So it has been something like 2 weeks since I've been training Lyra for next month's show. We've been working on stacking nicely on the table, staying still while I look at her teeth (got my brother and some other friends to do this as well), and walking nicely on her show lead. Gotta say that so far, Lyra's been doing pretty well! She is somewhat a very distracted dog (probably because she's still 90% puppy, and only 10% sane, LOL) so it takes lots of repetition to get her to understand what I want her to do.
But happy to say that we've come leaps and bounds from where we were at the beginning! She'd SIT every single time I tried to get her to do ANYTHING. Put her on the table, she'd sit. Told her to "wait", she'd sit. Moved her legs a bit, she'd sit. At this point I understood why show breeders never, never teach their show puppies to "sit" before teaching them how to stack!
I had been making Lyra "sit" before she got to do anything--go out, come in, eat, get treats, lol. So I had to put in double the effort to teach her the "wait" command, which unlike stay (which means sit and stay), means stand and stay. Really helps that she absolutely loves food and would do pretty much everything for some!
One of the things I really love about Lyra is her temperament. Except for the little bit of fear she shows when strangers come into the house or when they lean over and try to pet her, she is completely BOMB PROOF. She isn't afraid of anything! During Chinese New Year, people kept setting off fireworks. While Cadence huddled on my lap, shaking in fear, Lyra was lazing around my bed... barking at the noise because she was annoyed that it kept waking her up, LOL. I picked her up and let her look out the window at the colourful fireworks and she loved it! She is not the least afraid of thunder, either.
I got really worried during her first heat a month ago because she suddenly became DEATHLY AFRAID of strangers. She would sprint in the other direction whenever someone tried to pet her! Thankfully that was just a hormonal thing and she's pretty much back to normal now.
Here are some pictures of our training session today:
I have been scouring the internet to find out if there's some MAGICAL way to make her coat grow any faster! She lost quite a bit of fur during her heat, sadly. I've been feeding her a 1000mg salmon oil capsule every day, along with a scrambled egg cooked in olive oil. If you have found anything magical that can help, PLEASE do let me know!
I've also been religiously brushing her fur at least once a day (although I usually do it twice), and getting any tangles out before they become mats. I know that most of coat growth is in the genes... but... every little bit helps!
Glad to say that her ear featherings are at least in much better shape now! Mostly thanks to the fact that I managed to get Cadence to STOP CHEWING ON THEM by spraying bitter apple on her ears for a solid month. Now I don't have to spray it anymore and he leaves her ears alone. Negative reinforcement people, it works! Her sad looking ear feathers were pretty much the same length from the day I got her at 5 months of age up till the day I decided to show her, at 8 months of age.
I now completely believe the Papillon breeders when they say that the #1 secret to growing amazing fringe is to get other dogs to leave the fringes alone!! (Saliva breaks down fringe, apparently). See the transformation:
Unfortunately, her cute flying mohawk is gone because her breeder taught me to pull all the dead hairs out in preparation for the show. No more awesome flying mohawk! =(
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.