We all had had a good week, this week.  We got to play with the puppies at Sandy's house on Wednesday.  They sure are growing up fast.  I notice a change every week.  I weighed Chris and she is weighing in at 19 pounds now, and getting harder to pick up.

Now that she is eating more food, I had to change her bowl to an adult size Bella Bowl.  She is now eating out of the same size bowl that the two adult Border collies are eating out of.  In order to portion her food correctly and be able to tell which bowl is hers, I gave her a different color bowl from Kate and Tam's bowl.  She has a girly pink bowl, which goes with her girly personality.  I really like these bowl because number one they do not slide around the floor.  Bella bowls also come in pretty colors that match my kitchen colors.  Their interiors are made of veterinarian recommended stainless steel, and the removable rubber ring on the bottom makes them dishwasher safe.  Not much could be better in a dog bowl than that.

In addition to weighing two times more than when I first got her, she is cutting teeth.  She has lost all of her incisors (the front teeth), so quickly that a lot of times her tongue is sticking out.  She has no teeth to hold it in!  Every time that I see her tongue out, I start laughing, because it’s so cute.  Her new teeth are starting to come in but are still small and no aid to holding that pink tongue inside her mouth.

I have decided that it is time to start formal obedience training with her.  I am tired of her pulling on the leash, so I will incorporate techniques from Kate and Tam's obedience training to get a handle on it.  I don't do extensive obedience training any longer with my dogs, as I do not compete in that venue any longer.  However, I have to live with them.  My dogs need to basically do what I need them to do.

She will learn to better walk on a leash, and in the heal position.  She will also learn sit, stand, down, stay, come on command.  She knows a few of them, so she will be proofed on them further.  With come, stay and down being the most critical, they could save her life.  

Many years ago, I was letting my dogs relieve themselves in a relatively vacant parking lot with planted islands.  And this is one example where their obedience came in very handy to keep them safe.  A car came into the lot, and they were between my dog and me.  That could have been a real tragedy for us.  I told my dog to down and stay, as there was no time to call her to my feet.  She was kept safe on the island until the car passed, then she was called back to me and put up in the car.  Phew!

Now, I do not recommend this kind of lazy behavior on my part what so ever.  Dogs are dogs, and she might have let her instinct take over and run in front of the car and gotten squished!  Now a days, I am more careful about letting my dogs lose.  And in public my dogs are usually leashed.  But those commands are still needed.

They say dogs don't cross over.  And that saying refers to commands.  I know that they can understand the same word command for different tasks, as they are situational learners. But they can also learn a behavior and are able to apply it in a different venue.  For example, I have a touch command when I play with the girls.  They use their nose to touch my hand.  Additionally they have a touch command when hitting their contacts when they play in agility (two feet on and two feet off).  So I think that they do cross over.  Other examples are when I taught the lay down in the house.  Then when herding I used that command again, and low and behold, they would down.  I even had to use the time command (steady) with Tam, which was moved from herding to agility on the weaves.  She was going so fast in the weaves, that she was missing some, and by chance, I told her to "time", and she went through beautifully!  So the "time command", was a "time" in both herding and in agility.

My dogs are not geniuses, they are normal Border collies.  If you teach, they will learn, and sometimes when given the chance, know more than we give them credit for.

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