the first six months
I realize I haven't written anything about the puppy since bringing him home. What can I say? He's kept me busy! LOL
As usual, time has flown by and now Tripp is just a few days shy of 6 months old. Already? He's grown so fast, yet at the same time it seems like forever, because we've done so much this year...
After the long trip home, he settled in a few weeks before starting basic obedience classes. He's done very well with training considering I've actually slacked off a bit in that department (relatively speaking) - haven't practiced or worked on as many new tricks as planned. But that's a smart Poodle for you! :-) I also learned that Tripp is naturally endowed with "agility ability" and insists on competing in that venue. As much as I love it, I hadn't planned to put agility trials on my list due to expenses, but how can I not with this boy?! If necessary, I will put another sport on the back burner until I can afford to do it all. Probably musical freestyle and advanced obedience because I do still plan on getting his CGC and hopefully novice obed. titles. This of course will not stop me from practicing all the advanced moves on my own! We'll be prepared when the chance comes - besides, he has his whole life to dance, and those sports make great "retirement" activities. Skijouring is still on the current list, as this is more of a backyard/recreational sport anyway, with minimal expenses. And I also still plan on showing a bit in UKC next year. While this is just for fun, it will be good experience for me and useful for grooming and presentation skills, so I'm counting it more as business related. ;-)
And speaking of hair, OMG, I don't think I could own a Poodle without also having a grooming salon! He certainly would be naked otherwise (which is actually great if I wasn't showing or grooming competitively!). Good thing Tripp likes the blow dryer and tolerates brushing just fine, as he experiences these things constantly. And that's not much of an exaggeration now with snow on the ground! The downside to Poodle hair is that everything sticks to it, so after every outing, I have to brush and dry the snow off the dog before he's allowed access to most of the house - being a Poodle, of course, he loves furniture; however, furniture doesn't love wet dogs. ;-) In this respect, I am actually glad I needed to clip his body short (creative coloring removal), as not only does it make for less hair for stuff to cling to, it also offered a jump start on coat change. There is some wonderful texture coming in, and I'm glad there's less to get matted through this stage. Again, if I wasn't a professional, I'd being saying "shave it all off" before you could blink! LOL
Back to his mental development, I took Tripp to some agility classes to get a little official training under his belt before the weather forced us to hole up. As expected, he did amazingly. We also did some "water therapy" to teach him to swim properly. Yes, really. As for socialization, I am thankful for a well bred dog with stable temperment, as I've slacked the most in this department. We've not gone out on the town every week to expose the pup to new things or been as proactive as I generally recommend. Of course, he is exposed to a lot in the grooming salon (which he loves - insists on coming to work with me!) and we do get out now and then. From the beginning, Tripp has taken everything in stride, being a wonderful breed ambassador. He loves going new places, and thinks every person should stop and say hello, and every other dog is a potential playmate. Most people don't believe he's a puppy, as he's generally so well behaved. Again, that's a Poodle for you!
Tripp is a wonderful retriever, and is turning into a nice grooming assistant, fetching dropped tools - even my metal comb! Most things get tossed about and played with a bit before being returned, but after all, he IS a puppy! LOL He really does great for his age. :-) Full of potential...
Check out my videos of him growing up on YouTube!