Monday, August 22, 2011

Bark, Bark, Bark...

This in Spark language means 'puppy class'. Last Sunday (the 14th) was the KC/Lawrence area PRs and Graduates monthly get together. I  was so glad that we were able to make it to this one. (I thought we might end up missing it if we were out of town with my sister.) It was fun because I got to see Spark again.I don't think he missed me; he had too much fun with Hosta and then with Shelby (from the Fast Cars litter).
We arrived at the same time as Shelby and her PR M (they were watching Spark for me at this point) and it took 2 looks at me and me saying 'Hey Sparky!' before he recognized that it was me. After he realized who it was he went crazy with excitement.

He was very good at first and he actually sat and downed for me. But when it came time to sit and listen to Lisa make some announcements, he started to bark. I figured out he needed to go outside. When we came back in he did fine. He loved it when the dogs got the 45 minutes of free play time. He got to play with Blizzard (she is from the Winter litter [also Labs] and is about 2 months older than Spark, but they're the same size-well Blizzard might weigh more. It was good for him to play with someone closer to his own age. I'm not saying that I mind him playing with the older big dogs, but it's good for him to learn to be kind to smaller dogs.

After all the dogs got all of their silly behavior out of their systems, we got to work on the training exercises. I shouldn't say 'we' because Spark and I only ended up participating in 2 of the activities, this wasn't because I thought he wasn't capable of doing them, because I always am willing to make him try out new things, it was because he started barking and wouldn't shut up!

I tried everything I knew to make him be quiet, but nothing worked. Another puppy raiser B who  has a stubborn pup like Spark (Aria, from the Musical Appreciation litter) came over to help. She showed me what  she does and I tried it. It worked for a while but then Spark figured out how he could allow me to do it without it working like it was supposed to. [It can be really bad having a dog that's a genius! : ) ]

B tried it on him but it didn't work anymore, so we recruited M to come help. Her method worked pretty well but then Spark got another one of his stubborn streaks and stopped obeying.

The crazy thing about all of this is that really the only place I ever hear Spark bark and can't get him to quit after a while is at...the puppy parties. Other PRs tell me that this is something he'll grow out of or it could be that he just gets a bit riled up at the puppy parties and feels the urge to 'talk'. I hope he'll grow out of it, because it is sooooooo annoying!

Spark giving E his toy.
I was able to make him settle down long enough to work on  a retrieving exercise. The dog was supposed to pick up the one toy you told them to and take it to either my friend E or my brother J. It was really hard for the dogs because there were close to 20 (if not more) toys on the floor. Spark did really well with the 'get it' and the 'take it to...', but he struggled a bit with the 'give it'. Something we'll need to work on when we get home again.

He did an excellent job on the other exercise he did. He was supposed to 'jump on' a chair and from there to a table that was set up to be kind of like an examining table at the vet or a grooming table. I used a toy to help motivate him and he jumped on without a 2nd thought. Once he was up there he had to sit and hold still while E (not my friend but the amazing young boy who is waiting on his 1st SD from KSDS!) pretended to be a vet and patted and touched the dogs all over. Spark didn't mind at fact he enjoyed it so much he tried to smother E's face with puppy kisses! : )

E and his mom had come to this puppy party because they wanted to be able to say farewell to Hosta since he is going back in 3 weeks. : ( They brought along Sydney (Vacation litter, who is a month older then Spark.) and his PR J. It was nice to meet her.

Spark wasn't the youngest pup there this time! Ventura, from the Beaches litter was the youngest. I think she is 9 or 10 weeks old. She is a Golden and is super adorable. She was a good little girl and didn't do much more then sleep through the puppy class. She was a huge hit with everyone and was never on the floor for long before someone picked her up again to cuddle her.  Who can resist a cute, furry, Golden? Spark wasn't very sure what to think of her, so he just ignored her and played with the other dogs.

E and B loving on Ventura!
I think Spark's favorite things about the puppy classes are: the free-play time, being with his doggie friends and last but not least...the endless water bucket. He drinks every time any other dog does. Although this time he did quit when I told him to.

I will add more pictures later.

1 comment:

  1. Was Spark barking after or before playing with the other dogs? If after he may be excited from playing and want to continue to play.


What are your thoughts? We'd love to know!
Spark and Madison