Takoda is 6 months old today

IMG_4292We celebrated by going for a short hike early this morning

IMG_4289(above)  Takoda looking very mature

IMG_4282(above) Yesterday in the yard, Takoda looked very much like the puppy he still is

Takoda_herding_instinct_test Takoda’s herding instinct test

Takoda_watching_lead_sheep_break_offTakoda thinking “Now What?”  He becomes very serious when working sheep

Takoda_herding_instinct_test_w_cappyTakoda working with Cappy

Takoda and Lil ringsideTakoda graduated to a larger crate (4 months old)

2o2o_3577Takoda offering 2o2o on his own while playing with a stick (3 months old)

Lil and Takoda hanging out ringside at the trial.  Jake was in the RV with Bruce at this time.

Lil and Takoda hanging out ringside at the trial (3 months old)

Group Mark Session, May 24, 2015Group mark session (between 3 and 4 months old)

dogs_in_moab_4_15_3457In Moab for Sharon Nelson’s workshop (10 weeks old)

Takoda munching on his favorite fuzzy chicken toy, April 29, 2015

Takoda munching on his favorite fuzzy chicken toy, April 29, 2015

Group_photo_4_8_15_3286Takoda hanging out with Jake and Lil (8 weeks old)

Takoda curled up on 3-23-15_3081Takoda (7 weeks old)  I had the good fortune to be able to interact with him from the age of 5 weeks old because the entire litter came for visits to meet a bunch of people in our yard.  By the time he came to live with us full time at 8 weeks old,  we all knew each other  well so the transition was smooth.

I decided to celebrate Takoda turning 6 months old with photos vs. text.   He has learned and done so many things over the past 4 months, the post would be way too long and boring to read.  Here are some highlights:

#1. Takoda continues to be a totally sweet, social, friendly, and biddable puppy with a nice OFF switch.  These were the reasons I wanting a puppy from this litter.  They were all that way.. and still are.

#2. Takoda and I are beginning training for Search and Rescue (SAR) after being introduced to it at Yellowstone Dog Sports camp a couple of weeks ago.  He loves people more than anything, and did really well in SAR classes at camp, so I think its fair to assume that Search and Rescue will be hugely rewarding.  For me, I love hiking and being out in nature with my dogs more than anything, plus SAR offers me the opportunity to put my dog obsession to good use while contributing to my community so I think its a good fit for both of us.

#3.  Takoda will continue taking herding lessons every few weeks.  He did really well in his first lesson.  I don’t anticipate getting serious about herding…too much to learn on the part of the handler plus I don’t have plans to buy sheep, which makes practicing easier, but taking lessons will be a fun way to see his hard-wiring in action.

#4.  Takoda started performance puppy class a month ago.  My main goal for him in class is to learn important life skills like being calm and quiet in his crate while other puppies are running around, to stay focused on me vs. wanting to play with other puppies when more than one puppy is working (very common in this class), and to enter and exit the building with composure vs. acting like a blithering idiot :).   He is progressing with these important life skills but we still have a ways to go.

#5. Takoda is doing very well with trained behaviors like SIT, DOWN, WAIT, MARK, heeling on both sides an knows a ton of tricks.  But anyone who is into dog training knows this stuff is relatively easy to train.  Given my interest in doing Search and Rescue with Takoda, my main focus will be on training a rock solid recall as well as good manners on and off leash.

Just thinking about Takoda makes me feel ridiculously happy.. but then again thinking about Jake and Lil makes me feel ridiculously happy too!   I guess that is why I’m so dog obsessed.  Its SO rewarding for me.

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2 thoughts on “Takoda is 6 months old today

    • I learned about Marks from Sharon Nelson. They have so many uses including sends. The #1 reason I use marks is because they teach dogs HOW to collect properly when running fast and then stopping on a dime (a Mark bucket.. or future contact zone). Dogs learn to tuck their butts UNDER their bodies and weigh shift back in order to stop vs. using their front feet to stop by banging them into the ground abruptly which would knock a mark bucket over. Takoda knows how to run full out (in full extension) and then stop with complete control over his body by collecting (butt tucked under/ weight shift back), which has given him great coordination and body awareness that he uses in his day to day life. Its my favorite training prop of all times.

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