We play a new game with the basket now. Dad tells me to "take"  the basket and mom asks me to "bring it". She puts some stuff in it, tells me to "take it" and then dad asks me to "bring it."  I'm such a good helper!
 
 
I got to help mom today. She kept dropping things and asked me to bring them to her. She points to things and says "bring". I like this game. She gives me yummy treats and tells me what a good dog I am. 
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bring the basket
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bring the screwdriver
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bring the ruler
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bring the mail
 
 
Trainer lady gave mom some great ideas of what to do with the box I learned to carry. Mom had me "stay" on my kitchen rug and she took the box around the corner. She came back and told me to "find the box". I trotted off and brought it back and put it in her hands. Yea! Treats! The next time she put it in the dining room. I like this game.  She started moving it further away, which was pretty confusing at first. I really thought it would be in the same place each time, but after she gave me a clue by pointing to the next room I got better at looking around and didn't need any more help. This morning when we played, she put it in the hall. I had it in my mouth but got distracted because the living room gate was down. (Did I mention the construction workers are finally finished and as of yesterday the living room was back to the way it was before?) I ran into the living room to sniff the cat and dropped the box. I went back to mom in the kitchen and she said "where is the box?" Oh yea, I forgot. But I remembered where I dropped it and trotted off to get it for her. She thinks it is great fun to play hide and seek with me and little girl is very impressed.
 
 
Mom is trying out Karen Pryor's game of 101 things to do with a box.  She put a small box on the floor and clicked/treated when I looked at it. By then, Mr. Marbles the cat arrived and showed us knew what to do with a box - paw it, push it, stick his legs in it and tip it over to try and crawl inside, all in about 15 seconds. Mom laughed and put him in another room.  So I looked at the box again and she clicked/treated. Hmm, this must be important I think. So I go over to the box and sniff it. Click.  I put my nose in it. Click. I put my nose in it again and no click. ??? I went to my rug and pouted. I don't really understand what to do.  Pretty soon I looked at the box, click. Alright, I go back to the box. I push it with my nose. Click. I put my mouth on it. Click. Hmmm. I pick it up. Click. I drop it to eat the treat of course. I pick it up again and bring it right to mom. Click and treat party! Woot!  She says I invented this game and it is going to encourage my creative problem solving. Later she brings out the box again and I go over, pick it up and bring it right to her. She laughs and gives me a treat. The thing is, this is not 101 things! She is going to ask trainer lady what to do next. 
 
 
It is official. I've spent more than half my life with little girl's family. My first birthday is coming up on November 16. Mom is amazed at all the things we have learned together. When I first came here I was jumping on everyone and chewing on the furniture. Now, they all think I have nice house manners, although I still get very excited and jump on new people. I even get to go into the living room after dinner and watch TV with mom and dad! On the couch! If I start to chew or chase the cats they make me leave, so I try really hard to relax. Mom still puts a leash on me to visit the playroom or little girl's room. I have learned how to bop with my nose to ask for things and show them with my eyes what I want (like treats, the door or a specific toy).  I've learned many tricks with trainer lady's help. Look at this list! I can sit, lay down, come, leave things, play fetch, twirl, go through hoops, play a piano, figure 8 through mom's legs, tap a target,  push a ball and wait/stay. Oh, and I'm an expert at stealing erasers at homework time, although I give them back when asked. ;)
 
 
Mom read Karen Pryor's article about target training and decided to try it. She got a plastic bamboo stake from her garden supplies and put a rubber tip on it from a door stopper. I sniffed it and then tried to "take it". Mom practiced "tap" a few times with her hand and then put the tip in front of her hand. She clicked each time I tapped it, but I didn't really understand yet and still tried to grab it with my mouth when she held it out away from her hand.  Then she accidentally made a false click when I grabbed it. So she tapped it with her nose several times and then gently held my mouth shut and clicked as she touched the tip to my nose. Bingo! From then on I was right on target tapping the tip. She held it against the wall, chairs and a door with intermittent reinforcements. The only one I didn't get was when she put the tip on the floor. It just looks too much like a stick! 
 
 
Mom took little girl and me to the playground today. I got to sniff around for a while, then mom took me to the play equipment since there were no other children there.  She has me walk right beside her while she weaved in and out of poles, went up ramps and crossed a suspension bridge.  Then little girl would hide and I got to "find" her. I love this game, especially the yummy reward treats. One time little girl went to the tallest tower and I ran around two ramps and up a bunch of stairs to find her. Mom had me on a long orange rope so I can go as fast as I want. Next we went out to the trees and little girl hid behind different bushes. I found her every time. Mom probably guessed I was peeking as little girl ran to hide, so I knew which direction to go, but we had a fun time anyway. Now I'm ready for a nap. ZZZzzzz
 
 
Mom and little girl take me to training every Saturday. I get so excited when I see trainer lady. This week she had me practice walking through a ladder and learning how to watch mom's hand as she guides me to sit right next to her right side. At the end we worked on "find little girl" out in the store. I found her around the corner next to the kennels and got a very big treat. After training I came home and take a nice long nap. ZZZzzzzz
 
 
I have lived with my family three months now and am celebrating my eighth month birthday! Trainer lady says my family is doing a great job meeting my social, emotional, and physical needs. Mom felt really happy hearing that, especially since she is still gaining confidence with a rambunctious dog like me.  Why, just this week, I meet three new people without jumping on them! I wanted to jump, but just bowed and wiggled instead. Everyone is proud of me.  Here I am practicing training lady's new trick, how to step up and twirl on a platform. This helps me learn about my body in space.  Interestingly,  mom and dad talked about  how little girl has the same issue.
 
 
Mom loves trainer lady. She is helping us all learn so many things. This week trainer lady taught me about tunnel hoops. I was pretty nervous at first, but she lets me investigate and  learn at my own pace. Trainer lady has the yummiest treats!  I totally trust her and she thinks I'm smart. So the first trick is to put my feet into the hoop. 
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Rocky learns about the agility tunnel
Mom got to bring the tunnel home to help me practice. Trainer lady taught me to walk through  the closed vertical tunnel at class. She worked patiently because at first I would only go through one way, but trainer lady slowly turned the angle a little at a time.  The next day mom repeated all the same steps and recognized I understood! She opened the tunnel and I dove through it. Look at me go!