Hi! I'm Cris (short for Crystal). I live in Denver, Colorado. I'm a grad student at the University of Denver, studying for my master's in Library and Information Science. I also intern at a public library. I got Valentine (named for the heart-shaped marking on her forehead) because I've wanted a dog for a few years, and I think now is the best time for a puppy, since I'm home except for 4-5 hours a day. She's 4 months old and a real sweetheart. I had 2 dogs growing up, but this is my first dog as an adult where I'm responisble for the training. I like to take long walks, run, and hike. I think a high-energy dog (miniature Australian Shepherd) will be a great fit. I obviously can't start her on any of that until she's done growing, so while she's a puppy we play a lot of fetch. Now that she's vaccinated we also go to dog parks and puppy kindergarten/socializations to burn off some energy. I live alone, which means that I can raise her exactly as I want without much outside interference. It also means that I can't do any 2 person training with her. I'll probably need a lot of advice on working with her solo. So far she's excellent at Sit and Down. She's good at Stand with hand gestures but tilts her head at me in confusion if I just use the word. She's fairly good at Come, but a lot of the time I have to be really animated to get her to come if she's distracted. She knows Off and paws at a string of bells I hung by the door whenever she needs to go out. She's also crate-trained and happily goes into it when I say Crate. I'm working on getting her to lay on her side by getting her to Down and then enticing her back with a treat. She will snap her head back, but her body only goes back about a second. I've been positioning her, but she doesn't seem to get it. We're also working on Stay mostly at doors and when I'm getting out of the car, that way I can get out before she rushes me (she wears a seatbelt harness). She's 50/50 on Stay right now, but getting better. I do take her for easy 2o-30 minute walks now, and she gets a little barrier aggressive with the leash. I've tried distracting her with treats when she sees other dogs or people, but that doesn't seem to be working. I pull the leash out of her mouth and say "No Chew!" That hasn't done much either. Whew. I didn't know I had so much to say! I'm excited about furthering training and finding out about all the different tricks we can learn. I'm sure I will need all the help I can get, so thanks in advance!