Sheryl's Alaskan Malamutes - Cinnabar - Puppy Kindergarten
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Cinnabar - Puppy Kindergarten

Cinnabar hangin out at first Puppy Kindergarten Class
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Below are my "Puppy-Logues" from Puppy Kindergarten.

First Day at Puppy Kindergarten - May 16, 2005
He's such a good traveler and never whines in the car, even without big brother next to him.

The steps up to class must look extremely long to someone his size, but he did great with them. Jennifer was at the top of the stairs & said, "you should see the look of concentration on his face".

Only about 12 puppies in this class. Two of them are repeats - they needed extra work on their socialization to bring them out of their shyness. Both of them are named Maggie, and both are little curly haired ankle-biters. There's a hound dog (Otis) in class, labs (of course), bull dog, and other breeds with which I'm not familiar. The black lab, Daisy, Cinnabar met at the Friday night puppy party and the two are already buddies. Daisy makes a bee-line for Cinnabar, probably because he gives as good as he gets, and she's an energizer-bunny like all labs.

Sharon talked about not expecting this puppy to be like your last dog, they all have personalities. Treat them as individuals.

We started off with pass the puppy, with each of us putting our hands all over the dogs for about a minute & then passing the puppy to the right until we got our own dog back. Mellow-boy Cinnabar did great. This exercise helps condition them to being handled and getting over any fear of people they may have.

Sharon told me, that even though she knows Cinnabar isn't Sebastian, she just can't get over the differences in personality. That's why I call them my "night & day boys".

Then we talked about housebreaking. Sharon used my favorite line again, "excitement produces a lot of pee & poop", so get them outside when they're excited. A new line that Jennifer used Friday night, and Sharon used at class was, "roll up the newspaper, hit yourself in the head with it 3 times, and repeat 'I will watch for signs the puppy needs to go out much closer' ". She emphasized that puppies are babies, and it takes a while to housebreak, but it's the humans that make the mistakes and not the pups.

Then we did name recognition. Cinnabar was up first, and responded when I called his name. Then I went to the other end of the room and called him and he bounded toward me. When I picked him up and held him (he rests his head on my shoulder when I do that) while praising him, Sharon said, I don't remember you picking up Sebastian like that. Nope, Mr. Wiggle-Worm was never one to be held. :)

Jennifer gave us an exercise to help get the puppies' attention. Hold out a treat, put it near your nose and call their name. When they make eye contact, treat them & praise them. Then hold out a treat, call them, put your arm out to the side with the treat and keep calling them. When they make eye contact they get the treat. The idea is to be able to get the dog's attention.

Then free-for-all. Not as rammy as the puppy party Friday night, but a good deal of frolicking, especially Daisy & Cinnabar together, although the other labs were all into it as well.

Cinnabar - first Puppy Kindergarten Class - with Daisy
My boys love to make impressions, and Cinnabar ended the evening (after most had left) with two big poop explosions, hitting both the floor and carpet in various places. Excitement did produce alot of poop! Took him outside, but nope, he was done.

Second Puppy Kindergarten - May 23, 2005
Started with a brief free-for-all, when someone opened the door and the puppies started running for it. I called Cinnabar & he did his comical strut-trot toward me. Not bad for 2 1/2 months.

Cinnabar - Second Puppy Kindergarten Class
We did pass the puppy, like last time, all with good results.

Naturally, during name recall he did well, even with a little poodle trying to distract him. He bounded to me like Sebastian did at that stage.

We had a session on teeth, and he chomped on his malt toothpaste covered toothbrush. Then my little master thief stole Ashley's tooth brush to chomp on hers.

During question/answer session, Jennifer was discussing how to discourage nipping. Remove your arms from them, tell them no bit and stuff some "ok" chewable in their mouths. If they nip at your pants as you're walking, keep a toy on a leash with you to distract them from your clothing.

During the talk, mellow Cinnabar just laid stretched out. When the little toy on the leash came out, he sat up. As Jennifer set the toy down (about 3 feet from us), Cinnabar trotted over and grabbed it, brought it back and munched happily, oblivious to the chuckles around the room.

Cinnabar - Second Puppy Kindergarten Class
Free-for-all at the end was disappointing, because these people all leave fast, but what are you going to do?

Third Puppy Kindergarten - June 6, 2005
Free-for-all to start the class was a good one, all the kids had fun. They all commented on how much Cinnabar has grown.

Cinnabar - third Puppy Kindergarten Class
Then it was time to talk poop. The difference between soft stool & diarrhea. Diarrhea is liquid and happens every 20 minutes. If that is the case, do not feed them for 24 hours, or you fuel the fire. Then feed them either boiled chicken or hamburger with rice. It is the rice that binds them up. Change in weather, stress or change in diet can bring it on. More than 48 hours without change, get them to the vet. Also, if they are pooping something out and can't seem to get it out, DON'T pull on it, you don't know how long it is and could damage their intestines.

I gave my "dodging the bullet" story about Cinnabar gulping a steak bone whole unknown to me. He pooped it out whole - the thing was 3 inches long & a little over a 1/4 inch in diameter. Marrow bones only for him. That let Sharon launch into a discussion about not giving them anything smaller than the size of their mouth.

Then we did ears. My mellow boy just sat there while the stuff was squirted in, and I used the cotton ball & gauze. The only issue was that he wanted to eat the gauze. We're the fortunate ones in this class, as all others are floppy eared (either long or furry) and they've got to do ears at least once a week, for some twice a week.

Also talked about the humid weather, and not leaving the dogs out in it. Seems all the pups in the class are spoiled and will be spending their time in air conditioning - as it should be!!

Cinnabar - third Puppy Kindergarten Class
Then name recall. Hally, the little poodle was up first and gave Jennifer issues. She said "excuse me", put her on her back and just held her there until she settled. While she did this Sharon explained, that they can't accept that behavior from her or she will turn into an ankle-biter. Her mom called her and she came running, not sure if to her name or to get away from that mean lady, Jenn who demanded good behavior. But it counts as a good recall :)

Cinnabar was up next. Jennifer to him to the other end of the room and he sat there looking at her, until I called him and he bounded to me. Good boy! He got the liver treat for that. The rest of the class did ok, with many detours before they got to their moms or dads, but did get there.

Next week we do nails. I've done Cinnabar's twice already, and will probably do them again prior to next week. He's decent about it, as he is finally with brushing. He started out as "the exorcist" twisting his head around to chase the brush, but after 3 days, settled in to the routine. Which is a good thing because he's a lot fluffier than Sebastian and will need even more grooming.

Cinnabar - third Puppy Kindergarten Class
Final free for all was a good one this time with folks sticking around. At one point, I called out to Jenn that she had a new best friend. Cinnabar was sitting next to her looking up with tail wagging, knowing she had treats. She burst out laughing and give him one, and got on the floor with him, rubbing his belly, while he laid there in his glory. "Just like Sebastian" I said being ironic, to which she laughed, knowing that wiggle-worm never laid that still for her.

During the final free-for-all had to ask a little boy not to push on Cinnabar. He told him to sit and then pushed his butt down. Then Cinnabar laid down and he was pushing on his stomach. When I told him not to push on him, he looked straight at me and said "I didn't do that". Confirmation: 4 footed kids, are much better than 2 footed ones!! You all know how I feel about human kids, so "nuff said".

Ok, but then, one pup's dad, told Cinnabar to sit and pushed on his butt to do it. I said, he will sit, but we don't do it that way. He didn't acknowledge me (but he also didn't the first class when he told someone that Cinnabar was a husky, look at the blue eyes, and I said, green eyes and a Malamute). He seems like an ok person, except that he gets weird when his opinion is challenged. Anyway, I called Cinnabar away from him and that was that. I prefer they work on obedience with their own dogs, and not mine for some silly reason :)

Once it was all winding down, I had Cinnabar come with me to see Jennifer to show her his sit/stay, which he did. I corrected him with "eh-eh" once, and held him to it for about 30 seconds. Not bad for 3 months old (last night) and told her that I do that when the boys get rowdy, I get the treats and we work on sit/stays. If they're really out of control, then it's the vinegar bottle sprayed at them. That really works, except Sebastian is trying to like it. Not a surprise, since he tried liking the tabasco sauce I put on the deck to keep him from chewing.

Talked to Sharon about Sebastian acting out. He's doing great on our walks, and with many things, but he's growling for no reason. Sometimes, no one is near him, he growls, gets up and beats the crap out of a toy or starts on Cinnabar who gives it right back to him. The issue is him growling at me, when I touch his paws or for no reason. I say, "excuse me, who do you think you are" and tell him "in" to go in his crate (which he has done obediently since he was little). Nope, ignoring that. Ok, snap the leash on and in he goes. That worked once. Now, snap the leash on and he lays down. So, I get a couple liver treats, give him the "place" command which he does, then throw a treat in his crate and say "in" and then he goes. The thing is, once I give a command, he must follow it AND I've got Cinnabar watching so I can't make a mistake (monkey see/monkey do). I asked her if she agreed with my methods, and she said yes. She said he's definitely goes through a rebellious phase, not uncommon at this age, and flipping me the dew claw big time.

Fourth Puppy Kindergarten - June 13, 2005
Cinnabar played well with all the other kids.

Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class
Then we did a nail clipping session. I'd already done his front nails, so Jennifer did a couple back nails. He's so mellow, he just sits and lets you do them.
Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class
Then name calling with a twist. Sharon had a treat in her hand and made sure each puppy knew it when it was their turn. With that distraction, then the owners had to call their dog from the other end of the room. Of course nobody listened with that treat distracting them, except Cinnabar. I wasn't sure that he would listen, but he always turns around to the sound of his name whether I call him or someone else does. Star of the class! When the other pups didn't listen, Sharon had the owner come over to her, transferred the treat and made sure the pups knew it, then go to the other end of the room and call them. Sure enough, then they paid attention. She wanted to emphasize the use of rewarding treats during training.
Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class
We also got photos taken and surprise, I've got another camera ham.

Fifth Puppy Kindergarten - Graduation - June 20, 2005
The weather was so glorious, we had it outside. Major fun during the free-for-all. Mr. Congeniality (Cinnabar) goes to each of the moms & dads as well as playing with the other pups. Because Cinnabar listens so well, it's interesting to watch all the others call his name and him go to them. I think it's rewarding for them to see how it can be done :)

Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class

Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class

Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class
We had name recall and when each dog responded, then we got our graduation certificate. Then talking about the importance of basic obedience training, and another free-for-all which I had to cut short to take Cinnabar home and pick up Sebastian, as his first Agility Class began last night.
Cinnabar - Fourth Puppy Kindergarten Class
3 1/2 month old Cinnabar - down/stay
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