Bauer Graduates from Puppy Class

Here is an update on Bauer (from Annie‘s litter)…. You are a model student…way to continue and expand on the training. I agree with you that Bauer definitely has a future as a therapy dog – the right disposition, temperament, and a huge jump on his training. Thanks for these.

Bauer Update at 3-4 Months Old

Bauer and his toys

Bauer and his toys

As some of you may know, Bauer recently graduated from Puppy Training…hooray! It was six weeks of puppies, treats and learning…all very much essential to the handsome dog Bauer is becoming. Without any fears or hesitations, Bauer joined his “classmates” as they started to learn who the true “Alphas” in their relationships were. Bauer loved every minute of being with the other dogs…so much that he didn’t listen so well at first! Slowly he realized that while we were around so many distractions, he still needed to keep his focus on Josh and I. He went in knowing how to “sit” and “lay down” and “paw” on command. He came out not only being able to “roll over”, “stay”, “bow”, “come”, “leave it”, release”, “watch”, “speak”, and walk very well on his leash, but being able to perform any number of these tricks on command, with distractions, and without treats! What a good boy!

Bauer is beginning to learn “STOP” – a loud command we use to halt his recall then resume upon our direction. It’s amazing to be able to see him register our words and learn what action we mean for him to take when we say them. He’s grown a lot in the past month….we don’t notice the difference each day, but it’s definitely noticeable when we head to puppy play time or in the car for a “ride”. (I’ve gotten used to a few key words for Bauer as well……”let’s go” when I want him to walk by my side, “ride” for a trip in the car”, “go potty” when it’s too chilly for me to hang out and wait for him to find the perfect spot to release himself, “hungry” to gauge his reaction and see if he’s truly hungry, “eat” to tell him he needs to focus on food and not toys, “bed” for crating, you get the drift!).

We’re still continuing with the training even though we’ve made it through the puppy class. He’s almost mastered “drop”… takes a few times, but he’s getting the idea, and he’s getting better at “off” (he just gets so excited he doesn’t know what to do but jump around like he’s on a pogo stick!), and he’s doing very well with potty training. I won’t say he’s fully potty trained because we do have an occasional accident, and I won’t leave him uncrated if we aren’t home or at night, but the bell on the door trick has given us a HUGE head start in the right direction! From what I’ve read, most dogs won’t understand the idea of potty training until they’re about 3 months old, and it’s safe to assume (given proper guidance) that they’ll be fully potty trained around 6 months or so. Bauer definitely understands that ringing the bell means go outside and he knows he isn’t supposed to go inside. When he does have an accident, the look on his face is so pathetic; it’s hard to stay mad for long! He knows he made a mistake, and he feels bad, but he just couldn’t help it……I try to give him a break…we started the training at 8 weeks….I’m not expecting perfection until 6 months…..we’re halfway there! We’ve also come to the conclusion that Bauer’s dad must have been a German Shepherd, due to the many shepherd features Bauer possesses (sans long fluffy coat…yay!). His ears have started to stand up, and I was quick enough to get one picture with them both up…..they’re so big for his head still that he looks like a bat! As far as grooming goes, we’ve continued with Bauer’s weekly bathing, and he loves to take a bath now! Whenever I go in the bathroom and run the tub, he immediately thinks he’s going in and stands up on the edge. He’s a little more difficult to clip his nails because he doesn’t get the concept of why I have to do it, but once I get one paw down, we’re good to go for the rest! We’ve also started brushing his teeth. I’m not sure if he likes the toothpaste or the fact that I’ll let him chew on the brush more……Speaking of brushes, he gets weekly brushes after his bath, and we’ll use our handy Furminator once a month or so. We’ve used it once already, and it was AMAZING! Surprisingly, he likes us using his Furminator more than the regular brush. Who knows!

We’ve also been taking him weekly to puppy play time. What an incredible idea for young dogs! Bauer has so many friends when he goes in…’s great to see him interact with other puppies so well. He’s very outgoing and social and friendly to all, but we’ve noticed he’s finally starting to stand up for himself when another puppy takes it a little too far with him. We still agree that his “best friend” is our friend’s golden retriever/beagle mix, Fletcher. They started out the same size (even though Fletcher is a month older than Bauer!), and now Bauer is tall enough for Fletcher to walk right under. It’s amazing to see the two of them interact, and even better that I feel comfortable leaving them alone in the same room. They start to snip at one another when they wear themselves out, but so do humans too, so I can’t fault them there! We’ve still got 2 more months of puppy play dates before we graduate to dog parks…..and then it’s up for a whole new adventure for Bauer!

We went to the vet last week for his RABIES shot. I know…..the past two months have gone by so fast…it’s hard to believe he’s already 4 months old! He’s scheduled for his “sniP’ surgery on April 3rd. He had his “pre exam” appointment today and gained 4 pounds in the last week…..he’s definitely growing fast!

Eventually (once he’s old enough) we’re going to enroll him in a Canine Good Citizen class. I think it will help immensely in Bauer’s urge to jump on people to tell them Hello! More importantly, I want him to be a registered therapy dog, and that’s the first step!

I’ve uploaded new pictures and training videos to PhotoBucket. Enjoy! Now I just need to find a job that will allow me to take Bauer to work with me every day……..I think that would make him incredibly happy! Who knows how realistic that idea is……but one can dream, right?

March 24, 2009 • Tags: , , , , • Posted in: puppy update, story update, video

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