Friday, September 17, 2010

Puppy Goals (part 1)

Puppy - 6.5 weeks
Dog Blog Post #124: Getting a shiny new puppy is like New Years Eve - a chance to dream up lofty Goals and Resolutions while feeling just a little bit giddy.

This will be my third puppy, and when I think how much I've grown as a puppy parent in the seven years they encompass, I have to admit to feeling pretty proud. I'm also painfully aware of all the mistakes made and the lost opportunities.

Some of those mistakes could not really have been avoided. Life teaches lessons at its own mysterious pace, and all we can do is try to keep up and hope we finish the lesson before the test arrives. And when that doesn't happen, we pray we're smart enough to have learnt the lesson well before the next test hits us.

And that's probably enough said about that.

I will be following Sue Ailsby's new Training Levels - Steps to Success with One-of-Ten, as I feel it is the best at-home skills curriculum available. I actually think it's the best skills curriculum anywhere, and while I haven't been to a huge number of wheres, I've certainly been to enough to have an opinion I'm not afraid to share.

Sue's Homework for Level One is: "List 5 things you hope to accomplish by working the Levels with your dog."

Just five?

My basic needs and wants from when Zachary joined our household have not really changed. We are principally looking for a Family Member to be well-loved and a canine-companion for Zachary.

I would like One-of-Ten to get his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certificate. I would also like to do AKC Rally, or something similar. If he has show potential (his parents are both AKC Champions) then that would go on the list as well.

As Training Level's is a skills-based curriculum, today's goals will be so oriented. Hopefully, in the next few days, I'll come up with a list of socialization-based goals as well.

So here we go:

  1. Figure out who he is, how he thinks, and what he might like to do when he grows up.
  2. Form a positive working relationship/partnership
  3. Foster a love of learning
  4. Create a solid foundation of skills/knowledge/abilities for Real Life
  5. Have fun!
As always, I will be using this venue to stay motivated and (hopefully) on course, assuming the fates don't conspire to change things.

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