Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

November 25, 2011


Monte's favorite place to sleep is on the bed. Since we have been retraining him to sleep on the floor, his second favorite two is the old crate, which just happens to be Cooper's sleeping spot. They tried to convince us that they could both fit.

Cooper had a busy Black Friday. He handled the crowds at all three stops; parking was the problem. We got a late start and only came home with four bags of dog food and ten bags of water softener salt.

November 21, 2011

Quick Trips

Now that Cooper is over four months old our trips to the store and walks around the neighborhood are taking less time. We are able to quickly get our groceries. In part because he is bigger and moving faster, but the primary reason is that we are not stopped as often or as long. People still notice our adorable puppy, but are able to resist one that is older. A ten week old puppy is irresistible. It is also obvious that he is being trained as we are continuously popping treats into his mouth.

Couldn't resist taking this photo. We can tell it is getting colder because Cooper is always looking to snuggle. His first choice is Lisa, but Monte will do in a pinch. They have been lying like this all day.

We worked hard to capture the image. Not having the camera at my immediate disposal, I asked the dogs to WAIT while I walked past them to retrieve the camera. Then, I couldn't get the camera to work - movie mode. They barely moved throughout the entire sequence, good dogs.

November 20, 2011


Good News: Monte spent the entire night sleeping on the floor.

Bad News: As Cooper has been learning and developing, at times I have become complacent.  It only took one/two experiences to bring me back to reality. 

At home preparing for puppy playgroup, I took Cooper out to potty and he complied.  We repeated the routine right before playgroup (fifteen minutes later) and then again at halftime.  Everything is good as we follow our routine.  A quick stop at the bakery and grass was across the parking lot, so we skipped our routine.  Not sure if he was tired from playgroup, but Cooper was excellent as we chatted with the owner. No problem, back in the car and a quick stop at the grocery store.  Again the grass was across the parking lot and we were only going to be ten minutes, so we skipped our routine again.

Lesson 1: We tempted fate once too often and Cooper had an accident in the produce section.  We quickly and thoroughly cleaned up the mess using our "diaper bag."  Be prepared.

Lesson 2: Figuring the damage was done we continued shopping. He had another accident in the dairy section.  Again we cleaned it up, but this time we promptly exited the store while Lisa finished shopping. Learn from mistakes.

Lesson3:  It was mildly embarrassing, but no one died.  Accidents happen.

November 18, 2011

Treat Focus

We have ramped up Cooper's training this week.  Yesterday, we walked to the park just as school was letting out.  This offered plenty of people distractions along with visual and auditory distractions.  Our challenge was to greet/pass people without lunging and having him FOLLOW me as I lured him to continue walking.  It is a constant struggle because we have encouraged him to be friendly with strangers and now we need him to ignore them.  This works the same with other canines and most things puppy related.  The key is finding a happy medium where interest is balanced by focus.

Tonight we followed the same route, only without the distractions.  Cooper is learning to walk at a comfortable pace without a lot of pulling.  If he pulls we stop and practice HEELing.  We have also been working with the WAIT command at intersections. We need to translate his comprehension of the WAIT command to STAY.  We just use the WAIT command more often: leaving the crate, prior to eating, exiting doorways, ...

He appears to be learning as long as I have treats.  Actually his recall was very good tonight.  I was able to call him away from three dogs that he was playing with.  The first time I chose an opportune moment when one of his playmates barked, which causes concern/alert, and he bolted back to me.  Then I was able to repeat it during a lull.  After a fifteen minute impromptu play session, we needed to get home and I was able to lure him out and away from the pack to walk home.

Nail trimming, then off to bed.

Happy Dog

We have one very happy dog at our house.  Since my work schedule has changed significantly, Monte and I have been going for a run in the morning followed by a snack and nap.  Then before his dinner we take off for another hour long walk.  He never seems to tire out, however, he does head for bed about 8 o'clock every night.  Whether intended or not, I do appreciate him getting my side of the bed warm, but we may need to retrain him to sleep on the floor.  I haven't had a good night's sleep since he joined us.

November 16, 2011


Without the usual fanfare, Cooper reached his four month birthday yesterday.  No celebration because he has been feeling under the weather and not behaving well.  It appears that we might have been a bit lax monitoring his outdoor activities.  He seems to have picked up a slight UTI from the presents left behind by our neighborhood rabbits.  We are not veterinarians and have not had him tested; it is based on our experience.  The two indicators were an increase in consumption of water and crying by the door every two hours requesting a potty break.

It is not a serious issue, but we have implemented a strict leash policy for relieving (to monitor his consumption) and we have started a cranberry regimen.  The illness hasn't slowed him down as he has been shopping the last three days and attended training class last evening.  We blamed the UTI for his lapses in behavior, however, it probably has more to do with our limited focused training the past seven days. 

Another possible cause of bad behavior in puppies are the "Terrible Fives", which shouldn't happen for another month.  This is where your puppy starts acting like a teenager: selective hearing, defiant, and uncontrollable.  Can't wait.

November 15, 2011


Having an older dog around is a constant reminder of what the end product should be.  Monte knows that he is supposed to leave the puppy alone - no playing in the house.  Just making eye contact with him is enough to remind him to SETTLE.  He will either lie down at his PLACE or retreat to the bedroom.  He now also has the advantage of getting up on the bed, which is still out of reach.

Cooper on the other hand is relentless.  If I have told him once, I have told him a thousand times to leave Monte alone.  He stops every time, but starts up as soon as my back is turned.  Actually, I don't even have to turn my back, he will pause for a second and start up again.  Monte resists, but can only tag the little guy biting his ear, throat, or leg for so long before he joins in.

The best solution that we have come up with for the time being (until Cooper's brain fully develops) is to perform a crate rotation.  One dog in the crate at all times.  It's not quite that bad.  They usually settle down after a short time-out and we all can rest comfortably.

November 13, 2011


Cooper was due for an injection on Friday.  It was the last of the series and we had picked it up about a month ago.  Usually we would have a trainer or nurse handle the duties.  It slipped my mind for Wednesday's class and there were two Vet Techs there.  Not sure when a trained specialists would be  available, I completed the task and both Cooper and I survived.

We missed puppy playgroup on Saturday; we were hoping to meet Max.  The majority of the day was spent at the assisted living facility on Platteville.  Our visit included lunch at a restaurant.that Cooper had not been prepared for.  He was not tired, but was ready to play and visit the other patrons.  Eventually, he settled down for a relaxing meal, before he was awakened for shopping.

Having an unsettled puppy during lunch, we had prepared Cooper for an evening of Badger hockey.  We also arrived early which turned out to be a good thing.  Not only does it provide an opportunity to meet a lot of people, it allows for snafus. Our attempt to enter the building (Gate B) was delayed because we were told that all animals need to enter the building at Gate C.

This seemed very strange to us as we have always entered Gate B and it also seemed against the UW policy regarding service animals..  But, we had plenty of time so we turned around and then remembered that Gate C was on the opposite side of the building.  We decided to try Gate A which would not have been a problem and is right around the corner.  Unfortunately, we were not as prepared as I thought; rushing to leave the house I grabbed the wrong tickets. 

Now we had to go back to Gate B and try to exchange the tickets and we did not have any identification.  Long line, I ran back to the car to get Lisa's driver's license.  Upon returning, she already had new tickets and we decided to enter through Gate A.  However, we will try Gate B for the next game.  The game did not go well for the Badgers, but Cooper performed admirably and he met so many nice people.

November 11, 2011


Q:  How many toys does a puppy need?
A:  One more than you have out at current time.

With over a dozen toys in the house, I found Cooper chewing on the corner of our area rug.  It was pulled back onto itself so he could still lie on it comfortably as he gnawed on the corner.  One would think we would have learned by now that a puppy needs constant supervision, especially when they are losing teeth, which I noticed four days ago.  With a few missing teeth and the front ones only partially in, Cooper has taken on the hillbilly look - only when he smiles though.

Although we recognize that constant supervision is required, it only takes one lapse and a couple minutes of free time to do damage. This weekend we will  turn the rug around to hide the canine induced flaw, just like we have done with the bench that Banjo used as his teething ring. Monte chewed on the side of our bed frame, once.  Every dog has at least one transgression, however memories fade over time with the exception of Banjo who holds the record: patio step, screen door, shoe, remote, sofa, bench, ...

November 9, 2011

Two Days of Training

While patrolling the grocery store on Monday, Cooper was lagging behind unless intrigued by the rolling wheel of the shopping cart.  It took all of our energy to keep him moving and finish our shopping in a reasonable amount of time.  The only bursts of excitement were when he spied or heard a child.  Once home he did manage to jump up on the sofa by himself, for the first time.  He received a surprised and immediate correction.  He doesn't understand why Monte can now spend the entire day up on our bed.

The following evening we attended training at The Dog Den.  He was full of life and attentive to our every command.  The only differences were being surrounded by a pack of excited young puppies and my pocket was full of kibble. As the instructor gave her opening remarks, Cooper stared intently at my face willing me to offer a reward for his devotion, which I did.  Then the puppies played and we lured them away from the mob to practice SIT and DOWN with canine distractions.  All the puppies performed wonderfully.  Cooper even remembered the TOUCH command although we had not worked on it since last week's class.  Our class concluded with two dog recalls and "Pass the Puppy" where, obviously, puppies were passed from owner to owner to check for separation anxiety and acceptance.

We took both dogs to Custom Canines training tonight.  Monte attended to practice his STAYs and to acclimate to the training environment.  He was much better tonight, but still had lazy SITs and expressed his boredom by whining.  While I worked with Monte, Lisa and Cooper were working on CGC commands and a started working on a few added skills: PLACE, UNDER.  Cooper also got his nails trimmed (appreciate the help) before returning home for his Bordetella nasal spray ($5.50 at F&F).

November 7, 2011

Bed Dog

Monte is transitioning into his new role as head pet and occasional puppy mentor.  He has taken full advantage of our rescinding the rule regarding "No Dogs on the Bed."

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words ...

November 5, 2011


Cooper has adapted well to our routine and our home environment. That being said, our job is to place the puppy in new situations where he can be confident and succeed. We felt he was ready for a new experience, but there is always some trepidation being two hours from home and training without a safety net.

Friday night we traveled to Neenah for his first overnight stay and a birthday party the following day. Although seemingly housebroken, you never really know who is more trained the puppy or puppy raiser. Will the puppy be able to generalize, identify outside doors, and provide a signal when necessary? Cooper passed this test and handled the birthday excitement - with a little help from his new best friend.

November 3, 2011

Crate Day

Thursday was not a great day for Cooper, it was a Crate Day. In addition to the time we spend acclimating our puppies to different social settings, it is equally important to create good house manners. This includes being agreeable to spending time in the crate during the day, while home alone and when humans are active.

Cooper got some extended crate time while Lisa went to Portage to pick-up Custom Canines' newest trainee (Roger) and then they stopped to have their eyes examined.

November 1, 2011

Pan de Muerto

Our work all week to get Cooper to DOWN on command paid off. He no longer gives us a blank look or that puzzled head tilt when we ask him to DOWN. Still not the quickest, he understands what we want and that we will wait until he complies - only one command. This week our homework from training class is to focus on COME.

In addition to introducing the COME command which should not be used to call him away from good things (sticks, leaves, dogs) or to negative experiences (nail trimming), we worked on FOLLOW. We have been using this since the first day we got him and it usually works, if you have a treat in your hand. In addition to training, we learned that there is a strain of kennel cough spreading through the canine community which is not protected by the bordetella spray, so be extra careful.

On the way home, we stopped at La Concha for Pan de Muerto to celebrate dia de los muertos. Cooper was greeted at the door by the owner, Tomas. He held the door as he warmly welcomed the three of us. This is our favorite bakery. Saturday, we will stop for a torta.