Well we have officially survived our first week!
And Puppy has a name (picked by Jake), we are calling her IZZO. Yes – for those of you who know our family it is our love of MSU Basketball that prompted the naming. Plus, it is kind of a cool name for a dog, don’t you think? We debated many names, and I thought about it long and hard. But in the end, given that it was Jake who got me into this effort, I figured I should honor him and his request. So in the end, he won out and she is truly and sweetly our Izzo.
We go to class on Monday nights and one of our assignments this week was to get our puppies used to their names. She doesn’t know it yet… but will respond on occasion. We are also supposed to be working on getting our dogs to “watch.” This is a common command to get the dogs attention prior to giving them a command. So we are rewarding eye contact, without the word at this point.
Another assignment for the week is just to get her to familiar with the “click/treat” sequence that is used to mark a desirable behavior (we use a little clicker because it is a distinctive sound that is consistently reproduced) and then instantly give a treat. I didn’t think Izzo was making the connection, and then accidentally hit my clicker when I didn’t mean to. She stopped what she was doing and looked!!! I was ecstatic and gave her a treat and lots of praise.
Izzo is doing really well going in her kennel. She is sleeping through the night quietly and goes into it willingly (we use food and treats to make it a happy place for her). So that part is going well.
Probably our biggest frustration is the sharp puppy teeth. Sometimes she gets carried away and grabs pant legs, fingers, shoe laces, etc. We are not supposed to say “no” to our dogs so our strategy is to distract with a toy that Izzo likes to chew. It works… mostly.
Well it is half time – the Spartans are up by two points. I have to go watch the rest of the game! Go Green! Go White! Go Izzo!
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