Friday, March 26, 2010

Very pleased

Last night Vegas and I went to practice agility and I left Leo at home. I didn't want him in the dirt in the arena potentially getting his neuter site all dirty and germy. I had gotten home from work and let him out to go potty so I knew he was "emtpy." It was a gamble to leave him loose in the house for several hours but knowing he's small I figured I would try it. I came home about 2.25 hours later and Vegas and I entered through the garage. As soon as he heard me he was barking - something we'll be working on. I told him to quiet down and thankfully he listens well so did. Boy oh boy was he excited to see us. He was doing the Pom dance wiggling from stem to stern and dancing, prancing, and just generally being a hoot. Boy do I love this little boy. So cute and funny. He is just happy, plain and simple a very happy "kid." Anyway, I got him to settle down and checked out the house and he had not done anything. No accident, nothing chewed, nothing. I be he just lay on Vegas' bed the whole time we were gone. Great job, Leo!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week 4 Class

We hit the halfway point on Monday. The kids are with their dad for the week so I had the pleasure of taking Leo to class. The focus of the week for class was stay, come, and dental health. We practiced stay a few times just for  few seconds with the goal of being able to get the dog to sit and stay in position as you gave them the treat after a count to three or so. That mean no lifting the front feet off the ground for the treat, etc. Leo did really well! We have actually worked on stay a bit at home because he tends to follow me everywhere and I hate tripping over him on the stairs etc at night in the dark. Sooo, still work to do but it was a great start.

Then we went and loosh leash walked around the store while the instructor took turns with the students and working on coming when called. I had to roll my eyes at this one because that is one thing that drives me absolutely batty with Leo. I can have the tastiest treat (except raw for meals) and call him and he will not come. He sits and stares at me. We thought perhaps he was associating "come" as negative so we tried "here" but that did not work either. Surprisingly though, in class, he did it really well when it was our turn. Now it could have been that the instructor was holding his leash and he wanted to go back to me, but nonetheless, I was able to reward him for coming right away. I also started using the clicker. We hadn't initally as he was jumpy with the clicker sound but now he seems desensitized to it.

At the halfway point, I must say I am excited for us to continue Leo's training. In fact, I think that after we get toward the end of the second series of classes, we may start looking for some competitive obedience matches to enter. I think he'd be really good. He is flashy and moves well and is learning very quickly. Leo is one eager to please little guy and I am so excited he is a part of our family.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 3 Class

Leo's week three class went very well. I sat outside the classroom again and enjoyed an hour of peaceful reading while Zach particpated in the class. He had spent some time walking Leo the day prior and I think that really made a difference. Here are some things I'm noticing about Leo:
  • He can be very stubborn.
  • He acts distracted at times but I think this is stress in not knowing what you want. For instance, he'll scratch somewhat incessantly at his ear(s) when you work with him and he doesn't get it.
  • He really wants to learn.
  • He can sit patiently and wait until he understands or you move on.
  • He is not afraid of eye contact - he will sit and watch your face almost so you can't show him what to do with hand motions.
  • He is prone to be a mama's boy, too, like all our other pets. I'll have to be careful of this.
While Zach struggled to get Leo to down in class and never succeeded there nor did he get Leo interested in a toy to play, they did work on "leave it" and loose leashing walking which he really picked up on! In fact, the first two weeks the teacher had to hang back with Zach and give him pointers on their two laps around the store. This week the two of them were the first back to the classroom! Way to go, Zach and Leo!

Leo is earning another offcial name, I do believe. Leo the Loveable. OMG, I can't believe how many people want a Pom just like him. I have to give his breeder credit for not tolerating barking/yapping. He definitely is not a yapper and his personality is top notch. One newcomer to class spent about 15 minutes talking to me about him, where I got him, and really wants to get another dog to be a playmate to the one she has, a terrier of sorts. Right after I got done talking with her, a mom and her two young girls walked in and they were super excited to see Leo and said they wanted a dog just like him. The mom immediately asked about the yapping with kind of a cringe on her face. I was super glad to be able to tell them the only time Leo yaps is when he falls off his bed and scares himself awake. Even when I get home and he's impatient for "Mom" attention, it's a bark not a yap and we're working to curb that one anyway.

Also, Leo has been to the dog park a couple of times this week. He loves it! Initially I think he was mostly just excited to check out all the smells and he was very independent about it. He did spend one evening chasing the big dogs which was pretty funny. He gets super excited to go and the last time was a pill and jumped out of the truck before I got his leash on.

This weekend should be interesting. Big Sis has an agility trial so Leo will get to experience the energy and noise of a trial for two full days. Actually, he'll get to for the next three weekends as we have an AKC trial this weekend, CPE the following, and an AKC one Easter weekend. I'm sure like everything else he'll take it in stride.

Monday the 22nd is our week four class which will signal the halfway point. I'll be taking him to that class since the kids are at their dad's  house during Spring Break. Then Tuesday is the big day - he is scheduled for his dental and extractions plus neuter at the Willamette Valley Animal Hospital. Hopefully he won't be mad at me when he comes home. I am SO excited to get this over with and hope his teeth and bite are not too damaged!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back to Raw

I joined a Yahoo group this week on Pomeranians and decided to give raw a try for Leo again. It turns out I was being too cautious about what he could handle. Despite his little itty bitty mouth, he can tear meat apart and eat the bones. Go figure. So as of Thursday we started on raw again. I cut off a meaty part of a chicken back and sure enough, he chewed, tore, and gnawed right through it. We did the same thing that night and while he didn't finish, he sure dove right into it. For anyone who feeds raw, I'm sure I don't have to tell you how relieved he was to go back to it. He was not thrilled with the kibble at all even though that's all he knew before I got him. In fact, when I didn't give him raw for a few days and was giving him kibble, he was bouncing up and down and wanting Vegas' food and pulling out all the stops, showing us sits, downs, watch mes - the whole nine yards. Basically he was telling me he would do anything for raw.

Friday I gave him a chicken thigh. Funny thing is that he mostly just spent a lot of time on it but I'm not sure how far along he actually got but he worked on it for sure. He got the same chicken thigh Saturday morning and it didn't look a lot different when he was done, but he didn't seem to want to spend a lot of time on it. Mostly he's struggling because he wants to carry it everywhere and I don't want it all over the house. Tonight he did really well. He managed to work the meat off the bone in a chunk and then went straight to work on the bone. Boy was that interesting to watch! The marrow and everything was apparent and he went right through it. He then ate a good portion of the meat then was done for the night. Big sis was happy to finish it off.

Just a few minutes ago he went to town on a soup bone that must have weighed half what he did. It didn't intimidate him one bit though. He just chewed and chewed. I'm so glad because the worst thing for a small dog is bad teeth and his breeder already gave him a rough start by not having all his baby teeth pulled. We'll be getting that done before too long so his mouth can be more normal. In the meantime, lots of raw for Sir Leo.
Here, taunting big sis? Nah, mostly just taking a break.
Here working on that hard-earned thigh bone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday is agility practice

Leo came to agility practice again tonight! What a great little kid he's going to be some day. He was quiet and attentive the whole time, practicing good behaviors for treats when we weren't running, didn't potty in the arena, didn't bark at anyone, and lay down quietly watching most of the dogs run. I can't wait to see this little guy in action when it's his turn. In the meantime, the weekend is coming and I think we're going to start doing some ball work to begin building strength in his core and legs. I'm super glad I bought the On the Ball 2 DVD set at Christmastime because I haven't a clue where to start working with a "little" dog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Leo Meets Godzilla

I did forget one thing that was a highlight of Leo's week. He got to meet Godzilla. Godzilla has not been super energetic lately so this was the first time in a while we've seen him interact at all. It was pretty fun - and of course, completely supervised so nobody got hurt. Godzilla really enjoys going after the dogs and was obviously not mad or his beard would have been prominently displayed.

Week 2

This has been such a whirlwind of a week. Monday was Leo's first obedience class. I enrolled him at Petsmart to take classes with my youngest son. The classes are one hour every Monday for eight weeks. The first class went okay. There are only two pups in the class including Leo - the other one is a miniature Poodle. Since my son is underage I am required to be present. The instructor went over some of Petsmart's philosophy with dog training and then started with having the students praise and treat their dogs for standing, sitting, or lying patiently in front of them. Leo was at one end of the training area and I was at the other end and he was doing a better job of going to the end of his leash and watching me or just looking around, but he was laid back and relaxed about everything.

Next up was teaching them about "Watch me." Zach, my son, struggled a bit with this and I know he was fighting against impatience because Leo was trying to get to me or just ignoring him. Regardless, he did get a few glances in and praised him accordingly.

The last thing they did was to take two laps around the store. That was another lesson in patience for Zach. Leo was much more interested in coming back to me and fortunately the other student did well independently so the instructor could help Zach. Part of the issue with Leo was encouraging him to come forward and not wanting to pull/drag him, yet cheering him forward and then Zach stopping because Leo wasn't coming. It was kind of a delicate balance of go but not too fast but keep the motion up or Leo just stopped and sat. He's quite the stubborn little guy. After making it back to the training area he and the little Poodle got to meet each other a play a bit. Then it was time to go. Next week I'm going to stay outside the training room/area so that I am less of a distraction.

On the up side, we are practicing "Nothing in Life is Free" with mealtimes and Leo really picked up on that one fast. Of course being an excited raw fed dog doesn't hurt. He is throwing sits, downs, and quick "Watch mes" in without even being asked which means we are having to shake things up a bit and move around so he gets up and then can sit on command. I have faith that the little whipper snapper will come around and work for Zach and his brother in time.
The rest of the week was not super eventful until Thursday night. I took Leo with me to agility to get the feel for the environment. He walked in like he owned the place and got some of the dogs all stirred up to meet him. He really enjoyed meeting Larkin, a little miniature Schnauzer that comes to class. I kept him on leash about half the time and in his kennel the other half and he was quite relaxed, ears perked, watching the dogs run. A great first experience.
Friday the kids were with their dad so I took Leo to work and he hung out in his kennel in between breaks. I took him on a walk mid-morning and he was so enthusiastic about it we did two laps around the business park which adds up to about a half mile or so. If he was bigger he would have been dragging me so obvious was his enthusiasm.

After the other employee left with her dog, I brought him in for the last couple of hours and he got plenty of love including from the other manager's daughter who was quite taken with him.

After we left work we picked up "big sis" and went to the dog park - another first for Sir Leo. Again, no fear and he was totally into just going around on his own sniffing stuff. He was doing just great and no dogs were even worried about him or anything until this jerk of a dog showed up. I knew he'd be a problem before he made it into the park because he was already going nuts at the fence. I ended up carrying Leo around most of the remainder of the time and the dog was so ill-behaved he was jumping on me to try to get to Leo. The owners did nothing and I was less than pleased. Before too long we left and ran to the pet store to pick up some things for today.
Today was March for Mutts at over between the baseball fields. It was a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels and Ani-Meals. The turnout was good, the weather could not have been special ordered better, and there were vendors and demos including our JAG agility team. We were there for demos and a confidence course. We arrived later than I had originally planned and I managed to forget Leo's leash. Fortunately someone had one to loan us so we were safe. After Vegas and I ran our first time on the demo course, I took both dogs outside the ball field to check some things out. I didn't make it too far because a Dane and  Pomeranian are just too irresistible to people and there was a Dane puppy there about 15 weeks old. I spent quite a while talking to her owners and finally made it over to the Fido's booth to get Leo's Rabies vaccination. After that the poor kid pretty much had to hang out in his kennel while Vegas and I had our second run on the new demo course then helped people on the confidence course. However, we then headed to my mom's house which was just a few minute away.

Dear Leo got to meet the "terrible three," my mom's Yorkshire Terriers. They're not really bad - they just happen to be super barky little dogs who are a pack of their own. At first Mom was concerned her youngest, Jake, would be too rough with Leo - who she was immediately enamored with because he's so awesome. It turned out we had nothing to worry about. The three would rather have barked at Leo than play and while he was quite assertive in checking them out, the only issue was him er, um, hmm, well, being a bit of a hump dog. (Can't wait until his family jewels are gone!) That said, he did really try to play and succeeded in making Mom smile because he's so blasted cute. Leo has this adorable way of getting down on his forearms, rear in the air, pitter-pattering the ground with his feet, and just being a kick. Most of his antics were ignored by the three, but it was good for him to have the chance to interact. He got some zoomies out and perhaps the next time they meet things will be a bit more relaxed.

We finally headed out after a couple hours of visiting and watching the dogs. When we got home I put the dogs in the front yard and we never made it in the house for almost two hours. I mowed the lawn and they hung out anxiously waiting for me. Of course when we came inside all they cared about was dinner. Once fed all they wanted to do is crash and that is the end of this week's story because Leo is snoozing the evening away in his bed. He's finally one pooped pooch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snowshoeing at Clark Creek & a Happy 1st Birthday, Leo!

Sunday was an amazing day on the mountain. Bright, clear, fresh mountain air, and not a cloud in site. Most of the details of the trip as well as a lot more pictures are available on Leo's "sister's" site, but I wanted to post and share some of his story here.

Being as we've only enjoyed Leo in our lives for eight days now, I'm not sure what his experiences are. One thing for certain, he's not much of a wall flower. He dives into whatever we're doing with bravery, curiosity, and flair. He's continually a delight and I look forward to every new moment we get to share with him.

Yesterday was not only our snowshoeing expedition but it was Leo's first birthday. And for his first birthday he had a great day with family and friends. You can view some pictures and video of his adventures below.

I had to include this one - it shows the cute little curl of his tail. 
This picture was taken on the way back. I had moved up to a trail above him and he gladly stayed on the lower part of the path for a while. Very independent, brave, and willing to try new things. Although there are pictures of him walking, I did carry him quite a bit since he didn't have booties yet and I didn't want his feet to get too cold. While I carried him, he leaned back into my arms almost like a cradled baby and very nearly fell asleep. 

I loved how his coat made him have a fur main around his face and his tiny little waist then the curl of a tail.
Here next to a small log I told him to jump over but he decided to find a way around.