Phenom training recap 6-7 months

Whoa. I’m so behind. But better late than never – right? Phenom will be eight months old September 11. Wow – where did the time go? But this is recap of her sixth month’s activities: July 11 – August 11, 2012.

This month her energy level found a new gear. Which meant we spent more time walking, running, playing and swimming. I was amazed that at six months she was able to stay while I threw the ball for Vega. All those mat and crate games are paying off.

Just as she turned six months old, she also started being fearful of things she’d never worried about before – so I think it’s probably a fear period thing, since that’s pretty common around this age. It still sort of comes and goes, but a good friend gave me some advice about making sure my attitude didn’t confirm her fears. So – I’ve just been trying to be as upbeat as I can – like I was excited to see that “scary” thing. Or that’s she’s just being silly. I also use the “Look At That” game a lot just to make sure she has positive associations with things as well. So first she gets a treat for looking at it. And then for looking at it and back at me. Piper has also stepped in to help by going with us on walks sometimes – since she is so confident with everything that comes her way. The problem with a phase is that you don’t know it’s a phase until it’s over. So – you’ve just got to have a little faith in your training and your best friend that you’ll get through it together. She’s definitely been improving in this area, but it will be a continued point of focus for us in the next few months I’m sure.

Swimming! She went swimming without a life jacket this month. YAY! And she really seems to enjoy it. We’ve also introduced some agility fun with wing wraps and tunnels. She even attended her first two-day agility trial where she worked on being quiet in her crate, meeting new people and playing at the practice jump. I was super impressed with how well she handled it all.

Of course – we’re continuing to work on recalls, loose leash walking, collar grabs and stays as well. We added individual releases in a group stay this month and that makes life so much easier. I can’t tell you how many times a day I use that – especially going in and out the door. Just as easily as a dog can learn that rushing or barking at a door makes it open – they can learn that sitting and waiting your turn makes it open. And it certainly makes for much less hectic and dangerous exits. Super proud of her for catching on to this so quickly. It’s just a little thing that makes life so much easier.

Oh – fun. Did I mention that too? – ha ha. She likes watching tennis on TV – oh and I Love Lucy and Zumba fascinate her as well. She is such a character. Always making me laugh. Loves the camera. Loves to put on a show. Oh and super sweet too. She still loves her cuddles. And when I sit on the floor with her, she usually ends up rolling into my lap or trying to steal my hat. My sheltie, Jess, that I had when I was a little girl used to steal my hat – so this especially makes me smile. Like he’s winking at me somewhere. He was the best.

Here’s a little video recapping some of our activities during her sixth month. Hope you enjoy it.

Phenom’s Activities 6-7 months from Margaret Bond on Vimeo.

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