Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DeltaBluez Jude - Puppy Lesson

Jude had his 7 month birthday on December 18. He is a fairly large dog now. He expresses his enthusiam for life by darting around outside like an idiot, playing fiercely with Mattie, picking on Lucky and getting corrected by Scott. He's also started agility classes with me as I think this is a great outlet to build confidence and strengthen our relationship. He is pretty pushy but also very sensible.

A couple weeks ago, Jude had his 2nd puppy lesson with Karen Child at Fido's Farm in Yelm, WA. Video of his first lesson at age 5 months was posted on my blog a couple months ago.

Now at age 7 months, Jude continues to show keeness on stock. He also shows that he would rather be in a room full of sheep by himself - you can tell at first with Karen that he doesn't really want to bother with the concept of cooperating with her! She had to get into his head a bit - at least as much as a 7 month old dog can handle.

At 5 months, Jude liked to head the sheep. At 7 months, he still wants to do this. Jude prefers the comeby (clockwise) direction and I was very excited to see Karen making some headway in getting Jude to go in the away-to-me (counter-clockwise) direction. And, at age 7 months, he is a lot better with lying down when asked - although this is still pretty hard for him and still needs some reminders!

This session was also the first time a little bit of training pressure was introduced to Jude. At home, it's clear Jude is not overly sensitive when it comes to corrections, so Karen was able to get in some much needed correcting to Jude's sneaky and naughty behaviors. He is a bit of a stubborn, hard headed dog already! For much of his lesson, Jude was also on a long-line with Karen; without the line, Jude was not making much progress. The line offered Karen the ability to shape desired behaviors and gently correct as needed. You can see Jude starting to figure things out with Karen and near the end of the puppy lesson, they actually start to team up a bit - he appears to actually be cooperating!

All in all, I felt that the puppy lesson was a very good one for my dog - I think he learned quite a bit even though the lesson was only 15 minutes and that he is still very much a puppy-spaz!

My friend Wayne filmed Jude's lesson with his HD camera. The loud sounds in the background is the rain hitting the arena's roof - it was a downpour that day!


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