Sunday, January 22, 2012

#SAGApupVolt Is 12 Weeks Old

Isn't he just gawjiss!?!

He's 12 weeks old today, and he weighs in at 9.7kg! That means he's gained another 900g in the last week!
He's now eating 120g of his puppy food 3 times a day and he has one or two of his meals in the car every day as he's battling a wee bit with carsickness (eating his meal in the car means he associates it with good things, rather than unpleasant nausea). We also spend a little time in the car every day, just sitting in it, having a treat or two, and then going for a walk or going to play. If I know we're going to go in the car then I don't feed him until we get back, this is also to prevent nausea and the possible "I hate the car" mentality.
And he now sits on the back seat as he was getting too big to fit in the front seat's footwell along with a passenger! He seems happier there too as he can see out the window if he sits up.
chilling on the grass, he does so love to be outside
He is learning beautifully to sit and wait until I say he may eat. He doesn't wait long, but he's not diving straight into his bowl!
Walking on the leash is going really well too! He walks mostly on my left without pulling too much, even when Thelma and Louise are along with us.
What he has discovered is that he can climb up onto the couches and ottomans now! He's not allowed on the furniture at all, so keeping him off is quite a challenge as he gets a kick out of his new exploring ability!
just look how he's grown
Puppy class was fun. He got to meet and play with his little sister Vegas! We worked a little on "sit", "down" and "stand", as well as "down" from a standing position. And we worked on going through doors correctly. Guide-dogs have to "sit" and "stay" on the handler's left hand side until they are told they may go through the door, and then they have to do the same on the other side of the door as one usually has to open and close a door (we have to do this at home as well). You can imagine that a guide-dog rushing through a door just 'coz its open would make life very difficult for his partner. They also have to be taught this so that when they go to kennels they don't just run out the door when its opened. We also have to work on the pups sitting quietly next to us when we're just relaxing on a couch, as the handlers who train the grown-up dogs have up to 6 dogs at a time and having a meeting is impossible if the dogs are not calm and quiet!
Volt and I have two or three 5 minute training sessions a day where we focus on "sit", "stay", "down", "stand" and "come", as well as the handling necessary to make sure he's calm when being held and examined by anyone- especially a vet. These sessions are over and above the constant instruction like "sit", "stay" when going in or out of a door, "jump in" and "jump out" when we go in the car, "off" when he climbs on the furniture, "no" if he chases a cat or does something he shouldn't, "steady" if he pulls on his leash, and "leave it" if he plays with something other than his toys. And the positive reinforcement means he gets praise every time he does something correctly, even if it is in response to a "no" or a "leave it"!
Volt's sister Vegas! She was the smallest in the litter.
Can you see the resemblance?
We haven't had a potty accident in the house in almost a week so I think the house-training is done and dusted!
He loves to play with his toys, and even though he's not allowed to play tug-o-war games, he will actually put his toy in your hand to try and entice you to hold it so he can yank on it!
Volt fast asleep in his crate
Allergy season has affected him a little unfortunately, and he now has salmon oil capsules to supplement his daily meals with to ease the itching. It has to build up in his system so it doesn't help immediately, but he has no rash or blisters thank goodness, and he isn't battling nearly as much as some dogs do at this time of the year! We're trying to keep him off wet grass as much as we can so it doesn't get worse.

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Don't forget to check out the Twitter hash-tag #SAGApupVolt to see regular updates on my puppy raising adventure!