Biggie and his classmates graduated from Puppy Class today. For our last class we reviewed some of the basic skills we need to reinforce and build on, and we also had a couple of puppy contests and each demonstrated a skill or trick. All of the puppies graduated with style, and I'm a little sad the class is over (though I don't miss running from the office at 5:45pm to gather our stuff, do a quick change and shlep down to class). Of course I barely caught any people names but I know all the puppies:
Amos the Golden Retriever
Fanny the French Bulldog
Ruby the Mixed Breed
Yemi the Mini-Shar Pei
and, of course, Biggie the Kuvasz
I could fill the whole blog with stories about each of these adorable puppies - all of whom have interesting and funny personalities - but here's a few Biggie-centered highlights from today's competition:
HAND TARGET RACES:
snout-to-snout, 1 on 1 races for puppies to run across the room and touch their owner's hand for a treat. Biggie first squared off against Fanny, and it wasn't really a fair competition, since Biggie's legs are about four times longer than Fanny's. Even so, it was closer than I thought it would be, and I was surprised that Biggie even came in my direction, since most of the time he is busy licking the floor or lying on it. If Biggie had to start from a lying position or even a sit, I'm not sure he would have made it. Instead, he even found time to bump Fanny off course due to his high play/prey drive.
in the next round, he didn't fare so well. He was up against Ruby. Biggie has a special place in his heart for Ruby because she looks and acts a lot like Zola, his #1 girl. Ruby is also super-smart, super-fast, and super-focused. Puppy after my own heart, when Biggie saw he was a little behind her in the race, he tried to chase her and push her out of the way (when all else fails, try to trip up the competition) but Ruby was undeterred, and she nosed him out.
Ultimate winner? It was Ruby or Amos, I think.
all the puppies were unbelievably cute here. Amos stole Biggie's thunder and executed a flawless roll-over. This was what we had planned to do, too, but Amos was so good at it that we knew we were beat here. Biggie was having trouble focusing, so we switched gears and Biggie did a down-stay where I ran around him and jumped over him.
single elimination, last pup sitting (or down) wins. I knew Biggie had an edge here - he has the patience of a ... an ... ? Kuvasz? Or maybe he's just a potato. Amazingly enough, he actually kept and held eye contact with me longer during his stays than when we were practicing "look." I don't know the exact stay-by-stay because we were to keep pups on stay and hold our hands behind our backs when we weren't treating them, and I ended up having my back to the whole room. We were in the ZONE, just me and Biggie, looking at each other and smiling.
All I know is that it came down to Biggie and Ruby. I snuck a glance at Ruby, she was sitting pretty, all perky and alert. Biggie chose to lie down and he even had a distraction in his poo-bag-dispenser on the end of his leash. We were down to one or two one-minute stays with no treats, and on a total of a few minutes of stay, when the humans gave up and declared it a tie. Biggie and Ruby both won a "Tennis Tail" toy, which Biggie loves for the squeaker and the plush furry tail part. I should have named Biggie "Inertia."
Katrina demonstrated some tricks with her pup, Stella (?) who is barely 2. Biggie watched attentively and started to yip a little. I think he wanted to be part of the fun, or be the center of attention, or maybe he just wanted to play with Stella. I tend to think Biggie might like agility (not because he's fast at *anything*: even as a puppy, if he has a choice between walking and running, he will walk, unless it's to get chased in the dog run), but because I think he'd like the obstacle course just to do it. In his own sweet time, of course.
Well, that's something to think about for another time.
Biggie sends slobbery kisses to Katrina and to his puppy friends, and hopes they stay in touch for more play time.