Sunday, January 24, 2010

Backing up..

I haven't updated in so long! I'm sorry guys! So let's back up to say...January 13th. That was the second Wednesday of the month and we had a puppy meeting! Before this meeting Betsy was wearing a Halti headcollar. But for quite a few days before the meeting it had been really irritating her bad eye. I'm sure I mentioned it before...but when Betsy was a baby she had a bottom eyelid that rolled in and irritated her eye. She has finally outgrown it...for the most part. My leader said he doesn't want her wearing the headcollar anymore because GDB is trying to avoid doing surgery on her eye. I was okay with her not wearing it, except for the fact that she has gotten so big that I can't correct her is she has her mind set on something. My leader recommended fitting her with a chain training collar. I said at the very beginning of my puppy raising experience that I would never make my puppy wear one of those. When I saw a dog wearing one I always thought that it was an unruly dog. I know this is not the case, but still! I didn't have any other choice with Betsy though. So I got her the training collar and oh my goodness, she is a completely different dog. She pays complete and total attention to me. She does everything I ask of her and she is happy. I was worried that the collar would hinder her confidence, but instead it has increased it! Now she LOVES working. She doesn't like working for long period of times, but she loves to work! So I guess I shouldn't have judged to collars so quickly, but I do still prefer headcollars!

The other major thing I learned in the past couple weeks is that Betsy doesn't handle crowds well. She has never liked going to school. I thought it was just because she didn't like working in general, but now I see that she likes stores so she must like working. At school she is very anxious and doesn't settle down easily. She sits beside me and continually tries to stand up and leave. I only ever bring her to one class, but I think I'm going to have to cut that back even more. So for now she is just going to be hanging out at home. I will work on bringing her to places where there is going to be a crowd but she can just hang out and relax and I can focus completely on her. I am going to try and have people pet her and show her that being in a crowd isn't a bad thing.  If anyone has any advice on what I can do to calm her in crowds I would love to hear it!

My only other major news is that Gabrina made it to phase 10! :D!

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures, I had a ton on her on my phone and then they all got deleted! Ah! Betsy will be 9 months on Thursday and I will try to take some new pictures by then. But don't count on it. Soccer has started up so I am super busying practicing!

Maddie and Betsy


Cassie (and Dagan - cheering Poppy on at GDB!) said...

Yeah for chain collars! There are good reasons I like them, but we are not using them much in our area. Odd how that works out! Your area yes! Mine, not so much.

How much food protocol is being used in your area? Food fixes all sorts of problems if it is used correctly.

Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

It's fun when you can switch some equipment or do something simple like that and it makes such a big difference. Our pups work so hard for us, it's nice to make them happy! :-) Keep up the good work!

Maddie, Gabrina (IFT), and Betsy (PIT) said...

Cassie - Food isn't being used a lot in my area. I am planning on talking to my CFR about it when she visits next month. Betsy works wonderfully for food, but doesn't thrive off of praise nearly as much as other puppies.

GDB Puppy Sitter :) said...

We have a puppy in our club that doesn't do well in social settings. When I have her, I try to go some place a little early (like work or to a store) and just have her sit and observe what is going on around her so she doesn't become overwhelmed. It seems to calm her a little bit and get her focused before putting her in a situation where she gets quickly overwhelmed.

Also, I'm not sure if you were at Fun Days but they talked about "soft" puppies and had a great handout about them. Let me know if you need a copy and I can scan it in and send it you. :)

Maddie, Gabrina (IFT), and Betsy (PIT) said...

Thanks for all the advice guys!

If you would send me the handout that would be awesome! My emil address is

Ro said...

Wow I've always felt the same about chain collars. When they talked about them on my lecture cds I thought, I hope I don't have to use that. But it sure sounds like they help. I hope she gets over her fear of crowds! I'm kinda surprised they don't use food rewards much. Food rewards are all over the lecture cds I got, and from the sound of it, we never go anywhere without a treat pouch.

Mandy and Cancun said...

in our area we've been told no more training collars. It's quite interesting to see the differences among the territories.

We don't use too much food, but I too like what it can do when used correctly.

How much do you guys use food? Do you have any pups on food protocol for anything? I get the feeling from other CO raisers that not many raisers use it.