Two Weeks With Riggs #GDApupRiggs
Guide Dog Puppy Riggs is 9 weeks old, and he’s been with us for 2 weeks!
He’s eating 90g of Bob Martin dry puppy food three times a day, and he weighs a whopping 7.75kg! He gets his own kibble and carrot slices cut into quarters as training treats, and he gets a little plain yoghurt on his food twice a day.
This week we started Puppy Club at SA Guide-Dogs! Its a weekly lesson where our Puppy Raising Supervisor checks on the pups’ progress at home and in the car, takes us through the commands to start teaching the pups, and gives tips on anything we may be battling with.
We continue to work on his recall, using “Riggs, come!” and he’s responding very well. The real trick will be to get him to come to me when he is playing with his siblings or the other dogs. 🙂
We had one quick trip to the chemist and the vet supply shop to get his name tag, and as he has not yet had all his vaccinations he’s not yet allowed to walk in a shopping centre or mall, so he got to ride in a trolley with a thick towel in the bottom. Naturally, he got lots of attention!
Thanks to the “magic” of crate training, Riggs is almost sleeping through! His average is now 11PM to 5AM, so thats a good 6 hours, and for a few days now we’ve had no 2AM trips outside to busy! 😛
And this week at Puppy Club, Riggs and his siblings were issued with their little blue puppy jackets! There’s a specific process involved in putting the jacket on the pup and taking it off again so that the puppy doesn’t develop an aversion to wearing the jacket (or a harness in future).
Car travel is going great, with a short daily trip. He very quickly falls asleep, with his head under the aircon vent! 🙂
We’ve been working on SIT, and we have added WATCH but without using the command yet – just teaching him to look up into my eyes using a treat.
We continue to do our handling sessions, and these serve many purposes. Firstly, it teaches the pup patience, to sit still for 2 minutes (this time will gradually increase slowly). Second, it gets the pups used to being touched all over, from their nose to the tip of their tail – inside their mouths and ears, and between their toes (for their owners to be able to check on their health, and for vet visits and checkups). It also prepares the pup for grooming, we will start brushing them and clipping their nails, and the handling prepares them for this attention.
We also continue to work “frustration tolerance” – Riggs being okay with being alone, without the other dogs or a person with him (we’re up to 8 minutes!) 😀 , and getting him to sit and wait before launching himself at his food bowl.
The very tricky part of puppy training, and rewarding so many different kinds of behaviour through the day (with a treat bag on your belt all the time), means its very easy for the puppy to learn to beg for treats, so its a very fine line indeed!
And just ‘coz he’s so cute – here are some gratuitous puppy pictures!