E311: Erin Lynes, Megan Foster & Shade Whitesel on Puppies!

Thinking about your next sports dog puppy? Join us for a conversation on choosing your next puppy, what skills to start out with (depending on your sport), and what a day in the life looks like!  


Melissa Breau: This is Melissa Breau, and you're listening to the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast, brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, an online school dedicated to providing high quality instruction for competitive dog sports, using only the most current and progressive training methods. So I have Erin Lynes, Megan Foster and Shade Whitesel here with me to talk about the upcoming one day Puppy conference that FDSA is hosting on May 13th. Hi, all welcome to the podcast!

All: Hi Melissa. Thanks for having us. Hey, Melissa. Thanks for having us.

Melissa Breau: Super excited to talk to everybody today. So to start us out, I wanna have you each kinda introduce yourselves, share a little about your current canine crew and what you're working on with them. Erin, you wanna start us off?

Erin Lynes: Sure. I'm Erin Lynes. I'm a Labrador Retriever breeder and dog trainer in Quesnel, BC and I have too many dogs to introduce them all on this podcast. We don't have time for that, but I like to do all the dog sport things and I love doing just regular dog things, hiking with my dogs and that sort of thing. And I thought in light of the puppy conference, I'll tell you about my two youngest dogs. I've got two puppies on the go right now. The older one is Leroy, it's actually his birthday today. He's turning one and he is my little baby beagle creature, the aberration in the family of labs. And he's…

Melissa Breau: Happy birthday.

Erin Lynes: Yeah, he's excited, but he's the dog that everyone's like, why did he get a beagle? And there's no reason, there's no logical reason for that. It just happened. And he's wonderful and we love him. I don't know what his future will hold. I think he likes tracking, he likes shed antler hunting. He likes running around and harassing all the other dogs. So his job might just be the comedian, but it doesn't matter at this point.

He's, he, he, we're just, we're just enjoying having a different breed in the household. And then there's my youngest guy who is a black lab named Kenji. He is four months old today and he's absolutely delightful. He's just a little guy that he's in love with training every day is the best day ever. Everything that I do with him, he thinks is the, you know, the greatest thing. Oh, what are we doing today? This is awesome. I love his attitude. I don't know where he's going to go dog sport wise, but it's, he could probably do anything. And I'm trying really hard to resist the, or to get too excited about the future and enjoy him while he's so cute and little and precious right now and absorbing all the stuff. So that's, that's the puppy end of my crew. Awesome.

Melissa Breau: Megan, what about you?

Megan Foster: Yeah, hi, I'm Megan. I am an agility competitor, coach and mentor, and I currently have five dogs in my house, a 15 and a half year old, a 12 year old and 2, 2 8 year olds. So those are like the pampered pets.

Their sport careers are a little bit beyond them and, but I do have a nearly two year old Border Collie Sprint who is getting ready to debut in agility. And so she is the sporty spice of the house. And so she we're kind of, I guess we're on the other side of this puppy coin and we're looking forward to getting into the competition ring and seeing where that first six months to a year takes us in our training.

Melissa Breau: Awesome. All right. Shade, what about you?

Shade Whitesel: My name is Shade Whitesel and I am a Schutzhund IGP competitor, I guess I would label myself, and AKC obedience are my main sports. And yeah, so I've got three right now and I've got a 10 and a half year old. So in shepherds, any day of after 10 you take, don't take for granted. So we're trying to make sure that every day is his best day. So, and then I have a four and a half year old who's kind of really ready to start competing in IGP. He's, he's doing really well. He's, I have him signed up for an open, his first open leg in AKC obedience as well. So we're about to kind of hit all the things with him. And then I have a eight month old puppy who kind of, like Erin was saying, it's so fun when they're so into the training and it's, it's, he's been a joy and a delight and he just is like, yes. So like, what are we doing today? And raising his hand in the front of class. And so he's so earnest and so fun and joyful and yeah, we're, I'm really looking forward to, I'm not looking forward to, I'm enjoying his training basically every day. So yeah, so that's my crew.

Melissa Breau: Awesome. So since the topic of the day is puppies, I thought it might be kind of fun to start off by talking about what you guys consider when you're looking to add a new puppy to your own household. Kind of what do you look for, why you all kind of do different sports? So I thought that would also be kind of an interesting spin on it. Megan, do you wanna start us off?

Megan Foster: Sure. So given that agility is my sport and I do prefer to compete in the large dog classes, I am very attracted to working with Border Collies. So first and foremost I'm looking for pedigrees that are doing what I want to do so that parents or relatives are competing in agility and or herding because I do like that herding head space that Border Collies can have. And I reach out and talk to owners of relatives of that potential pedigree first to see if, you know, they kind of mesh with the kind of dog that I wanna live with and how I, and how I want to work with the dog. But then once they are on the ground, I'm really, a lot of Border Collie breeders are, are not necessarily going to like let you choose a puppy. You're just going to have some input and you might have the puppy chosen for you. So I really like to see a litter that's kind of consistent, that maybe there's not a superstar in the litter, like one really outshining the others. So that's one thing that I'm looking for. And obviously I've chosen a pedigree, hopefully for good health and good structure, good temperament. So I want all of those things and hopefully the, the litter that I choose produces lots of options within that range. But the most serious thing is that they have to look so good.

So I do prefer smooth coats and dark faces or you know, really, really try like lots of brown face. So like it either has to be like super dark or super brown, but smooth coat, I mean I have to look at them hopefully for 15 years. So they need to be super, super cute and super good to look at. So I do do, I do end up choosing pedigrees that will produce a very good looking dog in my opinion. Don't you like, so I hear you, but I swear like, like don't you think you would love them anyway and then you would think they were so cute cuz they're yours? I just would never look at a litter that wouldn't produce something that's pleasing to me. Like it just, when I was looking for my first Border Collie, the first litter that I was on produced the on the list for produced two black and white dogs and the rest of them were red and the first two people in line chose the black and white dogs. And I declined, like I said, I just, I really, I did. And I mean it worked out in the long run but because then the Border Collie I got was Smack and he was this perfect brown face try so yeah, it's real it so yes, absolutely if a dog fell in my lap I would absolutely love them. But I do have a preference for my, my dark face girls and my yeah brown face boys.

Shade Whitesel: It's funny because sable is my least favorite color in German Shepherds and I have three stables now and like, and then my puppy is, he doesn't have like, his mask is only on his nose. It doesn't extend to his forehead, which is my least favorite. Like I don't like that I want dark faces. Kind of like you. I just think he's the cutest thing ever cuz he is mine, you know.

Megan Foster: Okay, so there, there was a plot twist with Sprint when her DNA testing, she is genetically like there she's not black and white. There are, there is specs of brown under her black, so like in the sun you can see it. And as it got more and more obvious, I'm like, what is, what is the deal here? You're black and white, why are you so brown? And I went back and I actually read her DNA report and she is genetically brindle, so I guess maybe brindle is on my list now, right of right of wow aesthetics I'm in love with because she's perfect.

Melissa Breau: That's so funny.

Megan Foster: And there isn't a dog cuter than she is so I guess brindle's my jam now.

Erin Lynes: I'm a little jealous of you guys in breeds where there's colors, the cuteness factor, like when we have lab puppies, we know what color they're gonna be and all the black ones are black. There's no, there's not like, yeah the cute marking like, oh look, this one has a cute little heart on it or something. So yeah, the cute factor's a little. Yeah, I, I'm a little jealous of that.

Megan Foster: Who knew that today's topic would be choosing puppies in color? They're open to can of worms there.

Melissa Breau: Yep. It's all good. Oh man. So other than colors, so Shade obviously you're not choosing based on that. What are you choosing your puppies based on?

Shade Whitesel: At this point in my life, I'm totally choosing my puppies for being able to compete in the sport of Schutzhund. And I want a male, not to say the females can't do well, but I find that your males are generally stronger and you want, so I, so I pick the males I want as little chance of the dog not working out for Schutzhund as possible.

So I'm also looking at pedigree, I'm looking at the parents and I actually, because I'm picking for this sport and I want a strong, pushy dog, I'm not picking for a dog that fits nicely into my household. Otherwise I would pick a different temperament for sure. Because I end up, like right now I have three strong pushy males and two of them can't be together.

So if I wanted a nice harmonious household, I would pick a different temperament. I did for Ion because there's a lot of dog aggression in the shepherds. I did specifically research the breeder and his parents for other animal aggression that was so important to me and it was a non-negotiable because of my cats and just the, I, you just, when you have like a certain amount of dog reactivity is kind of normal in the shepherds.

So there's kind of what I call normal and then unreasonable and it's just, you spend so much time working on it that you don't have time to work on the other stuff. So it, and again, it's, you don't, the genetics can be perfect like parent wise and the puppy is who you get. So, so I just did as much research as I could and I remember when the breeder, when I asked her, I was like, so, and, and it's so funny because you don't know the breeder and you don't wanna like offend them. And I was like, so what do you think about the dog aggression in the breed? I'm kinda seeing more and she's like, oh I hate it. I don't wanna get, you know, she's like, I breed dogs, it's not like that. I'm like, cool, great answer. And then I'm like, so you know, I know you have a lot of dogs but like, have any of 'em had experience with cats? And she showed, she sent me like video after video of the mom, like interacting with cats and I was like, okay, I've done as much as I can and I definitely Ion is very open towards other dogs, very neutral, very kind with the cats. So that was my non-negotiable for this puppy and I did a good job with that.

Melissa Breau: So awesome. Yeah, There's a good thing when your dog doesn't wanna eat your other critters in the household.

Shade Whitesel: So yeah, I mean the 10 year old does, so yeah, I love him to death, but the cats will be tap dancing on his grave, you know, I can't blame them. So I think that's how the Shelty feels about having all these other hooligans in the house. I think she's just, yes, exactly. I think she's trying to outlive them all just to have her alone, her, you know, her home to herself again.

Melissa Breau: Right. So Erin, you're coming at this from a little bit of a different angle. I think maybe since usually the puppies, I think most time you probably have puppies you bread, right?

Erin Lynes: Yeah. So as a, as a breeder it's a little bit more complicated. In some ways it's easier. So if I'm keeping a puppy planning to keep a puppy from one of my own litters, actually I really liked what Megan said about finding a litter that doesn't have like a standout superstar. That's actually a really big thing when I'm keeping a puppy from my own letters, I look for the litter where there's, it's really consistent where I could almost pick any puppy and be pretty assured that I'm going to get what I want. That is super helpful.

And I think part of the reason is that I don't really see super strong correlations between behavioral assessments when they're really little versus how they turn out. There is a, there's a lot of information you can get over generations by looking at like, okay, these particular puppies at seven weeks behave this way and then they grow up to be such and such. But within the litter itself you're, you're probably not getting as much information as you think you are by just sort of cold evaluating puppies based on whatever standard you're looking at. So that individual puppy assessment, I like to see them all happy and active and alert and confident. And for my interest, I like all the sports, everything is really seasonal here, so we're always changing what we're doing. We just came out of dog sledding season, which sounds crazy with labs, but they love it. We're starting into nosework and agility and dock diving season in the fall we're doing duck hunting and stuff like that. So things are always changing and in my big busy household, it's really important that the dogs all get along. And so a big part of what I'm looking at in puppies is their, their, you know, agreeable nature. So do you like to do all the things that is great, we can pick any sport at any time, that's awesome. I'm pretty confident with my training abilities for all the different activities we're gonna do, but I really wanna make sure that our household is harmonious and from the breeder angle, most people who are choosing labs, even the people that are really hardcore about a specific sport, that's something that they also value about the breed. So that aspect, that good nature aspect is something that is really important to me when I'm on the puppy buying end, which happens occasionally. My youngest little guy actually came from a different breeder and obviously the beagle came from a different situation.

I do have some criteria that I'm looking at and we can't really talk about the beagle here because that was an impulse. I wouldn't get a dog how I got the beagle, don't do that. But I'm very, very meticulous about how I get my lab so I can share a little bit more insight on that. And the pedigree research that Megan and Shade both mentioned is important and asking readers and people with related dogs deeper questions is so valuable.

So you can ask about all the things that you can't really test for. Like health stuff for me is big. I want to give my dogs the best chance of having a long healthy life as possible. I don't wanna have to deal with allergies and epilepsy and all the stuff that you can't really control. So I ask about related dogs, I try and find out those aren't the things that people advertise and there's no dog, there's no line that is perfect, that is free from all problems. So getting honest answers from me when I'm talking to a breeder is more important than getting everything is fine, my dogs are perfect, we've never had that issue. If I hear that, that's actually to me a bit more of a red flag because I feel like it's probably not the full picture.

So asking about the health stuff is important, asking about behavior. If they have a lot of dogs like I do, how do they get along? Do they have to manage some of them? If they have few dogs, how do they react in group situations? That sort of thing. And from my sort of unique perspective as a breeder, I'm not always looking for lines that are super well proven.

There is a lot of labs out there, we have a lot of genetic diversity. So for me, I'm usually looking for like maybe a hidden gem, so maybe a pedigree that's a little less representative of what is doing really well in other sports. And I can take a puppy, evaluate it, hopefully turn it into, you know, the next star. It fits in well with our breeding program. It could contribute that way, but as long as the health and the behavior criteria are met, it comes with sound structure, it's had a good start in life, all those sorts of things. Even if it doesn't work out as a breeding prospect, it's probably still gonna be a pretty nice dog. So that's sort of the big picture overview and cuteness. I mean, I like a dog that's easy on the eyes. Cuteness isn't the top priority. I don't get any cute markings to choose from. But you know, I've been trying so hard to get a yellow female and I don't have a yellow female currently. Most of my labs are black. It's just sometimes the things you really like are still lower priority than all the other stuff that's a necessity, so dang it, one of these days. But yeah, priorities are hard, man.

Melissa Breau: Yeah. Aw man. All right. So when a new puppy comes home or you decide they're staying, where do you start? Like what skills do you look at introducing? Is there anything you guys kinda hold off on introducing, let the puppy grow up a little bit? First Shade.

Shade Whitesel: Actually, yeah, I, I kind of hold off on socialization. I know that's probably not a popular answer, but especially that first week and since I just gave a webinar on, you know, puppies first week I really realized that I don't quite take the puppy out that first week. Like I want them to get settled and feel safe in their home.

And I, that's huge priority to me and we're doing so much other stuff, they're like exhausted going out so they don't wanna leave home and all that kind of stuff. So the stuff I do is I always do teach 'em eye contact right away. I teach 'em what a marker is, I teach 'em eye contact and one of the things about eye contact is it teaches them to look away from the treat in my hand and to offer that. So looking so that, I think that's just such a good skill. Look away from the treat to get the treat and then they're learning their marker and they're also learning that food comes from your hands. Sometimes baby puppies don't look at you like they don't make automatic eye contact and sometimes too they think food's on the floor so you'll like mark and they'll sort of look at the floor or you know, just their learned experiences. So that's a good thing to teach 'em. Foods coming from the hand, all the confinement stuff, you know, like be okay in a crate, be okay behind baby gates, that's a little later, but that's all that confinement quiet in the crate and comfortable is really, really important for me. And because I have bity bity puppies basically the beginnings of starting to redirect onto toys, which is also super important for me because I want the dog to one, I want them to like biting and tugging and I also wanna see how they react. Like do they, are they really into the tugging? Are they so-so about it? Are they really biting on you? You know, some of that's learned history, but also some of that's genetic.

And I've definitely had dogs that have not done very well in IGP that when stressed they don't bite. And we kind of want dogs when stressed to bite. I know that sounds like not a good pet, but right. We, we want them to go, Hey, I feel a little stressed, I feel a little whatever I need to bite the toy because that's gonna be a behavior we want under some frustration. And of course I want them to control themselves later, but you need to have that motivation and that want because if they're stressed and they're gluing their mouths shut, shutting down, that's a much harder dog to work with. So, so those are kind of my, my biggies right there. I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting.

Melissa Breau: Super highlights though, like how different these answers are gonna be depending on what sport y'all do and all that kinda stuff. So yeah.

Shade Whitesel: Yeah. So I suspect we all want strong, confident dogs and you know, the biting is gonna be less important with other breeds, but you still want your dog to react maybe forward under stress instead of shutting down, you know, maybe that's the kind of behavior trait I'm looking for or temperament trait.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, Erin?

Erin Lynes: So I was really excited to hear you say Shade about that taking that first week when you add a new puppy to your home because that's, that's kind of a, a recent change to how I deal with incoming puppies and what I advise. And I also don't take them out for socialization in that first week. I've decided to name it orientation week. So when a puppy joins my home or if I'm sending a puppy to a new family, really that first week is new to them. There's a new person, there's a new home, they're actually getting a lot of new experiences that you kind of don't think about because as a human we knew we were getting a puppy, the puppy didn't know it, right.

They didn't have a chance to prepare for all that. So there's so much new stuff that already happens in that first week when you're adding a puppy to your new home. Training wise, I try to keep it fairly straightforward. So marker cues, because then if we have a way to communicate with each other, any little moment I can take during the day to do a little bit of training is really easy.

I try and get them chasing a cookie on the floor and taking a cookie outta my hand because if the puppy hasn't actually had any pre-training, any reward-based training, lots of times they're, they smell food and they're just frantically looking for it and they don't actually know where it comes from. So that's, it's actually kind of a skill for some puppies and it's sort of annoying because I've,

I've got a new puppy home before and I'm like, okay, first training video, I'm gonna shape something or you know, do something cool and it, the dog's like, I smell food, my brain is soft. So just really simple stuff. And then the other thing that I sort of prioritize when a new puppy comes home is how I arrange the situation so that I'm able to meet all the puppies needs but they are not harassing my older dogs.

So even though labs are really agreeable, and for the most part all of these guys have raised many puppies before, when they get to a certain age, they're like, I've, I've had enough, you've had enough puppies, my friend human, we are not doing this again. So arranging things so that the puppy still has like a really interactive life while being unable to harass and torment the older dogs is part of it.

So they have to be okay with being in a crate a little bit being maybe I've got outside dog runs, they have to learn to be a little bit outside by themselves for short periods being in an x-pen. Those are sort of the top priorities for when I first get a puppy and sport related stuff sort of filters in as they are able to do it. Socialization out in the big world starts kind of in the second week, but that's sort of the, the rundown about the very first things that I worry about with the new puppy.

Melissa Breau: Megan, what would you add to all that?

Megan Foster: Yeah, so the first week I, I definitely agree with Shade and Erin about not getting them out right away because they, like they said, they don't know that you have their back yet. And I think that that's certainly something that I've changed in the last couple of puppies I've raised. And I think that that's really common in, at least in agility to like, take your puppy to all the agility trials and pass 'em around and make sure they can eat and tug there.

And so I, I hold off on that. Sprint was very, in comparison, very old before she visited her very first agility trial and she's almost two and she's only visited maybe three or four times period. And I, I, so I, I definitely hold off on taking my puppies to super high charged events without any skills, without any knowledge that I have their back sort of thing.

And so the first week is really just about integrating them into my life and how to work with me and how to deal with my schedule and getting to know them, you know, how do they play on their own, how do they interact with my other dogs? How do they, you know, are, are they crazy about the food already or do I need to work on that?

Are they possessive with the toy? Do they like to fetch, do they like to tug because Border Collies can be so different when it comes to both food and toys and, and so a lot of it is just about, I just sit down, you know, in the, in the living room and just kind of let and just kind of be with the puppy a whole lot and see, you know, do they bring me toys naturally or do I have to encourage them? Are they jumping all over me for the food? I, I know I keep, this is not a joke but I, I mean it sounds funny but my, my puppies also have to learn to not knock my beverages over, whether it's coffee or sparkling water or wine or cider.

Like they have to learn that, like that you can't do that because I almost always have some sort of liquid around. So I'm like always training like there's always something that they could knock over and they need to not. So that's like number one.

Erin Lynes: Megan, yes, I gotta interrupt and request a webinar on this subject because I live with my beverage in a travel mug.

Megan Foster: You also have, I have so many videos I really do like the one that really comes to mind like Sprint is just this tiny baby puppy and I just like sit down and I've got my sparkling water can in my hand and I'm like, yeah, where this is just happening, I'm gonna interact with this puppy and somehow not spill this drink. So I don't know, that's very, very important. I will see about that webinar. That's hilarious. It, yeah, so I mean but then like skills stuff, yes, obviously like as I kinda learn about who they are and what they like, I'm developing those reinforcer skills, teaching them how training works with me and and things like that. Getting them used to any sort of hardware that they need to wear, collars, harnesses, leashes, long lines, you know, again, still observing like do you react, do you have big feelings about the harness or are you cool with that? And then, you know, doing as much as I can to make them comfortable with being crated and sleeping overnight and trying to get some work done in between. And yeah, sorta like what Erin was saying, the sporty stuff just happens kind of naturally, kind of on its own. The puppy just kind of tells me when they're ready to start doing more things and how to progress from there.

Melissa Breau: So for those listening who maybe have a new puppy in the works, I feel like I had to ask the product question, right? Is there anything you guys love having for a new puppy product wise? Anything you always buy or that you keep in the house for when those puppies come around? Erin?

Erin Lynes: So friends, we need to have an excessive, a number of chews, variety of chewy things. This is a survival skill, being able to select the right things that are gonna keep your puppy chewing on the stuff that you want them to chew on. So I've discovered these beef cheek rolls and I think that I've heard Megan, I think I've heard you talk about a kind that you can get in the US before, and we can't get them up here, but the ones that we have up here, they last a really long time. I feel terrible that I didn't look up the brand name, but they're just like a dehydrated beef cheek roll and they are so good for puppies because one of these is gonna last you like a month, but like bully sticks and nyla bones and your whole arsenal of Kongs and stuffed food products by puppies. I don't usually like feed them by hand when I get them home, but I do try and make sure that their meals take longer than three seconds to eat. So I might freeze their stuff in a Kong or they get their raw food in a kind of like a semi frozen state so they have to actually chew it and stuff. So total survival guide is buy all the chewy things, anything you can find that you think your puppy might like and then you're gonna discover what their preferences are and you can buy more of those.

Melissa Breau: So Megan, what about you? What's your product recommendation here?

Megan Foster: I agree. I mean definitely the chewies, so the brand that we can get in the states is called Farm Hounds and they're amazing. I think my dogs have sampled pretty much everything and all of it is great and yeah, just, I don't think there's anything special because also my adult dogs get those chewies and frozen Kongs and things like that. So nothing additional. I don't usually go out and buy, I'm just so funny I guess I go out and I buy new toys and I really like watching puppies explore new toys that like the every day is a new day and it's like Christmas every morning and it's still that way with Sprint and I think that that goes away a little bit.

Like the novelty of a new toy isn't quite as exciting for an older dog and like with a puppy, they're like, oh my gosh, that's new. I didn't, oh gosh, that's frankly speaking of you know, toys that crinkled versus toys that squeak versus things like that. And I think puppies enjoy figuring out those different textures and noises and sizes like Sprint love toys that were bigger than her as a puppy. So I guess that's, that's what I like to do is to buy really cute toys my adult dogs would immediately destroy, but the puppies, they, they actually savor them.

Melissa Breau: I think I'm noticing a trend here: things to keep the puppy busy.

Shade Whitesel: Yeah. Yes, absolutely. I mean like, oh there's so much work and then you forget you're on the other side of it with a two year old.

Megan Foster: I know, I'm so pleased. I'm really like, but it's not so far away, like I'm just barely on the other side that if someone were to offer me a puppy, I think I might just not speak to them ever again. Yeah, I hear like, no we cannot be friends if you are encouraging me to get a puppy right now because oh my gosh I just, just made it through.

Shade Whitesel: Yeah, no I, I feel like every, every puppy kind of traumatizes me a bit so it's gotta be like a good five years in between puppies so I kinda forget how much work it is.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, any product recommendation Shade?

Shade Whitesel: I'm gonna the Farm Hands, I just recently discovered them, they're great and then the, yeah exactly the beef hide chews, the beef cheeks. I discovered the beef cheeks, you know that first week they can't really consume anything so you're just sort of like giving 'em all the stuff and it doesn't matter what they do, you're just trying to keep busy. Then you, like Erin said, you discover what their individual preferences are but you guys already covered that.

One thing I do say about toys is I have a little basket of cat toys that I use for my puppies. So it's like the little balls that have bells in them, the little tiny because their mouths can't fit around the stuff that the adult dogs have. And also since I teach the toy class, I often recommend cat toys for the small dogs. So like they have little tiny kongs balls, little tiny tennis balls. So often I'll recommend that.

So that's not a specific product but just a type. And then I do wanna give a shout out for the Hollee Rollers as they get bigger toy play. And the reason I want to is that when they're little you can both throw them and tug with them and so they're a toy that you can do both with that. And then I am really particular about my dog's bodies now and I like to throw the ball for them or to a toy for them and I'm very specific about how they catch it and I find that the holy rollers, I can be a lot more consistent about my throw bouncing in front of the dog so that they catch it on the run and don't splat their bodies. So I do a lot less chase than I used to do, but when I do do chase I wanna use a toy that they can run through and catch off the bounce and I find that a lot of our toys bounce to erratically for that. So that's kind of that, that's my one little product that I definitely have a lot more of than I used to.

Melissa Breau: So cuz none of you mentioned it, I'm gonna endorse something too just because I absolutely loved it when I had a puppy and carpeted floors. So I buy reusable potty pads, they're just like these huge blue sheets and they're like bigger than an X pen. So you can like set them on the floor and set the X pen on top of them and the puppy at least from their baby baby puppies can't pull it into the pen and they don't eat it the way that they eat the actual puppy pads. If you buy actual puppy pads and when they get dirty you just pick them up and throw them in the washing machine. They're completely liquid impenetrable so like nothing soaks all the way through the floor and they're just fantastic and I love them and I recommend them now to everybody in my life that gets a puppy because two of them you can just rotate through whichever one you actually like have down and whichever one's in the wash and it just makes life so much easier if you have even like little bits of accidents, you know

Since you guys each kind of do different sports, what foundations do you try to introduce to your puppies, you know, while they're puppies and maybe how do you kind of evaluate what your puppy like that individual is gonna really need to be successful in your sport based on kind of who they are? Megan, do you wanna start us off on this one?

Megan Foster: Sure. So I kinda, I have broken agility training into some different foundation concepts, so like targeting, and this is targeting all different parts of their body. So nose targeting and front foot targeting and rear foot targeting and moving targets versus stationary target. So like moving through a target versus being still on a target, teaching them when to stay put versus when to go.

So teaching them some cue discrimination pretty early on and that just, that all starts with reinforcer cues and then I just put that around being still versus chasing something. And then very specifically to agility, teaching them the concept of following my physical cues in handling and also how to keep aligned. So how to commit to things and stay committed to things. And when they're baby puppies, this is all on the flat, like you're not committing to an obstacle, you're committing to a reinforcer, you're chasing that toy while I run in the opposite direction. You're running to that pre placed bowl of food while I am running away and not supporting it any longer. And so I introduced those all kind of around the same time and I just, the entire time I'm trying to balance speed and precision with who they are.

So if like for Sprint a thousand percent, she already had the speed and the go and the go forward. So I don't have very many videos of her working on like driving a line because I showed it to her once or twice and she's like, yes, I got this move out of my way and I have lots of videos of her coming in close to me and following my handling and a lot more on staying put.

So everything is mostly about adjusting each concept to who she is that day and you know, and then some dogs, the complete opposite the, the puppy I raised before Sprint during the pandemic, the little terrier Torch, he was so funny because he was, he was not like one way across the board with all the concepts he needed. He thought like stations were springboards for example, he was preparing for his flyball career I guess. So like he needed a ton of stay put but then he had, he had a really easy time following the handling so he needed a lot of stay put training, but he also needed a lot of go away from me training. But once he was on a line like convincing him to be on a line,

once I got that he could go really well. So it was, he wasn't, some dogs are like down the list, kind of the same and all the skills and some dogs are more all over the place within the individual skills and you know, it's, nothing's linear. It's like kind of, well I'm gonna start building this kinda skill and nope I need to drop down and build this and oh well they're not ready for the next step here so I'll bump over and do some more of this. And it all works out eventually. There's just not one recipe.

Melissa Breau: What about you, Shade?

Shade Whitesel: Yeah, I mean kind of everything that Megan is saying, I'm sure you know, we all have like, you know, things that are more important to us, but it's important to kind of balance that speed and precision ion needed a lot of how to stay still. He, the speed and the go and the drive came for free for him. So he needed a lot of stay still, but also developmentally he wasn't capable of staying still. So even though he needed a lot of it developmentally he couldn't. And so recognizing that going, okay, you, you can't do a downstay, you can't stay still, you need to move a lot first.

And he's still a bit like that. So he's really delayed in his training compared to my other dogs of like being stay, stay put and though staying put for a long time, I should clarify because he actually, I've managed to teach him very still steady like positions and stuff like that. Still feet. That's really important to me.

So I, so what I'm looking for concept wise, and this may or may not have to do with my sport, is I'm looking at, I mentioned the eye contact of like default eye contact to me, but I also want the dog to have a knowledge of a steady gaze away from me, a steady look. So I balance those, I teach those and I always default probably more to looking at me, but I also really want the dog to be able to look at a toy, look at a dish, look at food, look at my hand, and I even have a different hand position that means look at the hand versus not look at the hand sport wise. It's important to me that they are confident with that cuz there's gonna be other things other than me in their life that they need to look at and still be under control.

Where my puppies, not that I train this, but I'm looking at through their lives, through their little puppy lives, I'm looking at do they have strong feelings about something like, and I like that, I want that for my sport. I want them, I mean these dogs have to like play, fight with another guy in their protection work. So I want them to have strong feelings about what they care about.

So like, because then I know they're gonna have strong feelings in the protection work about being moved or about being tugged around. They're gonna have feelings about that. So I'm also, I'm looking for stuff like that, which if I wanted a nice hat or if I did a different sport, I would be looking at that going, oh my gosh, I don't want that.

You know, but I kind of like it when Ion's like, hey, get away from my toy to the other dog because then I know he's going to, two years from now, he is gonna have that same feeling about in protection work, which is valuable to me and he does. So that's, that's neat. One last thing I feel like I'm taking all the time with this is that because shepherds don't have great bodies and because I have injuries in my older dogs, I am very, very into the conditioning right now and I am into the dog being able to stand square in very good positions sitting down. And I am way more into that than I ever used to be. And I can see it now that I'm into it. I can honestly see that one session of pulling against the harness, being frustrated with a toy in protection. Actually Ion doesn't stand as square the next day. And it's not that he's hurt, it's that his muscles are probably all tense. I don't know what it is, but then I work about stretching and, and standing square and I get him back to whatever. So I can see that my sport that I do is not good on the dog's bodies, which is something to file away, but also that younger than ever before, I can make sure that his muscles are developing in a way that's good for his body and good for, you know, just his soundness through life. So yeah.

Melissa Breaiu: What a neat thing to kind of consider and be able to see, you know, that young kinda at that age be able to see the difference it's making and just like have it be really clear like that. It's kind of neat.

Shade Whitesel: Yeah, yeah. And it's the first time like I've noticed it, like normally I start caring about it when they're like two, but now I'm like, wow, okay, we really need to make sure you stand square. And he's very, he's got good conformation. He's very like, he stands very nicely and so then I can see what I do is like ruining that beautiful stand he had last week.

Melissa Breau: So, and also they grow funny. Your puppies definitely do, they go through all sorts of awkward phases. What about you Erin?

Erin Lynes: What are your foundation skills? So I just about lost my mind with excitement when Shade started talking about the conditioning stuff because that is sort of where my priorities have gone with my last couple of puppies because I train in all sorts of sports and we kind of shift around between different things.

The sport skills that I teach are, they're all sort of interrelated and they kind of come on as we need them and as the puppy is ready. And I found that specifically I get better results with my sport puppies if I don't train the, the sport that I'm most interested in first. So I pick, I'm like, okay, so Kenji, maybe I wanna do hunt tests with Kenji. I'm not gonna train that specifically right away, even though I'm so freaking excited. He shows so much potential. He loves all the things he shows all the natural guests. Maybe I'll start with rally first because I can use those skills to develop our communication system and if it turns out that I make a few mistakes along the way, it won't be this crushing to me. So I've got that. But for all the things that the puppies do in their lives, position changes, getting those really solid, like a really nice square stand, a really nice square sit, a nice down, and being able to change between those positions, it's valuable for all the sports. It's valuable to build their posture right away.

So mostly what I've been doing with Kenji is teaching him those things, how to position his body to be aware of where his feet are and the stillness that comes along with it. Because for the kind of dog that I like, being still impatient isn't like, usually they're the first thing that they're strong at. So we can build that in, in a way that doesn't really trickle into sports stuff just yet.

So really, really focusing on teaching them those things and all the confident stuff that kind of comes with it too. So sometimes you're working on unstable surfaces, sometimes you're on stable surfaces and being, being aware of those differences. And the other thing that I really like just from a general life skills foundation stuff is getting out on walks in the wilderness. So I'm really lucky that I have a lot of off leash opportunities, but when I'm off leash with my puppies at home or in the woods where it's safe to be off leash, they're not seeing all the sites of the world, the socialization stuff, vehicles, people's dogs and other things. So we have to balance that out by getting into town and going in and around different noises and things that they don't see on a regular basis at home. And we have to do that on leash. So for me, besides the sport stuff and besides the conditioning stuff, being able to be calm on leash is kind of a big deal. So we already know that my type of puppy likes to be excitable, they love people, they love dogs, things like that generally kind of tend to amp them up.

So I work really hard on finding just the right locations where I can take them for walks where they do get socialization experiences, but it's not ruining our leash manners forever. Like these little guys aren't born with the leash skills that we would like them to have and it has to take time. They don't, they're not able to really understand it and it have the duration behaviors like loose leash walking, that takes a lot of concentration even in an informal capacity when they're eight or nine or 10 weeks old, they can't, it's just not a thing they can do. They can't even maintain a steady speed of walking for more than a few steps in a row that's not natural. So just working on setting them up in situations where they, they get those opportunities for mental enrichment and socialization and training, but in a, in a really specifically curated way so that their feelings about it are what I want in the long term that I probably sound super vague and unspecific, but that's kind of almost how it feels when you're, when you're getting out there with a puppy, it's like, I want you to like the world and enjoy it and feel confident here, but also not too excited, just, just the right amount of enjoyment and curiosity without being crazy please.

Melissa Breau: And fortunately for people who want more on that, you're talking about it during the conference.

Erin Lynes: So yes, it's fresh on my mind. I just finished all my presentation details. I'm like, look people, we gotta talk about this.

Melissa Breau: All right. So, because I personally found it super interesting, I also wanted to just ask everybody, thinking back to your most recent puppy, kind of what maybe a day in the life looked like, what was typical? I think people often worry about, am I doing too much? Am I doing not enough? You know, how much exercise does my puppy really need? Am I instead building endurance for this crazy wild dog? You know, all those kind of things. So because people have so much anxiety about it, I thought that it might be interesting to just kinda share how you each kinda approach your day in the life. Shade, do you wanna tell us about Ion first?

Shade: Fresh on my mind, well when they first come home, it's kind of this routine of every two hours where you kind of confine them and then they come out and you stuff something in their mouth and then you calm them down and do some training and then, you know, I, so I do some food training, some toy training, then I kind of try to get them to settle down in the house with a chewy and then when that doesn't work anymore, popping back in the crate. So that's like a kind of routine. And then gradually they can sort of be out for longer after they've been trained. And then gradually they can, you know, some of the other older dogs can take one for the team and kind of entertain the puppy a little and then it, it gradually just sort of grows from there.

So like in the beginning it's like two hour routines and then it becomes like, I remember, you know, it's like, wow, the puppy can be out. He doesn't have to be crated right away. He was out for four hours this morning before I had to create 'em at noon. And then, you know, so that sort of thing just starts to happen and my days are all different, so that would be kind of a normal day when I'm home. But, but yeah, so that's a good taste of sort of how I do it in the beginning.

Melissa Breau: Erin?

Erin Lynes: Similar. So the, trying to get into some sort of routine when you have a job that isn't really a steady routine is a little trickier. I think. Like even, even though I'm working from home and I'm doing stuff from home every day, the picture is a little different. So trying to balance, getting just the right amount of activity so that the puppy can be restful, but also not create patterns where he predicts that this is gonna happen at the same time every day. That's a little tricky. So right now Kenji is hanging out.

I've got an outdoor area where he can hang out and entertain himself and there is all kinds of puppy enrichment stuff that he can interact with and enjoy and he's not gonna be able to destroy it. So the weather is good. He's learning to entertain himself. That's part of my daily routine. He's gotta spend some time out there every day. I'm also trying to make sure that I incorporate a time where we spend together where I'm not training him because he loves training.

It's so exciting. Every time that we're together, he's starting to be like, train me, train me, train me. Oh my God, this is so fun. And I don't want to be the, I don't want that interaction to be the only way that we can interact. So we're practicing really hard. Like, I'm spending part of the day every, every day right now where I like read a book or I'm doing my emails or I'm doing something like this while he's around and we're just practicing coexisting. That's, that's part of it. I do have my sacrificial grandma dog Verona, who tolerates him. That is very helpful so he can be around her without harassing her and she won't eat his face off if he's a little bit of a nuisance.

So he's getting a little bit of time with the older dogs now too. And I, I do have concrete, like now we're training, this is the training session usually twice a day at this age. So he's about four months old and I'm trying twice a day to have like little five or 10 minute training sessions where we train something specific. But for the most part it's mostly just like learning the life skills and, and the routine and how it can ebb and flow. Doing our potty training stuff, learning to be okay with the various types of confinement that he's going to have during the day and, and making sure that by the time 10:00 PM rolls around, he's ready just to hang out with a, a little chewy and relax and go to sleep because mama needs her sleep.

Melissa Breau: What about you Megan?

Megan Foster: Yeah, it's, it's pretty similar. My mornings are like, are the only consistent part of my day I would say. So it's like when, when I'm first getting them whole, like I'll potty and feed the adults and then my, I spend quite a bit of time playing with them or exercising them, training them, whatever I need to do to like get that first burst of energy out so that I can get a little bit of work done.

And then it really is like what Shade was saying kind of in those rotations, like they're allowed to stay out as long as they can stay out and then you pop them in their crate. One thing that was really hard with Sprint was that she did self entertain really well, but it was so freaking cute that I didn't get anything done anyways because I was watching her or I'm filming her, I'm taking pictures of her being so ridiculous upside down with her toys. And so, I mean that's, that was my problem personally. And then as they get a little bit older, they as, I don't know if either of you experience this, but this is certainly a thing with Border Collies is that I start to do the opposite of what she thinks I'm going to do because she like Border Collies live and die by their routines and they really like that predictability and control,but I don't wanna see that in my house if I can avoid it. And that is something that I have learned through lots of error living with Border Collies. So if like, you know, even cleaning something up, like if she did have an accident and I needed to like scrub the carpet for instance, like, oh my gosh, like chasing the like rag that you're scrubbing the carpet with, she was really into that. So, so if, so then even if I was just getting a ta like, you know, six months later there's no accidents. I'm just getting a hand towel out of from under the sink and she's like, what are we doing? And I'm like, oh, well we're not doing that at all. And you know, or if she is like, so it became just doing the opposite of what she thinks we're doing and kind of as we go throughout the day, if she thinks that I'm about to get up from the couch and she jumps up and she's getting way too excited, I just, ooh, I, I was just stretching and I, you know, sit back down and wait for her to relax.

And so it, it is about teaching them how to exist and have some routines that they can rely on. And then there's that phase living with the Border Collies that you do nothing by routine it even it works itself out and they figure out the things that are the actual cues. Like it's not me moving on the couch, that means we're getting up, it's the closing of the laptop, that means we're getting up. Yeah. And like figuring and, and deciding for yourself, like which cues you're going to be okay with them attaching those ideas to right. I'm not okay with her getting excited for a leash walk every time I shift if I'm sitting on the couch. But if I pick the, if I close the laptop and I get up, that's fine. It may not happen, but I'm fine. If you have those thoughts, you still may not end up the way you think, but so it, it's for everyone to decide kind of how they wanna live with their creature.

Shade: Yeah, no, I think that's really valuable that you brought that up because I kind of do the same, I do the same thing like, first you're trying to create a routine so the puppy feels safe so they, you know, get their rest and you know, they're learning so much new stuff, everything's so new to them and I think routines and predictability are really helpful for that. And then I'm spending the rest of the dog's life trying to reinforce calmness and trying to create flexibility. And I think that I maybe am a predictable trainer and that my dogs are very much, they want predictability. So I strive to create flexibility. And I noticed with Ion literally upsizing his crate, like make, like, you know, going from the baby crate to the adult crate was like a little stressful for him and like moving the crate, you know, to a different area. He was like, well I can't go to the crate now.

Megan Foster: Sprint went through that too. Yeah, it's so funny. Like she, she's been like the first five months turning right to get into her crate. So when I moved it, because she upgraded and I needed her to turn left, she was like, this, what is this sorcery? I don't know how to get, I'm like, you turn left to get into the car, what is your problem? So yeah. And she'll still want to do that sometimes, like circle around it so she can turn right. And I'm like, you are a crazy animal.

Shade Whitesel: Like, it's so funny how they get into that, right? They really get in. So now when I see that kind of like you mentioned, when I see stuff like that, I intentionally do it. So I'm like, okay, yeah, you know, let's, and Ions crate has his crate door. You can open it both ways. So I spend some time opening both ways not to be, you know, just to throw those little stressors because I think the dogs need to be, you know, stress is a bad word now cuz we don't wanna right. Yeah. Be stressed, but they do need to be stressed a little to overcome it and become more powerful learners. And, and I think that that is important. And I, I'm not gonna quote any scientific studies, but I think that is in science that as little organisms we do need to overcome stress little bits to create flexible learners.

Megan Foster: So yeah, I think, I think you're definitely right about that Shade that like stress has on has now been like attached to like truly traumatic events. Right? And stress is actually anything. Yes. And stress is anything, yeah. Anything outside of like norm normal. Right. So, and it, it doesn't, it can be as simple as getting in a different crate or the crate moving or speaking of routines the first time my, we don't sleep with dogs in the bed because there's just not room. So the first time that my, yeah, it was just not room. The only one that was allowed for the longest time was the oldest. She, because that's, she was five when my partner and I moved in together and like, she's very sure that we'll move out again one day and that she will return to being an only dog 10 years later.

It hasn't changed for her. So that's what happens. So for when Sprint was a puppy, the first time that Graham left for a trip and I was like, okay, we're gonna try, she's gonna sleep out with me. I turned off the light, she put herself in the crate. She was so weirded out that like, how do I sleep out? This is not okay. Like, she was stressed about it, but was it bad? Like, did she like so I get it, like they need to experience things, changes maybe. Exactly changes that is stressful. Stressful for me.

Erin Lynes: That's gotta be the better way to experience stress when you're a baby is little things like, oh my God, my crate was out of place. Absolutely God. Like, introduce that because like if you can recover from that, that's a better first type of, you know, unsettling experience than if it's something that's actually important. You poor puppies have to endure. Yeah. Oh my God, they're guys.

Megan Foster: Oh yeah, my crate moved. My mom wants me to sleep out of my crate. I have to turn right. Impossible in a different place. It's a different bowl tonight. Yeah, Yeah. Those types of things. Just getting in someone else's car. So yeah, I, yeah, living with a Border Collie is at some point just doing the thing that they don't expect, like not proving them right. About anything. Like, so yes, that's how I torture my Border Collie is I don't do anything that I should be doing.

Melissa Breau: On that note. So I wanted to just have you guys maybe talk a little bit about what you're gonna talk about during the conference. Just could people a little bit of a preview, are you guys each good to like, just tell us what you're talking about during the conference. Maybe give us a little bit of information, kinda what the talk will include. Erin, do you wanna start us?

Erin Lynes: Sure, yeah. I'm talking about leash walks. So my presentation is called Enjoy the Journey: Leash Walking Fun for you and your puppy. And the general gist of the presentation is I see a lot of people that are super stressed about leash walking manners. Their puppy maybe starts off really good and they're having fun. And then as it gets a little older leash walks become a source of unpleasantness for both the human and the puppy.

And it's something that they know that they have to do. They have to walk their dog, but it's not fun anymore. And so my presentation gives you strategies to start really young with ways to make sure that your walks are meeting the needs of the puppy and setting you up for long term success rather than future stress and angst. So I love walking my dogs. I know that there's a lot of people out there that also do, and I, I just wanna share that with people. So a few strategies about keeping your dog calm enough so that they don't have, you know, big reactions to every dog or person that they come across. It's okay to let your dog sniff on walks and we actually really, really want them to do it. So that's a big part of it is teaching your puppy to engage appropriately with the environment without getting overexcited.

Melissa Breau: Megan, what about you?

Megan Foster: Yeah, so I am tackling the giant concept of training the puppy in front of you and adjusting their sport skills and their life skills based on who they are that day. And so we're, I'm kind of unpacking all these different skills that we've talked about already and how they can look different with a couple of different breeds and a couple of different personality types. So it is kind of a Torch and Sprint show because I wanted to specifically use puppies that I raised because I know exactly what I was thinking when I made the decisions that I made.

And so it is hopefully an overview of how to take the ingredients you have and fit them into the recipe that you are given because there's so much out there for sport training, especially in agility, that people can start down a training path and think that they're doing it wrong. And really it's just that that recipe called for different ingredients and your puppy isn't those ingredients. So I, I'm trying, it's a very conceptual webinar and I hope that it helps people kind of reduce that overwhelm and learn how to enjoy their puppies as much as possible.

Melissa Breau: Awesome. Shade?

Shade Whitesel: I'm covering dog dog interactions. So I'm talking about how to introduce like what skills your current dog should have before the puppy, kind of how to introduce them and then like, kind of, you know, later on like how to, you know, how are they gonna meet stranger dogs? How are, how are you gonna structure that, like puppy play a little bit about healthy play and then further down the line like how to keep them friends and how to kind of have some harmony in your household and what things you should look at and care about. So, so yeah, I have dogs that have strong feelings about other dogs, so kind of some things I've learned along the ways of kind of how to do that. Yeah. So I'm looking forward to it. And it's an Ion show cuz I have lots of video from him. So though I have to say so many people contributed gorgeous photos on my presentation of puppies and adults and it's just like, I can't, there's so many I can't choose. So it's just like all the pictures that people have are just so awesome and I so appreciate that to make my presentation with a lot of different video, different pictures of different breeds. It's really cool.

Melissa Breau: Awesome. So I just gonna kinda round everything out and give you guys each chance to share maybe any final thoughts or key points that you really just wanna leave listeners with brief for all, anything on puppies. Megan?

Megan Foster: Yeah, I think mostly with your puppy you have to focus on what you need that puppy to know in order to thrive in your life and in your sport. And that everyone's gonna tell you a different way to get that done or what it should look like and everyone is right, but it, they may not be right for you. So think about what you need from that puppy and what you can provide that puppy and balance it all from there.

Melissa Breau: Awesome. Shade, I always say have fun and I would say honestly, don't do sport stuff. Like spend your time getting to know your own puppy and who they are and don't compare them to the other puppies you had, but like, really try to figure them out. Like what do they need, what do they like, what are their preferences? And you know, the sports stuff is fine, but I just feel like we should concentrate on enjoying the puppyhood more than the sports specific stuff. And I'm not saying don't train them, don't teach them skills, but I'm, I'm saying, and Erin, I actually liked what you said about practicing Rally because it doesn't matter as much and we're not trying to offend Rally people, but like Whatever that sport Is for that person Yeah. Get to and know who they are and how they react to stressors before it really matters. I'm really competitive and I want those sports stuff to be perfect and I wanna know the learner in front of me before I start teaching the skills that really matter to me. I wanna figure that out on other stuff. And honestly, I wanna figure that out on your square stand and how do I teach you rather than your heel, you know, even though square stands pretty important, but yeah. So you get what I'm saying? But yeah, have fun. Figure out who they are, who their little individual selves are.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, Erin?

Erin Lynes: That's really, that's really it for me is like, I've raised a lot of puppies and you, you suffer so much with puppies because they're so busy and they're so, they're so they take up your whole life, but it's so special and everyone that you raise is a little bit different. It doesn't matter how related they are, if they're the same breed, if they came from the same family line of dogs, every one of them is just like this special little bundle of surprises and you can kind of get caught up in thinking about the future too much about, like, I'm so excited about my Kenji puppy because he's got so many talents and he loves to train and I feel very flattered by how much attention he pays to me.

And I'm like, we are gonna do so many big things. I can't even decide what, what sports we're gonna all try together, but he only gets to be this fun little leaf carrying pine cone chewing rolly polly little bundle of, you know, baby blubber and joy for such a short amount of time that I, I'm kind of trying to stay in the moment with him and really enjoy like the curious nature that puppies have. Like that's, that's kind of the extra special stuff that you get only for a little bit, little bit of time during their lives. So definitely find a way to, to prioritize the right now with your puppy. And I find that it actually takes a lot of the stress and pressure away from all those moments like Megan was talking about, where your puppy, it might not feel like the training is going that well and maybe it's, maybe your recipe isn't quite right for the ingredients that you have, but you kind of gotta figure out what those ingredients are and it takes time to do that. So like, just enjoy, enjoy doing stuff. Find something that you both like that doesn't really matter for the future and, and soak it up. All those little bite wounds and holes in your pants from your puppy tugging at you and all the shoes that they've destroyed. They're gonna be like your little special memories one day. So kinda kinda savor it.

Melissa Breau: Very true. It's a very good note for us to end on. Thank you all so much for coming on the podcast.

All: This has been fantastic. Thanks For having us. Yes. Good chatting. Yes. Thanks for allowing us to talk about puppies.

Melissa Breau: And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in. We'll be back next week. Don't miss it. If you haven't already, subscribe to our podcast and iTunes or the podcast app of your choice to have our next episode automatically downloaded to your phone as soon as it becomes available.

Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast, music provided royalty free by ben sound.com. The track featured here is called Buddy Audio Editing provided by Chris Lang. Thanks again for tuning in and happy training.


Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast. Music provided royalty-free by BenSound.com; the track featured here is called "Buddy." Audio editing provided by Chris Lang.

Thanks again for tuning in -- and happy training! 

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