Life with a Heeler! (My boy Riggs) Part 1

My life would never be the same without my boy Riggs! Those who know me also know about my 1/2 border collie 1/2 heeler Wrigley,,or as we affectionately call him, Riggs! The search for a new puppy was about 2 years ago. I knew I wanted a cattle working breed and I also knew it had to have border collie in him. Luckily I pet sat for a client who had just had a litter of puppies from one of her heeler moms and border collie dads. I was familiar with the Dad because I had taken care of him on numerous occasions and fell in love with him. He was smart, beautiful, and playful. So I anxiously waited for the day that I was going to pick out our newest family member. The day finally came and my husband and I went to the house to spend time with the litter. They were all beautiful so I knew the choice would be tough. But there was that one little pudgy guy in the corner with amazing eyes that kept watching us. So we held him and it was instant love! We waited the recommended 8 weeks before bringing home. I had the perfect little set up in the office that I divided into a puppy area complete with small crate and tons of puppy pads!! After getting his second round of puppy shots, wormer and clean bill of health we brought him home. He stole our hearts! I mean, why wouldn't he right? Well we definitely went through all the puppy business that you go through in the beginning. You know,,everything goes into the mouth, then comes right back out! Potty training was a back breaker!! Man that baby can pee gallons! But I'm telling all of you,,,crate training at a young age will make the job sooooo much easier!! The multitude of toys that were bought would make our banker flinch!! But we soon discovered that his favorites were balls and tug toys! This little guy learned to fetch at 10 weeks! We also took him outside around the whole perimeter of the property to get him accustomed to his boundaries. I incorporated many fetch games into his life to help him learn several commands, and learn he did! As he grew, his markings began to appear. He also showed us his one blue eye and one brown eye! He was absolutely beautiful. I'm not biased! We also started noticing his attention to every word we said to him. So, I decided to start the training. Ugh,,,I love to train but it requires tons of patience and understanding,,,did I mention patience???? But wow! This pup learned FAST! The simple commands such as sit, down, shake, stay all came within 6 weeks from the start. I knew then I had a special dog. The play continued outdoors mostly with our fetch sessions and a few tug plays too, I don't like to encourage a lot of tug. Also the nibbling on the hands, fingers and feet were becoming a problem. All the lovely puppy behaviors were at full throttle. Did I mention patience??? I was determined to get the fetch game down to a science. I mean I wanted that ball brought and laid down at my feet. Right? Wrong! Well, I had to stop and think on that one. This pup loved, loved, loved his game of fetch more than anything else in the world! So, a light bulb went off. If he wanted to continue the game, the ball wouldn't be tossed again until it was right at my feet! So I used the cue "here and aki" with my finger pointing to the spot until he figured out that the game was stalled until it laid where I pointed! SUCCESS!!! He got it. My happy dance had never looked better! So the game of fetch was conquered with finesse and patience. In fact..I think I'll take a break and go play!!

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