Sunday, June 29, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview

Age: 4 months
Week of: June 23-29, 2014 -  hrs Total Hours (? hrs on Site) + (? hrs Outings)
- Bath Sunday night was as uneventful as always.  So thrilled she behaves for this sort of thing!
- Vet visit on Monday went well. She loves our vet.  It's fantastic.  She got her last round of puppy shots and we discussed spaying.  He says we are six to eight weeks out from a spay based on her teeth development.
- Heart-worm preventative was given on Wednesday.

- Talked with the vet about the peeing problem.  He stated this was very similar to how young dogs will sometimes just eat until they get sick.  Now I am rationing her water at home and the peeing has just about gone away.
- She is still mouthing a LOT!  Holding out hope that I am doing the right things and that she is just teething severely.

- Oma and Opa took us to Joe Wheeler state park!  We stayed two nights.  Elsa is getting really good at traveling in the vehicle.  While we were there, we walked and played a lot.  She got used to being walked by Oma and Opa, which will be helpful for the CGC test.  She loves going with Opa because he walks a lot further than I care to and wants to run quite a bit.
- Friday India came!
- Saturday we packed up with India, Daddy, and Britta and headed to Huntsville.  There is a Dr. Who convention that we are attending!  They met Peppy and J.J. (daddy's family dogs).
- We got out at the Cullman dog park on the way to Huntsville and Elsa and Britta ran around for a bit.
- Nick's family has a pool.  Elsa and I worked on swimming.  She did well with the water, though it obviously bothered her to not be able to touch the bottom
- We also worked in South Huntsville's Petsmart for awhile.

- I am in SO MUCH PAIN with this earache!  However, there isn't a lot I can do about it.  Didn't really keep up with anything.  Hopefully these eardrops will put me back right.

This Week in Pictures

(Courtesy of India Lott)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Service Dog Training: Not All About the Dogs

I feel it is important for me to write some posts about the work I want to eventually do with autistic students.

As I've been working with Elsa, I have begun to realize I really enjoy dog training.  Last December, I was fired from my job working with autistic students because I refused to comply with a rule that I believe is against Federal regulations. Due to the fallout from this (traumatic, to me) event, I am pretty well blackballed from teaching autistic students anymore.

For awhile, this realization kept me in the dumps.  I was already looking for a service dog before I left the school because of my anxiety but as it developed deeper into panic disorder after the major changes I had to deal with, I began looking a bit deeper.  I found Elsa's litter through a friend and spent quite awhile making sure everything was exactly as I needed it before choosing her.  Things have gone well and even through the frustrations, I have enjoyed working with her more than I could have expected.

I finally understand how I can merge my talent of working with autistic students and love of training dogs... service dogs!  I hope that eventually I can use the skills I am learning right now to train dogs to provide services for autistic students. I hope I can start a non-profit and work to make the dogs as close to cost-free as possible for the families.  I want to work with moderately to severely disabled people in their twenties.  I want to focus on those who are attempting to find jobs and could use the help of a service dog at work and at home.

I want this blog to help people understand service dogs better, help those who are looking to train their own dog get a sense of what goes into it, and help me stay on track as I work to become a service-dog trainer and start my own non-profit.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview

Age: 4 Months
Week of: 06/16-06/22/2014
7 Total Hours (5 hrs on Site) + (2 hrs Outings)
There is a lot of random peeing going on.  We will be talking to the doctor next Monday about that.
The biting is getting frustrating, but I also realize that as long as I continue correcting appropriately, that issue will go away in a few more months.
- Tuesday we walked to Rushton Park and played with our new BarkBox items.  Daddy helped me get some shots of the items. =) 
- Tuesday evening while I worked, daddy took Elsa and Britta to a friend's house to play with their dogs.
- Thursday morning we walked to Rhodes Park to take photos of the OTHER BarkBox that came in.

- Strengthening stay
- Focusing on me outside while dealing with distractions
Service Dog Tasks: 
- Worked on staying longer in my lap... she doesn't understand the lap up command yet, but hopefully that will come quickly.
- Worked on identifying the light-switch.  This is a laser game that every time she follows the laser to the lightswitch, she gets a treat.

- Working on nipping... especially when over excited

- Going to buy a plank and PVC pipe.  Want to make a couple of teeters to work on the seesaw part of agility.  We aren't looking to train professionally, just keep things light and interesting.
- I'm not going to post these updates on reddit anymore.  I didn't get any real feedback, just being told to stop training my dog as hard as I am.  I think people are misreading what I'm doing as hardcore training.  Elsa is only four months old.  She has no business going through rigorous training.  However, once a day one of her meals is earned by her tricks.  She also plays games with me that will later turn into task-related skills.  Any agility we do is purely play and just getting used to the strange pieces of equipment.  Thanks to my 12-hour shift schedule, I can spend a lot of time play-training.  I think it comes off as a lot more rigorous in my blog posts than I ever mean.
- I haven't done much this week.  I've been feeling bad and have developed an earache nearer to the end of the week.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

This week in pictures

We bought an antler and she loves it!

Niners all the way!! I want to get her a cheerleading outfit before the season starts as well...

The vet isn't so scary if there's out-the-window happiness ahead of time!

Digging holes at Joe Wheeler. The dam is in the background. 

Cheering daddy's team on at kickball!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Alarm Clock Training

Well, I've finally goofed up.  I slept through my alarm and missed an appointment today.  Luckily, the office had mercy on me and waived the $50 missed appointment fee.

My medicine isn't supposed to make me sleep through things, but the doctor says it may just be thanks to the depression.  Usually I'm sleeping through an alarm or two, but I'm up by the third.  This time, I had been volunteering at the Humane Society and got home with barely enough time to get a full sleep cycle in before going to my appointment.

Overall, I'm moving really slow with Elsa on service dog tasks because she is only four months old.  She's not totally house trained (on occasion she still pees on the floor without warning), but she usually holds it if we are sleeping in the bedroom.  I'm going to start training her to wake me to the alarm clock so that I don't have this kind of thing happen again.  I can't afford to miss important appointments, and if it gets worse and I start missing work related things, I'll be in REAL trouble!

So here is the alarm clock training we are doing!

- peanut butter
- alarm clock

Initially, I have just set the alarm to go off randomly.  Once it goes off, I smear some peanut butter on my hand and encourage her to lick it off.
Next, we will move to me smearing a bit of peanut butter on my face and laying down while the alarm is going off.
Finally, I will wean her off of expecting the peanut butter immediately and encourage the licking until I give her the peanut butter as a sign that I'm up.  I will immediately take her outside so I cannot fall back asleep and mess up the sequence.

Anyone who is reading this, feel free to comment with any problems that you see possibly arising.  Also, any tips on how to train this consistently so that she is reliable would be awesome!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June BarkBox #2 is Here!

So, here we are, a few days later, with a whole new BarkBox to brag about!

For anyone who missed it, the first barkbox that came this month was a HUGE hit with the pups!  It was technically Elsa's box, even though we share the treats equally.

My referral link is: You get 10% off your subscription and I get a free box.  

We currently subscribe for two Medium boxes since Elsa and Britta are about 25-30 pounds each.  There are three sizes and once the pups are a bit bigger, we will be subscribing to the Large box!

Now, for the goodies in Britta's box!

R2P Silly Bums Monkey Butt (could not find direct link)
Valued at: $10

This toy has a squeaker and crinkle material. It's ridiculous and funny and who couldn't love it?! I get the feeling I may be buying one for Elsa as well.

Tree Frog
Valued at: $10

This toy is so cute!  It specifically has a warning on it that says "not meant as a chew toy". I'm not even sure what to do with it if they can't chew on it. Somehow, no one is really interested in this frog. So the warning doesn't really matter for us!  I'm not comfortable donating it, so I guess we will just leave it around for supervised playtime. 

Banana Chips
Valued at: $8

These banana chips are toasted in coconut oil. Britta wasn't sure about them at first, but now she really likes them. As usual, Elsa just about eats anything and loved these. 

Primal Freeze Dried Beef Pieces
Valued at: $9

These freeze dried liver beef pieces are a HIT!

Overall value: $37... DEFINITELY worth it. =)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June BarkBox #1 Has Arrived!!

So, we have two BarkBoxes coming this month!!! Britta and Elsa each get a box and originally Nick and I were looking forward to it because it will allow us to have identical toys for them which means less tug-o-war sessions over the current favorite thing when they're together.
Instead, we have two completely DIFFERENT boxes that are showing up!!! I'm not even upset by this... the treats are always fantastic and this means Nick and I can split the treats up and each puppy can have four to five types of treats instead of only two or three!
This also gives me a chance to gush about the treats and toys that come TWICE as much as originally planned. =)

First off, let me just talk about customer service. BarkBox has it down!! We received a discount for having two boxes coming to our household, last month a toy didn't show up and they immediately sent us another toy, and I received an email from one of the owners just checking to see how we were liking our subscription.
For those of you that aren't familiar, BarkBox donates 10% of its proceeds to a different rescue each month.
My referral link is: You get 10% off your subscription and I get a free box.

We buy the Medium box for both of the pups since Elsa and Britta are currently somewhere between 25&30 pounds. The beauty of the subscription is that once they need a Large box, we can switch up to that!
So, now on to what everyone is reading this page for: the goodies that came in our first box this month!

Le Petit Treat - Quiche Lorraine
Valued at 7.1 oz for $11.99 

Treats in general go over well with both Britta and Elsa. These are going to be especially useful for training.  The two girls adored these treats and the heart shape is absolutely adorable!

Bocce's Chicken Cordon Bleu
Valued at 8 oz for $9.50 

These smell so good I want to eat them myself!!  The pups apparently agree since they almost instantly wanted seconds. :)

This is a really good toy for Elsa. We are working on her becoming more interested in toys and building her prey drive some to help with her training.  This being both a tug toy and a ball, it's much more convenient for trips to the park!  I'm hoping it holds up better to her chewing than other rope toys we have had.

Edit: she has chewed on this constantly for the last three days and she hasn't broken any of the rope yet! This is a perfect toy for us!

I was so excited when I saw this toy in the set! Mom is big into French impressionism and language and I'm a fan of the Eiffel tower and Monet myself. I'm really glad this came in Elsa's box because I think mom will get a kick out of it. Elsa is going to love anything I dangle in her face to play with, so I tend to get excited when I find something I like too. =) 
The best part? This toy has TWO SQUEAKERS IN IT!!

Edit: after only two days, this toy has a major hole in the bottom and a smaller one up top.  Elsa is a moderate chewer, at best.  It's adorable but NOT worth $12.


Overall Value ~$31
Six month subscription cost: $114 ($19/mo)
This box is definitely worth EVERY penny!

Stay tuned! The other BarkBox for this month should arrive in a couple of days!!  If the preview on my app is to be believed, it is a monkey theme. =) What items have you recieved in your BarkBox this month?

If you are curious about what comes in the small box, I recommend checking out My Subscription Addiction's BarkBox reviews!

Monday, June 16, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview June 9-15, 2014

Age: 16 weeks

Week of: June 9 - 15, 2014 - 7 hrs Total Hours(4 hrs on Site) + (1 hr Outings)

- I keep meaning to get fish oil tablets to put with her kibble so she has a really healthy coat.  I need to do this ASAP!
- She didn't poop for about a day when we were visiting mom and dad, but a nice long walk with dad fixed that!
- She no longer is showing any signs of being unhappy with the bath.

- Still peeing inside some.  Vet's visit on the 23rd should give some answers.  It's not as bad as it was, so I believe it is going away.
- Nipping some when excited.  Corrective measures are in place.  No true concern unless she hits a year and it is still going.
- Sunday PetDepot (in Cullman)

- Monday Elsa went to daycare for 10 hours!  They are helping her learn not to jump on people.  She came back exhausted, but healthy.  We slept all night and she cuddled with me the entire time.  I wish we had the money for her to go more often.  This would have been helpful on Friday as well!
- Tuesday daddy took her and Britta walking.
- Wednesday we went to Greensprings Dog Park with Daddy and Britta
- Thursday we walked to Rushton park. Elsa wore her backpack there and I carried it back. It seemed like a good balance.
- Friday it was raining and I slept a good 15 hours straight.  We didn't do anything.
- Saturday morning we visited Hoover's dog park.  We played for a long time until one dog showed up.  We met her and left about twenty minutes later.
- Saturday afternoon we visited a friend and her three children.  Elsa jumped a bit much for my taste, but it was good to expose her.  I hope we are able to go more often!
- Saturday afternoon we went up to Cullman to visit my family (yay father's day!).  Mom and I took her to the park there in town.  We walked a bit and she played in the dog park.  They have a pool!!!  There was no other dog there.  She had a blast having the run of the place.  Mom enjoyed playing with her on the agility equipment.
- Sunday she went to PetDepot with me.  We bought her an antler and she was fascinated by the mice.  I think her prey drive is starting to get stronger!  Side note: I'm absolutely amazed how thrilled she is with this antler!

- We worked on a figure eight command.
- Stay was the main focus this week... learning to stay while I toss a ball and while other things are happening.
- Biking commands are being practiced. Wednesday was her first time riding with me (in the parking lot) and it went really well!!
- Sit/stay while someone pets
- Leave it is another focus... She usually will leave something alone, but not always on my first command.

Service Dog Tasks: 
- She naturally looks to press on my chest when I begin to get too panicky. This week we have been adding the command to go with it.

- She is still really jumpy and nips too much for my taste..

Comments:This was a rough week for me.  I didn't work with her on commands as fully as I should have.  I forgot about the PetCo puppy socialization and stayed in Cullman too long.  It worked out okay though.  Basic obedience is getting stronger and missing a couple of things one week isn't going to destroy her training.
She turns four months this coming Monday!!  April 16. =)

Friday, June 13, 2014

This week in pictures

The BarkBox toys just look AWESOME this time!! The treats even seem yummy to me. I'll do a review of both the boxes we receive (one for Elsa and one for Britta) as soon as the boxes are here. :)

Dad got to walk Elsa and they both had a blast!!

Working on "Stay"

This link is a very good start for working on stay:

If you have time, read up on all of the puppy101 lessons on the sidebar. I absolutely love their information!

After we got the basic stay down, we had to work on more intricate stay situations. Elsa has several situations where she can stay and several situations we are still working on.

Stay situations that are practically perfect:
- Anything under 5 minutes
- Waiting on food for less than 2 minutes
- Waiting on me to pour food into her bowl and leaving the room to reseal the food
- Waiting while mommy is eating for about 3 minutes
- Leaving the room and coming back within 30 seconds
- Any amount of time when I'm dancing around... I think it keeps Elsa entertained and she puts up with the sitting because of that.

Stay situations we are working on:
- Any of the above situations with longer stay times
- Toy distraction
- Food distractions
- Other people attempting commands
- Children as distractions
- The entire meal time (in down/stay... most of these situations are sit/stay)

I am interested in other situations people might think we will come up against that I should teach her? Thanks to everyone who is reading this!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Biking with Elsa

Okay, so I got on a bike today with Elsa and it was a total success!!!! I haven't really been able to find much on how to get my dog used to a bike, so I just started slow.

- Initially, I just introduced Elsa to the bike. I had a few maintenance items to work on, so I was able to let her just sit near me and sniff at the bike while easily earning treats just for existing.
- I used my running belt leash. I hope to be able to buy a bike attachment with my next paycheck, but currently this is the most stable option I have.
- After a few minutes of maintenance, we walked to the parking lot area. Elsa stayed on my left (her usual working side) and I had the bike on my right. We walked around for several minutes with her heeling. I used a lot of kibble... she didn't even need dinner after we were done! We practiced "left" and "right" commands while walking around. Elsa ran into the wheel a couple of times because she would turn slightly and not go the whole way. I started clicking (her signal to pay attention when we're walking) and she noticed a LOT better.
- We ended the session with me biking the straights and walking the curves. I did some really slow biking on the curves, but I mostly just walked them. I don't want an accident too soon and have her lose her confidence.

Okay, so far, she's catching on to everything so fast I'm getting spoiled!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

This Week in Pics

You can find most of these on the Facebook page as well, but I wanted them on here too!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview...

Owner's Name: Lara Knight
Dog’s Name: Elsa Sifdottir Nightslayer
Age: 15 weeks
Week of:
June 2-8, 2014  Total Hours(6 hrs on Site) + (0 hrs Outings)
- Having problems with diarrhea a couple of days.  Much better by the end of the week.
- Sleeping more than usual, but things have been pretty hectic so I'm not too worried.
- Our next vet meeting is June 23 
- Trimmed nails and bathed Wednesday night (I wanted her to be perfect for the temperament test Thursday morning!!!  I am trying hard not to be nervous. I don't want my nervousness to transfer to her for the test.)  Bathing went easier than ever!!!  She even turned around when I asked her with a little treat encouragement!!
- I need her to begin liking the brush so that eventually she will want to be brushed.  She is accepting it more and more, but not liking it.  This will allow her to bring me the brush when I start picking at my eczema.  I am not sure how to encourage it. 
- Walking nicely on a leash has backslid a bit recently.  I feel certain it is because we have been at dog parks more than out walking the last couple of weeks.  Tuesday morning and evening we walked a good distance, working on loose leash walking/heeling.  We also jogged a bit, but not for long... 15 weeks is too early to try a 5K!!  We are also doing backpack weight starting Thursday.
- She's gained a new anxiety issue.  If I take her out first and then take Britta in the mornings for pooping, she yelps the entire time I'm gone, even though she's starving and needs to eat.  She whines when I leave.  I hope the daycare helps a bit of this.  I want her to be attached, but confident.
- We Talk Dog temperament test Thursday
- Went to the dog park Tuesday morning.  We had a good time and she met a new dog.  The new dog didn't like her jumping and began to bark with its ears back.  It was only annoyed and it surprised Elsa, but I didn't wait for it to get any more aggressive before leaving.
- Daddy was going to walk Elsa and Britta Wednesday morning.  Unfortunately there were some behavior problems and Elsa got away and jumped in a strangers car!!!  So I came and got her to walk instead.  We heeled to the park near us, but then we played and I let her wander while we walked back.
- The temperament test Thursday at "We Talk Dog" was nervewracking.  This test is just to see if the pup is ready to be in a play group at daycare.  I've decided it would be a good idea to get her out of the house at least once a week while I sleep and get some socialization.  Anything to help curb the excitement of seeing other dogs will be awesome.  I was scared she would mess up somehow, but of course she passed the test almost instantly with no issues.  They called to let me know and said she could stay around for a few hours if I wanted.  I let her and when I came back to pick her up she was SO GOOD!
- Friday, daddy took both of the pups to Greensprings' dog park while I slept.  I wasn't feeling well at all.  It lasted through Saturday.
- Saturday, we all went to the Hoover dog park for the first time.  Both the girls had a blast playing with other dogs.  I worked with Elsa on recall and it is getting better and better in new situations like this!
- This week we hyper-focused on recall.  Everywhere we went.  Dog park, on normal walks, at home, everywhere.
- We have also begun using "left" and "right" on walks 

Service Dog Tasks: 
- Still working on bottle/ball/bag.  No real progress on identification.  Currently, I am placing her paw on the item, saying the word, then treating.  Sometimes she paws it herself, but I guess we are too early on in the process to make this really work.  I feel like Anne Sullivan.
- Elsa is slowly learning that running after the laser is good.  Sometimes it shows her hidden treats, sometimes when she stretches up the wall to catch it I give her a treat, etc.  Britta is a lot more interested in it.
- Her "boop" is getting better.  She doesn't try to bite my hand anymore.  She just touches my finger with her nose.
- We are working on cuddling a little longer.  She is accepting of this and eventually it will turn into deep pressure therapy.
- We are starting to really work on fetch as a more serious command.  Her "drop it" is a lot better.
- I am going to start having her bother me at a certain time of day to get a special treat.  This way I will be likely to take my meds.  I'm not sure what time is going to be best, but I'm beginning to lean toward 5:30 pm.  That way, no matter what day it is, I should be able to train.
- Going to have to work on begging when I have food.  Working on curbing the food obsession will be a really good thing for us.  We have worked on sit/stay while I'm eating.  Tuesday morning, I had a donut and she was reaching for it.  I gave a sit and she listened.  When I released her, she found something else to get interested in!!
- Stay has become better.  This coming week we are going to work on me leaving the room and her continuing with a stay until I return.
- This is my busy week at dispatch, so we spent a lot less time going places and a lot more time working together at home and exploring dog parks
- I went through a med change this week so I wasn't as consistent in training as I should have been.  My doc is leaning toward calling my issues panic disorder, though currently they fall under depression.
- Started work on the car harness.  It doesn't fit well, but hopefully she will grow into it pretty quick.  She didn't like me putting it on her the first time, she wanted to chew, but after she got used to it, there were no more problems.  Next week we shall try to actually lock her into the seat... everyone keep your fingers crossed!!!
- I want to start playing hide and seek so that eventually we will be able to search the home for intruders.
- I need to get an alarm clock for a cue.
- I slept pretty much all day Monday, so there wasn't any activity.  She didn't seem to mind the break.  From here on out, I'm going to try to anticipate the days that this will happen and give her
- I'm disappointed that we can't seem to get in touch with my friend who has a jack russel. I feel like Elsa needs to be around a terrier some.  It would help because they would match her energy level.
- Two weeks til the next Bark Box comes in!!!!  UGH!! I can hardly wait.  We are out of nice treats and I'm ready to have something high value besides hot dogs to feed her.
- I put a bit of bacon grease in her peanut butter Saturday.  THAT was a HUGE hit!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

We Talk Dog

Today, Elsa went to her temperament assesment at We Talk Dog here in Birmingham.  I had heard of them when I participated in the Mutt Strut 5k our local therapy dog group puts on every year (PS- the pic they have up currently is my boyfriend and a few of our former students at the start of the race last year!! Nick has the eyeblack on.).  I didn't know who they were, but they gave us really cool bumper stickers!!

This year, after much doggie daycare research, I decided I like the sounds of We Talk Dog better than any other daycare in the area for my pup.  They are constantly not in kennels, there are temperament tests to gague if the dog can come/which group the dog should be in, and the people seem really committed to their mission.
I sleep most days and I want Elsa to have a chance to get some socialization and exercise even though I'm crashed out.  She deserves all the different experiences I can give her.

The day starts at 6 am as I finally give up on sleeping any more and take Elsa out to introduce her to my bike.  Unfortunately, the tires aren't very full, so we walk instead.  I actually think this might be a better option anyway, since the daycare will be a new experience and I just need her worn out, not frazzled.  We walk/jog to the park, sit for a few minutes, then head back to the apartment.  We got in the car, I grabbed coffee, and off to the test!

We walk into the center right off of Montclair RD at 8 am.  Daycare itself starts at 7am, but they start temperament training at 8.  7 am is an awesome time for me too.  I am off at 6 am, so that gives me time to wash up, walk and feed Elsa, and get there in plenty of time for Elsa to be in pretty early.  The lady at the front desk is really fantastic.  Of course, I'm a nervous wreck, but at least I remember the paperwork!!!  They took Elsa in and told me they would call when she was done.

Thirty minutes later they call back to say she passed with flying colors!!!  I went ahead and let her stay til about 11.  I picked her up and we headed back home.  She slept the rest of the day with me. =)

I have her scheduled to go back Monday. =)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Puppy Treats

So, I spend a lot of time bribing my baby to do what she needs to. As puppies, that's the best way to handle them. I feed her a handful of kibble when a child wants to pet her at the Farmer's Market, I give her a Kong stuffed with things to stop the incessant chewing, the list is endless.

I have found several treats that she enjoys and wanted to document them here in case I get too in the habit of certain things later and need to re-diversify.
- frozen peanut butter and bacon smeared on any chew toy
- frozen neufchatel cheese with tuna, bacon, hamburger, etc on any chew toy
- blueberries (frozen, fresh)
- apples
- carrots
- frozen cubes of low sodium chicken or beef broth mixed 1:1 with water... sometimes finely shredded cheese or tuna water in these as well
- hot dogs (of course!)
- kibble soaked in the middle of a kong with water and frozen into a yummy mush

Here is a list of things I want to try in the future:
- baked peanut butter treats (peanut butter, egg, maybe bacon?)
- puppy frozen yogurt (peanut butter, banana, plain yogurt)
- trail mix (leftover fruit, veggies, and meat pieces dehydrated)
- apple crunch pupcakes (

Sunday, June 1, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview...

Okay, so here is our first real training updates post.
Age: 14 weeks
Week of: 
May 26 - June 1, 2014 - 8 hrs Total Hours(5 hrs on Site) + (3 hrs Outings)

Trimmed nails and bathed Monday night.  This was the first time one of us wasn't sitting in the tub with her.  I didn't run water, just had it halfway filled with warm water.   Elsa did well with the nail trim. She isn't liking the bath as much. She accepts it but isn't fond. Maybe once the new barkbox comes in they will have some tasty high-value treats that will help with this.
She bathed with Nick on Thursday morning after getting muddy.  She sat still for him but trembled some.
Eating well.  Had some diarrhea the other day but it has gone away.  Hiccups at least every other day, but apparently that is normal for puppies?
Still having some anxiety at night in the crate when momma works.  Considering moving her crate into a different room than her sisters' (Britta's).  I don't want to because she loves the DogTV channel, but I think maybe it would be better. -- After no longer coming home at night, this seems to have subsided.  She is already sleeping through the night in her crate and it seems that me coming home in the middle of the night has just been working her back up.
The nail trimmer was pulled out again Sunday and it went fine.

Still sometimes refusing to poop for Daddy (Nick).  Not sure what this is, but we will spend some time having him treat her when she poops for me.  She is still consistent on her poop command with me, so I am less worried about this than if she wasn't pooping regularly for me.
1 Hour Tuesday (Trainer: Kurt Heinrich)
30 Minutes Tuesday (PetSmart)
30 Minutes Friday (Starbucks)
1 Hour Saturday (Pepper Place Farmer's Market)

Went to the dog park Monday night. Played with a 2 month old and a 6 year old. This went well overall. Recall is nonexistent with these distractions. 
At Kurt's house, we met his german shepherd. 
Tuesday evening we met Marlow (Julia's dog).  Marlow is nervous around other dogs.  I used treats to bribe Marlow into liking us.  It went really well.
Wednesday it rained, so no outside fun.
Thursday we went back to the dog park with Britta.  It was fun and we met two big dogs.  One of them really liked to wrestle rough.  Elsa kept running back into the play and I finally had to pick her up and carry her out.  She doesn't know her limits yet.  She has a couple of marks on her, but nothing serious.
We also played in the creek next to the park once we were done.  She loves this!!  Looking forward to the vacation we have coming up with mom (Oma) and dad (Opa) at Joe Wheeler State Park.
Friday we spent some time at the Starbucks.  She's definitely not as interested in people as she used to be.  Such improvement!!
Saturday, we went to the farmer's market in vest.  She did great with people but is still a little too excited around other dogs.  Next week we will go to the dog park THEN hit the farmer's market, assuming it isn't rainy...
After that, we went to Turkey Creek Preserve.  She loved the water, but her recall disappeared while there.  She managed to get off leash and ran over to greet some people I wasn't with.  They were nice about it.  She proceeded to poop and I picked it up in the bag, then she bit out the bottom of the bag.  Ewwwww.
Met Alli's dog, Tubbs, on Sunday.  Poor Tubby didn't know what to make of Elsa's excitedness.  He's a 4.5 year old dog and is happy to be much calmer.  They got along well, though.
Getting better about reading other dogs' signals. 

Basic commands were worked on with Kurt on Tuesday.  He told Nick and me that our dogs are intelligent enough that, if trained properly, obedience competitions could be in their future.
Recall is nowhere near polished, but getting better.  I've switched from "come" to "hier"
Verbal commands are still rusty without any hand signal... though she obviously understands them because when it is connected to something yummy, she's on top of the commands.
Staying is better this week than before.  I can dance around in circles with the treats and she will stay still.  Next will be having someone try to entice her while I give her the stay command.
My goal is to have Elsa take the CGC test by the end of July... PAT by the end of December
She is not comfortable with someone trusted holding her while I walk away.
Started using the puppy bells as a sign for potty time.  She hasn't caught on to them yet.
Sleeping in the bedroom now when I am home... no accidents yet!  We are still crating when we are gone.
Service Dog Tasks: 
Working on object recognition.  Specifically bottle and bag.  We are working on choosing the right item out of my purse.  This is brand new for her: basic obedience has been the goal up until now and is still the priority.
We also worked on our fake potty command.  I click my tongue and hold two fingers out and she bothers my leg with her paw and "boops" her nose to my hand.
Another thing is I am teaching her to listen when I am two rooms away.  If I'm in the bathroom and she's in the kitchen, I call her in my normal/quiet voice and treat her when she comes.


Scratching at collar has to be stopped, but I am not sure how.
She rarely barks, only whines in crate when needing to go potty.
Still jumping on everyone. - talked about this with Kurt.  Have some corrections in place.
Going to work harder on waiting for permission to eat... she is slowly understanding she has to wait in a sit to eat.  Eventually she will learn when she goes into the down-stay, the food is not for her.
She doesn't chew on vests or clothing I put on her... so glad I'm not dealing with that fight!!
Peeing on the floor on occasion still. I'm going to have her checked for a UTI, but it's most likely a puppy phase. 
She's better at brushing.  Not fantastic and definitely needing more work, but soon I won't have to use distractions to take a brush to her without fuss.
She isn't fond of the vacuum, but doesn't bark or run away when it is on.  She's cautious, which is wonderful to have!  I gave her some treats close to it while it was running and then once it was cut off, I put treats on it and left it for her to explore.

We found two more four leaf clovers at the dog park!  She's such a lucky charm. =)
I have GOT to get a well fitting muzzle to get her accustomed in case of injury.  Definitely going to need to work on emergency training. 
Also just barely got started with a laser pointer.  She's not terribly interested, but hopefully as we build the prey fascination up she will become more amused.
How can I find an area to take her on the escalator and elevator?  I need to talk to Kurt about this... or possibly Target once she is better at "heel"? 
Just got her harness for the car... I need to work on her getting used to it and then wearing it for longer and longer distances.
I have tennis balls and I need to get some rope so that I can use the tennis balls as prey drive exercises as well.
I want to get more first aid info under my belt... she got into an ant bed (luckily just regular black ants) and afterward I realized that if it was a fireant bed, I was NOT prepared.