Puppy’s First Birthday!

May 18, 2011 § 7 Comments

Happy birthday, sweet Annie-girl! πŸ™‚

Our little Annie has turned ONE!

We’ve only had her for about nine of those months (since the end of August last year), but we have thoroughly enjoyed our time with her during this first year. πŸ™‚

So, in honor of Annie’s birthday, here are her accomplishments:

1. Sit. One of Annie’s first commands to learn was “sit.” All I had to do was gently press on her haunches, say “sit,” and give our hand signal. She learned to sit in about two weeks.

2. Wait/Stay. This was probably the second of Annie’s commands. It took her only a few days to learn to wait/stay.

3. Potty bell. Annie learned fairly on that the back door is for going outside to potty…but she wouldn’t tell us that she was by the door. Next thing we knew, she’d have an accident because she couldn’t hold it. So, I nailed a jingle bell to the wall by the door, showed her to ring the bell while I said “potty,” and she learned it in only a few days. Now she’s smart enough to know that if she rings the bell, then she gets to go outside to sniff and walk around.

4. Shake/High-five. With the help of a treat and some nudging, Annie learned “shake” fairly quickly. Annie learned “high-five” the same time she learned “shake.” She loves to do either and both because they make me so happy. She’s so adorable when she does these commands.

5. Quiet/Hush. Shortly after Annie grew into her “big girl” bark, we taught her “quiet” and “hush.” These days, when we tell her “hush” after a particularly painful bark, she tends to do a little rumbly “back-talk.” Maybe she’ll grow out of that soon, too.

6. Lay down. A cookie on the ground just a little ways away from Annie. That’s all it took. She picked it up immediately. Now Annie knows that she has to shake, high-five, and lay down in order to get a cookie. Sometimes she does all three at the same time. It’s the cutest damn thing I’ve ever seen!

7. Come/come back. This one has been the hardest one to learn, but Annie’s getting there. We use cookies sometimes and shower her with lots of love when she obeys. “Come back” is for when we’re walking around and she gets ahead of me. Right now, we’re doing “come back” on the leash. I’m hopeful that one day we’ll be able to do it off the leash. That will be an important command to learn for the park.

8. Go get it/bring it back. These are for fetching. We’re working on teaching Annie to wait until we command her to “go get it” before she gets the chance to run after a tossed toy in order to “bring it back.” She is always so proud of herself when she brings a toy back.

9. Night-night. We tell Annie this when it’s time for her to go to the guest bathroom, which is where she spends the day when Robert and I are out of the house.

10. Leave it. Annie knows to step back and sit when we tell her to “leave it”–this can be for food, toys, treats, cats, whatever. Sometimes the cats are more difficult to leave alone, particularly Callie. But she’s learning. Maybe by her second person we’ll have this one down! πŸ™‚

What we’d like to learn next year
I think over this next year, I’d like her to learn how to come/come back without any trouble, and particularly to leave Callie alone with little verbal direction. I’d also like for her to learn “quiet/hush” without back-talk. I’d love to take her to the park off the leash. I’ve seen people running with their dogs (something I’d love to do with her once my back is healed up), and they’re often off-leash. Finally, I want to teach her some more “fun” tricks like “roll over,” “play dead,” and fetching frisbees in midair. Robert would like her to learn “put it up,” so she can learn to put her toys away. Also, he wants her to learn “get down” better–so far, she still gets hyper when we tell her “get down,” but she really needs to learn to “get down” off the couches when we tell her to.

In the meantime, though, I am pleased with the kind of dog our little puppy girl is turning into.

Happy first birthday, Annie!

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§ 7 Responses to Puppy’s First Birthday!

  • Lisa Wields Words says:

    Happy Birthday Annie! You are a beautiful and lucky little girl. Is there a fenced in dog park nearby. That’s a great place to let her off leash and practice those calls.

    • Robert says:

      The park down the ways from our house has a really nice dog park in it. They have a really big fenced in area. I agree–I think it’s time to start working on those commands there, and I think now is the time to do it. When we had been going to the dog park, she still had her puppy brain on, so it was REALLY easy for her to get distracted and just go back to playing with all the other dogs. Now that she’s a little older, I think it’s time for the training wheels to come off (or go on?) and really start working on her commands outside of the house.

      • Lisa Wields Words says:

        I don’t promise she will focus the whole time, but it was really helpful with my dogs. Well, one of them. The other one has a mind of his own. πŸ™‚

  • limr says:

    Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

  • Ah, Amanda–a pet post! I love it! Happy Birthday, sweet Annie—————- You are a beautiful girl!
    Kathy

  • jacquelincangro says:

    Happy Birthday, Annie! What a bright girl you have. Reggie is still (re)learning some of those words. In fact it is his birthday today, too. I just posted this in celebration of what I’ve learned from my time with him so far.
    http://jacquelincangro.wordpress.com/

  • sportsjim81 says:

    Happy birthday indeed. I love that she knows to ring a bell when she has to go outside to potty. That’s impressive!

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