Monday, May 2, 2016

The Proof is in the "Proofing"

As April turns into May , we have to leave our calendar girl, Dylan, and gaze at a new picture of Blythe, a female black Lab, Mays centerfold.  If you don't have a GDA calendar, you'll just have to take my word on this.

With May comes our 10th month with Dylan and her 11th month on this planet.  Many things have been accomplished in our 10 months.  Sits and downs, comes and stays are all part of  the tasks Dylan has learned.  But now, GDA wants to push us and our puppies to new heights.  It's called "Proofing".  Proofing is when your puppy will do the commands you give while totally distracted.  Maybe its dogs playing or kids running, people at the front door.  When these situations arise, calling your dogs name and expecting her to come, but being completely ignored is not a well trained puppy.

 In the meantime, other areas of "proofing" explained in this manner are:

When your dog is lying down and you tell her to sit, does she?  (um, no)  This means your dog has to get up from lying down in order to sit.  I can already see the look on her face when we start on this.  "Are you kidding me?" she'll be conveying with her big brown eyes.

When your dog is 15 feet away and you tell her to sit, does she happily come toward you and sit?
(um, yes)
Sitting in the place they are, or, getting up to sit down is a different context then just giving the command.  This is what is meant by proofing.  And I thought I was done with the hard stuff.  That is our goal in May, to "proof" Dylan and prove to GDA she is well trained.

Our biggest concern is outlined under the heading;
By 11 months of age your puppy should be able to:

Calmly meet other people and dogs without jumping up or lunging.   (ouch) That's a big fat NO!
This is the help we need and expect to explore the options GDA will give us at our next meeting on May 9.

A big distraction just a few days after Dylan returned from Sylmar's red tent was a dog we puppy sat for an extended afternoon.  Nyla, a beautiful German Shepard, came to stay for a bit.  Wow!  What a difference in the breed compared to Labs.  Talkative, nipping and at 5 months, non stop energy.  Dylan was confused.  Bailey was confused.  Maggie just snapped at her and Nyla left Maggie alone for the rest of the day.   A learning experience for sure.

Nyla, checking out the back yard.

Dylan unsure as to what to do.

Bailey looking for some help.
She was cute when she took a nap.  She would suckle her stuffed toy's nose like she was nursing.  Sorry I didn't get a picture of that.  

Leaving this post with a downed Dylan after a 4 minute down/stay.

Good Girl!

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