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Denise Fenzi
09 Oct

Introducing Lyra

Posted by dfenzi in Lyra


Her registered name will be Sprite-Fanfare’s Lyra.   My husband named her.

Lyra likes to be held; she licks my face and is cuddly cute.  She has a lovely expression.  When you call to her she smiles right up at your eyes.

She handled the Portland airport as if it were her personal castle.  That’s a big one for me….I want to spend my energy training rather than doing behavior modification.  Obviously she’ll be well socialized, but for some dogs most of your time is spent building their confidence towards people, places and things.  As far as those qualities go, she seems to be starting on the right foot.

Her toy drive is very good; she naturally retrieves most objects back to my lap and chews on them with me for company.

Her natural style for playing tug is also very good.  She is quiet, comfortable and tenacious.  She is easy to engage and clearly enjoys a good game. If I decide to train her for Schutzhund, she shows the calm, full bite that is desirable, and I will continue to develop that quality.

Lyra’s food drive is not pronounced.  That does complicate aspects of puppy training, but I will work around it as needed.  I wouldn’t be surprised if food drive increases naturally over the next few weeks.  If not, I will play games to increase this interest.

She is comfortable moving away and exploring on her own, but also follows along nicely if I take her for a walk.  She delights in personal interaction and is already showing a preference for me as her person.

I’d say I am very fortunate.  Lyra is a charming puppy with a calm and stable nature, nice toy drive, and good balance between outward focus (curiosity and independence) and handler focus.

My job is to maintain that balance.  To do so, I will start work on both “stability” and “choice” exercises, such as laid out in Leslie McDevitt’s “Control Unleashed” book.  Lyra will learn to “look at that” and to “take a break”.  At the same time, I’ll work on drive building, specific behaviors, and socialization.

She has started her training.  Yesterday we took a walk in the woods together.  Anytime she looked up at me I praised and played with her.  If she also accidentally showed up on my left side in heel position, I clicked and treated her.  I have started saying her name, waiting for eye contact, and click/treating that behavior along with copious praise and personal interaction.  That was about 5% of our walking time.  The rest was spent enjoying all of the fabulous things that are available to observe, smell and sample in the forest.  I did the observing; she did the smelling and sampling.

If I clicked I offered a treat. Sometimes she took it and other times she declined, but either way I made sure to give lots and lots of praise.

We’re off to a fabulous start.


What a beautiful baby!!! Very much looking forward to getting to know her through your posts!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful girl with us!

Posted by Jennifer Hogge on October 10, 2011

Really enjoying watching your darling baby dog!

Posted by belgmum on October 11, 2011

She is beautiful and I anxiously wait to hear all about your training times. Puppies so much workout oh so much fun. Good luck.

Posted by Vineta on October 09, 2011

Congrats to this beautiful puppy. She sounds wonderful, I am looking forward to hearing about your journey together.

Posted by Miriam Arndt-Gabriel on October 10, 2011

Phoenix, too, thought the Portland airport was his own personal kingdom. ( : Wonderful to have an environmentally confident puppy. Looking forward to more pics and following your training plan. How will you decide whether or not to pursue Sch. work with her?

Posted by Melinda Wichmann on October 10, 2011

She is just yummy beautiful. I so hope you do Schutzhund with her and write about it. But even if not, very much looking forward to following your lives together from this beginning.

Posted by Kathy McClain on October 09, 2011

What? Puppies don’t sleep, silly!

She is LOVELY!

Posted by rtsallie on October 09, 2011

Thanks for sharing this special puppy with all of us. We are looking forward to the journey.

Posted by Helen Gruenhut on October 09, 2011

Oh she is just perfect!
Thanks for sharing her pictures.
Happy 1st night together!

Posted by Kim on October 09, 2011

ok ok! Two photos of Lyra. I can’t take more because she’s sleeping, and I’m sure as hell not gonna wake her up.

Posted by dfenzi on October 09, 2011

Beautiful pup, congratulations. I look forward to watching you build your relationship with her and to see her progress in training. Best wishes and have fun!

Posted by Nina on October 09, 2011

I don’t know how you can have an introduction post without several pictures!!!

Posted by Laura, Lance, and Vito on October 09, 2011

What was your score? 199?
The judge seemed so nice too!
Kim ( STILL AMAZED!! &%%&()@#&+*^$$$

Posted by Kim on October 09, 2011

Congratulations on your new addition. :) I look forward to hearing about her over the coming weeks.

Posted by Tegan on October 09, 2011



Posted by Kim on October 09, 2011

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