Tag Archive | puppy classes

O is for Obedience

Corgis are definitely smart little things, no doubt about that!  One of the things that we kept seeing when we were researching the breed before we even contacted Gwen’s breeder was that it was very highly recommended to start their training very early on since they are quick learners and will easily outsmart their humans if not taught at an early age who is their pack leader and what it means to listen to them.  At around 10-12 weeks their little brains are like sponges and they will learn very quickly.  The first day we had Gwen home she learned “sit.”  A couple days later we started working on “down” and she picked that up right away!

She was also house trained fairly quickly, only having accidents when we weren’t able to get her outside in time.  She would try to tell us in her own little puppy way (whining and nipping) when she needed out — her humans caught on very quickly to her signals.  We also kept her on a pretty regular schedule as to taking her out to reduce accidents.  Puppy Rule of Thumb:  puppy bladders can hold about an hour per every month they are old.  Works like a charm!  She would get very grumpy with us if she had an accident too, that was kind of funny!

We enrolled Gwen in puppy classes as soon as we could (when she was done with all her puppy shots) at our local Petco and she went way beyond what was normally taught in Puppy Level I.  By the end our trainer was trying to come up with things to do!  She learned sit, down, stay, wait, Bang! (play dead), roll over, heel, come, leave-it, bed, shake, on, and off.  We’ve been working on some more tricks with her to keep her thinking and her latest to master has been “sit pretty” though sometimes she falls over still.  Walking nicely on a loose leash is another of Gwen’s “talents.”  Admittedly she doesn’t always walk nicely but she is easy to correct, all you have to do is check her back and she’s good.

Gwen graduated from her puppy class with flying colors!  We had originally signed her up for the next round of obedience classes after she got spayed (about a month later) and then there were some problems at the store and our trainer wasn’t able to finish her classes so we were given a refund and we said we’d try to sign up again later.  At the time I didn’t want to wait for a new trainer to be hired or to go to a store in a different city, having to start over.  Fast forward a few months, I got my job at Petco and now I wish I had gone to that store (different one) for puppy classes!  I like both of the trainers and we would have been able to continue on training.  I signed Gwen up for the AKC Canine Good Citizen course — take the AKC CGC test at the end to get certified — but while we waited for the class to start, Andrew figured I wouldn’t be able to finish the class since we were “supposably” leaving at a certain date but turned out we weren’t.  Things changed and he got extended here so in hind site I wish we’d done the class but at the time we didn’t think it was going to work.

The AKC Canine Good Citizen is a certification that is great to have.  When it was suggested to me, I whole heartedly agreed that it would be awesome to do!  The tests are things that are normal or that you would see in sort of an everyday setting if you were to be out in town with your dog or something like that.  There are 10 tests which include accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, and reaction to distractions.  I have put the links to all the info about the CGC test and certifications in here a couple times, please check it out!  It is well worth it. 🙂

Once we get moved and all settled in we will try to get signed up for another class.  I want to get this certification under our (Gwen’s) belt or I guess collar in her case! 😉

I would also love to get involved in some sort of club or organization or even just classes with other dogs just to be able to meet other doggy people and to be able to do something fun with the dog!  I was in 4-H with my horses growing up and I wish they had 4-H for adults!!  Eventually we would love to do something like agility or even obedience with Gwen, for now we will settle for having such a cute little snuggle buddy, companion, and house pet.  Though I am sure Gwen would hate to be called a “house pet” if you were to ask her…she’d prefer “Corgi Princess Extraordinaire!

 

Yes, my dog is perfect! 

Happy A to Z!

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Random Bits of Puppy-ship

My biggest fear with getting a puppy was not the biting or the training but the housebreaking.  It turned out that this pup has been pretty easy!  She has only had a few accidents in the house, most of which come from miscommunication between puppy-humans or human-human (didn’t tell the other when she was out last).  She tries her very best to communicate the need to go outside.

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Gwen’s antics from the past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy.  I went away for a week to go back home to visit family and attend a friend’s wedding.  In that time Andrew was left alone with Gwen.  Since he was only working for a couple hours each day it seemed perfect since that meant she did not have to stay in her crate for very long at all.  She was fine in her crate while Andrew was at work but she apparently missed me.  She chewed on the coffee table and the TV stand when Andrew was in the other room for just a minute.  She chewed on some books and papers when they were both in his office together.  She was pretty crazy was the general word I got from him.  We decided that Gwen missed me since I was gone because I am able to leave her alone for awhile in the living room while I’m in another room and not worry about her so long as I know she’s been out recently.

When I got home Gwen was like a different dog!  She was happy again, especially when both of her humans were home at the same time!  Andrew started his new schedule so he was gone for longer hours which threw off Gwen’s world apparently.  She’d sit and look at the door for awhile every now and then waiting for him to walk in the door.  Once she figured out the new routine she was golden, and will now get excited when she hears the key in the lock!

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We started puppy classes with Gwen at the beginning of August and those have been going very well.  Only two so far but she already knows so much!  Gwen learned “sit” the first day that we had her at home.  “Down” and “roll over” followed just a couple days after.  So she already had some of the commands under her little belt by the time we started with the trainer.  Andrew took her to her first session since I was in WA and they worked on what she already knew as well as getting some homework to work on at home.

Week 2 of puppy class was cool.  Gwen got to learn “on” and “off”, and not just getting off the couch.  She learned how to climb up things like a box and how to jump off of them.  She was afraid of the boxes at first but got over that since the “Treat man” had tasty treats on that box!  He then stacked another box so she had to go up 2 steps.  She ended up going up to table height and back down. Gwen LOVED it!  It was like creating a monster!  She also learned “heel” (2 forms) and we reviewed her last lesson.

Gwen loves climbing and going under, in, and through things!  We had planned on doing agility with her (assuming she liked it) and we can already tell she will love it!  Assuming that is, that she wants to listen to her humans’ direction.  She is a stubborn little toad some days!  I set up a box in the hallway the other day so she has to go through that to get out of the living room (when she is allowed out the gate.  We have half the room cordoned off from her so she cannot just tear through the house all willy nilly like some people think we should let her do as a young puppy….  In having to go through this box she gets to have fun and already wants to go into a dark tunnel.  Andrew really wants to get her a tunnel, like the real agility ones, so she can go through it.  We are on the  look out for one now.

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We took the pup down to Battery Park down by the waterfront as her first outing to the park once she had received all her shots to be able to go into public and be around strange dogs.  She absolutely LOVED it!!!  She met a Bassett Hound pup about the same age as her and a whole bunch of different types of people.  Some she wasn’t as found of as others…like the woman who came up to her and got right in her face and talked all loud and scary…I could have punched the lady, instead I just made sure Gwen didn’t fall off the gazebo wall that she had climbed up.

The Facebook post for that day was:

Took the puppy to the park down by the battery. She loved it! She met tons of people and another puppy, a basset hound. Gwen got so excited she expelled the contents of her stomach as soon as we left all the excitement. She then decided (later) to expel the rest of her stomach contents onto my arm in the car on the way home…gross. She is now asleep in her box…walked in on her own without any coaxing.

We, or should I say I,have had some pretty interesting days with this little dog.  She can be a hoot some days and a terror on others.  (Note:  I do not want kids!  A puppy is bad enough!!!)  I looked back on some other facebook posts and came across one that said, “Dog is very vocal today…please just shoot me.”  Another that said, “Just found out that my puppy got ahold of my laptop charger…bah humbug! This was my new one! How come she couldn’t’ve chewed on Andrew’s?! He has the one that needs replacing!! =/”  Destructo puppy!

Then there are the days when Gwen just doesn’t understand what’s going on… “Gwen doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her go play with the 2 big dogs that came out into “her” yard today! She wiggles her nub when she wants to go meet new people and dogs.”  That lady did NOT have her HUGE dogs under control so there was no way we were getting any closer even though we wanted to go inside and Gwen wanted to go play with them.

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When I returned from my trip I found that Gwen had grown!!!  She also loved attacking my fingers and toes since I had my nails painted and I am pretty sure that is the first time that she had seen painted nails before!  Strange that you can see the change in her in just a week of not seeing her!

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 Gwen’s eating habits are a mystery too.  Corgis are supposed to be known for eating til the cows come home yet this little thing eats like my grandparents’ Toy Poodle, Nemo.  She eats a little and takes it away from the bowl too.  We did not want to leave food out for her to graze on but she wouldn’t eat otherwise.  Maybe she will change her habits later on??

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Some Facebook posts about little Gwyndolyn:

  • Gwen likes putting her toys under neath the TV stand thing…her legs are too short to be able to scoop them out from under it…
  • “I do not like this Sam I am. I do not like this hand held fan.” — Andrew’s rhyme for Gwen’s take on being dried with the blow dryer.
  • Gwen alerted me that the vacuum moved to the hallway…I told her “thank you” and she quit barking.

Hello World!

New Project:

This is going to be all about the life and times of Gwyndolyn Rose, Corgi Princess.  This post started off as a sample since this is a new blog, but I felt that the title was very fitting for our very first post!

I wanted to start off with my motivation behind starting up this blog.  The idea came from two separate things.  First off was my dad saying that I should keep a journal (which I did start doing) or at least write down all the little stories that I have from our experiences in raising our first puppy.  The second half was from my friend who is pregnant and keeping a blog of sorts about her pregnancy.  I combined the two and this is what I got:  an online blog so I can share with family and friends about our little corgi puppy, Fairwyn Gwyndolyn Rose (name pending).

A little overview of Gwen:

Gwen is a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  She was born in Clover, SC at Fairwyn Corgis on 27 April 2012 to her doggie parents “Clay” & “Bella.”  A total of 10 puppies!

Andrew was able to see the puppies on his way up to Groton, CT pretty early on and was able to see the puppies when they were only a few days old!  He saw them again on his way back to South Carolina in May and picked out little Gwen then, earlier than normal, but the breeder, Connie, made an exception since she knew that neither of us would even be in the state when she usually let people choose and pick-up puppies.  The reason was because Andrew and I were getting married and going on our honeymoon!

The one with the stripe on her head is Gwen.

After all that, while we were en route from WA to SC, we made a slight detour and stopped in Clover.  That was the first time I got to see Gwen in person!  She was so adorable, as were all her brothers and sisters!  I was glad that Andrew had picked her out before hand because I never would’ve been able to pick!  All I knew before was I wanted a red female.  I’d told him that and my other criteria was that she had to be cute and sweet.  Well, all puppies are cute and sweet so that pretty much left it all up to his judgement.  Gwen had picked him.

First time Liz saw Gwen. Took her home a week later!

Fast forwarding a couple weeks to Saturday, June 29.  Humans get prepared for puppy.  Humans drive 3 hrs to get puppy.  Humans drive 4.5 hrs home with puppy, making 3.5 pit-stops.  Humans and puppy finally get home!  It was a long car ride!  Gwen was a little excited about her first REAL car ride, and she got motion sick (poor thing!).  She did not like the bumps in the road.  She rode the whole way sitting under the fan in the front seat and the last half hour under the fan on the floor.  It was one of THE HOTTEST days. (+108° weather).

Fast forward some more.  Cute creature shows her other side, a slightly wilder side.  We jokingly call her an Orange Tasmanian Devil because she acts like Taz!  She makes the sounds like a devil and when she gets excited she’ll tear around the living room just like in the cartoons!  And just like all puppies, she’s got the sharp, pointy teeth to boot!

Adventures outside and inside, galore!  Gwen has had encounters with different toys, sounds, sights, smells; met new dogs and humans; chewed some things when her humans weren’t looking; gone for car ride;, and played in the field by our apartment.  All of these things and much more have made up the first five weeks that we have had her.  There will undoubtably be more stories and thoughts about this little orange devil to follow.