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Can you believe Archer is already 6 months old? We haven’t been diligent about tracking his progress…until now! You can expect to see a monthly puppy progress report that will track what’s going right and what’s going wrong with Archer’s service dog training.
We’ll try to formalize this process in the coming month, but since this is a summation of the past four months it’s going to be a bit all over the place. Without further adieu…
Archer’s 6 Month Puppy Progress Report
Today’s Date: 1/1/2016
Reporting Month: Sep – Dec2015
Puppy Name: Archer
Age: 6 Months
Puppy Rasier Name: Colby
Training Equipment: Clicker, Treat Pouch, Easy Walk Harness
Brand of Food: Wellness Core Puppy, but he’s transitioning to Wellness Core (regular)
Cups Per Day: 1 1/2 cups twice a day
Weight: 35 lbs
Heartworm (date and type): none we will start after he is neutered
Flea Control (date and type): 12/1/2015, NexGuard
Short Description of the past month:
Unfortunately, this is our first report so I need to recall the past 4 months which is difficult since I have trouble recounting the past 4 days 🙁 I’ll try to list milestones I can remember. We picked up Archer in September and he was very good in most situations.
Car Rides – He was very good from day 1 with car rides even when riding on his own (without passenger help) he cried a little, but nothing like the screaming I’ve witnessed with other pups. Today, he rides perfectly on the passenger side floor boards like our past guide pups.
Crate Training – He adapted almost immediately to the crate thanks to early crate training by his breeders. He did wake up a few times during those first few days, but he rarely cried in his crate in the early goings. Today when we tell him “kennel” he goes to his crate. He’s also very good at waiting in his crate until you release him.
Potty Training – As with all puppies he had a few accidents in the house. In comparison to my past puppies Archer was probably about average with his potty training. I can’t remember the last time Archer had an accident, but it was probably somewhere around 2-3 months ago. However, it wasn’t until the past few weeks that we’ve given him freedom around the house. At this point he’s excellent with his potty training and will sit and wait by the sliding door to be let outside.
Obedience Training – Archer started puppy kindergarten classes in November (ideally we like to start puppy kindergarten within the first couple weeks when our pups are about 9-10 weeks old). We’ve mostly been working with positive reinforcement and clicker training. While not perfect he has learn many basics including sit, down, stay, come, shake, kennel, touch, name, get busy, leave it, and drop it. A few things we have to work on are recalls, name, and jumping up on people
House Manners – When it’s just the family (Me, Ali, Linus, Stetson, Raven, and Archer) he does very well. However, we need to work more with guests and this could be said for all of my dogs as they influence his behavior. We had a chance to work on meet and greets over the holidays when we had house guests. He did about average for a puppy his age.
Socialization – Puppy kindergarten has been great for socializing with different breeds although Archer is a little too rough with the smaller puppies, but he plays great with the older puppies and older dogs. He’s had the opportunity to interact with many different breeds including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Mixed Breeds, Labradoodles, Samoyeds, Italian Greyhounds, Yorkies, Brittany Spaniels, and probably a few others I can’t think of. Where we are falling short is on his outings. He’s had the chance to go to restaurants, stores, warehouses, work places, parks, hockey rinks, and other businesses, but we’ve taken it very slowly because Archer is a little more timid then our past puppies. He also gets a little antsy when we’re trying to keep him calm in down-stays under or beneath our feet.
We’ll keep this section shorter as we shift to a monthly progress report.
Please list any medical problems or health concerns your puppy has experienced in this last month.
Archer had a short bought with what we think was kennel cough. It lasted only about 3 days then cleared up so we didn’t make a visit to the vet office. He’s had his entire vaccination series as dated below. Next month we plan on getting him neutered…poor guy.
Is your puppy taking any medications as of this report (if yes, then what)? Nope
Has your puppy had to visit the vet for anything other than routine vaccinations: Nope
Training Scale 0-5
0 – hasn’t been introduced yet
1 – introduced and working knowledge
2 – 50% at home (favorite training spot), but not so good when asking for the distance, duration, and distractions.
3 – 95% at home (favorite training spot) and does about 50% at 3 D’s and other locations.
4 – 95% at home (favorite training spot) and does about 75% at 3 D’s and other locations
5 – does it perfectly 95% of the time with 3 D’s and at new locations)
Get Busy: 3
Leave it: 1.5
Drop it: 1.5
Comments (any puppy classes this month): Archer began attending puppy classes in November and has attended 5 individual classes. He’ll start weekly obedience in January. We need to up the bar with his training
Brush: Twice a week
Bath: Once a month
Clean Ears: Once a week
Dremel Nails: Twice a month
Brush Teeth: Once a week
Comments: Nothing to report here. Everything looks good!
List environments, people, or other experiences from the past month:
Puppy kindergarten has been great for socializing with different breeds although Archer is a little too rough with the smaller puppies, but he plays great with the older puppies and older dogs. He’s had the opportunity to interact with many different breeds including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Mixed Breeds, Labradoodles, Samoyeds, Italian Greyhounds, Yorkies, Brittany Spaniels, and probably a few others I can’t think of. Where we are falling short is on his outings. He’s had the chance to go to restaurants, stores, warehouses, work places, parks, hockey rinks, and other businesses, but we’ve taken it very slowly because Archer is a little more timid then our past puppies. He also gets a little antsy when we’re trying to keep him calm in down-stays under or beneath our feet.
Comments (any unusual reactions): Archer has been more timid compared to past dogs. Sometimes he can be confident in loud situation like Ali’s roller hockey game. Other times he can be energetic and antsy like when we’ve taken him to fast food restaurants. While other times he seems a bit hesitant like when we were walking across the parking lot. We need to work on getting him out more often. Next months goal is to introduce at least a dozen new (not too scary) environments to him this month.
Does your puppy crate at night? Yes.
Number of hours spent in crate during the day? 0-3 hours depending on what I’m doing during the day.
Does your potty on leash on command? Yes
On any surface (which surfaces have you worked)? Yes, the cement in the backyard, the dirt, the grass, asphalt parking lot.
Barking/Whining/Growling: Archer play barks sometimes. He will also do a moan when I try to move him for instance if he’s lying on my leg or something like that. It’s not a happy moan and it’s his reaction when you do something he doesn’t really like.
Biting/Nipping/Licking: Archer does not bite or nip, but he does like to lick. This is something we need to work on.
Jacket: He has no problem wearing his jacket and harness. We need to give his jacket a cue.
Chasing: He loves playing the chase game and my dogs oblige him, but this is something we need to nip in the bud.
Chewing: He’s not an aggressive chewer and likes chewing on his toys, nylabones, etc. Not a concern at all.
Digging: When he was a wee pup he used to dig when he was playing and running around the yard, but I haven’t seen this behavior in a couple months
Distracted: He’s a puppy so yes he’s distracted. He’s still a youngster so his distraction isn’t too concerning at this time
Eating: He’s a good eater and we haven’t witnessed him eating too many inappropriate things besides grass and twigs.
Excitable Greetings: YES! We’re working on it.
Fearful/Nervous: This is one thing we’re working on slowly. He has some anxiety on or outings so we’ve been taking it a little slower then our past puppies.
Grooming/Handling Problems: Very good for the most part, but he does from time to time make that groaning noise if you shift him to a position he doesn’t really like.
Inappropriate Toileting: His potty training has been great and no accidents for several months.
Jumping: He has a slight jumping problem that we are working on.
Leash Behavior: He’s doing better with his loose leash walking. In the beginning he didn’t want to move forward, but now he pulls. We have to find middle ground!
Mounts: I haven’t observed him mounting, but he does like standing on Linus and Raven’s back.
Protects: Nope he’s not a protector.
Running Away: He does have this problem sometimes when hearing sudden noises or seeing things he does not like.
Surfaces: He’s an all surface dog. No problems here.
Describe what you are doing to correct the behaviors and if you are seeing progress.
The chase game is a bit of an issue. A few things I’ve done to get him to come to me are: Running the other way, having his favorite toy in hand, having my bait bag and clicker during the chase situations. I’ve had moderate success so far. One thing he is good about doing is coming when called when it’s time to come back into the house.
Regarding distractions and his anxiety on outings we have been taking him out to different places and working his obedience to get him used to working with distractions.
Our plan for excitable greetings is having him on tie down when people come over. People are allowed to come up to him, but can only pet him when he is calm and in a sit-stay. We do the same thing, but instead of tie down we are keeping him on leash.
Jumping up: we just don’t pay him attention if he’s jumping. When he’s off and in a sit-stay then he gets attention.
Working with the clicker and treats to get him going with his loose leash walking.
That’s a long one! No other questions or concerns. I’m going to work on a PDF document that you can use for your own puppy progress report.
Do you keep progress reports of your puppy? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack - Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Best Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.