The Days of D’Artagnan Beagle

D’Artagnan Beagle has just turned thirteen months.

This seems like such a bizarre thing to type when we’ve had him for all of three months.  He’s heading into his pure adolescence, and we never saw the puppyhood!

Well, in fact, here is a glimpse: Baby Dart as he appears in a recent advertisement for Show Beagle Quarterly Magazine.

Baby Dart

*moment of pride*

Dart the adolescent is into the “long haul” stage–the time between which he is quickly and obviously learning New Things and the time during which persistence and consistency slowly add up to make a more profound difference.

(Dart’s sister and brother have just gone on to earn prestigious breed ring accolades, so Dart needs to start building up some cred!)

At the moment, Dart is getting good grades on some specific, discrete behaviors. Plunking his bottom down and waiting for permission to come inside, that’s one of them…even when he’s clearly about to explode with the imminent invitation.  Waiting to eat his food until I’ve given him his Permission Piece by hand.   Waiting to emerge from his crate.   Containing his explosive enthusiasm at coming indoors, getting into his crate, coming out of his crate, saying hello, getting into his leash, getting into his jammies, going outside, getting into the car, getting out of the car–

Dart at the Door

Belle: I am waiting. Connery: I am waiting. Dart: OH I WANNA COME IN I DO I DO BOUNCE SIT BOUNCE DOWN BOUNCE BAWH!

What’s that, you say? You get the picture?

About that bratty resource guarding…Connery has made the point:  This is Not Done.  First with his patience, and then with an entirely appropriate ass-whupping.  Followed immediately by an ear snuffle and lick, it must be said.

Oh.  The crate shrieking.

There are certain conditions under which he’s reliable, and certain conditions under which there’s sure to be trouble.  We try to be prepared.  Meanwhile he goes everywhere possible with me, learning that the car, the crate, the waiting, the walkies in strange places…all just part of life.  Ho-hum.

Out on the agility field, he’s learned that he’s learning. He gets restless if we skip a couple of days.   Now THAT’S progress.

He’s learning to be proud of his accomplishments beyond just the Cookie Factor.  Now that’s CRITICAL progress!

He’s still doing baby training stuff, of course. “Round the clock” jumps, contact behavior, body awareness, drive over the teeter in absence of the tipping.  But he’s starting to understand that it’s his responsibility to take the obstacles, which is a big conceptual leap.  (Especially when it’s so much faster to reach the cookie/tug toy by dashing around.)

And oh!  Exciting! He’s making his way past that crucial point in which one day he’s a dork dog making the decision, pole by pole, to stay in the channel weaves, and the next he’s driving through with his head lowered and his eyes forward, because he’s figured out that’s the only way to accomplish the task at all.

Dart in the channel weaves

That right there amounts to a serious thrill.

SO many things left to learn…the A-Frame, slicing jumps, rear crosses, the variety of front crosses, sequencing, contact entries…  And what about obedience?  And I need to start him on article indication, and…and…


About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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4 Responses to The Days of D’Artagnan Beagle

  1. Elizabeth says:

    That “we’re having fun” is the big, critical, Giant Step. That both of you have fun.

    But you knew that already.

  2. Doranna says:

    It was sort of a haul to the point where we both did have fun, but we’re there now. He still stresses over learning new stuff, because he wants to be right ALL THE TIME but his “leap before you look” style means he’s kinda not, and even if he doesn’t receive a correction per se, he figures that out. The more he learns, the better it’ll be. 8)

  3. BlogPatty says:

    I have to say right from the first description (before I actually saw the real dog), I liked the Baby Beagle! Go Dart!

  4. Doranna says:

    One of these days you can see him in action and get a big laugh!

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