Archive for April, 2012

Jagger is six months old tomorrow! He is turning into quite the character, and I have come to really, truly enjoy his spunk.

Jagger looking sly from under my chair

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

Here’s a little video of what we’ve been up to lately:

It’s not quite as varied as I would have liked, but with two fun waves of family visits this spring and a not-so-fun bout of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (becoming an annual tradition for me… sigh) I am a bit behind in getting training done and getting it filmed. I have been working with Jagger on walking with his front feet on a ball, simultaneously picking up both front & rear feet on the same side of his body, and walking with his front feet in my Crocs. However, these tricks-in-progress look more like comedy routines right now instead of ready for primetime (unless it’s Stupid Human Tricks on Letterman).  We are also making steady progress on our “sit handsome,” “jump into my arms,” “four feet in a little bowl,” climbing on various unsteady objects, and heeling tricks.

We will be starting our first “real” agility class in just a few weeks! I’m super excited! It is a sports puppy foundation type of class. My main goals are for Jagger to get some much-needed practice at remaining focused on me while other dogs are running about, and to continue working on coming all the way to me in a variety of settings without getting stuck in the border collie crouch, staring at the toy or the tunnel.

flying border collie, stationary labradors

You get the idea.

Copper checks in with me while we’re hiking because I feed him. Jagger checks in because I’m the one who can throw the pine cones. And sticks. And leaves. And sweet gum seeds.

You can feed Copper things like cucumbers and he eats them with gusto. Jagger hides such things under the couch.

Copper likes to be right next to me. You can tell Jagger “go!” and he just goes. He has no idea where he’s going, but he’s going to get there really, really fast.

Jagger retrieves the ball because he’s learned that it’s the only way to get me to throw it again. Copper ‘trieves (one shot, no “re-“) the ball because he wants to hold it in his mouth. The last thing he wants to do is give it up so you’ll throw it far away.

Jagger bringing the ball

Mr. Overachiever offers to combine "retrive to hand" with "hug the object" behaviors.

Jagger gets a post-bath hug

Recovering from the bath-induced trauma

Copper loves water. He loves drinking it. He loves blowing bubbles in it. He loves lying down in it. He loves biting it when it comes out of a hose. He loves swimming in it. He even loves to retrieve objects from it, endlessly. Jagger thinks Copper is a freak.

Speaking of water, Copper was pretty cool with his first bath. He even fell asleep while I was drying him off.  I have fond memories. Jagger first attempted to flee in panic, and when that didn’t work he tried to bite me.  He finally settled into full out howling.  Fortunately, he did forgive me when I dried him off, but he wasn’t about to suffer the shame of being caught sleeping. I have teeth marks.

Copper needed moral support to go down the stairs for quite some time. He still has not mastered going up the sharp 90 degree turn on the stairs at my mother’s house with confidence. Within days of his arrival, Jagger started going down the stairs like this:

I should probably update my medical insurance for when we start working on his running dogwalk.

Jag getting a hug from "grandpa"

"I love Grandpa!" (extra amusing, since Izzy is *horrified* of my animal-loving father)

Last but not least, you might expect that my Labrador, America’s #1 family pet, would be the friendliest of my pack.  Well, not exactly.  Surprisingly, Copper is a bit of a one-woman dog.  He’s sociable and quite happy to greet people and get pets for a short period, but then he’s ready to move on.  It’s the rare person that finds Copper sitting by them for extended periods.  Jagger… let’s just say Jagger is definitely over his fear period and is back to living up to his name and loving on anyone.

Jagger and Eric

"I love Uncle Eric! ... with lasers." (My brother is kind of a cat person, and complained that Jagger was trying to make out with him. Yes, he really said that. Strangely, this is not the first time I've had this complaint about Jagger.)