Intermediate Puppy School? Done.
Today our puppies had their graduation from the intermediate level of puppy school. We were very proud of them. They showed off in the aisle doing obstacle course work off leash (or really on leash but dragging the leash behind them) and got lots and lots of treats. After they demonstrated their skills and got their diplomas, they had graduation pictures taken. Mr. C played hard to get with the instructor. Every time she would get him looking at the camera, he would look and then turn away just as she took the picture.
While the puppies were hanging out after class getting their pictures taken, Ms. A gave them some plastic bottles to chew on so they wouldn't get bored. There were also plenty of treats on hand.
Miss M was quick to volunteer for pictures , pointing out that Mr. C was just being a drama queen.
Mr. M got tired of waiting for his close-up and decided that he needed some attention.
Miss S got fed up with all of the others' picture avoiding antics and decided to show them how picture posing was done.
It was a full day. The puppies tried to tell the cats about their graduation, but the cats really didn't seem to care very much.
Soooo. Apparently cats hate the cones of shame even more than the dogs do. We put the cones on the night of their surgery thinking we should put them on in case they decided to groom to aggressively. By the next morning, the cones were nowhere to be found. We managed to find them a while later, but after looking at the kitties, we decided to leave the cones off. Their incision sites didn't look irritated and their tummies looked normal. Their appetites have been really strong. We normally only give them wet food once a day, but we've made an exception the last couple of days just to make sure that they are eating enough to get well quickly.
The puppies seem to know that they are supposed to be a little gentle with the cats. Mr. M chased them a little, but he didn't stay interested in them very long. Miss B and Mr. C were napping on our bed this morning, and the kitties both jumped up on the bed. The puppies were so excited to see them. They smelled them and gave them kisses. Kitty P decided the puppies should be awake and started swatting Miss B in the face to get her to play. Of course Miss B is always willing to oblige when it comes to playtime. She was the main reason we got more puppies in the first place. She has a ton of energy and used to bother Mr. C when he was ready to take a nap. We decided she needed another puppy to play with to use up some of her energy without wearing out Mr. C.
On another topic, it's hard to believe it, but the puppies graduate from the intermediate level of puppy school next week. It seems like just last week that they were starting their first lesson. - sigh- They grow up so fast.
Today at puppy school, there were people everywhere. We saw a really cute little blue nose pit bull puppy. The puppies really wanted to meet him or her, but his/her parents were a little nervous about our big puppies. I always think it's funny when people are scared of our puppies around their dogs. Our puppies love other dogs. They are convinced that anything small is their puppy and needs to be licked.
I didn't take any pictures in class, but here is one that we took on their first day of puppy school. We were just getting used to the tandem leashes and hadn't quite mastered the art of keeping them from getting tangled up together. Notice how small Miss M is standing behind Mr. C. She has even gone up a harness size since this was taken.
Fun with Puppy School
After what seems like ages, we finally went back to puppy school today. The puppies were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. They knew just where to go. If we had been on roller blades, they would have pulled us straight through the automatic door. It was so steamy outside, they led us straight to the water fountain, after stopping to say hi to the trainer on the way.
The puppies absolutely love puppy school! We really like puppy school too. It is more than just a place to go to learn how to sit and stay. You really learn a lot about your dogs when you go through training with them. You get a chance to see their personalities come out, and they get a chance to show you how good they can be and how much they can learn. Training with them really does seem to bring you and your dogs even closer. Notice in the picture above how Miss B is learning the skill they are working on, but checks back in with us. She is full of energy and can be quite the rascal, but in reality, she is really smart and just gets bored quickly. Despite her rascal-ness, she wants nothing more than to please us and is happy to do things without treats as long as we tell her she's a good girl and she knows we are happy.
The girls remembered just where Ms. A keeps her treats.
After school, we let the puppies play in the water hose to cool off before taking a nap.
Back to School
After a short puppy spring break, the puppies went back to school today. It was their first day of the intermediate classes, and they were ready. They were already excited just to go somewhere. They always love going places- Grandma and Grandpa's, the beach, the vet, puppy school, etc. As an aside here, I've never actually met any dogs who like going to the vet, but ours love the vet's office.
Anyway, when we pulled into the parking lot, they already knew where they were going. We got them out of the car without any tangled leashes and took them for a potty trip before going in. They know right where to go now, and headed straight for the classroom. We saw the instructor on the way in, and they were super happy to see her.
Today's class had a lot of walking and they got to meet several new people. They also got to play with an Instructor in training who is working with our class. They like her a lot too- she gives them lots of attention. Toward the end of class, we were doing a lap around the store practicing skills, and when we paused for one of the skills, Miss M just plopped right down in the middle of the aisle, on the cool tile floor to take a nap. When we got back to the classroom, all of them had a good lounge, while taking turns cuddling with the instructor and Mom who were both sitting on the floor.
By the time we left, they were totally worn out. They slept pretty much all the way home and didn't even wake up at the stop lights.
We also made a discovery a few weeks ago that I thought deserved mention here. Usually when we go for a walk on the beach or when we leave puppy school, the puppies are thirsty. We carry collapsible water bowls and a bottle of water with us, but sometimes, they are still thirsty when we get in the car. It would be a total mess trying to give them water in the car. Then we figured out a solution. Ice! Why didn't we think of it before? Usually we stop to get something cold to drink on the way home, so we started ordering a cup or two of ice to give to the puppies. The puppies love it. It's hydrating and cools them off at the same time! I'm so glad we discovered this before summer.
One of the benefits of having fuzzy children is that you don't have to wait 18 years for them to graduate from school. Today, our puppies graduated from the Beginner Level of puppy school. They had to demonstrate what they had learned and passed with flying colors. They even got certificates. We were so proud of them. Each of them got a different sticker on their certificate. Miss M got "Star Student," Mr. M got "Teacher's Pet," Miss S got "Inseparable from her pack," Mr. C got "2 cool for school," and Miss B got "You are one smart cookie."
After showing off their skills and getting their certificates, the puppies each got treats and got to meet a new instructor in training who may train with them during the intermediate level.
Today was a pretty warm day, so by the time puppy school was over, the puppies were pretty tired. On the way home, we got them a cup of ice from the driveway so they could cool down quicker. Ice is much easier than water while in the car. Water would just be way too messy, but with ice, they get water but you can give it to them like treats. They love the crunch of ice. There was a recipe on Pinterest for banana "Popsicle," The person sliced up bananas and then froze them in an ice tray in water. So it's a piece of ice with a banana chunk inside. Genius! I have to try it.
This week is the last week for puppy school, and the puppies are getting nervous about the upcoming final exam and graduation.
Miss M: "You didn't say anything about a test. You said ride. You said puppy school. You said good puppy. You never said test." Miss B: "I can't take the pressure. I'm just going to lay on the floor in the middle of Petsmart." Mr. M: "That's okay Miss B. I'll just lay here too and use you as a pillow." Miss S: "Ooh. I think I see the treat aisle."
The puppies really like puppy school. Even Miss B who was scared of walking around the store at first, thinks she owns the place now. They know where the classroom is. They know where the water is, and they know where to go for potty breaks.
They are getting better and better at following directions. We've had them "leave it" at the beach walking past dead birds and fish so many times, that they didn't even bother going near the dead baby bird that we found in our yard today. We discovered that there is a nest in our grapefruit tree- complete with a mama bird. The baby was super young and must have fallen out during the high winds last night. We were proud of the puppies for not messing with it. This evening, the puppies were all playing with something that I didn't recognize. All five of them were pulling on it, but we couldn't figure out what it was. I told them all to drop it, and they all let go at the same time! It turned about to be one of Dad's mittens that had fallen on the floor when he was cleaning his closet. I was happy that we were able to save the mitten, but I was even happier that all of the puppies dropped the mitten when I told them to, even though they were really having a good time pulling on it.
So I guess tomorrow, we will have to make sure that all of their basic skills are strong so that they don't have any trouble passing their exams.
Getting Smarter by the Day
We told the puppies that they needed to pay attention in school and learn stuff, and this was their response:
Believe it or not, this was at puppy school before class started. Can you tell that they are comfortable in puppy school? The puppies get super excited every time we go to school, and today was no exception. We took them out for a potty break before going in, and then we walked them around the store for a few minutes before class just to get some of their energy out ahead of time. They got to meet a really nice lady and smell neat stuff on the aisles.
After lounging around in the classroom before class started, we took the puppies to get a drink, where they got to meet another nice lady. They were very social today. Well, okay, they are social everyday, we just don't let them go up and meet everybody. Some people aren't fans of pit bulls, so we are very selective in who we let the puppies "talk" to.
Their instructor is really good about letting the puppies have a break midway through class to take care of any business they need to take care of, which is a good thing. Mr. C took advantage of this break today. This is the reason we carry poop bags in our pockets when we go out in public. I think we would get very unpopular very quickly if we didn't pick up after this many dogs.
Our puppies have been learning about financial responsibility as well. Here, they are scouring the store for things that are on sale so that we can spend, I mean, save more money.
As always, the puppies learned a lot in class and were tired by the time we got home- though not too tired to play with the new cool ball we got. Our trainer found it on the shelf in the store and knew our puppies would like it, so she saved it for us just in case. I should have taken a picture of it. It is out of a tough material and makes noises every time they make it roll or move. It was a big hit at home. Even the cats were interested in it.
On a funny note, this evening after the puppies were in bed, we went into Dad's dojo and found a visitor. Some people have plaques and pictures that gather dust. Apparently, ours gather lizards instead. How she can sleep like this is beyond me, but we left her there in hopes that she will eat any wayward mosquitoes that come along.
This weekend, the puppies had homework to do. They learned "this way" in class on Thursday, and we were supposed to practice it with distractions. Specifically, we were supposed to go to the beach and practice since there are plenty of distracting things on the beach- like birds and dead fish, not to mention the seaweed and seashells. The puppies didn't realize we were going to do anything other than just play in the yard today, and were not very motivated to do homework.
We were all a little tired in the first part of the day, so it was naps all around, but in the afternoon, the weather was just too nice to stay home. So off we went to work on their homework. The puppies surprise us sometimes with how observant they are, and today Mr. M surprised us. We don't usually wear our normal shoes in the house. We wear our house shoes, or the shoes that we use to take them outside. I put on some normal shoes to get the car ready to go, and Mr. M noticed them as soon as I walked out of the bedroom. He looked at my shoes, smelled them and started wagging his tail frantically. He knew right then that we were going somewhere. Once the harness bag came out, they all got excited.
When they realized that we were headed for the beach, they got super happy. Miss M started whining a little in the back once she saw the water at the seawall- she loves the beach and couldn't wait to get there.
There were plenty of distractions to practice their homework. Mr. M found a dead fish and immediately picked it up. He was so proud of his treasure, and so disappointed when we made him drop it and move on. There were plenty of distracting people that we had to walk past, and even a dog that was off-leash and decided to come running up to our puppies. That dog's people were not too far away and had to come over to us to get the dog to leave our puppies alone. Dad fussed at them and told them that their dog was supposed to be on a leash.
It was a very good day at the beach. The puppies had a great walk. There were plenty of distractions, but there were plenty of fun things to smell and see that were okay to smell and see.
As an aside, before I had dogs, I used to hate it when I would go somewhere like the beach and then almost step in dog poop that someone had left behind. Now that I have dogs, I hate that even more. Seriously. You may like your dog and have to deal with its poop, but nobody else wants to deal with your dog poop. Whenever we go out, we keep waste bags handy so that we can pick up after them. It takes a little bit of effort, but it's not that difficult. You just pick up the poop with a bag and throw it away. How hard is that? We passed quite a few little poop piles on the beach today. I suspect that they were from dogs belonging to tourists or inconsiderate people from the city who think that nature is one big puppy toilet. I think that we should be taught more about respecting nature in school.
Hooray for Puppy School
Today the puppies had their second day of puppy school, and they had a blast. Mr. C usually starts the frenzy when it's time to go somewhere. So this time, we had him out of the crate running loose in the house while we were getting ready, thinking that if he was already out, he would realize that he was going to get to go too. That only worked partially. As soon as the leash and harness bag came out, he got super happy and started jumping around, just to make sure he was going to go, and even though they were in the other room, the other puppies heard his excitement and started getting excited too. So we let them all out and started putting harnesses on. In the beginning, we thought that if they were all in the crates and we took them out one by one to get their harnesses on, it would keep everything nice and calm. In reality, it had the opposite effect. When we take them out one by one, the ones that are still in their crates get worried about getting left home and go nuts. If we take them all out at once, they get excited but don't whine and bark as much.
So, we got all of the harnesses on and took them out to go potty before going to school. Then we put the gentle leader head collars on and out we went. The puppies love riding in the car and were so excited to be going somewhere that they all took turns licking our ears.
In puppy school, we worked on leash training some more. One thing We've noticed about pit bulls is that they learn things really fast, and they repeat them all day long if they get treats or if they think it makes you happy. Half of the time Miss B doesn't care about the treats at all. She just likes that you are happy with her for doing whatever it is, and that she gets tons of attention.
Miss M remembered their classmate Ms. S from last time, and was quick to go say hi. At one point, she got a little too excited about getting her to play, and the older dog growled at her slightly to tell her to stop, which Miss M did happily, still visiting with her. Mr. C heard the other dog growl and got very worried and concerned that this other dog was growling at his baby. so he started barking frantically. The trainer gave him some attention and treats for being protective of Miss M.
Mr. C is very calm and laid back, but he is very protective and doesn't like it when he feels like his puppies or his people are threatened. There weren't any hard feelings though, and pretty soon, everyone was having a good time. The older Ms. S started rolling around on the floor like a puppy, as did Mr. M. Miss M started looking for treats and Miss B started playing with Mr. C. Once class started, they all had a good time and had a hard time waiting for their turn to show off.
We didn't get any pictures this time, so next time, we will try to take some pictures.
Once we got home, we let the puppies run around outside even though it was muddy, just to get some of their energy out. After that, we gave them all a bath and let them play around the house before giving them their dinner. It was a full day.
Here is a picture that our trainer took during the last class.
First Day of School
So, today the puppies had their first day of school. We signed them all up for the beginners class and today was the big day. The weather has been so bad around here, that they hadn't been anywhere in about two weeks. Needless to say, they were all more than ready to go have fun. So when we brought out the bag with the harnesses and leashes, they started going nuts before they even saw the bag. It didn't take very long to get everyone ready, but it did take a while to convince them that they should go outside for a potty break first.
When we got to the class, it was still a little early, so we walked around for a few minutes just to get some of the energy out.
Miss M was the star of the class and fell in love with the older dog that is in their class too. It's an older chocolate lab that was dumped in bad condition and then rescued by the lady who brought her to class. Mr. M tried flirting with her a little and then gave her owner kisses. Miss M loved the big puppy and gave her kisses and tried to play with her. It was really cute.
Miss B and Mr. C worked with Mom, while Mr. M and Miss S worked with Dad. The teacher worked with Miss M to demonstrate the different skills we would be working on. We had a really good time and can't wait to go back again next week. I think if it were up to the puppies, we would go to puppy school every day.
Of course, our gangster puppies are already familiar with the idea of stealing lunch money. So when Miss M saw the instructor squat down to take a picture, she wasted no time in trying to take the treats our of her pocket. I think Miss M was paying closer attention than we realized.
We were very proud of our fuzzy children at school today. There was supposed to be a beagle puppy in our class too, but I think that her owner was scared off by the fact that there were going to be pit bulls in the class. I think that's the funniest thing. Our's probably would have been the best class for the other puppy because our dogs like other puppies so much, but when you are too quick to judge books by their covers, you miss out on a lot of things. Our puppies all really like the other dog that's in their class, so I think they will all do well.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.