Playing with Puppies

I'm very thankful for those that have let me play with their puppies. They are all so different and it's been incredibly helpful for me to have a chance to work with different personalities and breeds. Dog training is one of those things that you never actually feel like you know what you're doing, because every dog is different and there is always so much to learn. Even with my own dogs, every dog is like learning it all over again - and every student's dog is so unique, it's such a fascinating puzzle. And I certainly love training agility, because we're not trying to get dogs to 'behave', but to really communicate and interact on a deeper level - I feel so fortunate that agility came into my life all those years ago, it opened a whole other world with dogs.

Fizban found a puppy tail!

Got to play with Rico overnight, he is such a nice boy. And, let us mention it, SO BIG. It cracks me up to see this really immature puppy brain in such a giant body. I keep thinking he's so much older than he is, but he's just a baby baby. He just turned 14 weeks today, I believe he's now 3 months old. And probably like 27 pounds. Which is currently on par with a Great Dane growth chart (not kidding, go look it up). I'm pretty sure he's not going to be 135 pounds though. At some point he's going to have to slow down!

Navarre and Rico are total bros, and very well matched. They will romp and wrestle like no one's business, but yet, so far, have remained very appropriate. Navarre doesn't seem to overwhelm Rico (which can happen, he's still just a baby!), and Rico doesn't get too worked up. Just nicely matched. Fingers crossed they remain friends. Because Bright and Haku will not be playing with puppy. Haku especially is like a cranky old man with Rico. I was taking a shower and brought in a toy and the puppy into the bathroom to play while I got ready in the morning, and Haku just barged in, stole the toy, then laid on it, giving the puppy the stink eye the entire time. Poor puppy had to play with my bathroom mats instead. Sometimes I think about, years from now, getting a puppy - but Bright doesn't want a girl, and Haku doesn't want a boy - that doesn't leave a lot of options. A problem for another time ...

Rico remembered our retrieve work, and with just a couple more weeks of maturity, he seemed to get that magic moment of 'Oh, you want me to bring the toy to your hand!' really quickly. We did all the hard stuff the last time he was here, so that was fun to finally put it all together. Rico is not one of Nature's Retrievers, he still has this dubious look when he brings it back to me like it certainly wouldn't be his idea if food wasn't involved. But the boy REALLY likes his food!

Expert Riverdancer!

Food motivated puppies are so much fun to play with, I don't know why I keep getting these dumb border collies that think food is stupid. A food motivated puppy is so much more engaged, but after raising Bright's puppies, I can definitely say it's a genetic trait. Bright's puppies all thought food was pretty stupid too. Keeping in mind that I think it all evens out in the end, the border collies all figured everything out in their own way. Currently Rico is actually way more into food than toys, which is actually novel. But I do assume that will change as he gets older. You know, older than 3 months.

Pretty sure he learned this move from Navarre

Very much enjoyed getting to play with Rico - and then send him home. All the fun of a puppy with none of the responsibility! He's such a ridiculously easy puppy too, totally happy to nap in his x-pen, sleeps through the night, quiet, good with the cats, not destructive, respectful of the other dogs. Good puppy!

You always bring out the best in the puppies. You're a NATURAL!
The only thing better than playing with puppies is getting photos while you are playing with puppies. How fun!