I had a rough afternoon, thinking about Shakespeare's future as a performance dog. (More on that later, when I get my head sorted out.) It was relieved by working Laev on Armin Winkler for the second time in as many days. Today, though, I gave the video camera to someone who actually pushed the record button. ;-)
It was un-crazy-believeable what he did with her. I've always been a believer that both genetics and environment are important, and that you train the dog you have the best you can, but I'd never really seen the advantage that really solid genetics can give you. The video out on my camera is broken (grrr!) but I'll post the video as soon as I can get it.
Then I had a meeting tonight, and while I felt comfortable leaving Shakespeare in the motel room, I knew the folks in the room next door wouldn't want to listen to Laev scream. (She's doing much better, but on days when we attend a seminar and she only comes out once to work, she still has too much energy left and screams.) So I took her and left her crated in the car during the meeting, where at least if she screamed no one would hear.
Afterward we came out, and I brought her out to relieve herself, and a breeder I know brought out two puppies of her own, 3 days older than Laev, to play and exercise and potty. I was thrilled to have a way to burn puppy calories, so....
Laev was startled by the cups on their heads (their ears had just been cropped) but within a moment was making friendly overtures. [This line removed to avoid giving possible offense, since someone seems to think it was written in malice, which of course it was not. The line was to the general effect that Laev was social.] And I've been working really hard on name recognition this week, but it was hard to tell if it was paying off; Laev is never more than a couple feet from me. But tonight, as she ran loose with the puppies in the parking lot, they started to wander as they played, and we called them back.
Laev had a fast recall. Away from the other puppy. Which remained where it was.
Okay, so she's nine weeks and one day. Hardly an established behavior. But it's a darn good foundation. After the third or fourth recall, I finally realized that, and I got some treats out of my car so I could make sure the benefits of a recall were really sinking in. (She had been getting rewarded previously with jumping on me, and petting and praise and general enthusiasm, but I reflected that she could get that from the other puppy, as well, and this just made everything even better.)
Anyway, seeing my fearless puppy zoom about the dark parking lot and spin to come flying toward me when I called her name did a lot to improve my day. :-)