Barrier Challenges are all about learning and problem solving and although you may look at this and say that’s not that hard it is important that when we are formal training the pups that the pups experience the following things: Although we want the exercises to be challenging we want to set the pups up for success. In this exercise we want the pups to think for themselves and learn that their whinging doesn’t get them what they want (in this insance me, lifting them out of the pen) As the reward/incentive, I’m purely using myself outside their pen, as they have spent the whole morning watching me and the adult dogs cleaning and playing around the outside of the pen and they want to know what all the fuss is about and why they haven’t been allowed out.
However although they want out of their pen to me this first experience by themselves comes with fear, self doubt and frustration (you can see this in Desi actions at the end) about the task. This task however can be very empowering and bring confidence and competency in future adventures.
One important factor when teaching your puppy any challenge is never leave the puppy in the middle of the challenge as this can stress the puppy out and reverse the above positive experiences. Word of warning don’t give in, as puppies are really good at making you feel sorry for them (however always keep in mind, as above, always create a challenge that you know they can succeed at without your interference). Awesome work flower power kids.❤️
The wobble board was added to the pen about a week ago now and the flower power crew seem to be using it more and more everyday. Some of you have probably seen something similar to this in a physiotherapist office as it often used for weight-bearing therapy and muscle strengthening rehab.
We use the wobble in the pen for similar training but for the puppies its more about them learning to hone their multi-directional balance skills and improve body awareness. At this stage we just want the puppies to get use to seeing it and using it when they want. It currently has carpet under it to soften the changes in board when it moves. Once the puppies are use to it we will remove the carpet for ultimate movement and startle recovery exercises.
So the next question you may be asking is all of the above sounds great but why specifically would I want this for my puppy. The main reason we have incorporated the wobble board into our puppy program is for confidence, a confident puppy is more happy, well adjusted, puppy. Also “Most of us think of dogs as being very agile. And although this is true, most dogs have very little hind limb awareness. Basically, their hind end moves along because their front end went first! Teaching our puppies to have better hind limb awareness can greatly decrease their risk of injuries to their back legs” https://www.fullcirclevet.ca/canine-body-awareness/.
Firstly we would like to apolgise for those people watching the website, last week was a very busy week and unfortunately we hadn’t gotten to update the website, quick posts on the Facebook was done on the fly but we know everyone doesn’t have access to Facebook so lets do a little progress report on the Flower power kids. Eyes are open and moving round the pen well now. Mum has started to wean them (meaning they are looking for food). Prim has always been a awesome mum at knowing when it is time and showing us this by leaving the pen more and more. So the pups have moved onto food quite easily with mum still topping them up with milk when they need it.
Last week we started introducing different experiences into the pups day. This was in the form of a walk on different surfaces (carpet, lino, tiles etc), carrying the pups around the house, exploring different rooms (our kids love helping with this one) and lapping liquids (which wasn’t as successful as I would have liked but we will get there). Also we add one new item a day, to the pen, this could be anything from a new toy to new random items, some of these items were a radio or pig statue or in the case of the following video a kids toy.
The pups have also started sound protocols which consist of : Some lovely back ground classical music for part of the day and startle recovery exercises. Startle recovery exercises are not designed to scare puppies but are noises that would happen in everyday life and are designed to startle the puppy (this is seen by a jerk) but then the pup should pretty quickly if not immediately go back to what its doing. Obviously every pup is different and every recovery is monitored, but the munchkins are doing pretty well . The video below is of a cake tin being dropped outside their pen.