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Introducing Lyra

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Her registered name will be Sprite-Fanfare’s Lyra.   My husband named her.

Lyra likes to be held; she licks my face and is cuddly cute.  She has a lovely expression.  When you call to her she smiles right up at your eyes.

She handled the Portland airport as if it were her personal castle.  That’s a big one for me….I want to spend my energy training rather than doing behavior modification.  Obviously she’ll be well socialized, but for some dogs most of your time is spent building their confidence towards people, places and things.  As far as those qualities go, she seems to be starting on the right foot.

Her toy drive is very good; she naturally retrieves most objects back to my lap and chews on them with me for company.

Her natural style for playing tug is also very good.  She is quiet, comfortable and tenacious.  She is easy to engage and clearly enjoys a good game. If I decide to train her for Schutzhund, she shows the calm, full bite that is desirable, and I will continue to develop that quality.

Lyra’s food drive is not pronounced.  That does complicate aspects of puppy training, but I will work around it as needed.  I wouldn’t be surprised if food drive increases naturally over the next few weeks.  If not, I will play games to increase this interest.

She is comfortable moving away and exploring on her own, but also follows along nicely if I take her for a walk.  She delights in personal interaction and is already showing a preference for me as her person.

I’d say I am very fortunate.  Lyra is a charming puppy with a calm and stable nature, nice toy drive, and good balance between outward focus (curiosity and independence) and handler focus.

My job is to maintain that balance.  To do so, I will start work on both “stability” and “choice” exercises, such as laid out in Leslie McDevitt’s “Control Unleashed” book.  Lyra will learn to “look at that” and to “take a break”.  At the same time, I’ll work on drive building, specific behaviors, and socialization.

She has started her training.  Yesterday we took a walk in the woods together.  Anytime she looked up at me I praised and played with her.  If she also accidentally showed up on my left side in heel position, I clicked and treated her.  I have started saying her name, waiting for eye contact, and click/treating that behavior along with copious praise and personal interaction.  That was about 5% of our walking time.  The rest was spent enjoying all of the fabulous things that are available to observe, smell and sample in the forest.  I did the observing; she did the smelling and sampling.

If I clicked I offered a treat. Sometimes she took it and other times she declined, but either way I made sure to give lots and lots of praise.

We’re off to a fabulous start.

About dfenzi

I'm a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationship in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. My personal passions are Competitive Obedience and no force (motivational) dog training. I travel throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation. I own Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, a comprehensive online school for motivational training of performance sport dogs.

15 responses »

  1. .. AND A PICTURE OF HER?
    CAN -WE -SEE -HER ?

    Kim

    Reply
  2. I don’t know how you can have an introduction post without several pictures!!!

    Reply
    • LAURA!!
      OMG! I JUST WATCHED YOU AND LANCE IN UTILITY..
      ALL I CAN SAY IS…….. YOU ROCK!!!!
      WOW……………………………..
      What was your score? 199?
      The judge seemed so nice too!
      Kim ( STILL AMAZED!! &%%&()@#&+*^$$$

      Reply
  3. Congratulations on your new addition. 🙂 I look forward to hearing about her over the coming weeks.

    Reply
  4. ok ok! Two photos of Lyra. I can’t take more because she’s sleeping, and I’m sure as hell not gonna wake her up.

    Reply
  5. Beautiful pup, congratulations. I look forward to watching you build your relationship with her and to see her progress in training. Best wishes and have fun!

    Reply
  6. Oh she is just perfect!
    Thanks for sharing her pictures.
    Happy 1st night together!
    Kim

    Reply
  7. She is just yummy beautiful. I so hope you do Schutzhund with her and write about it. But even if not, very much looking forward to following your lives together from this beginning.

    Reply
  8. What? Puppies don’t sleep, silly!

    She is LOVELY!

    Reply
  9. Thanks for sharing this special puppy with all of us. We are looking forward to the journey.

    Reply
  10. She is beautiful and I anxiously wait to hear all about your training times. Puppies so much workout oh so much fun. Good luck.

    Reply
  11. Congrats to this beautiful puppy. She sounds wonderful, I am looking forward to hearing about your journey together.
    Miriam

    Reply
  12. Phoenix, too, thought the Portland airport was his own personal kingdom. ( : Wonderful to have an environmentally confident puppy. Looking forward to more pics and following your training plan. How will you decide whether or not to pursue Sch. work with her?

    Reply
  13. What a beautiful baby!!! Very much looking forward to getting to know her through your posts!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful girl with us!

    Reply
  14. Really enjoying watching your darling baby dog!

    Reply

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