Eight Weeks With Nimble

She’s 15 weeks old, and she weighed in at 15.45kg on the vet’s scale this morning, a 1.3kg gain on last week.
When we went to the vet for our weekly weigh-in, she had to practice her patience ‘coz we had to have our one cat, Twister, seen by the vet as well, and we had to wait because the vet was already busy with another dog.

Our car work has already improved her apparent fear of some overhead shadows. She still gives me the whale eye on occasion, but she’s no longer shying away from the window.
She’s now staying put in the footwell when I get out of the car, but as soon as I walk around to the passenger side she’s up on the seat! I do bench her, but to keep her off the seat I have to bench her with too short a lead to even move around.
*thinking* maybe I can bench her on a very short lead just before I get out the car…

She is SO clever! And such a live wire!
GDA has asked us to start preparing our pups for the possible use of a Gentle Leader, either during training or with their owner.

Eating her lunch with her practice-Gentle Leader, so that if she needs one during training, or with her owner, she will be used the wearing something on her face. She doesn’t like it, but she’s getting used to wearing it for short periods of time.

Puppy class this week was at a little, kiddies farmyard, so the puppies could meet sheep, goats, donkeys, ducks, bunnies, chickens and so on. Many Guide Dogs go to work in rural areas and they can’t be spooked by animals. Nimble was a little nervous of the big animals at first, but with treats and praise she was sniffing them very quickly. Then the pups had time for a game of wrestle-and-chase as Labs love to do, and all went home filthy and exhausted.
In the evening, we went along with a GDA representative to a golf day prize giving and dinner, where SA Guide-dogs was a beneficiary. Nimble got lots of attention, and got to experience a few new things – a big eagle statue in a fountain, people carrying golf bags, golf carts, and a HUGE open space.

The ducks didn’t want to say hello…

Puppy Development Supervisor Ane helped with Nimble while I took photos.

Bored by the bunnies… :P

Labrador wrestle-and-chase :P

worn out after puppy class and a vet visit

On the balcony of the Eagle Canyon Golf Club.

Speeches and auctions and prizes and lucky draws… So much applause and noise!

Using the puppy bag as a pillow at the dinner.

Being cute!

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




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Seven Weeks With Nimble

She’s 14 weeks old, and she weighed in at 14.1kg on the vet’s scale this morning, just over a kilo gained in the last week, and she’s now eating 150g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day.
We continue to use pieces of chicken viennas as training treats, as well as the little Marltons bones (when I can find them).

I have had to coax Nimble into the car again lately as she’s suddenly a little spooked by the shadows of trees that hang over the road as we drive, but we’re working on it. She gets extra treats like a frozen pup-sicle(layers of frozen water, peanut butter, and doggy treats) to chew on in the car, and we’re moving things around over her head at home as well. If I’m in the passenger seat then she’s fine at my feet, but if I’m driving it’s very hard to monitor her reactions AND watch the road, but we’re making progress!
I’m also working on her staying put in the footwell when I get out of the car, until I get around to the passenger side and let her out ‘coz she’s taken to hopping up onto the passenger seat to wait for me! :D

She is SO clever! And such a live wire!
We’ve switched back to the clicker for her training, with GDA’s okay, and she’s very quick to learn. She’s learnt “sit”, “down”, “up-sit”, and “high five” (not an official command, of course), and she has almost mastered “watch” and “stand”. We’re doing our daily handling sessions, at meal times, and I have now started putting a soft elastic over her face so that if she is trained with a gentle leader, she’ll be used to the sensation already.
She’s pulling on the lead a bit when she’s excited, but our distraction and recall exercises are helping with that a lot, and the “watch” command will make a big difference once she has that down, too.
She’s completely at home in her crate. She naps in it, sleeps in it overnight, and if I’m going to be out for a short while I leave her in her crate rather than take her with me. This is an important part of her training as she has to be okay with being alone on occasion.
We’re teaching her not to reach for the door handle as we can’t have her letting herself out whenever she feels like it, but I wish I could encourage it, just ‘coz it’s so clever!

The media event at GDA went very well, and she got to meet several new people as well as have a romp with her puppy class playmates.
She accompanied us, with Patrick, to the JHB Boat Show, where she stole a few more hearts, and she went with me when I had to take my car in to be looked at. The car place is right next to the highway so while we were walking around outside there were lots of noisy and fast moving trucks and cars going by.

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

snuggling with Riddick

napping in her crate on the blankie daddy got from the SANBS

This is why our dogs are so dirty all the time!

Napping with Patrick

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Six Weeks With Nimble

At 13 weeks old, she weighed in at 12.95kg on the vet’s scale this morning, a 1kg gain on last week, and she’s now eating 140g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day.
She has the cutest wiggle when she walks, swinging her bum and wagging her tail as she goes.
And she’s dirty a lot of the time since she gets rolled around the garden by the bigger dogs when they’re playing.

Car travel is a pleasure with Nimble. She happily climbs into the car on her own and lies down once we start moving.

Her training is going really well. She is so clever!
Not only does she head for the door when she feels like she needs to busy, sometimes “knocking” by pawing at the door, she also know what the door handle does! She’s the first of our puppies to click that the handle opens the door, and she’s started standing up against the door and reaching for the handle!

We didn’t have puppy class today as we’ll be attending a media event at GDA on Thursday afternoon instead, but we had a really busy day. We dropped her daddy at the station in the morning, then stopped at the vet for a weigh-in before going back home. A bit later we took Guide-Dog-in-training Patrick back to GDA after his weekend at home, popping in at Kadies afterwards for baking supplies and then came back home. Then we drove to Centurion for a doctor’s appointment, where Nimble impressed the socks off of EVERYONE with how good she is, then she had lunch in the car and slept all the way home!
Last week we went to a nearby restaurant for supper when we were subject to loadshedding, and she was so well behaved, greeting people, chewing her Nylabone and then going to sleep.

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

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

 

Five Weeks With Nimble

Precious little Nimble is growing fast and learning fast!

At 12 weeks old, she weighed in at 11.9kg on the vet’s scale this morning, a 1.45kg gain in the last week, and she’s now eating 130g of Bob Martin puppy food three times a day.
Our training treats are now tiny bits of chicken vienna sausages, and her own dry pellets, occasionally with yoghurt drops added.

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, and heading into parking lots seems to no longer be a problem.

 

Her training is going really well. She is so clever!
She has mastered “sit”, “leave it”, “down”, “up sit”, and “high five”! She is responding really well to her name (recall), and “stand”. Her eye contact (watch) is great.
I think we can now say her house training is done – it’s been about 2 weeks with no accidents. She heads for the door when she feels like she needs to busy and sometimes she even “knocks” by pawing at the door, and then she sits down and waits to be let out.
She sleeps in her crate overnight, going in and settling down on the “box in” command with no whining or crying, and she naps and plays in it, often sharing it with the other dogs. She sleeps through the night from 11pm until our Riddick wakes us at about 5:30am, and as she is quietly playing with whatever toy we put in for her at bed time, 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 fourth puppy class today, with Nimble’s sister Nutella and some the “O” litter puppies. We visited a nursery school so the kids could meet and interact with some children, and then went over the road quickly so we could work on climbing stair with open risers.
Over the weekend we visited my family for a nephew’s 4th birthday party, so Nimble had lots of children and babies to meet and greet, and she reacted really well to the litle children. She also spent some time on her own in my mom’s small front garden as she was snoozing after her lunch and I didn’t want her nap too interrupted by children and other dogs.
Last Thursday Nimble and I went to the brand spanking new Blue Hills Pick n Pay! Its a fantastic new shop, and I planned a very short trip with almost 12-week-old Nimble, after making sure with management that it would be okay to bring her. As always we went for a busy before getting in the car, and in the parking lot I told her again to busy.
We had everything I wanted to get, and we were heading for the till when someone asked about her so we stopped for a quick chat, as we puppy raisers do, and Nimble christened the shop as I was done chatting!
It was her first shop piddle and it was in a brand new, first-day-its-doors-are-open supermarket!
I had my puppy bag of course, so I was prepared and I cleaned up quickly, and the store management was beyond awesome – while I was wiping it up the one manager came and said not to worry, he’d called a cleaning crew!
Thank you!

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

  

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

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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Check out my Facebook page for regular puppy updates: Its a Pup’s Life

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

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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