Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome 2012!!!

We have been on vacation to a winter wonderland and left the two four legged's with amazing sitters since Tuesday.

Cora went to her vacation home, the breeder that won her a National Champion Title and raised her for her first two years of life, and helped her whelp her first and only litter. She loves Cora as equally as we do, and we always know she is in perfect care - plus she gets to play and snuggle with other beagles, Cora's favorite furry friends.

Haddie spent her five nights with a fellow CCI Puppy Raiser. He has us beat in experience as a PR, but he also has us beat in the area of dog-training and know-how in general. His background is deep and wide in the area of dog training; including training for Police K-9. I feel very fortunate to have found this contact and connection.

And that's really what you need when you venture off for a vacation from life routines. Haddie is not my dog, she has a long list of To Do's to accomplish, and knowing that the sitter will not "mess it up" is a huge, big deal. We knew that Haddie was in excellent hands and we were able to "forget about her" during our stay in the mountain snow, skiing through the pines.

We picked up both dogs this afternoon. Cora was all tail wags and beagle bays. She was excited to see us, and wagged her tail at the two remaining beagles as she left our friend's house. She is right at home in both houses, but was ready to get back to house number 1.

Haddie ... well, Haddie came to the door with her ears back and a curious look on her face. As if to say, "You again?" She seriously looked confused, which made me giggle. I know she will be just fine headed back to California in a year. It didn't look as though she missed us at all.

She settled in at my feet while we got the scoop from our new friend. He mentioned that she did great, played her heart out every day with his two CCI dogs, and his two German Shepard's, and his friend's dogs who were over visiting for New Years. The house was packed with well behaved, panting, and smiling dogs. I think there were about seven furry heads peaking over the doggie gate in the entry way, with a short little dachshund in the rears. He is a brave man.

His observation is that Haddie works when her leash is on, and would not work if her leash was off. He commanded her to Jump on his grooming table in the garage, and apparently she just looked at him. He corrected her, still nothing. Again. Nothing. He decided to clip her leash on as he wasn't going to lift her 50 pound-plus body up to the table, and she jumped. Hmm.

He had a few other examples that showed she is leash-on = work mentality. He didn't think it was a huge deal, but we'll work on getting her to do as she's told with or without the leash.

Haddie received a shower upon coming in the house, and then she's been snoring ever since. She is one t-i-r-e-d puppy, but oh so adorable! It feels good to have them both home.

What a fun way for both doggies to complete their 2011 and ring in the New Year!


  1. Heidi had a little bit of the leash on/leash off attitude similar to what Haddie has. She improved a lot though, by having training sessions where no leashes or jackets were on or used. I've noticed too, that by doing training sessions like this the dog learns that the commands still apply to them when the leash is off, but it also improved my handling skills as I couldn't rely on a leash correction for everything. Later when the leash was on, it was easier to keep the leash loose and not use it to direct the puppy around so much.

  2. I'm so glad everyone in your family enjoyed their mini vacations!

    How do you feed Haddie? I would possibly use mealtimes to break the "leash=work" mindset. For example, like most Labbies I'm guessing she gets pretty interested when the food bowl comes out! At those times, start working. Instead of just asking for some commands and then releasing her to eat, possibly ask for some bigger stuff. Jumping, heeling, holding a wait while you go out of sight, ect. You might already do that with her, but in case you didn't I just thought I'd give a suggestion, I hope it helps!

  3. Thanks, Belle! I have tried that, but found Haddie just holds her food in her mouth, won't chew or swallow, and waits for next command/reward and holds the next kibble. So odd. The other times in the day when I reward with kibble, she will chew and swallow. So, I stopped training during time to eat moments. I do, however, make her look at me during her "wait" of food vs looking at bowl....learned that from you. Keep giving me thoughts and ideas...I love it!!

  4. dogs always seem to do things like that! It takes a lot of patience! Hobart has had blank moments and I always have to remember that I can't reinforce what he's doing, but I don't want to correct him too hard! It's a hard balance!

  5. Oh wow - that sounds like such a great time away for your family. What a great thing to have good places for your puppers to go! Love being able to have fellow puppy raisers to help out and see things that I might not have! Such a great way to make these pups amazing partners for someone! Haddie's well on her way! :)

  6. Sounds like she's doing beautifully! That's one of the reasons that everything I teach the beasties is learned starting off-leash, then adapted to on-leash work. Stops me from giving any corrections and teaches them that cues always bring exceptional rewards when followed.

  7. Thanks Friends!!! I am learning so much from ALL of you!!! :)