Thursday, November 22, 2007

Who is that handsome lad?

It's Ryan all grown up! Well, not quite. He's about 8 months now and while he looks a lot more like an adult, he sure doesn't act like one! He's 20.5" and 40 lbs - I'm still going with my guess of 45lbs full grown. Hopefully he won't get any taller though because I'd like to start him in 16" specials in agility, I think. If he gets even half an inch taller then he'll have to jump 22" specials.

As for his mental maturity...let's just say I can now see why people say that adolescent Border Collies make you want to shoot yourself, or them, or possibly both. Ryan would be moving *constantly* if it were up to him. After a two hour hike, some back yard fetch and a meal's worth of training, Ryan will still lie on his bed in a forced down all shifty eyed looking for his next target. As soon as he's released, he's running around the house looking for a toy to destroy. I love kongs. I love raw bones. I do not love big shiny white teenage Ryan teeth.

Ryan also has a very annoying habit of grabbing onto pant legs when he is overjoyed while greeting someone. He needs to have a toy in his mouth or he just keeps grabbing tiny little mouthfuls and letting go before you can tell him to stop.

So far he hasn't shown any of that "typical" adolescent dog behaviour or suddenly having no recall. His recall is actually very good, and he has a split second "lie down". He is going through a spooky fear stage right now though. Dogs are even scarier than they were before (after 3 puncture causing face attacks and multiple non puncture face attacks it's no wonder face to face greetings are a bit scary). Strangers are all of a sudden a bit scary too. I plan to do a bit of hanging around outside the mall this weekend with Ryan just to get some people to feed him treats. I am hoping and thinking that this is just a phase but I don't want to take any chances.

Abby the super dog continues to be the crazy little athlete. We are doing agility classes twice a week and flyball practice once every couple of weeks. We've got our first flyball tournament coming up soon! We're still working on the box turn and on a fast run back to me. I haven't quite figured out what will get Abby really running back to me. She is usually too pumped up to eat (but I should try something delicious like cat food brownies) and the ball wins over any tug. She would probably run fast if I run full speed away from her but I don't think that's too practical in a tournament.

Abby's been doing well with other dogs lately, I've noticed. She is much more inclined to give a warning snarl than to launch a full on attack like she used to. We go on group hikes with my dog walker friend every morning with 8 dogs total and she's been great on those. She also has quite a few boyfriends - she's in love with Tycho (of course) but also with Fyvish and Tyler! The little tramp!

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