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Tonight we went to the end of year puppy Christmas party with the hooligans. They had an absolute blast! We played a dog-friendly version of musical chairs, musical statues, runaround, the egg & spoon race, run with a balloon between your knees, who can eat the least sausage, and then some off lead chaos at the end :D

Although I'm really not a fan of dressing dogs up, since we were going to a Christmas party, I bought both dogs a Christmas pudding outfit and a Santa hat! A few other dogs were dressed Christmassy too, but most just had tinsel round their collars! My two were slightly over-dressed :D

We stayed behind after the class to discuss Saffy's puppy diploma (and possibly Humphrey's too) over a glass of wine :) Our trainer gave us a list of things the dogs need to do in order to pass the 'test', which are:

1) Sit, down, stand on command and in whatever order is given.
2) Sit, wait, recall (at 10 paces).
3) Sit to greet person with an unknown dog (one of the trainers own dogs).
4) Handling & vet check by instructor (includes looking in mouth and between toes).
5) Loose lead walking.
6) Sit, 45 second stay, walk back to dog.
7) Off lead walking to heel.
8 ) Leave it / Take it
9) Knowledge of your dog (4 questions)

I'm slightly worried about a 45 second stay, but we'll be practicing lots over the next couple of weeks! At home, 45 seconds is easy, but somewhere else? I'm not so sure! We'll need to get out and about to practice that in a few locations!

We will be going to the class on January 6th as a final practice, and the test will be probably immediately after!

Before we left, we were all in tears! Saffy jumped up at the trainer, I gave the off command, and the trainer said she didn't mind...so Saffy jumped up again with her paws round Carols (the trainers) neck, and licked her for a few minutes. I cried, my hubby cried, Carol cried, the 2 puppy class helpers cried...We were all emotional wrecks! Carol said that Saffy is the kind of dog that makes her job worthwhile, seeing how far they come in such a short space of time, and especially so a dog like Saffy that was so terrified of people.

We have done so much work with her, and I think she is ready to move up to the classes with the bigger dogs! We discussed which classes would work best to move up to, and I think after the KC bronze/silver/gold classes, we will probably look at advanced obedience with Humphrey, as we want to have a little dabble in showing (just for experience), and possibly agility for Saffy just for fun, as I don't think she's of the right temperament for doing anything competitive and I don't think she'd appreciate a stranger handling her in the showring for example - I would definitely like to avoid anything setting her back, so am ruling out anything competitive for her :D

So...for some photos...

Saffy & Humphrey in their ridiculous Christmas pudding outfits (and Santa hats):




And here's some of Saffy at the puppy Christmas party. I didn't get any of Humphrey since hubby was handling him, but I will probably be able to take a couple off their Facebook page tomorrow...But hopefully these pics will show just how happy and relaxed Saffy is now:




 

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teehee! They are such cute puddings!

For your 45 sec stay, start slowly, stay close, reward and build up. What I did with Cooper is to practice everywhere, i.e. at the park, at the shops, before coming in the house, etc. So that he would get used to sit and wait anywhere. Get her to sit and stay near you, count to 2, reward. Take a side step, count to two reward, etc. Slowly increase the number of steps and the length of time and make sure you always come back before she is tired/bored/confused - you want to avoid her breaking the stay at all costs!

Good luck I'm sure both your pups will do very well! I can't begin to imagine the amount of work you have to put in to raise TWO puppies! Well done you x
 

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What a great result, that little girl looks so relaxed, you have done brilliantly to turn her around. Good luck with the test.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kiki_Dollywood said:
teehee! They are such cute puddings!

For your 45 sec stay, start slowly, stay close, reward and build up. What I did with Cooper is to practice everywhere, i.e. at the park, at the shops, before coming in the house, etc. So that he would get used to sit and wait anywhere. Get her to sit and stay near you, count to 2, reward. Take a side step, count to two reward, etc. Slowly increase the number of steps and the length of time and make sure you always come back before she is tired/bored/confused - you want to avoid her breaking the stay at all costs!

Good luck I'm sure both your pups will do very well! I can't begin to imagine the amount of work you have to put in to raise TWO puppies! Well done you x
Thanks for the tips! We do practice a lot with the waiting and at home we can easily get to well over a minute since we wait for food, treats, a toy, etc. we try and practice when we're out and about too, but as it's getting dark so early, we've mainly been practicing at home. When we're at puppy class, her wait is okay - well, she can easily do about 20-25 seconds with the distraction of other pups walking around. If the test is after class, it'll just be my two pups and a collie that is doing the test too, so hopefully there will be few distractions for her and we can do a little longer, so that is hopeful! We need to put in more hours though - Christmas Day at my parents house will give us the opportunity to practice in their house, their garden and the field opposite which will be new training ground!

I'm not too concerned about Humphrey because whether he stays in puppy class a little longer or moves up - he'll be fine anywhere and won't take anywhere near as much planning of which classes we move to, since he's not scared of anything, except balloons as we found out last night!

With two of them, we put in a lot of time individually. They normally go to separate puppy classes, except last week and last night, and the hubby and I take them in separate directions on walks and practice with them individually and then meet up at the end so they can play together. At home we also take one each and practice in different rooms :) it's hard work and takes a lot of planning, but we've mastered it now and it works fine for us...although I don't think I'd recommend getting two so close in age if anyone asked, even though it's been fine for us and I wouldn't swap it for anything! But the commitment and dedication you have to have has been a little overwhelming at times :)

I'll have to let you all know how we get on! I have faith in Saffy and our training, but it's scary to know that we have to do a full 45 second wait! When we were told a few weeks ago we just need her waiting for longer, we were thinking around the 25-30 second mark!! I'm also intrigued as to what questions we'll be asked about her! Hopefully they'll be easy and I won't have to have a degree to answer them! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Boogs said:
Awwwwww!

Gorgeous chocolate puddings!

:love4:
Thank you! I think they make cute Christmas puddings too! And if they'd keep the Santa hat on for more than 10 seconds, they also look cute in those! I got large outfits for them, so hopefully, when I pull them out next year they'll still fit! I think the hour and a bit they wore the outfits for last night was plenty for this year :)
 

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loonylab said:
What a great result, that little girl looks so relaxed, you have done brilliantly to turn her around. Good luck with the test.
Thank you! It's taken a LOT of work, a lot of tears, and at first it broke my heart to see her so scared! For her to be happy getting a fuss from strangers, and for the absolute trust she has in our trainer now...I couldn't be any prouder of her! She's just a dream...except when she pulls on her lead! We're working on it though and she's mastered that for the most part! :D
 

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You have put in so much hard work and been truly dedicated to turn her round so fast, well done.

The pictures are gorgeous.

Do keep us posted.

Mandy
 

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That's a lot for a puppy award, we did the KCGC foundation award and I'm sure we didn't have to do so much. In fact we didn't have to do such a long stay for the bronze award.

You have done really well to progress so far, good luck with the test.

Saffy might surprise you with what she can do in agility or maybe you could try Rally-O or flyball. Coco is a bit of a wuss but did quite well at agility (just won't jump her official height) but she absolutely loves flyball, something I thought she would be no good at.
 

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Thanks everyone! All of the work is definitely paying off! I couldn't ask for anything more at this point!

We've been practicing the 45 second stay. Managed to get to about 40 seconds on the field yesterday before she started barking and wiggling (although she did stay in a sit)! So we'll keep with the 40 seconds over the next few days and then just increase maybe a second a day from there! We're so, so close! Just wish the test could be in our lounge or kitchen, since she'll wait for over a minute there :D

I think Saffy is pretty much good to go with everything, but we still have a LOT of practicing to do with Humphrey. Wait and Humphrey in the same sentence? Lol! He'll get there. We've still got a couple of weeks practice :)
 

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Tatze is on street walking now at the end of her season and we met a crazy puppy.

I recommended our trainer to the owner and hope she goes. Tatze demonstrated her 'sit' etc and the lady was duly impressed - which pleased me no end as Tatze has been confined and not met a dog in AGES!

:)
 
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