Four Weeks With Nimble

Our little Nimble is beyond precious, and we think she’s the smartest puppy ever – of course! :D
One day last week the weather was cool and overcast, which was perfect weather for photographing our black puppy – which is tricky – and I got a couple of very nice pictures of her.


At 11 weeks old, she weighed in at 10.45kg on the vet’s scale this morning, a 1.25kg gain in the last week!
She’s now eating 120g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day, and I think she’s now perfectly shaped.
Our training treats are now tiny bits of chicken vienna sausages, and her own dry pellets.
The frozen treats I make for the dogs are very much enjoyed – it’s just water, sometimes with peanut butter or plain yoghurt added, frozen in layers with doggy treats in little plastic cups. It makes a bit of a mess, but it satisfies her need to chew and it keeps her busy which is perfect for when I need to leave her in her crate for an hour. :D


She’s really good in the car, lying down once we start moving. She’s now happily approaching the car and even getting in on her own sometimes, but heading into parking lots is a new problem! As soon as we start walking towards the car she sits down and won’t move without a bribe!



Her training is going really well.
She has mastered “sit”, “leave it”, “down”, and “up sit”, is responding really well to her name (recall), and “stand”. Her eye contact (watch), her focus on me is great. I don’t want to jinx it but her house training is going so well – its been 5 days with no accidents! She’s definitely heading for the door when she feels like she needs to busy and sometimes she even “knocks”, so if I keep my eye on her I can let her out immediately.
She sleeps in her crate overnight – going in and settling down on the “box in” command with no whining or crying. She eats her breakfast and dinner in it, and she is now napping and playing in it and sharing it with the other dogs. She sleeps through the night from 11pm until Riddick wakes us at about 5:30am, and I’m sure she’d sleep an hour more if Riddick didn’t wake up!
I am leaving her home – in her crate – for short periods of time to ensure that she won’t battle with separation anxiety and there’s no problem there.



We had our third puppy class today, with Nimble’s sister Nutella and some the “O” litter puppies.
We were addressed today by GDMI Permit, who explained the process of positive reinforcement when used for puppy training, and then demonstrated a few techniques for collar cues, treating in the right position, and keeping a loose leash. Nimble did very well while we were sitting in the College of Orientation Lecture Room, staying close to me under the desk and almost completely ignoring the other puppies in the room.

20150725_Nimble_VickyPilcher

how divine is this picture of our little Nimble, taken at a GDA photo shoot by Victoria Pilcher Photography

It was a busy week for Nimble again. Today we had our weekly trip to the vet, and then we went to puppy class and popped in at Kadies.
We also went to PnP a couple of times, and she had a daily car ride (or two) when I drop and collect my husband at the station for work. On Saturday morning we were at GDA for a photo shoot, with Patrick and several other GDA pups, and on Sunday we were back at GDA for a film shoot.We also drove through to my folks for a bit of a visit, which is a long car ride, and we introduced her to chickens! My mom was very impressed with how quickly Nimble ignored them as we walked through the cages.

And now, for your enjoyment, here is some Nimble cuteness!


Nimble and Riddick happily share the Nylabone, which is definitely worth buying if your dogs love to chew – the hard white one

Nimble and Riddick happily share the Nylabone, which is definitely worth buying if your dogs love to chew – the hard white Nylabone

I always have company while I work

Nimble climbed onto the backseat of the car with Patrick, so I let her stay there while I reversed down the driveway

she loves carrying the bowls around

our puppies love chewing on toilet roll inners

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Funny Minx

After puppy class with Nimble, I came home to this…

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Funny Twister

Both Twister’s eyes have opened a little more and they are now pretty much the same size, where the right eye was considerably bigger than the left for a while. Even so, he definitely doesn’t see as well as a kitty with normal eyes does. He still can’t jump up onto the dishwasher – where his food and the cats’ water is, or onto the chest freezer – where the grownup cats’ food is, without a step-stool, which is a good thing in a way ‘coz he’s not eating adult cat food yet.

At night he sleeps on our bed, usually between us, and he loves the faux fur on our bed! He also likes to make a nest and have the duvet or the throw wrap around hm. And yes, he’s still a daddy’s boy.

In the late afternoon, our dining room table is bathed in sunshine and usually has at least one cat lying on it, baking in the warmth. Twister loves it too.

 

Three Weeks With Nimble

Our little Nimble is beyond precious, and I think she shows me her little white chin-spot when she thinks she deserves her own way!

At 10 weeks old, she weighed in at a whopping 9.2kg – thats 1.35kg up on last week!
She’s eating 110g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day. She should have been on 100g three times a day, and I prefer to have my puppies on the lean side as they grow, but she was a little too skinny for my liking.
We’re using Marlton’s medium-soft, mini-bone treats and tiny bits of chicken vienna for her training sessions, and I have started making frozen treats for her – water layered with treats in plastic cups. It makes a mess but it keeps her busy. :D

She’s doing great in the car.
She goes to sleep once the car is moving, usually preferring to have her head resting on the seat even though that means she’s not lying flat. I am still working on getting her to happily climb into the car and that is going really well. She’s no longer slamming on anchors when we approach the car.

Her training is going really well.
She has mastered “sit”, is responding really well to her name (recall), “leave it”, “down”, “stand” and “up sit”, and her eye contact (watch) is improving all the time. She does a good “sit wait” at the door with the other dogs as you can see in the picture above, and her house training is going well. She’s definitely heading for the door when she feels like she needs to busy so if I keep my eye on her I can let her out immediately.
She sleeps in her crate overnight – going in and settling down without whining or crying. She eats breakfast and dinner in it, she is now napping and playing in it, and she’s running to it when she grabs something she’s not supposed to have. She’s also sleeping through and waking her for last busies at 11pm is quite a mission!
I am also leaving her home – in her crate – for short periods of time (under an hour) to ensure that she won’t battle with separation anxiety. She’s quite relaxed in her crate with a few toys, not crying or shouting at all. She’s also quite happy to go and nap in another room while I work in the kitchen.

We had our second puppy class today, with Nimble’s sister Nutella and some the “O” litter puppies.
We worked on recall, preventing pulling on the lead, as well as “sit” and “down”. The puppies have to be taught in a certain way so that when their trainers take over, the dogs understand their instructions. They have also introduced a set of assessments that our pups will go through during their first year, a more formal process than just our feedback and our Puppy Development Supervisor’s observations. Its going to be daunting to be tested, but I am confident we will pass the tests with flying colours.

She had a busy week.
We had our weekly trip to the vet, and whilst there were no other dogs there we did visit the examination room with all its weird smells.
Her first trip to our usual Pick n Pay went very well. We were in and out pretty quickly, and followed by a security guard, but she wasn’t at all concerned about the trolleys, or the people, and she met the store manager too.
We spent a large part of Saturday at WODAC with SA Guide-dogs and she handled the people and passing dogs very well. She also walked around with us and we saw koi, ponies, all kinds of treats and toys, other dogs, prams, and children, and there was a lot of noise as we were selling raffle tickets alongside the event arena. On our way home she was very tired, so I was carrying her out of the hall, and we passed a horse that was on show. The crowd had thinned so I asked the horse’s handler if I could bring Nimble closer, and when he said yes I slowly moved Nimble towards the horse, still in my arms. The two of them sniffed each other’s noses, and then Nimble licked the horse’s nose! The horse wasn’t phased at all and I wish I’d had a camera ready.

And now, for your enjoyment, here is some Nimble cuteness!

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Two Weeks With Nimble

Little Nimble has well and truly settled into our home and our hearts! She is the cutest little thing! I just love the slightly curly hair on her ears and her little white chin-spot.

Nimble on the evt's scale

Nimble on the vet’s scale

At 9 weeks old, she weighed in at 7.85kg – a whopping 1.2kg up on last week! She’s now eating 90g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day, and we’re using Marlton’s medium soft mini-bone treats and chicken viennas for training.

She’s doing great in the car.
She’s no longer whining and she quickly goes to sleep once the car is moving. I still have to bench her to keep her in the passenger footwell when I’m not sitting there with her, and I am working on getting her to happily climb into the car as she’s not terribly keen on that. That means she eats her lunch in the car, we walk round and round the car, heading for the open door but not actually getting in, and sometimes we sit in the car without actually going anywhere.

Nimble asking to go outside with a food dish she’s not s’posed to play with

Her training is going really well, the clicker works wonders.
She has mastered “sit”, is responding really well to her name (recall), “leave it”, “down”, “stand” and “up sit”, and her eye contact (focus) is improving all the time. She does a good “sit wait” at the door with the other dogs, and her house training is going well. She’s definitely heading for the door when she feels like she needs to busy so if I keep my eye on her I can let her out immediately.
She sleeps in her crate overnight – going in and settling down without whining or crying. She eats breakfast and dinner in it, and has started playing in it and running to it when she grabs something she’s not supposed to have.
Our last “busy” is at eleven, then all the lights are switched off and the puppies go to sleep. Nimble has only woken up in the middle of the night twice in the last week, and then goes straight back to sleep when they all come back inside which is great.
I have also started leaving her home – in her crate – for short periods of time to ensure that she won’t battle with separation anxiety. She’s quite relaxed in her crate with a few toys, not crying or shouting at all. She’s also quite happy to go and nap in another room while I work in the kitchen.

Nutella with her mommy and Nimble with me

we stopped at Kadies after puppy class and she fell asleep on the floor while I was at the till

we visited friends for a birthday party and the birthday girl’s almost 1-year-old GSD-HuskyX was smitten with Nimble

We had our first puppy class today, with Nimble’s sister Nutella and 5 of the 7 “O” litter puppies – Olga, Olive, Oliver, Opera and Opal. We spoke about some of the vital aspects of puppy raising, like not allowing the pups on the furniture and the importance of proper socialisation. Our pups need to meet 100 people a week in their first 20 weeks in order to be properly socialised, and they must be exposed to farm animals as so many Guide Dogs work in rural areas.
Nimble had great fun, she had her picture taken for the sponsorship programme, and she played with the other pups.
She’s been busy and she has a busy week ahead of her. On the weekend we spent Saturday celebrating a friends’ birthday party and there were kids, dogs and lots of people to meet. We’re going to WODAC with SA Guide-dogs on Saturday, we’ve already visited my baking supply shop a couple of times, she’s had her weekly weigh-in at the vet, and we’ll be going to PnP tomorrow.

And now, for your enjoyment, here is some Nimble cuteness!

Nimble and Patrick, napping

Nimble and Riddick, on the floor in my workroom

Nimble and Patrick napping

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Check out my Facebook page: Its a Pup’s Life

Nimble’s First Week Is Over

Little Nimble has well and truly settled into our home and our hearts!

We got to see & cuddle Nimble a few times while she was in puppy block

Before her puppy crate arrived she had this crate to curl up in

At 8 weeks old, she is officially bigger than all our previous puppies, and she’s not overweight! I’m going to watch her growth with interest. She’s now eating 80g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day.

Nimble likes the 4eva ball too!

She’s doing great in the car. She’s no longer whining and she quickly goes to sleep once the car is moving. I still have to bench her to keep her in the passenger footwell when I’m not siting there with her.

Her training is going well.
She has mastered “sit”, is responding really well to her name (recall), and her eye contact (focus) is improving all the time. She has learned to “sit wait” at the door with the other dogs, and her house training is going well.
She sleeps in her crate overnight, eats breakfast and dinner in it, and has started playing in it and running to it when she grabs something she’s not supposed to have.
Last busies in our house is at eleven, then all the lights are switched off and the puppies go to sleep. Nimble wakes once a night – occasionally twice – and then she and the big dogs all go outside for a busy. When they come back in the big dogs go straight back to sleep as we don’t switch on any lights or anything, but Nimble takes a few minutes to settle down again.

All the dogs doing a “sit wait” at the door to the garden

She’s had a couple of busy weekends already. Yesterday she had lots of time in the car and we went to a few places including her first weekly weigh-in at our vet, a pet supply shop for dog food, a dive school where she saw some very strangely dressed people disappearing under water and making loud noises as hey breathed. We also stopped at a Steers and visited my sister so she met lots of people as we gallivanted, and she walked on a number of different surfaces AND experienced a hand dryer in a public bathroom for the first time.
She was very good and didn’t spook at anything.

Lunch & a nap at the dive centre

6.65kg, 8 weeks old

On the floor a the Steers, focussed on mommy!

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Patrick is SO Sweet!

Our sweet Patrick got to spend the week at home on a bit of a holiday.

It was lucky for our little Nimble, our new Guide Dog puppy, as she got to snuggle with him during her first week at home. :D

Patrick also rather fancies Nimble’s crate!

The reason Patrick got to have a bit of a holiday has to do with his training.
As I suspected, our sweet puppy is going to take a little longer to train than the pooches he initially started with. Whilst his kennel mates have a couple of months left in their programme with GDMI Percy, Patrick is not as far along as they are, so he has been moved into the next intake group and will now continue his training with GDMI Moses.

It is really cool that the dogs-in-training get to come home on weekends. We get to see the puppies we raised and they get a little R-‘n-R at home.

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You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter
Check out my Facebook page: Its a Pup’s Life

Meet Guide Dog Puppy Nimble!

We collected our new Guide Dog puppy on Friday June 26th 2015.

Nimble and her sister Nutella – both black – were born on Mother’s Day, May 10th 2015, to GDA brood bitch Lyla – a Golden Retriever – and American stud dog Fisher (by artificial insemination) a Labrador Retriever who belongs to a USA Guide Dog school. She has an adorable mismark – a little patch of white fluff on her chin!

her very girly collar – including her grown up one – her bowl and a Nylabone!

Our Patrick is still in Guide Dog training, and whilst we would normally wait until our pup is done training before taking on a new puppy – Nimble is half-sister to our first Guide Dog puppy, Volt (they have the same mommy), so we were quite excited to be able to raise her too!

It’s been a rough few days! :D It has been quite a while since we last had a little puppy, and a Guide Dog puppy is a lot of work! Whilst my husband usually handles the night shift with our puppies, he’s had bronchitis so I have been getting up for the 3am piddle-run.

She’s getting on really well with our other dogs, and she’s still chancing her arm and chasing a cat now and then, but they’re used to puppies so they just stay out of the way.

Nimble is proving to be a smart puppy. She had her first big outing the Sunday after we picked her up when we spent the day at the GDA Winter Festival. She got a LOT of attention, being the youngest puppy at the festival. She handled the crowds like a pro, I was very proud of her! Sadly I didn’t get one picture as we were working as well, but she had loads of people take her picture!

She’s not crazy about car travel yet, but as she goes for a ride every day she’s quickly getting used to it. When we drove home from the Winter Festival she actually slept in the car!

She is doing well with her training. Thanks to GDA’s early puppy socialisation work she has no problem with her collar or walking on lead. We’ve only had a couple of accidents with her housetraining as she’s more than happy to follow the big dogs outside whenever I open the door.
Her obedience training is also going well. She’s already doing a “sit” with the other dogs before I open the door to go outside, she’s learning to stay focussed on my face, and she is starting to respond to her name more often than not.
She’s also being crate trained, which has proven very successful for us in the past. A friend has very kindly loaned us a puppy crate and she sleeps in it overnight, eats in it, and has started to play in it too.

Patrick likes the crate too, and Nimble joins him for naps.

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Check out my Facebook page: Its a Pup’s Life

Patrick Was Home For A Whole Week!

With a public holiday last Tuesday, Patrick was going to have a four-day weekend, and then our car broke down and we couldn’t get him back in time so he ended up spending the whole week at home with us.

one night he was very restless at bedtime, so I covered him with a blanket and he went straight to sleep

I was cutting chicken viennas for our supper – not theirs

“What do you mean, stop chewing the comforter!?

waiting with his head on my knee as suppertime creeps closer

this is how I get woken up most mornings, when Patrick is home

How cute is this face!

Here he is waiting patiently for Twister to vacate his bed.

Riddick and Patrick playing tug-o-war with a bottle. Riddick is allowed on the bed, Patrick isn’t.

using the forever ball as a pillow

He’s been on a couple of outings with SA Guide-dogs as well. We attended the Outdoor Adventure Expo and we went to a church market in Pretoria. He was very well behaved, as always.

 

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Twister Has Grown Into His Ears… Sort Of…

I think he thinks he’s a dog! And he’s so affectionate and cuddly!

He spends most of his time on our bed, where the dogs usually are too, or on top of one of us. And when its near supper or breakfast time he runs down the passage to the kitchen along with the dogs! He sleeps nights curled between my hubby and I on our bed, and he loves the faux fur throw that we use in winter.


He’s not at all intimidated by the dogs, even though our blind Labbie, Riddick, regularly stands on him when he jumps up onto the bed!

As he’s grown, his one eye seems to have opened more than the other, so now he really lives up to his name – twisted tail, malformed feet, and now odd-sized eyes! I can eve see a little of the iris in his right eye and they look like they may be a beautiful shade of green.

Sadly I think his gums are inflamed and sore again. His breath smells a bit – although not as badly as before the vet sorted him out last time – and when he yawns I can see his gums are very red. It doesn’t seem to affect his appetite in the slightest thank goodness, and I have yet to find evidence of an upset tummy in the litterbox.
:(

 

In a week’s time we’ll be bringing home our new Guide Dog puppy – a little female black Lab named Nimble – and I am very curious as to how Twister is going to get on with a little pup.

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