it, sits and downs get a bit boring after a while. However he does do them very well! At training we mucked around on the table. Mainly tug of war and getting him to offer behaviours while on the table. I've been doing a little bit of flat work too which he is really enjoying. I'm very impressed with how he stays on the side I want him on. He also does very good 'S' shapes but I think that may be a bit accidental! But he does seem very clued in to reading my body language considering that I haven't really done all that much flat work with him thus far. Next week I think we'll just continue with the stands and sit stays as they still need rather a lot of work.
Now that Sonic's legs are reaching gazelle length he is learning all the really cool things he can do with the extra height advantage. He will spend as long as it takes removing every single toy from the top of his crate only to leave them forgotten on the floor. He still has to leap about a bit to get the ones right in the middle but his perserverance is quite impressive for one so young. He has also decided that throwing yourself bodily at peoples heads is fabulous fun. He started off just doing to me during our training sessions but apparently anyone is fair game. My parents had to be warned when they arrived today to ensure that they were prepared for the flying projectile. Biggest problem is he does it so unexpectedly. He'll be sitting there looking at you quite innocently and then next thing you know he just launches himself at you. Luckily Sonic actually only drew blood once when enthusiastically chewing on my dad's hand!
He can be total extremes personalities wise at the moment. Some evening he's really mellow and is happy to settle down with the other dogs. Other evenings he turns into a shrieking psycho and I end up having to evict him from the house for the sake of the sanity of the rest of the household. Those evenings seem to be when he's overtired though and thankfully not all the time. Otherwise the rest of us may have moved out by now...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sonic and his Siblings





Sonic and his siblings are now 14 weeks old. They are all very similar with legs like bean stalks and ears that can't decide if they want to go up or down. They are all very outgoing and spent most of the agility trial last night acting like they owned the place. It quite amazing how similar they are and from what Kriszty, Gillian & Dave say they all do the same types of things at home, from the trademark screetching to the intensity in which they do everything.

Last night was a great training excercise for Sonic. He always comes out of his crate like an animal possessed trying to jump on the closest animal or human with all his might. However once he settled down he just sat and watched all the activity and was even happy to offer me the behaviours he knows (not that there'se that many just yet!). I took the opportunity to reward him everytime he was calm and offering me attention. I also took the opportunity for him to play with lots of different breeds so he doesn't just like border collies. One of our new rules however is that he must give me a sit before he gets to play with either people or dogs. Being dragged to see the object of his desire is not pleasant so I decided that some rules of engagement were required.

We still have a nice happy daily routine happening, starting with a brief training and play session first thing in the morning. Then when I get home he comes in the house with me and we play the ride the cabana crate game and just basically hang out while I do my get home from work thing. He's now anticipating the ride the cabana game and throws himself in there when I head up the hallway. One of the things I'm loving about him is the intensity with which he does everything. No matter what it is, be it digging a hole, killing a toy or playing in the water tub he is completely focused and immersed in what he is doing along with his growling and screetching for added effect. You just have to laugh as it is so comical watching this puppy going nuts all the while being so totally serious about it all. If he has even half that intensity around an agility course I will be a very happy girl :-)

This morning saw us take another trip to the beach, this time with the girls for company. Last week there was no other dogs up the end where we were whereas this morning the beach was quite busy. Sonic obviously wasn't prepared for this and spent the walk down onto the beach proper barking at everyone. I'm not sure if he wanted to announce his arrival to all or if he thought he was a rottweiler. Thank goodness by time we got to the water he'd gotten over himself and got more interested in the girls. Then for the first time he had a proper swim. I wouldn't say that he loves the water but there is no way that he is going to be left on the shore when the others go in, so swim he did. He's quite a natural and surprisingly there was very little splashing. We also had some great opportunities to socialise with other dogs that he wouldn't normally meet. I don't want him just getting used to agility dogs that he sees at the Canine grounds. So he happily met a little staffy puppy called Angus, a few white fluffies, a cocker spaniel and a rather silly boxer. I'm hoping to take the camera along to one of our next visits to get some beach photo's of him but right now I'm flat out keeping him under control while he drags me around and I'm certainly not game to let him off the lead yet...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Panic stations

One day I shall get more photos of him standing up....

Oh what a week. A bit emotional all round after a moronic workman left my side gate open and both Lexi and Riot got out. My very kind next door neighbour was able to call Lexi to her and put her back in my yard but Riot was off with no intention of coming to someone that he didn't know. By the time I got home from work he had been gone for two hours and then it took me an hour of driving around the local streets before I found him. I seriously thought I was never going to see him again and it scared the hell out of me. Thank goodness Sonic never got out as I doubt I ever would have seen him again. At least Riot is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself. Needless to say new rules at my house is that no workmen are to come onto my premises unless I am home. I hope to never experience that feeling again. The thought of losing one of my precious dogs is more than I can bear.

Sonic is growing rapidly with legs that seem to get longer everyday. I am still totally in love with his personality as he is such a lovely puppy. He had his first trip to the beach yesterday. He was completely fearless and had no moments of unsureness what so ever. It was like he had been going there every day of his life. He had a bit of a splash around and managed to dunk himself under a couple of times but wasn't phased in the slightest. Nothing really new on the training front although we did have a go on the wobble board at training on Wednesday night. Surprise, surprise he didn't bat an eyelid and jumped all over it. I actually play a game with him when I get home from work everyday which involves him jumping in a cabana crate while I drag it around the house. So he is an old hand at having something moving underneath him. The cutest bit however is that he plays tug of war with the blanket in the cabana crate while I'm dragging him along. We are probably due to start some new skills on the "official" training front but I figure there is no rush and I'm having so much fun just having fun with him.