Monday, August 06, 2007

He's got legs!

Would'ya look at the legs on this guy?? They are growing so much faster than the rest of him right now!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Raising a Puppy = No Time for Blog

So I guess my plan of tracking Ryan's puppyhood in this blog has kinda failed since I've been way to busy with him and Abby and everything else to write anything at all!

Ryan is now just about 5 months old and is starting to act more like a dog and less like a puppy. I'm liking him more every day - I've decided I'm not much of a puppy person. I liked him all along, obviously, but now it's finally like I got the dog that I wanted so much and not just a bouncy ball with sharp razor teeth in a little furry suit. I haven't done much 'trick' training with Ryan. We work on practical things all the time, though - loose leash walking, waiting in doorways/crates/the edge of the sidewalk, sit, down, stay, leave it, out. He graduated from puppy class a month or so ago and we're now doing a puppy agility class. We've gone to that twice and we're learning to touch a target (not so hard since he already knew a hand touch) and doing the tunnel and chute and table. Ryan loves the tunnel and is able to find the entrance even when it's curved away from the direction I'm calling him through from (if that makes any sense). In between the puppy class and the agility class we went to a few Rally-o classes but I ended up doing the courses with Abby and just taking Ryan out in between turns to meet the other dogs and practice paying attention to me with stuff going on. He's been going to daycare once a week and that has been great for his confidence around other dogs. Now he runs up to pretty much every dog and throws himself onto his back in front of them.

I'm still doing flyball and agility with Abby. Both are going really well - I'm completely addicted to flyball and am going to try and continue it when I move back home. Abby gets it now and I don't even have to have her on leash at practice. She stays in a 'down' until it's her turn to run even with all these ball crazy dogs running past her. I hope her good behaviour continues in the fall...she's been doing so, so well lately. She's been fine with all the guests we've had over and I haven't felt like I have to be super vigilant. She goes right up to most of them and demands a back massage! At agility she has been very good about ignoring the other dogs, and she's been just amazing at flyball. I really like the agility classes here and I think my handling has improved a lot this summer. It's nice to work in a big, open field. We do a lot of front and back crosses and I'm finally teaching Abby proper targets (nose touch instead of just the 2020 stance so she'll be able to do them without me right there). We went to a 4 hours distance mini clinic on Sunday and got lots of good tips there. It'll be hard to move back to doing agility in a tiny indoor facility in the fall...

Tycho came out here to visit us and he and Abby were soo excited to see each other! Ryan was pretty excited to meet Tycho, too, but Tycho didn't feel quite the same enthusiasm.

Ryan is almost as big as Abby. Abby is about 18" at the shoulder and Ryan is about 16-17" this week. Abby weighs 28 lbs and Ryan is probably about 24 lbs though I haven't weighed him in a long time. He has a nice silky coat now - no more puppy fuzziness. I've been told he'll have a medium rough coat and I'm hoping that's true - the less grooming the better! I'm not sure if his ears will prick. They aren't mini ears anymore like they were when he was tiny, but they aren't huge and floppy. His left ear stood up at the beginning of June for about a week and his right ear stood up 3 weeks ago for about a week and now they are both kinda airplane ears. We'll see what they decide to do. His freckles are really dark now and everybody comments on his beautiful colouring....they also all think he's a cattle dog mix because of his ticking. I guess no one has seen a ticked Border Collie before! In the past 2 weeks Ryan started getting some adult teeth. He now has all adult teeth in the front on top, and a few on the bottom in front.

Ryan is completely (knock on wood) housetrained now and has been for quite awhile now - at least since he was 3-4 months. He sits by the door and whines to be let out. I'm not sure how long he would sit there before he went off somewhere else to pee since I never test that out. He's pretty good about not puppy biting. When I get home he goes and grabs something to carry around or else I shove something (other than my dirty socks..which he loves) in his mouth. He'll go to his bed now from across the room when I tell him to and he stays there when I tell him to, although I have to remind him that he's staying there every few minutes unless I give him a bone to chew on. He still hates being held down on his back and makes the most awful noises when I do it to him. I should work on it more often...he doesn't really fuss about it, just makes that terrible noise. He also screeched his head off while getting a bath in the yard this weekend. The neighbours must have thought I was murdering him. Abby thought so, too. She started screaming at me to try and get me to stop torturing him. It was quite the racket.

Ryan's still eating kibble instead of raw like Abby because I like to do training with him at mealtimes and I still stuff his breakfast in a kong for him when I go to work. I think I'll put him on raw eventually but for now kibble works well. He seems to be allergic to chicken in kibble, though, so he's on lamb. He got a rash all over his belly when I put him on chicken kibble.

Speaking of raw, our entire freezer is filled with llama right now. One of the professors keeps llamas on his property and we killed one for a project. I got to cut up an entire leg for Abby - she is one happy and lucky dog! It was her birthday yesterday. She's 3 years old - wow! Time really has flown by.