Last month was National Train Your Dog month and Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes issued a dog training challenge which I belatedly took up. I’ve cheated a bit as I’ve been working on a couple of things with Frankie and Beryl since mid December which they both needed work with. So here is my blog post entry for Pamela’s challenge.
Beryl’s training challenge was more of a trust thing. A bit of background. A couple of months ago I traded my almost 20 years old little car in on a lovely 5 year old 4WD SUV. Why? Well, so I can drive along the beach to a dog/people free spot:) And it’s got a tow bar and is bigger and is being very useful with all the shifting of stuff I’ve had to do and still have to do at John’s place. One thing I didn’t consider when doing my research is how much higher it is off the ground than our old wheels. It took Beryl a few days to work out how to hop into it gracefully rather than do an undignified scramble:) But jumping out was easy, except she started to limp on a front leg not long after I got the SUV and I’m sure it was caused by having to jump so far. I decided I’d lift her out but she wasn’t at all happy about that. Yes, it would have been easier if she was in the back of the car instead of having the back seat to lay on in regal splendour, but she is a Princess after all! It probably took about 3 weeks before she trusted me enough to not back away when I went to lift her out but she’s all good now:) The side doors don’t open very wide so I have to lift her out carefully so I don’t wack her on the door but I’ve managed to avoid doing that so far. Her limp disappeared about a week after I started lifting her out:)
Frankie’s training challenge has to do with the car too. He has no impulse control and has always been inclined to charge out of the car and strangle himself in his desire to get to the nearest smell. I decided that had to stop. So we’ve been working on him waiting in the car until I tell him it’s OK to get out. The improvement has been slow but sure and today, for the first time, he actually checked himself and sat back down without being told to ‘wait’ and was totally relaxed about it. When we got home he didn’t move until I told him he could, YAY Frankie! He will still need reminding when we arrive at the beach no doubt. That’s just way too exciting a place to get to yet. But I think he’s made a lot of progress in the past 6 weeks or so considering he only gets to practice about once most days. We are still working on him not charging off as soon as his feet hit the ground but he is improving in that regard too, albeit the improvement is much slower!
Pamela suggested we train our animals (the challenge wasn’t restricted to dogs!) to do something that would enhance our bond with them and I’d say we’ve been successful in that:) Frankie seems more attentive to me and it’s great to know that Beryl now trusts me to carry her out of an awkward place safely. So, many thanks, Pamela, for the challenge. I might not have persevered with Frankie if it hadn’t been for your challenge but it’s been well worth it.
I have two tired dogs tonight but not because we went to the beach! We went to a local dog obedience/rally competition just to spectate but Beryl and I ended up entering 2 classes, Rally Zoom and Handy Dog. Frankie got to hang around and socialise and I took him through the Handy Dog course after the competition was finished. We’d been there for about 3 hours by then and he’d lost a bit of his ginger:)
Yes, there are photos!
Cobby has recently been adopted by Fatima and Rachel. Their friend, Emma, took him around the Handy Dog course. Do you have Handy Dog in other countries? It’s very new here. The dogs have to go through a few obstacles, sometimes heel on the right as well as the left so some funny turns are required! Here Cobby is sitting while Emma moves behind him so he is on her left again.
Who does Cobby remind you of … hmmm, Deccy? Beryl and I think of you every time we see him:)
This obstacle requires a pause before you make a turn, there isn’t much room with a bigger dog!
I knew Beryl wouldn’t be impressed with this course as it had 5 sits in it, which is 4 more than she’ll do without getting a treat!! But that’s no reason to not have a go.
This was done while she is on my right. We’d only ever done it a couple of times at class oh, maybe 9 months ago. Which was probably the last time we had done any training of anything!
She was right, she didn’t! It’s quite a difficult station for a Greyhound in that it involves the handler stopping, calling the dog to the front, dog sitting, handler takes 1 step back, dogs moves towards handler and sits again, handler then takes 2 steps back, dog walks towards the handler and sits in front again, handler takes 3 steps back, dog walks towards handler and sits again. I knew I didn’t have a chance of Beryl doing it and so did she, lol!
After we’d done the Handy Dog course we did the Rally Zoom course which is great for Greyhounds as there are no sits or downs. And I made it to the third station before I stuffed up turning the spiral into a serpentine, duh! I redid it as it only costs 3 point off. I don’t know if we ended up with a merit certificate for the Zoom course as we left soon after that.
And for Frankie’s friends … Rachel had a play with him before we left
Right, we’re off to read the other entries into the training challenge blog hop. Hope everyone had a great weekend.