Sunday, January 17, 2010

Step By Step

Alfie loves to learn, and the more things I can give him to do, the happier he seems to be!  It's fun to work with an eager beaver, and a good day's work also helps to take the edge off of his puppy mischief.

Alfie staring intently straight up
Red alert!  Low branch dead ahead!

Lately we've been working on overhead obstacles -- such as when a low branch overhangs my path.  He didn't pay them much attention until one day I pretended to actually hit my head on a branch, making a really big deal like I was horribly hurt!  Now he seems to anticipate the "overhead" game more, and is just beginning to develop the ability to scan above when prompted.   Eventually, he'll have to do it on his own to help keep his partner safe. 

Most days, we have two usually outdoors, one in an indoor environment.  Alfie likes "finding" things for me, such as the trash can in the picture below.  Probably his favorite thing to find, though, is the button at crosswalks.  He goes right up to the post and points to it with his nose!  We'll have to try and get a picture of that sometime -- it's kind of cute.

Alfie indicates a trash can by sitting next to it
Doing our part to keep Austin litter-free.

One nice thing about walking Alfie out in the neighborhoods is that so far, he's relatively unconcerned about other dogs.  I say "relatively" because of course he's interested in them; but he doesn't really misbehave or go nuts trying to meet them.  He treats them pretty much as he does human passersby, giving them a friendly, smiling, tail-wagging look and then getting back to work. 

Having a new puppy is kind of like having a seems I notice everything so much more as Alfie experiences it for the first time.  Everything from the barking dogs I'd tuned out, to the blowing leaves I never noticed -- it's all new to him.   Funny how that works!

Alfie and me on a footbridge; he's sitting looking up at me
See, I'm good for you!


Mimi and CC Cabana said...

He already knows so much, that's incredible!! It is amazing to see things through their eyes, isn't it?

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

so glad he knows so much! That's nice you get to teach finds and things.

Clive said...

As you so rightly say it was lovely to see things through fresh eyes and appreciate them all over again.

Great work on the training.

Katrin said...

So cool that he is doing so well. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Cassie said...

It's so crazy all the stuff they can learn to do-sounds like he's going to be a great guide dog!