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The Finest Dog Gang

664 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Lillith
My last name is "Fine", and my training website/training related social media posts are all under the name "Finest Dog", so I figured it was a fitting title for a picture thread. I haven't ever really shared pictures of my gang here, and I recently got a hold of my old nice camera. Given it's the green season in NoCal (and possibly my last here), I'm trying to get back into taking pictures. As in everything else, my dogs are involved.

A little background: I go to school at Bergin Univeristy, where alongside academic classes focusing on dogs and a hands-on training class every semester, we train service-dog hopefuls out of their breeding program that live with us and roate every 6-8 months. I have 2 personal dogs of my own, a 2.5 year old Boston Terrier named Evie and an 11 month old field-bred Black Lab named Arlo. I am also training Arlo as my own service dog to assist with an anxiety disorder.

We spent about fourty-five minutes today gaggling around a field next to my apartment complex with the pups getting to run off-leash. Worked on some recall, some group (or technically, pair) stay exercises, and took the opportunity to take some pictures. It's the first week of winter break and I decided not to keep a Bergin dog over break and am enjoying just working with *my* dogs for a few weeks.

I really like this picture; I don't love the light or the focus, but I think the composition is cool with the tractor behind them and the angle of the shot:

Evie's beauty shots (I love her in this red sweater, she rocks red, pardon the dirty face):

Some group pics:

Arlo is really starting to look all grown up now. I'm planning to have a little celebration when he turns one in the new year. I'm really enjoying the maturing mind too. I'm not wild about adolescence, and it feels like all I've been doing since I started training dogs more seriously (when I first got Evie) is working with puppies and adolescents. All the dogs at school are under three, and the oldest dog I've personally worked with during that time was a year and some change. Add in that Evie hadn't even turned two when I got Arlo and... just young dogs on top of young dogs.
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Felt a little nostalgic and figured I'd post some pictures of the other pups who've been in and out of the house the last two years.

I worked with Roux for 2 weeks at the beginning of the semester, though she only came home for 1 long weekend. She was just released from the program at the end of this last semester and will be going to live with her puppy parents after the new year. Her litter was donated to the organization by a private breeder and has had a lot of issues. All but two have struggled with reactivity, and unfortunately none are looking like they'll graduate.

My first pup, Skype, who came to me at 4 months. He's a Golden with a Poodle grandparent, so technically 1/8 Poodle. He was a bit of a weirdo when I had him, and went through a painful adolescence where he was super anxious and reactive. He definitely won't graduate, and he's still a bit of an over-reactive loon, but he settled into himself a lot over the summer. Something interesting in his litter is they all struggle with frustration in training- usually an issue when they try a behavior a few times and it doesn't work. One gets very mouthy, one completely shuts down, Skype is one of the ones who stress scratches and paces. He had one sister who was released at the end of last year that would air snap and then erupt into frantic barking. First two are him when I got him as a baby, last is from a few months ago- all grown up!

Another of the "R" pups- Richter. I fell head over heels for this dude, and it broke my heart to give him up. He's a lot of the reason I ended up choosing a black lab as my own service dog. He was released at the end of last year and now lives with a staff member who occasionally brings him to school, so I still get to see him sometimes.

My fourth dog was Thomas. I got to watch him grow up from the time he was three months old, and at the time I had him found him to be an honest working and pretty stable. He's deteriorated a bit over the summer and isn't looking quite so on track to graduate, unfortunately. I also learned pretty quickly with him that Goldens are not for me- too needy and I can't stand the anxious panting they do.

Last dog first semester was Richmond, who helped me raise Arlo the first few months. Lowest energy dog I've had by far, and cemented that I don't love working with low energy dogs. I like some zest to my pups. Taught me endless amounts about engagement and motivation, though.

First dog this year was Uibel, who I've known since he was born. Purebred lab. Bouncy boy, but not fearful. We're all very hopeful he'll graduate, and he just went through the mock client training that they do with the Associates learning about service dog training.

My most recent dog was Valor. He's a lab/golden cross- shares the same mother as Thomas, and his father is Uibel's uncle (brother of Uibel's dam). Everyone is wild about this litter- it was an amazing cross and has produced very solid pups with good drive to do the work but without excessive energy. I've really enjoyed watching this litter grow up, because it's allowed me to see how crossing different lines really brings out the best or worst in a dog. The mother of the "T" and "V" litters has some great qualities, but is very soft and can throw fearful pups. The "T" litter is largely reactive, where-as the "V" pups got all her good traits and seem to have been smoothed out by the father. I call Valor my Golden in a Lab coat, because he's all Golden in personality and build (he's got those straight back legs and very square frame) but most everyone assumes he's a Lab because of his coat length and color.
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None of your pictures are visible :( Photobucket recently became a paid service, so they won't let your pictures show on forums.
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