Our Puppy is Two! Happy Birthday, Emme.

by Melissa R. on November 19, 2014

Puppy Emme

I can’t even believe it – how did my cute little puppy turn into a full-fledged two-year-old DOG? I remember thinking I couldn’t WAIT for her to be older….two seemed like a good age. And so far, it is.

2 year old Emme

We continue our Agility training, and have been to a number of competitions this year. It has been really great to get out in the ring and discover she actually *will* do what I say and not run off to say hi to the nearest person. We have so much fun during the competitions; they are a great bonding time and she is always plumb tuckered out by the time it is all finished. We’ve gotten a few ribbons, and are working on getting official “Qualifications” in both USDAA & AKC Agility. We’ll stick with it as much as we can during winter, though the weather tends to put a damper on things. It never fails to storm when we are supposed to drive to a competition. So hopefully we’ll be lucky this winter.
Ribbons for Emme
Earlier in the year, we did go to several Rally competitions, and managed to get our Rally Novice title in AKC. Rally was very stressful for me because it was totally new to me, on top of the fact that it requires a fairly “calm” dog. Emme definitely much prefers the energy of agility and I am not sure we will do much Rally right now. I do like how it really gets you to work on your basic obedience and leash walking skills though, so I recommend it for anybody who is interested in starting out in dog competitions.

Speaking of basic obedience, we seem to have finally managed to get Emme to stop jumping up on us! Yay! It took quite some time but she is much more likely to sit politely nowadays. She still gets very excited when guests arrive at our home, but we’ve started putting her in her crate before people arrive. Then, once she has calmed down, she can come out to say hello. Hopefully, after awhile she’ll understand the calm behavior is what she gets rewarded for. Walks go pretty well. She still likes to pull, but it is much less and walks are tolerable — unless a deer or squirrel happens by. Then I hang on for dear life.
Running agility
Well, we haven’t made too much progress here. It continues to be slow. We did try to keep the gate open in the evenings as much as we could for awhile, but then had a cat chasing incident we don’t want to repeat so have gone back to having the gate closed most of the time unless under strict supervision. We continue to work on positive associations: steak or chicken for everybody seems to win out. But not for long. If the cats would just stand their ground and not RUN, all would be fine, but the running is too much for Emme to handle. So we’ll just keep working on it and hopefully one day we will get there. It is a shame our one cat that did play with her passed away. But I hope his lessons stick with her.

Overall, I am happy every day we have Emme. It was an awful lot of work getting to this point, but worth it in the end. She keeps us laughing all day long, so you can’t ask for much more than that!

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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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