Thursday, February 9, 2012

Afternoon Training Session

The puppies had a quiet afternoon, this is the first day since they arrived that they haven't had visitors! Besides me of course. I had an interesting and overall positive session with them. I think the session was harder on me than them, I have to admit I dread handling them in ways that I know they won't initially enjoy. I entered the pen armed with treats, and the puppies immediately were jumping all over my legs wanting attention and treats. Even Nevada was there, she just wasn't jumping on me. The session for Nevada went well again. My requirement for her was that she come all the way to my leg to get her treat, which she did every time. I don't try to touch her, she's not ready for that yet. More and more she is hanging around me, sniffing me when my attention is on the other puppies, and becoming more comfortable being close to me. Natasha, Nina and Nora were all over my lap, putting their faces close to mine, and accepting a lot of petting all over their bodies. Nora and Natasha continue to be the most bold. I added two new criteria to their petting sessions: 1. running my hands down their back legs and 2. lightly pushing them from the side and lightly pushing up on them under their chest. Both of these exercises I believe will also help accustom them to being picked up, especially feeling pressure from my hand on their sides and underneath. During this session I picked up Nora and Nina both (separately of course). I held them only a few inches off the ground and in my lap. I was observing not only their reaction to being held, but also how they acted after I set them down again. I was VERY pleased with Nora's reaction. She was startled and initially scared when I picked her up, but in less than 10 seconds was eating treats while I held her. As soon as I set her down she sat back for only a second or two, then was right back in my lap for more treats. I did not try picking her up again, but continued to reward her for petting and body handling. Nina did not respond quite as well, although not terribly either. She would not take treats from me while she was held, and seemed completely frozen. She would accept petting while she was held. When I set her down she had a similar response to Nora, she sat back for a few seconds then came to me for more treats. She did seem a little more reserved but continued coming back for treats. I got up and left while they were still wanting more attention and food - I want them to be very excited about their sessions with me and don't want them to get to the point of being bored.

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